Stephen's Web

By Stephen Downes
November 22, 2002

Montreal at Night As I prepare to fly home this afternoon, one last set of images for your enjoyment. By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, November 21, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Fire Devastates Dutch Internet Hub A fire at the University of Twente in the Netherlands has destroyed one of Europe's fastest computer networks, and along with it, ""about the largest stock of hardcore pornography, illegally downloaded CD's, movies and hacked / cracked software (applications and games)." Commented Dutch education minister Loek Hermans on hearing of the loss: "It would be nice if the students at Twente University would use their fast connections for information and education purposes, instead of downloading huge amounts of porn." (This item is probably going to flag OLDaily as spam in the Spam Assassin filters - for those of you who will (once again) not be able to read the article because of filtering software, please note that I am aware of the issue and am working on it.) By John Leyden, The Register, November 20, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Free Children's Books Offered Online Just the sort of thing I like to see: a new website, called the the International Children's Digital Library, will make about 10,000 children's books from more than a hundred cultures available for free online. The site is being designed by the University of Maryland and the Internet Archive, a San Francisco-based nonprofit. By Sam Hananel, Excite, November 20, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Darknet and the Future of Content Distribution Has the Microsoft inner echelon finally come into agreement with me (my world is very self-centric). A team of Microsoft engineers recently presented this paper to the Association of Computing Machinery concluding that there's no means of stopping illegal file sharing, that the "darknet" - their term for networks of content sharers - is with us to stay. "There seem to be no technical impediments to darknet-based peer-to-peer file sharing technologies growing in convenience, aggregate bandwidth and efficiency." Consequently, "increased security (e.g. stronger DRM systems) may act as a disincentive to legal commerce." MS-Word document, naturally. A summary of the paper is available here. By Peter Biddle, Paul England, Marcus Peinado, and Bryan Willman, Microsoft, November, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Learning Objects 101: A Primer for Neophytes A short item that won't introduce anything new on the subject but which covers the topic in a dozen or so brisk pararaphs. By Glenn Millar, SideBars, November, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Law Grads Online, Bar None A little retrogade action in the field of law as the American Bar Association and the California Bar Association refuse to accept the Concord Law School, arguing that it is not possible to obtain a law degree online, according to this article at least. Still, as the story notes, the American Bar Association is a sore point for the school, the ABA permits some law degree credits to be earned through distance-learning programs, so there may be more to this story than meets the eye. By Julia Scheeres, Wired News, November 21, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2002 Stephen Downes