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February 7, 2002

The Great Giveaway In what I think may be the beginning of a phenomenon - they've been overwhelmed by the response and are promising future developments - New Scientist releases an article on the concept of "copyleft" for scientific articles. While retaining traditional copuright, the magazine has released the article under the open source provisions of the copyleft license, allowing people to reproduce the article as they wish. I don't think the magazine was expecting so much response (I'll bet sales are up too). It's an illustration of the economics of open source publishing - something explored in Yochai Benkler's much longer (and well-argued) paper, Coase?s Penguin, or, Linux and the Nature of the Firm (PDF) By Graham Lawton, New Scientist, February, 2002.[Refer]

Software Biz Attacks BBC Education Stranglehold The story here is that Bitish educational publishers are gettig together to protest the BBC's plans to "monopolize" the digital broadcasting in the nation's schools. But what the broadcasters really don't like - as a writer to SEUL-EDU suggests - is that the broadcasters don't like the idea that British schools are getting a free service when they could be making money; as Chris Puttick wrote, "RM, the biggest player in that consortium, are MCSPs and proprietary, closed source, licence types, through and through. The BBC content was going to be free anyway, and web-based. Nice try though..." I think the broadcasters would also like to try showing a few commercials to a captive student audience a la the U.S.'s Channel One. By Drew Cullen, The Register, February 7, 2002.[Refer]

Streaming Media Middleware is more than Streaming Media This paper forms the basis of a CAMP presentation (see below) from the conference this week and is much more rewarding than the skimpy PowerPoint presentation (and conference organizers should perhaps think about posting real papers on conference web sites rather than slide shows). The point of the presentation is to iterate a number of the support structures needed by streaming media services and to describe an architecture where these are offered as web services. This is a good backgrounder for people preparting to implement streaming media or those planning to describe the process of streaming media to their boards, colleagues or classes. By Lawrence A. Rowe, ACM, 2001.[Refer]

Middleware Index page for a number of Internet 2 presentations and resources related to middleware. I think your best bet is to review the papers here with an eye to anticipating a range of new applications. The K-12 Middleware Primer, for example, outlines a number of scenarios and then groups applications into four major groups by function: identifiers, authentication, directories, authorization. Also, the draft essay (in PDF format), "Why PKI?" outlines the potential uses of public key infrastructure in educational services and applications. The site is very up to date, including a link to the Campus Architectural Middleware Planning (CAMP) conference this past week - following up from CAMP brought me to this site - the CAMP presentations were a bit weak but this page is excellent. By , Internet 2, .[Refer]

A Message from Secretary Paige?Strategic Plan, 2002-2007, Draft February 7, 2002 The United States Department of Education releases a strategic plan for the next five years based on six (vague) principles: create a culture of achievement; improve student achievement; develop safe schools and strong character; transform education into an evidence-based field; enhance the quality of and access to postsecondary and adult education; and establish management excellence. PDF and MS-Word versions of the plan are available on the site By Rod Paige, U.S. Department of Education, February 7, 2002.[Refer]

Looming Cuts for Distance Education and Educational Technology in B.C. No sources are listed, but this month's issue of The Node is reporting that the British Columbia, Canada, government is considering the closure of Tech BC and the Open Learning Agency, two of British Columbia's (and Canada's) learing distance learning institutions. According to the very short item, "TechBC, the province's newest university, has been plagued by controversy and high operating costs since its opening in 2000, while the Open Learning Agency, founded in 1978, has been working to maintain its market niche in the face of increasing competition in the distance education arena from traditional institutions." The closure of these institutions would have serious consequences for distance learning in Canada, and I'm more than a little disappointed that the Node didn't see fit to cite any sources or attribution for this item. By Unknown, The Node, February, 2002.[Refer]


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