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December 25, 2012
"Every month, Ocampo-Gooding and nine others in Ottawa pledge $100 of their own money. Then, they get together and cut a $1,000 cheque for a project they like." What I like about this is that the definition of "awesome" is wide opemn, and that the money is given with no strings attached. "If you build a giant tricycle that shoots fire, that sounds awesome ... and was actually a proposal in Portland," he says, rhyming off some of his recent favourites. "If you write us saying you want to build animatronic giant teddy bears to put in daycares, that sounds awesome. If you want to host ginormous murder mystery party with hundreds of participants with pieces written for each one, we want to (help you) do that." Too cool. I want to do that.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Project Based Learning, Cool]
July 13, 2012
The Canadian Supreme Court came down with sweeping rulings this week upholding the principle of fair dealing (also known as 'fair use' in the U.S.). Here's the most important bit: "The court said that downloading a copy of a song is essentially the same as going to buy it in a store — so no additional royalties should be added beyond what the artist already gets through existing licensing agreements." Things like music previews, photocopies of excepts of books (contra Access Copyright, which "failed to show that photocopying in schools adversely affects the market for printed works") and playing music in games were all allowed without extra royalties, on the grounds that the work has already been purchased and the use amounts to a fair use of the purchased work. See also Michael Geist.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Schools, Copyrights, Canada]
June 28, 2012
A Maritime band is struggling to keep its music up on YouTube. The videos were removed following a takedown notice by Universal Music Group (UMG). The problem is, the band owns its own music and is not connected to UMG in any way. As the law stands, however, there's no requirement for UMG to prove it own the music; it just has to say it does, and Google will take the videos down.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: YouTube, Video, Google]
June 26, 2012
Something that is being felt in New Brunswick is a reduced demand for paper. "Canada's paper products industry is in for several years of weakness, partly because consumers are increasingly abandoning paper-based books and switching to the virtual kind, according to a new report from the Conference Board of Canada." Though there is an economic impact, this is actually good news for the province as its Crown forests have been over-harvested. Wood will be valuable in the long term for much better uses than paper, but it needs a chance to grow (and forestry companies need to obey the law).
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Canada]
April 24, 2012
Results in your country may vary. "Students from public schools may be better prepared for the transition to university, a new study is suggesting. The UBC study looked at 4,500 first year physics and calculus students between 2002 and 2006 at UBC and found that public school graduates scored an average of about two to three per cent higher than private school graduates."
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Schools, Private Schools, Online Learning]
March 20, 2012
Audio recording of a news report on the National Research Council, where I work (give the audio a few moments to load). "You can set your clock by it but the Conservative government thinks the National Research Council is locked in time. It wants the NRC to focus more on research that will grow business. Critics say that could stifle creativity and innovation." See also this earlier article on the same subject.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Research, Audio]
May 21, 2010
This article raises a good question - if you pay for an iPad, who owns it, you or Apple? If Apple can, under a DMCA or similar legislation, lock the device and prevent, by law, owners from running unauthorized software, it's arguable that you don't own the iPad. We lease homes and cars, but are we ready for a world where we leave household appliances and are told how we're allowed to use them? The CBC article says the upcoming government legislation is "much needed." One wonders, by whom?
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Apple Inc., Patents, Copyrights]
October 27, 2009
The CBC has a special online report on the future of news media. As the authors note, "What is now called the 'mainstream media' has lost its control over the tools of its trade, and its importance as a centre of social and political influence. The business and philosophical model both appear to be broken, perhaps irrevocably." Of course, as I have often said, it's not just new media that's killing the traditional press; it's the press's own practices. Look at their choice of 'experts' for their series - three people who write books (including the laughable Andrew Keen) and four people from traditional media. And nobody with genuine new media credentials at all. This is typical - and a big part of the reason nobody takes the traditional news seriously any more.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: New Media]
October 8, 2008
If elected, the Conservatives pledge to reintroduce bill C-61, the 'Canadian DMCA' that attracted protests before Parliament was dissolved. This is in contrast to the Liberals and NDP, many of whom have signed a copyright 'pledge' to support user rights.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Patents, Copyrights, Canada]
September 2, 2008
The Quebec government has been sued for buying Microsoft software. "Government buyers are using an exception in provincial law that allows them to buy directly from a proprietary vendor when there are no options available, but Facil said that loophole is being abused..."
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Microsoft]
December 13, 2007
Content - including television and sporting events - is being licensed for sale via iTunes in Canada. I will continue to watch those few shows I want to watch for free, on television. If they take the shows off television, well then I guess I won't know what I'm missing, and won't buy it anyway. More from the Globe and Mail, which looks at the even more ridiculous prospect of selling video iPods in Canada with absolutely nothing available to view on them. Goodness. Google should sell a simple video viewing device and hook it up to the free video on YouTube. That would deflate Apple's business plan in about ten minutes.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: YouTube, Apple Inc., Video, Google, Canada]
November 29, 2007
What we know is that the big three (Bell, Telus and Rogers) have combined to give Canada some of the highest wireless rates around, which is why more than a third of us do not even today use mobile phones. So although I agree that opening part of the spectrum to other parties does not "guarantee" lower prices, I don't see how it could hurt, and I could certainly imagine how it could help.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Wireless, Canada]
September 25, 2007
The question is not only, can Facebook survive its new mass popularity, but also, can we survive Facebook? Canadians, especially, have taken to the site. "If, as Marshall McLuhan said, the medium is the message, then perhaps we Canadians are being changed by simply using the site as frequently and intensely as we have been in recent months." I'm not worried; Canadians are pretty wired as it is, and a site like Facebook isn't going to change the national psyche too much. Related: will Microsoft pay ten billion dollars for Facebook?
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Microsoft, Books, Canada]
September 21, 2007
Cheers to the students from Nova Scotia today who launched an anti-bullying campaign by wearing pink in their school. The students were supporting another student who was push around for wearing a pink shirt on his first day of school. More from the Chronicle Herald: "It's my last year. I've stood around too long and I wanted to do something," said David. "Kids don't need this in their lives, worrying about what to wear to school. That should be the last thing on their minds."
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Schools, Bullying]
September 20, 2007
Just as I am about to embark on a trip to the United States (I leave Saturday) the Canadian dollar - fondly known as the 'Loonie' - is now worth the same as the U.S. dollar. This afternoon, for the first time since I was a teenager, it was worth more than the U.S. dollar. I'll leave the explanations to others (you can imagine what my own views are) and satisfy myself with observing that it means that the Canadian eLearning Enterprise Alliance (CeLEA) delegation, which will be well represented at the Brandon Hall conference next week, will have to come up with an innovative angle, since we can't sell Canadian e-learning on the basis of low cost any more. I was thinking: Canadian e-learning: expensive, but worth it. Meanwhile, OLDaily's price will not be affected by the currency change.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: United States, Canada, Online Learning]