cel4145's blog

When every student has a laptop, why run computer labs?

Ars Technica reports, "Only four freshmen showed up at the University of Virginia in 2007 without a computer of their own, and the school has decided that it's no longer worth the expense of running campus computer labs."

That's a surprise. Who would have thought only 4 out of over 3,100 students would show up without a computer? And on the surface, this definitely sounds like a great cost cutting measure.

Students Mourn Outdated Textbooks and Advocate Open Access

Thanks to Open Education News for clueing me into this recent news item from the University of New Mexico. Members of the UM PIRG group staged a protest over the state of textbook publishing by creating a textbook graveyard on their campus for the books that the campus store would not buy back.

Announcing Writing Spaces, an Open Access Writing Textbook Project

Yesterday, we went live with an open access textbook project--Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing. This is a new book series which will contain peer-reviewed collections of essays--all composed by teachers for students--with each volume freely available for download under a Creative Commons license. Our mission is to build a library of quality open access texts for the writing classroom as an alternative to costly textbooks.

The CC "noncommercial" survey

Lessig has posted a request for Creative Commons users to complete a questionnaire regarding the term "noncommercial."

If you are a CC user, take a few minutes and complete the survey.

BTW: I've always been bothered by CC's definition of noncommercial use because it attempts to define the character of the use (through the use of the term "commercial advantage") rather than just making it about free access to the work. I don't care at all if a for-profit entity uses my work as long as they are not charging for access to it and it is clearly licensed. For those that are interested, here's the relevant paragraph from the legal code of one of the licenses:

You may not exercise any of the rights granted to You in Section 3 above in any manner that is primarily intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation. The exchange of the Work for other copyrighted works by means of digital file-sharing or otherwise shall not be considered to be intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation, provided there is no payment of any monetary compensation in connection with the exchange of copyrighted works.

OpenOffice 3.0 Released for Linux, Windows, Mac

OpenOffice 3.0 has been released. In addition to the traditional Windows and Linux versions, Mac fans will be glad to hear that there is now a native OSX version. See Ars Technica for more details or go straight to the download page.


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