The Scout Report -- Volume 11, Number 38

September 23, 2005

A Publication of the Internet Scout Project
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Sponsored by University of Wisconsin - Madison Libraries.

Research and Education

General Interest

Network Tools

In The News

Research and Education

The Kaiser Family Foundation: Medicare and Medicaid at 40 [Real Player, pdf]

The Medicare and Medicaid health programs are two of the most influential government policies. Signed into law forty years ago, they have continued to provide medical protection to a wide range of people in American society. To celebrate and document the achievements of this program, the Kaiser Family Foundation has created this site, which contains a number of helpful materials, including a retrospective video, a timeline of key developments in the history of Medicare and Medicaid, and some key statistics on the program. The site also provides access to a number of crucial articles from the journal Health Affairs. Some of these pieces include Medicare, Medicaid, And Health Care Quality by William L. Roper and What Does It Take To Run Medicare and Medicaid? by Nancy-Ann DeParle.

Center for the Built Environment [pdf]

There are a number of thinktanks and policy groups dedicated to exploring the built environment, and the Center for the Built Environment (CBE) is perhaps one of the most intriguing of the entire group. Created in 1997 by a group of industry and government leaders, the CBE at the University of Berkeley is supported by a major grant from the National Science Foundation and several other institutional partners. Visitors to the sites homepage can learn about the CBEs overall mission and their newest findings. One of the key areas of the site is the research section, as it affords access to information on their current research areas, which includes work on radiant cooling systems and wireless lighting control. Visitors will also want to peruse and perhaps download some of their publications, which include such titles as Measuring Indoor Environment Quality. [KMG]

Informed Public Perceptions of Nanotechnology and Trust in Government [pdf]

Public perception and understanding of science and technology can be a difficult and daunting subject. This latest report from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, authored by Dr. Jane Macoubrie, explores public attitudes toward the growing field of nanotechnology. In its 31-pages, the report reveals that the public is interested in the potential advances afforded by this technology, which exploits the unique behavior of materials and devices when engineered at a scale of roughly between one and one hundred nanometers. The report also shows that people are concerned about the general lack of consumer awareness of the field and the potential lack of government oversight of this rapidly emerging technology. As David Rejeski, the director of the Project on Emerging Technologies commented recently, The kinds of safety measures and disclosure the public wants make sense in terms of both long-term corporate strategy and good public policy. [KMG]

Las Vegas: An Unconventional History

As part of the PBS series American Experience, this well-designed site
explores the history and idiosyncrasies of Las Vegas. The film, and
accompanying book, which the web site is based on will both be available
this fall (the film airs in November on PBS), and the site certainly
whets viewers appetites for both. A nice range of information is
covered on the site which includes everything from information about
Nevada's nuclear testing in the fifties, to Rat Pack reminiscences and of
course, wedding photos. If you'd like to share your own Vegas wedding
tale there is an interactive portion of the site dedicated to the topic.
Packed with time lines, a teacher's guide, maps and much more this site
(and film and book by the same name) are worthy of attention. [REB]

Interactive Dig Sagalassos: City in the Clouds

At the beginning of the 18th century, Sagalassos, City in the Clouds, was discovered in Turkey. Upon first seeing the ruined city, Paul Lucas, on a mission for Louis XIV, described the ruined city as someplace once inhabited by fairies. Over a century later, the preserved ruins of Sagalassos were considered indispensable by students of antiquity, and in modern times, the site has been excavated extensively by a team of scholars from the Catholic University of Leuven. This site is designed by the good people at Archaeology Magazine for people interested in the site who cannot make it to Turkey themselves. On the site, visitors can read field reports from the different areas of the site (such as the Roman baths located there), look at the Find Of Week item, and learn about the daily life in and around the camp. Additionally, visitors would do well to consult the map of the excavation site in order to accurately gauge their bearings within the ancient city and Turkey. [KMG]

Trust for Americas Health [pdf]

