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April 16, 2002

The Google AdWords Happening In the great tradition of subverting the original purpose of an invention, this author proposes buying Google ad words (https://adwords.google.com) to insert little bits of nonsense poetry into the search engine advertising results. Google frowned on the idea, of course, and suspended the program. But what if...? On the other hand, the very serious lesson from this exercise is: every word now has a price. By Christophe Bruno, Literature.Com, April, 2002.[Refer]

U. of Michigan Cancels a Closely Watched Portal Project You've probably seen the reports that The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor is closing down its portal (http://my.umich.edu). This was pretty predictable. What is of more significance - and barely mentioned in the coverage - is that the institution is planning to become more involved in non-proprietary open-source projects such as the Open Knowledge Initiative and uPortal (http://mis105.mis.udel.edu/ja-sig/uportal/). A heads up for educational software companies: cut prices or die. By Florence Olsen, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 11, 2002.[Refer]

Resource Discovery Network From Peter Suber: The RDN family of academic subject portals or 'hubs' has reached the milestone of indexing 50,000 free online resources, all searchable from the RDN front page. It's an impressive array, but it needs a better search mechanism: I don't want to retrieve "Sleeping sickness in horses" or "Escherichia coli O157 in farm animals" when I do a search for e-learning (and that's the last time the word 'Escherichia coli' will ever be used in OLDaily). By Anonymous.[Refer]

Web Images Good introductory article that addresses the seldom-discussed topic of web imaging for online learning. After covering the differences between web imagery and other forms of images, the author spends most of the article discussing how to acquire images, including somne useful - but basic - tips about digital photography and scanning. By Sarah Horton, Dartmouth College, April, 2002.[Refer]

A Way to Turn Telephone Numbers into Web Addresses is Proving Controversial It seems like such a good idea: create an internet domain that would allow telephone numbers to be converted into domain names. But the allocation of telephone numbers is highly regulated, and with good reason. But the allocation of domain names is, well, chaotic. And what should the suffic be? .arpa? .int? (My own modest proposal is .downes) But more to the point, how do we prevent the deluge of internet traffic from coming into our phone? Telephone solicitation is already a significant problem (signififcant enough that my own number has been unlisted for many years). Do we need to add spam to that? By Unknown, The Economist, April 11, 2002.[Refer]

Microsoft Says All Data Created Equal Here is the vision: all data is created equal - your document, your music videos, your spreadsheets: all are expressed in the same format. This, according to the article, is Microsoft's vision and one of the major drivers behind its .Net initiative. Well I agree, this is the grand vision. Moreover, we want an interlocking format - so that data representing music can be integrated seamlessly into data representing a document or a piece of learning. But who owns this underlying data format? That is the question. By Matt Berger, InfoWorld, April 15, 2002.[Refer]

We All Work on the Network An article about our transition into a network society and its impact on education. I'm not sure military training is as appropriate a model for future training as the author suggests it is. But the idea of pushing decision-making and responsibility to the lowest level, and its consequent impact on the need for education, rings true. By Chris Charuhas, ASTD, April, 2002.[Refer]


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