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by Stephen Downes
February 23, 2007

The Julie Amero Tragedy
I have covered the Julie Amero travesty earlier. Nancy Willard's report is required reading. "In a nutshell, it is quite evident in the case of Julie Amero, that the district's technical security was woefully and sorely lacking, Amero had not been provided with appropriate instructions on use of the computer and actions to take if inappropriate materials appear on the screen and was doing exactly what she had been told to do, and the investigation was not only inadequate – it was thoroughly and unconscionably mishandled." I think that whomever has the authority should intervene in this case immediately. And I think that we should ask ourselves how a free society could allow something like this to take place in the first place. "The underlying issue is that of fear. Especially in the last year there has been an overwhelming increase in the level of fear-mongering about young people and the Internet." PDF. Via Karoli Nancy Willard, Weblog February 23, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Could Yahoo Pipes Make Repository Interoperability Obsolete?
So far as I am concerned, repository interoperability has always been obsolete, since the potential for Yahoo Pipes (and Edu_RSS, I might add, which does the same thing) has been apparent since the beginning of RSS. Note as well Scotte Leslie's comment, pointing to other applications that perform siliar functions: "Another cool development are tools like Dapper and Kapow." David Davies, Weblog February 23, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Multi-Column Layouts Climb Out of the Box
Useful article that offers another approach to multi-column CSS layout. The problem faced by this designer was to create columns of equal height, and the solution was to use negative margin values. I use negative margin values myself, mostly for images and call-outs, and while I am still not completely comfortable with it, they seem stable enough to me. Alan Pearce, A List Apart February 23, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

US Copyright Lobby Out-of-Touch
In the latest report from a U.S. intellectual property lobby group, Michael geist notes, " what is most noteworthy about the IIPA effort is that dozens of countries - indeed most of the major global economies in the developed and developing world - are singled out for criticism." One wonders, he writes, who it is that is really out of step here. "Countries singled out for criticism should not be deceived into thinking that their laws are failing to meet an international standard, no matter what US lobby groups say." Quite so - and perhaps it's time for the rest of the world to tell this U.S. lobby to go back home and maybe rethink its position. Michael Geist, BBC News February 23, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Another find by Bee on TALO. Vidipedia is "the free video encyclopedia that anyone can edit." I'm not so sure about this one. As of this posting, the most popular videos include Hiccup Girl, who has had the hiccups for three weeks, the Gaussian Gun, supposedly a perpetual motion machine, and a JFK Assassination video. Hm. Various Authors, Website February 23, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Microsoft Hit with $1.5 Billion Patent Verdict
I would be more sympathetic to Microsoft had the company not just threatened lawsuits against Linux users. Even so, this verdict shows how ridiculous patent law has become. And, of course, it is the end user who pays for these verdicts. More. Ina Fried, ZDNet February 23, 2007 [Link] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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