Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Monday March 8, 2004 Snowing at the "Don't drive if you can avoid it" level this morning. I'd intended to go outside for the first time in several days, but I wasn't dedicated enough.

I did get outside late in the afternoon.

***Writing: There are people who have trouble understanding the difference between "This is what a character confidently says is true" and "This is true". (They include at least one very good sf/fantasy writer.) Such people may have trouble reading "Well Met...". I've now first-drafted the part where the protagonist explains why X can't possibly happen and the part where he finds out that X has already happened.

I also killed a possible romance before it flowered.
From EurekAlert http://www.eurekalert.org/pubnews.php
Public Release: 8-Mar-2004
Evidence suggests that the brain can switch to ‘automatic pilot’ during learning
New studies suggest that humans might prefer to switch their brains to automatic pilot whenever possible to conserve their cogitating resources.
From the UK edition of Google News:
IRA 'Involved in Port Crime,' Says Ahern
The Scotsman - 3 hours ago
Irish Premier Bertie Ahern tonight backed his Justice Minister's claim that the IRA is involved in criminal activity at Dublin Port.
McDowell launches further broadside at Sinn Fein 4ni.co.uk
Irish Minister in War of Words with Sinn Fein Reuters
Belfast Telegraph (subscription) - Politics.ie - BBC News - U.TV - and 29 related
From the Resource Shelf http://www.resourceshelf.com:
No More Beta: Topix.Net Officially Launches
A web-based news aggregator that we've mentioned on ResourceShelf several times, Topix.Net, moves out of Beta today. It's absolutely worthy of your attention.

You can keyword search the Topix database (over 4000 sources, a great deal of content that's difficult to quickly access elsewhere) but the real power comes via easy to use "pre-built" pages that aggregate news and other information onto over 150,000 topical pages (company names, industry names, etc.). This total also includes a local news and info page for every Zip Code.

An interview with the CEO included this:
"[W]e wanted to explore emerging AI techniques for classifying and extracting structured data from the web. The goal for Topix.net is to make a web page about everything -- every person, place, and thing in the world -- constantly machine-summarized from the Internet. Since the web can be a messy place, surfing a well-constructed encyclopedia based on live content from the web would be a win for users.

"Rather than starting with a full web crawl, which has 4 billion+ pages, we started with news, which has 4,000 sources, and is very dynamic and high quality content. We don't cover everything in the world yet, but we do have every place in the US, every sports team, music artist, movie personality, health condition, public company, business vertical, and many other topics."

Last Friday, ResourceShelf had this:
Findory: A New "Adaptive" News Resource
Just learned about this new resource from Findory, a company based in Seattle. I haven't decided just how useful it is for my needs but I still think it's worth a click because personalization is a popular topic these days. If you register (no personal info needed), this news database will learn your interests based on the content of news articles you select. Then, articles based on this info will be placed on personalized subject (Top Stories, Sports, Technology, etc.) pages. You can also search the database without having to register.

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