techculture & cyberculture

Techculture & Cyberculture

Survey of Open Source Adoption and Usage

Greetings. We are conducting a preliminary online survey aimed at assessing the role of open source software in the scholarly and pedagogical practices of the Rhetoric & Composition and English Studies community. As a scholar and teacher of Rhetoric & Composition and/or of English Studies, you are being invited to participate in this survey. Please take a few moments to respond to this very brief ten-question survey on the subject at the link provided below.

wireless social networking

The October 10 edition of Spokane's Spokesman Review carried a story about wireless social networking for members. (You'll need to buy an account to read the whole story so I took out the link.) The network provides wireless access to members, as long as you are willing to share your wireless with other members. This means free wi-fi wherever the service is available in Europe and the US, if you are a member. The service requires a router that allows for an individual's private access and secured member access at the same time.

Wither Wikipedia

Bill Thompson over at the BBC has a piece up over impending changes at Wikipedia. It seems the roll out of the German version will include a whole new level of admin. control. Gone, it appears are the days of "publish and edit." As Thompson asks

The large number of control features that are being added to Wikipedia, raise an interesting question for all who care about the site and its content: when does the Wikipedia stop being a wiki and just become another website?

Thompson is right to pose this question about what is it that makes a wiki a wiki? Does requiring new stories and edits to existing content make Wikipedia something less than a wiki? If every addition and edit needs to be vetted by an admin, then as Thompson says,

that's hardly the basis for a revolution in the way human knowledge is gathered and distributed, is it?

While I'm no wiki purist, it does seem that adding a layer of admin.

Aggregator Digg.com Expanding

Editor and Publisher reports that Digg.com, a Web site that ranks and displays news items based on recommendations from its users, is expanding to include video and topics beyond technology. Currently, users are limited to posting and reading items on security, digital music, robots and other tech-related categories.

Beginning Monday, they will be able to post and have access to world, business and entertainment news, along with non-news video. Games and science also will break out of the general technology section.

Searching for the soul in the machine

The European Commission’s Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) initiative is funding the NEW TIES project, which seeks to create a "computer society" of software agents capable of developing their own culture and language. From the intro of the feature story "Searching for the Soul in the Machine":

If computers could create a society, what kind of world would they make? Thanks to the work of an ambitious project that adds a whole new meaning to the phrase, ‘computer society’, in which millions of software agents will potentially evolve their own culture, we could be about to find out.

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