Stephen's Web

By Stephen Downes
October 11, 2002

Constructing Knowledge Societies: New Challenges for Tertiary Education Report from the World Bank, which has had a long interest in knowledge management (and this document explains why). "Knowledge accumulation and application have become major factors in economic development and are increasingly at the core of a country's competitive advantage in the global economy. The combination of increased computing power, diminishing prices of hardware and software, improvement of wireless and satellite technologies, and reduced telecommunication costs has all but removed the space and time barriers to information access and exchange." In particular: social and economic progress depends on the advancement and application of knowledge; tertiary education is necessary for the effective creation, dissemination, and application of knowledge; but developing countries are at risk of being further marginalized because their tertiary education systems are not adequate. If you are on copper wires, be prepared to wait: this is a 232 page, 1.1 MB PDF file (that would have been about 50K in plain text). By Various Authors, World Bank, October, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Ten Predictions to Shake Your World Well, they shouldn't shake your world, you're an OLDaily (or OLWeekly) reader and so you've seen a number of these things coming. Probably the most significant thing on the list (it actually occupies a couple of items, three if you count (as I do) the tenth one) is the concept of inter-enterprise computing - they idea that you don't have to have the massive system running in-house. This will have a significant impact, but I don;t think people have really thought this through (think, for example, of what an inter-enterprise LCMS would have to look like). By Dan Farber, ZD Net, October 10, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Plagiarism From the summary posted by Stephen Davies to the Digital-Copyright List: "Sharon Stoerger (librarian? at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)posted a webliography of plagiarism resources as of the end of September. It's broken into sections headed: Articles, Copyright and intellectual freedom, For instructors, For students, Plagiarism case studies, Plagiarism detection tools, Term paper sites--examples. But you can search your digital issues quite easily." So if this is the only link on plagiarism you've found, you've still hit pay dirt. By Sharon Stoerger, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, September 30, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Wired, but Drawing the Line From the lifestyles section of OLDaily: the blinking red light on my phone continues to flash, as it has without interruption since I returned from Anaheim a couple of weeks ago. I don't wear a watch. My cell phone is... somewhere. Like the author of this article I cycle to work (as I did in Edmonton, and Brandon before that) and instead of jam standwiches I have this week been eating the batch of pea soup I made last weekend. I still attack sticky-notes to the wall, my desk is a mass of paper, and my IPaq has been blinking mournfully at me for days. I think it's true: "There’s something about working with technology that makes people want to become Quakers." For me, it's about the need for stability and simplicity as I spend my days in a dynamic and complex world. Yes, I need my laptop and my connectivity (but I would so dearly love to trade the one I currently use for a sleek tablet). It's also about being selective: about me defining the technology I use rather than the technology I use defining me. As I say to people sometimes, "I'm the biggest Luddite I know." By Katie Hafner, New York Times, October 10, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Partners Bet on Microsoft Tablet OK, this article makes a good point. The launch of the first tablet-PCs will be a disappointment. Why? Well, the Microsoft software will be clunky (as always), the tablets will be awkwardly designed with rsty hinges and the like, the handwriting software won't quite be there... the list could go on. But this is my take: don't worry about it. We'll get Mac Tabs and Linux Tabs and MS will straighten out some of the interfaces. We'll get a super sleek Sony Tab. And eventually, a fantastic piece of equipment that will be under the arm or in the backpack of just about every student out there. The greatest sales peak will be in the fall of 2003 - one year from now - from back-to-school through to the holidays. By Colin C. Haley, News.Com, October 11, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Sudden Death of the Arts & Letters Daily More on the demise of Arts & Letters Daily. It is worth noting that the site had its influences on me - I liked the design enough to use a similar version for a NewsTrolls redesign that was replaced only earlier this year. And readers should note the similarity between A&L Daily and OLDaily. I had the chance to meet Denis Dutton and publisher Jeffrey Kittay a few years ago in New York and so I felt a bit closer to it that I might have otherwise. What I read in this article is the amount of time it took to produce - 3 hours a day - which is more than twice what it takes me to do OLDaily (everything but the writing is automated in OLDaily). As the article says, the internet is not awash in blogs - what really differentiates them, these days, is not the list of links (though the quality bloggers will always find that key item everyone else missed) but in what the article describes as "attitude" - yeah, I like that. Attitude. By Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune, October 10, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Hollywood Chases Down Campus Pirates More coverage of the Recording Industry Association of America's ongoing publicity campaign to portray music traders as hardened criminals and to convince college administrations to act as proxy police forces (hey, they use loaded terminology, I use loaded terminology). Now they have convinced various higher education associations to go along with this. The RIAA wants administrators to believe that "It is no different from walking into the campus bookstore and in a clandestine manner walking out with a textbook without paying for it." But there is an alternative point of view: "It is no different from loaning your college room-mate your Biology text." Of course, the RIAA would like to make that illegal too. By John Borland, CNet, October 10, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright © 2002 Stephen Downes