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by Stephen Downes
July 3, 2007

An Ecological Approach to Repository and Service Interactions
"Ecology is the study of systems that are complex, dynamic, and full of interacting entities and processes... We think that ecology and the ecosystems it studies may offer a useful analogy to inform the task of understanding and articulating the interactions between users, repositories, and services and the information environments in which they take place." I'm inclined to agree, and even if I weren't, the discussion of "why technical architectures need help" on page 3 would convince me. "Architectures are implicitly static and only address the structures that have been built into them. In particular, technical architectures formalise the technologies they include and the inclusion of a new technology may require the entire architecture to be updated." PDF, from this web page. R. John Robertson, Mahendra Mahey and Julie Allinson, JISC July 3, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Why Do My MP3 Files Sound Bad in Flash Player?
So I'm still working on the nice presentation of my talks collected on my Presentations page. Specifically, I addressed the 'chipmunk voice effect' problem Flash has with recorded MP3s. I scouted around a bit before I found a proper solution and explanation. I also replaced my clunky little Flash audio player with one that works, the JW MP3 Player. It will take a bit to resample my MP3 recordings, but it's worth the effort because it makes the presentation pages a lot more friendly. And I will say, I hope people are taking note of these, because it won't be long before something like this - audio, video, slides, whatever - are the standard for conference presentation pages. After all, if it isn't captured and posted online, it didn't happen. Thopmas Boutell, July 3, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Social Networking in Plain English
The latest in the set of 'plain English' videos, this one takes on social networking sites. The exposition is clear and the images useful. It doesn't delve into social networking in depth, but it does offer a basic foundation. Lee LeFever, YouTube July 3, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

What - Where - When
Nice set of 73 short essays on the semantic web, mostly from trade journals, a number of which have been cited in these pages. Via Mark Oehlert. Unattributed, Zapheira July 3, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Interesting Snippets
Alan Levine led me to this fabulous set of 229 images posted on Flickr. Don't skip past this link without at least taking a look - but be ready to be drawn in by the simplicity and attractiveness of the format. Each slide illustrates an aspect of our new web, looking at it from a slightly different perspective. You can also find notes and a reference for each slide. The slides are CC licensed, so you can use them in your (non-commercial) presentation. Or just be inspired and create your own slides. Lynette Webb, Flickr July 3, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Don'T Want That One - Want That One...
Commenting on the recently released NESTA report, Hidden Innovation - How Innovation happens in six 'low innovation' sectors, Leon Cych observes that in such traditionally ossified sectors people who used to be isolated and stranded in tradition-bound organizations are now able to link up and form alternative development networks. Leon Cych, Flux July 3, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Free Tuition Offer has Its Drawbacks
Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick proposes to make the state's community colleges tuition free for high school graduates. I love how those writers who never supported free tuition turn around and argue that free tuition is not enough when it is announced. It won't help the people who need the help, say these writers with a newly discovered concern for poor people. Yes, free tuition helps everyone, not just the poor. But that's a good thing. And while other expenses could be managed, tuitions were the one thing the poor couldn't work their way around - until tuition becomes free. Associated Press, Boston Globe July 3, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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