Archive for July, 2003

A Harvard Library has a Weblog

Thursday, July 31st, 2003

Today while I was researching libraries and librarians with weblogs, I found this blog for the Rowland Institute Library. The librarian uses the blog to highlight Web resources, items of interest to library users, and science news. Once an independent institute for the advancement of science, Rowland recently merged with Harvard. Are there other blogs […]

The New York Times Company Releases Newsroom Report (in .pdf)

Thursday, July 31st, 2003

This New York Times Company series of reports analyzes newsroom operations in light of Jayson Blair’s plagiarism and fabrication. Perhaps the most notable change is the addition of an ombudsman. They will also work harder to ensure that every employee gets an annual review. An outline of some of the changes is on page 4. […]

Did Bloggers Contribute to the Downfall of Trent Lott?

Thursday, July 31st, 2003

Blog group host Dave Winer keeps talking about how bloggers contributed to Trent Lott’s demise after Lott made certain comments about Strom Thurmond’s political career. It seems like I was just talking to someone about this who wanted more proof, so here is some of it. (Hopefully, whomever I talked to reads my blog.) It […]

GGrrr Mac/PC Incompatibility Gripe

Thursday, July 31st, 2003

Okay, as some of you know, I use Macs. I usually pay one of my phone bills online through that company’s Web site. The last time I tried to pay my bill online, I encountered some heinous problems that completely prevented me from accessing my account or most of the company’s Web site. I used […]


Thursday, July 31st, 2003

Listen to a report from Michigan Radio via National Public Radio’s Morning Edition about a public forum in Detroit led by US District Attorney Jeffrey Collins to address issues related to the USA PATRIOT Act. The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the government over section 215 of this law. That section of the law […]

Searching Video

Thursday, July 31st, 2003

Some of us talked about the limitations of searching video and audio files at a meeting on Tuesday. This post on Gary Price’s ResourceShelf talks about PBS’ application of search engine technology to some of their video formats. The software comes from company Virage, which Autonomy recently acquired.

Retirement on the Supreme Court

Thursday, July 31st, 2003

(Had I titled this piece “The Supreme Court gets a new librarian,” some of you wouldn’t have read any further.) Here’s a profile of Judith Gaskell, who has directed the Rinn Law Library at the DePaul University College of Law in Chicago for 20 years and will become the Supreme Court’s new librarian on August […]

Iraq’s Antiquities via Archaeology

Thursday, July 31st, 2003

Archaeology, a magazine published by the Archeological Institute of America for the general public, has a section on its Web site about Iraq’s antiquities. It not only includes articles about recent events relevant to Iraq’s museums, like their looting and the efforts to recover stolen treasures, but it includes a series of reports about the […]

Looking for Bloggers for BloggerCon

Wednesday, July 30th, 2003

The Local Host Committee for BloggerCon met last night. 1) If you are not a regular at Thursday night’s blog sessions, are blogging or very interested in blogging, and would like to come to the conference, e-mail me and I’ll forward your name and contact info to the person making the list of people to […]

The Atlantic Monthly on Rupert Murdoch

Wednesday, July 30th, 2003

James Fallows profiles media giant Rupert Murdoch in the September issue of The Atlantic Monthly. The issue is not available online. If you’re lucky, I might remember to look on the site in late August to try to find a direct link to the article. I have the article in print, so I don’t need […]

Student Newspaper Sues for Access to Campus Police Records

Wednesday, July 30th, 2003

Harvard University’s student newspaper, The Crimson, filed a lawsuit today to try to gain access to Harvard University Police Department’s records. The students claim that since the police department’s powers come from the state, their records should be available to the public. They claim that HUPD has denied them access to the police records in […]

MMmmmmm children’s bookstore

Tuesday, July 29th, 2003

I don’t like bookstores. (That’s another story for another time.) My nephew had a birthday over the weekend and I decided to get him some books. Today, I went to a children’s bookstore near my office because they had a book in the window I thought would be very appropriate for him. While I was […]

Need advice: Where to buy computer cables

Monday, July 28th, 2003

Do you have a favorite place to buy computer equipment and cables on the Internet? I need to buy a cable to connect my Palm Pilot to an older PowerMac with no USB ports. The previous owner of the computer managed to connect his PalmPilot (same model as mine) to this computer. I figure I […]

The Economist Looks at BBC Regulation

Monday, July 28th, 2003

In the aftermath of the controversy between the BBC and the British government, The Economist examines regulation of the BBC. It has another article about the Tony Blair/David Kelly/BBC situation.

