November 25, 2005


Joseph Hart: The Open Learner November 25, 2005
New blog by Joseph Hart. Well, in all honesty, he sent me an email about it about a month ago, but it lay buried in a stack of items requiring action. Over the last couple days I have burrowed through about 500 emails (90 to go) and this means that some people did not get responses - I feel badly about that, because I appreciate the time people take to write to me, and you should know that I have read the email even if I didn't answer. Anyhow, I did enjoy The Open Learner and have added it to the aggregator. It's worth noting that this is the first Bloglines blog I have aggregated - it makes me wonder why more people do not use this service to write blogs in addition to merely reading them. [Tags: Bloglines, Web Logs] [Comment]

Press Release: New Digitisation Report Calls for Cross-sectoral E-content Strategy November 25, 2005
Press release announcing a new report issued jointly by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and the Consortium of Research Libraries in the British Isles (CURL). As the title suggests, the report calls for greater standardization and coordination of digitization efforts in britain, tied to research into user needs. The reasoning behind this call emerges about half way through the report: "the introduction of such a system would keep track of resources, aid discovery and prevent duplication... significant gaps in provision remain in many disciplines... (and) it will never be possible to digitise everything, so future developments must respond to researchers' needs." Well, maybe. But is a centralized and standardized approach the best way to do this? If so, then why not adhere to a European standard and system, or a global one? A proliferation of standards exists, as the report notes, and it is important to understand why the development of metadata has assumed a more local, rather than a more global, character. [Tags: Information, European Union, Great Britain, Research, Metadata, Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)] [Comment]

Kyle Gabler, Kyle Gray, Matt Kucic and Shalin Shodhan: How to Prototype a Game in Under 7 Days: Tips and Tricks from 4 Grad Students Who Made Over 50 Games in 1 Semester, Gamasutra November 25, 2005
This is a fun article, and not simply because of the goofy games described in passing. It offers some good insights into things like game design, such as: "You only need a few days. It seems like a natural and comforting thing to say, 'Hey we made a great game in one week. Therefore, if we spend TWO weeks, it will be TWICE as good!' Of course this isn't the case. We found that generally any gameplay idea can be prototyped effectively in less than one week. Extra slop time tends to yield diminishing returns." Via Peter Rawsthorne, who also sent along this link about the same group of designers. "I was thinking about the future of courseware development," he writes, "and why wouldn't it be like this." [Tags: Games and Gaming] [Comment]

Cory Doctorow: Sony Anti-customer Technology Roundup and Time-line, Boing Boing November 25, 2005
Good wrap-up of the events and fallout surrounding the Sony rootkit (don't forget to check out part 2 and part 3). It is worth noting, again, that the Sony debacle is just the tip of the iceberg. Other companies are working on similar technology, and a Sony rootkit-style computing environment is what publishers and some DRM-advocates are seeking to achieve. If I have a concern over this, it is that the outrage has not been loud enough. [Tags: Books and eBooks, Digital Rights Management (DRM)] [Comment]

Stuart Yeates: Oxford University Opt for a Library System Based on Open Source, EDUCAUSE Blogs November 25, 2005
Stuart Yeates reports, with links, "Oxford University libraries have announced that their new Library Management System (LMS) will be from VTLS. The VTLS product range incorporates open source components such as FEDORA digital object repository and the Mckoi or MySQL databases. So what are is Oxford paying for, if the software is based on free and open source software? Training, integration, installation, customisation, maintenance and so forth, and none of these are trivial, especially when you consider that Oxford University has 80 libraries, including the Bodleian copyright repository library and over 700 staff." [Tags: Learning Object Repositories, Copyright and Patent Issues, Customization, Open Source] [Comment]

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Stephen Downes

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I want and visualize and aspire toward a system of society and learning where each person is able to rise to his or her fullest potential without social or financial encumberance, where they may express themselves fully and without reservation through art, writing, athletics, invention, or even through their avocations or lifestyle.

Where they are able to form networks of meaningful and rewarding relationships with their peers, with people who share the same interests or hobbies, the same political or religious affiliations - or different interests or affiliations, as the case may be.

This to me is a society where knowledge and learning are public goods, freely created and shared, not hoarded or withheld in order to extract wealth or influence.

This is what I aspire toward, this is what I work toward. - Stephen Downes