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by Stephen Downes
August 12, 2008

Students' Subway Security Talk Canceled by Court Order
Some students who figured out how to hack the Boston subway token system were prevented by court order from presenting their reserach at the DEF CON hacker conference this week. The students complied, but the MIT student newspaper, using documents obtained from previously distributed copies and publicly available court records, have posted the prohibited documents online, including the DEF CON presentation. "The court's order is an illegal prior restraint on legitimate academic research in violation of the First Amendment," said Jennifer Granickpeech, an EFF representative. Michael McGraw-Herdeg and Marissa Vogt, The Tech, August 12, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Disqus Wants to Own the Commentsphere; It Just Might
This is an application worth following. It started out as just another comments widget - handy for people who want a good comment system, but useful for people who want comments on their site to be searchable by Google. So it is now building things like WordPress plug-ins to allow comments to be stored locally. next up will be an integration with social networking services like Friendfeed -- if they manage to link (say) Facebook to blog comments, they will have something interesting. Related: do you own your contact list, or does your employer? Adam Ostrow, Mashable, August 12, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Workplace Learning Today
New group blog created by several Brandon Hall researchers: Janet Clarey, Richard Nantel, Tom Werner, and Gary Woodill. They write, "We'll be covering training and development, performance support, job aids, learning technologies, talent management, organizational learning, and adult education." I read in Janet Clarey that it was inspired by OLDaily. Cool. Various Authors, Brandon Hall Research, August 12, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Peer Review Does Not Define Science
I agree with Chad Orzel. While peer review is important and can be useful, it is only one instance of a more generalized methodology, one which, specifically, requires that for something to be 'scientific' it must subject ideas to tests by experience that are both transparent and replicable. As Orzel says, "We shouldn't be restricting science to refereed journals, we should be trying to spread it as widely as possible." What makes something science is not the authority with which it is printed but the rigor with which it is tested. Not everyone agrees, though. Chad Orzel, Uncertain Principles, August 12, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

My Take On Connectivism
Good post that accords with many of my own thoughts about connectivism. Especially this: "Downes' and Siemens' discussions shed new light on fundamental concepts, such as rules versus patterns, complicated vs. complex, equivalence vs. similarity, and coping with ambiguity and uncertainty." I agree. One thing I would like to spend some time exploring in the course is the nature and role of many of our background assumptions - the status of rules, the role of classification, the strength of equivalence. Because, yes, connectivism isn't simply a learning theory, it has a lot to say about how we see and organize the world - it is a theory about knowledge as much as it is a theory about learning. Matthias Melcher, x28's new Blog, August 12, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

I Don't Care About Scale
"I don't want people to do what I do, or for that matter, to do what anyone else does. I want them to be their own innovator and to design their own innovation." This might at first blush sound wasteful, but it isn't. The result will be a network of people doing diverse things, something that is a lot more robust than a network of people all doing the same thing. We need to get past the idea that there is a 'best' practice, or some methodology that can be applied across the board. As Fisher says, "Small communities doing things they need to do to succeed in their own place. This in my mind is the path to successful change and innovation." Clarence Fisher, Remote Access, August 12, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Five Things Policymakers Ought to Know
Interesting set of posts from various edubloggers on 'five things policymakers ought to know' about schools and teaching. Some good stuff here, and I especially enjoyed the Five Reasons Why Football is Better than School linked from Quasi Dictum. Tom Hoffman, meanwhile, offers his canned answer to the related meme, 'four things policy makers ought to do in Ed Tech'. John Norton, TLN Teacher Voices, August 12, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Another Look at Windows XP On the XO
Summary of a review in Laptop Mag of Windows XP for the OLPC's XO computer. "The XP portion is not ready for primetime, as evidenced by the slow boot time, slow application load time, and trouble with multitasking and streaming media." Christoph Derndorfer, One Laptop Per Child News, August 12, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

One Week of Twittersilence
D'Arcy Norman has issues with Twitter. "But most of what happens on Twitter - I just don't care about. People I don't know. People I simply don't care about. Not that they're not good people, or smart, or funny. Just that they are not people I know. And as a result, I simply don't care to hear constant updates and jabber from and about." Clarence Fisher is also having Twitter trepidations. D'Arcy Norman, Weblog, August 12, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Better, Faster, Cheaper, Safer, and Easier to Work With
"Corporations use Facebook extensively," writes Jay Cross. "The company tested corporate use with Accenture,, Apple Computer, Electronic Arts, Gap, Intel, Intuit, Microsoft, PepsiCo, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Teach For America in 2005." Why? "Why are corporations using an application built for college kids? Because it's better than the costly, clunky, proprietary, traditional corporate stuff." He's got that right. Jay Cross, Learning Blog, August 12, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

On Campus Blogging at the University of Calgary
"I'm not convinced that the Institution needs to host a blogging platform anymore," writes D'Arcy Norman, explaining why he hasn't marketed the blogging services at the University of Calgary. The advantages to an institutional blogging system - things like single sign-on and trust - don't seem to be such advantages in hindsight. Cole Camplese comments, "blogs are the tip of the iceberg ... think email, calendar, and other more mission critical things that are being outsourced by Institutions all over the country." D'Arcy Norman, Weblog, August 12, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Reed Elsevier Caught Copying My Content Without My Permission
I'm including this link mostly because I'm not, you know, surprised. The stuff publishers want to ban us from doing is stuff they routinely do in-house, behind closed doors, where they think nobody will notice. Mike Dunford, The Questionable Authority, August 12, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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