Why isn’t Lance Armstrong’s 5th consecutive win of the Tour de France news?

Monday, July 28th, 2003

Usually WBUR and NPR do a good job of covering key news events, even if it’s just a brief mention of headlines. This morning, either I completely missed their mention of Lance Armstrong’s fifth consecutive victory–which only one other cyclist has been able to do–or they didn’t cover it. They also didn’t say how Tyler […]

Blogger & News Librarian Liz Donovan Featured on

Friday, July 25th, 2003

Liz Donovan, news librarian for The Miami Herald,and her blog are featured on the front page of the Herald’s Web site. Way to go, Liz!

Christopher Lydon & BlogRadio

Friday, July 25th, 2003

At last night’s blog meeting, Chris and his Web facilitator Bob Doyle gave a brief presentation about Chris’ endeavor of doing radio through a blog. Yes, there are interviews on his blog with people–interesting people. I think the thing I found particularly nifty was Bob showing us all the equipment Chris uses for the interviews–and […]

Copyrighted Code Used Without Permission in Linux

Friday, July 25th, 2003

Here’s a copyright violation I learned about at last night’s blog meeting. It isn’t everyday that I hear about copyrighted computer code being used without permission.

Are Blogs Altering Google’s Results?

Friday, July 25th, 2003

I had an offline conversation with one of my blog readers the other day about this issue. Here’s some more info on the claim that blogs are corrupting Google’s search results.

Is Blogging the Future of Journalism?

Friday, July 25th, 2003

Monday’s BusinessWeek has an article about Christopher Allbritton, the freelance journalist who solicited funds on his Web site for a trip to Iraq to blog the war. The article asks whether blogging is the future of journalism.

US House of Representatives Overturns FCC Proposed Change

Thursday, July 24th, 2003

Yesterday, the US House of Representatives voted 400-21 to overturn a proposed change by the Federal Communications Commission to allow one company to own stations that broadcast to 45% of the national market, instead of the current 35% limit. The Senate and the President still have to review the FCC changes.

The Next Journalism Controversy

Thursday, July 24th, 2003

I can’t wait to hear the discussion following the publication and/or broadcast of the photos of Saddam Hussein’s deceased sons and whether showing them in the United States media is in good taste. This morning, I heard a radio interview of a man who had lived in places where they paraded the bodies of the […]

BBC/David Kelly/British Government Controversy on The Connection

Thursday, July 24th, 2003

Today’s Connection, a 90.9 WBUR radio program broadcast nationally and over the Internet, will talk about the controversy surrounding whether the British government exaggerated Iraqi weapons reports that the BBC has been covering. It will also discuss David Kelly’s role in the matter. This segment of the show airs from10 to 11 am and may […] Discusses Blogging Among Lawyers

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2003, a journal for legal and library professionals, discusses blogging among lawyers in their most recent issue. It’s part of a series on using the Internet to market law firms. Among the contributors is the man responsible for the blog Ernie the Attorney. The piece also includes a discussion about rankings in search engines, including […]

BBC Hands Over Tape of David Kelly Interview

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2003

Susan Watts, science editor of the BBC’s Newsnight, is now giving a tape of her interview with David Kelly to the judicial inquiry into Dr. Kelly’s death. A few days ago, the BBC revealed that Dr. Kelly, a scientist familiar with Iraq’s weapons, was the source for some of its reports that the British government […]

More on the Public Domain

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2003

Create like it’s 1790 align=”left” border=0> A first-timer at Thursday’s blog group sent me some interesting links about a group of people who are trying to increase the amount of material going into the public domain. The Eric Eldred Act Web site (which includes a blog about copyright law) came about as part of Eldred […]

Copyrights and the Internet

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2003

The radio show Here and Now did a piece today about copyright, the public domain, and the Internet, beginning with a discussion about the song “Happy Birthday,” which under current copyright legislation will not be in the public domain until 2030, and ending with a discussion of Creative Commons, a way people can opt to […]

