Bruce Schneier on privacy, security, control, and google

Bruce Schneier speaks at the 2010 EWI Cybersecurity Summit.

Granular explicit control over privacy is unnatural…

Electronic commerce produces data. Everything we do produces data. (in ways traditional cash-based commerce did not)

Businesses and governments are forcibly changing social norms. Who gets to make the rules?

We are not Google’s customer. We are actually Google’s product, that they sell to their customer.

Data is the pollution problem of the 21st century.

Video: Sticky Concepts (introduction to) eLearning

I just found this introduction to eLearning and blended learning video, produced by the United Nations University Vice Rectorate in Europe (UNU-ViE). It’s very basic, but that’s the point of the video. Could come in handy in talking with faculty members – sometimes they have interesting concepts of what eLearning is (and isn’t)…

Sticky Concepts on E-learning from UNU-ViE on Vimeo.

on expensive canadian cell phone plans

I recently signed up for a cell phone plan. The cheapest deal I could manage was $50/month, plus taxes and fees, and involved a 3 year contract commitment. That’s $1800 over the term of the contract. And I got to pay a substantial chunk of the price of the phone, as well.

If I let myself be talked into the various bells and whistles offered as add-ons to the monthly plan, I’d be paying nearly $100/month. For a phone.

Wireless North took a look at cell phone plan rates in a few countries and it looks like the feeling of being taken for a ride is probably pretty common here in Canada.


Openness and Corporate Paywalls

George posted a quick note about how an interview he gave for an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education was published. Behind a paywall. The Chronicle took an interview, freely given by everyone (except, I assume, for the paid interviewer and editor?), on the topic of openness in education, and decided to lock it behind a mechanism constructed to block access to it.

I’m not going to link to The Chronicle article (or, more accurately, anything on The Chronicle, ever), so here’s a screenshot of the short snippet of the article that they publish “openly” – I love how they cut it off in mid-sentence… Taking the what? I must know! Here’s my credit card number! Please! Take it!


And just suppose you had no grade…

A physicist and a biochemist have a conversation about grades, decide that grades are dumb.

We were talking (and surprisingly agreeing) that grades were dumb. What would happen if we stopped grading? Wouldn’t that be awesome?

So, what would happen if there were no grades? Here are some thoughts.

Read the post for some of their thoughts. What’s interesting to me is that these aren’t long-haired lefty liberal hippies calling for The End of Education. They are scientists and educators, realizing that grades don’t do what we think they do, and how that negatively effects the education experience.