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[LAB2]: Citiziens' revenge
(last updated: January 2002)

Warning: The following "Search challenges" are a prototype.
Therefore this is'nt yet a full-fledged searching lab.

Omnium rerum principia parva sunt:-)
This here is a "beta version" of what this lab should look like. Lab2 will open 'officially' only after having REALLY checked all possible paths and the relative "pedagogical" value of the challenges... this said, there's no reason you shouldn't already try your own hand at it if you feel like it... be warned if you want to try this lab, do not read the 'examples of possible solutions' until you'r done with your own attempts, else you'll spoil your own approach.
Note also that those of you that will solve this lab will gain some QUITE dangerous abilities
... and add a couple of ~ around their nick, should they care about such crap... eheh :)
[1) SARAH: copyrights galore]   [2) SCHOUMNUS: how many idiots click?]
[3) MELCHOM: stalking politicians and powerful puppeteers]   [4) MAGRAD: images, as different as snowflakes]

Please note that your Lab-assignement is to find THE MORE ACCURATE DATA about each query target and to describe exactly all steps and paths you have followed. Use pencil and paper, you wont regret it... see the tips below.
1) Regional: copyrights galore
codename: Sarah
'copyrights galore' or 'the importance of subsidiarity'... 'regional stabs', 'data extrapolation' and 'inference pointers'

How much of 'his' money does an author put in his own pocket? Say, for a book he has written? Say for his program? Say for his images/photos/songs? How high (or low) is his percentage of the money really made selling his work? Middlemen... how many? How much? Copyright enforcers? Lawyers?
Spelunking boldly in the dark world of copyrights.
Suggestion: you don't need to aim global... subsidiarity search! find the data for -say- Sweden and Spain and you'll be able to extrapolate somehow... even if many, or even almost all parameters do actually differ elsewhere...

[Examples of possible solutions]
2) Combing: How many idiots click?
codename: Schoumnus
'data reliablity' or 'the importance of looking at the cui prodest'... 'hidden databases', 'newspapers and newsweeks perusing' and 'evaluation lore'

How much money will newspapers and TV-channels and radio stations loose during the next years? How much 'advertisement budget' will be diverted to the web? 11%? 33%? 45%?
How many advertisement campaigns on the web do each cost now (and will cost later) more than 1.000.000 euros? 11%? 33%?
Are idiots and zombies clicking MORE or LESS on banners the more they use the web? Is someone really clicking on ad-banners at all? Visual tricks used to lure clickingn ~ advertisement banners average per site.
Spelunking boldly in the dark world of advertisement web-banners.
Suggestion: pop-ups and banners. Intestitial and consumer behaviour. "Send & cash" and linkexchanges and webrings and so on. Potential bonuses for clever seekers.

An [example of possible solutions]
3) Stalking: Europolticians and powerful puppeteers
codename: Melchom
everybody and his dog on-line... privacy bye bye...
stalking, hidden databases perusing, squeezing truths out of the media.

They want to be 'modern', they want to be 'internetted'... so they'r dumping on line billions of data for the heck of it... yet some of these data they should have better kept hidden :-)
Have a look at my [Strawberry fields... forever] ramblings. Towards the end of the essay you'll find a page with a series of pointers to current legislation initiatives and how to 'read' them. Ok, let's use this thema for a promising stalking' lab: WHO EXACTLY DID GO OUT OF HIS WAY IN ORDER TO AVOID serious mad-cow (BSE) enquires in Europe?: lobbysts? Who? Producers? Who? Bureaucrats? Who? Euro-Parlamentarians? Who? Members of the COREPER? Who? (Names and e-mail addresses please :-)
Spelunking boldly in the dark world of real polytical power and vermineous lobbies.
Suggestion: EP-Minutes; publications of the 'enemies' of your targets (in this case environmentalists and 'greens') and, last but not least, a stab at the almost "media-hidden" COREPER club of the 15 powerful 'gray men' (who gave them those powers? When? Who controls them?) who are publicity-shy (quite effectively) and did (and of course will) delight all sort of nutty "conspiration theorists" around the world. These 15 power-brokers are nevertheless worth a full-fledged investigation per se :-)

[Examples of possible solutions]
4) Images seeking: No two snowflakes look alike
codename: Magrad
Usenet combing, Images databases, university archives perusing, references on the web, Internet scientific publications retrieval techniques

How often did you hear that one? "There are not and there never will be two snowflakes alike". Micro-infinity? And then, near such an assertion, you'll always have a small image with five-six (different) snowflakes... always the same five-six? :-)
Let's find out the truth... somewhere on the huge web there are THOUSANDS of snowflakes images... let's see IF and HOW different they really are. Enough banalities: seekers will find out the truth...
Spelunking boldly the images web-world
Suggestion: Fractals, Infinite, Mathematical algos, fuzzy...

[Examples of possible solutions]
Some tips before leaping into it:
  1. How easy (or difficult) was it to figure out the correct approach?
  2. Was the formulation adequate to help you plan your search?
  3. Which search-approaches and strategies did you choose?
  4. Did you use any "classical" search engine? If so which ones?
  5. Did you use any "special" search engine? If so which ones?
  6. How many results did you retrieve?
  7. What proportion of the results were relevant to your perceived information requirements?
  8. How current were the results? How many 404s?
  9. Was the amount of detail displayed with the results enough to allow you tho evaluate?
  10. Was the order in which the results were displayed evident or apparently illogical?
  11. What other features contribute to (or detract from) the utility of the tools and approaches you choosed?
  12. Did you time your query?
Eh, of course you don't need to answer all the questions above. The purpose of these labs is to let you understand how important it is to be more "systematic" when searching the web. You may hop, you may leap, you may be a grasshopper or an ant... the only decisive factor is the success of your query and the time you had to employ: you got the targets you were searching for quickly? You won.
Feedback, critics, suggestions, ameliorations... welcome!
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