Canadian Science Writers' Association
35th Annual Conference: Science on the Eastern Edge
June 24-26, 2006
St. John's, Newfoundland
It would be interesting to know whether this group feels it is well-supported by Canada's science libraries, or whether the writers now mainly use non-library web resources.
In the successful series of Semantic Grid and e-Science events we intend to bring together researchers and practitioners around the world from the quickly developing research areas of the Semantic Web, Grid and e-Science. As semantic technologies are being widely accepted in various e-science areas such as life science or bioinformatics, it is necessary and urgent to offer semantically enriched methods, tools, middleware to facilitate semantic modeling, system building, searching, and data analyzing in e-science applications.
Thanks to Glen Newton for pointing this out.
Apparently there was a BarCampOttawa last month.
What is BarCampOttawa? Think of it as a way to get the tech/geek community together in Ottawa. Only one thing is certain: It's up to you to decide. The most important thing you should take away from the event? Relationships with other geeks in Ottawa.
It looks like there were some interesting presentations.
As the user-created web continues to evolve, we are getting more and more specialized tools.
Many Canadians enjoy travelling so travel websites are a natural fit.
The Ottawa Citizen had three related stories this past Saturday.
Leaving it all behind: Ottawa couple pull up their roots for life on the road -- and gain an international following
Before they left Ottawa, dozens of friends and acquaintances from the Herb Garden asked them to send regular e-mails so they could follow [Sharon and Gerry Channer]'s progress. But the Channers hesitated about sending long missives to a lot of people. Days before they left, they found out about TravelPod (see story page L2) from a gardening friend.
"We thought a website would be great because if people want to look at it, they can, but if they don't, it's not clogging their inbox," says Gerry. "It also gives us a chance to include photos and captions and for people to follow our route on a map."
Much to the Channers' modest amazement, their website has become a huge hit: more than 90,000 people have looked at it since they left. While on the road, they take turns once a week writing an entry and entering photos. But even though they haven't written a single word since they returned to Ottawa a few months ago, they still get 7,500 hits a month -- which puts their website in the Top 10 of the 30,000 on TravelPod.
It's a virtual community that is touchingly real. Hundreds of people e-mail them for advice -- particularly about how to get around the infamous Darien Gap. A 75-year-old woman living in Paris wrote them a letter about how their entries on Buenos Aires brought back memories of her childhood home. The gorgeous house they're renting this summer? Offered to them by fellow TravelPod users whom they've never met, no references required.
You can read their latest blog entry: Good News, Bad News.
As indicated above, there is an article on the service they were using for travel blogging.
It's a safe bet that you could pull 50 travel guides off your bookstore shelf and not find one tale of a motorbike accident that left the writer semi-conscious and bleeding on a dirt road in rural Laos.
Then there's TravelPod. It's an Ottawa-based website that offers travelogues by amateurs, writing and posting as they wander, and leaning heavily toward the lesser-travelled roads of the world.
It definitely isn't Fodor's.
The website (www.travelpod.com) is the "labour of love" of Brett McAteer and a few others. And after 10 years in business, it is attracting about 750,000 readers a month -- ginormous for a blog.
There is also an article about a Vancouver-based site.
A Vancouver-based Internet company that allows travellers to post online blogs in some of the world's most remote locations has been listed by Forbes magazine as one of the best travel websites anywhere.
MyTripJournal.com, which provides travellers with a Web journal to record their trips and stay in touch with friends and family, was started two years ago in the home of Dan Parlow.
"(We have) tens of thousands of clients all over the world," said Parlow, a lawyer who quit practising law in January to run his website full-time. "Our biggest markets are in the U.S. and the U.K."
Parlow said that MyTripJournal.com, which provides online travellers with Web-based tools to draw up virtual maps so friends and family can follow their footsteps, read postings of travel notes and view photos, began two years ago when he and his wife, Faye, completed a 16-month trip around the world and a four-month trek through China with their two young children.
Inside the nondescript National Research Council building M-23, a chunk of Canada's proud military history is in danger of being lost.
The building is home to the National Defence Image Library, which holds about one million photographs and negatives that chronicle Canada's military operations over the past 90 years.
