Stephen's Web

By Stephen Downes
November 21, 2002

The Lattecentric Ecosystem Much of the confusion related to learning objects lies in a fundamental misconstrual of their nature and function. Learning objects are not like chapters and lessons to be placed in a linear system. They are progressively more complex entities than written text, and are therefore subject to a different grammar, a grammar that may be characterized as a type of network semantics inhabiting a lattecentric ecosystem. By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, November 21, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Photos of Milan and Rome As promised, my photos from my recent trip to Italy. This link takes you to an index page; the most recent pages are at the bottom. You may wish to look at my other photos as well. As usual, clicking on any of the photos takes you to a desktop wallpaper sized verion of the image. Feel free to download and share. By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, November 21, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Phones More Disruptive Than PC or Internet - Rheingold There are some interesting bits in this article, and not merely (as the title suggests) evixdence for my personal dislike of telephones. The bulk of the discussion is directed toward the question of why the American cell (or mobile) phone market developed so differently than in the rest of the world. "Developing nations have adopted an inferior alternative to Qualcomm's technology based not on technical merit, but because it gives them a choice of supplier: something the heads of the San Diego monoculture can't quite seem to understand. They talk ohms and hertz. But people hate monopolies, and they hate bullies." By Andrew Orlowski, The Register, November 20, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Institutional Repositories Brief article on the topic of repositories of academic content hosted by institutions. The author looks at reasons why institutions may want to host repositories - as a new form of scholarly publishing, as a means to generate institutional prestige - and defines their four major properties: they are institutionally defined, scholarly, cumulative and perpetual, and open and interoperable. By Richard K. Johnson, D-Lib, November, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Free Web Research Link Closed Under Pressure From Pay Sites Another article on the closure of PubScience. The U.S. government service that cross-indexed and searched roughly 2 million government reports and academic articles was closed because of the development of commercial sites offering the same service. Though the government saved $200,000 by closing the site, it's not clear how much more the public (or at least, part of the public) is now paying for the same information. I'm concerned about this model, in which private companies offer online services emulating government functions, and then lobby for the closure of the cheaper and more widely available government service because of the supposed unfair competition. By Jonathan Krim, Washington Post, November 21, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2002 Stephen Downes