I knew that there were local uses for new ICTs, but I never expected the true ingenuity of the Brits. The “dogging” craze is an interesting use of the Internet in itself (my colleague and student Cameron Marlow is doing some interesting work on the spread of syphilis as a result of sex chat rooms facilitating real world encounters), but “toothing” takes the cake. Unlike here in the U.S. where Bluetooth phones have yet to reach significant penetration, there appears to be a significant enough concentration of Bluetooth signals on England’s transit system that it has become a method of exchanging semi-anonymous flirtatious instant messages that result in casual sexual encounters. Read all about it in Wired

The creators of the Social Science Citation Index, the Arts & Humanities Citation Index and Science Citation Expanded (collectively known as the Web of Science) are going to take online publishing seriously. Thomson ISI has announced that they will be partnering with NEC to create a “Web Citation Index” that will do autonomous citation indexing of Web-based documents, including pre-prints, proceedings, and “open access” research publications. Steve Lawrence of NEC has argued that articles available for free online have higher citation rates. NEC is behind CiteSeer which has been operating an autonomous citation index for some time. Given CiteSeer’s NEC connection it will likely be related to the new ISI Web Citation Index. In many disciplines citations play a significant role in the tenure process as a measure of influence within a field. The thing about traditional citation indexes is that they only index the most “prestigious” journals. If online publications are cited more frequently (in computer science at least), how will a mainstream online citation index effect academia and the publishing industry?

The Netherlands, a country with more bikes than people, has a problem with bike theft. One out of every ten bikes – which works out to 80,000-100,000 bikes – are stolen each year. To catch professional bike thieves local police are planting bicycles in high crime areas of Amsterdam. The special bikes are equipped with a GPS transmitter that police plan to use to track the bikes, catch the thief, and hopefully have them unwittingly lead them back to hubs of bike theft activity. CNN