Modern-day computers share space with dozens of index card drawers containing tens of thousands of photo captions that date back to the Second World War and earlier. Crumbling photo albums packed with black and white photos of Canadians serving at home and abroad are stuffed into old cupboards in one hallway and another room is filled with metal cabinets that hold the majority of the library's image collection.
But while the library's most priceless items -- original gold-inlaid crests for every Canadian unit ever created -- are stored in a small temperature and humidity-controlled room, the rest of the collection has been left to the elements and is quickly deteriorating because of time, rough handling and pollution.
"These are all artifacts," the library's manager, Sgt. Serge Tremblay, told the Citizen during a tour of the facility last week. "They shouldn't be here."
Sgt. Tremblay manages a small team of civilian researchers, image technicians and a string of rotating personnel reassigned to light duty for medical reasons that is trying to scan these photos onto compact discs that are supposed to last 300 years. The scanned pictures will then be sent to Library and Archives Canada for proper storage.
But lack of funding and personnel has severely hampered those efforts and the library, loses between one and two per cent of its collection -- 10,000 to 20,000 images -- every year because they are not being stored properly.
'It's a race against time' - Ottawa Citizen - May 22, 2006
On 25 April  the British Library published a consultation document: “The British Library’s Content Strategy – Meeting the Knowledge Needs of the Nation”. This sets out the Library’s proposals for what information resources we should collect and connect with, in order to meet the needs of UK research, both today and in the future.
The consultation is taking place between 25 April and 21 July 2006. We would prefer to receive responses by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, but if you wish to send a hard copy please address it to: Content Strategy Team, Strategy & Planning, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB.
I also don't get Google Coop.
You create an account, and then you can sort of annote pages with tags by creating a complicated XML file, and then people can subscribe to your annotations, which show up in search results?
It seems very complicated and hard to wrap your head around to me.
It's definitely not end-user friendly in terms of creating annotations.
For example, ok I'm in Contributor -> Topics -> Manage Topics and it says
URL Contains: ... Label: ... [Filter]
is a label a tag?
I don't understand.
I gather it's some sort of search for things that you have labelled yourself.
For example if I enter scilib.typepad.com and library it says
Showing URLs containing scilib.typepad.com
with label library
If I actually want to mark stuff up, I have to make some annotation file, or contexts file.
What are these? I don't know. Some sort of XML I have to write.
Now I realize, not everything is necessarily an end-user tool.
This thing seems mainly for developers who want to add subscribable search dojiggers,
and for large organizations that have the capacity to annotate lots of pages.
But I have to say, in terms of innovation, it seems to me Google is adrift.
It would help at least if, when announcing things, they would indicate whether they are 70, 20 or 10.
This is their model of focus, where 70% is search+ads, 20% is supporting tools, and 10% is just fringe toy stuff. I can certainly understand if a 10% thing is rather obscure and not particularly user friendly. But it's hard to tell what is what. Is Co-op core? What is it?
Cool things from Google:
- clean simple relevant search
- Ajazzy Google Maps
- Google Earth (based on Keyhole acquisition)
- Picasa (acquisition and sadly neglected - where is my Picasa geotagging?)
Yahoo seems to be beating them with relevant, popular acquisitions like delicious and Flickr.
Ever since Google went public, Google is about search and, well, every other random half-baked web thing you can imagine, as far as I can tell.
You know what I want from Google?
Better SEARCH. Cooler, more relevant, categories, visualization, whatever.
There's an extension you have to download
However, it installed fine for me (Mac OS X 10.4.6, Firefox 188.8.131.52)
You're supposed to get a "Note this" link in Google search results but I don't - maybe because it's Google.ca that I get, not Google.com?
It puts a "Open Notebook" button in the bottom right of the status bar, and adds a contextual menu item "Note this".
If you highlight some text on the page, it will make that the "note" and attach the page URL.
Opening the Notebook pops up a little window in the lower-right of your browser. I don't see any way to resize it - you can just make it a bar, or make it fullscreen.
Here's a Notebook about Notebooks I just made.
There isn't really any concept of tagging. You can make sections, that's about it.
The full page is Ajaxified, you can drag and drop notes between sections.
As soon as you make changes, they appear in the public version of the notebook (if you have made it public).
