Thursday, August 22, 2002

RIAA and the 1st

RIAA suspends DMCA lawsuit as listen4ever ducks. Tanks back to fringes of ISPs' lawns [The Register]

» There is something that I don't understand about this lawsuit (and let's be honest I know *nothing* about law, US or otherwise).

Doesn't it fail on 1st ammendment grounds?

How is it different to the libraries & internet filtering arguments?

I guess the point for me is: why does the fact that the RIAA cannot persue the site authors by conventional means to remove the copyright material give them the right to ask for the site to be blocked?

Can someone explain it?

22/08/2002 08:39 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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Active reading with liveTopics

liveTopics to create virtual weblog channels.

Here's an idea I've been thinking about for the use of liveTopics.

What I'd like to do is offer the reader is the chance to create their own categories and here's how I think it would work:

The next time the reader visits the page they only get posts that match the selected "virtual channel." along with a drop-down to change channel and the customise button.

Anybody else think this is an interesting idea? [Curiouser and curiouser!]

It is interesting, but in my view it would be even better if we could subscribe to a RSS feed for the shared categories we like. This is a generalization of KMPings. The following step would be to document and interlink the shared categories in a (shared) wiki.

[Seb's Open Research]

» Agreed.  For a while now the ability to create dynamic channels from the RSS feed has been part of my plan.  RSS 0.92 already has the necessary tag that can be co-opted to take topics instead / as well.  I've patched the Radio RSS generator to do this, but need to do some more work in terms of turning this patch into something that can be distributed in Radio.

A key advantage would be the ability to have multiple RSS feeds aggregated together into a channel when they reference the same topics.

However I still think there is a role for the browser view.  Despite the growing popularity of RSS I think people are still going to want to read some sites and at the moment they don't work for the reader.

The way I see it is that this is a control thing in the same way that blogging itself is a control thing.  As a blogger I write what I like, that's where I get my control.  But as a reader I have no control.  I see what the writer intends (or not -- consider the font sizing issue that has been hot recently).

I was just musing that it would be interesting for the reader of a site to be able to re-frame the content in a way that suited them.  But RSS does come first...

22/08/2002 11:05 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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An unstable Radio is an unhappy Radio

Well, thrice is the charm. Again, radio crashed and I lost posts. I was able to reconstruct them from local cache, but enough is enough. [The Universal Church Of Cosmic Uncertainty]

» I'm intrigued about why Radio is crashing so often for you and why you are losing information.   I do have Radio crash here (for example I cannot compact the weblogData.root file) sometimes but basically it's quite sound.

If you're not 100% committed to abandoning it, can you blog some more details of your situation?

22/08/2002 11:08 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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Blogger representation : uncovering the implicit

Uncovering the implicit. From Sébastien Paquet and Lilia Efimova ... some interesting insights as to why people blog and why some professions are better represented than others e.g. educators, journalists, software developers, librarians, lawyers and knowledge professionals. As Sébastien says in his [original posting] on the subject :
I think the commonality has to do with uncovering the implicit.
And as Lilia [adds] :
For me, blog is something for articulating ideas. They get some shape once they get out of my brain, and it becomes easier easy to deal with them. Blog is something for catching those difficult to catch things...

I think they are on to something here - some people because of their mindset "can't help but blog" while others will "never get it" or never find the time or the motivation to do it. And that's not a judgement - it simply reflects the diversity of human nature and that can only be good [Smile!] [Gurteen Knowledge-Log]

» An interesting observation, seems about right.  Let's just hope the blogger mindset is in the majority!


22/08/2002 13:05 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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UK DMCA : it's going to get a lot worse...

UK's DMCA: there ain't no sanity clause. Patent Office "criminalises" netizens, researchers [The Register]

» Blast!  Did I miss a meeting?  How did we get to this point already?

Oh well trust the UK government to jump in ass first and try and make their version of the DMCA even worse than it needs to be.

For a critique of some of the flaws of the UK DCMA read here.

22/08/2002 15:31 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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You cannot make people smarter

Curiouser and curiouser! raises some unresolved Klogging issues:

  • Klogs can overlap with existing formal systems - does klogging means that the same thing is not reported in formal way?
  • Decentralised klogging vs. organisational trends to control. 
  • Does klog makes it easier to control you?
  • As klogs are not really secure, could you post anything anything sensitive?
  • Are big-KM vendors missing the point?

