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by Stephen Downes
March 7, 2007

eTech Ohio 2007, Day 2 - Susan Patrick Keynote; She Gets It!
Semi-live blog from this conference in Ohio. A couple of astonishing statements near the beginning, which need verification: "China's K-12 curriculum is completely digitized. Mexico is providing a laptop for every teacher, digitizing the K-12 curriculum." And I think, near the end, this is true too: "Online learning is fundamentally about systems theory . A system will do what it is designed to do. So what we need is re-design, not tweaking an obsolete system." The usual network stuff in between. Mark van 't Hooft, Ubiquitous Thoughts March 7, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Casual Fridays: We Can Identify Mystery Faces Just 6 Pixels Wide!
This is actually one of a series of posts on this blog about facial recognition. I'm linking to it because this sort of work is the basis for my assertion that human reasoning consists, not of rules and language, but of pattern recognition. Dave Munger, Cognitive Daily March 7, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Annotated Bibliography of Social Network Analysis for Business
More stuff than you can read in an afternoon. The list of books (all links to Amazon) is pretty authoritative (in my view, at least, as I've read a bunch of them). The list of papers seems a bit light, but as they're unfamiliar to me, may or may not be authoritative (I guess we have to trust the author here). The list of websites is weak, very weak. Don't bother with the comments; they're all spam. See also this living bibliography (aka wiki) on 'leadership networks'. Bruce Hoppe, Connectedness March 7, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

The Mothership Now Supports OpenID
The 'Mothership' in this case being WordPress. Jason Gorman writes, "I guess what this represents to me is an opportunity to adopt cool technologies as they emerge, instead of having to wait for Blackboard to build them into their existing applications." Jason Gorman, Higher Ed Design March 7, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

What Lies Beneath?
A link to a Web 2.0 report led Beth Kanter to post on the concept of 'collabuary' raised in the report, which prompted me to comment in reply, trying to distinguish between folksonomies and collabuaries (which I think isn't a useful term; it just means 'vocabulary' or 'taxonomy'). This in turn led Kanter to send an email in reply, the gist of which is captured in this post, describing a filtering network for non-profits that is partially collaboration, but partially individual action. So where does the line between group and network apply here? Good question - it contains elements of both. I guess I would say, as a rule of thumb, that you pass from 'network' (autonomous action, folksonomy) to 'group' (collaborative action, vocabulary or taxonomy) when somebody says, "You're doing that wrong." Also see the NpTech Tag Community slide show, on Flickr (click on the 'view as slide show' link). Beth Kanter, Beth's Blog March 7, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

I signed up for the Second Life Educators mailing list and it paid off in one day, as Gunnar Schwede posts this link. "This service allows you convert a Flash Video / FLV file (Youtube's movie,etc) to MPEG4 (AVI/MOV/MP4/MP3/3GP) file online." Even better, When you submit an url, it will download and convert to the video format. Then you can download the converted file. The the Flash Video to MPEG 4 converter is open source. Various Authors, Farside Inc. March 7, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

France Bans Citizen Journalists From Reporting Violence
I am not sure how much effect this has (i.e., whether it's not a law or not) but I will say that a measure banning citizens from recording violence is very inappropriate. The argument is, of course, that the recording of violence instigates the violence. This may be true, but it's also true of the broadcast media. Even more so - terrorism would have no effect without mass media to broadcast it. But the ban on private media fails for the same reason a ban on professional media does. The best weapon against violence is publicity. Via Declan McCullagh (who also links to background on happy slapping). Peter Sayer, Mac World March 7, 2007 [Link] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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