You can change the note after you have saved it, but you CANNOT change the link that is associated with it. I wanted to change a long login URL that Yahoo made when I went to notepad.yahoo.com, but I can't find any way to edit it in Google Notebook.
Seems like a very dumb linkblog to me. How dumb? There is no RSS feed for the notebook, for one thing. I have to say, I don't get it. There is WAY better software (desktop apps or web apps) for this sort of thing available.
Ottawa - Ontario
This is a 1 year term position from the date of reporting.
Bachelor's degree in Biology or a related life science (honours degree preferred)
05/24/2006 (9 days)
Experience in writing or editing English will be considered an asset.
Experience in scientific journal publishing will be considered an asset.
Press release blurbage
Ottawa, May 12, 2006 – The Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI) and the Université de Montréal (UdeM) have developed a joint project to assess the feasibility of using Canada's scientific infostructure (Csi) as an archive for UdeM licensed e-journals.
CISTI's Csi program is responding to the Canadian research community's need for seamless, universal and permanent access to digital information by building a national information and technology infrastructure or "infostructure."
The "infostructure" idea includes both content and services (e.g. Web Services).
Maybe I'm missing something, but if I'm understanding correctly, basically someone did a search on topics in ISI Web of Science and ranked the results by number of citations.
Seems to me the field of article-level research tools is pretty weak if this is big news.
The new index is based on the "Hirsch index", which was devised last year by Jorge Hirsch of the University of California at San Diego as a way of quantifying the performance of individual scientists. Hirsch's h-index is derived from the number of times that papers by a particular scientist are cited.
[Michael] Banks has now taken this method a step further by applying the h-index to particular topics or compounds mentioned in the abstract of a paper, rather than to people.
The paper itself is available in ArXiv - An extension of the Hirsch Index: Indexing scientific topics and compounds.
Ottawa - Ontario
This is a 1 year term position from the date of reporting.
Bachelor degree in Computer Science or other related field.
06/02/2006 (18 days)
Significant experience in designing and developing enterprise-level WEB applications.
Significant experience in HTML coding and related technologies like CSS and scripting languages.
Significant experience in developing, implementing and maintaining business applications interfacing with major database management systems, in particular Oracle.
Significant experience with Object Oriented programming and Java.
Significant experience with relational databases and the SQL query language.
Significant experience with Microsoft Windows (2000, 2003, etc.) platforms as well as advanced use of UNIX/Linux systems.
blog post authoring from Word. This is a very late breaking feature and is definitely beta software. ...
You can start a new blog by simply going to the File icon, New dialog and selecting "New Blog Post." Or, if you want to start your post from an existing document go to the File icon and select Publish and Blog.
This is pretty standard stuff if you've ever used one of the many blog post authoring applications. In Beta 2 we support MSN Spaces, SharePoint 2007 (of course), Blogger, and Community Server (which is used for blogs.msdn.com). You can also set up a custom account with services that support the metaweblog API or the ATOM API. All the blog providers seems to interpret these APIs a bit different so there kinks we're still working out. But the basics should work in Beta 2. We hope to add a few more services to the list before we ship. The Word blog authoring feature is extensible and we will publish information so that blog providers can insure that their systems work with Word.
There are some existing tools for current versions of Word, for example, the Blogger for Word add-in.
The Access 2006 Tentative Programme has been posted
I am pleased to announce that I will be one of the speakers.
I will be covering some aspects of Service-Oriented Architecture, Web Services, BPEL, and library integration into scholarly communication workflows.
I don't think I'll be able to compete with "Laughter Yoga" though.
Technorati is now providing both RSS and OPML feeds of user favorites, here are mine.
The OPML feed enables the idea of user Reading Lists.
UPDATE 2006-09-22: I attended this workshop and blogged it under category DLSci06. ENDUPDATE
Workshop: Digital Library Goes e-Science
Thursday, Sep. 21, 2006
This workshop aims to discuss an e-Science service portfolio for the scientific communities (which really provides "enhanced science" support), the role of digital library functionality and digital library research in building such a next generation e-Science infrastructure, and the challenges for digital library and e-Science research that evolve from this perspective.
Workshop to be held in conjunction with ECDL 2006
September, 17-22, 2006. Alicante, Spain