Miscellaneous

Hyperledger Fabric 1.0 is Released

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 13:58

Chris Ferris, Jonathan Levi, Hyperledger, Aug 04, 2017

From the website as Fabric 1.0 is released: "Hyperledger Fabric is a blockchain framework implementation and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by The Linux Foundation. Intended as a foundation for developing applications or solutions with a modular architecture, Hyperledger Fabric allows components, such as consensus and membership services, to be plug-and-play. Hyperledger Fabric leverages container technology to host smart contracts called 'chaincode' that comprise the application logic of the system." A lot of this will be invisible to future application developers, and doubly invisible to users.

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Sorting things out: A typology of the digital collaborative economy

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 13:46

Lene Pettersen, First Monday, Aug 04, 2017

This paper presents "  a framework — a typology — based on the literature and an analysis of 54 services in the collaborative economy (e.g., Airbnb, Uber, and Blablacars)." Pettersen idetifies four major online business models: business as usual, entrepreneurs, cooperatives, and collaboratives. There are three types of product: assets, services, and gifts. However, "Based on dimensions and definitions, the models  business as usual, entrepreneurs, and  cooperatives  are not listed in the typology as part of the collaborative economy.  Collaboratives, however, hold all the characteristics that are at the heart of the collaborative economy." 

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Tumblr’s Unclear Future Shows That There’s No Money in Internet Culture

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 07/31/2017 - 13:32

Brian Feldman, New York Magazine, Aug 03, 2017

I for one don't believe the proposition in the headline. But I  do  believe there's no real money in internet culture using traditional models: subscription fees and advertising. By 'internet culture' the author means 'creative expression', and what works for creatve expression does not work for traditional revenue. "What makes these sites so friendly to creative expression? To begin with, there’ s a focus on frictionless, near-immediate sharing." Also, "iteration, and a meme’ s growth, is much easier to track and understand when platforms use strict chronological timelines." Finally, "there is light content moderation... allowing users to feel safe posting whatever is what allows these communities to grow." 

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A $99 'subscription' will be the beginning of the end for Twitter

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 07/30/2017 - 14:16

Pete Pachal, Mashable, Aug 02, 2017

It's the option no Twitter user anywhere asked for: pay $99 a month and Twitter will promote your tweets to readers who never asked for them. "Now imagine if the top of your feed was mostly tweets from so-called influencers, with a bunch of tweets from brands thrown in for good measure," writes Pete Pachal. "It's hard to imagine a change to Twitter better designed to make me leave the service for good." Of curse, there's always Mastodon.

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Course Rubrics: OEI

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 07/29/2017 - 14:34

Geoff Cain, Brainstorm in Progress, Aug 01, 2017

Geoff Cain begins a seven-part series on rubrics with this look at  the California Community College’ s  Online Education Initiative rubric  (OEI) "to provide a checklist demonstrating that the online courses offered through the Online Education Initiative align with state standards; the accreditor, ACCJC’ s  Guide to Evaluating DE;  and national standards (iNACOL)." The rubric has sections on content presentation, interaction, assessment, and two sections on accessibility.

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The web was supposed to be a thing we make

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 07/29/2017 - 13:24

Anil Dash, Glitch, Medium, Aug 01, 2017

This post introduces us to Glitch, an online application thata helps people make their own custom-made Node.js application. It's all a bit overwhelming at first, but it's a giant leap beyond what you would normally have to do to set up such an application (think containers, Bower, webhooks, analytics, and the rest). The interface, meanwhile, is connected to a community that can share ideas and help. It's a bt like mixing Geocities with CodePen with Stack Overflow, all running on Github. Like I say, overwhelming. But let your eyes adjust to the pink and yelow and let it soak in for a bit, and  practice... and see what you can do.

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Why Skillshare runs on Kubernetes

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 07/29/2017 - 13:07

Matias Forbord, Skillshare Writings, Aug 01, 2017

A few days ago I ran a post filled with tech jargon about something called Kubernetes. This is the antedote to that post, a down-to-earth practical example of how this technology is running applications in the learning technology space. The site in question is Skillshare, a subscription-based online curse library. The numers are impressive: 2 million students, 17000 classes, $5 million paid to teachers. Kubernetes manages cloud hosting for the site, managing a swarm  of Docker containers, where each container contains a part of the service: an interface, a database, an application logic. 

