By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Jack D Herrington[Edit][Delete]: Separate Data and Formatting with Microformats, IBM developerWorks [Edit][Delete]IBM DeveloperWorks [Edit][Delete] July 12, 2006
Nice article that not only describes microformats but also provides some PHP code that allows you to convert from microformats to XML and back again. How would this be useful? You could write a short script that gathers the book reviews written by James McGee recently. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Alfred Thompson[Edit][Delete]: Thoughts About the $100 Laptop Project, Computer Science Teacher [Edit][Delete] July 12, 2006
So what does Microsoft think of the $100 laptop project, especially given that the computers will use Linux operating systems. This blog post isn't an official response, but as it comes from a Microsoft staffer we can get an insight into how they may feel. And how they feel, in a word, is critical. The Linux system, he writes, "has an amazingly poorly designed user interface that is unnecessarily complex". More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Dave Pollard[Edit][Delete]: Escaping the Prison, How to Save the World [Edit][Delete]How To Save The World [Edit][Delete]How To Save the World [Edit][Delete] July 12, 2006
My most recent book review is of Doris Lessing's Prisons We Choose to Live Inside, and so it is appropriate that Dave Pollard brings us this post summarizing how to escape the prisons. Based on David Edwards's 1995 book, Burning All Illusions, the advice (a bit long, but worth it) is as follows:
- Be mindful. Watch what's happening and why.
- Be self-aware. Pay attention to what you're doing and why.
- Be open-minded. Don't prejudge. Listen.
- Accept responsibility. Don't blame victims.
- Think critically. Question what you read and hear.
- Refuse to self-censor.
- Reject simple, comforting answers.
- Don't compromise. The 'lesser of two evils' is a slippery slope.
- Refuse to hate; don't be provoked into hating or scapegoating.
- Reduce your dependence, so you can voice your criticisms.
- Disobey. Constantly challenge authority, ask questions, say and do what others fear to.
- Learn, especially from experience; sidestep the filters.
- Don't rationalize. Don't be seduced into believing something just because you want to.
- Celebrate your uniqueness: Don't just be everyone else.
- Love yourself. Don't depend on others' attention or approval.
- Wonder. Imagine. Be free of the need for certainty. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Ross Mayfield[Edit][Delete]: Ten Trends That Matter to Business, July 12, 2006
These trends probably matter to other people too but if you're trying to make a living these days you have to appeal to 'business' (whatever that is). Perhaps that explains item number 2, 'overburdened public sector'. As though you could just wave your have and make health and pension costs go away? And perhaps by business responsibility becomes number 6, 'social cost'. "Business has never been loved, but there is a different tone, fueled by tech and edu." Perhaps most important is not the demographic shifts or the shortages of resource. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Chris Anderson[Edit][Delete]: On Media Elitism and The "Derivative" Myth, The Long Tail [Edit][Delete] July 12, 2006
How often have you heard something like this? "Without the New York Times, there is no blog community. They'd have nothing to blog about." Yeah, it's the old story. But it's not true. Check out these statistics: "Technorati shows that there are currently 555,000 posts linking to the New York Times. Nearly 800,000 posts mention the Times in one way or another. Sounds like a lot? Not if you pull back and look at the entire blogosphere. Technorati is currently tracking 2.7 billion links." Another way of putting it is to observe, with the author, that "roughly 300 times more people talking about themselves (and the world around them) than talking about what the New York Times has written about." P.S. Wired magazine has just bought the online service, Wired News. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Various authors[Edit][Delete]: Reboot, Bbc [Edit][Delete]BBC [Edit][Delete] July 12, 2006
This is a really interesting look at what readers thought the BBC's web 2.0 web page should look like. There are some really good ideas here with some others that are, well, less good. I liked the personalization in the winning entry but I actually preferred the Schumachers' version, which was much cleaner, incorporated personalization, and had built-in radio. I also like the idea expressed in I don't want a portal, but not so much the execution. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Unattributed[Edit][Delete]: Video Sharing Creates Challenges For Schools, ESchool News [Edit][Delete] July 12, 2006
It really is a case of the chickens coming home to roost, isn't it. Now that children and young adults can create and share video, their offerings look surprisingly like Fox or MTV. And, of course, parents are outraged. "But alongside the cute animal tricks, comic sports bloopers, and corny lip-synching sessions are extremely weird antics and clips of the crudest kind. There's a plethora of videos of people vying for some attention and young women flaunting their bodies." Block the sites, you say. Fine. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Various authors[Edit][Delete]: Moodle Sites, Moodle [Edit][Delete] July 12, 2006
If you are still of the belief that an open source application like Moodle is not really of use in a production setting, perhaps you will want to check out this map. And maybe contact a few of the thousands of sites listed to get their perspective. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Banno, et.al.[Edit][Delete]: Private Language, Philosophy Forums [Edit][Delete] July 11, 2006
Can there be a private language, that is, a language that you think in, but never speak to anyone else? According to Wittgenstein, there cannot be, because you would never know whether you are using it correctly. Language is, therefore, an irreducibly public phenomenon. Is it the same with knowledge? Can there be private knowledge? It seems there must be, doesn't there - after all, only you can know whether or not you are actually in pain. More...