About this Blogsphere:

This blogsphere attempts to capture, catalog and share resources relating to visual perception of information. It is about a world mostly dealing with Physical (Touch, Taste, See/Sight, Smell and Hear) and sometimes Metaphysical (and that is none-of-the-above category). Physical, for instance, touch (e.g., feel, felt, found), look and visualization, is here with an attempt to combine verbal, vocal and visual--to synchronously see, hear, share and do much more. Interestingly, in order to visualize one does not need special skills, competencies, etc. It is all about common sense, especially with human visualizations. In short, "information is in the eye of the beholder." Continue reading much more all-ado-about this Blogosphere

Akbani is a Cutchi Memon family name.

December 31, 2005

How Observant Are You?

While mind and calender change the respective interfaces, please visualize my observation benchmark (upto 2005). I am A C! Are you in the same boat. If yes I am happy: 'great minds think alike.' If not try your luck, click at the bottom of this image and observe.

Your Observation Skills Get A C-

You tend to notice the big things in life...
But the details aren't exactly your forte

Want an observant HTML?
Thanks to a Canadian who brought me here

Happy New Year 2006

We came, We saw and We pass On ... towards a New Year With new goals ... all the best to visualizers of the world

[Thank you Euphoric for the Picture]


December 27, 2005

Call Centre (s) Culture in-making

Initiation to this subject:
Your Call Is Important to Us: The Truth About Bullshit by Laura Penny

Return on Investment (ROI) - visual measures:
Call Centre Culture
Ok, this will probably bore y'all to tears, but a recent email to a friend reminded me that call centre have their own unique language and culture that not everyone speaks....so, here's a primer on the language.....
talk time - the amount of time spent on each call. Where I work, the goal is 140 seconds per call. Mine is usually about 120

Call Centers Suck
One of the hardest parts of this job is not the rote behavior or the lack of freedom, but the knowledge that the hundred people that I talk to on a daily basis do not make the connection that they are speaking to a human being and therefore the “Golden Rule” does not apply. I have been called every name in the book. My life has been threatened. The insinuation that I am somehow “lesser” because I am on the receiving end of that call is a constant current that flows just under the surface of my workday.

Striking the wrong chord
Screaming at the top of your voice every time you lose your temper can cause more trouble than giving you a bad throat. Doctors say misuse of voice, or rather, overuse of voice can lead to vocal fold ruptures....
Doctors say tension at workplace and an overload of work can worsen the problem. “When patients approach us with problems, we suggest they take sessions with a speech therapist. We guide them about vocal hygiene. Sometimes, depending on the severity of the problem — like in case of polyps — surgery is the only option,” said Dr Ameet Kishore at Apollo Hospital.

Taking Catalog Calls
One thing is clear, that this is NOT the place to work if you want any sort of job satisfaction or career growth. The whole place is a virtual revolving door of customers and employees.

The Great Telemarketing Lie
Shining India’s swanky new sweatshops
Call Center Services Online
Among all the changes which one sees- some good, some bad, some real and some just cosmetic, the most conspicuous to me was the seemingly increasing outsourcing of the American lifestyle to the youth of India.
Call Center Killers and How To Prevent Them
The call center debate

