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links for 2009-04-17

  • With Twitter being all the rage lately, there are bound to be questions about how the popular microblogging tool should be deployed in government. Some agencies fully embrace Twitter, giving the intimidation of government a human face. Others simply have no clue what they’re doing. Accordingly, their follower count reflects that. But, you can’t blame them for trying.
  • 7. Virus. Computer virus, that is. Dave Gerrold (of “The Trouble With Tribbles” fame) was apparently the first to make the verbal analogy between biological viruses and self-replicating computer programs, in his 1972 story “When Harlie Was One.”

    8. Worm. Another type of self-replicating computer program. So named by John Brunner in his 1975 novel Shockwave Rider.

  • key to government opening its data to citizens, being more transparent, and improving the relationship between citizens and government in light of our web 2.0 world was ensuring content on government sites could be easily found in search engines. Architecting sites to be search engine friendly, particularly sites with as much content and legacy code as those the government manages, can be a resource-intensive process that takes careful long-term planning. But
    two keys are:

    * Assessing who the audience is and what they're searching for
    * Ensuring the site architecture is easily crawlable

  • On the social software front…

    There’s been some debate of late about whether or not SharePoint is an “Enterprise 2.0″ tool at all (or what, in fact, that even means, if anything). But anyone who saw Lawrence Liu pitch SharePoint versus IBM Lotus Connections to a packed room at Enterprise 2.0 last year, would certainly assume Microsoft has ambitions in this area. It’s worth noting however that Liu left Microsoft not long after that for Telligent Systems, which sells community software as an adjunct to SharePoint. Liu presumably knows more about the SharePoint roadmap than we do, so looking at Telligent’s roadmap (limited version here) is probably a good indication of where Microsoft won’t go in social software in this next release (think community analytics, bridging internal and external communities, and feed aggregation).

  • Computer Science Unplugged is a series of learning activities that reveals a little-known secret: computer science isn't really about computers at all!
    Unplugged teaches principles of computer science such as binary numbers, algorithms and data compression through games and puzzles that use cards, string, crayons and lots of running around.

    Unplugged is suitable for people of all ages, from elementary school to university, and from many countries and backgrounds. Unplugged has been used around the world for over fifteen years, in classrooms, science centers, homes, and even for holiday events in a park!

  • US EPA has answers and references about paper recycling in the US. Includes "How much paper do offices use?
    The average office worker in the US uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year. That’s 4 million tons of copy paper used annually. Office workers in the US generate approximately 2 pounds of paper and paperboard products every day."
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