March 2005 Archives
This has been linked to from just about everywhere, but on the off chance you haven't seen it: Laura K. Krishna is a Plagiarist, a blogger's account of a college student's attempt to pay him to write a paper, and his (really kind of cruel but also pretty freakin' funny, in an "oh damn! I can't believe he did that" kind of way) response. There are rumors that it may be a hoax, but even so, it's incredibly entertaining.
This is really interesting: Yahoo! just released a beta creative commons search. From the website:
This Yahoo! Search service finds content across the Web that has a Creative Commons license. While most stuff you find on the web has a full copyright, this search helps you find content published by authors that want you to share or reuse it, under certain conditions.Yahoo! already indexes cc web materials, of course; what's interesting about this is how it draws attention to copyright and copyright alternatives. It could be a great awareness-raising move... Since I'm betting that the vast majority of people don't know what creative commons is, I wonder what the intention is though - will they eventually roll into their regular search as a checkbox option, or figure out a more transparent way to highlight cc results? For example, it might be cool if in the search results the cc materials were highlighted in a different color. Anyway, something to keep an eye on. (via MANE News)
I was a big fan of Wallace and Gromit back in college, but haven't seen much of them since my new DVD player made their short films on VHS obsolete. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Aardman, the animation geniuses behind Wallace and Gromit, are in production on a full-length W&G feature film! Due out in October 2005, here's a sneak peek.
I'm looking for a few volunteers to participate in a small research study on the uses of weblogs to support collaboration in undergraduate classrooms. If you are teaching an undergraduate class this spring and using a blog in conjunction with your class, and are interested in participating in the study, drop me an email at scl2103[at]columbia[dot]edu Please include your name, and a brief description of your class and your weblog use. Thanks!
(also, please feel free to distribute this request!)
(spam-friendly email: to send me an email, replace the [at] with @ and the [dot] with . )
Hmm, guess I shouldn't have eaten that second box of Samoas...
Peddling Girl Scout cookies has become so politically charged that the organization might want to consider issuing badges for diplomacy. ... scout leaders are facing critics who think selling $400 million worth of cookies might not be the smartest move in a country where childhood obesity is considered an epidemic. from So Much for Squeaky Clean Cookies in the NY Times
I just have to laugh. I mean, seriously. Even more ridiculous is that the real meat in the story (so to speak), the charge that cookie manufacturers might be using child labor to pick the cacao beans used for chocolate in the cookies, is a throw away sentence in the third paragraph. Priorities might be a little ass-backward, y'think?mmmm...
There are a few articles circulating in the mass media this morning dealing with various forms of blog strife. CNN's got an article about bloggers who have been fired from jobs over the content posted on their blogs, and the New York Times is reporting on a lawsuit that Apple has filed against bloggers who leaked new product announcements:
If the court, in Santa Clara County, rules that bloggers are journalists, the privilege of keeping news sources confidential will be applied to a large new group of people,...
So it would seem that the blogs as journalism debate is coming to a head in the court system. This'll be interesting to follow.
I also noticed a real difference in the way the two articles define blogs. The CNN article calls blogs "Web journals," whereas the Times article describes bloggers as "a scrappy legion of online commentators and pundits." In each case, the technology is being defined by its use, rather than by a neutral definition that focuses on shared qualities (like the widely accepted definition proposed by Rebecca Blood). In this case it may just be a by-product of the slant that the journalists were taking in writing their articles, but it's something that I've noticed in research literature as well - the tendency to (narrowly?) define blogs by a particular use. Blogs are many things to many people (i.e. they are embedded in countless ways in various practices) and I'm certainly interested in looking at specific uses... but I'm also leery of losing the broader perspective as well - the fact that the blog technology has been adpated in so many ways - which is interesting in its own right.
Oy. I've prematurely hit a bit of a mid-semester slump, and it's been hard to will my body and mind to work the usual 10 and 12 hour days getting things done for school and work. I think I'm just at the point in my program where more things are expected of me, and I'm pushing hard to try and synthesize all of the various strands that my studies have followed up to this point. What's interesting is that in this process I've really come to appreciate the habit of synthesis and reflection that I got into through blogging. I suppose I might have come to it anyway, but I think that having lots of other good role models (other bloggers) has helped my practice. So it's an example of habits formed online leaking into offline practices... although offline I'm more likely to scribble thoughts in the margins of a book or on a napkin, or in Word. At any rate, spring break is coming up, and I'll be spending some time with my family and some time working and skiing in Vermont. Hopefully when I get back I'll be less in survivalist mode and more in higher level synthesis mode. :)
This article from the Chronicle of Higher Ed will be appreciated by those of you who are currently or have ever suffered through the trials of graduate school... the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Graduate Students", the "the first book ever dedicated specifically to disorders of those pursuing advanced degrees." Among those disorders - Global Irony Syndrome, Hyper-Theory Disorder, and Manic Mentor Mimesis. Who knew the Chronicle had a funny bone? :)