By Stephen Downes
February 16, 2004

The Semantic Social Network
Two types of technologies are about to merge. The technologies are content syndication, used by blogging websites around the world, and social networking, employed by sites such as Friendster and Orkut. They will merge to create a new type of internet, a network within a network, and in so doing reshape the internet as we know it. By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, February 14, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

VeriSign Works to ID Kid Surfers
The idea is that kids will receive an ID token that they plug into their computer's USB prot that gives them access to kid-safe areas. Of course, given that adults control kids, it seems that they wouldn't be hard to come by. Nancy Willard, on WWWEDU, spots the larger problem. "Color me totally paranoid, but our kids are a major target for profilers and marketers on the Internet. They are the demographic that is most comfortable with technology and has lots of spending (and nagging for spending) power. This system smells like SPYWARE-FOR-KIDS-R-US. Elsewhere in the article it notes the ability for kids to use these digital signatures to purchase products." Nancy nails it. This system has nothing to do with protecting kids, because it won't. It has everything to do with marketing to kids, and using fear to push people into a closed marketplace. By Dawn Kawamoto, CNet news.Com, February 10, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Blogging and RSS The "What's It?" and "How To" of Powerful New Web Tools for Educators
This item is a few weeks old, but it's a good article, though very introductory, which is why I didn't run it before now. But if you're new to OLDaily and wondering what's up with blogs and RSS, check out this link. By Will Richardson, Information Today, January, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

We Are Morons: A Quick Look at the Win2k Source
The good news? The Windows source code is better than people thought it would be and not likely to be pirated. The bad news? It was written by... well, better to let the Microsoft authors desribe themselves. Worth quoting: "In short, there is nothing really surprising in this leak. Microsoft does not steal open-source code. Their older code is flaky, their modern code excellent. Their programmers are skilled and enthusiastic. Problems are generally due to a trade-off of current quality against vast hardware, software and backward compatibility." By Selznak, Kuri5hin, February 16, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Oats-Based Initiative
As I've said before, "Apple uses music to sell iPods..." and today, Quaker uses learning to sell oats... Yes, of course it is, as Joho points out, an abdication of our responsibility to teach children. But this program is the symptom, not the cause. In related news, only 48 percent of Americans understand that the earth orbits the Sun yearly, according to this report. By Dave Weinberger, February 16, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Two Boyds on YASNSes
I've had one of those days where attention to agreements and intellectual property and licensing prevented any real work from getting done. So I'll leave it to Seb Paquet to refer this quote from Marc Canter: "The business sector is floundering around - trying to 'wrap their arms' around something - that is un-wrappable. Since social software is not a single market or even single trend - the VCs wanna know "where's the beef?" "What's the business model?" "Who do we invest in?" But the thing about it is - social software is more than a trend or fad. It's a raising of the bar - bringing humans into the equation of software. Directly. From now on - all software MUST recognize the fact that humans use it. That those humans have relationships with other humans and that those relationships are probably more important than that human giving money to the software vendor." By Marc Canter, Marc's Voice, February 13, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Jay Cross offers coverage of the TechKnowledge conference almost as good as being there. Day One, Day Two and Day Three. Best bit: "People today want to be doing things. They want control. They want tools. Along with the book review, add a button for buying the book. The browser's fading away in favor of Internet-aware apps. Ease of use should mean 'Easy to Use.' Steve Jobs announced the Mac in 1984, saying that Apple was making the computer as easy to use as the telephone. Now our telephones are getting as hard to use as our computers!" Having just received an IP phone which I apprently need training to use, I can only concur. At least I've stoped deleting as viruses the voice mail it sends me by email. Heartwarming quote: "I found this event very worthwhile. I was happy to get the feeling that America is finally coming out of the economic dark ages of the last couple of years." By Jay Cross, Internet Time, February 11, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Real Player
This item was sent to me through the grapevine: "In case anyone was interested; There is a version of Real Player, available through the BBC, that is add free and ready for download. The BBC has strict guidelines on advertising (being a gov't run non-profit news agency) and therefore they provide this special version of real player. There are windows/linux/mac versions available." Urban legend or the real deal? By Unknown, Real Media, February, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Proposals for DC Rights-related Terms
Some new proposals for Dublin Core element descriptions, including isAvailableAt and Provenance, along with the rights related terms mentioned in the title. I could not find a place to offer feedback on the rights terms, but it's OK, as the method Dubmlin Core proposes, to link to an external rights metadata file (such as a Creative Commons file) works for us here; we do exactly the same thing, linking to an external ODRL file from the rights description fiel;d in elarning object metadata. But Dublin Core should be aware that the external file may contain not merely a license but also an offer, that is, a document stating the conditions under which use of a resource would be licensed. By Various Authors, Dublin Core Metadata Initiative, February 11, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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