By Stephen Downes
March 23, 2005

Via elearnspace: "'Academici' is the first global networking platform linking academics, academic-related associations, societies, academic services, students and academic-related business." Basically, it combines social networking, discussion, and resources. The business plan is obviously to charge for a premium membership. Perhaps I should add social networking to my site and offer the whole works for free. Distributed social networking, of course. By Various Authors, March, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Xhtml Friends Network
This has been around for a while but I haven't linked to it yet. The idea is to include social networking information in the list of links that constitutes your blogroll (a blogroll is a list of personal websites that you regularly read). XFN is pretty simply; you simply add a 'rel' element to the link. The site supports information and tools, links to XFN aggregators sites, information on how to connect with social networking siets, and more. By Various Authors, Global Multimedia Protocols Group, March, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Images Canada
Good collection of hundreds of images available (mostly) for non-commercial use including education. Sources include government archives, museums and libraries. Content revolves around Canadian themes. I wrote asking for an RSS feed (and offering to create one for them) and also for clarifications on copyright and received a cookie-cutter list of links (to pages I had already read) in response. Via Pete MacKay. By Various Authors, Library and Archives Canada, March, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Accessible Folksonomies
Good article that looks at the accessibility (or relative lack of it) of folksonomy lists. The author makes some good points and provides a good example of how to style lists like this generally. But the problem, of course, isn't simply the inaccessible nature of folksonomies displayed on, say, Technorati or Flickr. If we had a system that aggregates folksonomies, associating them with resources generically rather than within the context of a specific site, then people who wanted accessible lists could have them. See, what we want is an RSS feed of, say, this page (and an OPML that lists them all). By Herman Sander van Dragt, Alt Tags, February 27, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

What Price For 'Trusted PC Security'?
'Trusted computing' is the name given to a system that locks digital content on your computer so you can't use it without permission. It is 'trusted', of course, from the vendor's point of view. But for you, the computer owner, it works only if you can in turn trust the vendors, because trusted computing "will give content providers a lot more control over what we can do with music, movies and books that we have bought from them." So can we trust them? Probably not - look at what Apple did to iTunes users: Apple "took away the ability to play songs downloaded from Real's Harmony service on your iPod." It took only months to transform copy protection into a weapon to use against competitors. The upshot? "We need to ensure that trusted computing remains under the control of the users and is not used to take away the freedoms we enjoy today." By Bill Thompson, BBC, March 18, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Looking at Improvement, Not Miracles
I just want to flag this item about a school in New York and its struggles to turn things around. Stories like this - not stories touting a new educational 'miracle' - are the ones that speak to me. By Michael Winerip, New York Times, March 23, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2005 Stephen Downes
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