By Stephen Downes
May 10, 2005

Stones to Roll into Moncton for Concert
Well it's official: the Rolling Stones will be here in Moncton for a show September 3. Where? Here. Whee hoo! By Unattributed, CBC, May 10, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Should we Ban Instant Messaging in School?
"This powerful communication tool of instant messaging - wonderful as it is - is simply too tempting, too distracting in the classroom. Our students are better students without it." You know, it's funny - I read so much about teachers trying to find ways to get students' attention, and when they find a device - a communication device - that captures students' attention, they want to ban it. Via e-Learning Centre. By Sharon Texley and Donna DeGennaro, Learning & Leading with Technology, May, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Gates Heads Back to School in Open Source Spat
Microsoft so misses the point in its response to the leak of a recent report advocating the use of open source in British schools. "Competition in the software market is good for customers because it ensures that they get a good deal as it drives choice and innovation," writes a Microsoft representative. "There are some 5,000 third party applications available to run on Microsoft Windows operating system but only a handful of applications supported by the open source community." This may be true, but (a) schools don't need 5,000 applications, they need only a few good ones, and (b) almost all the 5,000 applications cost money, while the open source applications are free. There's more, but the main point here is that Microsoft is (and has been for some time) misunderstanding the value drivers in the educational market. Via Graham Attwell. By Dan Ilett, Silicom.com, May 10, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Installing Shibboleth
I think this sums it up in a sentence: "The Shibboleth Identity Provider requires a complex and up-to-date institutional infrastructure to be present prior to a full installation, and this needs to be planned properly before going ahead." What I tried to do with mIDm is create something that did much the same thing, with a more efficient 'Where Are You From', that can be installed by anybody on any web server in a few minutes. Via EDUCAUSE. By Simon McLeish, Ariadne, April, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Ajax and Weblogs
I've mentioned Ajax before; this item is a follow-up with a nice example, complete with code. The author described the use of Ajax - a set of Javascripts used to manage interactive web pages - to parse and display XML files on this home page. Nice - nice, and elegant. By Jason Kottke, kottke.org, May 9, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Sailing to the Future: Infographics in the Internet Era
I love stuff like this - and, I might add, it's one of the few items I've seen where the use of PDF is appropriate. Though it's a hefty download (21 megabytes, zipped) it's not a deep or difficult read. Mostly, it stresses the importance of infographics, though by examining some Spanish case studies, is also able to cast light on the process. Those working in art or design will consider this a find. Via the online-news mailing list. By Alberto Cairo, May, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Online Database Will Hold the Mirror Up to 'Hamlet,' Gathering Every Commentary on the Play
This is pretty neat. Four centuries or so of criticism of the Shakespeare play Hamlet have been compiled into a database so that, for any line in the play, you can read what every commentator throughout that time has said about it. This kind of database is a variation on what literary scholars call a 'variorum', a set of volumes containing everything ever written on a literary work. The HamletWorks database is only partially completed, but you can get a pretty clear idea of where it's going. By Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 10, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2005 Stephen Downes
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