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by Stephen Downes
August 29, 2007

Time For Replacement Windows
Tim Stahmer quotes Dwight Silverman, and I agree, "Microsoft really has no choice - it can no longer support the ecosystem that has built up for so long. An attempt to add another layer will send it crashing, if that's not happening already. It's time to tear it down, and start again." I always expected this to happen when we moved from 32 bit to 64 bit processors. But it never happened. It took forever to get to that point (I wrote about it in 1998 and the 64 bit chips are just now coming into usage). And Microsoft seems so locked into their Windows track. If I were in charge of Microsoft I would be looking very seriously about starting from scratch. Tim Stahmer, Assorted Stuff August 29, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

How Dartmouth Produces Video Podcasts
A bit chatty, but nonetheless a useful account of how video recordings are produced at Dartmouth. One comment struck me, that there will always be a need for a camera operator. This doesn't strike me as true. I remember when I did videoconferencing in the 1990s at Assiniboine the camera could be voice activated and could also follow an infrared sensor worn by the speaker. As well, it seems to me, hand gestures could be used (assuming the patent trolls ever license the technology) to zoom and point the camera. Eventually somebody will put the whole package together. Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology August 29, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment]

Initial Experiences With VCasmo
This is pretty nice. I might try synching some of my own video with slide shows, in the future, when I get caught up and have some time. Brian Kelly, UK Web Focus August 29, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Zing! Is in the Search Results
I'm not nearly as impressed as Alan Levine (more bad site layout - I really wish these overnight companies would try their sites on a few browsers before launching), but there's enough cool factor to link to EveryZing - which uses automatic transcription to create searchable (and indexable) text from audio to provide search results that include podcasts and videos. The results return a player cued to play the clip where the reference occurred. Alan Levine, CogDogBlog August 29, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Wikipedia's Imminent Demise?
I've mentioned this in passing elsewhere, but it's time, I think, to say it outright. The managers of Wikipedia have been adding layers of oversight and scrutiny. And they plan to add that allow overseers to vet revisions, which means that most readers will not see a revision until it has been reviewed. This will destroy Wikipedia. People are not going to want to contribute if they know it won't be seen until some (anonymous and unqualified) overseer gets around to 'flagging' it. This means that, more and more, it will be the people with an agenda, rather than the people who just want to add good content, that will be contributing to Wikipedia. It's also not going to be long before there are protracted disputes between the overseers and the common editors. The managers at Wikipedia have to stop listening to the critics. They had a perfectly good encyclopedia because anybody could correct the errors. Now, because they're listening to the people who profess to be concerned about 'quality', they will end up loading it with uncorrectable misinformation. This is a huge mistake. Chris Lott, Ruminate August 29, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

My Plan to Fix NCLB
I went to summer camp for four years in a row in my early teens, two years as a camper and two more years as a counselor. I'm sure not all camps are the same, but the one I went to, Camp Opemikon, taught me a lot. So I have a lot of sympathy with Gary Stager's proposal to fix NCLB - instead of hiring unaccountable and unqualified private contractors to teach after-school classes, send kids to summer camp. "Isn't it time to end the soft bigotry of low expectations and give every child a chance at summer camp?" he asks. Quite so! Gary Stager, District Administration August 29, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

I had some fun over lunch puttering through SchoolTube, a new service - "student produced and teacher approved" - allowing schools to upload videos. They're heavily into promotion mode right now (not surprisingly). The video reproduction is OK, but the site layout design is really bad - it looks like it was tested on Internet Explorer only. Via Jane Hart. Various Authors, Website August 29, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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