By Stephen Downes
October 6, 2004


Photos from Sydney have been posted in my Australia04 image area, including this one. I am leaving Sydney in a few hours - I know a lot of people wanted a chance to talk, and I'm sorry my time here was so short that it simply became impossible. Next time. By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, October 7, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

CETIS Quarterly Newsletter
The second CETIS Newsletter has hit the streets, arriving in my email today, and although the formatting looks just awful in Firefox readers should bite the bullet, fire up Internet Explorer, and have a look. Author Wilbert Krann gets to the heart of things right away. "It is becoming clear that common e-learning activities such as searching and discovering content, taking a test, or working on a learner profile can't really be done by one application that has little or no knowledge of everything else on the network or the wider internet," he writes, describing two major responses to this: "one is that of a single platform, with a place for plug-ins, much like a flash or pdf plug-in adds extra functionality to an internet browser. The other approach focusses on enabling tools to talk to each other, with little presumption on what that tool is.... One other trend is the rise of lightweight and open source e-learning technologies." I'm not sure whether this is two or three approaches, but my sentiments, for a wide variety of reasons, lie firmly with the last. By Wilbert Kraan, CETIS, October 8, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Grey Tuesday, Online Cultural Activism and the Mash–up of Music and Politics
As a participant in Grey Tuesday through the involvement of NewsTrolls, this item was of particular relevance to me. I can personally attest to the success of Grey Tuesday as we went through our monthly bandwidth allocation in a few hours. Worth reading especially in conjunction with the next item (below). By Sam Howard–Spink, First Monday, October, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Protecting Ourselves to Death: Canada, Copyright, and the Internet
"Ironically," wrotes the author, "while professing fear for their cultural sovereignty, and following the paths of their own internal political, bureaucratic, and rhetorical culture, Canadians appear to be constructing a copyright policy in complete harmony with the needs of American and international capital." What follows is a long analysis of opyright law in Canada with particular reference to the impending retification of the WIPO proposals. The author captures much of why I believe to be the case, and especially this: "if we see culture as an ecology including both market and non–market dimensions, in which we want to maximize quality and output, we can recognize that future creativity and initiative comes from education, from community, from experimentation, from imitation, and from absorption. Creators do not create from nothing. They borrow from peers and previous generations — through fair dealing, permission, or the public domain; they create..." By Laura J. Murray, First Monday, October, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Digital Publishing
Magazine-style corporate site aimed mostly at the language learning sector. A blend between advertising and promotional material with some interesting content. Worth a look, but with no RSS feed the magazine won't generate many return visits. By Various Authors, October, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Send Button Fixed
Thanks to those of you who reported the Internet Explorer error in my 'Refer a Resource' page. The send button, which had vanished, has now been replaced. By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, October 7, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Google Launches Amazon-style Book Search Business
I said a few times over the last couple of weeks that one of the web's few examples of centralized success - Amazon - would crumble as soon as some sort of competition ncame into the picture. That may have happened today as Google has very quietly launched a service that allows people to find books for sale. Decentralized marketplace, anyone? By Jeffrey Goldfarb, USA Today, October 6, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Sana'a University to deploy largest e-learning project in the Middle East
More on the quiet expansion of Microsoft into e-learning in Asia - this time, it is the announcement of a major e-learning project in Yemen. By Unattributed, AME Info, October 6, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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