Archive for the ‘News’ Category
Google claims to want to organize all the world’s information, a role that at least in some part has traditionally been filled by Libraries. Thus it was with some interest that I saw an announcement that there will be a panel discussion at JCDL 2009, “Google as Library – Redux,” featuring Michael Lesk, Clifford Lynch, and Gretchen Hoffman.
This is surely likely to be a contentious topic, and one that would benefit from contributions of those who may not be able to make it to the conference. Thus the organizers have created a form to collect questions and comments to pose to the panelists.
Please post your questions! Alternatively, please feel free to add them as comments on this post, and I will forward them to the organizers (with or without attribution — your choice!). After the conference, I will summarize the discussion and highlight the interesting bits.
Google recently announced its 2009 Google Fellowship recipients, and I was pleased to find a name I recognize among them. Nicholas Chen (University of Maryland) won the fellowship for HCI. Nick’s been doing very interesting research on multi-screen reading devices (check out this CHI 2008 video) and pen-based computing. Congrats to Nick on this impressive achievement! It’s great to see this interesting part of the HCI field being highlighted in this fashion.
It is ironic, however, that there is no award for research in anything resembling information seeking support systems. There are awards for research areas such as cloud computing, machine vision, distributed systems, and natural language processing, but nothing integrative that could be used to improve information seeking interfaces. Sigh.
It’s my pleasure to announce that the final report to the NSF on the workshop on Information Seeking Support Systems (ISSS) so ably organized by Gary Marchionini and Ryen White has been published. The report covers many aspects that define this research area and distinguish it from both Information Retrieval and Human-Computer Interaction fields.
Three kinds of challenges are defined and preliminary steps toward meeting the challenges are presented in this report: robust models of human‐information interaction; new tools, techniques, and services to support the full range of information seeking activities; and techniques and methods to evaluate information seeking across communities, platforms, sources, and time. Special attention is given to collaborative information seeking and the need for industry‐academic collaboration.
It was a wonderful experience to have two days of discussion of these and other topics with so many smart people, and I am happy to have contributed to the workshop organization and to the writing of the report. Finally, I am delighted that collaborative information seeking is featured as an important aspect of the field. We hope that this report will inspire others to take on the outstanding challenges and will encourage the NSF to understand the significance of this work for our society.
The Economist is running a (moderated) public debate on copyright that should be interesting to those involved in electronic publishing, particularly on the Web. In light of recent attempts by the AP to implement a rather draconian copyright policy this is an issue worth following. AP has tried going after some bloggers and artists, so far without much success. Nonetheless, their published fees for online quoting of excerpts of their content are absurd:
|5 – 25||$12.50|
|26 – 50||$17.50|
|51 – 100||$25.00|
|101 – 250||$50.00|
|251 and up||$100.00|
I don’t mean to imply that they aren’t allowed to protect their intellectual property, particularly in unambiguous (albeit funny) situations, but if these kinds of fees are enforced, it will be prohibitively expensive for most publishers to even mention the titles of AP articles!
I can only hope that the solution that emerges from The Economist debate is a compromise rather than a polarized outcome like the DMCA.
Our very own Andreas Girgensohn recently returned from WWW 2009 in Madrid, where he presented a in the developers’ track on efficient web-browser sharing, and a co-taught a tutorial with Alison Lee on developing mobile web applications.
In the aftermath of his appearance he’s popped up in the blogosphere being quoted about the significance of the iPhone as a mobile web platform in an article along with other luminaries such as Vinton Cerf and Tim Berners Lee. (link)
Keeping good company, Andreas!
A while back, I saw some reports that Microsoft was using Kumo as the name for an experimental search system. Recently there have been more reports that this is the case, or that perhaps the name will be used for some other product. It has been my experience that the deployment of Kumos, whether they be clouds or spiders, needs to be carefully planned.
SDForum’s Virtual World SIG (which I co-chair) and Women in Technology SIG celebrate Ada Lovelace Day by holding a joint SIG meeting featuring a panel of women who build, create, and work in virtual worlds. Panelists come from both industry and academia, and will discuss their work in virtual worlds.
The SIG is Monday, March 23, from 7 – 8:30 PM; networking (and pizza) starts around 6. It’s held at the Pillsbury-Winthrop offices in Palo Alto, off Page Mill Road. It’s free for SDForum members, $15 non-members.