Occupational Hazards:
Capture-Recapture Estimation of Unreported Work-Related. Musculoskeletal Disorders in Connecticut.
Noise Induced Hearing Loss, Googlesphere and
Noise Induced Hearing Loss, Googlesphere
call-centres "hearing loss'
Shocking News About Call Centres. With the growth of the call centre industry, acoustic shock may become a major new occupational injury of the 21st century ...
Patel JA, Broughton K.Assessment of the noise exposure of call centre operators. Ann Occup Hyg. 2002 Nov;46(8):653-61. PMID: 12406859
Alexander RW, Koenig AH, Cohen HS, Lebo CP.
The effects of noise on telephone operators. J Occup Med. 1979 Jan;21(1):21-5. PMID: 759592
Daniell WE, Fulton-Kehoe D, Cohen M, Swan SS, Franklin GM.
Increased reporting of occupational hearing loss: workers' compensation in Washington State, 1984-1998. Am J Ind Med. 2002 Dec;42(6):502-10. PMID: 12439873
Daniell WE, Swan SS, McDaniel MM, Stebbins JG, Seixas NS, Morgan MS.
Noise exposure and hearing conservation practices in an industry with high incidence of workers' compensation claims for hearing loss. Am J Ind Med. 2002 Oct;42(4):309-17. PMID: 12271478
Call Centre Noise Hazards - Over 1 Million Call Centre Operators ...Call Centre Noise Hazards - Over 1 Million Call Centre Operators in the UK at Risk, PRNewswire. Entf. ...

The Inmates Are Running the Asylum : Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How To Restore The Sanity by Alan Cooper
For more books see my Listmania Amazon.com:
Call Centre / Customer Service: A Culture in making

PS. Thanks to Aysha for the new book @ Amazon.

2005 The Year in Tech Law, by Michael Geist

Amazing, candid, interesting, marvelous, startling, and wonderful alpha, beta model for information visualization.

Read a sample, Toronto Star, freely available version:

•D is for the do-not-call list, legislation which the Senate passed just minutes before closing down for the election. Critics expressed skepticism about the bill's effectiveness after lobby groups succeeded in obtaining a broad range of exceptions.
•E is for education and copyright, the source of a heated public relations battle between education groups and copyright collectives. The government had promised a fall public consultation on the issue that never materialized.
•I for Internet telephony and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission May decision that left software-based services such as Skype unregulated, yet determined that incumbent telecommunications providers would be subject to regulatory oversight. Several providers asked the government to review the decision.
•J is for a threatened lawsuit by the Jehovah' s Witnesses' Watch Tower Society against a Toronto-based website owner who posted excerpts of religious texts online. The Society claims copyright and trademark infringement, arguing that the postings were meant to embarrass the Society.
•K is for keystroke logging, an invasive technology that enables employers to track their employees' computer use. In June, Alberta Privacy Commissioner Frank established limits on the use of the technology after a library employee filed a complaint.

December 26, 2005

What's a blog - WYSIWYG

This is a running post: Updated 22 July, 2006

Bloggers: A portrait of the internet's new storytellers, 7/19/2006
The ease and appeal of blogging is inspiring a new group of writers and creators to share their voices with the world.
A national phone survey of bloggers finds that most are focused on describing their personal experiences to a relatively small audience of readers and that only a small proportion focus their coverage on politics, media, government, or technology. Blogs, the survey finds, are as individual as the people who keep them. However, most bloggers are primarily interested in creative, personal expression – documenting individual experiences, sharing practical knowledge, or just keeping in touch with friends and family. continue reading the PEW Report
"E-marketer presents some good data related to why people blog, how often, and how they are viewed by their readers, take a look!"
A key finding of the survey is that the blogger respondents are, to a large degree, seeking to position themselves as authorities in their field. That was the number one reason they gave for blogging. [source: Blogs and Business from E-marketer, by Kim Phelan on November 7, 2005]
Blogs allow us to get our message out to the world in a direct, unmediated, and unfiltered way.
— Tim Bray, Sun Microsystems
[quoted in Does Your Company Belong in the Blogosphere?]
News:Based on the Technorati queries part of their study, it seems that the most commonly-used blogging platforms are:

blogspot 44%
msn 23%
livejournal 8%
aol 1%
splinder 1%
20six 1%
typepad 1%
blog 1%
fc2 1%
hatena 1%
Source: Blogger, MSN etc: which blogging system's most popular?