With a genuine and informed concern for the American populace, the Trust for Americas Health (TFAH) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that is dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. By assembling a team of topical experts and policy analysts, they have been able to offer broad appraisals of the various public health issues (and potential crises) that are affecting the country. Their website provides the web-browsing public ample access to the wide range of material they have generated through their work. The Current Reports area on the homepage contains such timely reports as How Obesity Policies are Failing in America 2005 and Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities:The Search for Causes and Cures. Another very helpful feature is the Your States Health section. Here, visitors can click on any state they might be interested in and receive some brief statistics on such areas as the percentage of adults with asthma or the percentage of obese adults. Additionally, visitors can learn about each states cancer tracking mechanisms and bioterrorism preparedness. [KMG]

General Interest

Eternity Travel

There are a number of novel and intriguing ways to present information via the web, and the Museum of Science in Boston has struck on one with this rather fine site. With the intent of introducing interested parties to the world of funerary practices in ancient Egypt, the site allows visitors to spend 3300 debens (an unit of currency from that period) on selecting their own tomb, mummification, mummy case, and extras (such as an amulet or a statuette). Visitors begin by reading a welcome statement about this process, and they can add items to their shopping cart, all the while learning about this fascinating aspect of world history. Of course, visitors can also click on a number of hypertext links embedded within the item descriptions to learn more such topics as the benefits of selecting a shallow urban grave or a canopic jar. [KMG]

The Bisbee Deportation of 1917

American labor history, like other aspects of social history, is highly contested and often emotionally charged. One particularly compelling event in labor history was the Bisbee Deportation of 1917. The events took place in Arizona, and soon gained national and international currency as a well-known labor dispute between copper mining companies and their workers. As the striking miners at Bisbee were summarily deported into New Mexico, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) a more radical union, quickly became involved as well. This compelling web exhibit deals with this event, and draws on a number of primary resources from the University of Arizona Library, the Arizona Historical Society, and the Sharlot Hall Museum. First-time visitors will want to start at the history section of the site, where they can learn about the primary leaders and participants in the Bisbee Deportation. The primary sources area is quite useful as it provides first-hand recollections and newspaper accounts of these events, including articles from The Tucson Citizen and The Los Angeles Times. Educators will appreciate the Teachers Corner section, as it contains a number of helpful pedagogical resources, including a role playing activity for students and a selection of activities that are designed to work in tandem with the available images archived here. [KMG]

Geologic Time: The Story of a Changing Earth [Macromedia Flash Player]

Its hard imagining how one could fit the entirety of geologic time onto one website, but the staff members of the department of paleobiology at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History have done an excellent job with this site. The intent of the site is to provide an interactive timeline of geological history, beginning with the Hadean eon and proceeding all the way to the current day. After a compelling introductory section, visitors are led into the elegant timeline interface which allows them to explore the sites primary contents. Using a drag tool, visitors can move around the span of the different geological eons, eras, periods, and epochs in a direct fashion. Clicking on each of the icons within each division of time brings up a brief overview of each segment, along with a map of each period, complete with various renderings of the conditions that existed on the Earth at the time. Visitors will also appreciate the Foundational Concepts area, which provides a foundation for understanding the nature of geology, such as the importance of different dating methods and earth processes. Overall, this site is extraordinarily helpful, both for the general public and for more seasoned amateur geologists. [KMG]

A Portrait of the Visual Arts: Meeting the Challenges Of A New Era [pdf]

The world of the visual arts is, at times, a chaotic one. There are a myriad of different institutions attempting to garner the attention of experts in the field, the general public, and various philanthropic organizations. It can be a complex landscape, but this latest report from the RAND organization goes a long way to document the many challenges that the visual arts community faces. While some pundits have described a largely positive portrait of the visual arts, this 152-page report released in August 2005, offers a bit of a more critical perspective on the current situation. Among its many findings, the report notes that the growth in overall museum attendance in recent years is primarily a product of population growth and higher education levels, rather than a result of museums' attempts to broaden the diversity of their audience. The report also suggests that the majority of the art museums around the country will need to ask a number of key questions, including what their primary goal is and how will they measure their success. [KMG]

No job for a woman: The effects of war on womens lives during the 20th and 21st century

Throughout the 20th and 21st century, women have played a variety of roles during various military conflicts, both on the homefront and on the front lines of battle. This online exhibit from the Imperial War Museum in Britain explores some of the complexities faced by women during these conflicts. The site is divided into four primary sections, including those that deal with both World Wars. Within each section, visitors can look at some of the activities that draw on the extensive visual documentation offered within. Some of the more fascinating activities here include War babes: Stereotypes, Pin-ups and Prejudice and A womans place is in the home. Even the most casual visitors will enjoy the wide range of digitized photographs offered here, such as shots of female air mechanics working on the fuselage of an Avro Biplane and an anti-nuclear demonstration in front of the Imperial War Museum from the 1980s. [KMG]

