The Scout Report - June 13, 1997

The Scout Report

June 13, 1997

A Publication of the Internet Scout Project
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.

In This Issue:

New From Internet Scout

Research and Education

General Interest

Network Tools

Where Are They Now

New From Internet ScoutAdditions to the Scout Toolkit
New Scout Select Bookmarks
End User's Corner--June 1997
Scout Toolkit
Seven new resources have been added to the Scout Select Bookmarks section of the Toolkit. One Philosophy resource has been added to the Arts and Humanities section. One Biology, one Psychology, and two Statistics resources have been added to the Science, Mathematics, and Engineering section. Two Education resources have been added to the Social Science section. "Classic Books of the Internet--#3, Telecommunications, Mass Media, & Democracy: The Battle for the Control of U.S. Broadcasting, 1928-1935," a review of Professor Robert McChesney's book on the early broadcast reform movement, has been added to the End User's Corner section. [JS]
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Research And Education

Pursuing Excellence: A Study of US Fourth-Grade Mathematics and Science Achievement in International Context--TIMSS
The Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS, discussed in the December 12, 1996 Scout Report), provided by the US Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics, has released the second in its series of Pursuing Excellence reports, this one detailing fourth grade math and science achievement. The report attempts to compare US science and math achievement with that of 26 other TIMSS countries. Several of the findings are encouraging: "in mathematics, U.S. fourth graders perform above the international average of the 26 TIMSS science content areas, [US] fourth graders' performance exceeds the international average in all four of the areas assessed." However, "the international standing of U.S. fourth graders is stronger than that of U.S. eighth graders in both mathematics and science." The previously published eighth grade assessment can be found on the same page. [JS]
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Primordial Soup Kitchen--Cellular Automata Graphics [Java]
Cooked up by chef David Griffeath, mathematics professor at the University of Wisconsin, Primordial Soup Kitchen is a repository for information about "self-organization of random cellular automata," via "computer graphics and animations that illustrate the ability of local parallel update rules to generate spatial structure from disordered initial states." Click on Intro or the spiral from the home page to see the organization of the site, which is made up mainly of "soups" (256-color .gifs), and "recipes," (the soup's update rule along with other information on how it was created). The Java-based CAffeine page offers interactive cellular automata animations. The Kitchen Sink points to other CA pages, and, in keeping with its culinary theme, the Chef's page contains information about the cook, as well as over 30 food recipes. This is an example of complex and esoteric material, presented in a lighthearted and appetizing way. [JS]
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European Integration Online Papers--ECSA Austria
No frames:
The European Community Studies Association Austria provides this new working paper archive to house peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary working papers in the field of European integration research, including legal studies, political science, economics, and history. At present eleven papers are available, including "Democracy and Governance in the European Union," "The Economic Consequences of a Large EMU--Results of Macroeconomic Model Simulations," and "The Making of a Polity: The Struggle Over European Integration." Though English is the preferred language for papers, papers in German may also be included; abstracts are presented in both languages. A mailing list is available for those wishing to be informed when new papers are posted. [JS]
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Two Sites for US Historical Maps
Panoramic Maps 1847-1909--Library of Congress
Color Landform Atlas of the United States--Relaunch
For those with an interest in historical US maps, these two sites will be of value. The Library of Congress has recently added to its American Memory Collections a small preview set of 19th and early 20th century panoramic maps, also known as birds-eye view maps. These are "nonphotographic representations of cities portrayed as if viewed from above at an oblique angle," and, though not drawn to scale, "show street patterns, individual buildings, and major landscape features in perspective." At present, over forty city maps are available from five states, with additional maps scheduled to be added over time. Maps are arranged by geography, subject (place), and keyword (place or creator). Users can change the window size of the image and zoom in or out anywhere on the map, allowing for detailed views of these artworks. Note that heavy traffic at the LOC site may restrict availability at times. Ray Sterner of the Johns Hopkins University has relaunched his Color Landform Atlas of the United States (discussed in the January 17, 1997 issue of the Scout Report). The highlight of this relaunch is the availability of 1895 Rand McNally state maps (for twenty-nine states at present). These maps are very large (usually over one megabyte) and detailed; counties are color-coded and railroad lines rather than roads are shown. [JS]
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WebGarden Resources--Ohio State University
Factsheet Database
Plant Dictionary
Two excellent resources in the Ohio State University's WebGarden, provided by OSU's Horticulture and Crop Science in Virtual Perspective site, are the Factsheet Database and Plant Dictionary. The first is a browsable and searchable database of over 5,500 horticultural factsheets in eleven categories ranging from flowers to perennials to trees and shrubs. These factsheets have been produced by over 40 (mostly university extension) institutions. The Plant Dictionary is a searchable and browsable ornamental plant database of over 1,400 "images and horticultural descriptions for 385 unique species and numerous cultivars." Searching is available on scientific, family, or common name, and a small database of images relating to insects, diseases, or culture of ornamental plants is also available. [JS]
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BIOSCI--Electronic Newsgroup Network for Biology
Journals table of contents:
Usenet access:
BIOSCI is a set of Usenet newsgroups and parallel email forums designed to facilitate communication between bioscience professionals. At the heart of the site is a very briefly annotated listing of the over 100 Usenet BIOSCI newsgroups, each with browsable and searchable archives. It also contains searchable and browsable table of contents lists for over 80 subject-specific journals. In addition, there is a searchable BIOSCI user address database along with submission form, and BIOSCI, Usenet, and Internet documentation. BIOSCI is a great example of a website with a plain grey background that provides opportunities for terrific research information sharing in a very wide field of scientific endeavor. [JS]
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General Interest

