OLDaily
By Stephen Downes
August 12, 2004

Transparency Begets Trust in the Ever-Expanding Blogosphere
Examines reasons why bloggers are more trusted than journalists. "Bloggers are more trusted, I think, because they are human and too often news organizations are not. Bloggers tell you who they are (usually) and what their backgrounds and biases are and their readers can judge them and engage with them on a personal level. News organizations are big and often monolithic and are reluctant to admit let alone share perspective or agendas." By J..D. Lasica, Online Journalism Review, August 12, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Re: Acacia Media Technologies Corporation
Russell Poulin sent this enormously useful post to the DEOS-L mailing list regarding the Acacia patent claim. As another reader notes, "Acacia has targeted distance education for courses that use streaming or downloadable audio and/or video." Poulin responds that "WCET has been collecting information related to the Acacia patent issue and sharing it." What follows is a detailed set of links and resources. Note well: "It may behoove colleges NOT to sign license agreements at this time. Though Acacia's patents may be ruled invalid (and the results of the recent Markman hearings defining the terms of the patents seem to indicate a trend in that direction), those who have signed contracts with Acacia will still be legally obligated to pay licensing fees." By Russell Poulin, DEOS-L, August 10, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

'Stealing Songs is Wrong' Lessons Head for UK Schools
As this article sardonically observes, "The [British] government seems to be falling hook, line and sinker for the curious notion that you need to understand that downloading music is stealing before you can possibly learn about, to make and to enjoy music." Being less obscure, I would observe that this is the plain placement of propaganda in the classroom. Why not simply distribute political pamphlets and conduct exercises in groupthink and be done with it? By John Lettice, The Register, August 5, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Copyright Issues in Digital Media
For people familiar with the copyright debate this essay won't introduce a lot that is new, but is worth a read nonetheless in order to view the issues from the point of view of economic efficiency, the only consideration countenanced by the authors. Overall, and in this light, what follows is a balanced and subtle consideration of the issues. People new to the issue will find this an excellent starting point, though they should be aware that other considerations, such as privacy, due process under law, and freedom of expression, also have their place within the debate. By Various Authors, Congressional Budget Office, August, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Issues arising from DCMI Abstract Model
This paper is obscure but will be found worthwhile by the metadata community. It is essentially a list of issues raised in the Dublin Core metadata architecture. Worth a more general readership (but unlikely to get one) is the last section. The author writes, "It is important to remember that there are two kinds of schemas - syntactic and semantic. A syntax schema will be associated with a record and will define how the syntax is being used.... A semantic schema defines what classes of resource are being described, which terms are being used and what their semantics are." By Andy Powell, UKOLN, University of Bath, March, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Style: a Pleasure for the Reader, or the Writer?
Because I write for an audience every day (a discipline that wonderfully focuses the mind) I find myself attending to questions of style on a regular basis. According to the author, the vast majority of students cannot write (or, at least, cannot write clearly). Writing to make the meaning transparent to the reader is a noble goal. But it is not the only goal. Via ArtsJournal. By Ben Yagoda, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 13, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2003 Stephen Downes
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