The American Distance Education Consortium [pdf, Real Player]

Interest in distance education within institutions of higher learning dates as far back as the correspondence programs first offered by the University of Chicago and Columbia University in the late 19th century. There are a host of organizations currently involved in disseminating and promoting the cause of distance education, the American Distance Education Consortium (ADEC), is one of the most notable. The ADEC is composed of approximately 65 state university and land grant colleges and as an organization is primarily concerned with creating a model of distance education that will provide instructional delivery and access anywhere and anytime. On their site, visitors can learn about a host of distance learning delivery technologies, read up on best practices developed by ADEC member institutions and individuals, and federal programs and grants designed to assist those with an interest in the subject. [KMG]

Network Tools

Active Web Reader v2.42

With the assistance of Active Web Reader v2.42, one can more effectively keep track of new RSS feeds as they are made available, and also keep track of old favorites. The programs interface makes it quite easy to read the feeds, and it can also monitor web site changes. With the programs auto discovery feature, users can also browse websites as they add feeds to their favorites list. This version of Active Web Reader is compatible with all operating systems running Windows 98 or newer. [KMG]

USA PhotoMaps 2.75

Whether the location is down the block or across the globe, this helpful application can help you find and map it. USA PhotoMaps 2.75 downloads USGS aerial photos and topographic map data from Micrsofts TerraServer website and saves it on the users hard drive. Additionally, users can zoom in on any number of areas, view the latitude and longitude lines, and take a closer look at any given photos that may be associated with waypoints. This version is compatible with all operating systems running Windows 98 or newer. [KMG]

In The News

Authors group files lawsuit against Google

Google library push faces lawsuit by US authors

Authors Guild Sues Google, Citing Massive Copyright Infringement

Google Blog: Google Print and the Authors Guild

Google sticks its finger in the Wi-Fi Pie,39024665,39152509,00.htm

The Google Print Library Project: A Copyright Analysis [pdf]

U.S. Copyright Office [pdf]

This week The Authors Guild, a group that represents 8000 US authors,
filed a class action lawsuit against Google Inc. in an attempt to ask
for damages and an injunction that will prevent the company from
continuing their very ambitious digitization project which began in
earnest around one year ago. Many commentators in the world of copyright
law and technology were not surprised by this development as The Authors
Guild has also been involved in attempting to make online publishers pay
royalties to writers whose stories appear in any number of online
databases without their express consent. In a concession to general
concerns about the nature of their project, Google had announced plans
back in August that they would respect the wishes of copyright holders
who contacted the company to inform them that they did not want their
works included in this digitization project. In yet another interesting
development this week, there were rumors around the technology press
that Google may be embarking on an extensive plan to build a significant
WiFi presence across the country. A spokesperson for Google confirmed
that their current test sites are solely limited to two public sites
around their corporate headquarters in Mountain View, California. [KMG]

The first link will take users to a news article from this Tuesdays
Washington Post which provides detailed coverage of the lawsuit filed by
The Authors Guild. The second link leads visitors to the official press
release about the lawsuit from the press office of The Authors Guild.
The third link leads to the official Google weblog entry on the recent
lawsuit. Here visitors can learn about Googles position on the subject,
and peruse a number of relevant external links. The fourth link leads to
a news article from that discusses Googles foray into
providing WiFi service. The fifth link leads a compelling commentary and
analysis on the Google Print project by Jonathan Band. The sixth and
final link leads to the homepage of the U.S. Copyright Office, where
visitors can learn about filing copyrights and how to search for
copyright records. [KMG]

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From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2005.

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Copyright Internet Scout Project, 1994-2005. The Internet Scout Project (, located in the Computer Sciences Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, provides information about the Internet to the U.S. research and education community under a grant from the National Science Foundation, number NCR-9712163. The Government has certain rights in this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the entire Scout Report provided this paragraph, including the copyright notice, are preserved on all copies.

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

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