ScottCrumpler's blog

BlackBoard to be purchased for 1.64 Billion

The big, ugly, closed source courseware giant, BlackBoard, is being bought out by the private equity firm Providence Equity Partners for a ridiculously huge amount of money.  From ITProPortal.com:

Educational software maker BlackBoard has agreed on the acquisition by a group of investors led by Providence Equity Partners for $1.64 billion.

Lessig predicts an Internet catastrophy and an Internet PATRIOT Act response

I just saw this piece from Fortune reporting that Lawrence Lessig is predicting a catastrophic online event within the next decade that will prompt the US government to unveil an already-written bill similar to the PATRIOT Act which will grant the Fed additional powers in Internet surveilance and investigation. Evidently, Lessig got this information from a counterterrorism expert:

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Firefox 3 released - Firefox 2 bookmarks fix

Firefox 3 has just been released to a massive wave of early adopters, and, based on my experience with the betas and now the production version, I can attest to its performance improvements and cool new interface. However, I ran into a problem when installing Firefox 3, wherein all of my Firefox 2 bookmarks were lost. For all the open source folks here, I thought I'd post a link to mozillaZine's solution to the bookmark problem.

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GPLv3 drawing criticism

Earlier today, I read an article at InformationWeek.com that discusses the upcoming version of the General Public License, to be released later this month. It seems some within the open source community aren't happy with the additional protections being added to the new License:

Commerce is reshaping journalism online

The Editor's Weblog features an interesting post today about the way print publications (newspapers, specifically) are teaching their writers how to write articles so that they are optimized for search engine rankings on Google's news page:

UK newspapers are teaching their reporters how to write articles. How so? By writing in ways that show up at the top of search results from Google and other search engines. This is a look at how the online news portal oligarchy is concretely changing journalism.
The Times of London is training journalists in making their articles show up at the top of Google’s unpaid search results. "You make sure key phrases and topic words are embedded in the top paragraph and headlines," says Zach Leonard, the Times’ digital-media publisher

This isn't exactly news, as businesses of all stripes have jumped on the blogging bandwagon as a way of attracting potential customers to their sites; although, it does seem to suggest that editors are far more willing to blur the line between editorial and advertising than they once were. Online news sites generate additional revenue (for the parent print publication) through the sale of banner and textual ads, and by actively altering the way an article is written to be ranked higher on a search engine listing seems to have more to do with increasing site traffic, and thereby increasing ad impressions, than it does with the quality of the article itself.

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