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by Stephen Downes
December 9, 2009

Yahoo! OpenID: Now with Attribute Exchange!
Attribute exchange is an obvious (and necessary) next step to OpenID. I wish I could understand what yahoo is up to though. Does all this go by the wayside with the Facebook deal? or... what? Allen Tom, Yahoo! Developer Network Blog, December 9, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Can Your Blog Survive Without Twitter?
One of the things I do - and I do it very deliberately - is to separate the streams of my content. So I have this newsletter, in web, email and RSS format, in Daily and Weekly, along with various other blogs and websites. Tweetmeme doesn't really work for me because there's no one thing that is 'my blog' for Tweetmeme to count. Because, for me, it's not about amassing an audience but rather forming connections. So, my blog could 'survive' without Twitter because there is no particular entity that needs to 'survive' (it's sort of like asking me, "could your email survive without Twitter?" - which is, on the face of it, a meaningless question). People who focus on size of audience, impact via Tweetmeme, or similarly mass-based metrics, are working with an old-media paradigm, which is about broadcast rather that network. They see their influence as measured by echo or repetition - things like retweets, for example - rather than through participation in things that are genuinely larger (and more important) than themselves. Related: Rethinking blogging. Brian Kelly, UK Web Focus, December 9, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment]

Kaplan on Education
Andrew B. Watt quite rightly takes Saul Kaplan to task for his 'rant' on education posted in the Mass High Tech, the journal of technology in New England. Kaplan calls for "actionable platforms to enable real world experimentation for new education systems and solutions... [bringing] the voice of the student and student experience directly into the education innovation conversation... [and] a purposeful network of innovators motivated to explore and test new system solutions." As though none of that hasn't already been done and been blocked from the school system by internet filters. "Here's the trouble," writes Watt. "What you've currently got are schools built around five core subjects, plus sometimes-art and sometimes-music, and sometimes-sports... there isn't a line item for a used gene sequencer, or a 9″ refracting telescope or its observatory, or a plastics-moulding laboratory, or a digital recording studio with a green screen and a sound booth anywhere on the list... And your current incentive system says no money for failing schools, only money for schools at the top, more testing, more testing, more testing [and] better discipline."
Andrew B. Watt, Weblog, December 9, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , , , ] [Comment]

SOCAN's Secret Copyright Submission Posted Online
The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada - SOCAN - somehow managed to convince the Canadian copyright consultation to keep its submission offline (all other submissions were posted publicly). To get a copy, you have to give them your name and email address. Michael Geist summarizes: "it is the usual laundry list of demands including anti-circumvention legislation, copyright term extension, making available right, notice-and-takedown, broadening of the private copying levy, and no further exceptions. The submission includes some indirect criticism of Industry Canada and an industry-focused approach to copyright reform." But if you want, you can access the submission directly via P2PNet News. As for SOCAN, maybe they should look at their own publishers, not their customers, for the biggest source of piracy. More from TechDirt. Michael Geist, Weblog, December 9, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

Updated DRM Reference Table
The value of this item outweighs the inconvenience of the odd PDF registration form (which will allow dummy values, so if you don't want you don't have to submit real information). It's a pretty complete list "of over three dozen currently available DRM, content protection, and conditional access technologies for commercial media, including audio, video, e-books, and games." There's a spreadsheet version available for a fee. The PDF can be accessed here. Good value from an author who knows his field. Bill Rosenblatt, Copyright and Technology, December 9, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Another One Bites the Dust
Universitas 21 was a large, well-funded initiative intended to offer credit from traditional institutions through an online program. I've covered it a lot over the years, from its original conception to the demonstrations against it to the less than auspicious degree offering. The causes of its decline are familiar to people who have watched this space: the price for the product was too high, the offering was unsuitable, and the credentials questionable. Stephen Downes, Inside Higher Ed, December 9, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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