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by Stephen Downes
August 8, 2008

2008 Beijing Olympics

Beijing welcomes the world, and we warmly welcome Beijing, and China, into our homes. Let the Games begin. Various Athletes, Olympics, August 8, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Is Wikipedia Saturated? Yep! Last Year.
Graph shows a sudden end to the exponential increase in edits to the Engloish version of Wikipedia. The author says it's saturation. But the sudden change also happens at about the same time the Wikipedia trolls editors started marking articles for deletion, complaining about the need for print-based references, and generally adding other non-constructive and annoying editorial comments. Victor S. Grishchenko, Bouillon project, August 8, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

How Buildings Learn - 6 Episodes On Google Video
From elearningpost: "The BBC television series on Stewart Brand's iconic How Buildings Learn is now on Google video. If you like the book, you'll love these videos (iPod compatible)." Maish R Nichani, elearningpost, August 8, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment]

Faciality and the Interface
The main message: "Wesch is speaking to the paralyzing effect of the webcam... Gardner also speaks about this in rhetorical terms--the development of voice in the writer and the challenges of audience. That is, the challenge of speaking to an absent, indeterminate audience is not new." Before we begin draping this whole phenomenon with too many layers of theory, let me demur. I have lived most of my life in some sort of public eye - not Paris Hilton famous, but always active in media or politics or activism, and therefore always subject to some 'audience'. And from my perspective, the 'challenge of the audience' is a negative challenge: it doesn't exist, except when we attempt to solve it. The minute you begin, if you will, performing, you create the challenge. The trick is to not begin performing, to speak as yourself, as though there is no audience. And - I think - as more and more people realize this, through their own participation in online media - the more artificial, banal and flimsy 'performances' on or offline will begin to seem. Alex Reid, Digital Digs, August 8, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Emergence of The Academic Computing Cloud
The new buzzword these days is 'cloud' computing. Basically, the idea of cloud computing is that you separate the operating system from the hardware, then organize a hardware layer by connecting computers into grids or networks, then allocate processing resources from this grid to the operating systems. They thus "transform large numbers of hardware and software assets into computational services for a multiplicity of clients and customers." This allows for more efficient computing because computing cycles aren't wasted; a computer doesn't wait for operator input, it simply moves on to the next task. And it provides for more stable computing, because hardware failures dfo not stop processing. See also Tim O'Reilly on cloud computing, via David Wiley. Kemal A. Delic and Martin Anthony Walker, Ubiquity, August 8, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Where Are the Cures?
As Michael Masnick comments, "the rise of patents in the pharma and biotech world is not leading to new cures. In fact, it's actively stifling them, by making it nearly impossible for certain types of research to be done." Michael Heller, Forbes, August 8, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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