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Virtual Reality and education: some thoughts

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 07/28/2017 - 14:22

Tony Bates, online learning & distance education resources, Jul 31, 2017

Tony Bates weighs in with some thoughts on virtual reality (VR) after a  Vancouver VR Community  event at  Mobify‘ s headquarters in downtown Vancouver. "VR is not just a fad that will disappear," he says. "There are already a large number of commercial applications, mainly in entertainment and public relations, but also increasingly for specific areas of training." True, but VR doesn't apply everywhere. "Most suitable educational applications are likely to be where the cost of alternative or traditional ways of learning are too expensive or too dangerous," he writes. He also argues thagt educational intent must be built-in. "VR may often need to be combined with simulation design and quality media production to be educationally effective." This pushes up the cost, again limiting the applications of VR.

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AltSpaceVR Closes – What does it Mean for Social VR?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 07/28/2017 - 14:08

Emory Craig, Digital Bodies, Jul 31, 2017

I think the main takeaway here is that multi-user social virtual reality (Social VR) is hard, and it can be expensive. I don't think this is the end for the genre, as the possibilities are too tantalizing. "AltSpaceVR was a  sandbox that showed the potential of social VR. We learned a lot about how others behave in VR, and yes, more than a little  about ourselves. We saw the promise of their Frontrow feature – how it could transform the virtual into an experience that was incredibly personal. The potential for  education  and  entertainment was crystal clear."

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The NGDLE's Relevance to Community and Technical Colleges

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 07/28/2017 - 13:31

Paul Czarapata, Lisa Jones, EDUCAUSE Review, Jul 31, 2017

More on the  EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative report  on the Next Generation Digital Learning Environment (NGDLE). The argument is that, rather than serving simply as a content repository like the LMS, the NGDLE "focuses on personalization, tool integration, and content exchange, thereby serving as a launch pad for new learning experiences." What's key to NGDLE is interoperability. In the traditional LMS, "Although some existing integrations are standards-based and easier to maintain — examples here include  LTI  and  Common Cartridge, both from the  IMS Global Learning Consortium  — many are proprietary, single-use integrations." Tio me, all this sounds a lot like the discussions of the personal learning environment (PLE) over the last ten years, but without the personal.

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Five Key Questions About the State of Online Learning

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 07/28/2017 - 13:15

Contact North, TeachOnline.ca, Jul 31, 2017

The questions, with answers:

  • Is Online Learning Growing or Has It Reached a Plateau? Yes, and no.
  • What are some of the biggest gains in online learning since 2010? Five gains are listed.
  • Do we still have issues with quality in online learning? Of course we do. Some examples are listed.
  • Where is technology taking online learning? AI, sims, OER.
  • If you were to highlight one key feature of learning in the future, what would it be? Anytime, anywhere assessment of competencies and capabilities.
Overall, a pretty good summary.

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Ghost 1.0

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 07/28/2017 - 13:05

John O'Nolan, Ghost Blog, Jul 31, 2017

Ghost is a new open source content editing and blogging application. After four years of development, version 1.0 is a major release, "a tremendous upgrade to that experience, with a cleaner design, a new toolbar, support for Markdown tables, CommonMark, Github-flavoured Markdown and multiple view options depending on whether you prefer a focused single column or a side-by-side preview." More, Ghost allows authors to embed various content types in their posts, a feature I expect will only be expanded over time.

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Practical User Research: Creating a Culture of Learning in Large Organizations

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 07/27/2017 - 16:27

Sam Moore, A List Apart, Jul 30, 2017

What I like about this article is that it merges the idea of learning and research. It's set in a corporate environment, but the commentary could apply to anyone. The idea here is that companies need to be constantly learning about customer needs and how to provide for them, but it's a challenge to build this need into a learning cultujre. The bulk of the post addresses how to do that. But my takeaway is that when the information environment is rapidly changing, as it is today, the structure and methods of learning and reserach are essentially the same. You can't, for example, merely provide a series of already-solved problems when the problems are still new and unsolved. You have to give people tools and methods to approach these problems anew. Learning isn't about 'knowing the solutions', it's about 'how to find solutions'. Image: Management Primciples.

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How And Why To Keep A “Commonplace Book”

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 07/27/2017 - 15:46

Ryan Holiday, Thought Catalog, Jul 30, 2017

According to Ryan Holiday, "A commonplace book is a central resource or depository for ideas, quotes, anecdotes, observations and information you come across during your life and didactic pursuits. The purpose of the book is to record and organize these gems for later use in your life, in your business, in your writing, speaking or whatever it is that you do." I prefer a more digital approach to what is offered here, but it's a good structure for learning. Sharing your contributions makes it even better!

