Sci-Tech Library Newsletter
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Our deepest sympathies and prayers are with all those who lost loved ones in the recent tragedy.
- NEW SCIENCE PORTAL: Brought to you by NTIS.
- NEW EEVL: Now covers math & computing as well as engineering!
- OPEN ACCESS TO SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE?: The players are wading in on this issue …
- DATABASES ON TEMPORARY FREE TRIAL: You must register with ChemWeb (Free) to access these databases until Oct. 1
- NEW E-JOURNALS
- NEW E-BOOKS AND REPORTS
- INTERESTING WEBSITES AND NEWS FROM THE INTERNET: The Top American Research Universities 2001, Internet addresses of institutions in science and innovation, Time Magazine’s ‘America’s Best’ Scientists and Doctors, Genomic Revolution; Biological Sciences: PubCrawler, Human Cloning, Biotechnology in Food and Agriculture — FAO, The International Shark Attack File; Computer and Information Science: Light Reading, Alicebot.Net AI Project; Education and Human Resources: Boehlert Education Bill, Press Release & Details; Engineering: Around the World in the 1890s: Photographs from the World’s Transportation Commission, 1894–1896, Manhattan Timeformations, Construction Engineering in Antiquity, DOT Special Digital Collections; Geosciences: Operational Significant Event Imagery, Kozac Collection of Historical Earthquake Images; Mathematical and Physical Sciences: Acoustics and Vibration Animations, The Genesis Mission, The Accretion Disk: An Astronomy Internet Directory, Exhibition of High Speed Photography, Ethnomathematics on the Web, Fear of Physics; Polar Programs: Live from the Tundra; Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences: Revealing Pictures and Reflexive Frames, Researching WTO and Gatt, Facts from EBRI, Mapping Census 2000: The Geography of U.S. Diversity, Tolerance.org, The Rosetta Project … and more … plus news items from Edupage
- INTER ALIA: 1.) How to have your abstract rejected. 2.) Sticker shock
NEW SCIENCE PORTAL
A creation of the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), this site provides scientists, researchers, engineers, and others with easy access to government resources related to science and technology. Users can limit searches by keyword, subject, agency, and type of resource (such as maps and charts or data). For the “science aware citizen,” who may not be a researcher, SciTechResources allows visitors to search just within general interest science and technology resources. A categorized list of portals and gateways is also available off the front page. The site’s browsing function is a bit misleading,as clicking on a broad subject takes users to a search page rather than a list of sub-categories. Nonetheless, there are many ways to access information here, including the ability to list resources by agency and to search for government laboratories by state and agency. This is a useful portal for the science community that promises to grow. [TK] (From the Scout Report)
EEVL: the Guide to Engineering, Mathematics and Computing information on the Internet
My heartiest congratulations on the launch of the new and expanded EEVL site!
The EEVL has long been an absolute standard for the highest quality in web portals, and you will now be pleased to learn that the EEVL will now be extending its terrific service to include mathematics and computing as well as engineering.
The new site will launch September 12.
Internet guides don’t get better than this, folks!
OPEN ACCESS TO SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE?
Public Library of Science
Highwire Press Free Archives
NASA Astrophysics Database
As you know, *everything* is not free and available on the WWW — at least not yet. But there is increasing momentum toward moving scientific literature in that direction. There are several players in this field, and some progress has already been made. One of the players is the Public Library of Science. The Public Library of Science is a non-profit organization of scientists committed to making the world’s scientific and medical literature freely accessible to scientists and to the public around the world, for the benefit of scientific progress, education and the public good. This is a grassroots effort. The latest wrinkle is a decision for the PLoS to begin to launch online journals that will publish original research papers, timely reviews, essays and commentary online.
PubMed Central already offers archives of a number of journals through agreements with their publishers. Some of these publishers require a “time delay” which can vary between 2 to 6 months after publication, and others provide immediate access to articles in the current issue.