Information visualizationists will say: WYSIWYG (or "what you see is what you get")
And there is another side in such a perspective. Let's not over look:

"Seeing is believing", as the saying goes, and when people use their avatar to explore inside of a graphical world, they tend to suspend disbelief more easily. The brain is used to visual data above all other senses - vision provides the overwhelming amount of data to the brain. Bartle argues that text is better at the suspension of disbelief ... I would argue just the opposite - that graphics overwhelms the senses and can easily suspend disbelief. [source]

By the way, seeing and believing in physical world is easy to understand. In virtual (synchronous) world, it is gaining acceptability. Whereas, in spiritual domain, this is a matter of personal and individual outlook.

The netizens, experience, these in the process of visualization.
You may like to call it metaphor, figure of speech, slimily, analogy, allegory, etc. Nevertheless, I found an interesting example:
Blog as windows, bridges and cafes:
Windows (social changes)
free information ...

Bridges (society)
connecting between different divided societies, social islands
immigrants – non-immigrates ...

Cafes (politics)
Ideal speech situation – equal power for everyone ... source

(~~~~)Survey of the Biblioblogosphere: Why we blog:
I received 116 responses to the open ended question “why do you blog?” Instead of presenting every answer to you, I went through and categorized them by the different goals one would have for blogging. Many of the answers fit into more than one category. Here are the reasons why we blog:
To share ideas with other/to communicate with colleagues, friends, family: 47 (40.5%)
To record ideas for self/to keep current: 28 (24.1%)
To network/to build community: 22 (19%)

A word of wisdom about 'what to expect' and 'what not to' from Blogs: It's a blog's life
(~~~~)[Those who forget history will be forced to...]
December 22, 2005
How the read/write web was lost...
The idea of a read/write web had been motivating the work of many hypertext developers like TBL long before the web was born. But, the last 10 years experience with the largely "read-only" web has caused many people to forget that the original idea was to create a writeable, creative space -- not just a network of things to be read. Fortunately, the growth of blogging is finally causing the renaissance of the read/write web. What we don't understand, I think, is how the original idea of the read/write web could have been "lost" -- even temporarily.
(~~~~)Time to check: Are you using the right blogging tool?, by By Susannah Gardner
"If you’re new to the blogosphere, new to blogging or just want to freshen up your knowledge, this is a good read." suggests Paloma Cruz in Blogging jargon @ stories from a Web Junkie life.

(~~~~)See also: Sifry's Alerts, State of the Blogosphere, February 2006 Part 1: On Blogosphere Growth
See also: Peekablog: Blogs, Visualization, and Tufte
Submitted by webfanatic on Thu, 2005-01-27 10:12.
Most important is Rajesh Setty's Blogging Starter Checklist
(~~~~) Link policy and building traffic, from What's Your Brand Mantra?
Maintaining a blog is a lot like having a child (I don't have one, but I can imagine.) It takes a lot of time, nurturing and care. It's not as easy as asking a bunch of bloggers if they'd put your link on their site. So I suppose to sum up this post on driving traffic:
1. Compare your blog to others in your space... do your posts sound distinctly "you"? Or could they appear on someone else's blog and no one would know the difference? What unique value are you adding to the blogosphere? This is the "product development" phase.
2. Participate, participate, participate. Give first in order to receive. This is the "marketing" phase.
(~~~~)Blogging and knowledge management: Blogging For knowledge sharing, management and dissemination, Marydee Ojala
In a collaborative work environment, blogs bring significant benefits to enterprises willing to adopt the technology. Writers of blogs, called bloggers, can add to the sum total of knowledge for research projects, share industry and product knowledge, capture and disseminate pertinent news from outside the enterprise, and contribute valuable insights on specific subjects. They are particularly useful for promoting knowledge in cross-cultural environments.

(----)Three Ways for PR Folk to Use Blogs,by Christie Goodman, May 09, 2006: From what I’ve seen, there are three basic ways to use blogs in PR. And they progress from low involvement to high involvement.
Listening (Monitoring); Blogger Relations; and Blog Hosting

(~~~~)Weblog research: artefacts and practices - and contexts that influence them, Lilia Efimova.

