By Stephen Downes
April 27, 2004

No OLDaily Tomorrow
Wednesday is a travel day, and I will be spending seven hours flying from Vienna to Toronto, and seven hours flying from Toronto to Moncton, thanks to the mysteries of Air Canada. See you Thursday. By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, April 27, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Implementation of WSIS recommendations at National Levels
It would appear that publishers are now alerted to the danger that WSIS might promote open access, if this commentary on the WSIS process in Britain is any guide. This item contains a scathing comment from Francis Muguet, who chairs the WSIS Working Group on Scient ific Information. She writes, "One can clearly see that the oral testimony schedule is completely unbalanced in favor of publishers. There are fours panels for publishers vs one panel for Libraries and only one for Academics... The irony is that Committee' secretary replied to us that 'Your written evidence was very thorough and, because of this, the Committee decided that it did not need any further information from you.' Is this a joke?" The page also contains numerous links to WSIS-related submissions. By Francis Muguet, WSIS, April, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

As Wealthy Fill Top Colleges, New Efforts to Level the Field
A university degree from a prestigious institution, they say, is synonomous with academic excellence. Of course, this may be a relic of the past, as a university degree from these institutions is becoming increasingly a sign of how wealthy your parents are. This is a trend I have been observing for the last 20 years, since I entered university as an unmatriculated adult. Sooner or later, the other show will drop, and universities will pay the price for favoring financial means over academic qualifications. By David Leonhardt, New York Times, April 22, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

World Finance Officials Focus on Poverty
Bonnie Bracey summarizes this item nicely in WWWEDU: "A number of countries, led by the Netherlands, Norway, Britain, France and Canada, announced new commitments for a World Bank fast-track program to get more support to 40 poor nations judged to have the best plans for achieving universal education. But education advocates said the effort was being held back by the reluctance of other wealthy countries including the United States to commit enough money to the program." Though Bonnie linked to an AOL source in her email, which requires a registration, I have loctaed this open access alternative. It would be nice if the rich countries would pitch in, but I will say this, if they don't, then we will just have to do the work ourselves. By Martin Crutsinger, All Headline News, April 25, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Will Publishers Perish?
"Many authors," offers this article, "have become frustrated with conventional publishers, entrenched by market projections, annual styles and the unmentionable word 'returns.'" Count me among them, not because I don't think I could get a 'real book' published, but because I don't care to sign my life away to do it. As Marilyn Ross says, "Authors today like to be in control of their own destinies. The thought of a big publishing house changing their title, dressing the book or rearranging text is unacceptable." Only one thing: why would I bother with a Print on Demand (POD) service? Post the text online, and you're done. By Edward Wilkinson-Latham, Globe and Mail, April 27, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

CNET Launches Music Download Service
This is important news, and could alter the music landscape beyond recognition if it succeeds. "Online technology company CNET Networks on Monday launched a free digital music service, allowing people to search and download what it said were thousands of songs contributed by independent and unsigned artists." As CNet exec Scott Arpajian told the Wall Street Journal (subscription - no link) "Our goal is to be the primary destination for free, legal downloadable content. We're very confident that the ad model will support the business." Now, apropos to the current discussion on DEOS-L, the question is not whether a similar free download service will be offered for educational resources, but who will do it, and when it will launch. By Reuters, CNet News.com, April 26 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Google IPO Could Re-energize Valley
Everyone is going ga-ga over the possibility of a Google IPO. Let me go on the record as being (possibly the only person in the world to be) opposed to the idea. Sure, an IPO would generate a whack of cash. But Google makes money now, good money. And IPOs are not free: when you sell shares, you lose your independence, and time and again Google has demonstrated that the rules it plays by - starting with its core principle, "Don't do evil" - are different from the mainstream of the corporate community. Add to that the foolish and unjustified spin-off effect a Google IPO would cause and you have what seems to me a compelling case for staying out of the stock market game. By Matt Marshall and Michael Bazeley, San Jose Mercury News, April 27, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Towards a Philosophy of M-Learning
Terry found this paper and forwarded it to Rory, who forwarded it to me. It is well worth noting. The author writes, "The medium in which children play, communicate, and learn - the world of networked computing and mobile communications - is increasingly identical with the world in which adults communicate, work, do business, and seek entertainment." This causes us to rethink the role of the school and the idea that learning is something that people, and especially children, do in isolation from society as a whole. Moreover, the author notes, not only is our locus of communication changing, so is our mode, and this has an impact on the content of learning. "'Words make division, pictures make connection', wrote Otto Neurath. In the world of learning, it was the printed word - the abundance of books - that was mainly responsible for creating divisions between fields of knowledge." The result is something I have advocated as long as I have been in this field: "Verbal and pictorial information circulates; a knowledge community is thereby formed." By Kristóf Nyíri, IEEE International Workshop on Wireless and Mobile Technologies in Education, August 29, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Institutional Archives Registry
Listing of known Open Archives Initiative (OAI) repositories with numbers of records and growth charts. So far, something like 180 repositories are listed (view them by type and by country of origin by clicking 'browse') though as Stevan Harnad indicates in his email, there are more out there. If you have one and it's not listed, consider adding it to the site. By Tim Brody, EPrints.Org, April, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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