OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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February 3, 2011

Free Pool of IPv4 Address Space Depleted
Announcement, Number Resource Organization, February 3, 2011.

This is a seminal day in the history of the internet. We have reached the IPcalypse - the 4.3 billion IP addresses created in the current adderessing scheme (IPv4) have been used up. This mean, like it or not, we must move to the new addressing scheme (IPv6) is we want the internet to be able to expand. With any luck, we won't have to do this again - the new scheme supports 340 undecillion (3.4 x 1038) addresses. You can learn about the new system here, but for those of us who grew up on the old system, you can call it ::1 but there's no place like

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What is a fair price for Internet service?
Hugh Thompson, Globe and Mail, February 3, 2011.

With internet usage increasing exponentially because of audio and video applications, you might think that the service providers make a good point when they say that bandwidth caps and extra fees are a necessary cost of access. But opponents of the caps and fees accuse the ISPs of gouging - charging what the market will bear, no matter what the cost to consumers and the wider economy, rather than a fair price for the service. And the numbers support the opponents. As this article shows, an extra gigabyte of download costs the ISP a total of 3 cents. Meanwhile, under current plans, they are charging the consumers as much as 5 dollars. "The vast mark-up granted to cable and telecommunications under UBB (Usage based Billing) by the CRTC demonstrates that the federal regulator has failed to deliver a competitive Internet services business in Canada." And this is not just hurting consumers, it's hurting business, and it's hurting the provision of social services, including online learning.

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Bunkum Awards 2010
Various Authors, National Education Policy Center, February 3, 2011.

I believe as strongly as the next person in the value of research and data in the development of education policy. Where I differ, it appears, from the people who actually create such policy is in my understanding of what actually constitutes research and data. As a case in point, consider this list of bunk research reports issued by various think tanks. They are read with all seriousness, and even reported as fact in the media, but they are scientific flim-flammery.

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Identity Logs - Students' Empowerment, Passions and Micro-revolution
Carla Arena, Collablogatorium, February 3, 2011.

I like this. I'm tempted to create one (I probably will, at some point). The idea is the 'identity log', which is a short, typically video, retrospective over who you are and where you came from. Here's one about Carla on Prezi, and a video by Luiz Cláudio. They're not Casablanca but they don't have to be. George Couros writes about the concept of an Identity Day in which "students have the opportunity to teach others about themselves." It's nopt about grading or about what students should be saying, it's about taking a step back and learning about them.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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