Soapbox 3

Hi, everybody; welcome to “The Soapbox”. Think of this posting as a permanent “letter to the editor” page, the watercooler we can all gather around from time to time and just chat. It’s recommended that you click on the “+Hotlist” tag in the upper right of this article, visible to members; this will create a Hotlist right-column box you can monitor for future newly-posted comments. This the place to come to get the latest updates, news and gossip about what rickyjames (that’s me) is up to now in making ongoing changes to the SciScoop site. This “Soapbox” posting is also to give you a place you can leave me or anybody else a piece of your mind on whatever subject you want. If I get enough pieces of everybody else’s mind, maybe I can put them all together into a whole one. E Pluribus Unum.

By the way, this was getting so big I’ll start a fresh one as needed, and leave links for the previous editions below….

The Soapbox: May 2003

The Soapbox: June – Dec 2003

The Soapbox: Jan – Apr 2004

The Soapbox: Apr – Jul 2004

The Soapbox: Jul – Oct 2004

80 thoughts on “Soapbox 3”

  1. Drog, I saw that you had modified the Scoop “current interview” box so I went ahead and uploaded the picture to XLan and posted the box. Gotta go to lunch RIGHT NOW, more in an hour…

  2. I also saw Dr. Shermer on 20/20, but having access
    to his picture without even clicking onto a link is definitely effective.  Let’s have more pics with future articles!

  3. It wasn’t quite ready (it pointed to the last interview) but I fixed it up. I see you updated the photo. Cool.

  4. If you are suggesting that SciScoop use new pictures with every story rather than the topic icon, that won’t be easily done. Unless the Scoop engine has evolved a log since I last looked at it, it would involve some heavy modifications. An example of such modifications can be found at http://www.photographica.org. But such a new feature would be a lot of work to implement, it would require more work for the daily posting of stories (finding an appropriate image, scaling it in an image editing program, uploading it to the site), plus you would always have to worry about infringing on possible copyrights of the images. And if you want regular users to be able to upload and display images, that opens the gate to potential abuses.

    It would be much easier to make changes that would allow a superuser (such as rickyjames) to embed images directly in the content of his stories.

    For interviews, though, I agree that a photo works very well.

  5. No, the icons are really appropriate for identifying the type of article.  I  had no idea how complicated installing photos would be, either.  More than anything, I certainly don’t want some copywright infringed upon — the picture of the interviewee is just a very nice touch.  Thanks for the trouble to make it happen.  I think all of you have enough to do without time-consuming, mostly cosmetic work on the site.

  6. Although I do love reading what people write – now that’s the true window to the mind! – there is nothing like seeing a human face to go with that mind. I have solemnly promised Drog and rickyjames that next time I come up with an interviewee, I’ll give them advance notice so the photo can go up at the same time.

    That reminds me (and since gypsysoul always makes me think of literature :-)… in high school one of my Shakespeare books had a little poem by one of his contemporaries along with his picture on the back … how did it go? “This picture that thou here see’st put,…” [hold on a sec…] Almost! It’s “This Figure, that thou here seest put…”- thanks Google!

  7. When you go to submit a story and use the “Section” drop-down menu, “Ask SFT” appears instead of “Ask SciScoop.” If you choose “Ask SFT”, “Ask SFT” appears as the Section in the story preview. Also, when pulling up any of the stories in the section (for example) the section says “Ask SFT” at the top. Finally, when you click “Sections” from the menu bar at the top of each page, the header “Ask SFT” is used, and the link at the bottom of the list says “More Ask SFT” (and this link brings up zero results, not sure if that’s correct or not since there are not very many stories in the section).

  8. I am not as familiar as you are with Scoop, particularly since you set this site up. I guarantee it would have taken me a LOT longer than 10 seconds!!!

  9. I could remember the precious little math and science I studied years ago as well as the rest of you remember your grammar and literature!  Ben Jonson wrote such memorable praise of Shakespeare:

      Thou art a monument, without a tomb,
      And art alive still, while thy book doth live,
      And we have wits to read, and praise to give.
       (“To the Memory of My Beloved Master, W.S.”)

    Of course, the words are most important, but faces speak volumes, too. That last line from Ben reminds me of yours and Drog’s questions about teaching critical thinking in schools today.  Trust me, not much of that is happening in public schools, except in the special schools for the academically gifted.  Unfortunately, fewer and fewer students seem to see the need for wits to read or think critically.

