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March 18, 2002

Click Lit Hm. This is a technology that looks like it will be neatly in place just at about the same time it becomes obsolete. The idea of publishing on demand has been around for a while - I can remember Xerox pitching it hard about four years ago - but the technologies needed to make it actually work are only now coming into place. So bookstores, airports and similar public places may soon come equipped with a means to print custom newspapers, books and magazines. We're looking at about a three to five year window, at the end of which electronic paper should become mainstream, rendering all those custom publishing machines piles of useless junk. In my opinion, at least (hey, OLDaily is nothing but bold with its predictions). By Chris Middleton, The Guardian, March 14, 2002.[Refer]

DigitalConsumer.org In response to the increasingly restrictive conditions placed on the use of digital materials demanded by publishers, a newly formed group, DigitalConsumer.org, is advocating a Consumer Technology Bill of Rights that will positively assert a consumer's rights to fair use. The idea of the Bill of Rights is that it would guarantee your ability to use your own digital media in the way that you choose. For researchers the site contains a reasonably short list of essential reading in the area. By Anonymous.[Refer]

Welcome to Your Future Internet This article is a little pie-in-the-sky but as the opening paragraph says, somewhere in the world some people are doing these things right now. What things? "Have you ever checked your e-mail over a high-speed Internet connection, while waiting at a bus stop? Have you ever chatted with your pals on the Net, using high-definition television? How about hooking your car up to the Internet so that someone knows where you are at all times?" By Alan Boyle, MSNBC, March 17, 2002.[Refer]

Early Scores on SAT Test Posted Online for a Price I think that there's something just wrong about this: for an extra fee, students can now register online and obtain their SAT scores early. Here is part of my concern: "What is particularly cynical, and demonstrates the way they are using anxiety as a profit center, is that they can put the numbers up there, and then withhold what is already available," said Bob Schaeffer, the public education director of FairTest, a group in Cambridge, Mass. But also, it seems to me that the testing agency's credo of fairness is being substituted for allegiance to the highest bidder. Just as it gives the people willing to pay an advantage when applying for university admission. By Tamar Lewin, New York Times, March 10, 2002.[Refer]

Bloglet For those of you who maintain weblogs (aka blogs) this service will allow readers to subscribe to your blog and receive updates by email. I have always wondered why Blogger didn't provide this service - I can think of a half dozen blogs I would like to subscribe to (some of the best stuff for OLDaily comes to me via blogs). By Monsur, February, 2002.[Refer]

Pay for Content? Whaddya, Nuts? I'm not sure how concerned educational content vendors are about the reluctance of web users to pay for content online, but they should be as many of the same factors are in play (for example: why would someone pay an online university simply to access content when they can obtain MIT content for free?). This article suggests a likely resolution that may have ripple effrects in the field of education: "The online future is beginning to look a lot like cable TV," Card said. "Established portals will emerge as networks that aggregate premium content and services in packages -- both those that portals determine and those that users customize. This will pave the way for content providers to resell premium content through numerous partners." This would be good news for companies like UNext or Hungry Minds, but there remains one major difference between cable companies and the internet: the cable companies have a monopoly on content: not just anyone can offer a (free) alternative. Will there be an internet equivalent? By Beth Cox, Silicon Alley News, March 18, 2002.[Refer]

SCORM Dynamic Appearance Model SCORM v1.2 does not define the separation of appearance from content. This paper proposes a method for separating the navigation and the appearance (look and feel) elements from the underlying content in SCORM. This approach, named SCORM Dynamic Appearance Model, introduces a new paradigm for e-Learning content development that integrates the work currently in progress on sequencing and navigation. A very nice paper, clearly written, with attention to examples and the roles of content developers. PDF format, which at my current connection speed of 28.8 made it a pain to download. By Roger St-Pierre, Peter Hope and Suzanne Skublics, Canadian Department of National Defence, February 25, 2002.[Refer]


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