book and lamp
Tips & News for the Info-Literati

The Web's Upside

"I was impressed by the honest, relentless voices on the Web working to unravel the official stories. The Net is indeed indispensable if we look for truth. Its power lies in its ability to shatter authorities' manipulation of information" (Ha Jin, "Faith in Complexity." Yahoo Internet Life, Sep. 2001, p. 133).

The Web's Downside

"You can find the answer to any question on the Web - as long as you don't care whether the answer is right... there is a limited, though important, amount of protection when using the more traditional reference sources. To start a newspaper or publish a book, there's a high hurdle - called ``cost of entry'' - that filters out the amateurs and increases the likelihood professionals will be involved in the process of gathering information and publishing it.. There's no such hurdle on the Web. Web space isn't just cheap. It's free. If I wished, 15 minutes from now I could publish a Web page that offers the thrilling details of my numerous meetings with aliens from the planet Zarcon" ("For Research, the Web Is a Pipeline, Not An Authority," by Bill Husted, Cox News Service, 5/21/02).


"Where all think alike, no one thinks very much" (Walter Lippmann).


"Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority" (Thomas Huxley).

Forecasting the Future

"Where a calculator on the Eniac is equipped with 18000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1000 tubes and weigh only 1 1/2 tons" (Popular Mechanics, March 1949).

E-Mail Scams

"E-mail scams are a growing problem. You've almost certainly heard from a high government official in Nigeria recently, offering you millions of dollars if you'll just help him or her sneak some money out of the country... That Nigerian scam alone - there are several versions, but all share the same basic plot - took Americans for $22 million in the last quarter of 2001... it's just an old-fashioned con game moved to the high-tech world" (Computer News Daily).


"Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent" (Napoleon Bonaparte).

The Wages of Virus

"David Smith, who stung computers world-wide with the Melissa computer virus, is getting a 20-month prison term and a $5,000 fine for his misdeeds..." (Yahoo Internet Life, July 2002, page 18).

Net Ruins Marriages

"In a recent study conducted by Relate, a U.K. marriage guidance organization, one in 10 couples blamed the Net for a deteriorating marriage" (Yahoo Internet Life, July 2002, page 18).

Critical Thinking Skills

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it" (Aristotle)

[In a display of critical thinking of which Aristotle would be proud, the University of N. Carolina students are suing the university because in a course on Islam they were actually forced to read the Koran... they feel the religion is being forced on them.]

Spam Retribution

The following code inserted in a web page would cause anyone scanning your web page for spamming purposes to spam themselves because the IP address is reserved for local loopback to your own machine:
<A HREF="mailto:postmaster@[]"></A> <A HREF="mailto:user@[]"></A>

Latest Campus Craze

"..the latest digital craze to hit campus.. [is] ruining students' credit ratings. Internet gambling.. threatens to spiral out of control at U.S. universities... The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey has seen desperation calls related to Net gambling addiction rise 1,000 percent this year... addicted bettors between the ages of 18 and 25 face an average annual individual loss of $30,000" (Yahoo Internet Life, July 2002, page 19).

Modular Robots

Modular Robots cover story from Spectrum IEEE, "They seem to be a physical implementation of cellular automa. Each 5cm cube has identical components including IR transmitter/receiver for communicating between modules, the idea being that these robots can be self repairing (spooky) and cheaper (cool). Eventually they hope to make them as cheap as $1 (unlikely)" [Geek Issues].


"Seek the company of those who are looking for the truth, but run from those who have found it" (Vaclav Havel).

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Colby Glass, MLIS