Stephen's Web

By Stephen Downes
August 9, 2002

Moving Day I'm sitting on a bare oak floor in an empty house. The movers have gone and we are about to take a cab across town to our new home, a new house, the first house I have ever purchased. It has been a bit of a long week, spent mostly recovering from dental surgury, eating mush, and packing boxes. I got an hour of sleep last night. But it's good. It feels like I have something permanent after a couple of decades of itinerant wandering. Now I can think about doing the sort of things other people do, like maybe saving for a retirement or taking a vacation on the coast. I feel so establishment now. I feel like voting conservative. Must... resist.... urges.... arrraugh.

I have very many people to thank for my good fortune, hundreds of friends I have met from around the world through the miracle of the internet. If you ever wonder why I publish my newsletter or give my articles away for free, it's because you - all of you, collectively, have given me everything I could ever need in life. And more.

Thank you (and now I'm going to catch some sleep). By Anonymous, Stephen's Web, August 9, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

UMass OK's $91.5m for New Boston Dorms Yes, I complain about the high cost of e-learning. On the other hand, there's this. Unbelievable. By Patrick Healy, Boston Globe, August 8, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Playback Media Article describing three major flaws of online video - talking heads, lack of interactivity and lack of control. The author describes how a product called Playback Media helps overcome those defects. By Mike Flanagan, Online Learning Magazine, August, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

EBONI: Electronic Textbook Design Guidelines As described in today's Scout Report: "EBONI's Electronic Textbook Design Guidelines is a list of baseline standards for the design of hypertext books. The document covers two distinct areas -- on-screen and hardware design guidelines -- and could be of value to online writers and publishers, information professionals, e-book hardware and software developers, and anyone else interested in the creation of scholarly digital resources." By Ruth Wilson and Monica Landoni, University of Strathclyde, August, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Microsoft-FTC settle over Passport Microsoft agrees to pull back on its Passport service - it won't collect as much information, it won't misuse this information (as much), and it won't harangue you to sign up for Passport every time you use Windows. But perhaps most telling, "Microsoft has changed its privacy statements to accurately reflect what information is collected and how it is used, Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, said in a separate conference call. In an eight-page settlement released Thursday, Microsoft also agreed not to engage in unfair or deceptive practices and to protect the security and privacy of personal information." I think that the announcement that Microsoft will *now* be honest tells us everything we need to know. By Joe Wilcox, ZD Net, August 8, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2002 Stephen Downes