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March 25, 2002

Instruction and Feedback Models for Software Training This article discusses software training but I think it has a wider applicability. The ostensive purpose of the article is to provide a common vocabulary for different levels of software training - show modules, teach modules, and try modules - and of feedback mechanisms. In this it succeeds, and additionally, it provides a nice approximation of the different levels of training generally. By Anthony Karrer, Alan Laser, and Laura Sund Martin, Learning Circuits, March, 2002.[Refer]

Google Takes on Supercomputing You can't try it yet (unless you're one of the select few), but Google is testing a new service using its tool bar to broker distributed computing applications. The service, called Folding@home, would allow computer users to sign up for a distributed computing project, allowing their computer's unused processing cycles (and some storage) to contribute to a distributed computing project - such as figuring out how genetic information is converted into proteins. The project is a natural for Google, which uses a distributed grid of computers to power its search service. By Stephen Shankland, CNet News.Com, March 22, 2002.[Refer]

Church v. Google: How the Church of Scientology is Forcing Google to Censor its Critics The recent use by the Church of Scientology to use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA) for force Google to remove sites critical of the Church has caused a furor in the information community. Of the many articles covering this story, this item tells it best, with many links, background, and a somewhat novel interpretation of the reaction of techies and information junkies alike: "Google is almost like a religion of its own, especially for information workers. Ask any techie and they will all swear by Google's search of Microsoft's website. Librarians have an even deeper faith in the power of Google. This belief in Google has spread throughout the world, making Google as much of a faith as it is a brand. From this perspective, deleting information from the Google Cache would be like stealing holy icons out of the Vatican." By John Hiler, Microcontent News, March 21, 2002.[Refer]

Weathering the Commercial Storm: Why Everyone Should Steer Clear of the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act Important but technical article advising people to "steer clear" of the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA), an act governing software and information licensing and intended to set a uniform national standard for such transactions. The author sets out a series of flaws in the act, but this example is perhaps most telling: "UCITA validates post payment disclosure of contract terms by software producers and software sellers. All terms, even important terms such as warranties, can be hidden from the consumer until after the deal has been closed." What this means is that the law allows the vendor to set terms of the purchase that you can't see until after you have completed the purchase. UCITA also pre-empts existing consumer protection laws, allows the vendor to chose the forum where litigation would occur, and voids certain express warranties. By Debra Tuomey, Journal of Information, Law and Technology, March 22, 2002.[Refer]

LivingInternet.com Web Site Template The Living Internet template is an HTML and Javascript based template for creating easy to maintain web sites. Users can build web sites organized into chapters, sections, and subsections, navigation bars for forward and back movement through the site, and site search capabilities. No third party software required; the template runs entirely with JavaScript. You can add a page to the site simply by choosing an appropriate file name, since the information the site code needs to process a page is in the file name. The templates are available for one week only (until April 1, 2002) - don't ask me why. By Bill Stewart, LivingInternet.Com, March 25, 2002.[Refer]


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