Here are the websites we looked at in class today:
Google to Redirect China Users to Uncensored Site
Article from the New York Times earlier this year on the decision by Google to shutter its Chinese site and redirect users to the Hong Kong version for Chinese-language searching. What are your thoughts on this, especially given what we read in the Grimmelmann article about Google’s history of censorship of its Chinese site?
Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories
Here’s an example of a news story that has captured the popular consciousness despite being untrue, an example of the power of media hype (which Fister discusses).
Editor quits after journal accepts bogus science article
Sometimes the peer review process fails — this article from The Guardian (a British newspaper) describes a computer-generated article that was accepted for publication in a scholarly journal.
When big pharma pays a publisher to publish a fake journal…
Blog post about the revelation that scholarly publishing company Elsevier had created a fake publication that appeared to be a peer-reviewed journal but was in reality a collection of articles favorably reviewing drugs from the pharmacy company Merck.
We will definitely be in our new classroom next week. Because our new classroom has laptops that connect to the wireless internet at the college, each of us will need to login to the City Tech wireless network at the beginning of every class.
You will need to use your login and password for your City Tech email account.
What this means is that by our next class on Tuesday, November 2nd, you MUST login to your City Tech email account to make sure you’re ready for class next week. Here’s the address for City Tech student email: http://mail.citytech.cuny.edu/.
If you have trouble logging in, please visit the IT Help Desk at the Info Desk on the first floor of Namm, right outside of the cafeteria.
Remember, if you cannot access your City Tech email then you will not be able to use the internet in class next week!
Please let me know if you have any questions.
In class we discussed search mechanics: databases, search engines and a bit on search strategies (we will spend more time on this in the coming weeks).
• How Google Works is a short video by Google which works well with the content of the Liddy article: http://www.google.com/howgoogleworks/.
• This image may also be useful for understanding how Google searches the internet: http://ppcblog.com/how-google-works/
• Yippy is a clustering search engine (mentioned in Badke Ch. 4 as Clusty): http://www.yippy.com
• Quintura bills itself as a visual search engine: http://quintura.com/
• Searching the library catalog from the Queens Public Library returns 3 kinds of results: a visual depiction of subject headings (like Quintura), the list of books/other media themselves, and a list of subject headings, formats, dates, etc. (similar to Clusty): http://queenslibrary.org/
• During our searching session in class, Richard found a search engine called Zuula that aggregates results from many search engines, including Google, Yahoo, etc.: http://zuula.com/
Here are the powerpoint notes from the first part of the class: LIB1201_1007 (PDF)
An issue I would further want to research is, internet privacy. I want to learn whats out there and what I have to do to keep myself safe while surfing online. Recently some tech-geek created a new way to accurately find someones address through an XXS malicious code-which is able to obtain the MAC address of your router, which then can be used in Google Maps to find the coordinates of your location-all while you are sitting in you pajamas surfing the web without your notice. I want to learn what is being done to provide security and safety to online web 2.0 users. And I also want to learn more about what happens with tags and why some tagged content on one specific site are viewable on other websites even with a embed restriction-for example a video.
In the United States, a new law proposal called The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) was introduced last week, and there will be a hearing in front of the Judiciary Committee this Thursday.
If passed, this law will allow the government, under the command of the media companies, to censor the internet as they see fit, like China and Iran do, with the difference that the sites they decide to censor will be completely removed from the internet and not just in the US.
Please see the following article from the Huffington Post for more information.
Stop the Internet Blacklist
And if you are a US citizen, please take the time to sign this petition
DemandProgress.org – Petition to Stop the Internet Blacklist!
Update: Also for US citizens, you can email your Senator from the following link and tell him or her your concerns about this bill
Tell Your Senator: No Website Blacklists, No Internet Censorship!
Update, from EFF’s website: the Senate Judiciary Committee postponed the scheduled markup of the Internet censorship bill — a fantastic outcome, given that the entertainment industry and their allies in Congress had hoped this bill would be quickly approved before the Senators went home for the October recess. Massive thanks to all who used the EFF Action Center to write to your Senators to oppose this bill.
Today we talked about access. We started off with the question: “What is access?” Some of your answers included (click for larger image):
We discussed access from both a personal and an institutional perspective.
Personal Access to Information:
• Digital divide
• Political: censorship
• Libraries are access points
F.C.C. Takes a Close Look at the Unwired, an article from the New York Times earlier this year discussing access to broadband internet service in the U.S.
One Laptop Per Child, a project to bring inexpensive computers and network access to the developing world.
Readers’ Bill of Rights for Digital Books, stressing the need for readers to be able to do all of the things with digital books that they do with print books.
Digital Books and Your Rights: A Checklist for Readers is additional information on issues to consider when moving from print to digital books. This non-profit organization–the Electronic Frontier Foundation–works to safeguard internet rights and freedoms.
Institutional Access to Information
• Print: books, textbooks, etc.
• Internet: sometimes filtered (certain sites blocked)
• Print onsite
• Internet onsite (usually filtered) and offsite
• Some public libraries have research collections
• Images, art, artifacts
• Some have specialized research libraries
With information being such an abundant thing I feel that people should have as much access to knowledge as possible. I don’t think the idea if popularization is a bad thing. Most fields these days because of the internet are not mysterious. People have a lot of access to pretty much anything they want if they search hard enough. You still have to make sure that the information is credible but if your looking into something like say cancer studies, there is lots of very good information on the web. Everything is done with computers today. Almost everyone has access to one. Even little children can use the net to learn something. There is over 6.5 billion people on this planet. I would love to hear what most of them have to offer. Knowledge is most certainly infinite. The internet is just an amazing new tool for spreading knowledge. Most things should not be kept secret.