Saturday, June 11, 2005

Innovate - Freedom and Empowerment: An Essay on the Next Step for

"The primary obstacle to growth is our unwillingness to experiment
outside the traditional confines of schools. We persist in trying to fit
new technology into the centuries-old molds for learning that are based
on the primacy of location—campus and classroom. Yet my continued
optimism for change is based on the belief that we, as educators, will
follow our instincts and learn to use instructional technology in the
most efficient and effective ways. And if it means abandoning
traditional practices, then so be it. For example, a critical outcome of
computers and the Internet is the removal of time and space barriers to
learning. We are beginning to realize that location is an arbitrary
barrier and that education can be far more dynamic when liberated from
the walls and gates of schools and allowed to flourish in exciting
real-world environments.

The catalyst for change is the human will. It simply won't be denied.
The confluence of technology and our natural tendency toward freedom and
empowerment will press against and eventually flow around and over the
physical boundaries of our schools. Freed from location, what forms will
Internet-based education take? How will our roles change? No one can
know for sure, but we can guess. Here is my projection."

Innovate - Instructional Blogging: Promoting Interactivity, Student-Centered


As a valuable e-learning tool, blogging can be used in a number of ways
to engage students in discussion, exploration, and discovery. It is
appropriate for both hybrid and fully online courses. As my
institution's primary support person for instructional blogging, as well
as an instructor who has integrated blogging into his teaching, I can
attest that it works best when integrated into a coherent pedagogical
approach, vested in an appropriate educational theory, and updated
regularly by participants. As more instructors use blogging, we will
have the opportunity to assess new applications for this emerging
instructional technology. It will be interesting, for example, to learn
whether blogs promote virtual communities after a course has ended and
grades have been assigned. More importantly, extending contact between
instructors and enthusiastic students through a topical blog could
provide a practical way to mentor and encourage exceptional students to
continue their studies in relevant fields.

Jan Saudek

Jan Saudek

Friday, June 10, 2005

Told you it's slavery

The narrative:

Now, it seems, is the "real" crunch, the one that the producers of this title so wisely prepared their team for by running them into the ground ahead of time. The current mandatory hours are 9am to 10pm -- seven days a week -- with the occasional Saturday evening off for good behavior (at 6:30pm). This averages out to an eighty-five hour work week. Complaints that these once more extended hours combined with the team's existing fatigue would result in a greater number of mistakes made and an even greater amount of wasted energy were ignored.

The theory:

When used long-term, Crunch Mode slows development and creates more bugs when compared with 40-hour weeks.
More than a century of studies show that long-term useful worker output is maximized near a five-day, 40-hour workweek. Productivity drops immediately upon starting overtime and continues to drop until, at approximately eight 60-hour weeks, the total work done is the same as what would have been done in eight 40-hour weeks.
In the short term, working over 21 hours continuously is equivalent to being legally drunk. Longer periods of continuous work drastically reduce cognitive function and increase the chance of catastrophic error. In both the short- and long-term, reducing sleep hours as little as one hour nightly can result in a severe decrease in cognitive ability, sometimes without workers perceiving the decrease.

The comic strip:

Thursday, June 09, 2005

The BBC reports:

(Why am I posting this?)

Jailed Iranian writer 'missing'
Akbar Ganji
Ganji was near the end of a six-year sentence
There is confusion over the fate of a leading Iranian dissident journalist who has gone missing after being let out of jail for medical treatment.

Akbar Ganji's family told the BBC that police came to the family house to arrest him on Tuesday night but he was not home and he has not returned since.

The authorities are quoted as saying he has gone on the run, but his wife believes he may have been arrested.

Human rights groups say Mr Ganji is a political prisoner, and want him freed.

He was jailed in 2001 after being convicted of charges including lying and endangering state security.

Mr Ganji, who was near the end of his six-year sentence, was granted leave from prison last month for a series of health tests.

'Very worried'

The semi-official news agency Fars said a warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to present himself to authorities when his leave expired.

Tehran's chief prosecutor, Saeed Mortazavi, told Fars: "Bailiffs went to Ganji's house with the arrest warrant, but he was not home and he has still not returned and has gone into hiding."