Human Development Report 1997 Information--UN Development Programme
Full text order information:
The United Nations Development Programme's Human Development Report Office provides two useful selections from its Human Development Report 1997. Overview of HDR 1997 is a detailed summary of the contents of the report, discussing world poverty and a six point strategy for poverty reduction. HDR 1997 Rankings contain Human Development Index, Gender-Related Development Index and Gender Empowerment Measure rankings tables for 175 countries. More detailed information on the meaning of the HDI is contained in Analytical Tools for Human Development. Full text of the report is forthcoming, and ordering information is available at the site. [JS]
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Surfer Beware: Personal Privacy and the Internet--EPIC
Electronic Privacy Information Center
FTC Public Workshop on Consumer Information Privacy
In conjunction with the US Federal Trade Commission's Public Workshop on Consumer Information Privacy held June 10-13, 1997, the Electronic Privacy Information Center has released this short report, based on its review of "100 of the most frequently visited web sites on the Internet." The report discusses the collection of personal information, privacy policies, and browser cookie use at these sites. An appendix table details results of the review in seven categories. EPIC, a public interest research group that focuses on "emerging civil liberties issues and...privacy," offers a wealth of information related to civil liberties and privacy in the networked environment. The FTC Public Workshop site contains information about the workshop, and links to two pertinent Information Infrastructure Task Force Papers. [JS]
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Money Magazine's Best Places to Live in America 1997
Madison Wisconsin has passed its crown to Nashua New Hampshire in Money Magazine's annual ranking of the best places to live in America. The site contains the entire listing (with last year's rankings in parentheses), along with hypertext links to articles on each city, and snapshot weather, economy, crime, and quality of life figures. Methodology for the survey is briefly described, and interactive features include a query of sixty-three variables to help you determine the best city for you, and a cost of living calculator that compares any two cities. For those interested in following trends, the full 1996 Best Places to Live (discussed in the June 21, 1996 Scout Report) is still available for comparison. [JS]
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Keys to Wealth Enhancement and Preservation----NNEPA
From the National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys, Keys to Wealth Enhancement and Preservation seeks to address many of the issues involved in estate planning. These issues comprise the following sections: Estate Planning, Business Continuity, Charitable Planning, Education Funding, Advanced Strategies, Investment Planning, Retirement Planning and Insurance Strategies. Information is in the form of questions and answers and can be browsed by category or keyword-searched. Note that clicking the * under any category retrieves the entire database of questions and answers for all categories. [ATW]
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The Chairman Smiles--Posters from the Soviet Union, Cuba and China
Drawn from the collection of the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam, this website offers digitized images of both famous and obscure political propaganda posters. The ninety-nine posters are presented on three pages, one each for the Soviet Union, Cuba, and China. Even users with high-bandwidth connections should be patient when accessing these pages, since thumbnails for all thirty-some images load at once. A general introduction heads each page, and artist, title and date are listed for the posters. Each thumbnail links to a larger image of the poster, along with publication and production information and a descriptive caption. Separate pages provide information on the collections and the designers of the posters. Date coverage varies: 1919 to 1938 for the Soviet Union, 1962 to 1968 for Cuba, and c.1950 to 1992 for China. Once ubiquitous, now rarely seen, these posters have found new life on the Web. [ML]
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Network Tools

Netscape Communicator 4.0 Released
Netscape has fired the latest salvo in the browser wars by making available the release version of its Communicator 4.0 web browser (Windows only at this time). The company advertises the new browser as much more than just an Internet portal; it sees it as a "a suite of software components for sharing, accessing, and communicating information via intranets and the Internet." These components allow the browser to act as a web navigator, a mail and news reader, and an HTML authoring tool, among other functions. With this new release, Netscape is also offering a preview release of its new Netcaster, an example of "push" technology that allows users to receive information from "content channels," that can then be viewed offline. [JS]
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C|net's latest rollout,, is a convenient, one stop compendium of its web developer information. Articles from various c|net locations are compiled in the topics of web authoring, graphics and design, servers, hosting & hardware, and marketing and management. Latest articles appear at the top of the page in a section called Top of the Stack. Builder News compiles relevant articles from (discussed in the September 6, 1996 Scout Report), and software reviews are also available. C|net, an acknowledged master at repackaging its content in creative, useful, and profitable ways, looks to have another winner on its hands. [JS]
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Where Are They Now

Volume 1, Number 7: The Scout Report for June 10, 1994
WWW in the Curriculum--World Lecture Hall
Games-Related Information--Games Domain
WWW in the Curriculum was the title of one of the annotations in the June 10, 1994 Scout Report. This meta-resource of "instructional uses of the Web" had pointers to 20 subject areas at that time, and is now more well known as the World Lecture Hall, provided by the University of Texas, Austin. It now contains annotated links to faculty web pages that "deliver class materials" in over 90 subjects, from Accounting to Women's Studies. It is an excellent resource for college and university educators to see how their colleagues are using the Internet for instruction. The same issue also annotated a "weekend scouting" site on games-related information with "Over 100 links to FAQs, home pages, 'net games, walkthroughs, game information, contacts, and more." The site, originally located at the Wolfson Computer Laboratory at the University of Birmingham (UK), has evolved into the well known Games Domain, a site mirrored in Europe, South Africa, and the United States. It contains hundreds of demos and patches, and thousands of links to download sites in various platforms, as well as Games Domain Review, an "independent online magazine written by gamers for gamers." [JS]
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Copyright Susan Calcari, 1994-1997. 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.

The Scout Report (ISSN 1092-3861) is published weekly by Internet Scout

Susan Calcari
Jack Solock
Matthew Livesey
Teri Boomsma
Aimee D. Glassel
Amy Tracy Wells
Managing Editor
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