The Scout Report - November 1, 1996

November 1, 1996

A Publication of Internet Scout
Computer Science Department, University of Wisconsin

A Project of the InterNIC

The Scout Report is a weekly publication offering a selection of new and newly discovered Internet resources of interest to researchers and educators, the InterNIC's primary audience. However, everyone is welcome to subscribe to one of the mailing lists (plain text or HTML). Subscription instructions are included at the end of each report.

An Acrobat .pdf version of this report is available for printing and distributing locally. For information on Adobe Acrobat Reader, visit the Adobe site.

In This Issue:

New From Internet Scout

Research and Education

General Interest

Network Tools

New From Internet ScoutAdobe Acrobat .pdf version of the Scout Report
If you print out the email or web version of the Scout Report for posting, distributing, or sending to friends and family, we'd like to thank you. And we'd like to make it easier for you. Beginning this week, we are offering an Adobe Acrobat .pdf version of the Scout Report. The contents are the same as in the email and web versions, but the .pdf version is fully formatted for letter-size printing (and even three-hole punching). If you have any questions about using this new format, please send them to
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Research and Education

Decisions of the International Court of Justice
Decisions of the International Court of Justice (World Court), the main judicial organ of the United Nations, are being made available via the web by the Cornell University Law School. At present, the full texts of four 1996 decisions are available. In addition to the decisions, the site contains information on the Court, a listing of judges, an ICJ resource guide, Statute of the ICJ and United Nations Charter, and annotated pointers to selected international law sites. In the near future, the site plans to make all ICJ decisions available.
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Cornell Theory Center Supercomputing Program for Undergraduate Research
1997 SPUR Program Information
Cornell University's Theory Center is soliciting applications for its 1997 Supercomputing Program for Undergraduate Research. The program, which runs from June 1, 1997 to August 1, 1997, "offers students the opportunity to pursue a computational science research project at Cornell. Undergraduate students are selected from colleges and universities across the nation to come to Cornell during the summer to work on a specific research project under the guidance of a Cornell faculty or staff member. Theory Center staff teach the students how to use the high performance computing resources and follow up with consulting assistance throughout the program. Students receive a stipend and have many program expenses paid." 13 SPUR project descriptions are listed at the site, along with application information. Applications are due by February 28, 1997.
For more information send email to:
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CLN--Community Learning Network
The Community Learning Network, provided by the Ministry of Education, Skills and Training in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, is a K-12 pointer site with over 1,200 links to educational resources. Resources are arranged in 10 major categories, including curricular resources, instructional materials, mailing lists, professional development, and school home pages, among others. Although a great deal of content is specific to Canada, there is much here that is of use to educators anywhere. Of particular interest are the nearly 150 instructional materials pointers (in 11 subject areas).
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Argos--Limited area search engine for Ancient and Medieval Studies
"Argos is the first peer-reviewed, limited area search engine (LASE) on the World-Wide Web...[wherein] Quality is controlled by a system of hyperlinked internet indices which are managed by qualified professionals who serve as the Associate Editors of the project." Sites are automatically filtered and then further distilled by a team of editors. This allows Argos to reduce the researchers' effort to locate quality materials on the ancient and medieval world. From the Argos main page additional links to other authoritative sites on related topics are provided. A drawback of this site is that it must be searched, which obscures the depth of its content and places the burden on users to articulate their needs instead of encouraging the exploration of the gathered resources.
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United Nations Peace-keeping Bibliography
The Dag Hammarskjold Library of the United Nations has made available a bibliography of United Nations peace-keeping operations. At present the scope is limited to monographic English language works published between 1945 and 1996. While the site is browsable only (alphabetical), the size of the bibliography (well over three hundred entries at present) makes this a good place to start for anyone interested in this topic. Note that the bibliography contains no items published by or under the auspices of the U.N. itself at this time.
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History of Jazz
Developed by Dan Morgenstern, director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University-Newark, the History of Jazz site chronicles the birth and development of this art form via a series of short essays (40 in all) arranged in chronological order (although the order is not made explicit). Topics covered include the birth of Blues, Big Bands, and Jazz today, as well as the various personalities who have made Jazz what it is. Morgenstern also supplies a recommended listening and reading list.
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This Week's Finds in Mathematical Physics
sci.physics.research; sci.physics; sci.math
This site, provided by Professor John Baez of the University of California-Riverside, provides overviews and reviews of papers that he "finds enjoyable, especially ones that have not yet been published." It is a no-nonsense site that discusses and evaluates new literature in esoteric fields of physics. As such, it is not for the lay person, but it does present almost unbelievably complex concepts in a disarmingly friendly style. One of the unique features of the site is that the weekly issues are extensively cross-referenced. Topics discussed have included Lie groups, adjoint functors, general relativity, and higher dimensional algebra, among others. Note that "this week" refers to when Professor Baez finds the literature, not necessarily when it first appears. Note that This Week's Finds are also posted to three Usenet newsgroups, where discussion about them can occur.
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Psychiatry, Philosophy and Society (PSYPHIL) Mailing List
PSYPHIL is a unique interdisciplinary forum that has been formed to encourage a critical analysis of psychiatric, psychotherapeutic and psychological practices, from a number of different perspectives. The aim of the forum is to draw attention to the ever more extensive and intensive web of "psy-services" that proliferate within societies and to investigate their emergence, consequence, function and legitimacy. Challenging to practitioners and academics alike, this forum is designed to generate puzzlement and to encourage careful critical reflection upon the experience of patients and the practices of psychiatry and related fields of study. To subscribe send email to:
In the body of the message type:
SUB PSYPHIL yourfirstname yourlastname
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General Interest

