An old post I finally made time to read: Tim Bray ponders The Death of Scholarship. Tim makes the point that Googling for something gives you a million links to a millions sources, very few of which are authoritative or represent "scholarly work". As compared to searching an encyclopedia or dictionary, where 100% of the entries have been reviewed and proofed. While this is an interesting point, I daresay scholarship is a gradient rather than a black-and-white distinction. Very often "reviewed and proofed" was probably one expert's opinion reviewed by another expert, which is pretty close to what you get on the 'net. At least if someone posts something on a blog which is wrong, they'll get flamed, but if there's an error in a published encyclopedia it will be there forever. Interesting and thought provoking...
The world record for the largest flower has been broken. This baby is nine feet tall. Oh, and it smells like rotting flesh, hence the plant's nickname "the corpse flower".
Marc Cantor: Trinity hacks into the power grid:
All was going well, until Trinity needed to do some hacking," Fyodor wrote to CNET News.com in an e-mail interview. "This always ruins movies for me, as they almost always pass off ridiculous 3D animated eye-candy scenes as hacking. But then Trinity pulled out my Nmap program and did it right! I was so shocked that I almost did the 'r00t dance' right there in the theater!"
Google has announced they're sponsoring the U.S. Puzzle Championship, "a national online competition to identify America's most logical minds". They also include a few puzzles of their own - check it out. (Shades of Moving Mount Fuji...)
At the suggestion of Andrew Anker, chief blogger of VentureBlog, I'm reading Moneyball - a book by Michael Lewis about how the Oakland A's have rethought baseball and become successful despite having 1/4 the budget of the New York Yankees. This is a great book. Even if you don't like baseball you'll enjoy it for the people and the concepts, and if you're a baseball fan you should Amazon it immediately.
Dave Winer is running a survey: Will blogs wipe out professional journalists? Er, no. He did the same survey a year ago.
Financial Times: The Real Fallout from China's Chernobyl.
Wired: Feds Race to Make SARS Vaccine.
Caerdroia is my favorite new blog from the Carnival; the selected post discusses IP. "You see, 'intellectual property' doesn't exist: it's propaganda." Yep.
Silflay Hraka ponders: Why did the chicken cross the road?
Finally, we bring you today's latest fad: Dinner in the Dark. Not dark as in romantic, dark as in night-vision goggles. I am not making this up.