The answer to this question should be yes (particularly if you use CC-by and don't care if someone locks your content behind a paywall) but Angela Cochran wants us to believe it's no. "Sci-Hub harms OA journals," she argues, "when papers are downloaded from Sci-Hub and the associated LibGen database, the publisher site loses the download counts... usage would never be included giving paying authors and their universities that subsidize the OA activity a less than realistic way to quantify usage." It's all pretty weak.
I think this is a really neat idea but at the same time I feel a sense of unease. Beaker is a peer-to-peer web browser. What that means is that it contacts other beaker hosts and downloads websites directly from them, and then stores them locally. So you don't need to run a web server; your browser is your web server, and it makes your website (plus other websites that you've browsed) available to other Beaker users (services like Skype and BitTorrent run in a similar way). There's a technical paper (19 page PDF) explaining how this works, and download installables (required Node). Why the unease? I think I'd need to feel a little safer. Perhaps that's unwarranted. Perhaps not.
The important thing to come out of Apple's World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) isn't the smart speaker that has been all over the media, it's the Augmented Reality kit (ARKit) that lays the groundwork for what will probably be future hardware from the company. Some jargon: "ARKit uses Visual Inertial Odometry (VIO) to accurately track the world around it. VIO fuses camera sensor data with CoreMotion data. These two inputs allow the device to sense how it moves within a room with a high degree of accuracy." More from The Verge, TechCrunch, CNBC, 9to5Mac. While no doubt educators will focus on the teaching applications of augmented reality (AR) the main benefit is in performance support, helping people solve problems without needing extra teaching.
With retirement, and therefore poverty, looming in my future, I have been looking at ways to supplement my income. Services like Peerwith might fit the bill. Offered by Emerald Publishing, it enlists the services of academic experts to provide a range of services to authors. These services include scientific editing, indexing service, funding application support, visuals, and more. My concern, of course, is that as more experts sign up, prices will drop. It could become the Uber of scientific work (and not in a good sense). Buy services here, sell them here.
At first glance this student loan program looks like similar programs around the world. Selection is based on need, there is a year's grace after graduation, interest rates are kept reasonably modest, assets or cosigners are not required, and the loans target students who have already shown academic promise. But where the program is different is in the capitalization. The loans are funded through in-kind contributions from the higher education institutions (HEI) involved. "Each of the HEIs pledged a small number of study places at their respective institution as an in-kind contribution.... eliminate necessity of upfront investment from government or private sources." This greatly reduces the cost of providing the loan.
When I was a cash-strapped student I had a simple policy: if it was cheaper to photocopy the book at five cents a page than it was to buy it, I would photocopy the book. My counterfeit books were easy to spot: they were the ones held together with paper clamps. No certification or seal would have changed my policy, because it was grounded in reasonableness. The marginal cost of producing a textbook is not more than five cents a page; any excess cost is a monopoly effect. Today, the marginal costs are even lower, yet prices are even higher. It will take more than certifications or seals to make this right.
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Copyright 2017 Stephen Downes Contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.