Canada's The Nature of Things, episode on Climate Change, free on iTunes (other episodes cost $2) If you want to navigate to it, set your iTunes to Canada (My Store: Canada at the bottom of the iTunes home window). Then TV Shows->Nonfiction->The Nature of Things->The Best of The Nature of Things. I don't know if it's geofenced.
UPDATE: Incidentally I notice that CBC documentaries has a Twitter feed,
If you want the latest official word, you probably want to go to the keynote by Ken Cochrane (CIO GoC TBS) at GTEC 2008.
The GTEC 2008 theme is "Make the shift to Government 2.0".
Also interesting in the lineup is "NRCan's Collaborative Technology Revolution" by Marj Akerley, Chief Information Officer, Information Management Branch, Natural Resources Canada and Peter Cowan, Director, Enterprise IM, Natural Resources Canada.
TBS is moving quite quickly to support intranet Web 2.0 with policy.
Internet Web 2.0 (for the Government of Canada) is quite problematic however. But it appears to me that you're better off taking a leadership role and just experimenting with things, and seeing the results. I think people are afraid the policy police will come punish them, whereas it appears to me more likely that they will get an award for technology innovation.
It's still a challenging situation because unfortunately most of the Web 2.0 services are hosted in the US, and this creates privacy and control issues if you're gathering any information about Canadian citizens. For example I use Typepad, Blogger (Google), Feedburner (Google), Google Analytics, jot.com (Google), Google Docs... hmm, it sure would be a nice start if Google Canada just set up a dedicated data centre here that they could guarantee would never be subject to US legislation...
we're really pleased to announce the Spark Wiki. We hope it will complement this blog and the radio show (and podcast). Right now, it's an experiment: a place to collaborate on story ideas, suggest guests, music selections... whatever. It's a many-to-many form of communication, and I'm really excited to learn how we can use it to make more participatory, collaborative radio.
There is a Spark story proposal up for Libraries and technology but it hasn't had much activity. If you'd like to hear about library tech on Canada's national radio, maybe you might consider adding some ideas or suggestions of people for them to interview.
The Agenda had their somewhat-usual technology suspects on talking about the Microsoft-Yahoo merger, with a majority of the show devoted to the idea of the "compute cloud" future for computing. It's quite impressive that they took this fairly technical topic on, and they did a good job of covering it from various angles.
The Debate: The Coming Cloud (switch to the Mark Evans tab for the other discussion) - video is linked from these pages, just click on "Watch video" there
also available as iTunes audio and video - I'm npt seeing it in iTunes yet though
I think the future splits into multiple models of computer use. Gamers, for near-term, need local graphics engines and local storage (holding the multi-gigabyte virtual environments they use). The intensive computer users like me probably still have their whole elaborate local network and local storage and local computing... well, basically entire personal data centre. We're probably the only ones left with a lot of non-cloud data and computing.
The digital dividers (old people, poor people, the technically unsavvy) will have very simple devices, something very akin to thin clients - probably in many different form factors - built in to televisions, set-top boxes, things like OLPCs and Eee PCs, "intelligent LCD displays". The highly mobile will have quite sophisticated but completely mobile devices. All of the data for both groups lives in the cloud.
This being said, there is a very, very long history predicting the demise of the PC and its replacement with set-tops and thin clients, and it has yet to materialize. People use a bunch of devices (cell, camera, PDA, laptop) AND their home computers, not instead of their computers.
SIDEBAR: Jesse Hirsh had quite the slag on for the Preventers of Information Services in IT Departments. First
he says home users can't be trusted with personal computers, and then
he says work users must be trusted with unlimited use of Internet
It is true that some of the Dr. No aspect of IT is arbitrary, but
some of it is either out of their control (layers of regulations
imposed from on high), and some of it is related to user support. IT
is about user productivity. Computer secure, applications running
smoothly = happy IT. If this could be guaranteed through the magic of
trusted cloud computing, that would be fine. But the reality is, users
download a bunch of cr*p and access a bunch of cr*p websites, and then
IT has to come in and try to clean it up. That's why IT tries to
lockdown. Lockdown is about being able to guarantee a stable computer,
network, and sustainable support experience.
If you want to see what happens in an uncontrolled environment, just
let a bunch of consultants into your organisation and let them "manage
themselves" and see how well that works...
outside consultant had installed LimeWire, a popular program used to
swap music for free, on a laptop computer that was being used to work
with data for the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission.