Highwire Press has also entered into agreements with many publishers to provide free access to archives. In fact, they advertise that they are one of the “2 largest FREE full-text science archives on Earth!” Additional Highwire Press publishers join this effort almost weekly. Although the required time delay varies among these publishers, most require a one year. Several offer immediate free access, however.
The largest repository to date is the NASA Astrophysics Data Service. Although the database itself is composed of abstracts, full text archives are available for a huge number of the articles whose abstracts appear in the database. Again, the time delay is variable depending on the publisher but in general is far greater than the above-mentioned sources. It is also a bit tricky to determine the range of journals that are available in full text. (Note: this source can be very slow-loading, so have patience).
DATABASES ON TEMPORARY FREE TRIAL
4 databases FREE until 1 October
ChemWeb.com has teamed up with some of their content providers to offer all ChemWeb.com members FREE access to the following databases until 1 October 2001. (Membership in ChemWeb requires a free registration)
- ACD/Labs NMR & Physical Chemistry Databases — Structure searchable databases providing experimentally-referenced NMR and physical property data
- Brethericks Reactive Chemical Hazards Database — Hazard information provided for almost 5,500 individual chemical compounds
- Chapman & Hall/CRC Combined Chemical Dictionary — Chemical, physical and biological data for over 450,000 compounds
- Chapman & Hall/CRC Properties of Organic Compounds — Physical property and spectral data for over 28,000 compounds
FREE — 11 Elsevier Science journals until 1 October
11 journals are FREE to all ChemWeb.com members. (Membership to ChemWeb is free with registration.) You can access any of these titles’ latest and back issues until 1 October 2001.
- FEBS Letters
- Biochimica et Biophysica Acta/Bioenergetics
- Biochimica et Biophysica Acta/Biomembranes
- Biochimica et Biophysica Acta/Gene Structure and Expression
- Biochimica et Biophysica Acta/General Subjects
- Biochimica et Biophysica Acta/Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids
- Biochimica et Biophysica Acta/Molecular Basis of Disease
- Biochimica et Biophysica Acta/Protein Structure and Molecular Enzymology
- Biochimica et Biophysica Acta/Reviews on Biomembranes
- Biochimica et Biophysica Acta/Reviews on Cancer
The Journal of Earth System Science Education (JESSE)
Now Accepting Submissions!
The Journal of Earth System Science Education (JESSE) is a new interdisciplinary electronic journal aiming to foster the study of the Earth as a system while experimenting with the peer review process. JESSE is creating, implementing, testing, and evaluating a peer review process embracing anonymous and open review of educational resources. JESSE aims to optimize the efficiency of the review process and the quality of offerings in advancing the educational agenda of the NSDL while providing professional recognition for authors and creators of interdisciplinary education resources through publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
JESSE is seeking electronic submissions which address understanding the Earth as a system. Authors are encouraged to submit learning resources and modules, courses, texts, articles, research results on Earth system learning and best pedagogical practices, lesson plans, visualization tools, image collections, etc. Authors retain copyright, and JESSE maintains an electronic archival copy of all resources published. Guidelines for authors are available on the web site listed. The first issue of JESSE is expected to be published in late 2001.
Journal of Online Mathematics and its Applications
The Mathematical Association of America, a SMETE.ORG Alliance Partner, recently launched the premier issue of the Journal of Online Mathematics and its Applications (JOMA). JOMA takes advantage of the Web to make modern tools, curricula, and active learning environments more accessible to students and teachers everywhere. Visit JOMA and find out more about the MathDL project, too.
The Biological Bulletin
The Biological Bulletin publishes outstanding experimental research on the full range of biological topics and organisms, from the fields of Neurobiology, Behavior, Physiology, Ecology, Evolution, Development and Reproduction, Cell Biology, Biomechanics, Symbiosis, and Systematics. Published since 1897 by the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, The Biological Bulletin is one of America’s oldest, peer-reviewed scientific journals. The journal is aimed at a general readership, and especially invites articles about those novel phenomena and contexts characteristic of intersecting fields.
