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by Stephen Downes
December 31, 2007

2007 Faves

I have collected my photos from this year and assembled my favorites into a slide show. I hope you enjoy viewing these as much as I enjoyed taking them. And with that, I bid adieu to 2007 and look forward to 2008. Thank you for your continued readership and for giving me a place to air my thoughts, beliefs and opinions. Stephen Downes, Flickr December 31, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Criminalizing Ripping CDs and Using Wget On Mac Windows and Linux
The story is a bit convoluted, but the upshot is that the RIAA has argued in a U.S. court that ripping your CD and storing the music files on your computer is illegal. This is significant, first, because it defines people as 'pirates' even if they never share music files, and second, because if the definition holds, it makes criminals out of pretty much every person who owns a computer. And - yes - we need to start listening to other sources of music. Like Jamendo, one of my personal favorites. Related: Scott Karp says the music industry will be the first traditional industry to be totally destroyed by new technologies. Miguel Guhlin, Around the Corner v2 December 31, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Google Is Forcing Social Down Your Throat
This has got to be a mistake, right? "Google Reader's team decided to show your private data to all your GMail contacts. This is now the default, no need to opt-in." I don't use GMail very much so it's not so much an issue (but if my GMail account starts sending you messages, please let me know - I am *not* sending messages using GMail). m2002, Metafilter December 31, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Pew On Teen Social Media Practices (with Interesting Bits On Class)
Social media critic danah boyd comments on the recent Pew study on iunternet use (I wish Pew would expand its horizons and look beyond U.S. borders - there's some weird political agenda here that I don't like). She highlights two things, first, "a correlation still contradicts the ever-present myth that online activities cause a decline in offline activities," and second, "teens from lower-income are more likely to blog." danah boyd, apophenia December 31, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

2008: Year of Information Overload?
This is a prediction that has gotten some traction in the blogosphere, but as George Siemens comments, "ok, and the last ten years were what?" Perhaps we'll hear more about intelligent software agents and data visualization, but I really don't expect either to make great strides forward in 2008. Nor do I think that problems related to information overload will lead to a new renaissance for libraries. I expect people to respond passively (I mean, is they any other way?) by ignoring information sources that aren't useful to them. What this means in practical terms is that they'll skip more emails, 'mark all as read' more RSS feeds, read fewer websites, journals or publications. Nate Anderson, Ars Technica December 31, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

The Real Story On Harvard's Generosity
I have in the past predicted that there will be increasing political pressure on universities. In this item we see criticism of Harvard's tax-free status as its endowment grows by billions of dollars each year. Foundations, the critics note, are expected to pay out six percent of their value eac h year. Why isn't Harvard? Steven Roy Goodman, Boston Globe December 31, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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