Mr Ganji's wife, Massoumeh Shafii, told Reuters news agency her husband had gone to a friend's house but had not come back.

"I don't know if he was arrested or where he is. We're very worried."

She was quoted as saying authorities ordered her husband detained because of a series of media interviews he gave last month.

Mr Ganji's trial and imprisonment was part of a wider struggle between Iran's reformist movement, lead by President Mohammed Khatami, and conservative clerics and judiciary.

Dozens of reformist journalists, politicians and intellectuals have been jailed in recent years.

Human rights group Amnesty International regards Mr Ganji as a political prisoner and has long called for his release.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

OpenNet Initiative :: Documenting Internet Content Filtering Worldwide

The OpenNet initiative attempts to provide a comprehensive and
authoritative view of the state of political web filtering around the world:

Check out who is trying to shut you up and how.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

palestinian Olive Oil

Or, if you don't drink beer,

taybeh : The Beer

There's more than one reason to drink Taybeh beer. And now its available
in the UK. - home::

First global voices, now Civiblog..

What shall we call these?

Balata Film Collective

Haven't seen the films, but there existance is itself a phenomenon. Tunisia: WSIS Host Tunisia Guilty of Denying Access to Information By Filtering Internet

Allafrica says Tunisia is using SmartFilter to block out political debate. So,
  1. If you see a debatable item related to Tunisia, replicate it (e.g., copy it to your blog).
  2. If you are involved in IT decisions, ban SmartFilter.
  3. Spread this.

"The Internet blocking in Tunisia appears to be performed by the software application SmartFilter, which is an application developed and marketed by a US company, Secure Computing. SmartFilter is a commercial product and a popular system for the national category, which refers to state-directed implementation of national content filtering and blocking technologies at the backbone level," explained Villeneuve. According to the IFEX-TMG report, this application provides a series of website categories which may be switched on or off. In addition it allows for unique blocking of specified URLs. The Tunisian use of Smartfilter appears to have the categories of nudity, pornography and anonymisers (websites that try and get around filtering) switched on. In addition a number of unique URLs are switched on to ensure website blocking. These
include political, news and information websites.

I like the .sig

got this from the bottom of someone's mail:

() ascii ribbon campaign - against html mail
/\ - against microsoft attachments

Alicefest 2005

Wish I could be there, or at least get the MP3.

'cause you can get anything you want in Alice's restaurant, da da da da

Monday, June 06, 2005

If you're in SF, go see State of the Union / Anonymous Sources. Tell me how you liked it. They're good friends o and great people.

Clay fish and dough bombs

Can't walk away from a challenge, even if I don't really qualify (sorry, all this was so long ago, even if I had any pictures, I wouldn't know where to find them.

Story 1:
Back when H & I were still living in a stuffy little student flat, I wanted to surprise her for her birthday. H loves fish, but not the smell of fish in the bedroom. When that bedroom is about 50cm away from the kitchen, which isn't particularly ventilated - you get the picture.
But she loves fish, and its her birthday, and me? "I solve problems". I also have a tendency for overdoing it. So, I figure, what'll definitely lock out the smell, and is good in the oven? Clay. I buy a 5kg chunk of modeling clay, hide it the attic, and on the day I got a nice big Sea Bass and the market, stuffed it good with thyme and friends, dressed it in a 2cm coat of clay and set it in the oven.
It worked. and it was not at all bad, for the first fish of our common life.

Next Friday I proudly told my mum, the doctor and my cooking guru, about my new culinary innovation. She pointed out the fact that modeling clay is toxic. Lucky that sea bass had a tough skin.

Story 2:
Late last summer I was heavily into sourdough. Had my our jar of started, which I would entertain daily, feed and caress and send postcards to when I was away (n.b., getting a sourdough babysitter is not always easy!)

Then we moved house, and the jar got lost in a crate full of onions.

towards the end of a long day, I finally found it. "Oh you poor thing" I said, and put it on the table. Next thing I know, the ceiling looks like Ripley brought a friend for dinner.

See, the poor thing was really, really excited be the move. When you move your sourdough, do it in an open container.