    And I must thank you, SW, for not pointing out that I misspelled “copyright” in my earlier post:)
    I’m beginning to be able to accept my posting fallibility without suffering paroxysms of humiliation and guilt.

  10. I finally remembered to ask the editor (David Prather) about your writing book reviews for the paper.  He’ll be out of town until around Jan 1, but he’s very interested & would like for you to e-mail him —

     prather@htimes.com

    if you really would like to write reviews on recent science/tech  releases.  You do get the book to keep and a very small check.

    I’ve given you a 2 thumbs up already (not that I have tremendous influence over these important decisions, you understand) — send him a note if you’re still interested.

  11. I actually received a daily digest on 12/23, the first in a while, but none since then.

    Oh, and BTW there are a couple of “fixies” for the digest email. The sender is listed as drog@scifitoday.com. Also, although the subject of the digest email correctly reads “SciScoop Digest,” the first line of the body still states “This is the Daily digest for Sci-Fi Today.”

    (Ah, mentioning that as a “fixie” takes me back to about a year ago now… [cue nostalgia music] My first email to Drog was to tell him that the first line read “This is the Daily digest for SITENAME” :-)

    Now, this part may be more serious, it really baffles me — the digest was sent to the email address I originally registered with. Sometime around August-September I updated my User Info with a new email address. Luckily the old email is still valid so I received the digest.

  12. The problem with the email address might be ok. Both the email addies I was using are based on the same server, and I just noticed another incoming email that should have been sent to addy #2, but in the “to” field it says addy #1. Probably nothing wrong with SciScoop, then, just stuff going haywire on my side. To confirm, I just updated my User info again, to email addy #3 which is completely unrelated, and I’ll let you know what happens next time I get a digest.

  13. I loved today’s quote by Dan Quayle — “Mars is essentially in the same orbit. Mars is somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe.” Too funny.

  14. Today I noticed, after voting for a story, I can no longer see the little box that tells me who else has voted. RJ, did you intentionally remove it? I thought it was pretty cool, myself.

  15. I too noticed a while back that feature was gone, but if I did it, it wasn’t intentional. I’ll put it on the resolutions list to look at.

  16. Just so everybody knows, Mars doesn’t mean heavy web hits just for NASA. SciScoop got 14,500 page hits Monday and 4000 more just in the first half of Tuesday. I think we’re getting hit for the Mestro article; I’m going to check the weblog for sure. Pretty cool to be routinely getting hit 1000+ times per hour for hours on end…

  17. I just added a new topic, with its own icon, called “Armageddon” (which I said I’d do right away, last June), to handle all the stories about the end-of-the-world via weapons of mass destruction, asteroid impacts, gamma-ray bursts, genetically engineered plagues, etc. Enjoy! :)

  18. When it rains, it pours. (Didn’t I do an article recently by that title?) Not only did I find out today I incorrectly said LuxLucre = BitGeek in my big heartfelt weekend eulogy, I also just got off the phone with NASA Security here in Huntsville, who wanted to know just who S.A. Tabib was and for that matter, just who ***I*** was. They were doing their job, wondering if I am giving classified technology to foreign nationals. I thought about making a joke about Drog being Canadian, then decided I’d better shut up and play ball with the nice man. He WOULD call on the day I change the poll question from Mars to Satanic/Sexual/Alien Memeory Repression.

  19. First one: Hey, your heart was definitely in the right place.  It’s okay that LuxLucre’s other name
    wasn’t bitgeek.

    Second one: I hear the federal pen at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, AL, is the cat’s pajamas for the incarcerated.  I bet you’ll have net access, RJ.

  20. IEEE stirred this pot recently, by asking the feds whether it was ok to give editorial feedback on a paper from Iranian nationals. Apparently they were told it’s not, or at least you need to ask for some sort of export permit first. Most scientific societies are appalled at this decision. I have no idea where it’s heading, but it doesn’t sound good for international progress in science, if it sticks.

  21. There are some details on this from the IEEE. The problem there was the US Treasury Dept’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). The banned countries are specifically Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, and Sudan. Given that Pakistan is not mentioned, it sounds like it must have been a different bunch of feds who called you up, Ricky.

  22. I tried to post three of these press-release stories one after the other and on the third one it sold me I hit the limit for submissions in a given time. So I went to the bathroom for a little while and everything worked fine. <<<Grin>>>

  23. Yeah, I believe that time duration can be modified if we want. It’s there, I think, to help combat bots that automatically post lots of spam.

