30. September 2007 · Comments Off on Military cuts internet access to silence Burmese people · Categories: Issues
Any doubts that citizens of all countries should vote down and shout down government attempts to control the internet? Check out the latest violation of civil liberties being perpetrated by the Burmese government. According the UK Guardian Times, USA Today and other major newspapers, the Burmese government apparently cut internet access to stem the tide of images, updates and opinions from protesters to the rest of the world. Even before this, the government there reportedly monitored internet use at internet cafes by taking screen captures every five minutes. If you still have a voice and your government or well meaning protectionist agency hasn’t fully filtered your access as yet, the Democratic Voice of Burma web site is asking for you to show your support of the Burmese people.
28. September 2007 · Comments Off on Smart shoes for a smart mob · Categories: eduausem2007, Events

painted-shoes-1 painted-shoes-1 Gotta love these shoes! My colleague De Bullen decorated these shoes herself to prepare for the Smart Mob taking place tonight (Friday, 28 September) from 5pm to 6pm in front of Adelaide University’s Elder Hall. The painted shoes are a tip of the hat to Howard Rheingold, a writer on cultural, social and political implications of new communication media and the author of the book Smart Mobs. He’s speaking today in Adelaide as a keynote at eDayz and Tuesday in Melbourne as the final speaker in education.au’s 2007 seminar series Here’s the Facebook group link for more info on tonight’s Smart Mob: http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=4903757231&topic=3264

27. September 2007 · Comments Off on Michael Jackson has always been white · Categories: Issues, Technologies
The World Wide Web has always existed, as has texting, virtual reality and bottled water. Most phone conversations aren’t private and its always been that way. And how do you use a typewriter? These are just a few examples of the frame of reference of the students starting university in 2007, according to Beloit college in the US.
Interesting brouhaha overviewed at Slashdot concerning the use of a Creative Commons photo in an advertising campaign.  A church counselour took a photo of one of his charges and posted it on Flickr using a Creative Commons licence.  Virgin used the photo in an ad campaign and credited the photographer by his Flickr tag (the only condition of the licence). Now the family is suing – saying (among other things) that by using their daughter Alison’s image, Virgin has damaged Alison’s reputation and exposed her to ridicule from her peers and scrutiny from people who can now Google her.  They are also suing Creative Commons and have named the photographer as a co-complainant. Interesting times here.  When applying an attrubtion only, Creative Commons licence — what rights do the subjects of our photos have in relation to publication?  Do we need to get releases if our photos have people in them? I would have advised the counselour not to publicly publish a photo of a student under the age of 18 without one. OR do we need to apply a more restrictive licence when our photos involve other people? Because, an adult could equally be offended or feel cheated by the use of their image by a commercial entity without her/his permission. As a cheeky side note, while I can understand not wanting one’s daughter to be Googled without consent, I find it a tad ironic that they feel the ad has damaged Alison’s reputation — considering they are allegedly devout Christians and would, therefore, assumedly not have an issue with the implication that their daughter is a virgin. 
A short post this one — but as I had to work this issue out for myself, thought I’d share with the web community. The spell check in my Open Office writer program would not work – I even deleted my current version and installed the latest/greatest.  I was blaming it on Windows Vista (a regular scapegoat for me these days). It turns out that the Language settings for Australia are amiss.  If you are Australian and asking why isn’t spell checker working — dig down to the Language settings and make sure they are set to Default, rather than Australian.  For spell checking, use UK English. There! Good deed done for the day.  If there’s a better place to post this, lemme know.