December 15, 2005


Unattributed: Desiging and Building With Ajax - Slides, Code and Resources, Ajaxians December 15, 2005
For those of you who have heard of AJAX and were wondering what's up, this site will offer a good introduction, with links and examples galore (Ajax is a simple system that allows Javascript to handle small requests without requiring that the current web page be reloaded). [Tags: ] [Comment]

Unattributed: Blogger Web Comments for Firefox, Google December 15, 2005
This is very nice. "Blogger Web Comments for Firefox is an extension that makes it easy to see what bloggers are saying about a page you're viewing in Firefox and even make your own blog post about it, all without leaving the page you're on." This is basically the same concept as Wikalong, but using blogs instead of wikis. Current comments pop in a little box on the lower right - you can also add a comment right then and there, but "To add your own comments on the page you're on, you'll need to have a Blogger account..." - and here it appears Google has dropped the ball, because of course people should be able to post comments to their blog no matter who owns it. So what I'm waiting for I guess is the non-proprietary version. [Tags: Web Logs, Google] [Comment]

Dion Hinchcliffe: The Best Web 2.0 Software of 2005, Dion Hinchcliffe's Web 2.0 Blog December 15, 2005
An interesting list that gives you an idea of the scope of Web 2.0. May be biased toward commercial startups; hard to say. Nonetheless, still useful. Via Bill Ives. [Tags: Portals, Web 2.0] [Comment]

Ross Anderson: Campaign for Cambridge Freedoms December 15, 2005
A dispute has erupted at Cambridge as a result of an administration decision to claim ownership of IP produced by academic staff (expect more of this as belts tighten). From the site, which is a response from academic staff: "A policy change proposed by the University's Vice-Chancellor will severely undermine academic freedom, adversely change the employment conditions of existing faculty by expropriating our copyrights and patents." [Tags: Copyright and Patent Issues, Academics and Academia] [Comment]

Robert X. Cringely: Google Goes Las Vegas, I, Cringely December 15, 2005
So anyhow, I went out for a beer last night and ran into someone who has a business in electronic display ads. Small world. So we got to talking about Google and adwords and customer demographics and all that, and it became clear that in his view the only thing preventing extensive profiling is legislation (and that this is already well under way elsewhere). He also streams news content into his service, which makes sense, as it gets people to view the ads, but what surprised me was that the news services pay big money for placement into this market. Yes, these are the same news services that resolutely don't want people to syndicate their content. Facinating. Anyhow, this article is about some of the mechanations that go on behind the scenes at Google, and it raises the question of how ad placement and content placement works. It should be evident that there is a lot going on behind the scenes, not all of it fair cricket. Cringely: "It's like Vegas," said my friend. "They want you to lose. Try to game the system and they cut off one of your legs." Via Slashdot. [Tags: Google, Games and Gaming] [Comment]

Jim Giles: Internet Encyclopaedias go Head to Head, Nature December 15, 2005
This one is all over the blogosphere but I'll pass it along because it's directly relevant to some previous discussion here. As the article says, "Wikipedia comes close to Britannica in terms of the accuracy of its science entries, a Nature investigation finds." What was most interesting was the number of errors found in Britannica; we assume the peer-reviewed work is a gold standard for knowledge, but this standard is actually fairly loose. Also worth noting is how few experts are actually contributing to Wikipedia - if the academic community were to stop carping and start writing, the comparison with Britannica may well have had a very different result. More discussion from the blogosphere: Kairosnews, the Chronicle, Shareski, Business Week, Weblogg-Ed, Slashdot [Tags: Wikipedia, Web Logs, Academics and Academia] [Comment]

Stephen Downes: PHP RSS Ticker, Stephen's Web December 15, 2005
I got a request over the weekend for info on my RSS ticker, available on Edu_RSS. It was from a PHP site, so I coded up a PHP version that will take any URL and return a ticker. Not fancy code, just some fun. The code is here. [Tags: ] [Comment]

D'Arcy Norman: Structured Blogging: Semantic Web for the Rest of Us?, D'Arcy Norman dot Net December 15, 2005
The concept of structured blogging should be giving educators ideas about a similar approach to learning materials (I wonder what it would take to start something like that...). If it hasn't yet, this closer look at it, via the examples offered by the WordPress plug-in, should stimulate some thinking. A similar initiative is, and I really do hope they all mesh well together. Anyhow, D'Arcy writes, "What would be really cool is if a new microcontent type of 'learning object' was defined - letting you enter some IEEE LOM-ish metadata about a resource that's used as a learning object. There's your learning object repository, thank you very much..." Yes, exactly. [Tags: Learning Objects, Web Logs, Learning Object Repositories, Cool, Metadata] [Comment]

Darren Kuropatwa: OLÉ! - My Tango ..., A Difference December 15, 2005
Nothing like using Blogger as a presentation tool. Today we see a two-parter from Darren Kuropatwa, both parts available from this link. Part 1 is called OLÉ! - Orchestrating a Learning Ecology (or Learning the Tango). It sketches the evolving view of learning as informal and instructured, more like a dance than a script. Part 2 is called Rip, Mix, Learn. It surveys the tools used to support the learning described in the first part. Many, many links and things about the tango I never knew before. [Tags: Online Learning] [Comment]

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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