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by Stephen Downes
July 31, 2009

Dreaming My Dreams

So it's a hazy July 31, my last day in the office before a summer vacation, and I've been puttering, doing paperwork, and watching Cranberries videos on the computer. The Cranberries are for me associated very specifically with the summer of 1995 - Zombie represents anger, Daffodils represent sadness, and Dreaming represents hope. I don't know why I'm thinking of those days just now, but I am.

The newsletter will be published as usual while I'm on my break but I might miss a couple of weeks at the end of August. Cranberries, YouTube, July 31, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Ottawa Roundtable
Three cheers for Laura Murray, speaking at the copyright consultations: "t will be very important for those concerned about users' rights to convince the government of the principle of users' rights: cheap fair dealing is not fair dealing. Fair dealing is a deep part of copyright DNA and the established practice of creative communities. It enables freedom of expression, research, and innovation. It is not for sale. Furthermore, licensing everything that walks will put Canada at a competitive disadvantage to its trading partners. Licensing can certainly be useful, but only in conjunction with fair dealing, never as its replacement." Laura J. Murray,, July 31, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

The whole NPG / Wikimedia thing
The whole thing is this: some works of art, such as the portraits in the National Portrait gallery (NPG) are public domain, their copyright having expired decades ago. But conditions imposed by the museum (eg. 'No photo' restrictions) make it impossible to share the images, and the museums release (copyright) reproductions as the only licensed reproductions. Thus, we have a case where public domain content becomes private property. This gets even more tricky when a person accesses this 'private' collection of images and posts them online (in this case, into Wikimedia) and the museum ,a href="">launches a lawsuit. Specifically: is it permissible to break DRM in order to access public domain works, or can these works be effectively privatized though digital locks? Mike Ellis, electronic museum, July 31, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

A World Where No-One Visits Our Web Sites
Brian Kelly links to slides used by Mike Ellis in a session on Digging into data: text and data mining at the recent JISC Digital Content Conference. Good content, nice bridge between geek and non-geek. "At some point you'll want to do 'something else' with your content. Right now, you have no idea whatsoever what that thing is. These techniques allow you to make an investment in a future no-one can know." (ironically, I had to type this by hand, as the Flash format is impervious to machine-enabled copy and paste). Brian Kelly, UK Web Focus, July 31, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Karl Popper's Philosophy of Science: Rationality Without Foundations
Most readers will be familiar with Karl Popper's principle of falsification - the idea that scientific theories ought to be testable and that theories must stand the test of (potential) falsification. But this review argues that Popper ought to be seen in the same light as Kuhn in questioning the foundation of th3e sciences altogether. I agree. "Both agree that there is no objective criterion for truth, but Popper asserts that truth nonetheless takes a regulative role in scientific practice, whereas for Kuhn truth is of no use at all for understanding the problem-solving behavior of scientists." Reviewed by Friedrich Stadler and Miles MacLeod, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, July 31, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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