By Stephen Downes
April 29, 2004

Vienna Photos
This may be my best collection of photos to date, so I hope you'll take the time to have a look. Remember that all my photos are licensed under Creative Commons, and you may use them without charge for any non-commercial purpose. By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, April 29, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Why Pay For A CMS When You Can Get It For Free?
Pretty simple advice, which I enthusiastically endorse. The author writes, "If she put on the green eyeshades, she would realize that she could save the entire cost of the CMS system while providing the faculty and students with better function." If university officials are wondering where to find out about free content management systems (because, of course, they do not advertise nor submit their software for review by the popular consultants), here is a site that lets people take them for a test drive. I've played with several such systems; my install of Moodle took less than an hour, PostNuke about twice that (mostly because I kept downloading the wrong file - d'oh). Via Jarche Consulting, which adds, "Any purchaser of technology systems has to clearly understand what the possible business models are - or wind up spending $3.3M more than was necessary." If your consultants aren't giving you the whole picture like this, ask them why. By Steven L. Epstein, Syllabus, April 29, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The 2003 E-readiness Rankings
When a similar was issued last year I wrote a longish paragraph critical of the methodology. The same criticisms apply this year of this report, which irrationally places Australia ninth and Canada tenth. By Various Authors, The Economist, April, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

State's Largest Public University Getting Greener
Sometimes the small things make a big difference - like turning off university computer monitors when they're not in use. This little move will save the University at Buffalo $260,000. Via University Business. By Carolyn Thompson, Newsday.Com, April 22, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Microsoft to Create Pop-up Safety Lessons
So I got home from Vienna and the local newspaper letters and editorials are filled with reactions to the case of people getting charged long distance phone bills because they tried to close the pop-up ads on certain websites. Leaving aside the lesson in corporate ethics these dubious promotions offer, or any technical advice Microsoft could add, I have only one thing to say: stop using Internet Explorer. Seriously. The Firefox browser works very nicely and kills popups dead. There is utterly no reason to put up with popup madness. By Munir Kotadia, CNet News.Com, April 28, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Pepsi's iTunes Promotion Goes Flat
There's a lesson here, as the Pepsi iTunes song give-away resulted in fewer than planned songs being distributed for free. The lesson is something like: the market for digital songs is flat, even if they are being given away (and never mind the rate at which iTunes songs are selling, as described by the article - I now wonder whether these figures are inflated by sales to support similar give-aways, such as the Ben & Jerry's promotion). The article also links to the 'tilt the bottle' story, a way to hack the Pepsi competition that made the blogosphere rounds a few weeks ago. Via Corante. By Ina Fried, CNet News.Com, April 28, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2004 Stephen Downes
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.