inside the man

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Wikipedia Hits Million-Entry Mark

What started off as an ambitious experiment (at least in my mind, that's what it was) has become one of the most accessed reference sites on the Internet. As librarian, I have to ask if that is a good thing? Still, I find Wikipedia to be an extremely valuable resource as long as I remember that it has a different definition of authority than other traditional reference works. For example, you trust the information in the Encyclopedia of Religion because it is edited by Mircea Eliade of University of Chicago fame. In contrast, you trust the information in Wikipedia because of community consensus.

Friday, September 10, 2004

NYT Promotes File Sharing

Downloading music on the net, even in the USA, is not illegal. Don't take it from me, take it from the New York Times.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Environmental concerns outlaw Ganesh immersions in India

The immersion of murtis (images) of the Hindu elephant headed god Ganesh during the annual Chaturi festival have been outlawed in Tamil Nadu due to concerns that chemicals used in the creation of the statues will contaminate ground and sea water. The popularity of immersing such idols has grown in recent years. I have heard that the Hindu community in my home, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, has bathed at least one murti of Ganesh in the North Saskatchewan river to celebrate this festival. This is practice is a spectacular example of Hindu bhakti devotional practice, demonstrating a beautiful ritual interplay between humanity and the divine. As it would be tragic if this practice were to cease entirely, perhaps the solution is simply to ensure that the immersed images do not leach any contaminates into the water.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Hacking online chess

University of Colorado at Boulder researchers have defeated the security at ICC. Could my favorite go server, KGS, be next?

Saturday, September 04, 2004

BMI Reports All-Time Profit High Despite Piracy

Even in the face of such evils as file sharing and fair use, one of the largest music publishers in the world, has reported a record year. This slashdot posting links through to an interesting ars technica article on the topic. If you want to brush up on US copyright and fair use see this excellent page put together by Stanford University Libraries. Is there an equivilent page out there for other nations' copyright law? I would sure like such a page for Canada.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

FBI moves against breach of civil law

It probably is not the first time, and it certainly will not be the last, but the FBI moved beyond the enforcement of criminal law when it brought down five file swapping servers. To put it another way, American tax payers now pick up the bill for enforcing big business' copyrights.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Is Encryption Doomed?

Could it be that there is no significant difference between mathematically hard (NP) and not hard (P) problems? Read and find out...

About Me

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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Returned to working as a Management Consultant, specializing in risk, security, and regulatory compliance, with Fujitsu Canada after running the IT shop in the largest library in the South Pacific.

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