Friday, 26 September 2008


BCS-KIDDM has been discussing the implications of Tim Berners-Lee's news earlier of the formation of a World Wide Web Foundation where he mentioned the need to "separate rumour from real science", (see BBC News) in response to the recent end-of-the-world stories on the launch of the Large Hadron Collider:

Communicating critical information

Came across this model today, which developed from the need for health professionals to communicate patient information:


Although developed for clinical settings, a useful way of communicating critical information concisely and clearly, especially to decision-makers.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Australia and open access

From the article on Times Higher:
<The review says that scientific knowledge produced in Australia should be "placed in machine-searchable repositories" developed and implemented using universities and public funding agencies.

"To the maximum extent practicable, information, research and content funded by the Australian governments ... should be made freely available over the internet as part of the global public commons," it says. "This should be done while the Australian Government encourages other countries to reciprocate by making their own contributions to the global digital public commons."

Giving a speech on the report, Mr Carr said that Australia - which produces 3 per cent of the world's research papers - "is and will remain" a net importer of knowledge. As a result, he said, it was in the country's interest to "promote the freest possible flow of information domestically and globally">>

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Some tech news

From New Scientist, news that Nokia has applied for a patent for a new technology allowing the user to "scribble" notes on digital photos - the digital equivalent of scribbling on the back of photos.

From the BBC, "EU launches new hi-tech institute", referring to the new European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) which will explore renewable energy and new-generation IT as priorities.

Thursday, 11 September 2008


Interesting article on BBC about geotagging - mentions Yahoo's new Fire Eagle which i haven't seen yet.

interestingly, Techwatch have an open call at moment relating to geotagging and mashups:


Interesting article on search and how to improve it - mainly about recognising that users don't really think about entering their terms in a way a computer will understand:

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Digital natives...

not sure if i have already included this in earlier post - Derek Law talking about digital natives... still not sure i like such broad segments but entertaining to read the Beloit mindset list..

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Strathclyde Uni Library bucks the trend

CILIP's Gazette (5-18 Sept) has an interesting story on the cover this issue: "Don't just go to the library, take it with you" which focuses on Strathclyde Uni Library's decision to go against the trend of expanding library space and actually plan to reduce library space. The plan is to direct funding (an increase of 40%) towards virtual services. A one-off sum of £2.5m has been allocated for digitisation. Additional funding is coming from within the university which is some achievement in the current climate. The physical space taken up by the library will be halved and the unused space reallocated for teaching, research and social areas. The university has developed an "electronic preference" policy. On the downside, it does mean fewer staff but it will be really interesting to see how it develops. User consultation is being planned.

Ebooks - not cost effective?

Bookseller mentions a recent study into student use of ebooks in the US:

"E-textbooks may not be cheaper than their printed versions, according to a new report in the United States.

The LA Weekly says that the report, from Portland State University and the City Colleges of Chicago, describes e-textbooks as "expensive and impractical for a large portion of the student population".

The report claims that a lack of resale value of the digital textbook and restrictions on printing and online access to some e-books make it unwieldy for some students.

It also found that only one-third of students said they were comfortable reading textbooks on a computer screen. Three-quarters said they would prefer a print textbook to an electronic one if the costs were equal."

Google's new browser

BCS has interesting blog post on Google's new Chrome browser:

The Tipping Point

This book has been around for ages but only just got round to reading it...The idea is to look at how ideas and trends cross the "tipping point", which is when they become contagious and create epidemics. Gladwell gives some interesting examples which now seem a little outdated.

Gladwell outlines 3 "agents of change":
  1. the Law of the Few: "the influence of special kinds of people, people of extraordinary personal connection" which he describes as Connectors (people with extensive networks who can link others together), Mavens (people with extensive information at their fingertips and share with others) and Salesmen (people with persuasion skills that influence others' behaviour).
  2. the Stickiness Factor : "[...] changing the content of communication, by making a message so memorable that it sticks in someone's mind and compels them to action"
  3. the Power of Context : recognising that how we behave is strongly determined by our immediate environment