  24. Just so all who read here know, I took gypsysoul and David Prather up on the offer, and sent in my first review yesterday :) Free books, and my name in print – yeah!

  25. You carpetbagger, you. You’d think people in Huntsville could write their own science book reviews. But nnnnoooooo… hey, I just don’t have the time. I’ll look for you in print. I’m not sure, but it may get published on the Times website!!! You could publish articles on the web!!!

  26. I’ve spent more time on it than I should have, but I replaced the Scoop GIF that was beside our SciScoop logo with a new GIF. I put the Scoop GIF there originally so everybody would realize one of the main reasons I / we selected SciScoop as the new name of the site when we switched from Sci-Fi Today. Tha’s all water under the bridge now and SciScoop stands alone as a legitimate brand name. RIP Sci-Fi Today, which as Drog tells me is now back up for grabs as a URL domain name.

    Anyway, it’s pretty obvious where clicking on the new GIF goes. I am unreasonably proud of that page. The new second counter on it lists the number of times that specific page has been accessed. If anybody is interested, let me know here and I’ll email you how to access the little bar charts that are accessable if you right click on those number counters.

    I’m open to anybody saying they think this just doesn’t work artistically or that the page would be better off with just the main logo and more uninterrupted blue space. Also, if anybody wants to take a crack at a better GIF, go for it.

    Also, anybody want to do a right-click-view-source on the 1000-story page and tell me what I’m doing wrong on that right border that isn’t where it’s supposed to be? Looks like I’m not very good at HTML…

  27. Most of Huntsville is carpetbagger… not to worry :-)   So glad somebody’s willing to write
    reviews for this “oasis in the desert,” as someone referred to our fair city before I visited here for the first time.  

  28. Personally, I’d put it at the top of the right column, which would mean making it a little less wide. The way it is now, I think it’s height is causing the top graphics to separate from the left and right graphics along the edges. Want me to create that graphic/box for you?

    As for the problem with the HTML, rather than try to figure out the problem, I instead created a new “special” page (it’s in your Admin box under ‘Special Pages’) and copied your contents in it. This is better, I think, because it automatically uses the same template that every other page in the site uses, even if that template changes in the future. You can access this link here.

  29. as I suggested myself a long time ago, to cover the various stories regarding how our society is becoming more and more like the dystopia depicted in Orwell’s novel ‘1984’. Loss of privacy, loss of civil liberties, Patriot Act, Total (now ‘Terrorist’) Information Awareness, etc. See the new icon here.

  30. …I tried that back a few weeks ago when I was playing with the “1000 Links” page initially. The problem is that official Scoop pages have an input text limit of I-forget-how-many-KB-I-figured, then it truncates the rest of the page. The new page you created and list the link for doesn’t have all 1000 links in its text. That’s why I created a non-Scoop HTML page that just LOOKS like a Scoop page – it allows all 1000 links in there without truncation. As currently configured, though, it still has a glitch in the display of the right border icon.

    As for the icon, if you can create a GIF that would fit in the right side (ha ha – I of course know you can), I’ll put it there. The one that’s there now (that uses the Papyrus font, for God’s sake!) is obviously just something I kluged together.

    Gordon, you truly have a way with icons. All of your icons are gorgeous, especially the most recent ones.

    Wanna tackle an icon for science sex news?

  31. You’re right, of course. And there seems to be no way to increase the limit via tha Site Controls. And removing all the TARGET=”” attributes (they’re unnecessary, BTW, being meant to specify where the link should be opened in, as in the ID of what frame or in another new window) and making all the links relative (removing http://www.sciscoop/ from them) still doesn’t make it short enough to fit. Let me see if I can figure out a way to increase the size. If not, I’ll fix your page that you made.

    I just emailed you a button GIF. I can’t upload to /images, could you put it there?

    Do you really want a Sex topic with a science-ish sex icon? I can do that! What about a Potpouri icon for all of your 100 links from the past week stories? Not sure what kind of images to use for that, actually…

  32. I tried all you said and couln’t get it to work either. But then, I am the guy on planet Earth who knows the least about Scoop.

    I was just joking about the sex science icon, but now I’m curious – let’s see it!!!

