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Harold Jarche: Provinent now "Vitesse Learning" October 19, 2005
Another merger. Harold Jarche reports: "After having recently merged with Fredericton's LearnStream, Provinent (of Toronto, with offices in Fredericton & Charlotteown) is now merged with US-based Vitesse Learning. This consolidates the e-learning content development field even more. We'll see if bigger is better in the next months and whether the new company hires more people or jettisons extra staff. The merger means that at this time only one major e-learning content developer, Innovatia, has its head office in New Brunswick. Other companies with learning content production facilities in Fredericton include Ireland's PulseLearning, US-based SkillSoft and local EngageInteractive." [Tags: Mergers and Takeovers, Online Learning] [Comment]

Various authors: Adelphi Charter October 19, 2005
Written by an international group of artists, scientists, lawyers and economists, the Adelphi Charter is an attempt to find what might be thought of as a middle ground in the copyright debates. Sponsored by the Royal Society, the charter is signed by people such as Lawrence Lessig and Cory Doctorow. It calls for a balance between the public domain and private rights, and asserts that patents should not be issued on "mathematical models,scientific theories, computer code,methods for teaching, business processes,methods of medical diagnosis,therapy or surgery." I think it's a pretty forward-looking document, probably too much for the content industry to accept, but ultimately in the direction they'll have to go. [Tags: Lawrence Lessig, Copyright and Patent Issues] [Comment]

John Hagel: From Push to Pull, Edge Perspectives with John Hagel October 19, 2005
I have to give John Hagel and John Seely Brown (JSB) credit: they know how to take an idea, package it, and run with it. The idea this time is the transformation from 'push' technologies to 'pull' technologies. It's a topic I've dealt with before, but never in any depth. But at root, I think Hegel is right in this one. p.s. while searching for this I found one of my predictions that has been (thus far) quite a miss: my 2002 prediction that the browser is dead. Just goes to show: it's easy to predict the future, harder to be right. [Tags: Push versus Pull] [Comment]

Press Release: Blackboard and Microsoft Cooperate to Integrate Administrative and Academic Collaboration Products, Blackboard October 19, 2005
This should be no surprise to Blackboard watchers, but the company's latest announcement of closer integration with Microsoft learning is only the latest snuggle between the two companies. [Tags: Blackboard, Microsoft] [Comment]

Christopher D. Sessums: Open Source as Liberation October 19, 2005
Just an update on one of the most interesting stories of the web, the way in which the government of Brazil has embraced open source. "President Luiz Inacio da Silva, or 'Lula', has announced that all ministries will stop using Microsoft Windows on their office computers. Instead of paying through the nose for Microsoft operating licences, while millions of Brazilians live in poverty." This same story, with varying outcomes, is playing itself out arount the world, as a heated discussion on the Bytes For All mailing list attests. Microsoft, meanwhile, is beginning to bend - already offering deep discounts to countries and institutions that waver, the software company has also come out with shared source licenses, one of which - the community license - may actually qualify as open source. Of course, after releasing these three licenses, Microsoft picked an odd time to complain about the proliferation of licenses. [Tags: EDUCAUSE, Open Source, Web Logs, Microsoft] [Comment]

Seth Godin: The Next Free ebook (Squidoo!), Seth Godin's Blog October 19, 2005
Seth Godin reinvents newsmastering, calls it 'lensmastering', relases a web 2.0 e-book (in PDF, natually) that will likely gain wide readership, and launches a company and a product, Squidoo, intended to make people newslensmasters. Alan Levine, meanwhile, has reinvented himself. [Tags: Books and eBooks] [Comment]

Jay Rosen: Andrew Heyward: The Era of Omniscience is Over, PressThink October 19, 2005
A fascinating admission from the president of NBC on the nature of truth. "We have to abandon any claim to omniscience. Walter Cronkite used to end his broadcast with 'Thatís the way it is.' Dan Rather pulled that back, appropriately, to 'Thatís part of our world tonight.' The digital journalist, if he or she were being honest, would say something like 'Thatís some of what we did our best to find out today.' This means not just recognizing that on most matters there are multiple points of view out there as opposed to a single, discoverable 'truth,' but also ó and this is just as important ó acknowledging that the world is a complicated place, and the stories and issues we cover are not always reducible to simple, television-friendly explanations." [Tags: Push versus Pull] [Comment]

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Stephen Downes

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National Research Council Canada

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