By Stephen Downes
January 16, 2004

Participation in On-line Courses How Essential Is It?
The author touches lightly on several issues related to online discussions in courses: the role of lurkers, measuring online participation, and whther participation shpuld be graded, for example. Discussion of this paper in the IFETS forum starts Monday. By Bill Williams, IFETS, January 19, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

HP Sets Record With $2.5B in Linux-Based Revenue
For those of you who think there is no business model supporting open source software (or content). Of course, HP is now facing a certain backlash from its customers after announcing a war on "piracy". By Peter Galli, eWeek, January 15, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Rights Issue Dogs CD Protection
Why aren't music downloaders considered in the same light: as people using a new format, without yet obtaining licensing, which will be resolved at a later date? That's how the music publishers have approached new "double session" CDs - "In the case of the new two-part discs, labels are for the most part going ahead and releasing the new formats without obtaining new licences or striking new deals with the scattered publishers." It's not "piracy", I guess, if you have lawyers. By John Borland, Globe and Mail, January 14, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Howard Dean's Plan for the Internet: Collectivism In, Property Rights Out
If you can't establish your argument with reason and perhaps a little data, offer a hefty dose of Red baiting, complete with images of work camps and forced collectivism. This, at least, is the approach taken by the Cato Institute's Adam Thierer, who probably ought to know better. Thierer is strong on property rights, but such rights apparently don't extend to those who wish to donate property to the common good. Oh no, such people, by virtue of their sharing, are trying to undermine freedom and democracy and apple pie. By Adam Thierer, Cato Institute, January 15, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

A Survey of Digital Library Aggregation Services
The aggregation of online library resources has grown tremendously in the last year, as this comprehensive report demonstrates. Still not a complete summary (I didn't see EdNA or CAREO listed, among others) the compilation nonetheless raises in my mind visions of the potential before us: imagine all of these services in a single network offering open access to all these resources. By Martha L. Brogan, The Digital Library Federation, January, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

OneWorld Radio South Asia
Promoting itself as a Napster for development content, OneWorld Radio South Asia is distributing audio programs in south Asian languages that may be downloaded and rebroadcast by local radio stations. "The aim is to develop the pilot project into a South Asia edition of OneWorld Radio, which will service local broadcasters by offering them a wealth of audio in local languages that they can take on for re-broadcast." This is a part of a larger project providing radio content around the world. By Basheerhamad Shadrach, January, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Product Reviews
This is a neat idea, though the incompleteness of it is frustrating. From a database of 760 educational products, readers can search by keyword or product name. the idea is that this takes them to a product review. Or does it? I found no reviews in my searching, just a short description and a link to a website. What would have been nice would have been links to reviews, studies, anything, in fact, that would help inform readers about the product. In addition I didn't see open source products listed; the free stuff should be listed side by side with the pay. And the system should generate an RSS feed of the results, so people can stay up to date. By Various Authors, TechLearning, January, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Illegal Music Downloading Climbs
When the Pew study was released a couple of weeks ago saying that music dowloading had declined, I suggested that the study might be flawed. A new survey offers evidence for this, showing that music downloads actually surged in the month after the lawsuits were launched. By Associated Press, New York Times, January 15, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2004 Stephen Downes
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