By Stephen Downes
October 5, 2004

Positioning Tasmania as a Leader... Summary
Kirsty Sharp does us a huge favour with these detailed notes from my seminar Monday in Hobart, capturing in a way the slides cannot the ebb and flow of the discussion as it proceeded through the day. By Kirsty Sharp, FLL-ing, October 5, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Amateur Revolution
What's interesting is not the fact that this is the case - though it is of course startling to find that "committed, networked amateurs working to professional standards (called) Pro-Am workers, their networks and movements, will help reshape society in the next two decades." No, the really interesting question is why this is the case. How can the amateurs outdo the professionals? "Some professionals will find that unsettling; they will seek to defend their monopolies. The more enlightened will understand that the landscape is changing. Knowledge is widely distributed, not controlled in a few ivory towers. The most powerful organizations will enable professionals and amateurs to combine distributed know-how to solve complex problems." Via Teaching and Developing Online. By Charles Leadbeater, Fast Company, October, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Information Hunters
Interesting (and probably accurate) premise: "The behaviour of human beings when searching for information intensively resembles that of the hunter-gatherers of our past and that of the foraging of animals." This site develops a strategy, information visualization, to build on this premise. Some useful references worth following up at the bottom of the page, including The WebBook and the Web Forager and Surf Like a Bushman. Via elearningpost. By Juan C. Dürsteler, Inf@Vis!, October, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

25% of Internet Sites Violate Copyrights of News Articles
I have serious doubts about the accuracy of this item, but let's suppose, for a moment, that it's true, that the survey was fairly and accurately conducted and that the results are reflective of the population as a whole. It says, then, that a quarter of all websites violate copyright. If this is true, then what we have here is far more than a mere policing problem. 25 percent of the internet population, plus or minus a hundred million or so, is a quarter billion people. And you can't simply say, based on the needs of a few content providers, that what a quarter billion people are doing is illegal. Even if it is. Because in such a situation, the law becomes effectively void, failing in any real sense to represent the general will, and reflective more of money, influence, lobbying and power. By Chung Ah-young, Korea Times, October 4, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Geneva Declaration on the Future of the World Intellectual Property Organization
It's not everything I would like it to be, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), despite recent announcements, is still a very long way from any real recognition of open access or publisc domain, and still a very long way from anything like actual public input. But it's a start, and as a start, I applaud it. More. By Various Authors, October 4, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Can't Find on Google
Can't find what you're looking for on Google? Post it on Can't Find on Google and maybe someone can help you. Via E-Media Tidbits. (Update: I posted a query, a genuine failed Google search, at about 7, and got a correct response by email by 7:19.) By Various Authors, October, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Incorporated Subversion
James Farmer has moved his Incorporated Subversion blog to a new location, giving it (finally) its own website. And he launches the new site with a flair, beginning with a longish article titled Communication dynamics: Discussion boards, weblogs and the development of communities of inquiry in online learning environments. The paper looks at the use of online learning envrionments (OLEs) in Australia, arguing that the use of blogs should be encouraged to supplement the communications capacities of discussion boards, encourage social presence, and incorporate subvrsion. Good paper, very much on the same wavelength as my own thinking, especially near the conclusion. "Rather than design with constraint in mind, design with freedom and flexibility in mind … this emphasises the active and purposeful role of learners in configuring learning environments to resonate with their own needs, echoing the notions of learning with technology through 'mindful engagement' (Squires 1999 p. 1)." By James Farmer, Incorporated Subversion, October 5, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Nose-steered Mouse Could Save Aching Arms
I saw the prototypes at the National Research Council offices in Ottawa a couple of years ago, but this invention by NRC staff is finally getting some public play. The nouse is a system that uses a video camera to locate your nose and use it as a mouse pointer. Want to switch it on? Blink twice. By Celeste Biever, New Scientist, September 16, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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