By Stephen Downes
November 28, 2003

Personal Knowledge Mapping And The Concept Of Data Emergence
Some worthwhile observations on where previous knowledge management initiatives have gone wrong. "Any Web site should become nothing more than a set of raw data feeds while knowledge workers would be provided with a personal software tool that would allow to: 1) maintain a database of personal information. 2) selectively share that data with anybody I choose. 3) autodiscover new sources of content. 4) completely control how I view and interact with the content sources I've chosen. This is the right approach." In other words, "Content providers should not be trying to guess how I want to interact with their information. They should just be providing the information. I will customize my experience as I see fit." I think there's a lot of truth to this. Give people tools and the freedom to use them. By Luigi Canali De Rossi, Robin Good, November 28, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Access Barriers in Africa
Peter Suber summarizes this nicely: "While there are many opportunities for African universities to receive free or discounted electronic subscriptions to scientific journals, many universities are unaware of them or prevented from taking full advantage of them. That's the result of an INASP survey conducted by Sara Gwynn and revealed at a November 8 seminar of librarians at a meeting of the West African branch of the Standing Conference of African Universities in Accra, Ghana." By Peter Suber, Open Access News, November 28, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Liability and Federated Identity: Much Ado About Nothing?
This is arcane and mysterious business, but so it the stuff behind automated tellers, and look at what an impact they've had. And it's pretty much the same issue: "I guarantee you this is Sally; if I'm wrong, I pay you." Why is this important? Well, federated learning object repository networks are emerging, and guarantees of identity are needed to keep the system secure. Commercial content providers require this, because they want to control the use of their materials. But can one system really guarantee the identity of a user to another. In high security, high stakes systems like banking, sure. But learning? This article gives you a taste of the road you will travel, if you go in that direction. By Carol Coye Benson, Glenbrook Partners, November, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Pitch has launched. I'm not sure if the launch is formal yet, but you can access the online magazine and view three articles, including an introductory editorial by David Wiley and Brent Lambert, an article from George Siemens on open source content in education, and one of my articles, The Regina Declaration. Now what's really interesting about Pitch is the peer review system. "Pitch uses a democratic method of peer review where all readers participate in the review process. Instead of sending submitted articles away for 12 months of secret review by three individuals, Pitch allows your peers to review your work. In Pitch everyone 'pitches in' to rate papers submitted to the journal." Kudos to David and Brent for getting this off the ground, and my thanks to them for letting me be a part of it. I look forward to the discussion that will no doubt follow. By David Wiley & Brent Lambert, Pitch, November 27, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Natural Deselection: Not Even Microsoft Will Last Forever, but They Plan to Try
Good article advancing one theory about Microsoft's proposed DRM system (I say 'one theory' because I think this is only an aspect of the overall strategy, not the whole thing as the article implies). "Imagine a remote procedure call that goes out every time you are online. The RPC doesn't do anything but act as a key. The call goes out to some Microsoft server, but it is only returned if your OS and applications are legit and up-to-date. This is how piracy goes away, and how Microsoft plans to make more money by turning us all into Windows subscribers whether we want to or not. We'll see it first when you try to play a bootleg MP3 or that VCD image downloaded from Finland, but eventually your system won't work at all if you aren't on some kind of support contract and Microsoft gets paid twice." By Robert X. Cringley, I, Cringley, November 20, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

W4 k-collector
From the web page: "k-collector is an enterprise news aggregator that leverages the power of shared topics to present new ways of finding and combining the real knowledge in your organisation." A lot like Edu_RSS, this website aggregates RSS feeds and displays the results as a series of topic feeds. I like the 'what', 'where', 'who', 'when' organization of topics (hence 'W4') - especially since I'm one of the people listed in the 'who'. I ran into access problems trying to explore the site, so you may have to be persistent with this link. By Various Authors, Evectors, November, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2003 Stephen Downes
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