By Stephen Downes
May 8, 2003

RSS Feeds via JavaScript
PHP sourcer code release of a simple script that makes it possible to plac any RSS feed onto any web page, without special programming. Nice use of style sheets to do it properly. By Alan Levine, Maricopa, May, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Social Climbers
Is social software the next big thing or just so much hype? The answer is, of course, "both." In a certain sense, there's nothing really that new about social software. "Shirky concedes that software for group interaction has been around for decades. These include mailing lists, bulletin boards and multi-user games such as Mud (Multi-User Dungeon)." What's new, I think, is the capacity for these small, nimble platforms to begin to interact. So what does that have to do with the story's suggestion that online community will begin to parallel offline community? Well, nothing. Because the story misses the point. By Jack Schofield, The Guardian, May 8, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Flexible E-Paper on Its Way
Everybody is covering, and I may as well too, since the widespread distribution of ultra-thin screens that can be bent, twisted and rolled will spell the end of paper as a useful medium for anything other than archival storage. By Associated Press, Wired News, May 7, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Quest For Quality
Interesting discussion of the difficulties inherent in ensuring quality in e-learning. It's a daunting task. "He points to a simple program containing 20 lines of code, including a loop and three IF statements. He calculated that there were 100 trillion execution paths, which would take a billion years to test!" Integration poses even greater diffoculties. "Now, it is impossible to really see how a product performs until it goes live, when it is running within the learner support environment and additional services, such as synchronous and asynchronous tutor support, are being provided." By Clive Shepherd, Fastrak Consulting, May, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Passport Flaw Leaves User Info Up For Grabs
The danger of a centralized authentication and/or payment system is clearly revealed in this headline. By Scarlet Pruitt, Security World, May 8, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Service Offers Extensive Online Music Library
Heh. What's the one thing that will prevent people from offering music over P2P networks for free? Fines? Nope. Prison terms? No. Billion dollar lawsuits? No way. The chance to make a few cents for each download? You've got it! "There is no cost for consumers to join File-Cash. They install an easy-to-use, cross-platform application provided by File-Cash to help them quickly find and download their favorite files. Additionally, consumers will get a percentage of the file price every time another consumer downloads the file from their shared drive." It could work - I can't wait to see how this one, um, cashes out. By Press Release, Business Wire, April 30, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

A Review of Blogging APIs
You probably won't get into this one unless you are a weblog systems developer. But if you are such a beast - or if you are merely interested in the likely future direction of weblogging - then this review of blogging software application program interfaces (APIs) will give you a good indication. For the rest of us: what this means is that blogging tools are acquiring the capacity to interact. So? Well suppose you are using an RSS feed reader and you want to make a comment on a post you've read. An API will let your feed reader send the comment to the software that manages the original weblog. This is a space to watch as there is talk of a meta weblog API that will work for a wide variety of applications. By Diego Doval, d2r, May 3, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Know a friend who might enjoy this newsletter?

Feel free to forward OLDaily to your colleagues. If you received this issue from a friend and would like a free subscription of your own, you can join our mailing list at http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/website/subscribe.cgi

[ About This NewsLetter] [ OLDaily Archives] [ Send me your comments]

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