Hansard--House of Commons Debates
House of Lords Debates
Hansard (House of Commons, British Parliament) debates have recently been made available via the web. The site contains daily oral questions and debates as well as written answers to questions. The debates are both browsable and searchable. The new House of Commons Hansard joins the House of Lords Hansard daily debates database, which has been available since June 10, 1996.
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American Lung Association
The American Lung Association's well organized website contains just the sort of information you might expect: mission statement, donation suggestions, local contact information and activities. The bonus is educational material on lung and related diseases, environmental health, and other topics. These are thorough and provide practical tips for an individual suffering a lung-related condition, a loved one, or the simply curious. Note: some pages are still under development and links may fail.
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U.S. Political Contributions Information
U.S. Federal Election Commission Information on Candidates and Parties:
U.S. Federal Election Commission Databases:
For those Internauts interested on where the money that flows to U.S. political campaigns (Congressional and Presidential) comes from, the Federal Election Commission and FECInfo sites are excellent places to start. The Federal Election Commission, created by a law passed in 1975, is "an independent regulatory agency that discloses campaign finance information, ... enforces the limits, prohibitions and other provisions of the election law, and ... administers the public funding of Presidential elections." Its web site contains summary financial information on the Presidential election, and more detailed information (receipts, contributions, disbursements, and cash on hand, among other variables) on Senate and House elections. For those who want the full story, the FEC provides several of its databases (in .zip format, with format descriptions) for downloading. FECInfo, provided by Tony Raymond, a former employee of the FEC, is a site that allows users to query FEC data for individual contributors (by name and zip code), which candidates have the most cash, detailed information about PACs (Political Action Committees), and which candidates have contributed the most money to their own campaigns, among other data. Raymond claims simply to make FEC data easier to use; his site is in no way affiliated with FEC.
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InfoBeat--Customized news by email
In a medium that is filled with literally thousands of news web sites, InfoBeat delivers on a simple promise: concise daily news sent to your email box. Using basic news services such as Reuters, Tribune Media Services, the Weather Channel, and ESPN SportsTicker, among others, its editors compile personalized news reports. The user enters his or her email address and a profile of the news wanted; at times specified by the user, news, weather, stock, sports, and entertainment is delivered. Users can choose from 21 news, 11 stock, 9 sports, and 18 entertainment categories at present, as well as customized weather. InfoBeat also provides the Instant Weathervane: users send their zip code to InfoBeat and a weather forecast is returned. In addition to customization, the obvious advantage of the site is not having to open a web connection to get the news.
[Note: Site title has changed since the original Scout Report review. Site formerly referred to in the Scout Report as "Mercury Mail."]
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The Rock Guide
Rolling Stone magazine and Magellan have teamed up to create this Internet rock resource directory. Whether you want to find out about an artist or a genre of music, obtain tickets for a show, or even gather information on starting your own music career, this site is an excellent starting point. Content for the site is contributed by _Rolling Stone_, but the structure is very similar to Magellan (discussed in the September 1, 1995 Scout Report). The Rock Guide consists of Internet resources that are categorized, reviewed, and rated. Users can browse by genre or search the directory. There are sections on artists, music genres, magazines, books, merchandise, musical instruction, the music business, performances, clubs, online chat and discussion and more.
[Note: When last checked by the Internet Scout team, this site URL was no longer available.]
[Note: When last checked by the Internet Scout team, this site URL was no longer available.]
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Outside Online's Coverage of the 1996 NYC Marathon [RealAudio]
If you can't make it to the Big Apple to be one of the 30,000 runners in this year's marathon, you can still enjoy live coverage of the event on Outside Online's website. In preparation for race day, visitors to the site can read background on this year's field of runners, profiles of notable participants (Tegla Loroupe, Joyce Chepchumba, and Martin Fiz), and a recap of last year's race. The centerpiece of this year's coverage should be the heavy breathing of marathoner Ken Shelton, who will be wired for sound as he runs the race. Internauts with RealAudio installed will experience a new dimension in race coverage.
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A New Usenet
The moderated newsgroup "" is intended to provide for well-tempered discussions, including, but not limited to, the following topics: financial planning, taxation, saving and investing, insurance planning, retirement planning, and estate planning. General discussion concerning the different types of investments would be welcome; however, recommendations of specific stocks or investments are not allowed. Note that the moderator will not permit posts offering professional or other advice, services or products for remuneration.
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Network Tools

