This week, Tech Talk begins a periodic look at MIT-related World Wide Web sites called Web sightings--brief descriptions of Web pages that are directly related to MIT or that members of the MIT community are directly involved in constructing and maintaining. Each item indicates the page of interest and its URL in boldface, and separate home pages to which they are linked are given in underlined type. Anyone with suggestions for future listings can contact Assistant Editor Alice Waugh at x8-5401 or
The MIT faculty meeting minutes can now be read and searched on line (see related story on this page), although access is restricted to within MIT. That page links to the MIT Libraries page and can be accessed from there via the Institute Archives and Special Collections page, which provides information about its collections of manuscripts, theses and other publications.
Professor Patricia Maes and former graduate students Upendra Shardanand, Max Metral and Yezdezard Lashkari of the Media Laboratory (also principals of spinoff company Agents Inc.) collaborated on a personalized music-recommendation service called firefly. The software agent automates the word-of-mouth process by taking information about the musical tastes of all its readers and comparing them to make recommendations about artists that individual readers might like. The service also provides information about and audio samples of artists' recordings, and it lets readers communicate with each other.
From the home page of the MIT Medical Department, readers can see the online version of health@mit, its new newsletter (a paper version is also being distributed via campus mail). The November issue features articles about chicken pox, obstetrics/gynecology and managing stress, plus upcoming health classes and other events. The home page itself provides information about hours and appointments and telephone numbers for different medical services.
AfricaOnline is a rich source of information about Africa, with news in English and Swahili (including links to the Zambian Post, the Mail and Guardian of South Africa and other sources), plus Rainbow, a monthly children's magazine from Kenya. "Griots Talk" focuses on the culture, history and politics of Africa; there is also information about music and sports and listings of jobs and classified ads. Involved with AfricaOnline are Dudzai Saburi, a senior in architecture, and graduate students John Ofori-Tenkorang, Dennis Ouma and Peter Orondo. The site, which was a Global Network navigator's "Pick of the Week" in September, is a product of Karisi Communications in Somerville, headed by Ayisi wa Makatiani (SB 1990).
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 8, 1995.