August 29, 2006


William Draves[Edit][Delete]: How Many Calories Are in Coke Zero?, Nine Shift [Edit][Delete] August 29, 2006
[link: 2 Hits] I've been posting away today, a bit irritably. It's a sick day for me today, as I have a nasty sore throught, I'm a bit feverish, and I'm taking medication that won't let me sleep. I'm trying to get my work done before I leave on a month-long trip to South Africa, Australia and New Zealand this Friday, some work that I want to do, like my video, and other work I don't want to do, like participate in research projects that have utterly nothing to do with my interests or expertise. My computer is acting up - the internet is very slow today, and the keyboard (yes, the one that had mixed nuts in it, though I cleaned them out) is skipping letters at random. So I'm irritable today. Nobody's fault, really - except maybe the provincial government's, since they made me wade my bicycle through this huge pond in the middle of the road in the middle of nowhere on Sunday evening.

And I was entering comments and reacting to various posts I found unreasonable, and I was thinking that perhaps I was being too harsh. But if there's a theme today, it's captured by this item. "Corporate credibility is under attack, at least from Generation Y, which doesn't believe corporate ads at all." But it's not just that, it's more. If corporations were a government, they would be universally condemned by Amnesty International (instead, though, they pay 'free-lance writers' to condemn Amnesty International, as one outrageous screed published in the local paper did today).

And most days, I just get on my bike, chug my way into work, do my research, and try to push back a bit against this omnipresent agenda. And other days, like today, I simply lose patience, and I just want to yell at people, "Can't you see what is happening here?" I'm not yelling today - my throa is too hoarse for that. But give me a day of irritability, please, and don't hold my lack of tact against me for too long. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Stephen Downes[Edit][Delete]: Ethics and Codes, Half an Hour [Edit][Delete] August 29, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] There's is something I can't quite put my finger on with regard to recent proposals that students be taught an internet 'code of ethics' but I think I'm getting close. In response to a post from Dave Warlick today, I wrote, in essence, that "the problem is that ethical codes presuppose that ethical questions are settled, but thy are far from settled." Consider downloading, for example - people (including Warlick) still treat file sharing as unethical, and yet it's as though they had never seen the opposing view. So what's going on? Do we just say some things are unethical, by fiat? Do we remove all option, all choice, all thought in the matter? And who benefits when certain behaviours - such as file sharing - are deemed unethical, and other behaviours - such as corporate influence over media - are not? Tom Hoffman is also puzzled, and, I suspect, for similar reasons (I owe both Tom Hoffman and Norm Friesen more discussion on points they've raised, and I hope they'll be patient with me). [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

