Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows and Ubuntu Linux have built-in Chinese-Japanese-Korean (CJK) characters input support without the need to resort to third party software.
Here is a roundup of useful resources for setting up and configuring the various built-in resources in Windows, Mac and Ubuntu Linux platforms for inputting Chinese characters:
(1) Mac OS X:
- Overview: Chinese Characters Input Methods for the Mac
- Chinese Characters Input in the Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard
- Writing Chinese on the Windows Platform
- Installing East Asian Language Support under Windows XP
- From Microsoft.com: What is an IME (Input Method Editor) and how do I use it?
- Ubuntu Documentation: Installing/Configuring SCIM (Smart Common Input Method)
- From Ubuntu Forums: How to input traditional Chinese characters via pinyin in SCIM
- For further reference, see Ubuntu Documentation: SCIM/Chinese
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Here are four essential Twitter Health Alerts services from US Federal Government Agencies that you should consider following:
@CDCEmergency CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response: increasing the nation's ability to prepare for and respond to public health emergencies (NB: follow this twitter service to keep track of the swine flu pandemic)
@CDCFlu Flu-related updates from the CDC
@FDArecalls Get notified about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's recalls, market withdrawals and safety alerts.
@FoodSafety The Food Safety Information Center of the USDA provides food safety information to educators, industry, researchers and the general public.
Monday, April 27, 2009
This week's roundup of useful open-source freeware resources for Ubuntu:
Here is a roundup of resources for using VirtualBox to run Windows XP in a virtual environment within Ubuntu:
Sunday, April 26, 2009
This week's roundup of freeware software resources:
- PDF Creator: PDFCreator is an open-source free software for converting documents into PDF format on Microsoft Windows operating systems. Once installed, it allows the user to select PDFCreator as their printer, permitting almost any Windows application to print to PDF.
- John Haller's Portable Applications: The main source for portable Windows applications that run off a flash drive.
- Nirsofer's Freeware Utilities: A collection of useful freeware utilities for Windows.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Over the past 12 months, Mozilla's Firefox browser has been gaining market share at the expense of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, driven in large part by Internet Explorer's vulnerabilities to malware. While many use Firefox in its default mode, not many realize that Firefox is not only highly configurable, it can also perform tasks that are accessible through its "about" URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers). For more information, see the following links:
- Mastering Firefox's Hidden Configuration Tools
- An extended discussion of about:config settings in Firefox
- Full listing of about URIs and their functions that you could type into Firefox's location bar
Friday, April 24, 2009
What do you get when you overlay Google Maps with EPA's environmental data, e.g., industries, polluters, air quality index, ecological data, etc.? You get EPA's latest powerful mapping app on steroids (with all sorts of environmental data): MyEnvironment.
MyEnvironment search application is designed to provide a cross-section of environmental information based on the user’s location. The desired location is keyed in from the EPA Home Page (www.epa.gov) under the section called MyEnvironment.
This is a very innovative and informative tool for you to play around with. When I input my zip code, I found out all the industries, etc. around my house. This is especially useful if you are searching for a house and want to be sure there are no toxic dumps or polluting industries nearby :-)
- The EPA Press Release announcing MyEnvironment (the search function is also available at the end of the press release).
- How to Use This Page (gives detailed instructions and explanation of the mapping results).
The Drug Digest Database, which is maintained by Express Scripts, is a noncommercial, evidence-based, consumer health and drug information site dedicated to empowering consumers to make informed choices about drugs and treatment options. You can search by drugs or herbs, medical conditions, or for news and reviews.
See also my various blog posts about other open access databases.
Announcing a new database: Transnational Law Research, a project of the Central University of Cologne. You can filter your search by principles, materials, bibliographies or links.
See also my various blog posts about other open access databases.
In celebration of the annual Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May 2009), the U.S. Census Bureau has issued its annual Facts for Features: Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month: May 2009, available as follows:
Origins of the Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month:
In 1978, a joint congressional resolution established Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. The first 10 days of May were chosen to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants (May 7, 1843) and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed on May 10, 1869. In 1992, Congress expanded the observance to a monthlong celebration. Per a 1997 Office of Management and Budget directive, the Asian or Pacific Islander racial category was separated into two categories: one being Asian and the other Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
The Medpedia Project is a long-term, worldwide project to evolve a new model for sharing and advancing knowledge about health, medicine and the body among medical professionals and the general public. This model is founded on providing a free online technology platform that is collaborative, interdisciplinary and transparent. Read more about the model.
