The Scout Report -- Volume 12, Number 4

January 27, 2006

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

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum [pdf, Real Player]

Opened in 1980, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum is a bit different than most Presidential Libraries as the Library is located on the campus of The University of Michigan, while the museum is in Grand Rapids, MI. Of course, visitors to the website will not notice this geographical separation, as they can meander through materials from both locations here. First-time visitors will want to look through the biographical information on the President and his wife, Betty, and then perhaps scan through a selection of the historical photographs that document their childhood and adult lives. Researchers and academics will appreciate the wide range of historical documents contained within the site, which include a range of documents related to the war in Vietnam and campaign documents from Fords 1976 presidential bid. From there, visitors will want to click on over to the Ford Museum area, which contains a number of archived online exhibits, including a multimedia exploration of the Watergate crisis, complete with film clips of news coverage. [KMG]

Native Networks [Macromedia Flash Player, pdf]

Over the past few years, Native Americans have made significant contributions in a host of different media, including television, radio, and film. Involved in all aspects of this type of artistic and cultural expression, many Native Americans have also looked for a way to disseminate their substantial efforts in this arena. Fortunately, there is the Native Networks website (first launched in 2001), designed to provide information about such creations. The website was created by the Film and Video Center of the National Museum of the American Indian, and contains information about upcoming Native American film festivals and close-up profiles of people actively working in the field. Some of these features include material on the indigenous video makers in Mexico and an in-depth look at the film House Made of Dawn, which deals with a young Pueblo man in crisis. The site is available in both Spanish and English versions. [KMG] [pdf] (Last profiled on February 12, 1999)

Online since January 1999, continues to serve as a fine resource for those with a penchant for state government and various developments that bear directly on all 50 states. Funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, the site has grown significantly since it was last profiled by the Scout Report, and now includes a host of new and improved features. From their well-designed homepage, visitors can view a list of top stories and read original content as well as news reports created by staff writers. Those persons looking for coverage on specific topics will want to look through their list of issues, which include education, elections, homeland security, and transportation. The staff members have also created an online archive of governors addresses from their respective states dating back to 2000. The site is rounded out by the inclusion of their fine annual report State of the States. [KMG]

World Intellectual Property Organization [pdf]

As with many forms of international governance, it is difficult to understand the complex lattice-like structure that protects intellectual property across the globe. Headquartered in Geneva, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is responsible for administering 23 international treaties that deal with various aspects of intellectual property protection. For those who may be less familiar with the nuances of this complex field, the About area is a good place to start. Here users can learn about the nature of trademarks, industrial designs, and emerging issues in intellectual property. After consulting this part of the site, users may wish to continue on to the News & Information Resources area, which contains access to the WIPO Magazine, the Intellectual Property Digital Library, and information about upcoming events and conferences. Finally, the site also contains specific information about the various treaties that protect the rights of intellectual property across international borders. [KMG]

The Library of Congress: Webcasts [Real Player]

Perhaps you, gentle user, are looking for an insightful and contemplative 45-minute talk on Beethoven? Maybe you would like to learn more about the nature of Cold War realpolitik? Fortunately, the Library of Congresss Webcasts website has these topics well covered, along with 301 like-minded talks. Over the past six years, the Library of Congress has documented several hundred of the talks, discussions, and conferences that have taken place under its leadership. On this site, visitors have access to all of these talks in their entirety, along with webcasts from the National Book Festival. Visitors can scan through a complete list of all 303 webcasts, or browse a thematic list that organizes the talks into areas such as religion, government, and education. Some of the webcasts are particularly engaging, such as John Hope Franklins talk on his own life as well as John Irvings appearance at the 2005 National Book Festival. [KMG]

National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression [pdf]

