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by Stephen Downes
December 28, 2007

Don't Let DRM Get Between You and a Good Book
Joshua Gay writes, "We want to send a message about DRM on ebooks and ebook readers that everyone will understand with just four simple points":
- They want to put locks on your books.
- It is locked to a single device... when it breaks, you can no longer read your ebook.
- The owners of DRM technology decide what can be put into their DRM formats; DRM allows for digital censorship
- Every few years you will have to buy a new copy of your favorite books.
"Join us in action in teaching the world about DRM on ebooks," he writes. "Help us save the future of reading for everyone!" Joshua Gay, Defective by Design December 28, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

IBM: LAMP Users Need to Grow Up
According to an IBM researcher, businesses that use LAMP (Linix - Apache - MySQL - Perl, Python or PHP) will have to "grow up". "They're really primative tools," says Daniel Sabbah, general manager of IBM's Rational division. "Eventually, they are going to have to come up against scalability." In a spirited response (language warning), Ryan Tomayko calls him on it. "The LAMP model works because it was built to work for and by people building real stuff. The big vendor / big tools model failed because it was built to work for Gartner, Forrester, and Upper Management whose idea of 'work' turned out to be completely wrong." I agree with Tomayko. "The need for complex systems in the enterprise was and still is greatly overestimated. The trick isn't to make PHP more complex, it's to make the enterprise less complex. You need to equate complex requirements with complex systems less and start asking 'do we really need this?' more." Brendon Chase, ZD Net Australia December 28, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Scaling MySQL at YouTube
YouTube serves 100 million videos in a single day. It manages this daya with MySQL, an open source database engine. Which makes you wonder about the justifications for Oracle and MS-SQL. Anyhow, serving 100million videos, even with MySQL, is not without its, challenges, and that's the subject of this podcast. Paul Tuckfield, IT Conversations December 28, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

A Framework for Assessing Learning Outcomes in Online Business Simulations
Good paper with a lot of background on the motivation for simulations, simulation design, and, as the title suggests, assessment of learning using simulations. The paper is better at the beginning and is recommended as an introduction to the pedagogy of simulations. I expected to see more on the evaluation of simulations and especially more linking the learning goals in simulations with the business goals of the organizations offering them. Via EDUCAUSE. Denis Saulnier, Learning Technology December 28, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

More On the NIH Victory
I don't see this as the huge advance many writers do, but it is nonetheless a step forward. According to a bill signed into law this week, peer-reviewed manuscripts of U.S. government funded health research have to be posted and publicly available at PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication. This post links to numerous reactions. Peter Suber, Open Access News December 28, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Why (And How) I Just Canceled All My Music Subscriptions
Although it was obvious to me (and presumably to readers of OLDaily) that signing up for a DRM-enabled music rental service would be a bad idea, we get confirmation of that in this article, in which the author finds that unsubscribing is not an easy process. "The digital music scene has largely evolved past DRM." Eliot Van Buskirk, Wired December 28, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Study Groups
Interesting use of Facebook to create on-the-fly study groups. Students can discuss assignments, share files, assign tasks, schedule meetings, and keep track of activities. Jane Hart, Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day December 28, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Making a Space for Disruption
This is an interesting way to look at e-learning 1.0 (the old LMS) and e-learning 2.0 (the new social network). "I find myself having two entirely different conversations with people," writes Janet Clarey. "One conversation will be about creating tracking workers' competencies, addressing skills gaps, managing the pre-hire to retire cycle, developing learning plans, and matching gaps to learning interventions... The other conversation will be about collaboration and connections - how to use wikis, blogs, social networks, virtual worlds, etc. and it will likely flow into discussions around control and culture." But these aren't two sepaate converations - they're the same conversation, along a continuum. Janet Clarey, Brandon Hall Research December 28, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Lies, Lies and Adobe Spies
Keep your eyes on your Adobe applications. They may be phoning home. So says an application called Little Snitch, a nice little piece of software that tracks internet requests being made by applications running on your computer. Thre's some confirmation (unofficial) from Adobe. Dan, Uneasy Silence December 28, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Landing On the Moon: July 20, 1969
Ah, I remember it well. I was ten yars old at the time. Video of the moon landing. You never know when that will come in handy. use this toolthis tool to play the Flash video on your computer. Unattributed, Open Culture December 28, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

MoDazzle: Access Facebook, LinkedIn and Starbucks From Your Mobile Phone
I like the idea of accessing various services from your mobile phone. But I am less sanguine about the way the phone directs you to specific brands and services. Vendors have much more control over the platform in the mobile phone market, and this does not work to the user's advantage. Related: From Cellphone to Sell Phone: Can the Marketers Be Stopped? Kristen Nicole, Mashable December 28, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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