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December 13, 2001

Large-Scale E-Learning Curricula for Manufacturers to be Showcased by The Society of Manufacturing Engineers This is interesting. While colleges and universities are voicing increased concern about private schools and universities, this press release is evidence of a different trend: professional associations taking training into their own hands. Look at what the society is offering: "an on-line repository of more than 1,100 courses on lean manufacturing, Six Sigma, best business practices, professional development, OSHA standards, and dozens of other topics ranging from very technical to broader business applications." I don't think there's a college in the country that can compete in this sector. And - because they're a professional association - they've made an end-run around the traditional road-block protecting colleges and universities: certification. By Press Release, The Society of Manufacturing Engineers, December 12, 2001.[Refer]

Leher-Online Lehrer-Online, the official German online- magazine for teachers, has been relaunched. The new website features topical reports and backgrounds relating to world events, learning resources, opinions and more. The site is in German but you can get a translation clicking here (the funny thing about Google translations is that while the words are English, the syntax and expression remains German - it makes it a bit harder to read but it feels a lot more authentic than a polished translation). By , , .[Refer]

Digital Rights Management Operating System Microsoft has obtained a patent on what it calls a Digital Rights Management Operating System. The patent described the technology as a system that "protects rights-managed data, such as downloaded content, from access by untrusted programs while the data is loaded into memory or on a page file." By English, et.al., U.S. Patent Office, December 11, 2001.[Refer]

Pooh-Poohing the Purists, a Scholar Revels in Netspeak The internet is changing language, argues Dr. David Crystal in his new book, "Lanuage and the Internet," and people who complain about bad grammar, punctuation or the spelling of 'email' are missing the point. Good review that gets quickly to the heart of the matter: "If I leave out the punctuation in an e-mail, you don't say, `Crystal doesn't know his grammar.' You say, `Crystal's in a hurry.'" By Anne Eisenberg, New York Times, December 13, 2001.[Refer]

Internet Piracy Is Suspected as U.S. Agents Raid Campuses I'm not sure what to make of this one. Yeah, sure, criminals should be arrested, but... "Federal law enforcement agents seized computers and raided computer networks at M.I.T., the University of California at Los Angeles and other large universities today in shutting down what they described as one of the Internet's largest and most sophisticated software piracy networks." By Philip Shenon, New York Times, December 12, 2001.[Refer]

Study Required by Section 104 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act To nobody's real surprise, a report on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by the U.S. Copyright Office recommends that no change be made to the law. The three volums add up to about 3,5 megabytes, but you can get the essence of the report by sticking to the lengthy Executive Summary. Mostly, the Copyright Office rejects proposed changes because, as they state, no identifiable harm to consumers can be shown. A commentary article in Newslynx is fairly even-handed but does raise the issue of Russian computer programmer Dmitry Sklyarov, imprisoned for distributing decryption software. The less fair minded - namely, me - might go so far as to say the the Copyright Office was blind to the evidence of harm to consumers even though it was right in front of them. They might say that. By U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress, December 9, 2001.[Refer]

30th Accession to Key Copyright Treaty Paves Way for Entry into Force For those readers who are not American and therefore think that the DMCA does not apply to them... you should know that with Gabon's signature on December 6, the World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty (WCT) has received enough signatures to come into effect, and indeed, will come into effect on March 6, 2002. By Press Release, WIPO, December 6, 2001.[Refer]

www.invisible-web.net Just launched, a new book a search site dedicated to covering what has come to be called the Invisible Web, that large body of material that exists on the internet but cannot be accessed by search engines because the databases require a forms submission. The web site won't take you into these sites, but it will take you to the front door: just select a category. By Chris Sherman and Gary Price, , 2001.[Refer]

E-learning Certification Scheme Launched The Institute of IT Training (IITT) is rolling out what it calls a series of 'certification tracks' in e-learning. According to IITT, "The certification badge would offer reassurance to companies which needed skilled professionals to roll out e-learning projects." Be prepared to spend between 1,500 and 2,000 for each certificate (that's a lot, but still cheaper by far than a university degree). By Rachel Fielding, Vnunet, December 11, 2001.[Refer]

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