By Stephen Downes
September 23, 2003

Dynamic Appearance Model: Analysis and Alternatives
This paper addresses a problem plaguing SCORM, the integration of content from multiple sources. The first part of the paper is a review, discussing content integration and styling. The authors then discuss means of modifying SCORM to supprot styling. What follows is a detailed discussion involving navigation controls, auxiliary content, bookmarking, and much more. A detailed, technical paper. By Roger St-Pierre, Peter Hope, Howard Fear, Chris Hahn and Scott Wolff, Canadian Department of National Defence and Sun Microsystems, Inc., September 2, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Dewey Decimal Owner Sues 'Library' Hotel
From the "hard to believe" department, the OCLC, which owns the trademark to the Dewey Decimal System, is suing a New York hotel, The Library, for using the system to number rooms, arguing (with a straight face, apparently) that "A person who came to (the hotel's) Web site ... would think they were passing themselves off as connected with the owner of the Dewey Decimal Classification system." Peter Suber responds, "No, sir, no more than we think other hotel owners are passing themselves off as connected to the owner of the natural numbers." By AP, The Guardian, September 21, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Trouble with Out-of-the-Box Thinking
I'm so glad this has been said: telling people to "think outside the box" doesn't work. It's not a question of thinking out of the box, it's a question of seeing the solution in some other box entirely. That, in one brief observation, is why diversity is essential to innovation. By Andrew Hargadon, Ubiquity, September 23, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

A New Kind of Revolution in the Dorms of Dartmouth
I am curious to learn more about this program (so if anyone has info please share) involving the launch of a Voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) network at Dartmouth. My angle is the contrast between this program and the release last week of Kazaa's new free VoIP system, Skype. This article says nothing about costs; this article says students will be able to make long distance calls for free - but neither indicates what software is used and whether the institution is paying additional (and post-Skype, unnecessary) charges. By Katie Hafner, New York Times, September 23, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Schools Set Rules on Classroom Gadgets
The interesting angle in this story is that the technology is continually winning the bid over instructors for attention in the classroom, which ought to say something. By Associated Press , Globe and Mail, September 22, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

AMD's Athlon Steps Up To 64 Bits
We're still on my projected timeline for the release of 64 bit chips, with AMD (and not Intel, surprisingly) leading the way. "The chipmaker will unveil its Athlon 64 processor on Tuesday. Along with added performance, the chip offers PC buyers the option of upgrading to 64-bit software." Hope you've been saving up your software and hardware money - the next cycle of purchases begins six months to a year from now. By John G. Spooner, Globe and Mail, September 23, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Kinko's Goes Back to School With CoursePacks
Can an online version be far behind? "CoursePacks are custom-made compilations used by educators to supplement traditional textbooks in the classroom. They typically contain up-to-date information from newspapers, magazines or book excerpts that require permission from the copyright owners in order to be legally produced." To clear rights on these new offerings, Kinko's has struck a deal with University Custom Publishing. Via Syllabus, which for some reason made me look up the link through Google instead of putting it in their newsletter. By Press Release, Yahoo! Finance, Septemver 16, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Polar Bear Launches 'Pay As You Go' E-learning
Interesting. "Polar Bear Corporate Education Solutions, a division of CrossOff Incorporated, today announced the launch of its new e-learning platform for individual users. The new Iceberg e-learning platform offers individuals the opportunity to purchase single e-learning titles on a 'pay as you go' format with the buying power once only experienced by large corporations." By Press Release, Polar Bear Corporate Education Solutions, September 23, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2003 Stephen Downes
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