By Stephen Downes
March 30, 2004

Distributed Digital Rights Management
Slides from my second presentation to the Learning Object Summit, describing the eduSource approach to digital rights management. Additional papers and slides (as well as video, even) should be available on the site shortly. By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, March 30, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Divergence and Collaboration in eduSource
Slides from my first presentation to the Learning Object Summit, describing the collaborative process in eduSource. By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, March 29, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Kazaa and Co 'Not Cause of Music Biz Woes', say Profs
File sharing does not harm music sales, a pair of researchers concluded in a new study. "Sales, they say, are not lost to downloads since most download are made of songs music fans would not buy anyway." In fact, for the bigger selling albums, sales actually increase because of downloads. More. By Tony Smith, The Register, March 30, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Re: Major Single Sign-On
I don't usually link to my own discussion list (though I have plans to one day include discussion contents in the OLDaily newsletter itself - if you have comments on this, I'd love to hear them), but CETIS's Scott Wilson offers an important clarification of a link I posted earlier, noting that proposed authentication systems are not, as I described them, federated authentication. Scott writes, "Wilbert logs on to the private intranet at Bangor University, and follows a link into the private intranet at Cardiff University. Normally, the Cardiff intranet would require a logon, but because the link from Bangor had inserted a 'token' into the URL, Cardiff instead asks Bangor to validate that this token is current, and refers to someone who has authenticated to Bangor's satisfaction." This makes it more similar to the eduSource DRM system than I had thought. By Scott Wilson, Stephen's Web, March 30, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Nottingham City e-Games
For those of you interested in games and learning, you may want to follow up this link sent to me by Ben Straw, who notes that Nottingham City e-Games is a project "which uses the vehicle of computer games to get kids otherwise disengaged with learning back into school and back on track with school work." The site is a bit sparse, but you can find some reports in the resources section. "Based on the Microsoft XBOX the games we use are non violent such as sports, racing and party games." By Various Authors, March, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Social Enterprise
I haven't heard much from Tacit Systems recently (they created an email data mining system, were absorbed by IBM and dropped off the radar) but they resurface in this interesting article by Jon Udell looking at the implementation of social protocols in social software. As Udell notes, " Even in an anonymous network, everything is ultimately trackable.... Can transparency and privacy coexist?" Good discussion, as learning software will follow many of the developments in social software. By Jon Udell, InfoWorld, March 26, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Interactive Decision Objects
Interactive Decision Objects (IDOs) are "an interactive framework for decision-making," a lot like learning objects, but instead of being content (and learning) driven, they are framework driven. An IDO "is a framework for making decisions (learning is only incidental; unlike in learning objects where it is deliberate). It is interactive and encourages conversations (if a group member has a differing opinion, just move the interactive handles on the chart to view and discuss his perspective)." Demonstrations and downloads are available with this article. By Patrick Lambe, Maish Nichani and Ryan Yacyshyn, elearningpost, March 29, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Live TV on Your Cell Phone
From Poynter's E-Media Tidbits: "The new service of Telefónica Móvil -- live TV on your cell phone -- was introduced in Chile with full print ad pages in major Chilean newspapers. The TV signal belongs to Televisión Nacional, and it is coded in RealONE. The cost of download videos is about 1 cent per Kb; in cases of live streaming it's a half-cent. The only phone that can handle it comes from Sony Ericcson and Nokia, as El Mercurio notes." By Juan Carlos Camus, E-Media Tidbits, March 30, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Don't Steal This Book
The textbook industry is beginning to suffer the effects of file sharing, as evidenced in this shrill article from the Chronicle deploring this new type of 'piracy'. Actually, the copying isn't all that new - I saw Chinese reproductions of texts a good 20 years ago. It's the WTO regulations to counter copying that are new. Anyhow, the losses described in this article are, of course, wildly exaggerated, based on the fable that each book copied represents a lost sale, which is absurd. But more serious is the question of how publishers suppose they can stop this. Will they, too, start suing students? Or only students in Asian countries? By Burton Bollag, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 2, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Company Claims to Own Online Testing
The article on the Chronicle site is behind a subscription wall, but coverage is provided on PoliTechBot. In a nutshell, a company is claiming to have obtained patents for testing over the internet. The company, Test Central Inc., says that it doesn't own patents on every sort of testing, but the patents they do hold are very broad - excessively so, say some. "It's very, very general," she (Ellen K. Waterman, director of distance learning at Regis University) says. "If you can patent anything that people do on the Web, we are not protected at all." Test Central has sent letters to an undisclosed number of colleges and universities in what could become a disruptive campaign. By Dan Carnevale, Chrinicle of Higher Education, via Politechbot, March 23, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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