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We Need More, Not Fewer, Collaborations With Tech Companies

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 07/27/2017 - 15:25

Mary L. Gray, Chronicle of Higher Education, Jul 30, 2017

The reasoning here is that since resources for research  are so limited, it makes sense for academia to partner with business, and if there are problems with the relationship (as there most certainly are) then the focus should be on making it work better, not on ending it. "We can’ t blame scholars, particularly early in their careers, for seeking out the best resources and access to this data to do their work. The question shouldn’ t be how to avoid working with tech companies; the question should be how best to ensure that collaborations between tech and social research." Other countries, however (those Umair Haque would say  have  public goods) would ensure there is public financing and support for research in the public interest, not merely for private gain.

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A multi-disciplinary perspective on emergent and future innovations in peer review 

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 07/27/2017 - 15:19

Jonathan P. Tennant, et.al., F1000 Research, Jul 30, 2017

This is a detailed and well-thought-out contribution to the future of peer review. It is definitely needed. "If the current system of peer review were to undergo peer review, it would undoubtedly achieve a “ revise and resubmit” decision," write the authors. Existing publishing platforms "were designed to attract a huge following, not to ensure the ethics and reliability of effective peer review." Something new is needed. The authors propose a system where "peer review becomes an inherently social and community-led activity, decoupled from a traditional journal-based system, and instead becomes part of the commons." 

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The End of the American Experiment

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 14:25

Umair Haque, Medium, Jul 29, 2017

Patrick Watson gave us the same message some three decades ago: democracy requires prosperity -  universal  prosperity - in order to survive. Umair Haque expresses this using the term 'moral universals': "Moral universals are simply things that people believe  everyone should have," he writes. And this, he argues, is what separates the United States from the democracies of the world. "Moral universals anchor a society in a genuinely shared prosperity. Not just because they “ spread the wealth” , though they do: because, more deeply,  moral universals civilize people...  in America today, there  are  no broad, genuine, or accessible civilizing mechanisms left... the natural consequence of failing  to  civilize is breaking down as a democracy —  democracy no longer exists in the sense of “ people cooperating by voting to give each other greater prosperity” . They have merely learned to take prosperity  away  from one another." See also: Rolling Stone on Justin Trudeau.

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The Algorithm That Makes Preschoolers Obsessed With YouTube

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 14:08

Adrienne LaFrance, The Atlantic, Jul 29, 2017

You might read this article on the level it's presented: an expanation of the popularity of YouTube Kids in the fact that it allows kids to make choices. Or you might read it a bit more deeply and see how the selection algorithm is actually shaping the nature of the videos that made available for seecton. Or even more deeply and see how advertisers already understand this very well and are using YouTube Kids to pump marketing content straight into their subconscious by having them select their advertisements over and over and over  (This video of a person pressing sparkly Play-Doh  onto chintzy Disney princess figurines has been viewed 550 million times).

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What if MOOCs Revolutionize Education After All?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 13:54

Jeffrey R. Young , Barbara Oakley, EdSurge, Jul 29, 2017

Some pragmatic thinking with a pinch of a push for content knowledge. The premise is that MOOCs are actually going to challenge the classroom model, and ultimately, universities and the teaching professors. "Once they begin becoming broadly available for college credit, it's going to start changing the scenario of higher education." Best line in the post: "The thing is, moving a university is a little bit like moving a cemetery. You can't expect any help from the inhabitants." Professors, who have a vested interest, are going to resist, not help, the transition to MOOCs. But not just any type of MOOC: "look at a problem and pace through it in my mind as if I was playing a song. I could pull it instantly to mind, pull all the solution steps. I kind of knew it inside and out, and when you do that with enough problems, you begin to internalize the material at a very in-depth level."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

A hacker stole $31M of Ether — how it happened, and what it means for Ethereum

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 13:45

Haseeb Qureshi, freecodecamp, Jul 29, 2017

Hackers robbed Ethereum of $31 million of Ether. "They found a programmer-introduced bug in the code that let them re-initialize the wallet, almost like restoring it to factory settings. Once they did that, they were free to set themselves as the new owners." Eter is crypto-currency, like Bicoin, but Ethereum uses this concept to allow people to create contracts, and it was one of these contracts that was hacked.

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