Saturday, August 12, 2006

Security, Spies and MI5

In the digital age, even security and intelligence agencies legendary for secrecy have their own Web sites. The British Security Service, commonly known as MI5--and the subject of a popular BBC television drama broadcast as “MI-5” in the United States--is no exception. At the official Security Service site, visitors can learn more about MI5’s mission, history, and leaders (including current Director General Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller), explore common “Myths and Understandings” about the Security Service, and gain insight into MI5 operations within the context of British law. Visitors can also link to recently declassified materials at the British National Archives that highlight some of MI5’s espionage and counter-intelligence work over the years.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, August 11, 2006


Avoid customer service phone tree purgatory. Go to for a list on how to find a live human when calling customer service.

And to getfeline, send a comment to your favorite Virtual Cat!

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Healthfinder: A Portal For Health Information

Developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Healthfinder is a free portal to a broad range of health information. Users can search with Google or visit the health library to use a searchable index of carefully reviewed health information from over 1,500 government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and universities. Some of the areas covered, among many others, are diseases and conditions and alternative medicine. Special resources include drug databases and a drug interaction checker.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


iLoveLanguages is a website offering links to over 2400 language-related Internet resources. Each link has been hand reviewed for quality. The resources include schools, translation dictionaries, literature, software, and much, much more.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Wikipedia pushes for quality

This past weekend, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society co-sponsored Wikimania 2006, the International Wikimedia Conference at Harvard Law School. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales delivered the keynote address where he stated:

"Although we've always had this goal of Britannica quality or better, we're not there yet," ... "We can no longer feel satisfied and happy when we see these (article) numbers going up.... We should continue to turn our attention away from growth and towards quality."

Mr. Wales began his presentation with a clip of the Colbert Report, where Stephen Colbert does a piece on his love of Wikipedia and "wikiality". It is worth a moment of your time if you have never seen it.

All kidding aside, This three day conference included discussions on everything from validating information to how the Wikipedia fits into broader efforts in open-source, "free culture." Interesting stuff.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat