OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

[Home] [Top] [Archives] [Mobile] [About] [Threads] [Options]

April 7, 2011

Various Authors, Website, April 7, 2011.

files/images/logo-small.png, size: 8795 bytes, type:  image/png Suppose you wanted an ebook reader that would work on any platform, including mobile platforms, that allowed you to annotate the work, and perhaps share with other people. What you'd want to do would be to build a server-side converter, then create an HTML5 interface that supports this functionality. And that's exactly what you get with Crocodoc. View PDFs, Office documents and images, display them in your browser without Flash or plugins, add comments, highlights, drawings, and other markups, share them and embed them anywhere. Note that "Crocodoc is not intended for directly editing documents like you would in Google Docs or Microsoft word. Rather, its collaboration tools allow users to add comments and markups in a layer on top of the document."

Here's one of my documents shared with Crocodoc (I've set the height to 200 just to keep the gap in the newsletter small; it defaults to a much more usable 600 pixels; just click on the Crocodoc logo to see the document on the website):

I've created a public directory where you can upload your own PDFs and try it out (please keep them on topic): here is the link to the PLE & Connectivism research folder; if you are logged in and view the document through this link you will see the markup options menu (top of the document)..

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

Various Authors, Website, April 7, 2011.

files/images/osmek.jpg, size: 5779 bytes, type:  image/jpeg From the website: "Osmek is a new kind of CMS, built in the cloud so your content is available where and how you need it. It's a beautiful interface for creating content, and a powerful set of APIs for retrieving it." It's pretty flexible, and very easy to use, though I find the code lags a bit. All in all, though, a good indicator of the sort of functionality coming down the pipe. Thanks Jason for the link.

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

The Problem of Thinking Too Much
Persi Diaconis and Barry C. Mazur, Stated Meeting Report, Stanford, April 2, 2011.

Jennie Scott linked to this 2003 article on the danger of thinking too much in this week's CCK11 postings. The thesis is that "In every area of academic and more practical study, we can find simple examples that on introspection grow into unspeakable 'creatures.' The technical details take over, and practitioners are fooled into thinking they are doing serious work." Instead of bogging down in detail, the author urges, we should trust our intuitions. "Clearly, we have a wealth of experience, gathered over millennia, coded into our gut responses. Surely, we all hope to call on this." I doubt that the knowledge of millennia is captured in intuition, but certainly the knowledge of a lifetime is. We try through abstractions and statistics and detailed reasoning to emulate the inferences much more subtly conducted by a neural network. No wonder we fail.

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

This newsletter is sent only at the request of subscribers. If you would like to unsubscribe, Click here.

Know a friend who might enjoy this newsletter? Feel free to forward OLDaily to your colleagues. If you received this issue from a friend and would like a free subscription of your own, you can join our mailing list. Click here to subscribe.

Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.