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December 25, 2005

Cyber Worship - Look & Feel

My new book from Scarecrow Press. Due to be released shortly.

Interestingly, I found two blogs mention this phrase: Cyber Worship: [Faith] Cyber-members and Knowledge
A Sensational Development in the Cyber World (The Hindu Newspaper (17/07/03)!
A recent research in the University of Buffalo on Virtual Reality indicates the possibility to transmit the "Sense of Touch" though Internet. After the progress in transmission of "Smell" through Internet and "Connectivity" through "Fabric", the new possibility opens up avenues for the use of Internet in creating virtual reality through remote networking.

Ms. K. Sowmya and V.Vishwadhara, students, St Joseph's College of Engineering, Chennai have demonstrated the concept of "Experiencing Smell Through Electronic Reality" (ESTER) through a prototype of a "Scented e-card" in front of an international audience in Los Angeles (Indian Express (8/7/2003, City Express, Chennai).

In 2001 the Delhi based Sandeep Jaidka and Kewal Kohli obtained the world's first patent on the creation of smell and sensation through multimedia from the United States Patent Office. This invention relied on digitally encoded signals to produce a variety of sensations not specific to an enclosed or open space. Hopefully the Cyber World will be soon open to the third sensory dimension of smell beyond the senses of vision and audio. More

About my book:
Cyber Worship in Multifaith Perspectives explores worship on the Net. It is not about ‘everything you need to know’ even on the subjects of faith & belief. This book is just about religious and spiritual experience under the rubric, cyber worship --worship as (Prayer, Praise, Scripture, Sacrament, Rituals, Confessions, Eucharist, Rites, Pilgrimages, Reflection, Contemplation, etc.) performed in cyberspace. The term ‘Cyber Worship’ includes variants, such as, religions-online, online-religions, religions on the Net, religions in the cyberspace, online worship, virtual worship, electronic prayer, cyber church, e-prarthana, cyber puja, cyber salat, cyber Hajj, cyber synagogue, cyber Minyan, so on and so forth.

Neither, cyber worship is a rival temple, nor multifaith a new religion. Here in a generic sense Multifaith is used to signify multiple faiths representing a unity in diversity. It includes first, mainstream religions & spirituality, and second alternative traditions of belief & practice. Alternative traditions, here include, alternative systems of belief religious practices, non-mainstream spiritualities, new age movements, non-traditional movements, paganism, non-conformists, cults, etc.

Contents (brief)
•Preface ix
•Credits: Copyright and Permission xi
•1. Cyber Worship/Meditation Webwise: Noah, Abraham and Beyond 1
•2. Cyber Worship as-is On the Web 67
•3. Fast Track to Multifaith Resources for Cyber Worship 109
•4. Navigating the Deep Sacred Space via Experiences of the Wise 137
•5. Glossary: A Pathfinder for Future History 301
•5.1 Appendix: Cyber Worship’s Web Feet: Metadata for Digital Information – Webliography 314
•5.2 Appendix: Cyber Worship: Web Evaluation - Questionnaire and Survey Results 314
•Bibliography 325
•Index 329

Ask for more info.

My other books

December 23, 2005

Internet: lack of built-in security

In his office within the gleaming-stainless-steel and orange-brick jumble of MIT's Stata Center, Internet elder statesman and onetime chief protocol architect David D. Clark prints out an old PowerPoint talk. Dated July 1992, it ranges over technical issues like domain naming and scalability. But in one slide, Clark points to the Internet's dark side: its lack of built-in security.
NEWS Alert - From India!
Tapping for dummies
Cellphone tapping is becoming child's play. In recent months, mobile phone tapping is in public glare. The State-owned telecom giant BSNL says, "With computer-based portable interception devices that not only record conversation and SMS remotely but also organise it neatly in a database for future references, tapping into cellphones is becoming child's play. Cellphone tapping has been made easier by a device called the multi track system (MTS)."