LookSmart--Subject directory [Java, JavaScript]
The new LookSmart subject directory, a part of the Readers Digest World website, contains at present over 110,000 sites arranged in ten major subject categories, with numerous subcategories. The main advantage to the site is a layout that allows the user to see subcategories for each category while the main categories are still on the screen, which aids navigation. All web sites contain short annotations. The site boasts of its simple search interface (it does not support Boolean queries), and also contains a "favorites" section, which users can personalize. Most of the sites are commercial in nature. The quality of the sites in the main directory varies, as in all directories, but LookSmart is an interesting attempt to provide a site directory that appeals to the general audience, and that attempts to "condense" the Internet, just as Readers Digest condenses literature. Note that Java and/or Javascript enhance the usability of the site, but are not necessary.
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c|net has added yet another service to its arsenal, DOWNLOAD.COM. This new site is a "source for commercial demos, drivers, and patches, with access to shareware and freeware applications." In addition to search capability, the site offers users a browsable directory with (at present) nine subject categories, from business to utilities. Each category is further divided into several subcategories. The site also offers a beginners tutorial explaining how to download software (Toolkits) as well as brief profiles of notable shareware and freeware authors (Profiles). Although in no way as comprehensive as c|net's SHAREWARE.COM (discussed in the December 22, 1995 issue of the Scout Report), DOWNLOAD.COM's offers a more user-friendly interface to the world of software on the Internet. Note that the level of overlap between products between SHAREWARE.COM and DOWNLOAD.COM is unknown at this time.
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After Dark Online
If you're a Macintosh user who has envied the PointCast screensavers of your PC-based colleagues, Berkeley Systems and MacUser have teamed up to even the score. Now Mac users can have almost-instant news and a crawling ticker-tape on their screens during idle moments as well. Available free, this limited version of the familiar After Dark control panel comes with four modules: USA Today, ZD Net, Sports Illustrated Online, and DBC Financial News; each may be customized to show only topics and tickers that the user specifies. The Randomizer rotates content at user-specified intervals. If you have the connection speed and the desire, you can start getting news, information, and advertisements delivered to your sleeping Mac.
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Copyright Susan Calcari, 1996. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the Scout Report provided the copyright notice and this paragraph is preserved on all copies. The InterNIC provides information about the Internet to the US research and education community under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation: NCR-9218742. The Government has certain rights in this material.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Wisconsin - Madison, the National Science Foundation, AT&T, or Network Solutions, Inc.

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