White House announces "big data" initiative

Today the White House held a press conference announcing a new “big data” initiative pledging $200 million dollars to new efforts. Agencies involved include the National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, Department of Energy, and US Geological Survey. A PDF of the press release and a fact sheet is available at the Office of Science and Technology Policy website.

Tracking some interests

Here’s a list of interesting items that crossed my radar in the last week. I don’t have much to add to what’s said below, this is more a manner of keeping track of my interests at this point in time. The future of humanity Bruce Sterling dialoging at the WELL Joe Bageant laying into American complacency. More from an anti-consumerist point of view. James Howard Kuntsler laying into American energy complacency Some thoughts on interesting technology

A Farewell to 2006

The year has to come to a very quiet end here at chez Suomela. I finished my third of four terms on December 18, drove home to Minneapolis on the 19th, and spent the last twelve days relaxing, reading, watching TV, and exchanging gifts with the family. To be thankful for: A life without drama. You know the kind of drama where everything becomes a production and life is continually lived on the edge.

Some More Cool Lists

The list is its own genre, discuss? Dr. Free-Ride on Brain-Friendly Giftables, part 2: Games is a list of games that will improve your thinking and strategy skills. The Bad Astronomer mentions some science podcasts. Fimoculous suggests 30 blogs you aren’t reading. More content, more content. A schedule of podcasts for next year on Design Matters and a recipe for chai from Rhosgobel Patrick Nielsen Hayden points to some interesting remixes of the Beatles

November Readback and Update

Another month has come and gone on this blue globe. The annual marks of mortality have left another ring and my weblog has been mostly silent. It’s not because I don’t like you, all half dozen of you who have subscribed to my feed, it’s because I pretend to myself that I’m busy, that there are other demands on my time. It’s a poor excuse my friend. In “real life” I’m nearing the end of my third semester as a master’s student at the School of Information at UMich.

A List Will Make it So

Here are a couple of lists that caught my eye: Russell Davies on How to be Interesting via Stimulate your creativity by keeping a scrapbook, interviewing different people once a month (that’s an idea I had a few years ago, but have yet to do anything about), collect something, etc. Stephen Downes on the Things you really need to know via McGee’s Musings. Key suggestions for what we really should be teaching people in school and life: how to be creative, how to learn to read, to tell truth from fiction, to empathize, and more.

My Current Information Practice: Social Bookmarking

There are more social bookmarking sites today then anyone is really able to keep track of. For me the best sites are: Furl - I use this as an archive to search the text of things I’ve seen in the past. The best part about this site is building an archive up over time. I’ve been using it for two plus years and have collected a fair amount of stuff.

October Readback and Update

October was a sparse month for weblog updates. To the few who might be reading, I’m sorry. I’ve been putting my head down and plowing through a bunch of midterm papers, exams, and presentations. The last major one was today. In theory that would give me a week to relax, but the inevitability of looming deadlines at the end of the semester make any relaxation feel like procrastination. Pleasure just turns into anxiety.

September Readback and Update

It’s the end of another month and time to review my mind. A lot less material has been published on this site since school began at the beginning of September. My classes are finally starting to feel like a routine. I’m currently taking Information Culture, Information Ethics, Recommender Systems, and Intellectual Property. The month began with a look back at what I learned through half of my MSI program at Michigan.

August Readback and Update

The summer is at an end. It’s time to roll out the Keats and reflect back on the last month. This was a slower month at chez Todd than intended. As I wrote a few days ago allergies returned with a vengeance and slowed down my toils. The month began warm and sultry but is ending up rather cool. I doubt this summer has broken any records for heat in Southeast Michigan, but what do I know, I’ve only been here a year.