This one is even more exciting than the SecondLife statement.
After the announcement that the USPTO was reexamining its patents in a case against open source course management software, Blackboard incorporated is announcing that it is specifically not going to use its patents to sue open source and other non-commercial providers of course management software.
From a message sent to users of Blackboard’s products and relayed by the Moodle community.
I am writing to share some exciting news about a patent pledge Blackboard is making today to the open source and home-grown course management community. We are announcing a legally-binding, irrevocable, world-wide pledge not to assert any of our issued or pending patents related to course management systems or transaction systems against the use, development or support of any open source or home-grown course management systems.
This is a major victory. Not only for developers of Moodle, Sakai, ATutor, Elgg, and Bodington course- and content-management solutions, but for anyone involved in the open and free-as-in-speech approach to education, research, technology, and law.
Even more so than in Microsoft’s case, Blackboard is making the most logical decision it could make. Makes perfect business sense: they’re generating goodwill, encouraging the world’s leading eLearning communities, and putting themselves in a Google-like “do no evil” position in the general public’s opinion. Also makes perfect legal sense as they’re acknowledging that the law is really there to protect them against misappropriation of their ideas by commercial competitors and not to crush innovation.
A small step for a corporation … a giant step for freedomkind.
Actually, they’re more like late September links, but still…
- History of the Internet
- ZERO SECONDE: Les 6 cultures d’Internet (par Martin Lessard)
- Military personnel (DARPA)
- Academics (universities, colleges)
- Programmers/Coders (Alpha Geeks)
- Virtual communities (BBS)
- Entrepreneurs (Web 1.0)
- “Web 2.0” (bloggers, social networking, user-generated content…).
- Of course, there’s a lot of overlap, some categories could be reshaped, and the term “culture” is applied somewhat loosely, but it’s an interesting perspective.
- It’s hard for me not to think of the specific cultural turn there as it seems that the West Coast of the United States has had a tremendous impact through this history. Still have to read the article but some people are making connections between “geek culture” (linked to the third step above), specialty coffee (Peet’s, Starbucks), and the “craft beer revolution.” The thlot pickens.
- Celebrity Chefs, Culinary Philosophy, Personality
- NewAcademic Journals Online
- Now online, CMoS: The Chicago Manual of Style Online
- As the printed manual is a bit bulky and costly, having an online version can be very useful.
- Academic Podcasting
- Editing structured texts
- My Wandering Wiki: MultiMarkdown
- From a simple email-like syntax to XHTML, LaTeX, PDF, RTF…
- We really need a new approach to editing and “word processing.” XML is likely to be a key in this respect.
- Canadian Politics: Stéphane Dion
- Stéphane Dion, candidat à la direction du PLC
- My own personal opinion: he does seem to be on a “charm” campaign but his ideas sound like a rather rigid application of Leviathan instead of a principled take on direct democratic representation.
- Jane Elliott’s discrimination experiment (1968 through 2006)
- Religious tolerance, atheism/secularism/agnosticism, multiculturalism, and peace
Is that Disparate enough for you? 😉
UPDATE: Purchased an iRiver H120 jukebox/recorder.
Was commenting on Tama Leaver‘s post about watching his own lecture videos on a fifth-generation iPod. There’s a lot of room for experimentation with these methods and technologies.
Apple is well-positioned in this sphere, actually. Its iLife and iWork suites can integrate content in different formats, some of which might actually work on the iPod (Keynote to Quicktime H.264, GarageBand to AAC enhanced podcast). Furthermore, Apple has this iTunes U project for hosted and protected podcast content. Not to mention the obvious point about Apple’s iPod success. Don’t have the necessary material to try it out but it should be relatively simple to create full-featured lecture podcasts using these tools. In fact, there’s already a product out meant to simply this integration (can’t try it out myself, unfortunately).
With at least three microphones for iPod 5G coming out Real Soon Now (XtremeMac’s MicroMemo, Belkin’s TuneTalk, and Griffin’s iTalkPro), life can become quite fun indeed for those of us who’d like to “lecturecast.” It’s an even better time to turn to academic podcasting with so many podcasting projects springing up at such diverse institutions as IUSB, Duke, UdeM, Brandeis, and IUB. The open-source course management system Moodle now supports podcasts. So does Sakai, the free/open knowledge management project. Of course, educational podcasting isn’t new. But it’s gaining steam.