Users of the platform include physicians, consumers, medical and scientific journals, medical schools, research institutes, medical associations, hospitals, for-profit and non-profit organizations, expert patients, policy makers, students, non-professionals taking care of loved ones, individual medical professionals, scientists, etc.
As Medpedia grows over the next few years, it will become a repository of up-to-date unbiased medical information, contributed and maintained by health experts around the world, and freely available to everyone. The information in this clearinghouse will be easy to discover and navigate, and the technology platform will expand as the community invents more uses for it.
In association with Harvard Medical School, Stanford School of Medicine, Berkeley School of Public Health, University of Michigan Medical School and other leading global health organizations, Medpedia will be a commons for the gathering of the information and people critical to health care. Many organizations have united to support The Medpedia Project. See the Record of Merit.
See also my various blog posts about other open access databases.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
This week's roundup of useful online audio and video-related resources:
- Using KickYouTube to download YouTube videos (an extremely simple and elegant way to download YouTube videos without the hassle of extra software)
- Recording/Capturing Real Video and Real Audio streams (very useful to download audio or video streams of lectures, etc)
- Ad-Free version of Real Player (available only on the BBC website.)
- Zamzar.com: Free online file conversion across different platforms without the hassle of extra software
- DVD43: decrypts DVDs on the fly to allow for the re-encoding into alternative formats for iPod, etc using Handbrake (see below).
- Handbrake: An open-source GPL licensed multiplatform multithreaded DVD to mp4 converter
- Doom9.net: Comprehensive and definitive DVD-backup and video-editing resources site
- Audacity: The best multiplatform open-source software to create podcasts, etc. for your lectures, presentations, etc.
- Making Computer Videos
Monday, April 20, 2009
Google Labs has announced two innovative products: Google Similar Images Search & Google News Timeline.
- Google Similar Images Search allows you to search for images using pictures rather than words. Click the "Similar images" link under an image to find other images that look like it.
- Google News Timeline organizes information chronologically by presenting results from Google News and other data sources on a zoomable, graphical timeline. You can navigate through time by dragging the timeline, setting the time scale to days, weeks, months, years, or decades, or just including a time period in your query (i.e., "1977"). This is a novel way to keep track of the news if you don't have time to browse individual newsmedia sites.
The World Digital Library has gone online! I have played around with it and am truly amazed by the stunning images that have been digitized for this library. Here is my review of what I have discovered while poking around the site:
- You can search in 7 languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish
- You can search by keyword(s), or browse by using a timeline, place, time, topic, item type, or institution
- You can sort your results by place, time, etc.
- You can view your results as a list or gallery.
- Video commentaries are available for a limited number of searches (example).
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Are you looking for old versions of your favorite freeware or shareware software? Newer versions don't work well on your older hardware? Looking for old versions of software for research/testing purposes? Then you should visit oldversion.com, which archives old versions of popular freeware and shareware. Founded in 2001, oldversion.com archives Internet-related freeware and shareware Windows software. Here is how the site explains its raison d'etre:
Sometimes upgrading to a newer version can be a good thing. Other times, your computer may not be compatible with the new version, the new version is bloated, or all the options you liked are no longer available. OldVersion.com has been supplying the online community with old versions of various programs since 2001. The service is utilized by thousands of users every day and has been featured in newspapers and magazines as well as on radio and television.
OldVersion.com has several objectives. One is to discourage the use of spyware by software companies. Also known as adware, these hidden programs come bundled with certain applications and secretly transmit user information via the Internet to advertisers. It is sometimes possible to avoid spyware by downloading an older version of a program. Use OldVersion.com and show the industry your dissatisfaction with these types of business practices.
OldVersion.com assists computer users who are unable to continually upgrade their computer. Those who find that their machine is not able to run the latest version of a certain application have no choice but to use an old version of the program. Unfortunately, the vast majority of software companies do not offer this opportunity. We are doing our small part to help bridge the digital divide by allowing everyone to enjoy the same software titles regardless of their hardware.
