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by Stephen Downes
September 9, 2008

How I Know What I Know About The Web
I ran into time issues in this talk, but still managed to cover the evolution of what we now (loosely) call 'the scientific method' from the original formulation as the HD-Model to scientific communities and society-wide knowing communities. Presentation by Stephen Downes, iPED International Conference 2008, Coventry, UK, via Skype, [Link]

Comics, Bigfoot and Coffee Cups in Business Meetings
I just love the 'Introducing...' series of books (Introducing Wittgenstein, Introducing Heidegger, etc) as their visual style of presentation is accessible and concise. Sure, you miss a lot of the detail - you have to go read Wittgenstein for ourself - but its a great way to introduce a subject. And, in the same way, Google introduced some complex browser technology by means of a comic. This post, now, introduces us to a range of comic-style presentations of physics and other science. It's possible to get carried away with graphic learning - but it's also a powerful technique, one that I think has a bright future (science artists of the world rejoice). Tom Smith, theOTHERblog, September 9, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

WTF Blog Clutter: The Death of the CAPTCHA
I have resisted the call to use captchas (and registration) to keep my comment boxes clean (I'm helped by the fact that I use my own software, so the attacks that work on popular packagaes don't work here). I have never liked captchas, many of which have left me scratching my head. Anyhow, according to this article, captchas have been proven not to work. Lorelle VanFossen, The Blog Herald, September 9, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

iKnow! and the Social Brain Network
Personalized. Social. Learning. They call iKnow "The first intelligent social learning platform." Maybe - though it may require modifying your definition of 'intelligent'. But, again, we see the trends in motion. Not so much the 'personalized', which looks (to me) like a pseudoscientific process of repetition. But the 'social' - "create, collaborate, and share" - is important. As we have seen in the Connectivism course. Doriano "Paisano" Carta, Mashable, September 9, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

The Digital Magazine Vs. The Digital Magazine
This - rather than some clunky reading device - is most likely the future of the eBook. Oh, all it does is flash an advertisement (naturally). But its placement - as the front cover of Esquire Magazine - is suggestive of the future. Mark 'Rizzn' Hopkins, Mashable, September 9, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Hacking User Computers Via Facebook
It's not exactly 'hacking' but it is nonetheless a way of subverting someone's computer for nasty purposes. "In the background, the application is also downloading three large photos from a targeted site. But the user's browser never displays the images. Any application with enough users will then act like a denial of service attack flooding the chosen website with requests for data." This happens a lot more than you would think. I run my own server, and believe me, I am so-o-o tired of stuff like this (and would whomever is trying to download the file 'w' from my server once every second or so please cut it out?). Bryan Alexander, Liberal Education Today, September 9, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

When Academia Puts Profit Ahead of Wonder
This article in the New York Times points to the distortion of the educational mission that has occurred as universities place more of an emphasis on earning patent income than on advancing the cause of learning - especially as most of them don't even earn their investments back, much less hit the big time. Via Michael Feldstein. Janet Rae-Dupree, New York Times, September 9, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

Blackboard Customers Consider Alternatives
This article ends on an upbeat note for Blackboard, but along the way it points top the serious hurdles Blackboard is facing - everything from fears about its pricing strategy to distrust because of the lawsuit to competition from smaller and open source systems. Oh, and from yesterday - it was Desire2Learn, of course, and not Blackboard, that filed the appeal. Sorry for the confusion. Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 9, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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