Privacy and Blogging

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2003

Privacy and blogging has come up a lot recently, so I thought maybe I’d say something about it in my space. The privacy issue here deals with identifying people on a blog. Wendy of Redhead fame talked about it on her blog recently. She, Andrew, and I talked about it while walking home from a […]

Boston College and MIT Battle the Music Industry

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2003

From today’s Boston Globe: “Boston College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, citing concerns about student privacy, moved yesterday to quash subpoenas issued by the recording industry to discover the identities of students the industry says are illegally distributing copyrighted music.” The hunt for student violators at several other universities and colleges is discussed in […]

Good Quote for Librarians

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2003

My friend Kevin e-mailed me this item this morning. I’m posting it here with his permission. “This quote was sent to STUMPERS for verification (probably WWII Seabees), but it struck as a likely motto for librarians who at any time do reference/public service work: ‘We the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible […]

Nobody reads my blog this much.

Monday, July 21st, 2003

Okay, I have really funky numbers in my stats today. 202 reads at 6 am and 568 reads at 4 am. I’m guessing someone’s spider got hung up somewhere ’cause I sure hope no one is reading my blog that much at those hours. If they are, I hope they don’t count on reading any […]

The BBC looks at blogs

Monday, July 21st, 2003

The BBC explores whether blogs can become truly mainstream. It also reports that AOL is including blogging software in its version 9 and talks about recent uses for blogs, like covering politics, eyewitness news, and war correspondence. “It has been said that blogs will become an unofficial watchdog for the media and stop journalists getting […]

The BBC Reveals Source, Loses Credibility

Monday, July 21st, 2003

The BBC has had a rough few days. Over the weekend, a coroner decided that David Kelly, a British Iraqi arms specialist, committed suicide. Dr. Kelly had recently testified before the Commons foreign affairs select committee about whether the British government exaggerated claims about Iraq’s weapons in order to strengthen a case for war. The […]

Update on the Digital Divide

Monday, July 21st, 2003

A news article from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education alumni publication, Ed. Magazine, gives an informal status report on the digital divide–the gap between computer-haves and have-nots–especially as the gap relates to children. The report indicates that the gap is narrowing and dicusses some exicitng projects to bring technology to children who otherwise may not […]

Two Sites from the Internet Scout Report

Friday, July 18th, 2003

As you might gather from the title of this Web site, is geared towards teenagers and young adult literature fans. It includes reviews, news, and information about book clubs. The Choral Public Domain Library is a free sheet music archive with over 5,000 scores, many from public domain sources. It seems to be the […]

The Future of Plagiarism and Journalism

Thursday, July 17th, 2003

C.W. Nevius of the San Francisco Chronicle has some interesting thoughts on what the Jayson Blair and Blair Hornstine plagiarism incidents mean for the future of research and writing. Nevius explores where the “cut-and-paste generation” got their start.

Watchin’ the Detectives

Thursday, July 17th, 2003

This week, I watched two episodes of The History Detectives on PBS. It’s a show where the hosts investigate people’s questions to get to the bottom of some baffling matter. The shows I watched included segments about verifying whether a house in Firestone Park in Ohio really is a Sears mail order house, if a […]

Quick! Look! There’s a baby finch on my balcony!

Wednesday, July 16th, 2003

Isn’t it cute and noisy? (I just had to share that with someone.)


Tuesday, July 15th, 2003

I’ve just been tapped to help work on BloggerCon, a gathering of bloggers at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. And, of course, there’s a blog for the conference already. Check it out. A tentative list of speakers and other information is posted. (Just watch out because the blog doesn’t […]

There is no Blog Group on Thursday. Let’s do dinner.

Tuesday, July 15th, 2003

Wendy says the Thursday evening Blog Group is canceled. If anyone is interested in going to dinner anyway, meet at the Berkman Center at 7 pm. Er, not eating dinner at the Berkman Center. We’d go someplace else to eat after using the Berkman Center as a rendezvous point. Maybe we’ll be nice to the […]

You know your blog is becoming popular when …

Tuesday, July 15th, 2003

your referrer page includes links from people’s Web-based e-mail, like Yahoo! Mail and AOL. I wonder what they were e-mailing about. I can’t tell from the link and, of course, I can’t get into their e-mail to see what it was. I check in with my referrer page about once a day. I like to […]

Is Capturing Web Pages Electronically Similar to Microfilming?