cel4145[Edit][Delete]: Free Electronic Textbooks Include Advertisements, Kairosnews [Edit][Delete]KairosNews [Edit][Delete] August 29, 2006
[link: 13 Hits] Once again, people will be out and about, saying "what's the harm?" Here is my acid test: can I buy advertisements in the textbooks for things like Buy-nothing Day, or condemning the use of child-labour in the production of shoes in sweatshops? No? I certainly can't advertise these things (and many others) on television. And if I can't buy these advertisements, then it's not just about the free market at work, it's about the propaganda. Think about it. Because I've got some cash ready to buy a nifty ad promoting the black arts in your kid's math textbook. You may find this very offensive - but I find McDonald's advertising directed at children equally so. And what I find offensive counts too. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Jay Cross[Edit][Delete]: Where I'm Coming From, Internet Time [Edit][Delete] August 29, 2006
[link: 10 Hits] My comment was simply swallowed up by Jay Cros's website; maybe it was accepted, maybe it was filtered, maybe it just disappeared (please, people, if you are modertaing comments, add a notice to your website, and if your system filters spam, at least let commentators know - I spent way too much time today trying to post comments on people's websites). Anyhow, what I said to this post, in essence, is this: We are all coming from somewhere. And when I write, if you see an anger in my writing, it is because I am coming from somewhere too. And when you rebrand things like blogs and RSS, because the associations with freaks and hackers and lawsuits waiting to happen make your corporate clients uncomfortable, you are eliminating people like me. And I refuse to be eliminated, I refuse to be marginalized. Which is why I appreciate you took this tack, rather than to just fire off a one-line reply. Because it shows that you can understand, that I am coming from somewhere. [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Bronwen[Edit][Delete]: Bronwen, August 29, 2006
[link: 2 Hits] People like Bronwen should be celebrated (and also held up as evidence that people are engaged in society, even if they have (for good reason) given up on the political process). She said, on the news item tonight, "I was bullied for nine years, and then I became a bully myself. So I've seen both sides." On her website she writes, "I am no longer suffering, but the effects linger. Sometimes when I take on a big project (like this album) I hear the little voices in my head saying youre not good enough, youre not popular enough, youre not pretty enough, people wont like you. All of the crap that I was told by my peers as a kid its still there." [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Dean Shareski[Edit][Delete]: Every Music Video Ever Online, Ideas and thoughts from an EdTech [Edit][Delete] August 29, 2006
[link: Hits] As Dean Shareski says, "Youtube announced they hope to put every music video ever online." Which is a good thing, because the music video TV stations have long since given up airing them. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Sid Yadav[Edit][Delete]: Facebook - The Complete Biography, Mashable [Edit][Delete] August 29, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] It could hardly be a 'complete biograpgy' in 1,000 words or so, not even with pictures, but this article is a good overview, even if you skim it (see the comments). Facebook, for those of you who may be wondering, is a wildly popular social networking service (slash dating service, but don't tell anyone I said that) exclusively for university students. Via heyjude. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Harold Jarche[Edit][Delete]: LMS circa 1999, Jarche Consulting [Edit][Delete] August 29, 2006
[link: 7 Hits] Alfred Essa tries to parse the cryptic claims offered by Blackboard about what their patent actually covers.

Not that we really needed more proof, but Harold Jarche has dug up an old report by the Centre for Learning Technologies (CLT) comparing learning management systems in 1999. Writes Jarche, "I've picked a few of the functions out of the tables to highlight how many other commercially available systems were on the market at the time. These had all been in production and on the market for several years. You will note that many had functions that Blackboard claims were unique to its system in 2000." [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Stuart Yeates[Edit][Delete]: Vista to Cost US $449, EDUCAUSE Blogs [Edit][Delete] August 29, 2006
[link: 4 Hits] I guess it was just a matter of time before the cost of the operating system exceeded the cost of the computer. Don't you find it strange that just about the only computers for sale anywhere require that you also purchase Windows? Don't you think it's time you were able to buy a computer with Linux installed - and save the wasted $449? [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Tony Karrer[Edit][Delete]: Web 2.0 and eLearning 2.0 Start-Up Guides, eLearning Technology [Edit][Delete] August 29, 2006
[link: 16 Hits] A set of guides to introduce people to Web 2.0 (but not really e-learning 2.0, I would say). Good set of links. Also, see All your own work in Web 2.0. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Stewart Butterfield[Edit][Delete]: Great Shot - Where'd You Take That?, Flickr [Edit][Delete] August 29, 2006
[link: Hits] Flickr has added (finally) geotagging to its photo metadata, which means that photographers can place their photos on a map. This article describes the process. I tested the system and geotagged my photos from Halifax - here is one of the photos, and you can see the geotag information in small print on the right side ("Taken in Halifax, Nova Scotia (map)"). What is interesting to me is how this sort of metadata specification is being developed - not all at once, handed down as though a Bible from a body of experts, but iteratively, one item at a time, after a lot of experimentation and commenting about it. I would say that more people, and more time, was involved in developing this one item of metadata than was involved in the whole first version of the IMS protocols. And if you try it, you will see some of the results of this - like the location privacy setting! Also - note how, when the protocol was introduced, phtographers also got an easy tool for creating such metadata. We're still waiting for something like that for learning object metadata. It is examples like this (and I have seen many of them through my years of involvement of RSS) that lead to my criticisms of the process, and the result, of the formal standards process (not only IMS, but also IEEE, ISO, and the like) as it applies to metadata. Via Stuart Yeates, Tim Lauer and Ewan McIntosh. [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

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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