Nature says Happy (300th) Birthday to Linnaeus

The journal/magazine Nature has a special issue to celebrate the birthday of Linnaeus, who most think of as originating the idea of large-scale classification to understand the world and normalize scientific research.

Carl Linnaeus introduced the systematic classification upon which all subsequent natural history has been built. This Nature web focus brings together a range of material celebrating the tercentenary of his birth in 1707, including features on how the explosion of genetic data changes the way we look at taxonomy, and the conflict between professionals and amateurs when naming species. There are also commentaries by leading taxonomists on the future of their field, articles on Linnaeus’s global network of contacts and even his lost and lamented pet raccoon, original research on the origin of flowering plants and a review on speciation – the first of several such articles to be published this year, which will be added to the web focus over time along with other coverage.

The issue is behind a paywall. How would Linnaeus classify that?

Michigan iSchool creates Social Computing Graduate Program

Now this looks really interesting:

SI MSI Degree: Social Computing Graduate Program:

Social Computing (SC) Specialization

Social computing, including online communities, social networking, and user contributed content, has been the darling of Silicon Valley for the past several years. It has also gained currency in library circles, as venues such as library Web sites incorporate blogging features and sites such as LibraryThing bring recommender technologies to personal book collections.

SI faculty have been leaders in inventing and analyzing many of the underlying techniques that have powered the rise of social computing:

  • Recommender systems
  • Reputation systems
  • Prediction markets
  • Social network analysis
  • Online communities
  • Computer-supported cooperative work

Students pursuing a specialization in Social Computing learn to analyze online social interactions, both in online communities and in more diffuse social networks. They learn about features of social computing technologies so they can recognize opportunities to put them to use in new settings and make good choices about alternative implementations.

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SXSW: Monkey Warfare's Don McKellar

The Austinist has a short, but interesting interview with Don McKellar about his new movie Monkey Warfare.

Don is a favorite writer-director-actor from Toronto. You’re a fool if you don’t watch some his work including:

  • The Red Violin: tracking a violin’s path through history with Samuel L. Jackson (but no snakes or planes), a child prodigy, a Chinese musician in the era of Cultural Revolution and a love-triangle including the violin itself.
  • Last Night: an unusual “end of the world” movie with a small role by David Cronenberg as a dedicated power company employee dealing with the destruction of the planet in the only way he knows how – by thanking all of his customers (how Canadian)
  • Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould : wonderful and insightful and you get to learn what Glenn Gould might eat for lunch.
  • Twitch City: which recently came out on DVD and captures slacker Toronto, in the Kingston Market area perfectly. Watch this now.

pre-pre-SXSWi Meetup (Thursday, March 8, 2007)

Coming to Austin for South by SouthWest? Already in Austin and looking for something to do this evening?

Well, it’s that time of year again, the annual Austin area Information Architects and UT ASIS&T chapter pre-pre-SXSWi Meetup and Happy Hour(s) tonight, Thursday March 8th. If you’re a Web geek, blogger, designer or just about anything else you’re welcome to join us.

We’ll be there tonight from 5-7 at the Cedar Door, which is at 201 Brazos Street. (Map to the Cedar Door ) Lots of Austinites will be there to happily advise out-of-towners on all things SXSWi, Austin, BBQ and so on. (Lots of Austinites will be arguing amongst themselves about SXSWi, Austin and BBQ too.)

Come on by!

Mac tip for right click

If you’re using a Macintosh MacBook Pro (and other Apple notebooks I assume), you need to know this tip:

Put two fingers on your trackpad, keep them there and click the trackpad button. This emulates a “right-click” and opens the contextual menu in most applications that have one.

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