Stephen's Web

By Stephen Downes
December 19, 2002

Forio Business Simulations I have been taking a few days off after some long and busy weeks. So I've been reading a little email, writing some newsletters, playing computer games and bopping around the net. One thing that has captured some of my attention over the last couple of days is this site. Begin by trying a few of the simulations on offer - I espeacially liked the Near Beer Sim and the XFL sim. Then take the plunge and try to create your own (click on 'sfotware' and then 'start Broadcast'). Use the wizard to create your first sim; don't worry if it's bad, you can work with it and make changes. Careful, though: this could absorb your entire vacation. By Various Authors, Undated [Refer][Research][Reflect]

What Makes a Simulation Fun? Though it may seem obvious, this article explains why simulations hsould be fun. In a nutshell, if they're fun, people will play them to exhaustion, both inside and outside of the workplace. Great, but how do you accomplish this? The author offers twelve practical principles. My favorite: make it take ten minutes to learn, but a lifetime to master. By Michael Bean, Forio Business Simulations, July, 2001 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

What is RSS An introduction to RSS, though significantly more technical than the one I wrote a few weeks ago. This article is good if you want to see examples of RSS code and descriptions of the differences between RSS formats. By Mark Pilgrim, XML.Com, December 18, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

SchoolNet NA Description of a project by SchoolNet Namibia to deploy a wireless network connecting schools in the northern part of that country. This is necessary because most of the country does not have telephone wiring installed. So instead a network similar to a cellular telephone network will be created. "It's an excellent approach. If you take what (SchoolNet Namibia) is doing, and copy it, it will be years ahead of anything else." By Kyle Johnston, SchoolNet Namibia, November 30, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Scientists Plan 2 Online Journals to Make Articles Available Freely and Universally More on the launch of two open access journals, PubBio and PubMed restating the foundation's intent to make them freely and universally available. One thing I missed in my initial coverage of the journals is the $1500 per article fee to have papers published. That, as one person wrote me to say, makes the journals an attractive proposition for the publisher. Less so for the author. By Andrea L. Foster, Chronicle of Higher Education, December 18, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Get Creative Flash presentation (1.5 mB) outlining the essentials of the Creative Commons project. It looks a bit like an episode of South Park and emphasizes the simplicity of the system. "It can be that easy," says the presentation, "when you skip the intermediaries." The work is licensed under a Creative Commons license that requires attribution - but it would be helpful if the author was listed somewhere on the web page. Heh. By Creative Commons, December 19, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Mississippi Students Build Their Own PC's Here's one way to solve the shortage of computers in the classroom: get students to build them. The happy benefit of this program, run in a Mississippi school: after you've built a hundred computers, you're no longer in awe of them. By Michel Marriott, New York Times, December 19, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2002 Stephen Downes