Pointers: Recommended reading

Research beyond Google
Source: Inside Higher Ed
www.insidehighered.com
Two universities are trying to improve the research skills of students who have become overly dependent on Google and other Internet tools.

According to a recent article in “Inside Higher Ed,” Cornell University and the University of California at Berkeley are bringing together faculty and research experts to develop assignments that incorporate training in solid research methodology.

The goal is to expose students to “a set of research practices and a mind-set that encourages critical thinking about competing online sources,” the article states.


The real snail mail
Source: New Scientist Blogs
www.newscientist.com/blog/technology
Researchers at Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom have developed an e-mail application that delivers messages via snails equipped with radio frequency identification chips.

According to the New Scientist Technology Blog, the snails, moving at 0.03 mph, pick up e-mail messages when they pass an electronic reader and deliver them when they reach a reader at the other end of their tank.


Web 2.0 meets presidential politics
Source: techPresident
www.techPresident.com
Should voters be concerned that John McCain doesn’t know how to use a computer? Not according to Mark Soohoo, the McCain campaign’s deputy Internet director. But a former Internet guru on the staff of former presidential candidate John Edwards begs to differ — and techPresident.com captured her on video.

The site bills itself as a “group blog that covers how the 2008 presidential candidates are using the Web...and how content generated by voters is affecting the campaign.”

One of its latest ventures was a debate on technology and government featuring representatives of McCain and Barack Obama, which was channeled via Twitter.


After the flood
Source: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
www.nga-earth.org
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s crisis response Web portal now provides public access to some unclassified commercial-satellite imagery of waterlogged regions in the Midwest.

The NGA Earth application allows users to choose from three views: a map, aerial imagery or combination of the two. A user could begin with a map, zooming in on Des Moines, Iowa, or St. Louis before switching to the aerial view.

The NGA Web site, created after Hurricane Katrina, supports the Federal Emergency Management Agency and first responders who are coping with disasters such as this month’s floods.

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