Videoconferencing on the web is supported by Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) (much more about WebRTC here) but as this article states, WebRTC has limits, and communications providers like Zoom would benefit from being able to access lower-level application programming interfaces (API). What are those API? This article describes "three emerging APIs intend to support the features of today's video conferencing solutions within web browsers" but notes that "these APIs are not yet finalized and are still under active design." Creating these APIs would enable providers like Zoom to use the browser directly, and not be required to force users to download and install an application.
Nobody's calling it "bait and switch", probably because of the 130 positive coronavirus test results, but it sure looks like it to me. In any even, the outcome was entirely predictable (and, indeed, was predicted!) but UNC decided to invite its students to come and get exposed to Covid-19 before sending them all home. In my view, this was an irresponsible and insensitive decision. Far more damage is being done to the image of the university system that would ever have occurred has they simply employed online learning. If I were a student, I would have heeded the faculty's advice and stayed home.
This is a lengthy article stating the case against TikTok. The argument is essentially that TikTok is able to use AI to attract and mobilize enough users to create interference in political affairs, and that the owners of the platform would use it to advance socialist values and support the Chinese government. "The real threat." writes Izabella Kaminska, "is the true agenda of the artificial intelligence that uses TikTok data for manipulation purposes." My reaction is that a lot of this is probably untrue, or at the very least, not different in substance or degree from any other social network technology (save Facebook, which has been demonstrably worse). And even if true, it should not be illegal to promote socialism or even to support the Chinese government. Despite the frequent use of the word 'warfare' in this article, we are not at war.
This has been an ongoing story in Britain over the last few weeks and may have reached a resolution. With everything shut down, high-stakes exams were not held, so authorities decided to predict the results, based on teachers' projected final scores, and on the students' schools historic performance. The results were, um, predictable. "High-achieving students at under-performing schools, many in deprived areas, saw their marks downgraded.... to deprive thousands of graduating high school students — especially more disadvantaged ones — of places at universities." This policy has been reversed, and indeed, should never have been implemented in the first place.
My unambiguous answer to the question in the headline is "yes", especially when the question is as put by Clint Lalonde, where the proposal is for "a publically-funded (important imo) national MOOC provider in Canada, say in the form of an inter-provincial institutional consortium." Now this is different from the proposal earlier this year from Alex Usher for a centralized course collection; this would be an infrastructure development, and could be used in different ways by different individuals or institutions. To the article I added a short comment explaining (from my perspective) exactly why we didn't get a Canadian MOOC in the 2010s. I would add that the problem today is that such a platform would pose competition for commercial education platform companies, something the government has been loathe to create. But hey, should the funding ever materialize, I'm in. I know we could do better than what's out there.
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