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June 8, 2012

Various Authors, Website, June 8, 2012.

Calm.com is a good idea, at least on the surface. The website is basically a set of relaxation videos with scenes and sounds from nature. Unfortunately, when you click 'start' a voice starts blaring "Welcome to Calm dot com.." and will not stop! (Yes, there are controls, once you find them, but that first impression is jarring.)

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Video]

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Open content licensing for educators
Various Authors, WikiEducator, June 8, 2012.

The latest version of WikiEducator's open online course is talking registrations (it starts June 20). It has many MOOC-like features, including a microblog aggregator (see lower left of the page). I contributed an introductory video to the first week. The course is very oddly laid out (resources and assignments are listed separately, so (for example) if you're reading week one resources, you won't find my video (which is for some reason a 'signpost' visible only in the header of the assignment page)). Hint: for 'week one' put everything on a 'week one' page. Registration is also awkward - if you click 'register' on the home page you are taken here, which is a page about registration. Don't click on 'Enrol me in this course' - that's just a tiny screenshot from Moodle. You have to go here to create an account in Moodle and then take an extra step to sign in to the course. Hint: give people a way to register directly for the course with a direct link from the home page (or even better, on the home page).

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Traditional and Online Courses, Video]

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Lessons From The LinkedIn Password Attack
Sean Michael Kerner, eSecurity Planet, June 8, 2012.

LinkedIn's user database was compromised a few days ago and stored user passwords accessed by hackers. The company is forcing everyone to change their password. This post takes the opportunity to talk about password security. LinkedIn saved passwords as unsalted hashes - that means they were encrypted, but not by the strongest method possible. Either way, a determine hacker could decrypt them given time and computer power. A lot of people are drawing security lessons from this, but my thinking is that it shows the unwisdom of storing millions of passwords in a single place. Not that a centralized site-based network like LinkedIn would have had any other option, though. Oh, and all of this? Doesn't help.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Networks, Security Issues, Hackers]

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The Re-use and Adaptation of Open Educational Resources (OER): An Exploration of Technologies Available
Ishan Sudeera Abeywardena, Commonwealth of Learning, June 8, 2012.

Experienced developers will find this list of technologies available for the development and display of open educational resources to be narrow and a bit dated. Usually the most popular applications are listed, but there are some odd exceptions (why Adobe Premier Pro for video, for example, and not the much more affordable Premier Elements?). There's an interesting bit on the 'desirability' of OERs near the beginning. There's nothing on apps and mobile-based software, screen capture (such as Camtasia or Jing), synchronous conferencing, games and gaming engines, or simulation editors.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Gaming, Open Educational Resources, Video, Conferencing, Simulations]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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