There is currently a free trial period for access to The Biological Bulletin. Once the free trial period ends January 31, 2002, individuals who are subscribers to the journal in print or are members of the Marine Biological Laboratory Corporation, and institutional subscribers will be able to activate an online subscription. All other access (e.g., to Abstracts, eTOCs, searching, Instructions to Authors) will remain freely available. Online access will be included in the print subscription price.
NEW E-BOOKS AND REPORTS
Observations on the President’s Fiscal Year 2002 Federal Science and Technology Budget. National Academy of Sciences, 2001.
The Budget and Economic Outlook: An Update. Congressional Budget Office, August 2001.
Australia. Chief Scientist. The Chance to Change: Final Report. 2000.
Cultivating Innovation. Parlimentary Library, Parliament of Australia. August 2001.
Global Climate Change: Market-Based Strategies to Reduce Greenhouse Gases. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress.
Global Climate Change. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress.
Environmental Protection Issues in the 107th Congress. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress.
INTERESTING WEBSITES AND NEWS FROM THE INTERNET
Time Magazine’s ‘America’s Best’ Scientists and Doctors
“Science and medicine have changed radically in the past 100 years, with many fundamental breakthroughs achieved. But brialliant individuals, combining passion and obsession, are still pushing the boundaries, often by questioning or ignoring the conventional wisdom … find out which scientists and doctors are ‘America’s Best’.” This introduces you to the Time magazine website with biographies of 18 men and women.
Internet addresses of institutions in science and innovation
The OECD puts together this list of links to the science & technology organizations and government departments in its member countries.
This interesting and clever exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History briefly summarizes the benefits to society of human genome research. Exhibits tantalize the viewer with potential implications for our health, curing diseases, food production, solving crimes, and eugenics now that the 3.2 billion units of our DNA are deciphered. The site has a brief list of annotated links and a short glossary. (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)
The Top American Research Universities 2001
An updated version of The Top American Research Universities has been released from Florida-based research organization, The Center, which creates this report annually. (The first edition of the Top American Research Universities was included in the July 28, 2000 _Scout Report_.) Institutions considered “top” are those that have federal research expenditures as reported to NSF of at least $20 million and that fall within the top 25 on at least one of The Center’s nine measures (total research expenditures, federal research expenditures, endowment assets, annual giving, faculty members in the National Academies, faculty awards, doctoral degrees, postdoctoral appointees, and entering freshmen SAT scores). This year, the study has been expanded to include national rankings and to include institutions ranked in the top 26–50 (in addition to those ranked in top 25). The data are available in .pdf or spreadsheet (.xls) format. Interestingly, the top ten are all private universities. [HCS](From the Scout Report)
Listen to sound files (requires RealPlayer 8 Basic) from the Aug. 7 meeting on human cloning and learn more about the study by the National Academies’ Panel on Scientific and Medical Aspects of Human Cloning.
“PubCrawler is a free ‘alerting’ service that scans daily updates to the NCBI Medline (PubMed) and GenBank databases. PubCrawler can keep scientists informed of the current contents of Medline and GenBank, by listing new database entries that match their research interests.”
Biotechnology in Food and Agriculture — FAO
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations provides this Website about the role and impact of biotechnology in food and agriculture in developing countries. Features of the site include FAO’s Statement on Biotechnology (including a discussion of genetically modified organisms), an overview of FAO’s activities (such as providing advice and assistance to member countries, disseminating information, and monitoring new developments concerning biotechnology in food and agriculture), as well as an introduction to biotechnology in the agro-industry, crop, fisheries, forestry, and livestock sectors with links to FAO publications (most may be read online). Other highlights of the site include meeting news, a glossary of terms and acronyms currently used in the field of biotechnology, a member list for the FAO Inter-Departmental Working Group on Biotechnology, and links. The FAO Electronic Forum on Biotechnology in Food and Agriculture (reviewed in the May 26, 2000 _Scout Report_) is a series of moderated email conferences concerning agricultural biotechnology and developing countries. The Website is available in English, Arabic, Chinese, French, and Spanish. [HCS] (From the Scout Report)
The International Shark Attack File
This website from the Florida Museum of Natural History presents a host of information on this timely subject, including maps of unprovoked shark attack locations, historical numbers over the past several centuries, advice, relative risk and more.
