Mar 30, 2009

«information behaviour» vs «information practices»

In Professor Tom Wilson's Blog (Information Research - ideas and debates), there's a discussion going on about «information behaviour» and «information practices», being the later a more incopassing terminology:
"Information behaviour and information practice are closely related. They incorporate common elements such as "action" but still they are not reducible to each other. Behaviour draws more strongly on the tradition of psychology (or social psychology) while the conceptualizations of practice draw more on sociology (Bourdieu, Giddens) and social philosophy (Schutz, Schatzki, Wittgenstein). From this perspective, information behaviour and information practice complement each other"
The conversation is based on a review by Tom Wilson, on the book of Savolainen, Reijo Everyday information practices: a social phenomenological perspective. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2008. Since I do not have access to the book, will keep for now the link to the review in Information Research Journal:

Mar 27, 2009

«Infrastructures» definition by EU Commission

Importance of Research Infrastructures for Europe
  • [definition:] “Research Infrastructure” are facilities, resources and related services that are used by the scientific community to conduct top-level research in their respective fields. This definition covers: major scientific equipment or sets of instruments; knowledge based-resources such as collections, archives or structured scientific information; enabling ICT-based infrastructures such as Grid, computing, software and communications. Such Research Infrastructures may be “single-sited” or “distributed” (a network of resources).
  • [examples of what constitutes infrastructures:] Examples of Research Infrastructures range from synchrotrons, telescopes, high power lasers, or high performance computers, to research vessels, bio-banks, brain imaging facilities, clean rooms, data archives, etc.
  • [contributions of infrastructures to EU Research:] High quality, internationally open Research Infrastructures are necessary tools to carry out top quality research. They contribute to extending the frontiers of knowledge, supporting industrial innovation, exchanging and transmitting knowledge, and training the next generation of top researchers. Therefore, Research Infrastructures are at the core of the “knowledge triangle”, combining Research, Education and Innovation.

Mar 16, 2009

faster and lighter batteries

Research in MIT, Computational and Experimental Design of Emerging materials Research group (CEDER), might solve electric power needs while on mobility: Novel material for rechargable battery (in more or less 3 years).

Mar 8, 2009

losses in «information transitions»: time, errors, sync

Example of information loss in «information transitions». Actual high mobility of healthcare workers to collect data on tuberculosis patients. IS applied research solution: capturing information (almost) directly to PDA. Still have to be entered by workers, but after collected through the PDA stays in digital form and is apt for transfer to other IS.
"Under the old patient tracking system, a team of four healthcare workers would visit more than 100 health care centers and labs twice a week to record patient test results on paper sheets. A couple of times a week, they returned to their main office to transcribe those results onto two sets of forms per patient -- one for the doctors and one for the health care administrators.

From start to finish, that process took an average of more than three weeks per patient. There was also greater potential for error because information was copied by hand so many times.

With the new system, health care workers enter all of the lab data into their handheld devices, using medical software designed for this purpose. When the workers return to their office, they sync up the PDAs with their computers. " [taken from Harvard-MIT Health Science and Technology News & Events, Researchers use handheld devices to monitor TB patients in Peru]

Mar 6, 2009

mobility concept

Kakihara, M. and Sørensen, C. (2001). Expanding the 'mobility' concept. SIGGROUP Bull. 22, 3 (Dec. 2001), pp. 33-37:
"The train and airline infrastructures are highly integrated with ICTs such as electronic reservation systems and traffic control systems. It is therefore important to recognize that the fundamental nature of technological revolution in the late twentieth century is the dynamic and complex interplay between old and new technologies and between the reconfiguration of the technological fabric and its domestication (...).This paper concerns the concept of mobility, which manifests such a transformation of our social lives combining new and old technologies. It is now widely argued that our life styles have become increasingly mobile in the sense that the speed of transportation and hence geographical reach within a given time span is dramatically augmented by modern technological developments and sophistication such as train and airplane systems."

Multiple computer devices

Dearman, D. and Pierce, J. S. (2008). It's on my other computer!: computing with multiple devices. In Proceeding of the Twenty-Sixth Annual SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Florence, Italy, April 05 - 10, 2008), pp. 767-776:
"The number of computing devices that people use is growing. To gain a better understanding of why and how people use multiple devices, we interviewed 27 people from academia and industry. From these interviews we distill four primary findings. First, associating a user's activities with a particular device is problematic for multiple device users because many activities span multiple devices. Second, device use varies by user and circumstance; users assign different roles to devices both by choice and by constraint. Third, users in industry want to separate work and personal activities across work and personal devices, but they have difficulty doing so in practice Finally, users employ a variety of techniques for accessing information across devices, but there is room for improvement: participants reported managing information across their devices as the most challenging aspect of using multiple devices. We suggest opportunities to improve the user experience by focusing on the user rather than the applications and devices; making devices aware of their roles; and providing lighter-weight methods for transferring information, including synchronization services that engender more trust from users."

Mar 3, 2009

(behind the) information made simple

Visual and voice translation of the History of the Internet: complex information made simple. Inspiring.

What we see is a finished product. Much more interesting was to see the amount of information required until the end product was done. In my work I would like to follow someone during all the phases that where needed to make this 8 minute video, looking to all the information used.

Permanent captures of temporary information

Temporary information recording that becomes permanent by photo capturing. Also an example of notes-to-self that become available to others: