By Stephen Downes
December 23, 2004

DRM at its Worst? Here's a Prime Example
If you wonder why I rail against digital rights management (DRM), this article provides a good example. The author orders a DVD of Terminator 2 (T2). Despite being advertised as playable on Windows Media, an additional DRM client is required. Then it only plays in Canada or the U.S. (as determined by a buggy IP analyser). Then the DVD (which is bought and paid for, remember) will play for only five days, after which the license must be renewed. Now imagine this scenario played out for educational materials. It's a recipe for disaster. By Sander Sassen, Hardware Analysis, December 14, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

SCO Shares Plunge
Stories like this just warm my heart. "SCO, embroiled in multibillion-dollar federal litigation against IBM and others over its purported rights to the Unix and Linux operating systems, more than quadrupled its fourth-quarter losses." Via Slashdot. By Bob Mims, Salt Lake Tribune, December 21, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

IT Issues & Strategic Viewpoints in Higher Education
The sample sizes in this survey are unfortunately small and there's no indication that the selection was not biased. That said, this survey - and take it for what it's worth - offers some good quotes. Like this: "CMS products from the vendors Angel, Desire2Learn and eCollege were uniformly praised by their users. In contrast, WebCT and Blackboard were routinely criticized for skyrocketing prices, bugs, and ease-of-use problems." And this, "About half the colleges say textbook publishers are trying to sell them digital content, but few faculty are buying. Even when faculty do buy commercial digital materials, they supplement, not replace, their own." By Paul M. Hartrey and Mary A.C. Fallon, Campus Technology, December 1, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

EDINA Newsline
Peter Scott reports: "The December 2004 edition of EDINA Newsline is now available." I had a look at the newsletter; it is chock-full of fascinating resources. "EDINA offers the UK tertiary education and research community net-worked access to a library of data, information and research resources. All EDINA services are free of charge at the point of use." Somebody send them a note - they need an RSS feed. By Various Authors, December 23, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Textbooks or iPods
Corrected link from yesterday. By Derek Morrison, Auricle, December 22, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2004 Stephen Downes
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