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October 2, 2001

The Semantic Web: How RDF Will Change Learning Technology standards Although RDF has been around for a long time (I first covered it in a 1999 essay), it has only recently attracted the attention of the educational community at large. Such is the case with this recent CETIS article that looks at the use of RDF following the release of IMS 1.2 last May. The author identifies four major applications: the use of intelligent software agents, personal annotations (do follow the link from this reference to Annotea), collaborative and distributed authoring and course construction, and reuse of learning material. This paper can be a tough read, but it's worth the investment. By Mikael Nilsson, CETIS, September 27, 2001.[Refer]

The Next Wave: CETIS Interviews Mikael Nilsson About the Edutella project Edutella is to learning objects what Napster is to music: a way to distribute and share resources from person to person. "More concretely, Edutella aims to produce an open-source, standards-based peer-to-peer architecture for the exchange of RDF-based meta-data. This architecture will include services such as advanced distributed queries, semantic mappings between schemas, replication of meta-data, distributed annotation etc." By Scott Wilson, CETIS, September 27, 2001.[Refer]

W3C Patent Plan Draws Protests This one has the open source community up in arms - and with good reason. A new and controversial proposal under consideration by the World Wide Web Consortium could open the way for companies to claim patent rights - and demand royalties - on standards authorized by that body. By Margaret Kane and Mike Ricciuti, CNet, October 1, 2001.[Refer]

Do You Have a License to Drive That Mouse? Interesting article that looks at licensing and certification for various professionals (something that I have suggested may replace degrees some time in the future). Good argument: "One way we might eventually get licensing is if we have a few engineering disasters and somebody asks, 'Why was this person with absolutely no training in safety-critical soft-ware, or software of any kind, allowed to make a radiation therapy device that killed 30 people?'" By unknown, Ubiquity (ACM), October 1, 2001.[Refer]

High-Tech IDs Have No place in D.C. Schools It's an issue that's emerging in different ways in different sectors, but it's also an issue that - because of new technology - won't go away. At some point, it seems to me, a universal digital identification is inevitable, partially because we already have it for the most part (think, for example, of the unique identification your social insurance or security number, street address and phone number provide), and partially because a single scheme uniting these identities is much cheaper and more effective. Now I know a lot of people, such as the author of this article, are concerned about Big Brother and privacy implications. But I have to say to them: the scheme is already in place - that's what data mining gets you. But it's completely unregulated; there's no protection now because there's no official recognition that it already exists. I say: let's get this in the open, establish an identity system, and institute the safeguards now. By Marc Fisher, Washington Post, October 2, 2001.[Refer]


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