Odyssey Online

Entries Tagged as 'The Academic Internet'

iPad Glued Not Screwed

April 7th, 2010 · Comments Off on iPad Glued Not Screwed

…in an essay published on Boing Boing Cory Doctorow states his case against the iPad, which is based on the iPad being a closed system, a proprietary technology resistant to reverse engineering.  As he puts it, (remembering a piece called Maker Manifesto) “If you can’t open it, you don’t own it. Screws not glue.” Johnathan Zittrain had a similar thing in mind as the argument of his book The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It where he argued that the morphing of the Internet into hand held devices would rob it of its generative quality. Tim Berners-Lee made HTML freely available, and that, coupled with the fact that the code could be readily understood (and then written) is what propelled the web forward.  Zittrain and Doctorow both raise the point that has the Internet moves to proprietary frameworks (like iPads, Facebook, blogs software such as you see here) it becomes a consumable technology rather than a malleable one.

Some comments directed at Doctorow’s piece suggest that people writing APPs for their iPads is very much in the DYI-coding of the Internet, but, that strikes me as decoration.  For the a period of time the world wide web was coded in readily learned ways that allowed one to build substantive, original, computer frameworks in ways that APPs just aren’t.  I can’t help but think it is analogous to what’s happened with cars…anyone with some patience, the right tools, and a manual could repair and work on an air-cooled automobile (think original Volkswagon Beetle or Studebaker), but cars with embedded digital technology require mechanics with specialized diagnostic technologies. The digital technologies are expensive t00–my car has tire sensors that need to be replaced every so often and are $150 a pop, which would buy a lot of spark plugs.  Life is change and succession, but it strikes me that much is being lost in turning from code to convenience…

Tags: Essay on Technology · Research How-To · The Academic Internet

Why Not To Put iTablets in Schools

February 25th, 2010 · Comments Off on Why Not To Put iTablets in Schools

Daniel Indiviglio makes the case at Atlantic.com, note in particular reason number two.  For years people with a vested interest in networked information technology have made the case that not providing students with digital technologies will mean they are left out or left behind (or suffer both fates).  The case has also been made that extensive use of digital technologies can mean less costly education as it will mean you need fewer people to teach.  The problem is networked information technology requires an infrastructure and this infrastructure costs money.  The problem is, networked information technology has a short shelf life (or cycle as technologists would say), and expensive computers must be replaced.  While Sergey Brin may opine that books are as transient as the rising tide, the fact of the matter is even paperback books last longer than e-book readers of any ilk.  Digital technology has a built in obsolescence which manifests in upgrades–in short, Indiviglio is right that an education immersed in digital technologies is going to be considerably more expensive than one that has at least one foot firmly on the print, one hand holding a piece of chalk…

…I know, I know, I’m blogging this…

Tags: Books · Essay on Technology · The Academic Internet

Network Neutrality, Recommended Thanksgiving Reading

November 25th, 2009 · Comments Off on Network Neutrality, Recommended Thanksgiving Reading

…Google Book posts still being researched, will be forthcoming.  In the meantime, the Washington Post is reporting that comments by White House Chief Technology Officer James McLaughlin linking Net Neutrality to free speech have generated controversy

…with the holiday at hand how about a new favorite subject heading: Thanksgiving Day–History.  A couple of titles on Thanksgiving anyway, and Pilgrims (New Plymouth Colony) will widen the story still further…

Tags: Recommended Book · Research How-To · The Academic Internet

Google Book Deal

November 18th, 2009 · Comments Off on Google Book Deal

…the revised Google Book Settlement is due out Friday. I will be driving across Vermont’s pleasant hills and greenswalds on Friday, but trust me I’ll blog like a son-of-a-gun on this next week. In the mean time here are a couple of posts offering preliminary analysis based on what has been leaked so far:

More next week…

Tags: Google · The Academic Internet

Browser Market Shares

November 3rd, 2009 · Comments Off on Browser Market Shares

…reported from the Atlantic, both Firefox and Chrome continue to elbow into IE’s share

Tags: Licklider's Legacy · The Academic Internet

No Tweets, Off Facebook

October 15th, 2009 · Comments Off on No Tweets, Off Facebook

…from the Washington Post, a well written article about twenty-somethings who do not social network. While it is not Civil Disobedience there are some interesting comments made about social networking platforms–what they are and what they result in–by “ordinary folks,” not professional commentators.  A very useful article in terms of how people define genuine experience…

Tags: Facebooked · Information Studies · The Academic Internet

Network Neutrality, Anon

October 14th, 2009 · Comments Off on Network Neutrality, Anon

…back to blogging, and with October break here plenty of blogging time. Network Neutrality is back in the news…a few weeks back we mentioned Network Neutrality here and linked to Edward Felten’s fine guide to what it is.  Network Neutrality is back in the news with a number of prominent Republican Senators asking FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s decision to create new network neutral rules, note here and here. Which perhaps caused the appearance of a few interesting commentaries on the whole thing–Preston Gralla details how Network Neutrality issues are playing out between Google and AT & T, and  interesting commentary in the Wall Street Journal by Holman Jenkins Jr. on how hand held digital technologies may turn the whole issue on its head.

Tags: Essay on Technology · Google · The Academic Internet

Banned Books Week

September 30th, 2009 · Comments Off on Banned Books Week

….this is banned books week…locally the Rensselaer Falls Library has organized an event for teens to think about what this means, and our friend Jessamyn West who writes the blog Librarian.net has a list of things on the web about banned books. Very useful.

The slogan over at Librarian.net is putting the ‘rarin back in librarian and for that reason alone you’ll find a link here under Other Blogs to Note…

Tags: Books · The Academic Internet

JSTOR on Facebook

September 23rd, 2009 · Comments Off on JSTOR on Facebook

…as you may or may not remember we have a SLU Libraries Facebook page, with our Catalog and ConnectNY front and center (under the boxes tab), and now JSTOR.  So, along with all that a Facebook enthusiast might do, you can simply click to our Facebook account and sample the academic journal literature.  Librarians have been thinking about Facebook…quite a slew of libraries have Facebook accounts and friends like the Librarian in Black have argued seriously and with verve that libraries need to be in Web 2.0 places, because, well, that’s where the clientele is.

…on the other hand there is a sense of encroachment felt by students as institutions and well, parents, make their way to Facebook. My in-laws are all avid Facebook habitues, not so much their kids, mind you, but the parents.  Is Facebook a place where colleges students want to think about research? Perhaps not “to be or not to be” as far as important questions go, but the attempts at translating libraries to Web 2.0 spaces ask interesting questions about what people want out of libraries, and what people want out of life online…

Tags: Facebooked · The Academic Internet

Network Neutrality

September 22nd, 2009 · Comments Off on Network Neutrality

…in what amounts to big news, the FCC today affirmed Network Neutrality, and began to organize itself to enforce said.  There are proponents of this decision, and their are critics (this article from PC World nicely sketches both sides).  Network Neutrality is all about keeping the infrastructure providers, literally the folks who own the fiber optic cable, from using their conduit technology to establish different levels of web service.  Of course, being something, in this life, it’s not that simple–Edward Felten wrote a good primer several years back on what Network Neutrality is, who the players are, and what the consequences might be.

Tags: Licklider's Legacy · The Academic Internet

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