Monday, December 18, 2006


The windstorm that came through Washington did little damage to downtown where I live. Sunday afternoon people were still without power. Hearing their stories about how they fought the cold that followed the storm was when I really started to understand what a major event this was.

One of the topics on the street was the woman who drowned in her basement in Seattle. As sad as this is, it answers the question "Why did she go into the basement?"

Audiobook reader who drowned in basement was trying to save equipment

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I had a vague idea that I wanted to write about the importance of using controlled vocabulary in cataloging and the benefits over folksonomies, and today's article in the New York Times on "Open Source Spying" contained a great paragraph on the importance of standardization (amist all the benefits of 2.0 tech talk):

"Worse, data errors that allow information to leak can often go undetected. Five years ago, Zalmai Azmi — currently the chief information officer of the F.B.I. — was working at the Department of Justice on a data-sharing project with an intelligence agency. He requested data that the agency was supposed to have scrubbed clean of all classified info. Yet when it arrived, it contained secret information. What had gone wrong? The agency had passed it through filters that removed any document marked “secret” — but many documents were stamped “SECRET,” in uppercase, and the filter didn’t catch the difference. The next time Azmi requested documents, he found yet more secret documents inadvertently leaked. This time it was because the documents had “S E C R E T” typed with a space between each letter, and the filter wasn’t programmed to catch that either."

Cataloging essay, you will behave and you will be published!