18 octobre 2019

Lessons from 6 software rewrite stories

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Lessons from 6 software rewrite stories
Herb Caudill, Medium, 2019/02/20
This was a nice slow read suitable for a train ride (which is where I read it, on the way to Toronto) and it's useful not just a set of lessons about whether to rewrite software from scratch (something I'm thinking of for gRSShopper, because Perl is old and stale) but also a set of origin stories for a number of influential software products (including Firefox, Basecamp, Visal Studio Code, and Trello). It also poses the sort of problem edtech companies are faced with today as they work with legacy softwar, an entrenched user base, and a rapidly evolving internet. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 09:23 - - Permalien [#]


“Virtual Learning Environment Faculty Continuing Professional Development - Networked Learning Communities”

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. “Virtual Learning Environment Faculty Continuing Professional Development - Networked Learning Communities” A Critical Literature Review
Chris O Toole, Irish Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 2019/02/19
As the abstract says, "This paper presents the results of a small-scale research study examining the professional practice of Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) teachers, who are encouraged to network and learn, establish on-going relationships with both their fellow teachers and those in other institutions, share knowledge, experience, resources and foster good practice for continuing professional development (CPD). More...

Posté par pcassuto à 09:18 - - Permalien [#]

Alexa, Siri, and Google Don’t Understand a Word You Say

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Alexa, Siri, and Google Don’t Understand a Word You Say
Josh Hendrickson, How-To Geek, 2019/02/19
OK, the headline in this story is very obviously true, but stay with me for a moment. Part way through Josh Hendrickson asserts, "you get a failure message such as 'I’m sorry, but I don’t know that.' It’s little more than sleight of hand magic to trick you into thinking it understands." Yes, quite so. But how would you be fooled into thinking it understands? Well, you aren't fooled, really. But you go along with it because it feels right to do it. But now, how do you know you aren't doing that with people, too? What if people don't 'really' understand each other - what if what we call 'understanding' is really me projecting understanding on you, and you projecting understanding on me? This is what I think actually happens. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:55 - - Permalien [#]

How Blockchain is Helping Dallas Students Tell Their Story

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. How Blockchain is Helping Dallas Students Tell Their Story
Tom Vander Ark, Getting Smart, 2019/02/19
This is a puff piece promoting Greenlight Credentials but it does offer one of the more compelling use cases for blockchain in education: "The benefit of a distributed ledger technology like Blockchain is that it allows employers and colleges to have instant verification of a multiple-source transcript." The key here is multiple-source. "Student profiles can host a range of evidences of learning including badges and a portfolio of artifacts." Of course, when you have multiple credentials in a single space, no one credential is special any more. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:54 - - Permalien [#]

Study Questions RSS' Usefulness

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Study Questions RSS' Usefulness
I have been told that I am too critical. But stuff like this explains why. This post discusses a study by the University of Maryland's International Center for Media and the Public Agenda - surely a credibl;e agency, right? - suggesting that "RSS feeds from mainstream news sites aren't very useful in keeping up with the news" and that users would be better off using Google News. The study, of course, misrepresents how RSS is actually used. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:25 - - Permalien [#]


Digg This: 09 F9 11 02 9d 74 E3 5b D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Digg This: 09 F9 11 02 9d 74 E3 5b D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0
Definitely one for the annals, what we have here is the secret code that can be used to decrypt HD-DVD videos (the Wikipedia article has a very useful table describing the difference between DVD formats). A media giant ordered Digg to remove the code, which Digg did, the company not have millions of dollars to fight lawsuits. Digg users rebelled. Digg displays stories based on votes submitted by users, and so for the rest of the day every story on Digg contained the code as users voted for them en masse. "After seeing hundreds of stories and reading thousands of comments," writes Kevin Rose, "you've made it clear. You'd rather see Digg go down fighting than bow down to a bigger company." Bavatuesday has screen shots of the Digg RSS feed (my own is similar). BBC post on the topic. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:18 - - Permalien [#]

Silverlight: Ruby and Python in the Browser

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Silverlight: Ruby and Python in the Browser
Silverlight is a browser plug-in for Mac and Windows that allows scripts written in a variety of languages, including C#, Visual Basic, Ruby and Python, to run in your browser (the way Javascript does today). Silverlight does run in Firefox (though not on Linux). Worth noting is that Microsoft also released, on Monday, a Firefox plug-in (for Mac and Windows) that allows it to run Windows Media animations. Pundits are saying this is Microsoft's answer to Flash, but I would say it's also its answer to AJAX and Javascript, which were running away on them. Will all this extra turn things around? A lot depends on implementation. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:18 - - Permalien [#]

The Scary Little Computer

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. The Scary Little Computer
Some changes in the specifications for the One Laptop Per Child computer (aling with a new $175 price tag) are raising questions among some pundits. Especially interesting (and troubling) is the allegation that more expensive components are being sued in order to allow Windows to run on the platform. A Wired story states it outright, "Negroponte: OLPC Hardware Altered for Microsoft." Here's another item from ZDNet. But I read something last night (I can't find the link, I'm sorry) from someone who was in the room when the decision was made, and the assertion was that it is to improve the computer, not to accommodate Microsoft. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:16 - - Permalien [#]

16 octobre 2019

RSS in Plain English

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. RSS in Plain English
Another one of those hand and drawing videos, this one intended to introduce RSS to people who don't know about RSS. "if you know someone who would love RSS and hasn't yet tried it, point them here for 3.5 minutes of RSS in Plain English." Now that I've installed Flash 9 the blip.tv videos work. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 11:20 - - Permalien [#]

myOpenID Launches Secure Authentication, Helps Prevent Phishing

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. myOpenID Launches Secure Authentication, Helps Prevent Phishing
"myOpenID.com now allows its users the ability to use client-side certificates, based on the secure sockets layer (SSL) technology.... Your OpenID is your passport to all websites requiring a username and password. Once you create your own personal OpenID account, you'll never need to go through the registration process again with sites that support OpenID." I intend to support OpenID on this site just as soon as I can write the code. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:19 - - Permalien [#]