As a result, information — including names, addresses, dates of
birth and medical and work histories — related to 153 individuals was
SIDEBAR 2: A minor quibble with terminology used during the show,
Amazon's S3 is cloud storage only, their compute cloud service is EC2. END SIDEBAR
(As I said in my previous posting about my presentation,
the title is not great, it's more like "categorizing the problem space
of journal article exploration, and what new features or metrics we
might use in this new space, as well as what new scholarly objects we
might certify by applying peer review".)
My hair is, as usual, sticking out at some odd angle. Fortunately
for you, most of the time the video shows the slide I'm talking about.
It's probably not entirely clear from the video, but about 14 minutes
in the projector died, so I was left talking beside a blank screen (I
could still see the slides on my own monitor) for about 5 minutes until
everyone decided they'd had enough of that and we took a break and came
back when the projector was fixed.
The next (closed, members-only) ICSTI meeting is coming up next week in Paris. I don't know whether there is an accompanying public workshop.
UPDATE: The first version of this post ended up with an amusingly unfortunate URL.
In creating a cheap laptop, the XO has also started a fresh debate about affordable technology. Affordable and appropriate interrelate quite closely, and the XO hints at the added costs of proprietary operating systems offered by Mac and Apple, along with the price to be paid for the Intel brand. In this way, appropriate technologies such as the XO serve as an implicit critique of the marketplace.
Plus which, any article that includes the TRS-80 Model 100 deserves a mention. (I saw, but never used the Model 100. I used to go to RadioShack and play Hammurabi on their regular TRS-80s.)
I wouldn't put the MacBook Air in this same space, as it is much more expensive.
The Air is more like the ultimate Road Warrior laptop, you pay a heavy price in terms of limited expandability. Since I use my laptop mostly as a home desktop replacement, I'm continuing to look at the regular MacBook as my next computer (I have a PowerBook G4 right now).
SIDEBAR: Dear Radio Shack, do you really need an "MSCSProfile" of
I have been thinking about how the digital environment behaves. What kinds of properties does it have? How does it differ from the physical world?
One major aspect of the physical world is the economy. You make a thing, you sell it, you get money.
In the digital realm, you imagine a thing, you share it, and you get attention.
Attention is the first currency of the digital realm.
In practice, you expend a certain amount of your attention to e.g. craft a blog posting, and get small slices of attention from others in return. (In the case of a technology review, this may be 4 to 6 hours of my time, for a minute of every visitor's time.)
Attention over time becomes reputation.
Reputation is the second currency of the digital realm.
Both attention and reputation can be converted into various rewards, both monetary and non-monetary.
Attention is transformed primarily into money through ads and other affiliate linking arrangements. The more attention, the more clicks, the more clicks, the more money. I'm not sure whether attention can be exchanged for anything else.
Reputation, at least in the library blogging context, converts mainly into opportunities: it might be a job offer, or an invitation to speak, or a request to write an article.
And of course, money is still a currency of the realm, but I would consider it the third currency.
Upon discussing this at lunch with Steve, I realised that this analysis should be quite understandable to the scientific community, as it is almost directly analogous.
If I write in Nature, I may get a lot of reputation, convertable into grant funding, employment offers, conference invitations, Research Assessment success. But I may not necessarily get much of a fraction of the general public's attention.
If I write a newspaper column on science, I may get a good chunk of attention, but not as much reputation.
And of course, as many people have discussed elsewhere, the reputation-weighted network of scientific citations has much in common with the reputation-weighted network of web links.
In a way, Google can be considered as a reputation ranking engine, and make no mistake, it does everything in its power to measure attention (through ads, Google Reader, FeedBurner, and much more) to ensure that attention is being appropriately converted into reputation.
To me this means that in the digital realm, you have to stop thinking that you're in the XYZ business (the information business, the document delivery business etc.) and start thinking that you're in the attention and reputation business. The number of sites that can use a traditional physical world model of converting things into money is tiny. The rest of us (assuming we want to make money) have to use the primary digital currencies of attention and reputation, and convert them into money.
So you need to ask yourself, how big is your organisation's attention surface? How much digital stuff (blog postings, search results, images, whatever) does it have to attract attention? How is it using its reputation?