Computer and Information Science
Light is the information carrier of the future. We’re not just talking fibre optics, which we already have, but the nuts and bolts, as it were, of computers will be based on optical devices analogous to the electronic devices we have today. This site provides a link into the world of optical networking the cutting edge of the connections between present-day devices but touches on the news that is emerging from R&D into their successors. Light Reading provides an entry point for information about the future of information transport that will ‘propel the Internet into a new era and lead to the convergence of telecommunications and TV’. DB (From New Scientist Planet Science). The section on Research contains glossaries, tutorials, and more.
Alicebot.Net AI Project
A.L.I.C.E. won the coveted Loebner prize for 2000, voted ‘the most human-like computer’ by a group of judges that included linguists, psychologists, and philosophers. You can get acquainted with Alicebot after downloading some files, and pc users seem to be able to access more bells and whistles, including speech recognition, than mac users. But more is coming soon, and from the looks of companies incorporating Alicebot into their offerings, we may see much more of this. There is a look into the A.L.I.C.E. brain, and because it is open source, an invitation to program using the Artificial Intelligence Markup Language, or AIML. This promises to be simple for nonprogrammers who know HTML, and will allow individuals to create their own robots, which will contribute to the whole. For those who find these waters a bit deep, it is still fun, especially for kids, to engage in a conversation with Alicebot, and find out just what it was that captivated all those judges. (4 September 2001) AD (From New Scientist Planet Science)
Education and Human Resources
Boehlert Education Bill, Press Release & Details
A bill introduced by Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-New Hartford) to establish mathematics and science education partnerships, create new scholarships to attract top college math and science majors into teaching, and establish four new university centers for teaching research was passed by the House of Representatives.
Around the World in the 1890s: Photographs from the World’s Transportation Commission, 1894–1896
“Nearly nine hundred images by American photographer William Henry Jackson,” exploring various types of transportation throughout North Africa, Asia, Australia, and Oceania. Also includes images of local inhabitants, streets, cities, landscapes, and members of the World’s Transportation Commission. Searchable by keyword and browsable by subject and country. From the American Memory Project of the Library of Congress.
Using interactive computer animations, this site provides a unique perspective of the history of Manhattan’s skyscrapers. Animated Manhattan lets you “correlate the cartographic history of 370 years of urban development of the island with the peaks and valleys of office building speculation.” Transparent New York presents a truly original look at the relationship between the skyscrapers and other urban realities like bridges, monuments, and landfills. Finally, the thoroughly amazing Perspectival Fly-Through offers a view of the city unlike any you’ve ever seen. (From Yahoo’s Picks of the Week)
DOT Special Digital Collections
Online Digital Special Collections (Department of Transportation) provides a digital repository of Civil Aeronautic Manuals (full text version), Civil Aeronautics Manuals (image only version), Civil Air Regulations, Superseded Advisory Circulars, I.C.C. Historical Railroad Investigation Reports (1911–1966), National Conferences on Street and Highway Safety, Historical Aircraft Accident Reports (1934–1965), FAA and CAA Research Reports, Current DOT Orders, and Historic CAB/DOT Orders. (From University of Colorado Library)
Construction Engineering in Antiquity
Construction Engineering in Antiquity — In ancient times there can be no doubt that the locals looked up with disgust at the latest aqueduct or pyramid and muttered “modern rubbish!”. Now, however, the building techniques of past aeons have become lost arts that must be painfully reconstructed though archaeology on what remains of an elder civilisation’s artefacts. This site explores both the history of architecture and the technology of building through the ages. With straightforward introductions to a series of topic areas — “Columns, Arches, Vaults & Domes” or “Building Techniques” for example — the sight links to an extensive bibliography where further detailed information can be obtained. With so much Greco-Roman pastiche in architecture today, its interesting to see how they really did it. (12 August 2001) ARB (From New Scientist Planet Science)
Kozac Collection of Historical Earthquake Images
“Under sponsorship of the Czech-American Science and Technology Cooperation Program, Dr. Jan Kozak, a geoscientist of the Institute of Rock Structures and Mechanics in Prague, Czech Republic, and Katherine Frohmberg of the University of California, Berkeley, Earth Sciences Library presented 875 slides of illustrations of historical earthquakes to the Earthquake Engineering Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Bruce Bolt of Berkeley provided a preface suggesting historical, macro-seismological and artistic qualities of this Collection. A bibliography of historical sources accompanies the collection. The images are accessible from an alphabetical table of countries or regions or by specific geographic name of each earthquake arranged chronologically. Individual slide numbers can also be searched from this page. Questions about the collection and use of these images can be addressed to the Earthquake Engineering Library.” Images include engravings and journalism sources as well as photographs.
