Stephen's Web

By Stephen Downes
March 28, 2003

Perils of Publication In any number of fields discoveries are made on an almost daily basis that could pose a public danger. Recent discussion, including this article, has focused on the area of biological research, but of course the possibilities for mayhem are widespread. This article raises the question of whether such scientific material should be censored at the source, that is, by the scientific community itself. This is the approach that has been taken by some major journals. However, with the advent of self-archiving and online communications, such policies have little or no effect. Moreoever, keeping such materials under wraps may make it impossible for the scientific community to respond should such a threat emerge. Good discussion, well illustrated. By Terry Devitt, editor, The Why Files, February 27, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Customer Learning Conference: 60 Ideas in 60 Minutes Not all of these ideas are brilliant - after all, they were produced in 60 seconds - but most of them constitute sound advice, and the document as a whole is an excellent framework for anyone thinking about providing customer learning online. PDF file with copy disabled (so you'll have to scan it with OCR if you want to cut and paste from it). By Doug Whittle,, The Diagonal Group, August, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Analyst: Internet File-Sharing Bigger Than Record Business "Free peer-to-peer music file-sharing has become larger than the multibillion dollar recording industry with a growth trend that has become 'fundamentally unstoppable,' a media analyst told a state Senate committee exploring Internet piracy on Thursday." I agree with this sentiment. And though I've said it before, it is worth reiterating here: the educational publishing industry can expect exactly the same trend. And the same result. By Jim Wasserman, San Francisco Chronicle, March 27, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Growing Technology Gap Between Schools and Students We all knew it was true, but it's nice to see it documented. This report cites the "vast differences between student and teacher perceptions of instructional technology practices." It goes on to state that "While teachers feel they are making dramatic leaps in their ability to harness the power of technology to create stimulating, engaging and challenging learning experiences for students, the students themselves have seen few changes in classroom instruction." Sponsored by BellSouth, this report has an inherent bias, however, so assertions should be independently verified before being used. PDF file. By Various Authors, BellSouth, March, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

State-Level DMCAs on the Way Proposed state-level legislation adapting and extending the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) has come under fire is opponents are that it would make encrypted email and server firewalls illegal. By Ren Bucholz, LawMeme, March 28, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Music Industry Drops Anti-Piracy Pamphlets on Campus I can't imagine how this tactic is going to work, especially given its intended audience. From where I sit, it seems that the primary function of the leaflets will be to tell those remaining people who didn't know about file sharing that it is a viable option, so viable, in fact, that the music industry is reduced to distributing pamphlets on campus. By Bernhard Warner, Reuters, March 27, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2003 Stephen Downes
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.