What are contemporary library uses and needs of the scientific community? Are subscriptions to e-journals sufficient? The emergence of escience raises important questions about the services and infrastructure within ARL libraries in support of science.
Libraries may, in fact, be creating obstacles to emerging interdisciplinary models of science. Branch libraries based on separate collections in related areas of the sciences are cited as a hindrance to multidisciplinary research at a time when online access transcends discipline-based collections. Other recent behavioral assessments suggest that libraries are often not perceived as part of the evolving research infrastructure in support of interdisciplinary, team science.
There is a perception that science librarians, more than ever before, need to be actively engaged with their user communities. They need to understand not only the concepts of the domain, but also the methodologies and norms of scholarly exchange. This level of understanding and engagement goes well beyond knowledge of the literature. It requires being a trusted member of the community with recognized authority in information related matters. This new paradigm suggests a shift in focus from managing specialized collections (the “branch library” model) to one that emphasizes outreach and engagement.
Many science librarians, of course, are already doing this. There are examples of science and health science librarians working with faculty in teaching courses, participating in research projects, and publishing. Are these models extensible? Can we re-conceive the science library for e-science?
A way forward - Model Principles. I must admit, when I was blogging for the OECD, I had a hard time grasping the shape of the conversations that were going on. This set of model principles (based on a draft from Chuck Humphrey), from Appendix B of the ARL E-Science Final Report, provides a clear set of topics that research libraries should consider (I have trimmed some entries - see the document for full versions):
1. Open Access: Research libraries will support open access policies and practices regarding scientific knowledge and e-science.
2. Open Data: Access to open data is a movement supported by research libraries, taking into consideration the ethical treatment of human-subject data.
3. Collaboration: Research libraries will collaborate with multi-institutional, interdisciplinary research projects by developing and supporting digital repositories for their research outputs, data, and metadata.
4. Digital Stewardship & Preservation: Research libraries will have institutional repositories that meet international preservation and interoperability standards and practices.
5. Equitable Service and Support: Research libraries will work collectively to ensure that gaps do not develop in the levels of support provided across e-sciences.
6. Professional Development & Investment: Research libraries will develop the human capital to provide the range of knowledge management skills at the appropriate level needed by esciences.
7. Metadata Standards & Metadata Creation: Research libraries will spearhead initiatives to develop metadata standards supportive of scientific data.
8. There is no number 8.
9. Virtual Communities: Research libraries will contribute to the establishment of and participate in virtual laboratories or organizations developed across e-sciences.
10. Sustainable Models: Research libraries will participate in the development of and contribute to sustainable business models for the resources and services essential to e-sciences.
11. Communication: Research libraries will participate in initiatives to increase wider professional and public understanding of e-science contributions to knowledge and its infrastructural requirements.
This gives me a great opportunity to connect to more information from the 2007 OECD Participative Web meeting in Ottawa. You can read my blog postings about the e-science presentations, and I have been remiss in not pointing out the video (Windows Media) of the presentations (the session starts at 05:30 into the stream). The presentations are in English (the introduction is in French).
The Nov 7, 2007 The Agenda on TVO starts off with swearing (seriously) and then has a panel on Facebook. Unfortunately TVO's new video player doesn't show you a time index (a control bar will come up at the bottom of the video if you put your mouse over the video window), so I can't point you at a starting time for the panel, other than to say it's roughly one-third along.
I'm never convinced that having a bunch of middle-aged people talk about a technology that started with university students is particularly useful. Anyway, Om Malik was there, he talked about the valuation and such.
Middle-aged opinionmaking aside, the Agenda discussion is informative, and at 32 minutes long, comprehensive. I like Nancy Baym's turn of phrase about Microsoft and Facebook - the moderator asks "can Facebook make Microsoft cool?" and she responds "I don't think so, it's like the middle-aged man with a new sports car". Baym's website Online Fandom also reminds me that you can also get TVO video through iTunes, as a free video podcast. It's interesting to see all the panelists all commenting on each other's blog postings - I have to wonder whether they made similar connections and had any discussions within Facebook. (And of course since Facebook is a dark net, I have no easy way of discovering this.)
They talked a lot about about Beacon and all this application notification virality, the dream/nightmare of these megatargeted social network ads (which I have already been ranting about on Facebook). They also discuss Facebook apps and Google OpenSocial briefly.
In my experience, the main thing Facebook has done is connected me to a few people from Junior High, and gets me a little bit of insight into activities of some people who don't have blogs. But for me overall I get way more out of my blog connections.
