Virtually Connecting is an innovative service whereby people who are not able to attend conferences can connect virtually with people who are at the conference. The idea isn't to subscribe people to webcasts - lots of people do that - but rather to support the sort of conversations in between sessions that online participants cannot access. At least, that's my sense of it. Anyhow, in this post, Maha Bali looks at here own experience with the project. "When Rebecca suggested the buddy program," she writes, "I latched onto it like a lifeline."
I was disappointed in this article on 5G from Contact North (which is usually much better than this) though it is typical of the marketing we're getting for this new technology. It is important to remember that 5G is the next set of wireless mobile connectivity standards. It offers faster wireless speeds and greater density. But it does so at the cost of a much shorter range and an inability to penetrate building walls. The benefits and risks outlined in this article pertain to faster internet generally, and not to wireless in particular, and not to 5G specifically at all. In particular, the major issues with 5G - cost, access and infrastructure - aren't touched on. We might be able to download a movie on a 5G mobile phone, but at today's data download costs, nobody can afford to do so.
Joseph Esposito writes about a new journal publishing initiative called University Journals. Launched by fourteen universities from five European countries, the service will not charge publication fees nor require copyright transfer for its open access articles. Esposito analyzes what will be necessary for the service to succeed in what he calls a crowded marketplace, concluding that it will need a lot of authors and therefore will "find its place within the publishing ecosystem not at the top, where the most discriminating publications continue to hold court, but in the middle or bottom." This may be true if the initiative is seen only as a content marketing play, but the other side of proposals of this kind is on the demand side - that universities divert funding from paying subscriptions to supporting open access publishing.
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