Founded in 1981, the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD) is a not-for-profit public charity that is primarily concerned with raising funds for the purpose of researching severe psychiatric disorders. Since its inception, they have awarded over $180 million in grants to a variety of research institutions. On their well-designed site, visitors can review information about the research supported by their generosity and fundraising. For most visitors the most valuable section of the site will be the Disorders & Conditions area. Here they can view a number of fact sheets that provide a basic background on a host of conditions, including bipolar disorder, autism, and suicide. The Research Center area is quite helpful as well, as it contains information about applying for grants from NARSAD and also provides profiles of researchers in the field. The site is rounded out by an archive of their in-house quarterly newsletter dating back to 2000. [KMG]

General Interest

Central Park

As one of the worlds greatest urban green spaces, Central Park is loved by dyed-in-the wool New Yorkers as well as visitors to the city. This reverential website provides detailed information about this fine public space and the activities that take place within its confines. On this site, visitors can look over maps of the park, learn about the parks many attractions, and browse a selection of photographs of this fine urban paradise. The homepage contains much of this material, along with a Central Park News feature, which provides news updates about goings on throughout Central Park. For those planning a visit to the park, the Events area will be most useful, as it provides information about such pastimes as rock climbing, ice skating lessons, and yoga. [KMG]

The British Library: Listen to Nature [Real Player]

The British Library's new Listen to Nature web site features 400 recordings selected from the more than 150,000 animal sounds held by the Library. Listen to Nature can be browsed by location, animal type, or habitat. Maps are provided with red dots plotting the locations of recordings; clicking any dot launches a player and the sound file. Alphabetical lists of animal sounds also accompany maps from the region. Visitors are invited to search the Catalogue, in this case the combined catalogue of the British Library Sound Archive, which includes all types of recorded sound. It is best to use the advanced search, limit searches to Wildlife sounds, and look for the "Electronic access" link. On a recent visit we heard loons, wolves, and a whip-poor-will recorded in Canada, enjoying the ability to hear sounds originally captured in North America sent back to us from the UK via the Internet. [DS]

Intelligent Designs on Evolution [Real Player]

Recently, many interested parties have taken up the debate surrounding intelligent design and the teaching of evolution in public schools. While it can be hard to sort through the vast debates surrounding these issues, the good people at American Radio Works have created this thoughtful and introspective website that explores some of the issues surrounding this important topic. Under the careful direction of Mary Beth Kirchner, the documentary takes a look at some of the people involved in the debates, and features interviews with high school teachers, intelligent design theorists, and others. After listening to the documentary, visitors will also want take a look at the sites other features, such as an interview with Professor Ted Peters (a theology professor) and a selection of additional relevant sites, such as those for the National Center for Science Education and the Institute for Creation Research. [KMG]

Brittingham Family Lantern Slide Collection

For many well-to-do American families in the late 19th century, tours of the Continent were quite fashionable, and in some quarters, almost expected. The Brittingham family of Madison, Wisconsin, was no exception, and they spent a great deal of time documenting their travels (and home life) through a wide range of photographic images. This collection, created by the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections Center, brings together over 1600 of these lantern slides, all of which were created between 1897 and 1922. In the collection, visitors will find images of scenic landscapes, street scenes, and domestic life from 22 states and 32 countries. Here visitors can delight in seeing the entire clan at their homestead in Wisconsin as well as in Port Antonio, Jamaica. Overall, the site provides insight into both the life of the Brittinghams and the social and cultural world they were a part of during the Gilded Age. [KMG]

James River Plantations [Macromedia Flash Player, pdf]

Floating down the James River through the Chesapeake Bay, one begins to take note of the stately plantations that line the banks of this body of water, particularly around Richmond. As part of their ongoing Travel Itinerary series, the National Park Service has created this tribute to the cultural and historic landscape along the James River. What is particularly striking about the site is its ability to tell the stories of these plantations in a way that is well rounded in its perspective and its incorporation of compelling maps and narrative descriptions. To get a better sense of the history of the region, visitors may want to start by reading one (or all) of the three essays offered on the site. Of course, the visually inclined may wish to look at an interactive map offered on the site that will allow them access to information about a number of the plantations, such as the ancestral manses of Kittiewan or Westover. [KMG]

