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by Stephen Downes
February 21, 2009

Internet Blackout NZ
New Zealand's new Copyright Law presumes 'Guilt Upon Accusation' and will Cut Off Internet Connections without a trial. Join the black out protest against it!New Zealand websites are going black Monday to protest the 'guilt upon accusation' law being proposed "that calls for internet disconnection based on accusations of copyright infringement without a trial and without any evidence held up to court scrutiny. This is due to come into effect on February 28th unless immediate action is taken by the National Party." More from O'Reilly, GeekZone, UK Web Focus, Kiwiblog, Scoop, Public Address.

Various Authors, Website, February 21, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

A Gift From Canada
We're going Indy-craz concert-crazy here in Canada. This site links to CBC radio 2's Concert On-Demand series, with nearly 900 free concepts available for your listening pleasure. Meanwhile, I just read today that has launched, with the cable TV channel coming soon. Meanwhile, I'm up to postcast number 25 (of 196) from the Radio 3 series on Canadian Indymedia. Meanwhile, in Canada, the CRTC is having crucil hearings on net neutrality, while at the same time Rogers media, which ran up $3.9 billion in debt acquiring half of all Canadian media, is now looking at selling of assets. canadians, meanwhile, are totally tired of being blocked from the Daily Show website, being forced to watch clips from The Comedy Network. The dam is about to burst in Canada, one way or another. woodblock100, Metafilter, February 21, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Google Pack Comes with Shortcuts for Google Web Apps
All this - the whole suit of Google applications, set up to run through Google Chrome, still requires Windows - but I wonder more and more whether that's not just a way to capture Windows users and to prepare them for the great leap into Something That Is Not Windows. Meanwhile - I'm still not using Google mail (I have completely closed my GMail account) because all other Google applications refuse to accept any other email address otherwise. Alex Chitu, Google Operating System, February 21, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

The First Rule of Government Spending
David Wiley argues, "Any and all curriculum materials whose development is funded with taxpayer dollars should be freely and openly available to the public. We paid for them, they belong to us, and it is nothing short of stupid for a state government or school district to pay for them a second, third, or 500,000th time." I quite agree. Related: Visualizing open/networked teaching. David Wiley, iterating toward opennesss, February 21, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

A Communications Primer
Great fifties-style video (from the fifties!) describing communications theory. Well worth watching, especially keeping in mind that it was this sort of perspective that people like McLuhan are responding to (and this sort of perspective that is informing people like Moore). Alec Couros, Couros Blog , February 21, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Smoke and Mirrors, or Good Intentions?
I'm seeing a lot of what might be called backsliding into the silo repository model or federation of exclusive content providers. It is worth rcalling, with Paul Walk, "OCLC are trapped in an increasingly inappropriate business model. A model based upon the value in the creation and control of data. Increasingly, in this interconnected world, the value is in making data openly available and building services upon it. When people get charged for one thing, but gain value from another, they will become increasingly uncomfortable with the old status quo." I know there are sponsor and employment pressures, especially now. But I would hope that people argue for the open network architecture, not in spite of their own best interests, but from the perspective of their own best interests. Paul Walk, Weblog, February 21, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

From Command & Control to Collaboration
I just want to make my views on this clear (and this is linked to what George Siemens has to say about our critics as well) that the alternative to command and control that I envision is bettwer described as coopertion and not collaboration. Mohamed Amine Chatti, Weblog, February 21, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Gates, TED, and Edu-Propaganda, Part 2
The Bill Gates talk, writes Clay Burrell, "is viral, and Kristof at the NYTimes given it a tailwind. The truth will never catch up." That's part of why it's a bad idea to promote TED videos, which have everything to do with splashy publicity and millionaire attendees and nothing to do with what responsibility or even evidence. In truth, the Gates talk has been roundly criticized but will most likely be cited by devotees. Clay Burrell,, February 21, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

The 'Least Assistance' Principle
On the one hand, we don't want e-learning to just be a bunch of page-turners. On the other hand, not everybody in the world needs the motivation, hand-holding, support, tutelage, and the rest that comes with a complete e-learning package. "When we're talking to practitioners who are good at their job, know what they're doing and why, and know that they need to know this information and how they'll apply it, we can strip away a lot of the window dressing." Clark Quinn, Learnlets, February 21, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Cable Companies Negotiating To Control What TV Shows You Can Watch Online
I have littered comment sections from Gawker to Jezebel to Techdirt asking bloggers to not use Hulu for the very good reason that the video site blocks access to people living outside the United States. The company, which has staked its future on doing whatever content providers ask, is not discriminating not by nationality but by platform. What the cable and content companies are afraid of, of course, is that users will want to use internet only and cancel their cable subscription. Mike Masnick, TechDirt, February 21, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Canadian Firm Demands Bloggers Stop Using Netbooks
The 'netbooks' saga continues as "a Canadian mobile computer maker that owns the trademark and indeed has sold a product called Netbook in the past... began sending some tech bloggers and Netbook makers cease-and-desist notices late last year asking them to stop using the term 'Netbook.'" The company may own the trademark, but they have no say over whether people use the word in casual conversaion - otherwise we'd have to stop eating apples, making xeroses and taking aspirin. A site springing to the defense of the term 'netbook' has sprung up here. A petition to cancel the trademark - which hasn't been used for ten years - is working its way through the system (of course, I expect some other company - Dell, maybe, which launched the petition to cancel (it tried to trademark cloud computing last year) - to jump on the trademark as soon as its free). Via Michael Geist. Erica Ogg, Crave, February 21, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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