Tag Archives: Taiwanese Hokkien

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 big-name universities in the U.S., China, Japan and Europe, the Open Education Resources movement is gaining ground, providing access to knowledge so that no one is “walled in by money, race and other issues,” says Lucifer Chu, a 32-year-old Taiwanese citizen and among the thousands world-wide promoting the effort. He says he has used about half a million dollars from his translation of the “Lord of the Rings” novels into Chinese to translate engineering, math and other educational material, also from English into Chinese.

The movement started in the late 1990s, inspired in part by the “open source” software movement, based on the notion computer programs should be free. Open-source software now powers more than half the world’s servers and about 18% of its browsers, according to TheCounter.com, a Web-analysis service by Connecticut-based Internet publisher Jupitermedia Corp. Behind its success are copyright licenses that allow users to use, change and then redistribute the software. Another inspiration was the proliferation of Web sites where millions share photos or write encyclopedia entries.

Free Online College Courses Are Proliferating – WSJ.com

Taiwanese Government Computer ‘Hosts Phishing Scam’

Somewhat embarrassingly for Taiwan’s education system, a phishing email aimed at customers of US Bank operaties via a script which appears to be on a computer at the Taiwan Ministry of Education Computer Center in Taipei.

MillerSmiles Scam Alert Service reports that the phish urges recipients to access a new message in their personal mailbox by using the link provided. “The link has been disguised using HTML code and appears to be a genuine link to the usbank.com site, but it is not and will in fact open your browser to a forged US Bank web page,” says MillerSmiles. The forged US Bank page takes the form of a webform which requires your account, card and social security numbers.

Of course they, and I, are not saying the Taiwanese government has started phishing, but it may be worth the education ministry’s while to plug holes in its own computers.