15 octobre 2019

Standardising the Widgets

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Standardising the Widgets
Scott Wilson points to this interesting page from the W3C about standardizing for widgets (a widget is a stand-alone application you can embed in other applications, like a website or a desktop, or view on its own on a PDA). Quite a bit of the widget standard exists already - things like Javascript (aka ECMAScript) and the Document Object Model (DOM). W3C wants to add things like a manifest, packaging format, and widget API. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:23 - - Permalien [#]


Competing For Attention

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Competing For Attention
Graham Wegner ponders the dynamics of blog readership, as he notes that it becomes harder and harder for new bloggers to become recognized (funny that he harkens all the way back to 2005 as the beginning). This is why I argue we should not be reading people, we should be reading topics. Reading people perpetuates this celebrity culture, giving an undue advantage to the first people in (or those with the loudest self-promotion). Reading topics allows anyone with something to say an equal chance for attention on any given day. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:23 - - Permalien [#]

Why I'll Never Sign Up for Any Blogger Code of Conduct

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Why I'll Never Sign Up for Any Blogger Code of Conduct
Why is it that any time some problem occurs, somebody wants to make a rule. That sort of response is legion in organizations (especially mine). But the thing is, it never works - it is an attempt to respond with simplicity to what is inherently a complex problem. Sheesh, even spam filtering requires Baysean filtering, and that's a logic that is well beyond the scope of any code of conduct. As Dave Taylor says, "I don't want to pin anything down because I want to retain editorial flexibility." Right. Good behaviour isn't defined by rules, it is limited by them. Or as I commented on Clarence Fisher's blog, if you behave decently, you will already follow something like a code of conduct (but intelligently, adapting to complex circumstances), and the code won't change your behaviour. If you don't behave decently, then the code of conduct isn't going to stop you, and rather just gives you 'the letter of the law' as a technicality to duck behind if someone calls you on it ("well, it wasn't in the code, so I assumed it was OK..."). More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:22 - - Permalien [#]

The Travesty of Canadian Mobile Data Rates

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. The Travesty of Canadian Mobile Data Rates
If you've ever wondered why I've been lukewarm about the mobile internet, this is why. "I redid the graph to look at 1GB usage and look at just the 4 Canadian carriers. Fido and Rogers come in at a whopping $4100 per month, and Telus, who I've long dismissed, is actually really competitive." Now 1 gig usage is not a lot - it's an amount I would easily hit in a month. But you know - I even consider the 'base monthly charge' of $100 to be ridiculous. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:21 - - Permalien [#]

7,500 Words On the Irony of Social Computing Degrees Later

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. 7,500 Words On the Irony of Social Computing Degrees Later
My only comment on this is that anti-intellectualism is distinct from anti-formalism, and that it is disingenuous to conflate the two. Liz lawley writes, "so without a systematic structured approach to a complex topic we run the very real risk of not seeing the big picture, and falling into the trap of generalizing from our anecdotal experience." My experience is that the same risk exists even with a 'systematic structured approach' - like a road system, it will get you there faster. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:21 - - Permalien [#]


Future Skills Centre awarded to Ryerson-led bid

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Future Skills Centre awarded to Ryerson-led bid
Ryerson University, 2019/02/15
This is a press release from Ryerson. "Ryerson University, the Conference Board of Canada and Blueprint were selected to partner and operate Canada’s new Future Skills Centre. The Future Skills Centre will operate at arm’s length from the Government of Canada to fund projects across Canada that develop, test and measure new approaches to skills assessment and development. ... The Council will provide advice to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour on emerging skills and workforce trends including national and regional priorities related to skills development for Canadians". More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:20 - - Permalien [#]

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in Education. Myth or Reality?

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in Education. Myth or Reality?
Noureddine Elmqaddem, International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning, 2019/02/15
This paper (9 page PDF) makes the very good point that virtual relaity (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have been around for decades and haven't produced any great revolution in education to date. So why should we believe recent pronouncements about the coming ascendancy of these old technologies. Noureddine Elmqaddem argues (with examples) that recent advances in these technologies will move them from educational myth to reality. "What has been said till now about these technologies does not show their actual potential. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:19 - - Permalien [#]

Augmented Reality based Educational Design for Children

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Augmented Reality based Educational Design for Children
Minghui Sun, Xinyu Wu, Zhihua Fan, Liyan Dong, International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning, 2019/02/15
This paper (10 page PDF) considers several aspected of augmented reality (AR) design: the sort of detection needed (which, in this case, does not use depth, but merely focuses on fingertips), and the sort interaction that should be supported (based on interviews with children). This is framed in the context of work with a motion controller called Leap Motion, "which can specifically recognize fingers and interact with gestures." The paper's results should be considered prelimiary only. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:18 - - Permalien [#]

A Taxonomy of Blockchain Technologies: Principles of Identification and Classification

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. A Taxonomy of Blockchain Technologies: Principles of Identification and Classification
Paolo Tasca, Claudio J. Tessone, Ledger, 2019/02/15
This paper (39 page PDF) doesn't talk about the applications of Bitcoin or Ethereum, nor even about the specifics of particular currencies. Instead it looks at blockchain (aka 'distributed ledger') technologies in general, identifies major types of features, and creates a taxonomy using them. Features include, for example, identity management, consensus, or fee and reward systems. As such it's a good overview of the underlying technologies, though it will require some familiarity with blockchain to read. The taxonomy looks good to me and accords generally with what I've seen extant. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:18 - - Permalien [#]

NASA's Opportunity Rover Mission on Mars Comes to End

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. NASA's Opportunity Rover Mission on Mars Comes to End
NASA, 2019/02/14
I want to mark the end of the Opportunity mission on Mars. For the last 18 years I have watched it with a sense of personal attachment. You see, my name is on Mars, and specifically, the Opportunity rover. I was a part of the SpaceKids program where if you wrote in to support the Opportunity mission, they would add your name to a CD-ROM that went to space with the rover. The original website is long gone, but here's the Wayback Machine listing and the actual certificate. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:17 - - Permalien [#]