Operational Significant Event Imagery
Remote sensing of planet earth provides us with some of the most dramatic images of our home. Here, you can watch dust storms, forest fires, icebergs, severe weather, snow cover, tropical cyclones, and volcanoes. If you want to find out what’s happening in your neck of the woods, prairie, or ocean, there are countless categorised images just waiting for viewing, each showing the latest and greatest of the geographical and geological traumas to which this blue-green planet of ours is so susceptible. DB (From New Scientist Planet Science)
Mathematical and Physical Sciences
The Genesis Mission
“UC Berkeley Astronomers Find Jupiter-sized Planet Around Nearby Star in Big Dipper”
Space scientists postulate that the planets of our solar system arose from solar nebulae approximately 4.6 million years ago. This July, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab launched a new mission, Genesis, to investigate the transition from solar nebulae to planets by collecting and analyzing the isotopic composition of solar particles. You can learn more about the Genesis mission at its official Website. Theoretical background, mission description, and scientific objectives are laid out in the text, while the site’s imagery includes photographs of the mission hardware, diagrams of the spacecraft’s orbit trajectory, mission timeline, and the instrumentation. Press releases, .pdf-formatted fact sheets, including one entitled “How does Studying Solar Wind Tell us About the Origin of Planets?” and a glossary are also available. People wishing to “catch a piece of the sun” should check out this site. In other space and planetary news, researchers have found signs of a Jupiter-sized planet near one of the Big Dipper’s stars. To learn more, check out the University of California Planet Search program’s press release that contains astronomical data, a sky chart, and links. [HCS] (From the Scout Report)
Acoustics and Vibration Animations
At first glance this site doesn’t look like much — just a bunch of linked technical terms like “Fourier Decomposition” and “Damped Harmonic Oscillator.” But once you dig down, the animations that help you visualize concepts concerning acoustics and vibration are really quite amazing. Check out the animated GIFs and MPEGs that show the behavior of sound waves. Don’t be scared off by the equations — the site’s a perfect place for the non-technical person to learn some basics about the world of acoustics. (From Yahoo’s Picks of the Week)
The Accretion Disk: An Astronomy Internet Directory
“The Accretion Disk is one of the Largest Expert-Reviewed Astronomy Directories Lists On the Internet With Over 3000 Links To Astronomy Web Sites” A nicely arranged, attractive portal to astronomy.
Exhibition of High Speed Photography
Loren Winters of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics presents this instantly gratifying collection of super-duper fast shutter snaps. If you’re familiar with the classic shot of a bullet ripping through an apple, you’ll appreciate these variations on a theme: the contents of a water balloon hanging momentarily in the air, a bisected tennis ball squashed across a racket, or a daisy frozen in nitrogen oxide shattered by a BB. This stuff is just plain cool. If you’re interested in the technical wizardry behind the photos (piezoelectric triggers and such), peruse Ms. Winter’s explanatory paper. (From Yahoo’s Picks of the Week)
Ethnomathematics on the Web
A small but very interesting portal to any mathematics site that has an ethnic focus. Everything from Afro-American mathematician biographies to geometry of Vedic altars.