This URL should get you to the Agenda audio Podcasts page in iTunes:
TVO's Big Ideas is one of my favourite shows, a venue for interesting lecturers. Today's was
Marc Abrahams, editor of The Annals of Improbable Research and
one of the organizers of the annual Ig-Nobel Prize ceremonies at
Harvard University, discusses the work of scientists and academics
that, "first makes you laugh, and then makes you think". Highlights of
the lecture include discussions of a study that proves that Kansas is
flatter than a pancake and a paper investigating The Forces Required to Drag Sheep Over Various Surfaces.
The second lecture in this episode of Big Ideas is by University of
Toronto Zoology researcher Susannah Varmuza who discusses the evolving
field of Epigenetics and what research into such things as mouse coat
colour is telling scientists about the age-old "nature versus nurture"
Apparently there was an event called Canada 2020 in Gatineau, they had a variety of high-power speakers. Unfortunately, while I think I'm supposed to consider Gatineau an integrated part of Ottawa (NOTE TO READERS: very slightly humour-tinged aside coming up) it might as well be on the far side of the moon for most practical purposes for me. Plus which, I don't circulate in such lofty company.
Anyway, amongst other speakers (one of which to be mentioned in subsequent posting), Tim Flannery, the The Weather Makers author, "discussed ways to bring the public into the debate on global warming".
If you want to skip the part with the politicians talking, Flannery starts at 15:23 into the feed.
CBC, Canada's national public broadcaster, has also been doing a series this week on global warming, with the anchor and others reporting from all over the world. I haven't actually looked into it in enough depth to know whether they offset all that travel, if anyone knows, please leave a comment.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper unveiled a $1.5-billion fund yesterday to help provinces reduce greenhouse gases, allocating the first $350-million to Quebec on the eve of an expected provincial election.
The province of British Columbia is also setting a goal of a "33 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions from current levels by 2020".
TVO's The Agenda has had a couple recent shows on Kyoto and the environment, you can watch the video online (Flash format).
near the end it talks about the myGrid scientific workflow project.
via David Flanders
Just to revisit a theme that continues to concern me: are major library-related IT architecture groups talking to one another? Should they be? We learned not to build siloed systems, are we building siloed architectures?
Webcast of the press conference (Windows Media, audio but no video on my Mac, only works in IE on my PC - a bit slow to start showing new slides, but they do start eventually, out of sync with the audio)
I happened to be watching the JFK Moon Speech last night, and I was struck not by his famous lines ("We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard") but by the fact that a politician was using his bully pulpit to actually try to explain history and science, and to be thoughtful and inspiring about the implications.
Is it just me, or does no one, least of all politicians, do this any more?
No man can fully grasp how far and how fast we have come, but condense, if you will, the 50,000 years of man¹s recorded history in a time span of but a half-century. Stated in these terms, we know very little about the first 40 years, except at the end of them advanced man had learned to use the skins of animals to cover them.
Then about 10 years ago, under this standard, man emerged from his caves to construct other kinds of shelter. Only five years ago man learned to write and use a cart with wheels. Christianity began less than two years ago. The printing press came this year, and then less than two months ago, during this whole 50-year span of human history, the steam engine provided a new source of power. Newton explored the meaning of gravity.
Last month electric lights and telephones and automobiles and airplanes became available. Only last week did we develop penicillin and television and nuclear power, and now if America's new spacecraft succeeds in reaching Venus, we will have literally reached the stars before midnight tonight.
I have tried to put forward a similar position on Web 2.0, which basically, we developed two days ago. As JFK says
This is a breathtaking pace, and such a pace cannot help but create new ills as it dispels old, new ignorance, new problems, new dangers.
Online video for The Agenda - watch the January 4, 2007 episode. The SL part is about half-way through. Anthony D. Williams, one of the Wikinomics authors, was one of the panelists. Jesse Hirsh was another.
a strategic vision that provides a national digital framework in which NSF can work with partners in public and private sectors to address data acquisition, access, usage, stewardship and management challenges in a comprehensive way. NSFs five-year goal is twofold: 1) To catalyze the development of a system of science and engineering data collections that is open, extensible and evolvable; and 2) To support development of a new generation of tools and services facilitating data mining, integration, analysis, and visualization essential to turning data into new knowledge and understanding.