Thursday, December 01, 2005

Digital Nugget: digital identity and password

40% of helpdesk calls are related to password problems by ZDNet's ZDNet Research -- According to Passlogix, roughly 40% of calls made to corporate help-desks are related to password problems. 220,000 USPS employees made 30,000 calls each month to have their passwords reset, Business Week says.

This means management of passwords securely is getting more and more complicated as more and more crucial websites you register. Passwords are keys to your digital identity assigned to each website. As long as registration to Korean websites are concerned, it is required that I should enter my resident registration number, which is comparable with social security number in the United States. Therefore, your password is a key to your most important information as a citizen.

My strategy of memorizing crucial passwords is to record them into a password-secured application in my PDA. It is ironic that I still have to learn THE password to have approach to my passwords. Keeping key to my personal identity information by safe password is needed to avoid possible identity theft.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Digital Nugget: Pittsburgh Bloggers

Pittsburgh Webloggers

This site is a good example of blogsphere of a certain type: regional bloggers. Bloggers from the great Pittsburgh are welcome to register their own blogs for free on this site. Pittsburgh Webloggers aims to form an on-line community, and to go ahead into an off-line community in the future. While blogs are known as connecting physically dispersed people by comments and trackbacks, they can also be buds of a regional community where gatherings of the similar location, category, description can take places.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Digital Nugget: Copyright management

Freshmen orientation includes copyright and plagiarism. Too much attenion might not be enought when the literary piracy can result in serious legal problems. Contents on the World Wide Web as well requires extra causions in creditting their creators. There are a variety of ways developed in order to catch out the improper attempt of copying even a short part of other works.

However, movements such as the Free Culture questioned this strict full application of the copyright, and suggested lighter levels of licenses. My previous posting on the Creative Commons is a representative example. We can search contents licensed as free to use, share, or modify, even commercially registered on the Creative Commons website with embedded Google and Yahoo search engines for works being licensed less heavily. Those two search engines embrace this as valid that their advanced search options also include the "usage rights": as seen in the Google Advanced Search and Yahoo!'s advanced web search.

Google Advanced Search
As seen above, there is an option for filtering search results with certain usage rights. Default value refers to the general search. Four levels of different licensed contents are: free to use or share, free to use or share even commercially, free to share or modify, and free to share or modify even commercially.

Yahoo!'s advanced web search
Yahoo!s advanced web search has featured this as searching against the Creative Commons website. On the while, Google's usage rights search does not directly mentions of the site. I guess it searches broadly for the sites that contain the CC license notice sentences. Google's option is more in detail, too. Therefore, let's go to Google advanced search to find out some free articles.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Digital Nugget: Creative Commons license

I really enjoyed reading Lessig's Free Culture mostly because I am juggling with potential copyright issues lurking around the Wikipedia in University project. I became his fan at reading his reasobable assertion on the dominance of permission culture, and how he has fought for the free culture (and has lost before.) As a sign of showing my agreement and support, I decided to put the CC (Creative Commons) license mark on my blog. Creative Commons, where Lessig is a chairman, suggested bloggers like you and me a way to choose to what level of rights we endow to the readers of our blogs, and also to let them know the choice. Click here to find out how to do it. I have selected the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License, which you can see on the left down.



Along with the CC website, you can also read a brief but penetrating article by Laura Gordon-Murnane, Intranet Webmaster of the Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. Its title is "Generosity and Copyright: Creative Commons and Creative Commons Search Tools." You will learn about searching creative commons content here, too.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Milestone 10: Algorithmic Thinking

Have I been algorithmic in my life, not knowing it being referred to as such? No when I recall how I tried to solve my PC problems: I tried this after another until things work out by chance. I think the ability of human brain to process multiple thoughts almost synchronously lessened the need of algorithmic thinking. However, my answer can become yes if I pay a little more attention to each step I take when in act because I cannot do multiple things synchronously. In Korea, we call such people who seem to have acquired algorithmic thinking by nature as the "men of engineers' mind." I believe anyone can learn how to get familiar with such mindset.

Algorithmic thinking makes you more "fluent" in digital environment because it is the way machines including personal computers understand and process human input and command. They say computers cannot deal with ambiguity: therefore, the possibility of different interpretations should be removed or minimized by formalization or dividing workflow into single activities. It is the ultimate potential of PC to be able to facilitate complex human thinking. Researches of artificial intelligence and expert system are serving this purpose, even though there are long way to go...

ps. I add this after Yang's presentation on the pathway her team took in designing near-duplicate detection in letters with aid of computers. What seemed like a 'magic (according to Yang)' at the first glance turned out to comprise of segmented procedures. I know similar approaches in clustering text corpus for better search and retrieval in the information science. Yes, digital technology is amazing as it can serve in various areas with diverse aims.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Digital Nugget: Ill side effect of Hactivism

I am adding my belated two cents here about Hacktivism because I have read an interesting Hacktivism story aroused by nationalism among Asian countries.

August 15th is Korean Independence Day because Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945. Not only Korea but other nearby Asian countries also commemorate this day as the national memorial of the end of the World War II.

In celebration the 60th year of the end of the war on last August 15th, and as a protest to the recent Japanese nostalgic movement toward its imperialistic period, a group of Chinese hackers (or Hacktivists) had attacked Japanese official sites and Yasukuni shrine website. This news has the detail of actual sabotage at http://www.asiamedia.ucla.edu/article.asp?parentid=13424. According to this news, most hackings involved with Denial of Service (DOS) by making unusually heavy server traffic.

I am concerned that Chinese hackers implicated Korean servers to detour the IP addresses of their own country previously banned by Japanese. Isn't this worth an obvious case of Hacktivism side-effect or drawback? Apart from the fact I agree with Jon that they are wrong as they break copyright of others’ websites, what I see as riskier is that they seem to justify their wrongdoing as they abuse their cause. If I Imagine a Japanese website administrator under attack figures out the origin of malicious service requests, and then bans the entire IP bandwidth, then implicated servers in Korea may be blindly accused and banned for Hacktivism even though they have nothing to do with the virtual attack of the Chinese hacking group. What is lost for nothing is free access and mutual communication channel across the East Sea between Japan and Korea, when Hactivism from the third country intervenes above being moderate. I, therefore, think that Hactivism's adverse side effects are so huge that it cannot justify its cause, how effective their unproven shocking impact may be.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Nugget: Information Poor & Information Don't Care - a Librarian's View

Jessamyn West, an activist librarian in Vermont and an editor of Librarian.netwhich is a site for connecting library professionals to information all over the Internet, gave a presentation on the "Information Poor & the Information Don't Care: Small Libraries and the Digital Divide yesterday" on Oct 26, 2005. The content is as interesting as its title itself. In her slides, she quoted the Pew report on the Digital Divide in the United States and Vermont Telecommunications plan to illustrate the demographic contrasts of digital divide. She commented on what good and what side effects public access computing libraries provide to the public might have, while suggesting possible solutions. This would enrich the "Information Poor" with free and well-aided access to the Internet. On the while, there are another group of people who are lack of interest in information, even in libraries. It was unique that she attributed this phenomenon not only to the poor user interface and technical support, but also partly to the filtering by the USA Patriot Law and copyright enforcement. I think the latter attribution of the 'information don't care' to filtering and copyright enforcement is hasty or farfetched because patrons' holding back of further use of information is preceded by the curiosity for information being aroused. It might happen when patrons come to the library to find out and evaluate information regardless of gaps or extortions.