By Stephen Downes
August 26, 2003

MIT Everyware
This light read documents the impact of MITs Open CopurseWare project through the eyes of its users in the developing world. The 'Top 10' list of courses at the end of the article is fun. Leading the list? A philosophy course. Remember just a few years ago when people said philosophy is useless? They don't say that any more (and that is why you should make sure people can study even those fields which appear economically useless - think of it as insurance against paradigm shift). By David Diamond, Wired, September, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Rss Readers
This is about as large a list as I have seen, linking to dozens and dozens of RSS readers and aggregators for various platforms, incliding handhelds, Macs, and more. By Various Authors, Abbe Normal, August, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Full text of Greg Dyke's Edinburgh International TV Festival speech
The BBC is making its entire library of content - online, audio, video - available to all for free online... companies looking to charge for online news should give up and move on... "The BBC probably has the best television library in the world. For many years we have had an obligation to make our archive available to the public, it was even in the terms of the last charter. But what have we done about it? Well, you all know the problem. Up until now, this huge resource has remained locked up, inaccessible to the public because there hasn't been an effective mechanism for distribution. But the digital revolution and broadband are changing all that. For the first time, there is an easy and affordable way of making this treasure trove of BBC content available to all." By James Welsh, Digital Spy, August 24, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

DVD-copying Code Loses Free Speech Shield
I personally find this ruling odd. "Disclosure of this highly technical information adds nothing to the public debate over the use of encryption software or the DVD industry’s efforts to limit unauthorized copying of movies on DVDs," wrote the judges. Perhaps the judges weren't aware that this "highly technical information" was printed on t-shirts, turned into haiku, and otherwise widely integrated into cyber-lore. Perhaps the judges missed the point of DeCSS, which was to make already legal uses (viewing on Linux viewing in another country) of DVDs possible. Perhaps the judges didn't realize that, when someone can figure out your copy protection format, it's not a trade secret any more, and that wishful thinking won't change that. By John Borland, CNet News.com, August 25, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

This beautiful diagram illustrates in a way words never could the relation between RDF and XML. This is one I would want Rod to print for me on the nice big colour printer, as it's suitable for hanging on the wall. Via elearnspace. By Semaview, August, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Blogging Across the Curriculum
Picked his up from CogDogBlog, which references Kairosnews. Quoting Alan: "From Quinnipiac University comes this gem: Blogging Across the Curriculum. Pattie Belle Hastings from the Interactive Design Department shares this resource that rose from her 2002 experiments on using student weblogs as alternatives to paper design jounrals. Her site provides a nice overview of blogging, how to blog, the role of blogs in teaching, lots of resources, and links to the student projects. A good ideas is the Bibliography that includes the entire web site as a PD." By Pattie Belle Hastings, August 25, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

OSOSS - Crisis / Response
Interesting chart of the history of Slashdot's various responses over the years to the problems of popularity. With tens of thousands of members, and consequently, a deluge of posts to sort through, Slashdot has increasingly distributed the task of sorting and filtering reader submissions. From where I sit, it works pretty well: I rarely alter the defaults when I read a Slashdot thread. By David Wiley, autounfocus, August 25, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Microsoft's Big Role on Campus
Four years ago Microsoft donated $25 million worth of technology to MIT. Was the result, as some critics predicted, the Microsoft Institute of Technology? The software has become pervasive. "Aeronautical design classes now use Microsoft's Flight Simulator computer program. Electrical engineering and computer science professors are putting their courses online using Microsoft's PowerPoint presentation software. The university's educational computer network is being overhauled to use Microsoft's .Net architecture. Video games, hardly an MIT priority but a strong commercial interest of Microsoft's, have suddenly become a subject of scholarly inquiry." By Ariana Eunjung Cha, Washington Post, August 25, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Leonardo Notebook
Wonderous. That's the only word I can use to describe the experience of reading Leonardo's notebooks online. Well, not 'reading' per se, because my capacity to read the hand-scrawled pages is limited. Still, looking at the actual script and diagrams gives me a thrill, and helps narrow the bounds of years and language that separate us. Readers can also view the Lindisfarne Gospels, Sultan Baybars' Qur'an and the Sherborne Missal. Amazing. By Various Authors, British Museum, August, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright © 2003 Stephen Downes
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