links for 2010-11-04

  • "Back in 2005, Monica Gaudio wrote a nice piece about apple pie recipes for a medieval cookery enthusiast blog. Five years later, her post appeared nearly verbatim—without compensation or permission—in Cooks Source magazine. And then it got worse."
  • "In a way, what Leck has created is a pro-active search engine: it answers twitter users who aren't even aware of their own ignorance.

    On the one hand the idea of a reverse search engine is somewhat appealing, on the other hand; it's Clippy for the internet."

  • "Nigel Leck, a software developer by day, was tired of arguing with anti-science crackpots on Twitter. So, like any good programmer, he wrote a script to do it for him."

    "The database began as a simple collection of responses written by Leck himself, but these days quite a few of the rejoinders are culled from a university source whom Leck says he isn't at liberty to divulge."

    "Leck always apologizes when AI_AGW answers someone who isn't actually arguing about the science of climate change and then subsequently whitelists his or her account. The bot also has a kind of learning algorithm in it in that can be trained not to respond to phrases that cause false positives."