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by Stephen Downes
July 31, 2007

Pseudorandom Thoughts On Privacy, Security and Trust
Larry Korba meanders through most of the major isues related to privacy, security and trust. "Attackers never rest. The sophistication of the attacks gets more impressive. 'Kits' are more easily available allowing anyone to break into computing systems without any real understanding. Attackers are not building temporal delays into attacks, and more." *sigh* Stephen Downes, Half an Hour July 31, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Following the Letter of the Law
I've been at this privacy and security conference thinking more and more that it's not about privacy, it's about control. Jay Cross writes about a bank that spams him because it insists it has the legal right to do so. Meanwhile, I'm thinking about a telephone company that refused to cancel my cellphone account - and kept charging my credit card - despite my repeated pleas. Larry Korba (see above) today depicted hackers as evil. That's far from the case. That's a huge problem for the security and trust industry - that are actually enabling the bad guys to get away with their crimes. A team reviewed all the Enron emails - I couldn't help thinking, they will make sure that next time the next Enron isn't caught. A paper this morning talked about a network of people reporting the locations of traffic control cameras - the 'hackers' and 'spammers' are people trying to enforce traffic laws! Eventually - was the consensus in the room - this will simply be illegal. But if it's illegal for me to use trusted networks to serve my own purposes - why is it OK for you? Or for Microsoft? Or for Homeland Security? We need some common ground here - but until there is some sort of respect for civil society by government and business, we're not going to get it. Jay Cross, Internet Time July 31, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment]

The Real Myers-Briggs Personality Types
I've always thought the problem with 'learning styles' lay in how we characterized the learning styles. No wonder we can't find any evidence for them! If we used titles like 'the control freak' and 'the bureaucrat' we would find evidence for them all over the place. Ah, must be summer fun time. Unattributed, Xeromag July 31, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

A-List Technology Bloggers: What Are They Good For?
Honestly, the A-List has vanished from my awareness without my even knowing it. It's been ages since I looked at Boing-Boing. Did I ever read Scoble? Meanwhile - my own daily scratchings have probably disappeared from the awareness of many other people. That's a good thing. That's the flattening of the power law curve. Dare Obasanjo, Dare Obasanjo aka Carnage4Life July 31, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Web 2.0 Inefficiency: Crossposting On Twitter, Facebook, Google Reader, Etc.
Now people are talking about Pownce. I have an invitation somewhere, but frankly, I am not interested. Oh, I know, it combines the functionality of twitter with the file sharing. But: "Web 2.0 derides the siloed balkanization of traditional media - yet Web 2.0 doesn't have the wherewithal to figure out that I've now seen the same feed item for the fourteenth time in four different platforms. APIs are great, and Facebook Platform is great, and RSS feeds are great, but the interoperability still seems to be very superficial, more intended to demonstrate the ability to connect rather than to actually enhance the user experience." I'm getting frustrated - all this talk, but vendors still seem to be much more about lock-in than anything else. And the network suffers. Scott Karp, Publishing 2.0 July 31, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , , , ] [Comment]

Embracing the Un-Science of Qualitative Research Part One - Small Sample Sizes Are Super
Gary Stager mixes a good point in with a bunch of bad ones. The good point is that textbooks are about control - and that's what the textbook industry sells, and it will be very difficult for the school system to give up on this. Yes, the textbook industry is like a Zelig - throw a new technology at it, as Stager says, and they'll turn it into a textbook. Nobody is discounting the size and power of the textbook industry. But it needs to change. Because - contra Stager - it is the textbook publishers, not advocates of free and open content, that promulgate "the flawed premise that education equals access to content." People who actually take the time to read about open content and open educational resources understand that the movement is about much more than merely making content available for free - and it is that, and not some flawed business model, that makes it a treat to textbook publishers (and traditionalists). Gary Stager, Stager-to-Go July 31, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

More Women Edubloggers
Janet Clarey lists more woman edubloggers, a number of whom were new to me (but are now in my RSS aggregator). Janet Clarey, Weblog July 31, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Striving to Encourage Natural Learning at School
Sometimes I hear people say that contemporary edubloggers are not sufficiently aware of the history of pedagogy. Perhaps - but at the same time, today's edubloggers are saying the same thing generations of writers have been saying. Seymour Papert, for example: "The institution of School, with its daily lesson plans, fixed curriculum, standardized tests, and other such paraphernalia tends constantly to reduce learning to a series of technical acts and the teacher to the role of a technician." Of course it doesn't work. As Fryer notes, "School is a complex, adaptive system." People like Papert understand this. Wesley Fryer, Moving at the Speed of Creativity July 31, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

How to Develop a Hit Facebook App: 29 Essential Tools and Tutorials
I'm hoping the Facebook fad will have come and gone before I get around to writing apps for it (so I won't have to - I do not relish the idea of writing custom code for each hit application as it gets popular). If not: this is where I'll be looking. Unattributed, Software Developer July 31, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Visualising OpenLearn Course Listings
This is something I've spent some time thinking about - how do you visualize listings of open learning resources. Tony Hirst focuses on open courses (rather than resources generally) but the problem is the same. Readers will appreciate the visualizations of the different approaches. Read the prequel first. Tony Hirst, OUseful Info July 31, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Walled Gardens or Walled Hearts?
David Wallace reflects on the new openness that Facebook creates. See also Kent Newsome, who writes, "I simply cannot describe how excited I am that Bebo is going to follow Facebook and launch a developer platform. We're about a month away from every web site being designated a social network." David Wallace, Blob July 31, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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