Department of Transportation: Digital Special Collections [pdf]

While the design of this site is fairly basic, the information contained within will be of great interest to those with a penchant for the world of American transportation history. Created by the Department of Transportation, the site contains a wide range of transportation-related documents, ranging from FAA reports to ICC railroad investigative reports dating from 1911 to 1993. One particularly nice clutch of documents includes the papers of H.S. Fairbank, Frank Turner, and T.H. MacDonald. All three men were intimately involved with massive road building and construction projects both in the United States and abroad, and these documents provide insights into the initial phases of the construction of the Federal Interstate Highway System and the even earlier days of the Bureau of Public Roads. [KMG]

Network Tools

WinReminders 1.8.11

These days, one can hardly be expected to remember the litany of events (important or otherwise) that seem to cascade through the weeks and months like the countless millions of drops of water in a swift-moving stream. Fortunately, this application can help users do just that. WinReminders is a tool that can help users stay on top of birthdays, upcoming work events, and bill payments through their automatic event reminder system. The application also features an integrated calendar for reviewing and editing such reminders and network support in order to facilitate the sharing of data between users. This version is compatible with all computers running Windows 98 or newer. [KMG]

HTTrack Website Copier 3.40

While it is getting easier to find free wireless Internet access around the country, there are still some areas in which it is still difficult to obtain such an amenity. For those who need to work or browse on websites while offline, HTTrack Website Copier 3.40 will be a most welcome find. With this application, users can download a site straight from the Internet to a local directory. The application stores all of the HTML and images from the site, which makes viewing the site quite simple. This version of HTTrack Website Copier is compatible with all computers running Windows 98 or newer. [KMG]

In The News

Concern Grows over Privacy on the Internet

Search Engines and Privacy Rights on the Web [Real Player]

Why Google Wont Give In

Google censors itself for China

Im not nuts: they really are out to get you,,1072-2006482,00.html

The Coming Tug of War Over The Internet

Survey Finds Solid Opposition to Release of Google Data to Feds,10801,107993,00.html

Last week, the Justice Department announced that in an effort to uphold an online pornography law, it would begin to ask a number of companies, including Yahoo and Google, to turn over users search queries. While some companies acquiesced with their request, Google continues to resist, and the resulting media attention and public concern has continued to make many anxious. This week, a number of developments have continued to unfold, as a number of commentators have publicly chastised those companies that submitted to the Justice Departments request. In another intriguing development, Google has acquiesced to a request from the Chinese government to censor access to thousands of sensitive terms and sites for those persons using their search engine. In a statement to the press, Google remarked, While removing search results is inconsistent with Googles mission, providing no informationis more inconsistent with our mission. This decision upset a number of groups as well, including the group Reporters Without Borders, who remarked that this form of self-censorship was a real shame. [KMG]

The first link will take users to an audio feature from NPR that includes a number of guests discussing the recent action taken by the Justice Department. Those featured include Professor Tom Lee of Brigham Young University and Xeni Jardin, a NPR technology reporter. The second link will take users to a news piece from that talks about the implications this recent action will have for a number of different companies, including Microsoft and America Online. The third link leads to a nice piece of reporting from the BBC that offers additional information about Googles decision to censor its search services in China. The fourth link whisks users away to an impassioned editorial piece in the Times by David Rowan about this recent bit of unpleasantness. The fifth link leads to a well-written piece by Christopher Stern (writing for the Washington Times) about the continuing tug of war over the nature of access to the Internet. The final link leads to a piece from Computer World that shows significant support for Googles refusal to turn over web search results to the Justice Department. [KMG]

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From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2006.

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Copyright Internet Scout Project, 1994-2006. 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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Max GrinnellEditor
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