By Stephen Downes
October 10, 2003

Beta Release of OAI Static Repository Specification
From the press release: "A Static Repository is an XML file that is made accessible at a persistent HTTP URL. The XML file contains metadata records and repository information [a lot like an RSS file, in other words - SD]. A Static Repository provides a simple approach for exposing relatively static and small collections of metadata records through the OAI-PMH. The Static Repository approach is targeted at organizations that have metadata collections ranging in size between 1 and 5000 records, can make static content available through a network-accessible Web server, and need a technically simpler implementation strategy compared to acting as an OAI-PMH Repository, which requires processing OAI-PMH requests." Perfect. Just what the doctor ordered. By Carl Lagoze and Herbert Van de Sompel, Open Archives Initiative, October 10, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Beginning of the End of the Internet?
The U.S. Federal Communications Commissioner (FCC) warns that the internet "may be dying" because of changes in legislation that may allow major corporations "to control the internet's choke points" and dictate what innovations may be allowed, what content may flow. "Think about what could happen if your broadband internet provider could limit or retard your access to, say, certain news sources or political sites." PDF. By Michael J. Copps, New American Foundation, October 9, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Princeton Report Critical
Yesterday's parody has become today's news: SunnComm Technologies Inc., the developer of the DRM technology that can be bypassed with the use of the shift key, is suing the Princeton student who authored the paper, Alex Halderman, for significantly damaging the company's reputation and causing the stock to drop $10 million (though there may be more to that than meets the eye). Argues the company, "No matter what their credentials or rationale, it is wrong to use one's knowledge and the cover of academia to facilitate piracy and theft of digital property." So let this be a warning to you: if you knowingly press the shift key, you too are a pirate and should be tossed into jail. Update: in an interview published today in the Daily Princetonian, SunnComm indicated that it may have had a change of heart. "I don't want to be the guy that creates any kind of chilling effect on research," Jacobs said. By Press Release, SunnComm Technologies Inc., October 9, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Parents Sue School Over Wireless Network
The complete lack of any medical evidence not being a barrier to their campaign, a group of parents has filed suit against a pioneering school districtdemanding that it remove wireless internet systems from its buildings. By Daniel Sorid, Yahoo! News, October 9, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Beyond "Efficient Dissemination of Timely Information"
It's a very short article, which is too bad, because it makes an important point worth elaborating upon. The point, specifically, is that knowledge management (and by extension, online learning) is about more than disseminating timely information to staff. For one thing, such an approach doesn't ask why you would want to do this, which in turn leaves no means of distinguishing between useful and useless information. It also converts the internet into a publishing medium, which belies its real strength as a communications medium. By James Robertson, CM Briefing, October, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Music Label Cashes in by Sharing
This is a very nice story about a music publisher, Magnatune, which has adopted the open publishing approach to selling its tunes. "The idea is to let users try music before they buy, and when they do, to give half of every sale to the artist." It was so refreshing to find a music site online that doesn't treat me like a criminal. Oh yeah, and they're making money, too. "The website now brings in $15,000 to $20,000 a month, 80 percent of it from downloads, the remaining 20 percent from licensing deals." By Chris Ulbrich, Wired News, October 8, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2003 Stephen Downes
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