More related Content:
..Top Security Trends for 2006 Security threats will become more sophisticated in 2006, keeping security startups and their customers on their toes December 25, 2005
..Securing the Information Infrastructure, By Alan S. Brown
..Top Five Security Threats for 2006, January 9, 2006, By Linda LeBlanc
..Brian Krebs on Computer Security: Conning the Con

Read the review I wrote on this security, safety and etc., as Infostructure in geopardy?, February 28, 2006, The Anarchist in the Library: How the Clash Between Freedom and Control is Hacking the Real World and Crashing the System, by Siva Vaidhyanathan

Two other articles are relevant in case you are interested in this area of Information Anarchy:

Information Anarchy or Information Utopia?, By JAMES G. NEAL, The Chronicle of Higher Education,
12/9/2005 [This article includes the following points]

>>>>The relationships between libraries and faculty members will be disruptive. We must more effectively integrate the library into the academic enterprise. Libraries must be professors' partners, not their servants.
>>>>Users' expectations will be disruptive. If we don't listen more carefully to our students and faculty members about what they want, our collections and services will not meet their needs.
>>>>Technology applications and infrastructure will be disruptive if we don't build and support new hardware, software, and networks. We need reliability, capacity, and access to emerging technologies. That means a renaissance in the working relationship between libraries and campus information-technology organizations.
>>>>The development of information standards will be disruptive if we don't rethink the process for reconceiving, debating, endorsing, and maintaining them through our national and global organizations.

Another important article: INFORMATION ANARCHY AND THE CONTROL OF CRYPTOGRAPHY , By: Dickson, Kirby G., Information Systems Security, 1065898X, Winter95, Vol. 3, Issue 4
Cryptography is intended to offer a defense against the threat of unauthorized disclosure of information. Yet, without proper controls, it can be a potential cause of information loss. Donn Parker has argued that lack of control over cryptography will lead eventually to information anarchy. He defines information anarchy as a condition in which "control and use of information is in the hands of a different set of people than those who are accountable for it, have jurisdiction over it, and own it." Information anarchy results primarily from use of cryptography without any means of ensuring that the key needed to decode encrypted information is unfailingly available to those who need the information and are responsible for it. Its remedy, therefore, is based on the principle that the knowledge of cryptographic keys and their correspondence to particular sets of encrypted information should not be limited to persons who initiate encryption but should also be available to responsible individuals within an organization in a controlled and secure manner

[the themes here include: THE RISE OF INFORMATION ANARCHY; THE PREVENTION OF INFORMATION; Forbidding the Use of Cryptography; Controlling the Use of Cryptography; Cryptographic controls require two essential elements; REPOSITORIES AND KEY ESCROW; NEXT STEPS; IN THE MEANTIME]

Information visualization

The central mantra of information visualization
"The central mantra of information visualization states that one should always showcontext and detail together. The following properties are due to applying this mantra rather strictly:The information density is very high. All graphical views are visible in parallel. There is no scrolling in graphical views. Each tree-node indicates the number of its children."

"The visual information seeking mantra: overview first, zoom and filter, then details on demand provides a good starting point, but interpreting the mantra has produced a remarkably diverse set of research and commercial interfaces" (Shneiderman, 1998; Card, Mackinlay and Shneiderman, 1999;http://otal.umd.edu/Olive). source

"By applying information visualisation to DLs’ interfaces, the aim is to shift the user’s metal load from slow reading to faster perceptual processes such as visual pattern recognition." [in "a report from the Centre for HCI Design, City University to the JISC for the results of a foundation study in Information Visualisation."]

