Learning in the Open

Here’s a piece I wrote for the WSJ on open source education resources. It’s part of the free section of WSJ.com. A revolution of sorts is sweeping education. In the past few years, educational material, from handwritten lecture notes to whole courses, has been made available online, free for anyone who wants it. Backed by …

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Marketers Baffled By Spam Laws

This new spam law, so far, is taking us nowhere. A new survey conducted by email marketing service Blue Sky Factory reckons that nearly half of email marketers aren’t sure whether the stuff they send out is compliant and more than half admit that they do not understand the new U.S. laws (called, catchily but …

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Update: Diebold Withdraws E-voting Suit?

 Further to my column about e-voting a few weeks back, Diebold, maker of electronic voting machines, has apparently withdrawn its suit against an ISP and some individuals for posting leaked company documents about some of the problems with their system. Stanford Law School reports that Diebold had filed papers with the court saying it ?has …

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News: Have Microsoft Done It Again?

 An excellent, and damning, article by Robert X. Cringely on Microsoft shenanigans, this time in court over a lawsuit with Burst.com. Read the whole thing: In short, Microsoft appear to have been caught deleting emails that could be evidence. The judge has ordered Microsoft to produce the missing messages.     Here’s Robert’s conclusion: “What …

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News: Cracking a Password is Fast

Now your Microsoft Windows password can be cracked in 13.6 seconds, a vast improvement over the slow and tedious 101 seconds it took previously. An improved cryptanalytic method uses large amounts of memory–in this case, 1.4 GB–to speed its cracking of keys, says Security Wire Digest. I won’t bore you with how they did it. …

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Hardware: A Computer For the Price of a Pedicure

If you’re cheap, skint, or just like buying stuff that doesn’t cost very much, check out the $169 Lindows WebStation. The Lindows WebStation is “the first ultra-affordable, ‘unbreakable’ computer designed specifically for Web work.” Just plug it into a broadband connection and you’re off. Apparently it’s idiot proof too: “It’s literally impossible to destroy the …

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News: Phew. Search Engines Are Safe, For Now

  From the I Didn’t Know I Was Breaking The Law Dept, you’ll be relieved to know that deep linking is now legal, at least in Germany. Thank God for that. Er, what is deep linking?   Basically a deep link takes you from one webpage to another page that isn’t the homepage on another website. …

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Loose Wire: Actually Bill, No,

Loose Wire: Actually Bill, No, I Can’t By Jeremy Wagstaff 12/13/2001 Far Eastern Economic Review (Copyright (c) 2001, Dow Jones & Company, Inc.) I’m frankly flabbergasted that the Microsoft antitrust trial in the United States is reaching such an ignominious end. But am I alone in my righteous indignation? I won’t bore you with the …

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