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Spring "Speaking of Computers" Online

Getting restless awaiting the spring '08 issue of Speaking of Computers? Well, the wait is over. Conveniently accessible with the click of your mouse, you can check out Speaking of Computers today at

This e-newsletter highlights the latest news in technology-related and computing activities, services, and resources on the Stanford campus. You'll find articles in the spring issue that cover such topics as:

And much more!

Note that there are links at the top of the newsletter's home page and at the top of each section's home page to make browsing and printing entire sections easier. You can also browse the table of contents and read the articles of your choice online, or you can print "printer-friendly" copies of individual articles.

Speaking of Computers is published at the beginning of Fall, Winter, and Spring Quarters by SULAIR Publications.

Sign up here for a publication announcement for each issue of Speaking of Computers.

Stanford Women's Leadership Conference

While progress has been made in the past few decades for women's rights, there are still inequities in pay, gender discrimination, harassment issues, and other challenges that women leaders must face in modern organizations. Stanford women are among the most intellectually curious, productive and motivated people in the world. The Stanford Women's Leadership Conference was created to provide a powerful opportunity for these talented women to come together to make connections, learn strategies for overcoming the barriers that still persist for women leaders, and develop ways to move innovative ideas into creative action. Click here for more information about the event.

Sponsoring this event, the Women’s Community Center exists to facilitate the success of women students at Stanford by providing innovative opportunities for scholarship, leadership, and activism.

Oldest Recorded Sound played for 1st time at Stanford

A sound recording of a human voice made in 1860 – 17 years before Thomas Edison invented the phonograph — was played publicly for the first time at the annual conference of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections held at Stanford University March 26-29, 2008.

A team of U.S. audio historians discovered and played back a French inventor's historic 1860 recording of 10 seconds of an unidentified person singing "Au clair de la lune, Pierrot repondit" ("By the light of the moon, Pierrot replied").

You can listen to the haunting, almost ghostly sounding, recording at the New York Times:

Au Clair de la Lune--French folk song (mp3)

The 42nd annual Association of Recorded Sound Collections Conference was hosted by Stanford University in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound. Jerry McBride, Head of the Music Library at Stanford, served as Local Arrangements Chair of the very successful conference.

Other highlights of the conference included:

For more information, see:

Blogged first by the Engineering Library.

Abortion searches blocked ... then unblocked

A few days ago, searches for the term "abortion" were restricted in a major government funded family planning database called Popline.

Wisely, folks at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, which administers the database, acted quickly to remedy the situation and promise to launch an inquiry.

It is interesting, though not at all surprising, that the issue was first discovered and reported by a librarian:

A librarian at the University of California at San Francisco noticed the new censorship on Monday, while carrying out a routine research request on behalf of academics and researchers at the university. The search term had functioned properly as of January.

Puzzled, she contacted the manager of the database, Johns Hopkins' Debbie Dickson, who replied in an April 1st e-mail that the university had recently begun blocking the search term because the database received federal funding.

"We recently made all abortion terms stop words," Dickson wrote in a note to Gloria Won, the UCSF medical center librarian making the inquiry. "As a federally funded project, we decided this was best for now."

From Wired.Com

Drum Major For Peace & Justice

On the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination, the King Research & Education Institute will hold a special event featuring music, spoken word, and tributes from diverse faiths and traditions at noon on Friday, 4 April 2008 in the Old Student Union Courtyard. The program is free and open to the public. Click here for the poster.

The event is being sponsored by The Martin Luther King Jr., Research & Education Institute, and The Office for Religious Life, The Center for Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity (CCSRE), The African and African American Studies Department (AAAS), The Black Community Services Center (BCSC), and the Native American Cultural Center at Stanford University. Click here for more information about the event.

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