Stephen's Web

By Stephen Downes
November 18, 2002

Using Networks For Innovation: A National Strategy For Canada Today's newsletter is coming to you live from the CANARIE Advanced Networks Workshop in Montreal. The theme of this year's conference is the 'third wave' of connectivity: the internet was the first wave, the world wide web was the second wave, and the semantic web and web services will be the third wave. This paper gives a good overview of the third wave and what it will do for online services in Canada. By Various Authors, Government of Canada, October 28, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Your Views of the Next Killer Apps This is a great list of 40 potential 'killer apps' proposed by readers of the Harrow Technology Report. Some of them - such as virtual reality, altered reality, and voice interface, were expected. But the best ideas are in the area of personal computing. I really like the list submitted by Damon Turnbull: personal doctor, personal shopper, personal recorder, personal guide, and personal entertainer. By Jeffrey R. Harrow, The Harrow Technology Report, November 18, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

W3C Rejects Patents on Net Tech An important announcement from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) as it decides to ensure that all web standards are royalty free. "A royalty-free patent policy would distinguish the W3C from other standards groups that allow for what is known as 'reasonable and nondiscriminatory,' or RAND, licensing of patented technology in their standards. Critics of RAND licensing say it will allow large companies to essentially place a toll on Internet software. 'If we have the situation where, to intercommunicate, you have to license someone's patent, that not only locks out small companies, it locks out open source,' said free-software advocate Bruce Perens." By Robert McMillan, Wired News, November 3, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Creating Shared Learning Spaces More propaganda from Macromedia, but I like the way they're going about it. Yes, this is an unabashed product promotion. But I like the way they are going beyond the use of multimedia as a presentation tool and looking at its uses in communication and interaction. They need to do a bit more, though, to judge from the screen shots. They need to look at ways of promoting non-textual interactions. Shared concept maps, say. Dynamic data structures. MX allows a lot more than what we see here: it's time to move beyond discussion boards and chat. By Shaowen Bardzell and Jeffrey Bardzell, Macromedia, November, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Karen Stephenson’s Quantum Theory of Trust This fascinating look at business and social networks, listed in today's ELearningPost, shows the connection between the exchange of tacit knowledge and networks of trust, and suggests that by manipulating these networks you can control the flow of information in an organization. I wish it had looked at the importance of cultural differences in social networking and knowledge flow. And I wish it had looked at networks of social contacts between organizations. But Stephenson's multilayered theiry of networking is well worth looking at in and of itself. You need to register (free) to read this article, but it's worth the two minutes. By Art Kleiner, Strategy + Business, November, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright © 2002 Stephen Downes