We believe that every computer user has the right to use a version of the product that he or she is most comfortable with, not the one dictated by the software developer, so we provide access to the files that are no longer obtainable. BulletProof Software is one company that recognized this right and helped us to build our archive. One day, we hope to see both small companies and major corporations with their very own, easy-to-find old version section.
Lastly, there is a need to archive cultural artifacts. If software is allowed to disappear into the past, a piece of history is lost. People must have access to this data in order to understand the direction of computer industry and civilization as a whole.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
This week roundup's of useful web design, building & publishing resources:
- 25 Open Source Web Design Programs & Tools You Should Already Know About
- CHAMI HTML-Kit (Since I'm too broke to afford my own Dreamweaver, I use HTML-Kit to code all my websites. It is not as powerful as Dreamweaver, but it gets the job done.)
- Aptana Studio (an open-source alternative to Dreamweaver. It's on my to-try list)
- HTML Station: Provides demonstrations, tutorials, codes, specification summaries, techniques/technologies descriptions, and supporting information about hypertext markup language (HTML) and related technologies.
- HTML Help: A good resource site for web authoring techniques.
- LISSA Explains It All: HTML For Kids (and for adults too!)
- W3Schools Online Web Building Tutorials
- Dreamweaver CS3 Tutorial
- CSS Creator
- Generating Colors in HTML (University of Texas at Austin)
- Web Colors Chart
- HTML Color Codes Chart
Friday, April 17, 2009
Here are my favorite sites for free/low cost sheet music downloads:
- Sheet Music Online (impressive collection of sheet music for sale)
- The Free Sheet Music Guide
- IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library (This is a public domain sheet music library with a growing collection of free classical sheet music that are digitized and uploaded by volunteers)
- Jeanie's Online Music Studio: Sharing Sheet Music & Resources
- Transcriptions of George Winston's piano music (PDFs)
Thursday, April 16, 2009
All serious researchers and students are familiar with OCLC's FirstSearch WorldCat database, which aggregates bibliographic records from more than 71,000 libraries with 135 million records in all formats (books, journals, videos, audio records, etc.). Unfortunately, this is a fee-based service that is only accessible through the library of one's institution. What if you are on the road and, for whatever reason, do not have access to OCLC FirstSearch? Below are three free Online Public Access Catalogs (OPACs) and one fulltext digital journals collection that are comprehensive enough for most scholarly research. Unless you are searching for the most abstruse or esoteric item, these free alternatives are more than sufficent for your research:
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Link: East Asian Cinema: China, Japan & Korea
If you are a fan of films from China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan),Japan, Korea or are looking for movies to show to your students, you would want to consult UC Berkeley's Media Resources Center at Moffitt Library's East Asian Cinema: China, Japan & Korea, which provides a detailed listing and synopsis of East Asian films.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Here are useful resources for Asian American Studies:
- U.S. Census Bureau's Asian & Pacific Islander Populations Race Data (useful census data on Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders)
- Asian American Women Studies (maintained by Ohio State University Libraries' Women's Studies Collections)
- Asian Americans: An Annotated Directory of Internet Resources (last updated: 2005. Very outdated but still has useful links).
- Asian Americans: Library Guides (last updated: 2006. Very outdated but still has useful links).
- Asian American Justice Center (The mission of the Asian American Justice Center is to advance the human and civil rights of Asian Americans through advocacy, public policy, public education and litigation)
- Asian Law Caucus (The mission of the Asian Law Caucus is to promote, advance, and represent the legal and civil rights of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities.)
- Chronicles of Subversion: The Queer A&PI History You Didn't Learn in School (GAPIMNY)
- Proto-Transgenderal & Homoerotic Traditions in Asia & the Pacific (Pauline Park)
Monday, April 13, 2009
Link: Internally Displaced Persons: Guide to Legal Information Resources on the Web
persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized State border" (Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, 1998, Introduction, para. 2)..
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Article Link: Times Change: Print No Longer Default MLA Citation Style
For those of you who use the MLA Citation Style, the recently released 7th edition of the MLA Citation Handbook has, among other things, new rules on citing web sources:
The Modern Language Association's (MLA) new handbook for academic citations does away with the primacy of print, along with the need to include URLs for Web citations. All hail the rise of the Internet.