I love this issue popping up again and again: how control and formal structures can coexist with natural informal networks. I'm not sure that I want to tackle the whole issue, but at least I want to look at the learning side of it.

[from my PhD proposal] Learning is best described by the metaphor “you can lead horse to the water, but you cannot make it drinking”, or as Joseph Kessels says “you cannot make people smarter”. Even in the case of formal learning an organisation does not have control over employee’s brain and heart, so in order to benefit from employee learning, companies have to find the way to support and encourage it without full control. The author believes that the answer lies in supporting interplay between individual and organisational needs by relating and integrating employee-driven informal learning and organisation-driven formal learning.


» Thanks to [DG] for putting me on to Mathemagenic.

"You cannot make people smarter."

I believe this to be true.  However I also think that:

  1. Not every organisation believes that, e.g. the amount of money spent each year on training that doesn't work.
  2. Not every organisation cares how smart it's people are (no matter how much they spend on investors in people logos)

All that downsizing.  All those drives for efficiency at any cost.  They have created environments of paranoia and hostility where there is no interplay between individual and organisation.

My fear is that klogging will only thrive in organisations that are healthy, and that there may not be enough of them.  Or, worse, that klogging will thrive as a control mechanism imposed by insecure and fearful management.  I don't want to be a part of that.

22/08/2002 17:07 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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To teach is to learn

Follow-up thinking from previous post.

Sometimes I catch myself wishing to do some kind of teaching (training, coaching). Although I’m in research now, previous few years of helping others to learn has impacted me badly. I miss it, and I use any opportunity to do it even as an extra workload.

I was curious about a driving force behind it. I thought about this energy and excitement I get when people are growing with my help, but this was not explaining the whole. Now it gets clear: this is my own way to learn. It also explains why I’m not so eager to give the same course more than three times: probably this is enough to understand.

I wonder what connections exist between learning and teaching, or, in KM context, between learning and sharing. Are those who dare to share and eager to learn are the same people? Are these two sides of the same coin? May be it’s a coincidence in my case :-)


» What an excellent question: "What connections exist between learning and teaching?"

To sides of the same coin?  Not sure.  Rather I see that when you care about teaching something to someone you make a commitment that requires deep understanding to fulfil.  The act of committing to teaching is the act of committing to understanding, to learning.

As an example Stephen Covey advises everyone who wants to learn about the 7 habits of highly effective people to begin teaching it within 24 hours of starting to learn.  Of course I had no-one to hand so I had to use my cats.  Have you ever tried teaching a cat to "Think win-win"?  Go on, I dare you!

Maybe this is why I find the 7-habits so hard...

22/08/2002 18:32 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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Licensing: The final word (from me)

Okay the GPL license is now embedded in liveTopics 1.0

So far most of the comments I have received suggest that making liveTopics free software has more advantages than keeping it proprietary and trying to commercialize it.  Although the idea of money seems really great (and really remote) to me right now it's how I was leaning anyway.

I'm going to sleep on it and, barring an overnight conversion or conclusive message to the contrary, I shall be releasing liveTopics 1.0 tomorrow under the GPL.

22/08/2002 20:24 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:

Tables of Contents

As anyone who has clicked on a topic link for one of my posts recently will be aware, my Table of Contents is now pretty big.  I hadn't realised how big until someone told me it was over 600K!!  I guess if I didn't have broadband now I wouldn't have let it get this far without addressing it.

My solution is to provide 2 "drivers" for building the table of contents.  A single outline driver suitable for small sites and a mutli-outline driver suitable for larger sites.  These and other drivers can be selected using a preference (it's pretty simple to add a new driver, e.g. one for doing tables instead of outlines).

The new mutli-outline driver will split the table of contents alphabetically.  This might still lead to some pages being heavier than others but is a simple strategy to implement and should spread things out better than they are at the moment.


22/08/2002 21:43 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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Can teach. Won't teach.

Learning, sharing, and doing both.

... I wonder what connections exist between learning and teaching, or, in KM context, between learning and sharing. Are those who dare to share and eager to learn are the same people? Are these two sides of the same coin? May be it’s a coincidence in my case :-) [Mathemagenic]

I believe that all sharers are learners. However from my experience there are perhaps five to ten times more people who can learn but won't teach than there are people who'll do both. The implication would be that you can only klog 10-20% of an organization. But watch the generation of kids who are going to grow up with the medium.

[Seb's Open Research]

» I'd be interested in any conjecture about the, possibly many, reasons why those people won't teach?

22/08/2002 22:16 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments: