May 16
2:56 PM

Write-on competition ends tonight — we’re waiting!

Tonight between 6:30 and 8 pm the write-on assignments are due!  We know you have been working really hard on perfecting them, so be sure not to run into a time crunch when it comes to printing or having to burn that CD you have to turn in.  The library closes at 8 pm tonight, so there will be no time for last minute printjobs!

Be aware that the LRC has no CD burning software on its computers!  You will have to burn your own from home or go to the IT self-service lab in Maher Hall [MH 185 & 191].

We wish each one of you the best of luck in your quest to become Citechecking Champion for 2008!

May 16
2:26 PM

Blackboard expands outreach to Facebook

Blackboard’s course management software has added a new application that will put it smack in the middle of most students’ social lives — Facebook.

"Blackboard’s strategy is to bring its services where the stuents already are and capitalize on Facebook’s ubiquity and collaboration capabilities," according to the article in Inside Higher Ed.

The application is called Blackboard Sync, part of a larger Web 2.0 project, Blackboard Beyond.  The integration of Blackboard’s message boards, grades and class announcements/updates with Facebook’s social network will be available only to those logged on to Facebook and are enrolled in the course.

"Let’s face it," say the new ads. "You would live on Facebook if you could.  Imagine a world where you could manage your entire life from Facebook — it’s not that far off!"

Gee, I can’t wait!

May 15
10:29 AM
May 14
12:43 PM

Student writers try to keep their stuff off the Web

An interesting tidbit from the Information Technology section of the Chronicle today about grad students at West Virginia University worrying about their work finding its way to the web.

For now, they submit paper copies of their works.  But next fall, the school wants students to submit their works electronically and make them publicly available after five years.

The students in this case are grad students in creative writing, who are hoping that the theses they are submitting will someday be published and make them millions.  While the same kind of pecuniary award isn’t likely for law student research papers, the possibility exists that you could strike on a novel legal theory or angle that ignites the next firestorm of academic debate.  You wouldn’t want somebody to steal your thunder, would you?

As the article states, "it’s hard enough to get published without this sort of handicap."

This is another wrinkle in the march of technology in terms of academic scholarship to watch and think about.  Read more on the subject here.

May 13
2:40 PM

Your Laptop = Earthquake Sensor?

If you happen to own a Mac laptop, you can transform your computer into your own personal seismic station, according to Richard Monastersky in today’s The Wired Campus.

He writes that "a free program from SeisMac takes advantage of the acceleration sensor inside you computer to register when it gets the shakes. The program was developed with support from the National Science Foundation and from the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology, a consortium of nearly 100 universities."

Monastersky also says that a new project called the Quake-Catcher Network could allow you to be part of earthquake science.  "[S]everal California universities have created the network to use the distributed power of people’s laptops to provide quick data about the strength of shaking during earthquakes. The program works with many kinds of laptops. Because wireless networks send signals faster than vibrations can spread through the Earth, data from laptops in theory can speed ahead of the shaking and provide advance warning before harmful seismic waves strike regions that are more distant from a quake’s epicenter."