I got a fever! And the only prescription is... more wiki!

Hacknot: Wikiphilia - The New Illness

Wikiphilia: A mental illness characterized by the irrational conviction that any problem faced by a group can be rendered solvable through installation and use of a Wiki. This delusional ailment has been occurring in increasing numbers ever since it was first identified in 1995. Wikiphilia usually manifests in two distinct phases - the rapturous anticipation of the Wiki's potential in the short post-installation phase; slowly giving way to denial of the Wiki's failure to fulfill that potential in the second phase.
Mr Ed of Hacknot identifies a real issue. I'm surprised he coined such a relatively benign term -- wikiphilia -- given his skepticism. (I might gone for the more vivid wikirrhea.)

But a wiki is still usually better than nothing. At least it provides a place for knowledge to be captured by those who are motivated to do so. We can count on ever-improving, deep, comprehensive full-text search technology. That means getting knowledge down somewhere, anywhere, even in disorganized and incomplete form, creates an asset that can throw off a future stream of benefits long into the future. And if a wiki fails to deliver the expected organizational results, even the way it fails can provide useful information.

The treatment of wikiphilia will rarely involve complete discontinuation of wiki -- "wiki cold turkey". Rather, a shot of realistic expectations, and followup course of appreciating the preconditions for wiki success, will provide the best prognosis.

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Life on Mars is hot

New Scientist: A whiff of life on the Red Planet

Continuing a theme from the previous post:

Now [European Space Agency scientist Vittorio] Formisano is saying that there is much more methane on Mars. He bases this on the detection of a different gas, formaldehyde, by the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS), an instrument on Mars Express that he runs. Formisano averaged thousands of measurements taken by the PFS and calculated that the Martian atmosphere has formaldehyde in concentrations of 130 parts per billion.
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Infected Mars

Space.com: NASA Researchers Claim Evidence of Present Life on Mars

They might get a paper into an upcoming Nature with their findings:

What Stoker and Lemke have found, according to several attendees of the private meeting, is not direct proof of life on Mars, but methane signatures and other signs of possible biological activity remarkably similar to those recently discovered in caves here on Earth.
As evidenced by my previous prediction, I'd only be surprised if we don't eventually find bacterial life on Mars.

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The problem with government forecasts...

NIST security technology group manager William Burr quoted in Federal Computer Week, February 7, 2005:
But Burr said no complete implementation of the SHA-1 function has been successfully attacked. 'SHA-1 is not broken,' he said, 'and there is not much reason to suspect that it will be soon.'
Bruce Schneier in his blog, February 15, 2005 (8 days later):
SHA-1 has been broken. Not a reduced-round version. Not a simplified version. The real thing. The research team of Xiaoyun Wang, Yiqun Lisa Yin, and Hongbo Yu (mostly from Shandong University in China) have been quietly circulating a paper... [see schneier's blog for details]
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"Play it stupid, man-mouse, and we might just let you live."

SJMN: Stanford gets OK to try human cells in mouse brain

The ethics committee has asked Weissman, as he proceeds with research, to kill the mice as they develop to see if their brains are developing in human ways.

If there is anything that might suggest some risk that there is anything that might remotely be viewed as `humanness' being transferred to a mouse, we've asked him to stop,'' Greely said.

So the more human the man-mice get, the more likely the work is cut off -- which is to say, the man-mice involved are quickly killed and dissected. Might that not be backward in some important sense?

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Poor man's trademark search

As of earlier tonight, I captured the search results for the following searches at major search engines:

    Google (Groups) Yahoo Ask Jeeves MSN
"Digital Media Encyclopedia"
    Google (Groups) Yahoo Ask Jeeves MSN
"Digital Media Encyclopaedia"
    Google (Groups) Yahoo Ask Jeeves MSN

Interestingly, none of the hits for "digital media encyclopedia" are of the three words as a unified noun phrase. Among the (very few) hits, there's always punctuation, newline, or other implied break between "digital media" and "encyclopedia".

"Bitpedia" is the new name for the collaborative online reference work stewarded and published by Bitzi. (It used to be called the "OpenBits Catalog".) "Digital Media Encyclopedia" is Bitpedia's new tagline. I'm happy that they're both such unique coinages, at least as far as the preeminent web search engines can tell.

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Update: Technorati luv me

No longer trapped among the hoi polloi, I have joined the ranks of the Technorati.

Thanks to Technoratians Dave Sifry and Kevin Marks for noticing my previous lament ("Technorati Hate Me," below) and looking into it. A tip from Marks was key: a blog <head> should have a ...

<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" href="http://gojomo.blogspot.com/rss/gojomo.xml" title="Gojomo Blog RSS Feed" />
...element to ensure the RSS feed is found.

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"Nothing great has ever been accomplished without irrational exuberance."

Tagline (and theme) observed at Fractals of Change, a new blog by Tom Evslin.

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Technorati hate me

I'm in their link cosmos with "55 links from 53 sources". I use their technorati tags.

But they don't index my blog posts. What gives?

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