Fear of Physics
This site attempts to explain the unexplainable, simplify the complex, and generally make sense of a field of science “mired with images of weird old men electrocuting themselves, strange equations, esoteric concepts, indecipherable books, etc.” Interactive experiments let you explore physics in action by dropping virtual tennis balls off the Empire State building or the Golden Gate Bridge, practicing your dunk shot, and riding a roller coaster. Areas of the site attempt to demystify the Doppler Effect, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, friction, and other strange and wonderful forces at work in the world. Does the site succeed? You be the judge. If nothing else, it sure offers some good, clean fun. (From Yahoo’s Picks of the Week)
Live from the Tundra
“With the aid of the latest satellite telephone and mobile computing technologies, Arnait Video Productions has created a dynamic website which will permit a small team of Inuit and Quebecois participants at a remote outpost camp on Baffin Island to create a daily journal of their experiences, tell oral histories, host special events, and interact with the outside world via the Internet in August 2001.
During summer 2000, an Arnait Video Productions crew filmed the daily life and the stories of the Kunuk family for a documentary video entitled Anana (Mother). This program is being produced with the support of APTN, Telefilm Canada, and the Canada Council for the Arts, and will be released in August 2001.
Live from the Tundra jumps off where Anana left off, and allows internauts around the world to visit the Kunuk family at their outpost camp and learn about a culture and a lifestyle that is known to very few people on the planet. Not many people in Canada, or in the world for that matter, posses the knowledge, skills and experiences that Vivi and Enuki Kunuk have cultivated in the unique environment of Canada’s Eastern Arctic.”
Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences
Mapping Census 2000: The Geography of U.S. Diversity
This Census 2000 Special Report, prepared by Cynthia A. Brewer (Pennsylvania State University) and Trudy A. Suchan (Census Bureau, Population Division), synthesizes the basic patterns and changes in the US racial population distribution in the last decade. Distribution maps depict White; Black or African American; American Indian and Alaska Native; Asian; Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Latino Origin; White, Not Hispanic or Latino Origin as well as those people claiming two or more races. The Census 2000 data in this report are based on the US Census Bureau Redistricting Summary File, the data that are used in redrawing federal, state, and local legislative districts. This fact makes these maps noteworthy to anyone interested in American government and the population it is elected to represent. [DJS] (From the Scout Report)
Revealing Pictures and Reflexive Frames
An interesting exhibition of photographic works from anthropologists and sociologists in all sub-disciplines. The navigation is a bit tricky, and images may be slow to load, but the images are lovely and evocative.
The Rosetta Project
Building a near permanent archive of 1,000 languages. “Fifty to ninety percent of the world’s languages are predicted to disappear in the next century, many with little or no significant documentation.” This site archives over 1,200 language samples for preservation across millennia (search by language, language family, or country). Each language is archived according to seven components deemed useful for future linguistic archaeologists. Visitors familiar with uncataloged languages may submit text contributions for inclusion. Eventually, the language archive will be micro-etched on a nickel disk capable of holding over 300,000 pages per three inch disk. The disks will be widely distributed for future scholarship. (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)
Researching WTO and Gatt
This new pathfinder from LLRX should help anyone doing research on the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the preceding system under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The guide, which is focused on sources from the United States, gives pointers for research, covering a variety of materials in electronic, print, and microfiche formats. Resources are divided into eight sections including Official Documents, GATT/WTO Legal Instruments, Dispute Settlement, Schedules on Tariffs and Services, and more. [TK] (From the Scout Report)
Facts from EBRI
“Established in 1978, the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) is the only nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed exclusively to data dissemination, policy research, and education on economic security and employee benefits.” This page presents links to various EBRI documents, presenting data on such topics as Employer Spending on Benefits, U.S. Budget, Taxes, and Employee Benefits, History of 401(k) Plans, Income of the Elderly and more.
