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Mixed-Bag Special

:: "Scientific papers that are not widely read and that lack any great influence can end up being classed as high-impact, claim researchers in California". Read the story here.

:: Karlin Lillington recently attended the ISC Symposium in Switzerland, and she describes how each delegate received a SpotMe, which is a small handheld computer running embedded Linux. It has a radar function that displays the photos and details of all people within 30 metres, among other features. It is designed for events with 100-2,000 participants. I wonder if this means it could not be used at SLA or ALA? Also, what new social issues might surface? Karlin notes that during the keynote address, everyone was fiddling with their SpotMe's. It would be interesting to see the group dynamic in small sessions or hospitality suites. Also, what might happen if you are trying to avoid someone? Ooooh....

Also of note, Karlin visited the Stiftsbibliothek St Gallen (Abbey Library of St.Gall), the oldest library in Switzerland. Check out this amazing fisheye lens view of the Baroque Library. Imagine doing reference in there!

:: We are all fed up with coming to work each morning and having to delete dozens of useless, non-functional and occasionally offensive e-mails known as spam. Saul Hansell wrote an interesting article on spam in the Sunday 25 May 2003 NYTimes (ID and PW: podbay). Included are interviews with "seven people who have some ideas for a solution." One of these people is Steve Linford, the director of the Spamhaus Project, creators of the Spamhaus Block List (SBL). "The Spamhaus Block List (SBL) is a realtime database of IP addresses of spam-sources, including known spammers, spam gangs, spam operations and spam support services." For more info, read the SBL FAQ and Rationale, Listing Criteria and Procedures. Note that: "For information on how to configure your mail server to use sbl.spamhaus.org please refer to your mail server documentation/manuals or ask your mail server developer. With so many different mail servers in use we can not offer technical help with setting up the SBL."

:: Margaret Atwood explains why science is crucial to her fiction.