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November 15, 2001

The Deserted Library Interesting article looking at the use and relevance of the traditional university library in the internet age. Includes some compelling statistics pointing to declining use and list some innovative techniques used to attract visitors. The article is also threaded with the usual concerns that students won't learn if they don't use books (which, in my mind, are completely unfounded) but makes a stronger point when it touches on the role of the library as a community. But the article completely misses any discussion of the role of librarians as information specialists. Typical. This is a colloquy; discussion started at 11:00 a.m. (Mountain Time) today. By Scott Carlson, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 15, 2001.[Refer]

Culture of Collaboration The main barriers to promoting collaboration in the workplace are cultural, not technological, according to this article. Good list of ten techniques for encouraging collaboration, including some that may make managers uneasy: don't be safe, for example, or let the users rule. By Scott Kirsner, Darwin Online, November, 2001.[Refer]

Returns on Investment in Training An ongoing collection and survey of empirical studies of return on investment in training. The studies are from an Australian context, but may be applicable more widely. By Unknown, NVCER, November, 2001.[Refer]

Best Distance Learning Graduate Schools: Business & Management 2002 Kudos to Vicky Phillips! GetEducated.com has released the first in a series of free college guides, a guide to business programs available by distance learning. In addition to detailed school listings, which form the bulk of the book, it includes some advice on choosing distance learning institutions, tips on how to avoid diploma mills, and lists of the top ten and lowest ten tuition rates. 128 pages, PDF format. By Vicky Phillips, GetEducated.Com, October, 2001.[Refer]

Comdex: Vendors, Users Split Over Promise of Tablet PCs You know where I stand on this - I'm enthusiastically in favour. But computer executives (including Pamposh Zutshi for Dell, Lisa Emard for Gateway, and Leo Suarez for IBM) are sceptical. "I haven't heard anyone asking for them," said Zutshi. Well, no, and nobody was asking for the Sony Walkman before it was introduced. This leaves - gasp! - Microsoft and Compaq with a wide open field to launch the first North American tablet computers, prototypes of what I have for several years been calling the PAD. Meanwhile, a number of Japanese PC manufacturers including Acer, Toshiba, FIC, and Sony are ramping up Tablet PCs based on ultra-portable notebook technology they have each proved to be successful in Japan. By Dan Neel and Mark Jones, InfoWorld, November 14, 2001.[Refer]

Tablets Take Off at Comdex More on tablet PCs. Thios article lists a number of models and features unveiled at Comdex, including one that got the name right (at least from my perspective), the ViewSonic ViewPad 100. By Michelle Speir, FCW.Com, November 13, 2001.[Refer]

Comdex: E-learning Takes Stage as Next Killer App More from Comdex - which despite the slump is turning out to be a major show this year: in their keynote speeches, technology executives are touring e-learning as the next major development on the internet. "In the economy we are in now, there will not be the same investment in technology, but we are demanding of employees greater productivity. In order to [achieve] that you need to give [employees] internal tools to make them work smarter," said IDC's Cushing Anderson. "If you invest in the worker's skill set overall, you should be able to see a change in productivity." By Cathleen Moore and Mark Jones, InfoWorld, November 15, 2001.[Refer]

The End of the Net The Net is in danger of being controlled by special interests who will not only take our dollars but limit our speech and our ability to produce creative works. This according to Lawrence Lessig, a Stanford University Law School professor and cyberlaw pioneer. This interview is an unsatisfying glimpse into his important book, The Future of Ideas. By Steven Levy, MSNBC, November 19, 2001.[Refer]

The Internet Under Siege Much more satisfying is this article by Lessig in Foreign Policy Magazine. It restates themes that should be familiar to readers of these pages: that the internet was designed to be an open commons, that it is increasingly being taken over by commercial interests, and that the resulting patent and copyright restrictions are stifling innovation and infringing on personal freedoms, including academic freedoms. By Lawrence Lessig, Foreign Policy Review, November / December, 2001.[Refer]


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