"Combine the over abundance of information with our amazing ability to synthesize concepts visually, and you’ve got Information Visualization. Information Visualization is the growing field of visualizing large amounts of information simply and understandably." in Trends to Watch in 2006 - Part 3

Information can be viewed, mapped, touched, felt, (percieived by taste, shape, vision, audition, presence, etc.) and what else could you imagine?
Think outside the box, this is not just VirtualMatter
Wikipeida says:
"As a subject in computer science, information visualization is the use of interactive, sensory representations, typically visual, of abstract data to reinforce cognition"
See a growing base:
  • Information Visualization resources by John Goodall
  • Visualize Yahoo Results with Grokker.
  • Can You Visualize the Web?
  • Information Visualization, by Aneeta
  • Information Visualization and My One Word, by Charles Thill
  • Visualization
  • http://www.librarian.net/stax/1473
  • Information Visualization Blog
  • Making visible the unvisible: [more about the Seattle Public Library ...]
  • Online systems as information visualization
  • Quality data for visualizationists

    Think of other perspectives.
    PS. I am not taking you about HAYSTACK SYNDROME (Sifting Information Out of the Data Ocean, by Eliyahu M Goldratt)*.
    Concept Map - Try it!

    "The process of animating the thoughts started to make me think of how you could map peoples’ record of ideas and perhaps start to map thought patterns. Hence, to use Dodge and Kitchen’s explanation, this workshop experimentation became ‘concerned with what might be termed as “people centred” information visualisation.’ (2002: 154)." see: Beginner-user, October 10th, 2005 by Dom

    Semantopic Map sense includes, people, places, Tools, Organizations, Events, Projects, etc.. These can be also considered under what librarian's feel: Classification and categorization: a difference that makes a difference

    And this visualizing is applied not just in material and physical domains. It is evident everywhere, including, architecture (aesthetics), Meditation (or spirituality) ideas, events, etc. "He has endowed man with special aptitudes, faculties and capacities, and special excellencies which raise him at his best to the position of vicegerent on earth. The Meaning of THE HOLY QURAN, Translation and Commentary by ABDULLAH YUSUF ALI
    See the relevant notes, (or in a printed source: chapter 64, verse 3, note no. 5481)

    Expand the vision, see the whole picture: from inside, outside, top, bottom, back, & front.
    Then, information, data, knowledge and ideas depend on how, where, when, the viewer gets and transmits it.
    Libraries can move with a better goal: to improve their inner-self and outreach. Libraries can improve their inner-self by data mining and outreach by making their catalogs more explicits. See Innovative Practices to Connect Every Book, Its Reader and Mining The Library Catalog.
    Read more, in above page, about the UBCs Visual catalog and data mining in libraries.
    Information is both tangible and intangible.

    Try The Visual Thesaurus, built using Thinkmap, a data visualization technology
    Information visualization as field is growing.... See my directory at DMOZ.

    Googlism for: information visualization

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    >>information visualization is searching and browsing textual data
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    >>information visualization is being used commercially and where it can go from here
    >>information visualization is emerging as one of the most important topics in human
    >>information visualization is responsible for mapping data sets
    >>information visualization is the first book to combine a strictly scientific approach to human perception with a consistently practical concern for the rules
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    >>information visualization is the first book dealing specifically with visualization of the xml
    >>information visualization is the process of knowledge internalization by the perception of information
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    >>information visualization is an area where few theoretical and practical results have been obtained
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    >>information visualization is devoted to topics on color discourse
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    >>information visualization is an especially good source of illustrations for algebraic semiotics
    >>information visualization is a relatively recent area of research
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    >>information visualization is another approach
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    >>information visualization is to request actual multimedia data out of a running

    My Listmania Amazon.com: Information visualization (s)
    Any suggestions, rants on this subject?

    Click here for CURRENT Information Visualisation Conference
    Past conferences: including IEEE Visualization [See also in this same link information about, 1st, MMVis04, 2nd, M2Vis 2005 i.e., "International Conference on Non-visual & Multimodal Visualization"]
    Information visualization articles

    Some interesting work by the Information visualization guru: Dr. Shneiderman and his On-line Library of Information Visualization Environments
  • Mapping the Design Process: Visualizing What We Don't See
    Daniel Boyarski, Virginia Howlett, Scott Mathis, David Peters