    Potpouri? Well, OK, why not….an icon of flowers would be nice…

    I got your icon and uploaded it, as you can see now on the front page. I tried to put it on top of the right handed column with the same HMTL I used in the header, but that didn’t work – resulting page was all messed up. I’ll fool with it some more this weekend if you don’t do it first. If you DO get it working above the Slashdot /K5 and “Last 30 Days” boxes, feel free to remove it from the header.

  33. Removed it from the header and added the new box to the column. Actually, I did it before too but I think we must have both been working on it at the same time. :)

  34. Looks great!!! One last comment, can you make the background behind the blue letters grey, not white, so they match the grey text background of the other boxes? If you’ll do that and email me the result I’ll FTP it up to the images subdirectory and we should be finished. Call it First1000Grey.gif or whatever. I’ll rename it over on XLan once I get it there to whatever the gif name is now we’re using so we don’t have to change any of the right column code in the blocks. Thanks!

    Is there something I need to do to get you back up to unlimited FTP access? I’m working up a to-do list for Cory, there’s a few other items…

  35. Especially since the original photo looked grainy to me, on my poor miserable computer. Drog said he was going to do it, and I assume he actually did since he has such a hand with graphics. It sure wouldn’t look that good if I had done it! :-)

  36. It only took me a minute to crop it and resample it down to 160 pixels wide. Resampling an image down in size effectively removes any graininess because each pixel in the final image is calculated from the weighted average of multiple pixels in the original. That has the effect, usually, of making it look a little blurry afterwards, but I just sharpen things up with an Unsharp Mask effect. For anyone interested, I use Corel PHOTO-PAINT for all the graphics on this site, and sometimes Corel Knock-out for really complex masking needed for some of the icons (like Einstein’s hair, for instance). Wonderful, powerful product (which, incidentally, I used to work on years ago).

  37. Ricky – or somebody! The links around Jay Hosler’s picture give me a “can’t find that story” error, when I try to click from another story page! I think you’ve got a relative URL instead of an absolute one there…

  38. are database related. Scoop does not put any limit on them, which is why you won’t find it in Site Controls.

    Special pages, story intro text, story body text, and comment body text are all database “text” fields, which have a limit of 64kb (65535 characters to be precise). There is a “mediumtext” (16Mb) field type as well, but I don’t know if anybody’s ever tried using it with Scoop.

    I may try it out on my dev site, just to see what happens. In theory it should work, because perl variables will happily slurp up whatever you give them to the limit of your RAM…

  39. On my dev site, I changed the special pages table to use mediumtext which has a maximum size of 16Mb, and tested it with a 50,000 word (~280kb) file. Worked like a charm; nothing was cut out. With a 2Mb file, it gave me an error, but that’s because I have MySQL configured to only accept packets of less than 1Mb (this is the default configuration). If you’re going to go over that, you probably want to tweak the max_allowed_packet variable in the MySQL config file my.cnf –note that Scoop doesn’t tell you exactly what happened, only that there was an error writing to the DB, if the packet is bigger than MySQL allows.

    To use the bigger fields, log into the sciscoop database as root (or other user with alter table permissions) and type the following command:

    ALTER TABLE special MODIFY content mediumtext;

    This will change the content field (where the text of the special pages is stored) to the mediumtext field type. Since it’s longer than the previous field type, text, you shoudn’t lose any data.

    You don’t even have to restart anything because scoop couldn’t care less what the field types are as long as it gets its data.

  40. It’s easy to adjust.  It’s easier to chill out, though.  8)

    There is one for comments too if I remember right.  Look through the site variables.

  41. seemingly not a diet.  Have I found the diet for YOU (and me):-)

    You know those pesky 20 pounds you’ve mentioned?
    I’m doing South Beach and in 3 and 1/2 weeks have lost 10 of the 30 I absolutely MUST drop… .  I’m not hungry, and I feel GREAT!  I’m treadmilling about 40 minutes every afternoon, which helps considerably.

    You get carbs on this diet… just good carbs. A student from last semester brought me HOMEMADE FUDGE this week, and I haven’t TOUCHED the stuff!
    (Of course, we’re not talking Hershey’s kisses here, but I really don’t have the cravings I’ve had on other food plans.)

    BTW, I didn’t buy the book.  I bought Prevention magazine’s weight control magazine that came out after Christmas:  2 pages of what you can eat, 2 pages of what to avoid… so simple.

    The quick weight loss will slow as I add a larger variety of foods back into my diet, but I’m enjoying being able to zip up slacks and BUTTON the BUTTON, finally.  YEY!!

