By Stephen Downes
October 25, 2004
Now wouldn't this be a nice thing to add to an online learning resource. " A month or two ago, Stefan Maglenski released a nifty hack that scanned BBC news pages for proper nouns and turned them into hyperlinks if the phrase in question has a Wikipedia entry. Clever! The Wikipedizer is a simple RESTful web service based on Stefan's idea (and loosely on his code). Pass it a URL, get back a list of related Wikipedia entries." By Scott Evans, October 25, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]
Now that Sxip has a version out in Perl, it counts for me as Real Software. Oh yeah, what is Sxip? Something big: "a simple, secure and open platform for true digital identity. Sites that implement Sxip support are able to easily provide features like single sign-on and automatic form fill. Sxip users gain control over their online identity, conveniently and safely navigating Sxip-enabled sites. Website developers implementing Sxip benefit by being able to share a platform built on open standards and supported by open source tools." In other words, everything that Passport isn't. By Various Authors, October, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]
This item is making the rounds of educational bloggers, if only for this line: "Bob is Director, Learning and Strategy Evangelism, for Microsoft Learning. He told us, 'In the hour that I'm with you, two Microsoft training centers will go under.'" Now I notice that this line is no longer on Jay Cross's blog post, but it's too late, it's out there, most recently in today's elearningpost. And Maish didn't get it wrong - and I saw the quote on Cross's blog personally the other day. My conclusion: Bob Mosher probably said it, but then wished he hadn't, because it probably isn't true (because, if you think about it, that would mean 48 training centers going under in a day, 1440 in a month), and Jay was probably nice enough to erase it. Tsk tsk. All of which obscures the main message, which is: "He told us the learner population has changed; they are no longer newbies; they donít want courses." By Jay Cross, Internet Time, October 22, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]
Scientist: Brain in a Dish Acts as Autopilot, Living
Work like this has been going on for a while - read people like Joseph LeDoux and you'll see - but this item has that catchy hook that people like me just can't resist. "A University of Florida scientist has grown a living 'brain' that can fly a simulated plane, giving scientists a novel way to observe how brain cells function as a network. The 'brain' -- a collection of 25,000 living neurons, or nerve cells, taken from a ratís brain and cultured inside a glass dish -- gives scientists a unique real-time window into the brain at the cellular level." More. And of course we have to ask - can a brain in a dish distinguish flying a simulator from flying a real aircraft? By Carolyn Gramling, UF News, October 21, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]
Congratulations to Sandy Cobb and everyone else at Mid-South Community College in West Memphis on the launch of their collection of free learning objects made available on the web for anyone to use. Now - if someone out there could help them set up an RSS feed, we can get these objects distributed and widely shared. By Sandy Cobb, Mid-South Community College, October 25, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]
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