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January 11, 2002

The Confluence Project Something nice that might help teachers of geography or social studies. The confluence project is an attempt to visit and photograph each point on the Earth where the lines of latitude and longitude meet. The result so far is an interesting array of stories and photographs. So far only ten percent of the confluences have been recorded (that's still 1464 locations) so there is plenty of time to get your class involved in the project. By Alex Jarrett, , 2001.[Refer]

Standards Can Put You in Control This item may not appear to bear directly on online learning, but with the proliferation of learning content management systems (LCMSs) and learning object standards, it provides some good ground level advice for institutions considering a product purchase. In short: while many applications provide enhanced functions, if these functions are not standards based, and if you must rely on a single vendor to employ these functions, then you are at the mercy of that company's pricing, security and upgrade policy. By David Berlind, ZDNet Tech Update, January 9, 2002.[Refer]

How to Choose and Take an Online Course Quick two page guide to choosing and taking online courses. The article would be useful as a framework for a handout you distribute to your own prospective online students. By Unknown, LGuide, January, 2002.[Refer]

The Paradox of Grid Computing A description of some of the problems inherent in grid computing. In a nutshell: the requirements of coordinating a netowrk of computers that may start and stop processing at any point may take up as much processing power as the network contains. I love the analogy that starts the piece: "the problem with a multiengine airplane is that sometimes you need them all." To get four heavy engines off the ground, you need the resources of all four engines, creating a high risk situation with an increased possibility of failure. By Peter Coffee, eWeek, January 7, 2001.[Refer]

Girding for Grids This item introduces a new buzzword: grid computing. Grid computing is essentially what we called peer-to-peer computing last year: it is a network of computers assembled on the internet to perform a single task. Grid computing is now gaining attention in corporate environments as a way of making use of computer power that sits idle in offices more than half of each day. Major players are Compaq, IBM, Platform Computing, and Sun Microsystems. The open source version of grid computing is called the Globus Project. By Rob Fixmer, eWeek, January 7, 2001.[Refer]


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