OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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June 17, 2011

Innovation Union Competitiveness Report 2011
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission, June 17, 2011.

I've been hearing a lot about efforts to increase innovation and productivity. Not that I'm opposed, but there's a danger of overselling these as both the cause and cure for our social and economic woes. This document, for example, states that "Europe is in a state of 'Innovation emergency' which makes the building of an Innovation Union essential for the success of the Europe 2020 strategy for growth and jobs." Well maybe, but I'm hearing similar statement coming from everyone - and they can't all be in a competitive disadvantage.

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet] [Tags: European Union]

Government of Canada open data and data stewardship presentations
Richard Ackerman, Science Library Pad, June 17, 2011.

Interesting presentations (especially Peter Aiken's four-part tour-de-force) on data management in government. I am of course interested in open data - and open content generally - especially from government sources.

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet] [Tags: Open Content, Canada]

files/images/WarandPeace.jpg, size: 21601 bytes, type:  image/jpeg
War & Peace: An Epic of Soviet Cinema
Dan Coleman, Open Culture, June 17, 2011.

Since I read it a couple years ago, War and Peace has become one of my favourite books - I think back often to some of its more memorable moments. Now the movie is available on YouTube - a four-part eight-hour extravaganza, in Russian, with subtitles. I will be watching it soon.

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet] [Tags: YouTube, Video]

Spam clogging Amazon’s Kindle self-publishing
Alistair Barr, Globe and Mail, June 17, 2011.

files/images/CPT102-BOOKS_Ki_1287753cl-3.jpg, size: 12594 bytes, type:  image/jpeg Amazon opened a publish-it-yourself functionality on Kindle and it was flooded with spam. Of course it was flooded with spam. Any place you open to public input is soon flooded with spam. "Aspiring spammers can even buy a DVD box set called Autopilot Kindle Cash that claims to teach people how to publish 10 to 20 new Kindle books a day without writing a word." On the open internet, we have ways of dealing with this. But in a closed marketplace, it's a lot more difficult. "Forrester’s McQuivey said Amazon will have to craft a social-network solution to the problem. If the company can let readers see book recommendations from people they know, or people whose reviews they liked in the past, that would help them track down the content they want and avoid misleading recommendations, he explained."

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet] [Tags: Books, Networks, Spam]

Confetti Showcase - Podcast
Rob Watson, Rob Watson Media, June 17, 2011.

Rob Watson spent the day at Confetti Studios in Nottingham at their student showcase. Here’s his podcast from the day. Haven't listened to it. But his blog is a new find (for me) and (bonus) he pointed me to MyFitnessPal, which addresses the issue of weight loss my way - via a web-based monitoring site.

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet] [Tags: Web Logs, Podcasting]

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After a Loss in Vancouver, Troubling Signals of Citizen Surveillance
Alexandra Samuel, Harvard Business Review, June 17, 2011.

People are pretty quick to cheer for the use of social media to advance human rights and democracy, as in the care of the right to drive campaign underway today in Saudi Arabia. But why the hesitation when the wrongdoing is on the other side? Alexandra Samuel, for example, calls the citizen surveillance of the riots in Vancouver "troubling" and she argues, "I don't think we want to live in a society that turns social media into a form of crowdsourced surveillance. When social media users embrace Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blogs as channels for curating, identifying and pursuing criminals, that is exactly what they are moving toward." Well - I disagree. It's the very same act to record a police officer beating a helpless civilian at the G20 protests and to record a thug in a Canucks shirt smashing a car window with a newspaper vending machine. And my response - to protect the right - is and ought to be the same. See more from Dvaid Eaves, George Siemens, the public shaming website, and the identify the rioters page.

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet] [Tags: Connectivism, Twitter, YouTube, Video, Web Logs]

Who has the Right?
Bob Sprankle, Tech & Learning, June 17, 2011.

files/images/APA-00009_132x86.jpg, size: 4703 bytes, type:  image/jpeg Bob Sprankle describes the LiveScribe pen, which does three things:
- takes notes on a special pad of paper
- records audio in the environment as notes are being taken
- replays the associated audio when you tap the pen at the right position on the notes
Great idea, he writes, but what happens when the teacher (or anyone else) says "you can't record me?" What are the copyright implications? Will people hesitate to speak openly if they know they're being recorded? Or even, "Are we lumping tools like the LiveScribe pen in a 'Wiretapping Law' legal category, when they should be seen instead as Assistive Technology tools protected by laws such as IDEA?" Via Sylvia Martinez.

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet] [Tags: Portable Computers, Copyrights, Ontologies, Audio]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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