Information Retrieval

Better Information Isn't Always Beneficial?

Slashdot Pointed the way to an interesting, though light on details, Wall Street Journal column by David Wessel. He says while the public has more and better information available now than ever before, he's not sure if it's always a good thing. Most of the time, speedier, cheaper information allows the economy to produce more from less, often by eliminating mistakes, cutting wasted effort and shrinking doubt. He points to Walmart, dug companies and "the lovelorn" as an example of people capitalizing on good information. But a couple new proprietary data sets are giving him pause. A program that helps companies choose judges based on how they've ruled in the past and the ability of Congress to get reelected are his examples.

He says computers have removed the limitation on the ability of any individual to process information, and have forced society to wrestle with practical issues that seemed only theoretical a generation ago.

I can't help but think libraries, free, open and accessible libraries have a part to play in the coming years. If we (libraries) make more information available to more people are we leveling the playing field, or just making things worse?

Is "Search" Redefining our Lives?

Durst writes "This article in the Seattle Times was referenced on the Army Librarians list. I think it says alot of things we already know, but of which the public is just now becoming aware."

Wiki in A Wink

Wiki is f-a-s-t! Check out this entry on the newly elected Pope Benedict XVI.

microsoft + wikipedia = moderated-pedia?

librarianscott writes "Here's One From Corante:

So Microsoft takes from the whole wikipedia anyone-can-edit encyclopedia, the subset idea of making it easier to suggest changes to specific encyclopedia articles.

Wikipedia depends on people making "free" edits--contributing for the greater good. Would these same kind souls contribute, if they know it will go through a moderator--an expert?"

What CIOs should know about records

Anonymous Patron writes "10 things every CIO should know about managing electronic records is a list from SearchCIO.com. Though the list is obviously aimed at business CIOs, it's interesting and could be applied at libraries as well.They say without question, information management is a high stakes game. The paper trail is now digital, and its first stop is the CIO's office. Managing e-records risk pro-actively makes sense for business entities and the CIOs who routinely lead people, processes and technology in strategic enterprise efforts."

IBM's Intranet and Folksonomy

Really Neat Look at some cool projects at IBM. IBM will soon experiment with folksonomy. They are motivated by a need to maintain the pace of updates to how information is organized in their intranet and a need to help users access their system.
The scale of this intranet is remarkable. It serves 315,000 IBM employees worldwide in multiple languages with personalization by business role and interest among other facets. Even more remarkably, they have used a controlled taxonomy, one version of which contains 3700 nodes, to organize the information in this intranet. You can view the PPT slides Here.

We'll be running an interview with Sarah N Goldman the Lead, Taxonomy Management & Development soon!

British Mobile Phone Question-Answering System

Cavan writes "In Britain you can text any question from your mobile to AQA (Any Questions Answered) and it will be answered within 10 minutes for one pound (US$1.93). The system relies on a team of handpicked part-time researchers, supported by a database of previously answered questions. "The Independent" newspaper for March 17th, 2005, reports that the system, which has been oprerating night and day for ten months, answers 2,000 questions daily. Replies are limited to 153 characters.http://news.independent.co.uk/world/science_techno logy/story.jsp?story=620741"

No information overload just yet

An Anonymous Patron writes "Despite thousands of e-mails a day, technology analyst Bill Thompson says he is nowhere near his "information overload" limit. See This BBC Report For More"
He says So far he's have not been tempted to upload it all into Google's gmail and make it a fully indexed and searchable archive, or get one of the third party mail indexing tools.

Digital memories: we can forget them for you wholesale!

Pete writes "This essay http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/02/21/forgetting _digital_memories/from The Register asks whether we ought to give pause before rushing headlong into the "digital revolution.""Hardly any of the potential consequences of our move to digital products and services are given a moment's thought. Instead, we're encouraged to greet each new launch with enthusiasm, by a popular press which itself is as about as critical of digital products as a child is of Father Christmas. As long as the gifts keep coming, why should one question either the mechanics or the economics behind them?But one of the more awkward questions is what happens to "Our Stuff", once we trust it to the digital void.""

Desktop Search: Reinventing the wheel?

kmhess writes "On Jon Udell's blog, I found this story about how desktop search has been under our nose for years, but for some reason Microsoft 'broke' it and that's why the little doggie never finds anything.

Key info for me:"...even when the Windows indexer is enabled, a search won't use it unless you prefix the search term with an exclamation point."

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