By Stephen Downes
December 23, 2003

Happy Festivus, Everyone
For some reason the news seems to get slower around this time of year. I guess it's just the Festivus season, or any of the other half dozen or so holidays centered around the last week of the year (though I wonder whatever happened to Saturnalia - it just seems a natural for today's age). Anyhow, because it's so slow, I'll send a newsletter only if there's news, which means you may get one tomorrow, you may get one Friday, or you may not. Hey, I'm on vacation! Anyhow, whether or not you hear from me over the next few days, the best of the season to all of you. Keep yer stick on the ice. By Various Authors, Dec [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Don't Bother Me With Objects! I've Got a Course to Teach!
Scott Leslie calls this the best learning object presentation of the last 18 months, but having seen Willie Horton present once or twice in the past, I am not really surprised. Too bad this presentation is in PDF (the one way worse than PowerPoint for presenting slides). Still, take a look and enjoy, if you have the bandwidth. By Willie Horton, December 31, 200-31 8:33 p.m. [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Saba Licenses Suite of Patents From IpLearn
IpLear, readers may recall, is a two person outfit with no products and some patent lawyers. This press release sees Saba cave early to the arm-twisting. For Saba, no doubt, the fee was cheaper than the fight, and in any case, accepting the patents shifts the burden to other companies. It's a selfish move on Saba's part, from my perspective, but not even slightly unexpected. Too bad it hurts the e-learning industry as a whole. By Press Release, Business Wire, December 23, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Three Legal Setbacks for Media Industry
More coverage of the setbacks faced by the music industry last weekend. The three judgements combined created what the author called a 'perfect storm' of setbacks for publishers. Now, if we could only move on to more original analogies. By Bill Rosenblatt, DRM Watch, December 23, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

HarperCollins Exec: Format War Hurts E-books
There is discontent in the world of ebooks and the pattern is familiar to those of us working in other areas. As summarized in Slashdot, TeleRead's David Rothman is calling for [here and here] the replacement of the Open eBook Forum by "an honest trade association" and a related standards body to create an open standards ebook format at the consumer-level." According to Rothman, "OeBF is being held hostage by its Gold Sponsors, including Microsoft, Adobe, and Palm Digital, companies with proprietary, incompatible ebook format solutions." By David Rothmanember, 2003, TeleRead: Bring the E-Books Home, Dec [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2003 Stephen Downes
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