OLDaily

By Stephen Downes
July 20, 2005

James Doohan, Star Trek's Scotty
Fittingly, I learned the news while actually watching an episode of the original Star Trek. "James Doohan, the burly chief engineer of the Starship Enterprise in the original 'Star Trek' TV series and motion pictures who responded to the apocryphal command 'Beam me up, Scotty,' died early Wednesday. He was 85." This says it best: "A great man who gave hope, wonder and humor to us all. Let us keep in our heart the joy and compassion Scotty brought into our lives and the optomistic reality that he helped influence." Wherever you are, hoist a flask of Saurian brandy. Warp speed, full ahead. Aye sir. Steady as she goes. By Associated Press, CNN, July 20, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

HotGigs Offers E-Learning to Independent Contractors, Staffing Companies, Employers
Interesting lead: "HotGigs, the Contract Talent Marketplace, today launched thousands of business, professional, and technical e-learning courses on its Web site." Of course, when you issue a press release like that, you should follow up by actually putting the courses on your page (or, at least, some mention of them). Well, whatever the logistics, this site is inherently interesting, especially if they connect completions of courses (or relevant assessment) to consultant listings. Add to that some sort oif quality assurance mechanism, like customer rarings, and you have something very interesting. By Press Release, ArriveNet, July 20, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Mososo
The key to mobile social software (mososo) seems to be not mobility per se but location-based services. "The basic idea of a MoSoSo is to overlay a location and time element to the idea of digital networking. So it enables you to find people in your vicinity and at that time for social, sexual/dating or business networking. It's worth noting that the time variable is often overlooked in analysis of MoSoSo dynamics." The animation at Dodgeball (now owned by Google) has a nice illustration of the dynamics. Article with some deeper description. Wavemarket, another mososo application. Playtxt - matches people nearby together based on similarity of interests. I think this is true: "instant messaging is a social network with a purpose." Streethive (Crunkie) tracks blog posts to map locations. Wired article from April. Mososo on Wikipedia (I am creating the article so it will just be this post, but it will improve over time). By Various Authors, Wikipedia, July 20, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Learning and Technology
Another new blog. Looks at podcasting, video and online learning. By Lee Kraus, July, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Birds Imitate Mobile Phone Ring Tones
So if a bird hears someone's telephone and learns to imitate the ring tone, and then you go out and record the bird singing that particular song, and then install the recording on your own telephone, is that piracy? By DPA, Indo-Asian News Service, July 20, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Predicting the Evolution of Digital Rights, Digital Objects and DRM
This paper (and slides) is the highlight of the the recent ODRL conference, held in Lisbon. The author succinctly captures what makes digital commerce so hard: "Information is not a thing. Some patterns don't just move from place to place. They reproduce. They spread. They evolve." Well, how do you assert rights over that? How do you even describe it? Other talks at the conference include an overview of ODRL 2.0 and a number of paper on applying ODRL, including one that suggests a mechanism for interoperability between ODRL and MPEG-21 REL (aka XrML). By Jonathan Schull, ODRL 2.0, July 7, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning
The July issue of the International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning is now available. My essay, The Economy of E-Learning, is published in this edition. Included is also an article on Chimera courses (which reads like blended learning to me), and the use of technology to teach math and statistics. By Various Authors, International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, July, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Next Evolutionary Step in DVD Rentals: Redbox
The interesting thing about Redbox is not that it is offering one dollar DVD rentals. No, it is that it is a wholly owned subsidiary of McDonalds Restaurants. The rental cost, of course, is mostly for the infrastructure - the plastic disks, the retail outlets, the processing. But McDonalds has most of that in place already. Oh, and the content? A great way to get people into the restaurants where they might pick up a Big Mac while taking out a DVD for the evening. By Derek Scruggs, The Intuitive Life Business Blog, July 20, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Border Crossings: Reflections on a Decade of Metadata Consensus Building
Good overview of the challenges inherent in building a metadata standard, and specifically, Dublin Core, in this case by Stuart L. Weibel as he leaves the DCMI management team. A primary challenge is metadata creation itself. "Who wouldn't want to spend an extra few minutes (creating metadata) with so much already invested?" As it turns out, almost nobody. As Eric Duval says, "Librarians don't scale'. We need automated (or at least, hybrid) means for creating metadata." Yup. "Another naïve assumption was that metadata would be the primary key to discovery on the Web." Maybe for spammers. But the uses of metadata are much more nuanced than simple discovery. Via EdTechPost. By Stuart L. Weibel, D-Lib Magazine, July/August, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2005 Stephen Downes
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