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by Stephen Downes
January 3, 2008

Facebook Disabled My Account
Robert Scoble was kicked off Facebook 'for running a script'. Later that day, he discovered and became a convert to open social networks. He writes, "I am working with a company to move my social graph to other places and that isn't allowable under Facebook's terms of service." This, I think, is a pretty clear message from Facebook to the effect that it thinks it owns your data. Interestingly, it deleted Scoble's account from its system - as he notes here, Facebook can delete your information if it wishes. Interestingly, this now provides a resolution for the people who were unable to get off Facebook. Also, there's more here where he reveals he was using Plaxo Pulse. He comments, "It's ironic that you can import your Gmail address book into Facebook but you can't export back out." Steve O'Hear also comments, "the resistence of Facebook, MySpace, Google and most of the leading players in the user data space to offer easy data portability (I can't even backup my gmail with a simple one-click) is based on an old fashioned notion that lock-in is the best way to protect a strong market position." Robert Scoble, Scobleizer January 3, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Home Internet Content Filtering Needs: Solved with OpenDNS
I think it is such a bad idea to install content filtering at the network services level, but this is exactly what Open DNS does. Basically, the DNS is the services that resolves the 'address' of the URL you type into your web broswer. It's a bit like an automatic phone book. But this services steps right into the mix, interrupting the resolution of 'unacceptable' addresses. Now it can be configured by an administrator, which is good. But I think that like pretty much all of these services the values represented are perverse. There is an emphasis on blocking sex, with separate filters even for things like bikinis. Nothing there to block images of violence, war, militarism, propaganda, commercialism, consumerism, and a whole range of things that are much more damaging than a bikini. But all of that said, I honestly don't understand how people decided that filtering was the best response to objectionable content. If it's really objectionable, remove it from society at the source, otherwise let it through; the abuse created by filtering systems is much worse than any harm they prevent. More from Mark Berthelemy. Wesley Fryer, Moving at the Speed of Creativity January 3, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Ten Learning Technologies to Transform Training in 2008
Good list from Gary Woodall. Also, more predictions from Clark Quinn.I also like these resolutions from Mashable. Also worth a look is Dave Cormier's list of top educational stories of 2007 which, because it was posted a month early, misses one of the year's biggest stories, the closure of eduSpaces (so there Dave, nyah nyah nyah). And Scott Karp's five principles for media sound a lot like connectivism. Also see Richard Ackerman for ten points for libraries supporting science. Gary Woodill, Brandon Hall Research January 3, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

There's a Metaphor Here Somewhere
Fun video of a squirrel raiding a bird feeder, but the real value of this post was the link to the Internet Archive's 78 RPM collecion of music from the 20s and 30s. Ah, it doesn't get much better than this. Alan Levine, CogDogBlog January 3, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

The New Education Agenda
It's a bit difficult to parse exactly what Gordon Freedman, Blackboard's VP of education strategy, is trying to say here. But I think it's this: worldwide, education is being seen as more vital to national policy goals, especially in countries outside the English speaking world, and as companies (incuding Blackboard) attempt to globalize, it will be important to adapt to this reality. These governments have seen learning technology as playing a central role in this, providing as they do a means of providing access to learning, but also because they can be more cost effective and can shape a consistent K-20 learning environment. All fair enough, though it should be clear that the undertone is that he is telling governments that e-learning technology can be used to support their (political?) economic and social objectives. "A technical infrastructure tuned to the missions of innovative institutions is absolutely necessary to service the new economy, the new labor force, and to help produce the flexibility and adaptability necessary for the 21st century." As discussion of the 'new education agenda' progresses, the question, 'who do we serve?' must surely rise to the forefront. Gordon Freedman, Blackboard January 3, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Caught On Video
Bob Sprankle describes it: "Rather than (the doctor) trying to explain procedures with patients using just words, he now carries his phone around and shows them actual video clips of the procedures to help them understand what he's trying to convey." Brilliant. But now think about what this means for learning. It's not merely mobile learning. First, it's very personal learning. Second, it uses video as the learning resource. But third, most importantly, The doctor becomes the teacher. This is key! Personal learning becomes possible because everybody - and not just teachers - can teach. Why does this matter? This: we should not be teaching our students using video, we should be teaching our students to use video, not so they can be better students, but so they can be better teachers. Bob Sprankle, Bit By Bit January 3, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

RIAA Unfairly Maligned? Give Me a Break.
After last week's story asserting that the RIAA had declared the copying of songs to your personal computer to be illegal, a raft of stories appeared to the effect that th RIAA had ben misquoted. TechDirt, for example, said the Washington Post had "flubbed" its story. "It's important to note that there's a difference between unauthorized and illegal," writes Mike Masnick. But as Mashable writer Stan Schroeder responds, "how hard is it for RIAA to clearly say: no, we're not going after personal copies?" Not hard at all, but the best the RIAA can say is that such "unauthorized" copying "won't usually raise concerns." It seems pretty clear to me that the RIAA thinks that copying to one's own computer is a privilege that it grants at its discretion, and that it can revoke - and file suit over - at its pleasure. Stan Schroeder, Mashable January 3, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Join the Davos Conversation
Because of the way this 'contest' is set up, the 'winners' are videos that have already been posted, or seeded by the organizers (such as the Chad Hurley video). That's because there's only two days between the closing of submissions and the airing of the winners at the Davos World Economic Forum on January 23, and because voting is cumulative from the beginning. You can be sure the videos submitted January 21 aren't getting very many votes! Still, despite the obvious gerrymandering of the results, the initiative is nonetheless a good idea which may one day be done fairly, with a long lead time for entrants and a voting period that is the same for every entry. Via Marc Canter. Jeff Jarvis, BuzzMachine January 3, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Recut, Reframe, Recycle
One of my earliest attempts to publish was derailed when the publisher sent me a sheaf of permission forms that I would have to have filled out by the copyright owner of each paper I had quoted in my article. This was my introduction to the adbridgement of fair use provisions being fostered at every turn by the publishers, and it hasn't really abated. So this article, which shows that a lot of 'infringing' uses actually are allowed under fair use, is a welcome contribution to the discussion. Pat Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi, Center for Social Media and American University's Washington College of Law January 3, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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