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Biweekly links for 12/19/2008

by Michael Nielsen on December 19, 2008
  • Do Tank and the Democracy Design Workshop
    • “The goal of the Virtual Company Project is to build online tools to help groups create and implement governance rules necessary for successful collaboration. The project is premised on the belief that the right graphical interfaces can translate the structures of the group into clear and intelligible procedures that will enable teams to make decisions, control assets and enter into contractual relationships with third parties. The Virtual Company project is creating the interfaces and designing the back-end functionality that is needed to enable group participants to see themselves in relation to the group as a whole, allocate roles, establish accountability to the group, make collective decisions, and administer group assets, expenditures and distributions. “
  • OnTheCommons.org » Online Collaboration Goes Legit
    • Good discussion of the recently passed Vermont law which allows online-only organizations to file for status as corporations.
  • Eddie A. Tejeda: Google might be doing more than making us stupid
    • Nice framing of the question, even if he ultimately goes off on a tangent: “While Socrates was right that writing made us lose our ability to memorize, he was unable to foresee (or maybe foresaw, but still did not approve) the rise of engaged and literate societies, which have been responsible for many of the great creations of humanity.

      So what type of world are we unable to yet see by high level and data extracting reading that the Internet so easily provides? Well, it’s hard to say, but there is another angle we can approach this to give us an idea.”

  • Benjamin Zander
    • Remarkable. A music lesson from the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, live on stage.
  • Native Client: Google’s craziest idea yet |Fatal Exception | Neil McAllister | InfoWorld
    • Google’s Native Client uses sandboxing / virtualization to allow desktop(ish) software to run inside the browser. They apparently have a demo with Quake running, which is pretty impressive. Try doing that with Javascript!
  • Paul Allen: Piece of mind | The Economist
    • “The scientists used state-of-the-art technology to dissect a mouse brain, photographed it sliver section by section, then reassembled it in a computer database that would allow easy access. But it was the speed at which the project was accomplished and what they did with it afterwards that changed the game.

      They released it to the public. Over the internet. Free.

      When we first put the mouse-brain atlas online free, it was met by the research world with suspicion. People wondered what the catch was. Scientific research has long been a solitary endeavour—one researcher, one microscope. Findings are protected so that discovery credit can be clearly defined and awarded…

      … Today we have many scientists using the atlas for their research into Alzheimer’s, bipolar disorders, Down’s syndrome, Parkinson’s, fragile x mental retardation and epilepsy. The atlas is also giving scientists insight into alcoholism, obesity, sleep, hearing and memory.”

  • Synthese Recommender Service
    • Recommendation engine for scientific journal articles. The areas covered are too far outside my area of scientific expertise to know how good the recommendations are.
  • Publish in Wikipedia or perish : Nature News
    • “Wikipedia, meet RNA. Anyone submitting to a section of the journal RNA Biology will, in the future, be required to also submit a Wikipedia page that summarizes the work. The journal will then peer review the page before publishing it in Wikipedia.”
  • Caveat Lector » Proto-librarians and computers
  • OpenNet Initiative
    • Tracks which governments are currently blocking what.

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