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April 2, 2002

Chat Room Chatter May Lead to Real Romance People still say that online communities are cold and impersonal places to learn. My response has always been to point tothe many deep relationships that develop online. Now a study backs up my point. "Despite the public perception that cyberspace is a shallow and sometimes hostile environment, lovers who meet through Internet chat rooms may actually end up forming strong relationships, a researcher reported Friday at the British Psychological Society meeting in Blackpool." So there. (I'm in a particularly chirpy mood today...) By Pat Hagan, Reuters, March 15, 2002.[Refer]

Instant Messenger is Not Your Enemy In this article, Elliott Masie discovers instant messaging. Some useful statistics ("8.8 million AOL IM users, 4.8 million MSN IM users and 3.4 million Yahoo! IM users") and background. Not mentioned in the survey is ICQ, the grand-daddy of instant messaging (since ICQ is now owned by AOL it may be lumped in with AOL-IM, above, but it is important to keep in mind that AOL-IM and ICQ are completely separate services). I have used ICQ for many years - my ICQ number is 1287181 for those of you who wish to give me a toodle (though keep in mind that IM is best used for quick, short chats... hint hint). Anyhow. Masie's column reads a bit off-the-cuff. For example: instant messaging is essentially stand-alone, so it doesn't matter whether it integrates with other enterprise software, contra Masie. Additionally, I would really bother spending a whole lot of time discussing "appropriate uses" - instant messaging is more like the quick conversation in the hall than it is like something even semi-serious, like email. Also, instant messaging now connects with SMS, meaning that you can use ICQ (for example) to send an SMS to someone's cell phone. Finally, Masie really should have addressed the perplexing problem of IM-spam. All of that said: for me, the best use of ICQ is to send quick messages to my wife when I'm in the office or out of the country. It's an easy way to have a quick back-and-forth chat. Don't treat it as anything more serious (or mission critical) than that. It's a great tool, but if you formalize it, you kill it. By Elliott Masie, IT Training, April, 2002.[Refer]

Pranksters Rig Web for April Fools I love April Fools. Say, did you hear the one where "File-swapping company Napster has purchased Microsoft for more than $328 billion and is planning to file a copyright infringement lawsuit against itself?" How about "MSN has launched the Gates Open Directory, otherwise known as GOD, which seeks to simplify copyright on the Web by purchasing all copyrighted material." These and many more. By Gwendolyn Mariano, CNet news, April 2, 2002.[Refer]

House Passes Bill to Give Future Teachers Free Tuition I cannot help but to wryly comment that some jurisdictions are finally understanding the value of learning - and teaching - to a society. Or to put the same point another way: why would any modern information-based society create disincentives - such as tuition - to learning? By Kevin McDermott, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 2, 2002.[Refer]

Attendre le suitcase . . . I'm not sure what the educational angle is here, but I'm sure there is one and this article has so many great one-liners I just had to include it. The premise is that airlines would lose luggage less frequently if the luggage were equipped with more intelligence. In other words, "what if we managed bags like we managed people?" After all, "passengers are smart entities traversing a stupid network, whereas pieces of luggage are very stupid entities traversing a marginally smarter network." Wouldn't it be better if "a suitcase could check itself into airplanes, order transportation, track news about delays or cancellations, and make sure, in case of unforeseen changes, that it will be booked on the next flight or sent back home again?" By Espen Andersen, Ubiquity, April, 2002.[Refer]

Wireless Technologies This link will take you to a form. Fill out the values in the form and you will be sent the free report by email. After a quick overview of the various 802.11 standards (already familiar to OLDaily readers, right?) the report turns to the application of wireless networks in an educational context. Using a case case study of a wireless network installed in a private school in Florida, the author provides some practical advice and then some discussion on which system to purchase. The article leans toward the 802.11b standard, which is not what I would choose, but it does not rule out alternatives and gives a balanced discussion as a whole. Good read, though intended more for decision makers than for technical staff. By Diana Loupe, eSchool News, April 2, 2002.[Refer]


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