    Just wanted to let you know, this one works without making you feel like committing a felony just to taste a crust of bread :-)

  42. I have a tiny little nit on this box. The second and fifth items are not from the last 30 days but are totals instead. Maybe you (RJ) could move those down to the bottom of the list, and put a little separator between the 30-day items and the Total item? Just a thought.

  43. What a decision :-) I have done low-fat diets in the past (and they worked, while I stuck to them) because my cholesterol has been a problem. Just last weekend my sister finally dug out the family geneaology package that she worked on in the 1970’s (and which I’ve been asking to borrow for years :-) and I was xeroxing it… rather sobering to xerox death certificate after death certificate that all say “coronary disease” as cause of death. (Although the family records did mention one fellow who died when his horse ran away with the buggy he was driving to town to pick up his daughter’s wedding dress.) Anyway, I gotta do something if I want to live to be 89.3 years old like this webpage predicted.

  44. Yikes on all the family coronary disease… not to mention the rotten luck of the father of the bride.  Thanks for the link, too.  That’s my next stop if I have enough nerve (keep in mind I probably have considerably more miles logged  than many of you BABIES of the baby boomers, so calculating the days I have left is a sobering
    thought).

    However, I believe the South Beach diet was developed by a cardiologist, if that helps any.   I know nutritionists pitch huge fits over low carb/high protein diets because of the higher fat consumption, but I don’t think anyone’s proven poor old Dr. Atkins wrong so far.  SB is MUCH less restrictive than Atkins– I understand it’s more like a diabetic diet than anything else.

    I have excellent genes on my mom’s side– great-grandfather lived to 100; grandmother, 92;  mom, still going STRONG at 81. I’m just thrilled that I can stay on this diet and not feel so deprived and sorry for myself.  The food actually satisfies me.  And it’s not even chocolate :-)

  45. according the longevity site… but the stress question was iffy.  Not sure I answered correctly because I’m more “neither of the above.”

    If I can just hang on to the quality of life I currently enjoy, YIPPEE!

  46. Very nice! That “New Comments” is new, isn’t it?

    Now here’s more nitty nits: both boxes start with members, great– but then stories is next in the 30 while it’s at the bottom of the Beginning. How bout the same members/stories/comments order in both boxes?

    Next comes the question, is there a need for the total sections link there? If so, why not also a total topics link to go with it?

  47. You are so funny, sw… Herbal Essence needs to hire you :-).

    Poor RJ– I subject him to comma harassment, and you keep after him about tidying up his place.   But then, what would he do without the feminine perspective?  You have great organizationl skills, btw.  

  48. Well, I can’t get the total comments to track right. Expect bad numbers for a while until I figure out what’s wrong with the PERL code. Remind me in a week or so if it’s still bad.

  49. (continuing the conversation from the Hydrogen Myths story)

    RJ, I keep forgetting to mention this, but I haven’t yet figured out how as an editor I can post my own stories without waiting for votes. If I use the “New Story” admin tool and save it, it goes in the moderation queue. Am I supposed to fiddle with the status pulldown (submitted/pending/normal)?

    Mostly I have been using my magical editor status to fix misspelled words in stories that some user with the handle “rickyjames” keeps posting… ;-) It also comes in handy when I write to someone asking for an interview, it sounds so official when I introduce myself as “an editor at the science community website SciScoop…”

  50. It’s pretty easy, although the SCOOP instructions don’t point it out very well in my opinion. Go ahead and submit a story as usual. Then go to the left-hand edit controls box and click on story list. YOu should see the story you just posted. Click on it. It should open up into an edit window where you can make changes on it if you want.

    Between where the story is displayed and the edit boxes, there’s some controls – buttons that say UPDATE SAVE PREVIEW DELETE (be CAREFUL with that last one!!!), then the Title (always use caps, I say!), then the “set timestamp to now” checkbox, then three drop-down selection boxes.

    If you click on the middle drop-down box and pick “Always display”, then hit the SAVE button, voila, you’re on the front page without votes.

    Putting a checkmark in the Set Timestamp To Now box before hitting SAVE will force the story to the top of the SciScoop front page.

    For the record, superusers are drog and rickyjames, editors are gypsysoul, Sweetwind, Sylvia Engdahl and now apsmith. I put Bob back to being a regular user since we haven’t heard from him lately (nothing personal, dude!). Technically there’s another editor called cybrpnk but that’s really a second account I have for myself that I occasionally use to check on what things look like to editors instead of my usual superuser view.