Even more interesting is the MLA's decision to ditch URLs in citations. URLs "often change, can be specific to a subscriber or a session of use, and can be so long and complex that typing them into a browser is cumbersome and prone to transcription errors," says the book. "Readers are now more likely to find resources on the Web by searching for titles and authors' names than by typing URLs."
For those in academics, though, the move is just further evidence of the Web's mainstreaming. Print, for long the superpower, now sees itself reduced to just one more format among others. As archives like Project MUSE and JSTOR continue to digitize old journals and projects like Google Book Search digitize old books, even information that originally appeared in "print" is increasingly accessed through electronic systems, read off of screens, or (rather ironically) printed again by the ream in campus computer labs.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
- Britannica Channel
- Library of Congress
- Smithsonian Channel
- YouTube's EDU Channel (videos from colleges/universities)
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Link: Wayback Machine
For more information, please read this Computerworld article.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Link to the news release and reports
In its March 2009 report, the Bureau of Justice Statistics of the Department of Justice states:
Read the summary & access the full report.The nation’s Asian, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islander population had the lowest rates of violent and property victimizations among all racial and ethnic groups between 2002 and 2006, according to a study released today by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Asians, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders comprised about four percent of the U.S. population between 2002 and 2006 but were victims in two percent of nonfatal violent crimes and three percent of property crimes per year.
Link: Handbook of Emerging Technologies for Learning
Also available: PDF Version
Link: How Much Energy Goes Into Making a Bottle of Water?
Answer: way too much!
An informative discussion from the physorg.com website.
Data of Federal Prosecution of Immigration Cases for December 2008
Link: Data of Federal Prosecution of Immigration Cases for December 2008
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
The U.S. Geological Survey has issued a new study documenting the rapid disappearance of Antartica's Ice Shelves. This study is especially useful if you are researching on environment and global warming issues.
If you, like me, can't read everything at once, you might be interested in the following services that allow you to save URLs of interesting online articles for later reading.
Legal Planet, a collaboration between UC Berkeley School of Law and UCLA School of Law, provides insight and analysis on energy and environmental law and policy. The blog draws upon the individual research strengths and vast expertise of the law schools’ legal scholars and think tanks. Our goal is to fill a unique space on the blogosphere, not only by bridging the worlds of law and policy, but also by translating the latest developments in a way that’s understandable to a mass audience. We write about Supreme Court decisions, regulatory actions, and state and national legislation that affects water resource management, toxic waste disposal, renewable energy, air quality, land use, and more. The global challenge of climate change is the driver behind our work.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Researchers who are interested in environmental pollution in the US might want to consult TOXMAP: TRI & Superfund Environmental Maps
TOXMAP is a Geographic Information System (GIS) from the Division of Specialized Information Services of the US National Library of Medicine (NLM) that uses maps of the United States to help users visually explore data from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) and Superfund National Priorities List (NPL).
Saturday, April 4, 2009
AcademicEarth showcases lectures by well known academics from UC Berkeley, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford and Yale, etc. It's so fascinating to watch the lectures and learn something new from the well-known luminaries from top-rated universities for free.
Not to be outdone, Google has just created YouTube-Edu featuring lectures from various universities and colleges. In terms of selection, Youtube-Edu has more lectures than AcademicEarth, but AcademicEarth's lectures are much higher quality in content and video.
Sites referred to in today's blog:
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Notwithstanding its name, even legal professionals, academics, and the plain curious folks would find lots of interesting twitterers to follow.
Thanks to Wisblawg for this info.
Huexotzinco Codex, 1531, documenting in pictographic language part of the testimony in a legal case against representatives of the colonial government in Mexico, ten years after the Spanish conquest in 1521. Photograph: Library of Congress
Coming online on April 21, 2009:
I am looking forward to its launch on April 21 and hope to review it on this blog. I'm always excited about free resources that promotes knowledge and research.
The Guardian has just published a write-up on the World Digital Library: New Digital Library to Display World on a Website
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
If you, like me, don't have access to Lexis/Nexis and Westlaw on someone else's dime, fret not.