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by Stephen Downes
October 30, 2009

Impressions of a Google Wave
My first impressions of Wave are, like Alan Levine's, sceptical. Wave has underwhelmed me; it's not easier to use than, well, anything, and it's not solving any communications problems that I had. Yes, the jury's still out. But they're not ordering lunch. Related: EDUCAUSE's Seven Things You Need To Know About Wave. Rich Hoeg, NorthStarNerd.Org, October 30, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

What would you do with $40 million?
It is worth considering the amount of money taken out of the education system by publishers. case in point: TeachPaperless asks, "what would you do with $40 million." And notes, "Detroit Public Schools thought it would be a good idea to give it to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt." A Faire Alchemist, TeachPaperless, October 30, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

This is a service that rents academic articles for a short one-day period. At 99 cents a pop, this represents significantly lower hit than the $35 or $40 charged by academic journals to 'purchase' articles. As you can see here, the articles are displayed in Flash, which makes them difficult to copy. DeepDyve has gotten some press from the Chronicle this week, which now lends it's support in highlighting (and presumably stamping out) academic article piracy. There's a free trial of an unlimited $19.99 per month plan, but don't bother unless you know you want to subscribe - they'll ask you for charge card information. Various Authors, Website, October 30, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Security in October: Google Wave, Facebook, XSS
This is the sort of thing that makes it so hard to get communications applications right. "A North Carolina State University report from September 2008 showed that users clicked the 'ok' button on message alerts 61% of the time, regardless of whether the message alert was legitimate or not. From that I concluded that we could be reasonably certain that, as an attacker, we would have a 1 in 2 shot of tricking a victim into clicking an exploited link via email, IM, twitter, etc." Paul Gilzow, .eduGuru, October 30, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Banner Ads Attached to Flies Defy Gravity and Logic
This is not directly related to e-learning, bit is one of those don't-miss items: tiny banner ads attached to flies, which were then released at a technology convention. Ben Parr, Mashable, October 30, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Why Email Remains the King of Internet Communications
We've all thought about replacing email. Some of us (well, me) have actually drawn up plans and even laid out some code. But email is hard to replace, for some very good reasons, as Adam C. Engst argues. It's based on open standards. It serves the lowest common denominator. And the new systems don't solve the main problem inherent in the old one: spam. Adam C. Engst, TiDBITS, October 30, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Sudden Thoughts And Second Thoughts
Readers are beginning to wonder whether they are seeing the beginning of a longer term trend (my take: they are). "I wonder if this is the start of some sort of trend where content providers of all types, including the traditional library database producers, will seek partnerships with Blackboard and other courseware vendors to integrate their content directly into the product." This is exactly what's happening, and why (in my view) Blackboard has sought so hard to lock the LMS market - not because they want to sell LMSs (though they'll do that as long as they can) but because they want to lock up a closed market for (100 percent commercial) educational content. StevenB, ACRLog, October 30, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Blackboard's Response to Open Source: Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt
Michael Feldstein analyzes a letter circulated by Blackboard responding to an evaluation of open source competitors (specifically, Moodle and Sakai) being considered by the University of North Carolina. The Blackboard response is arguably pernicious (in a way people who have read their legal filings can attest) and highly misrepresentative of open source software, as Feldstein demonstrates: "Blackboard is making demonstrably false and/or irrelevant arguments against open source, even as they tout their 'openness' and promote their open source Blackboard add-on community." Ironically, Blackboard is just fine with open source when it suits their purposes. Michael Feldstein, e-Literate, October 30, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Esquire Brings Augmented Reality to Print
It's the return of CueCat, only this time the readers are your mobile phones and the advertisements are fronted by attractive models. Is it enough to make the difference? No. Opaque URLs (which is what the icons are) have never been a good idea, because you don't know what you're getting, and this doesn't change just because it's in Esquire and endorsed by Gillian Jacobs. Christina Warren, Mashable, October 30, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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