This searchable site’s goal is “to awaken people of all ages to the problem of hate and intolerance [and] to equip them with the best tolerance ideas.” Tolerance Watch provides current news articles about hate and tolerance. There is a U.S. map of hate and human rights groups which includes information for those in each state. Do Something contains advice and materials for fighting hate crimes as well as educating others. There are sections for teachers, parents, and kids and a section of How Tolerant are You tests. There are discussion forums (free registration). From the Southern Poverty Law Center. — dl (From the Librarian’s Index to the Internet)
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FEEL THE POWER OF THE COMPUTER GRID
The advent of computing grids for research purposes is paving the way for commercial grids. Three weeks ago, IBM disclosed that it would help construct the United Kingdom National Grid; the National Science Foundation has also teamed up with IBM, Intel, and Qwest Communications to build a grid that can store over 450 trillion bytes of data by 2003. In light of such progress, the next logical step is a commercial grid, said Sun Microsystems’ Peter Jeffcock. Corporations would simply tap into a grid and pay for the amount of power they use. Some large companies already use internal grids to run simulations, and Sun said it could boost grid use even further with last month’s release of its Grid Engine software. Gartner Group analyst Andy Butler said, “Computer grids are a very good testbed for leveraging architecture designs that will probably then feed back into more modestly scaling commercial applications.”
(eWeek, 20 August 2001 via Edupage)
INTEL PRESENTS VISION OF PROACTIVE COMPUTING
Speakers at the Intel Developer Forum disclosed collaborative ventures between company researchers and universities to create computer networks that focus on health care and public safety, as well as endeavors into outer space. The medical applications of such networks include at-home health care monitoring. A four-node Martian network is also being planned, as well as a network that can help locate lost people, according to Intel director of research David Tennenhouse. He said that these networks will be deployed through wireless networking, software agents, and embedded machines, and that Intel has pledged $4 billion for research and development efforts in 2001. The Internet will act as a portable database containing data collected by sensors, Tennenhouse explained.
(InfoWorld.com, 27 August 2001 via Edupage)
COLLEGE STUDENTS ADMIT THEY ARE CAUGHT UP IN WEB
One in 10 college students claims to have a dependence on the Internet, according to a survey report authored by Richard J. DioGuardi of St. John’s University. Fifteen percent of the 134 freshmen and sophomores polled exhibit classic manifestations of addiction, DioGuardi said; these include social isolation, encroachment on daily life, an urgent need for the Internet, and withdrawal symptoms. In addition, these students would probably use the Internet as a social outlet and consider it essential to their well-being. These findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association in San Francisco.
(Reuters, 27 August 2001 via Edupage)
DISTANCE EDUCATION IS HARDER ON WOMEN THAN ON MEN, STUDY FINDS
Women who take distance-education classes face greater levels of difficulty than men, according to a report to be released this week from the American Association of University Women. The report, based on interviews with 500 students, most of them female, notes the presence of a “third shift,” a period of online study that women take between their regular job and their homemaking or child-care duties. Adding to this burden is the fact that many distance-education courses can cost as much as traditional college classes, while additional expenses may be incurred from online subscriptions and equipment requirements. Almost a third of the interviewees are pursuing degrees, breaking the misconception by many that women generally choose a few courses for occasional enrichment or career advancement.
(Chronicle of Higher Education Online, 5 September 2001 via Edupage)
HOW TO HAVE YOUR ABSTRACT REJECTED
This advice column from Mary-Claire van Leunen and Richard Lipton begins “If your ideas are bad enough all on their own, you needn’t worry about this advice; Banality, irrelevance, plagiarism, and plain old madness will get any abstract rejected, no matter how good it is. Similarly, if your ideas are brilliant, pointed, original, and sane, you have a hard road ahead of you. Even the worst abstract may not suffice for rejection …”
The Cornell University Engineering and Computer Science Library put together this very striking webpage to put perspective on the cost of scientific journals. A graphic answer to the question of why your library does not subscribe to some of your most highly desired journal titles.