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by Stephen Downes
May 4, 2007

12 Important U.S. Laws Every Blogger Needs to Know
This post may be based on U.S. law, but the result is a good set of guidelines that constitute common sense in any jurisdiction. For example, "Never claim that you are an objective, unbiased source if you are being paid to provide information." Or "Always clearly distinguish between your work and someone else's." And this seems to be pretty obvious by now: "Never allow criminal comments or stolen content to remain on one of your sites." And for the commercial sites out there, "Never share or sell sensitive information such as social security numbers, credit card numbers, bank account information, criminal background or health records." Via David Maister and Jim McGee.. Unattributed, Aviva May 4, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

The Illogical Rhetoric of Share Alike
I don't agree with this post. I use 'share-alike' on my licenses (both Creative Commons and Open Source Software (where it's GPL) precisely because I don't want somebody coming along, doing a minor repurpose, and then claiming to 'own' the content. Leigh Blackall argues against 'share alike', though, because he can't use SA content in conjunction with proprietary materials, cultually restructed materials, or old commercial materials. Right. because such a combining would be a process of taking something that is freely sharable, and turning it into something that is not. It's just a clever way of raiding the commons for personal gain. But that said - there is nothing that presents the presentation of SA materials alongside commercial materials. You an still use the materials - you just can't pretend they are something you have created (and can restrict access to). I see nothing illogical about this. Leigh Blackall, Learn Online May 4, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Anarchy Media Player
This is described as a WordPress plug-in, but it can be used on stand-alone web pages (there's an example of it embedded in a MediaWiki page). Maybe this is the key for the sound on my presentation pages. Via CogDogBlog. Zeug, An-Archos May 4, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Who Needs OLPC?
This post mostly makes the point that the rising cost of the OLPC (now $175) and the declining cost of commercial computers (now $289) are close to reaching convergence. Yes, the OLPC has some neat features, like a way to generate its own power. If you can live without Windows and Office (which seem to be more expenseive than the computer these days) then you're already at OLPC territory - if your school board takes advantage of the low prices and isn't seduced by marketing. See also this comment from KairosNews and a comparison between ther OLPC and Intel's Classmate PC ($250ish) on ArsTechnica. Dean Shareski, Ideas and thoughts from an EdTech May 4, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Encyclopodia - the Encyclopedia On Your iPod
"Encyclopodia is a free software project that brings the Wikipedia, which is one of the largest encyclopedias in the world, to the Apple iPod. Encyclopodia can be installed on iPod genarations one to four, as well as on iPod Minis and Photo iPods." Too cool. Via Open Culture. Speaking of which, the Chronicle of Higher Education has a podcast. And Open Culture keeps its on list of academic podcasts. Also, My own podcast hassn't been updated for a while, but now that I have the whole presentations side cleaned up I am updating it again. Open Culture also links to "vast collections" of Frenc culture podcasts, which makes me wonder whether we are seeing the rebirth of the French Encyclopodiasts. Robert Bamler, SourceForge May 4, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , , , ] [Comment]

Study Questions RSS' Usefulness
I have been told that I am too critical. But stuff like this explains why. This post discusses a study by the University of Maryland's International Center for Media and the Public Agenda - surely a credibl;e agency, right? - suggesting that "RSS feeds from mainstream news sites aren't very useful in keeping up with the news" and that users would be better off using Google News. The study, of course, misrepresents how RSS is actually used. You'll find my (overly critical?) response at the end of this post. Doug Fisher, Common Sense Journalism May 4, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Ban a Knee-Jerk Reaction, Say Experts
I really don't think you need experts to say this: "A decision by the Ontario government to ban access to Facebook for staffers from their computers has been deemed a knee-jerk reaction by experts in the social networking field." Lisa Williams, InterGovWorld May 4, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

SL Instructional Videos On YouTube
As the title suggests, "a set of Second Life instructional videos on YouTube by Torley Linden." Aaron Griffiths, Eduforge May 4, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Does Web-Based Training Work?
The answer (as we all know by now) is yes, but in studies of effectiveness, "the instructional method matters, not the delivery medium." The same is true of testing; as Ewan McIntosh write, "people writing as fast as they can for two hours is no way to test whether children can 'perform'." Tom Werner, Weblog May 4, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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