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by Stephen Downes
December 10, 2007

Google Testing OpenID With Blogger, May Offer OpenIDs To Users
If Google goes all-out in its support for OpenID this will entrench the technology for all of us. "If the 1000 pound Gorilla in the room decides to adopt OpenID across its range of products, presumably with Blogger being only the first step of a broader rollout, OpenID may finally take off outside of the first adopter and tech communities." Duncan Riley, TechCrunch December 10, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

WWW FAQs: Why Do My MP3 Files Sound Bad in Flash Player?
Good description of why some MP3s sound funny when played using Flash applications. Boutell says "Audacity and Flash don't always play nicely together," which isn't quite accurate. the reality is, Flash only plays certain types of MP3 files. "The problem is that Flash Player only supports two sampling rates: 22,050 samples per second, and 44,100 samples per second." Which is really stupid and something Adobe should fix. Anyhow, to fix the problem, what you have to do is 'resample' your audio files using an application called LAME, Thomas Boutell, December 10, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

iBerry.Com--the Academic Porthole
Short review of iBerry, the self-described 'academic porthole' (not portal) - "a small but cheerful window in the side of the Higher Education ship for purposes of illumination and enlightenment." Joseph Hart, eduResources December 10, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

BBC Creates Perl On Rails
I can understand why they did this, and though it does seem a bit odd, I heartily applaud the BBC code release (17 packages on CPAN already) and will be studying them closely. Andy Lester, Perl Buzz December 10, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Spock's Risky Take On Trust, Privacy, and Identity Management Online
When I first tried Spock the site was so slow that I couldn't learn anything. They've apparently fixed that problem, as Catherone Howell reports, but additional problems remain. "It's not especially useful, and it could even be dangerous, for a company to try and create a public expectation that 'identity management' equates to an individual actively 'controlling' all the personal information that is available about him/her on the web... I'd say we've already got other, better mechanisms to do the things that Spock says it's offering users. Mechanisms that allow people to selectively share their information with services and with other individuals, and that don't rely on submitting personal information to a commercial third party provider." Catherine Howell, EDUCAUSE Connect December 10, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

The creator of this site is a longtime friend of mine. So I'm really pleased to be able to recommend it, even if it is not strictly an education site. Stockhouse is a type of online community that encourages discussion on the stock market and employs a variety of social networking and community features to manage the discussion. Note the very interesting variation of tag cloyds used to indicate the most popular topics of discussion. Note the multi-featured reputation management display for contributors. The entire site is dynamic, the display of information intended to be relevant and up-to-date. This really is a marvel of design, one educators should study closely. Jennifer Griffin, Website December 10, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Getting Serious
The Economist looks at the Facebook phenomenon. "It is a typical example of the colonisation of a new frontier," writes the author. "A few intrepid explorers stake out some new, unexplored territory. Before long the first settlers move in and start to look for ways to make a quick buck." And the Economist offers its usual advocacy of the free-market approach: "One way to deal with unwanted activity, in virtual worlds as in the real one, is to decriminalise and regulate it, rather than trying to outlaw it altogether." It's an odd advocacy, especially following a paragraph in which it is noted that "in May two players were banned from Second Life for depicting sexual activity between an adult and a child." The article is also noteworthy for having apparently copied a photo taken (and posted on Flickr) by Art Fosset. "Don't those people at The Economist understand CC BY-SA ??" he asks in an email post. Unattributed, The Economist December 10, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content
I don't like the title - unlicensed copying is not theft, no more than fraud and impersonation are murder. Still, as the article says, with the proliferation of Google-financed spam weblogs, your content will be copied without any regard for your licensing or intentions. And while I support open content, this is not what I support - indeed, these sorts of spam weblogs are just the sort of thing that motivate my desire to use a non-commercial clause in my license (so if you see a Google ad anywhere around this post, you are seeing content used in violation of my license - behaviour I have come to expect as typical of the corporate and commercial sector). Lorelle van Fossen, Lorelle on WordPress December 10, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

And the 2007 Winners Areā€¦
The edublog award results are in. Congratulations, as usual, to the winners. Various Authors, edublog awards December 10, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

New Copyright Law Starts Web Storm
Short article documenting the online criticism mounted against proposed copyright legislation in Canada. The legislation will likely "mirror the DMCA with strong anti-circumvention legislation - far beyond what is needed to comply with the WIPO Internet treaties," according to michael geist. It will likely contain no protection for "flexible fair dealing. No parody exception. No time shifting exception. No device shifting exception. No expanded backup provision. Nothing." I hope Canadian politicians of all political stripes are taking note. Mathew Ingram, Globe and Mail December 10, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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