Miscellaneous

Have hashtags finally outlived their usefulness?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 09/04/2016 - 09:00


Terry Dawes, CanTech Letter, [Sept] 04, 2016

In 2005 I  gave a talk at Northern Voice "deflating a few pet concepts of the blogerati, such as the value of the long tail and the utility of tagging." people actually shouted at me when I criticized the future of hashtags (well, it was Marc Canter shouting, but he counts as people). But maybe I was right? "A decade in... hashtags are widely regarded as useless noise, with Toronto infographic company Venngage going so far as to say that the hashtag has outlived its usefulness entirely, saying that 'for businesses, they are more trouble than they are worth. And honestly, at this point, they look unprofessional.'"

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Watch Nirvana Perform “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Just Two Days After the Release of Nevermind (September 26, 1991)

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 09/04/2016 - 09:00


Dan Colman, Open Culture, [Sept] 04, 2016

It's Friday. Time for some weekend music. How about it being 25 years since the release of Smells Like Team Spirit? As Jason Kottke said on his site when he posted this, “ There’ s a freight train bearing down on those boys and they don’ t even know it.” I was never really a Nirvana fan (when the song came out it was tied to advertising for a deodorant, and the marketing campaign just turned me off). But I appreciate this gig, before it all started. A lot. The big song starts at 34:30 in the video.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

GradeSlam Raises $1.6 Million in Seed Financing

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 09/04/2016 - 09:00


Philip Cutler, GradeSlam Blog, [Sept] 04, 2016

A Montreal company called GradeSlam has raised $1.6 million in seed funding after launching last fall. According to its website,  "GradeSlam provides unlimited tutoring at a fixed cost, one-tenth the cost of traditional models, making one-to-one learning financially accessible in a way that has never been done before."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Self-Paced E-Learning Market Evaporating, Report Finds

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 09/04/2016 - 07:00


Leo Doran, Ed Week Market Brief, [Sept] 04, 2016

As quickly as you can say "MOOCs have had no impact" you can discover that free and open online learning has had an impact after all. "Future revenue in the $33 billion e-learning market is expected to fall precipitously in the United States and internationally... The free report, published by Monroe, Wash.-based Ambient Insight, predicts a five-year compound annual growth rate, or CAGR, of negative 6.4 percent for self-paced courseware, translating into an anticipated $13.3 billion drop in worldwide revenue from 2015 to 2021." The good news for prroducers is that earnings for other types of e-learning, such as "mobile learning, simulation-based learning, game-based learning, and 'brain-training'" are on the rise. For now.

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The Dropbox hack is real

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 09/04/2016 - 07:00


Troy Hunt, [Sept] 04, 2016

This article provides concrete evidence that DropBox has been hacked. So if you haven't changed your DropBox password for a few years, you may want to consider it (my own DropBox password is both recent and pretty secure so I'm feeling OK). See also Motherboard's report.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Elsevier Awarded U.S. Patent For “Online Peer Review System and Method”

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 09/04/2016 - 07:00


Gary Price, Library Journal, InfoDocket, [Sept] 04, 2016

I think that the operators of  Open Journal Systems may want to say something about the recently awarded Elsevier patent. They have only been operating this sort of technology for the last fifteen years. Tom Reller from Elsevier writes, via Twitter, "There is no need for concern regarding the patent. It’ s simply meant to protect our own proprietary waterfall system from being copied." He does not comment on whether Elsevier copied their system from someone else, and whether the patent is intended to legitimize that act. EFF has awarded it the  Stupid Patent of the Month award.

As EFF notes, Elsevier has a poor track record. "The company has tried to stop researchers from sharing their own papers in institutional repositories, and entered an endless legal battle with rogue repositories Sci-Hub and and LibGen. ... Elsevier recently acquired SSRN, the beloved preprints repository for the social sciences and humanities. There are early signs that it will be a poor steward of SSRN." See also this article from the Chronicle.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Hey Jphn Oliver, Back Off My Charter School

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 09/04/2016 - 07:00


Center for Education Reform, [Sept] 04, 2016

The  Center for Education Reform appears to be unhappy about the  John Oliver video on charter schools aired last week. They're offering $100,000 to the winner of a contest called Hey John Oliver, Back Off My Charter school. "Here is a brief summary of Mr. Oliver's presentation," they write. "Some charter schools have been mismanaged. Ergo, ipso facto, presto change-o, all charter schools are bad, bad, bad." They want anecdotes: "We want to hear from parents and teachers and especially from students why they made the choice to be at your school! Why do they believe their charter school works better for them than their old school, or the one they would have attended?" View their  Twitter feed for more discussion. Here's  an article on the contest.

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Categories: Miscellaneous
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