By Stephen Downes
April 1, 2004

TeleEducation New Brunswick
It was on CBC Radio this morning, so I guess I can write it here: as a result of the provincial budget handed down Tesday, TeleEducation NewBrunswick, a pioneer in Canadian e-learning and especially repository and metadata initiatives, will be shut down. We're sorry to see it go. By Various Authors, March 30, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Use of Browser Cookies to Store Structured Data
The patent listed here isn't as broad as depicted in Good Morning Silicon Valley, where it is represented as a "patent on cookies", but it's pretty broad and could cause widespread disruption. Essentially, the patent covers the use of cookies to manage page customization where the page structure being customized is represented as a code in the cookie. It's a pretty obvious hack, given the limitations of cookies, and widely used. To see such a patent filed in 2000 granted today demonstrates, to me at least, the the U.S. Patent Office is not aware of the state of internet development, and so long as that is the case, these undeserved patents will continue to be granted. By Unlknown, United States Patent Office and Amazon.Com, March 30, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Heritage Projects : A Different Perspective
This article describes how the National Research Council's Institute for Information Technology is using broadband access and such things as 3D modelling to create new ways to experience Canadian culture! Am interesting look at future applications for the broadband internet. (Note: though I work for NRC-IIT, I am not involved with any of these projects.) By Unknown, National Research Council, April, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Google to Introduce Free E-mail Service
Google is launching an email service. Ads accompanying the email will be targeted according to the content of the email. "For instance, an e-mail from one friend to another discussing an upcoming concert might prompt Google to include an advertising link from a ticketing agency." I don't know what I think about that. By Associated Press, Globe and Mail, April 1, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Metadata Resources Guide
I don't think I've run this item before. Even if I have, it's worth passing along again. This metadata guide is a comprehensive list of resources (especially government resources) dealing with different metadata standards and application profiles. By Information Management Branch, Government of Alberta, October, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

WebFeat technology powers ISI Web of Knowledge Cross Search
It is interesting to see Thomson's ISI Web of Knowledge in the race to archive and index open access databases. The service is now up to eleven databases and climbing. I think this is a good development - I have long argued that free online resources should be offered alongside commercial resources, and that publishers are doing their best to keep the free competition out of the marketplace. This is still true in many respects, but this service shows that it is in some places becoming less true, something that can only benefit users in the long run. More about ISI. By Press Release, Thomson ISI, March, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

More Corporate Blogging Resources
The theme of most advice to corporations considering an excursion into blogging - if you believe, say, Microsoft's Robert Scoble or Six Apart's Mena Trott, is "be honest" - in other words, a complete break from the usual practices in corporate communications. That said, as the other articles in this nice summary on corporate blogging note, this new media is an excellent communications and marketing tool, allowing you to connect directly with your employees and customers. Also worth reading from the same author: Strong words free your mind. By Amy Gahran, Contentious, March 30, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

File Swappers Win Big
A Canadian judge shoots at the music industry's legal case and leaves nothing but chicken feathers... woo hoo! "But then, after the industry's case was already weak and wobbly at the knees, he delivered the knockout punch: According to the judge, there is no compelling evidence that either downloading or sharing of digital music files is even illegal. In other words, regardless of the other flaws in the industry's case, the CRIA didn't have a leg to stand on in the first place." More. The full decision can be found here (the case is BMG Canada Inc.v. Jane Doe (2004 FC 488)). An intervention by the The Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) is also available. More information may be found on the CanFLI website. By Matthew Ingram, Globe and Mail, March 31, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2004 Stephen Downes
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