  51. … “editor” is purely to sweep up after RJ’s commas and periods, which ALWAYS GO INSIDE QUOTATION MARKS, no matter WHAT IS INSIDE THE MARKS :-)  and to dig around for a misspelled word once in a while. (Oh, and there’s that pet peeve of mine: THERE’S MANY)  Ricky knows it takes so little to make this grammar-heart of mine happy.

    What makes me even happier is reading these incredible postings and learning much more than I ever thought possible.  My background in science is very limited, but I love the challenge of  processing what I read on SciScoop.

    I am stunned by the intellect of all of you and the regular posters (okay… most of the regular posters), and I’m honored to be considered even a miniscule part of what Ricky does here.

       

  52. In reading this again I see I refered to the “left hand edit boxes”. They are of course on the right. I have repeatedly mixed up left and rifht when discussing the two SciScoop columns. I am going to have to get little pieces of tape on my computer screen to label which is which. I’m not dyslexic at all and I’m very good with maps; I’m not sure what’s at work here subconsciously…

  53. Ricky and Drog and everybody – a site with a similar operation to sciscoop, though broader in scope including politics, culture, and general technology interests, is worldchanging.com. Some interesting stuff over there – I wonder if we can cross-fertilize a bit? I’m recommending sciscoop to them too. I know at least one of their regular contributors (Jon Lebkowsky) through the Dean forum I have been involved in.

  54. On Sunday morning I observed 2 high-quality stories in the moderation queue, both submitted by gpmap. One had been submitted a few hours earlier than the other, and when I voted thumbs-up on both, the earlier story had a score of 2 and the later story had 1 (just my vote). The earlier of the two ended up getting posted, at 06:51:45 PM Sunday if the datestamp is to be believed, and the other one has vanished.

    I’m guessing that only two people moderated after me on Sunday, so the later story didn’t get the requisite four votes through Sunday and Monday AM and got timed out of the queue… can this be confirmed?? I know you resolved, rj, to let the stories stand or fall by the vote now that the site’s traffic is higher. The traffic is lower on weekends, though, and I think it caused us to lose a good story. Can the queue timeout be extended on the weekends?

  55. …and I have let every single story abide by the will of the majority. So far so good.

    Actually, even when stories go over 36 hours and disappear from the moderation queue they may still be found in the story list. From there they can be resaved with “time stamp set to now” to give them additional time for voting. There’s also a delete button that will banish the story forever without the ability to retrieve it, and I’ve used that a time or two on stories that didn’t get 4 votes in 36 hours and were like a single sentence with a single link. I’m not sure if the story delete button is a superuser or an editor function…

  56. I’m not sure if the story delete button is a superuser or an editor function…

    So many questions… you can find the answers to many of them in the Scoop Admin Guide (for this one, I’ll give you a hint – you want to look in section A.12, the Groups Admin Tool, where the various permissions are handled.)

  57. Well, it’s 999 right now – anyway, we seem to have been growing – planning a celebration Ricky?

  58. …happened on my birthday! One pretty good present, I think. I still intend to do a membership drive “one of these days”, just so many other things competing for my attention…

  59. I kinda thought you must have been doing a membership drive already, I have noticed a lot of new folks posting lately.

  60. With all those new members, might be good to mention the soapbox, starting fresh!

    By the way – Sweetwind, wonderful of you to get David Goodstein for the interview. Great job! How do you get hold of these guys?

  61. It is actually as easy as it sounds… just look the person up on the internet and if I find an email address, send a request by email. Actually I didn’t find Dr. Goodstein’s email (although it’s out there and I would have found it if I’d looked harder, or if I’d just taken the leap of faith that someone whose homepage is at ~dg on the caltech server would have an email with username of dg at that domain…) but his fax number, phone number and snail mail addy were there, so I actually faxed him a request.

    The inspiration was that he recently gave an interview on the local NPR station that was very interesting.

  62. I tend to keep up on SciScoop through Slashdot. But SciScoop’s RDF feed seems to only update once a week or so, instad of whenever a story is posted. For example, right now the latest stories are all from Thursday:

    http://www.sciscoop.com/backend.rdf

    This of course is reflected on Slashdot. Can this be fixed? It’d be nice if the feed was updated at least once a day (and even better if it updated with each new story).

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