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by Stephen Downes
June 14, 2010

Resource Profiles Markup Language
Description of RPML, and then demo of an RPML application and sample code. Presentation by Stephen Downes, Atlantic Workshop on Semantics and Services, Fredericton, NB, [Link]

Atlantic Workshop on Semantics and Services - Day 1
Summary notes from a workshop on the semantic web and web services. The entire morning was compressed because the first speaker went way over time, and that sort of set the stage for everything, including my talk, which was a rushed and semi-coherent traipse through something called 'Resource Profiles markup Language' (I'll try to do a proper presentation in a better forum). Anyhow, today's talks left me pretty sceptical - the dominant form of question from the audience was either (a) did you have to force [such-and-such] technology to [so-and-so, for which it was never designed] instead of [writing it down]? Or (b) yes, your technology effortlessly extracts a vocabulary from the sample materials, but isn't that because you supply it with a vocabulary in the configuration file. (Invariable answers: "no", "yes"). Stephen Downes, Half an Hour, June 14, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Palm Pre
So I was buying a new mobile phone this week, and in the end, I settled on a Palm Pre. Now you might think, what an odd choice! Well, first of all, the Pre was free with a one-year deal, while the old iPhones still cost $300 with a three year contract. I also got twice the data (1 gig, compared to 500 meg) per month, for $15 a month less. This with decent free minutes, voice mail that I don't have to pay for, and text messaging. The Pre phone runs on webkit, which means the touch interface is like a web browser, and provides me access with various online services (and since it's not Apple, I can sync with non-Apple things, like my Google calendar). There are slightly fewer apps, but it has a music player, and a camera, and plays video, and all the rest of it. The screen is close to the same size, but there's a flip-out keyboard as well. Oh, and I can remove (and replace) the battery. I'm sure there are quirks, but so far I'm tickled pink to be getting all that mobile phone goodness at a fraction of the price. Various Authors, Website, June 14, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

The State of Online Video
According to PEW, 70 percent of U.S. internet users watch videos online - I can only assume the rest are owners of TRS-80s and cannot display video? Press Release, Pew, June 14, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

How to Build a High-Impact Learning Culture
I've been doing this for ten years and I'm tired (oh so tired) of all the buzzwords. Like "high impact learning culture". I'm sure it means something, but I don't know what. "40 Practices for Creating an Empowered Enterprise." because, you know, it's the powerlessness of the enterprise, vis-a-vis the individual, that is the big problem in society today. *sigh* (OK, I'm ot really mad at this article, I'm really filled with a day full of semantic web sloganeering and the fact that Ulises hid a perfectly good paper behind a useless paywall). (p.s. you can read the "40 practices which rise to the top" only after you give them your name and email (so they can spam you?). Josh Bersin, Bersin and Associates, June 14, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Copyright bill could digitally lock us all
AU's Associate VP Research Rory McGreal has published an op-ed on the proposed digital locks. "The bill is omnibus and universal, prohibiting all manner of reasonable activities whether they are likely or far-fetched. So, what would be a balanced and reasonable solution?... with digital locks come digital responsibilities. Vendors cannot be allowed to protect their rights by taking away users' rights."

p.s. What's with the 'Blame Obama' advertisements, with the photoshopped snooty-Obama image, plastered all over the internet? I see there's one on the Calgary Herald page. This is why I don't run advertisements - newspapers, blogs, and the rest are the witless carriers of what appears to be a deliberate attempt to pin the gulf oil spill on Obama, contrary to any rational understanding of the blame in this matter. Love or hate Obama, you have to want websites to show some judgement about the advertisements they carry, rather than leave it up to Google. Rory McGreal, Calgary Herald, June 14, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

iTunes U Services For ALL! Join the #itunesuwish...
I didn't realize this - uploading to iTunes University is only available to certain countries. This, at least, according to Zaid Ali Alsagoff, who I have no reason to doubt. "Yes, the rest of the world!!!! Do, I need to mention another 175 countries. Why should applying for iTunes U services be discriminated based on country. It is simply insulting!!!! I took it with a pinch of insult in 2009 (explored possibilities), and hoped that eventually iTunes would open up their free services to Universities beyond those 21 countries, but until today (June 2010), nothing seem to have changed (please correct me, if I am wrong!)." Zaid Ali Alsagoff, ZaidLearn, June 14, 2010 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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