Information Management

The Net as a knowledge engine

Look up this entry’s title in your favorite search engine and chances are that there is at least a web site that contains an article arguing in the same vein.

The global capitalistic system wants every piece of intellectual property well accounted for, from a robot building robots to a compiled computer code allowing a user to edit text embedded in an image file. I cannot imagine how the current system manages millions of trademarks, copyrights, patents and the like. It is the complex system that has begotten lots of lawsuits that not protect the plaintiffs’ business interests but also bring more cash into their coffers. Patent lawyers bring more money into their purse, too.

I thought that a brainchild that remains hidden in one’s notebook, digital or otherwise, is most likely to be ‘robbed’ by another person, who immediately publishes it on the net, for reasons of fame, nobility in purpose, or whatever. There’s nothing that the ‘original’ creator or author can do to lay claim to such idea. Not unless legal issues come into play.

I therefore argue that the one who publishes first gets the credit. We have this Filipino saying: “Daig ng maagap ang masipag” (The person who rises early finishes first or gets more than the industrious one.)

Of course, with the early publishing comes the responsibility of committing no or minimal factual, logic or even assumption lapses in such exposition of idea. Or s/he will draw flak from concerned netizens. And it might usher in his/her descent to disgrace.

More often than not, I tend to consult the net on concepts that I’m sure incubated from my mind but leave me wondering whether such concepts incubated from other persons’ minds either. At least, such information will help me think how to present the idea in a non-plagiaristic manner.

The Net has become an engine through which historical, empirical and new-frontier knowledge can be searched. If you will, the Net can also be considered as a virtual repository of knowledge creations, including the more technico-legal intellectual property claims. If, after a flash of discovery or as a result of burning the midnight oil, one comes up with an idea, be it revolutionary or fantastic, s/he should find out first whether such idea already has earlier proponents. Consider it a standard practice of research, the digital equivalent to a visit in library.

And to bring this scheme of knowledge creation into proper perspective, I propose that alternative ways of sharing and protecting knowledge on the Net (yes, both can be done at the same time) should be explored. Ever heard of the Creative Commons and sourceforge.net? Go explore.

My twits about Opera, web browser

In my four days of using Opera web browser as well as its Mail and Chat services, I managed to “micro-blog” about it on Twitter (see below). I’ve been trying Opera since October 18 and I can say that the browser is the best “freeware” there is, what with its fast speed and robustness. Yes, folks, Opera is not open source but it’s cross-platform (available for Linux, Macbooks, and Windows) and is free of charge.

  • Good morning. Trying Opera, the "faster" web browser. #
  • Ha ha. Opera’s "enlarge-font" command makes font _really_ large. Near-sighteds will not press Ctrl++ twice or so. #
  • Point your mouse to a Tab and a tooltip will appear showing the small replica of the web page in that tab. What for? #
  • Opera’s Feeds feature rocks. You can watch out for your favorite feeds by clicking the Feeds item in the menubar. Likewise, … #
  • With Opera’s built-in Mail and Contacts services, I don’t need to create a filter for mails received from a particular person. #
  • Opera’s Mail built-in labels are cool: Important, ToDo, MailBack, CallBack, Meeting, Funny, Valuable. I can’t add more, though 😦 #
  • Panels sidebar takes up just about 8% of screen. Then a sidebar for a specific panel takes up just about 15%. #
  • 18 tabs open in Opera. No hiccups so far. Still showing robustness. I don’t have that with Firefox. #
  • My Opera seemed to freeze a while ago. When I checked top, apport was eating up over 90% of my resources. apport ran because Opera crashed? #
  • When I reran Opera, everything works normally fast again. #
  • Opera Mail rocks big time. Aside from the regular ones, it’s got built-in categories for Attachments, Mailing Lists, and Newsfeeds. #
  • Opera’s GTD-friendly. I can press a couple of keys to label my mails. L->1 for Important; L->2, Todo; and so on. #
  • Unlike with Firefox, with Opera, I can easily change skins without restarting the browser. #
  • Oops, I can’t use a group name for my mail bcc field 😦 #
  • Opera’s chat service is great. #
  • Great, Opera has Quick Reply feature! Just type a few words and press Ctrl+Shift+E. #
  • Opera Mail does not do what Gmail does best: Treating threads as conversations with the latest mail putting its thread on top of the list. #
  • Pressing F11 to full-screen Opera sent my X panicking, disabling the keyboard 😦 #
  • There are two Opera widgets for Twitter. This widget I’m using is called Twippera. My twits and my friends’ are displayed altogether. #
  • This another widget is much simpler. Though I have to do clicks to navigate between my twits and my friends’. #
  • There’s also an Opera widget for Facebook, which unfortunately is nothing more than a list of friends and their statuses. #
  • Opera isn’t open source but freeware. Though it gives ‘freeware’ a new noble distinction. #
  • I can’t find a keyboard shorcut to change Opera mail list’s view from flat to threaded and vice versa 😦 There is with Thunderbird. #
  • When focus is on message, Opera’s quick-reply shortcut doesn’t work 😦 #
  • Want that closed tab back? Going to History is tedious. Just click the Trash Can button and reopen the site. (I’m referring to Opera.) #
  • Dig: Click E to filter mails sent to or by a sender. Bury: No other key to go back to "all" mode. (Opera Mail) #
  • Unlike Firefox, Opera uses an icon/image to indicate loading of a page. #
  • Opera doesn’t give alternatives to fonts not recognized by my system 😦 Though it resolves it with the "user mode" option. #
  • With Opera, you don’t need that status bar anymore. Page loading status is shown right in the address bar. #
  • Booting back to IceWM (after using KDE for a two days). Opera hasn’t changed its UI and remained as fast. #
  • Opera Mail’s filter feature seems bugsy. I created one with a simple rule yet it absorbed all mails from my inbox 😦 #
  • Writing while on constant look-out of Twippera. A twitter addict, that’s me. #
  • Opera’s Windows Panel (Shift+Ctrl+0 then first letter of site name) is equivalent to Firefox’s windows list button. Cool enough. #
  • There’s one mail that’s about a meeting and which I need to reply to. I can’t assign two labels to it as Opera Mail doesn’t allow me that 😦 #
  • Darn, with Opera Mail, I can’t forward HTML-format mails as is nor can I compose HTML-format mail. #