By Stephen Downes
May 4, 2005

mIDm - Self-Identification the World Wide Web
Yesterday I wrote that authentication is not needed and not desired - self-identification would do the trick. Today I would like to explain how a system of self-identification would work. Moreover, I provide in this article some samples of working code and a demonstration that prove that the sort of system I am describing is possible. Even if you didn't agree with yesterday's article (or missed it - I'm told I didn't promote it enough), do read this one. Even if we don't follow what I am writing here to the letter, something like this is needed and (in my view) inevitable. By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, May 4, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

You Own Nothing
Michael Robertson - founder of the Linux company Linspire (formerly known as Lindows) - explains why he funded a $200,000 prize for the first person to install Linux on a Microsoft Xbox. "With an Xbox, the user is merely renting the box. Microsoft decides what software (games) users can load and even how they can use it. When it connects to the net, Microsoft can and has instructed the machine to change its behavior to block certain users, functionality or software that it does not agree with. They are changing the rules after you purchase it to suit their needs and not your needs." I agree with Robertson's concern and worry about the day that our use of a computer is only allowed under the guiding hand of the manufacturer. By Michael Robertson, Michael's Minutes, April 28, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

As the Tim Bray reports: "SMEX stands for Simple Message Exchange, and SMEX-D for SMEX Descriptor, an XML language designed to provide simple descriptions of a wide range of Web-Service message exchanges, both REST-based and SOAP-based..." Something to keep an eye on. By Tim Bray, May 3, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Edublogger Praxis
A welter of new (or at least, new to me) education and ed tech blogs have recently come online. Many of them have been listed on this site; others have been sent to me by email or via other weblogs. The list of new blogs this week includes:
* Scott Sorley's Education Technology Guidebook
* Prufrock's Gifted Education Blog
* Scott Adams @ Arkansas Tech
* Teachers Speak
* Décrochage scolaire
* Authentic Educational Technology
* Considering Education
* The Janus Circle Project
By Various Authors, May, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Hollywood Creates Boy Scout Merit Badge on Copyright
Propaganda with a capital P. One by one, our social institutions are being subverted by the copyright industry. That it's this easy to do should be sufficient to give people pause. Or scare them outright. By Declan McCullagh, CNet News.Com, May 3, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Conveying Rights Expressions About Metadata in the OAI-PMH Framework
Important specification released by the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) describing how the rights to metadata (as opposed to resources themselves) are described. "This specification aims to provide a canonical mechanism for the inclusion of rights expressions about metadata in OAI-PMH records. Harvesters should look for and abide by the contents of any rights expressions included using this mechanism within records they harvest." By Carl Lagoze, et.al., Open Archives Initiative, May 3, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright © 2005 Stephen Downes
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