Sunday, July 13th, 2003

When Eli commented on my post about archiving Web pages, she (You’re the Eli I think you are, right? If you’re not, let me know and I’ll correct your gender.) brought up the idea that capturing Web pages is like microfilming an original publication in its entirety, a practice publications, like newspapers, do to create […]

A Librarian Action Figure

Friday, July 11th, 2003

No, I’m not kidding. Nancy Pearl, a librarian at the Washington Center for the Book, is the model for this new action figure made by Accoutrements in Seattle. Even though I resent the fact that the “action” is the doll raising her finger to her lips to “shush,” I still want one. Librarians may be […]

Verifying Obituaries

Friday, July 11th, 2003

Should publications verify information in obituaries before they print them? Harvard Magazine, the alumni magazine for Harvard College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, printed a correction in their latest edition for an obituary they printed two years ago because the person, Erik Humphrey Gordon, is not dead. According to […]

US News & World Report Changes College Rankings

Thursday, July 10th, 2003

US News and World Report will no longer consider admissions yield in their process to rank colleges. (Yield is the number of accepted students who actually enroll in the college.) Yield accounted for 2% of their ranking formula, so it was a relatively small piece. What I find particularly interesting about this article is that […]

College copy shop sued for copyright infringement

Thursday, July 10th, 2003

HarperCollins Publishers, Pearson Education, Princeton University Press, Sage Publications, and John Wiley & Sons are suing Collegiate Copies of Bloomington, Indiana, for not securing copyright permission before making course packs. The Copyright Clearance Center is coordinating the lawsuit. In related news, the Copyright Clearance Center just settled a similar lawsuit in Florida. I guess Collegiate […]

“When is it acceptable to copy someone else’s Web page, even temporarily?”

Thursday, July 10th, 2003

One of my readers brought this article about Google’s cache to my attention. The article explores many of the issues surrounding the search engine’s copies of Web pages it allows users to view. One of the issues I hadn’t considered before is how errors and inaccuracies in news reporting might be perpetuated by cached Web […]

Google’s search of blogs improves

Tuesday, July 8th, 2003

Check this out: in my referer list today, I saw a search string from Google about Bush Regime playing cards. Well, my post about Bush regime playing cards hasn’t been on the front of my site in a while, so I wondered why the results were still in Google. Previous investigations of Google’s ability to […]

Libraries and political action on Talk of the Nation

Monday, July 7th, 2003

National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation examined some of the recent political issues concerning libraries, including the Patriot Act and the recent Supreme Court ruling, on Wednesday, July 2. Matthew Battles of Houghton Library at Harvard University gives a historical perspective about political action related to libraries, including the FBI’s observations of people using […]

The finches visited today

Monday, July 7th, 2003

Back in May, a pair of house finches began building a nest on my balcony at work. After a few days of difficult work, they left. A pair came by today to get some nesting materials and some bird seed. Since they seemed to know that nesting supplies and food were available here, I wonder […]

Blair & BBC fight over Iraq weapons report

Monday, July 7th, 2003

Tony Blair is demanding that the BBC apologize for the reporting they have done about how the British government may have exaggerated the status of weapons in Iraq to gain support for action against Saddam Hussein and his regime. A recent investigation into the dossier by a British government committee has found that at least […]

Sports editor fired for quoting “Caddyshack” character as real person

Monday, July 7th, 2003

Roswell Daily Record Sports Editor Gregory Jones was fired in June for using quotes from a character in “Caddyshack” and creating three paragraphs in an article about a golf tournament.

Humor: New York Times Error Message

Monday, July 7th, 2003

Someone posted this link to Newslib, a listserv used by many news librarians. It begins like a typical 404 error, beginning with “The New York Times story cannot be displayed.” Keep reading and you’ll realize that it is not a typical 404 error, especially since it isn’t on The New York Times Web site. It’s […]