A Canadianized version of the Creative Commons was launched today through efforts of the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC). Many of you are familiar with the original Creative Commons, however, if not:

“… the Canadian Creative Commons (cc-ca) licence will enable Canadian digital creators to independently construct and attach copyright licences to their works. Read: No lawyers required! The cc licence has been embraced by creators world-wide and can currently be found in use on over 3,000,000 digital artworks ranging from text to sound to computer graphics as well as the websites through which they are promoted.”

Additionally, on the site there are good references to basic information regarding open source licenses. If you are developing any digitally accessible resources, and would like to extend your ideas to the general public (with a number of different options), be sure to check out the Creative Commons.

Farewell to the Expos

Expos administration announced early yesterday that that the Montreal Expos will be moving to Washington D.C. The Expos have always been my team, and I will truly miss them.

See the full story at the CBC.

Degree Confluence Project

I saw this a while back, but I think it’s too cool not to share. The Degree Confluence Project is a collaborative endeavour to visit and catalogue each of the latitude and longitude integer degree intersections in the world. Each visited intersection is charted with a picture and a story by individuals and groups participating from all parts of the earth. Very neat project!

‘Opening’ University Research

There’s an interest article by Michael Geist in today’s edition of the Toronto Star Law Bytes column. Basically Geist is arguing against the existing practice of that Universities spend billions of dollars on research only to end up ‘buying back” the dissemination through journal subscription and copyright fees. Geist notes a recent letter calling on the U.S. Government to move towards more free forms of research dissemination.

“Late last month, a group of Nobel prize winners in the United States (which faces the same dilemma) issued a public letter calling on their government to link public research funding with public dissemination of the results. Canada should jump at the chance to adopt a similar model that would tie free, public dissemination to all publicly funded research. Such an approach would still leave room to commercialize the research results, while providing Canadians with an unprecedented innovation opportunity and a more immediate return on its research granting investment.”

Obviously there are economic reasons that warrant against the existing practice of universities and other public institutions. However, we need to push the issue of openness for reasons, if none other, of public access to knowledge.

Connectivity and Learning in Canadian Schools

StatsCan has released another report in the Connectivity series that details the key indicators for Internet connectivity in Canada. The report can be downloaded here.

It was good to see Saskatchewan in the list of provinces/territories that were identified as broadband leaders (others included the Yukon, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia). However, I still see basic problems in the ‘connectivity agenda’ that seems to assume that hardware dropping and Internet connections equate to better/improved learning. Additionally, the paper identifies increased technology implementation costs as one of the biggest issues in faced by school administrators.

I know a report like this is a measurement tool, and not meant to identify possibly solutions to the maladies of our schools. However, I still can’t get why there isn’t a bigger push for open source software/open content in schools. What is it going to take to get more individuals aware of the cost-savings (to say the least) of introducing open tools and content into our school systems?

New Ways & New Technologies – Conference, Calgary

There’s an upcoming conference to be held in Calgary from October 13-16, 2004 titled “New Ways & New Technologies in Social Sciences, Humanities and the Arts”. It looks pretty interesting. The conference is intended to focus on new media technologies and their impact on research and the new knowledge economy. Check out the details of the conference at:

‘Essential’ OSX Programs

I’m loving the 43 Folders blog as a great source of tips, tricks and resources, many related to owning a Mac. So, I have been having a great time going through a recent 43 Folders post which features a growing list of repositories/inventories of OS X software. I’ve come across such inventories here and there, but it’s great to see a compiled list in one location. I love this stuff … it may be a while before I come up for air.

Wikipedia Breaks One Million Articles

The Wikimedia Foundation announced today that the one millionth article has been published in Wikipedia.

“Started in January 2001, Wikipedia is currently both the world’s largest encyclopedia and its fastest-growing, with articles under active development in over 100 languages. Nearly 2,500 new articles are added to Wikipedia each day, along with ten times as many updates to existing articles.” (Source)

It’s absolutely amazing to me to see how fast this open-publishing based resource has grown.

Lookup Amazon items at Local Library: Simple Bookmarklet

I have just discovered this terrific time-saving bookmarklet (via 43 Folders and Dan’s Blog). Basically, it’s a tool that allows you to quickly lookup items from many of the major book retailers (e.g., Amazon, BN, etc.) in your local library. This helps to answer the question, “I wonder if my library’s got this?” without awkwardly stumbling and cutting and pasting between two windows.

For those of you in my local environment (University of Regina), you can get started by dragging the following link to your links toolbar.

U of R LookUp

For our neighbours at the University of Saskatchewan, drag the following link to your links tool bar.

U of S LookUp

For everyone else, you should be able to find your institution through the John Udell LibraryLookup homepage, if you know the type of management system your library uses.

Now simply find a book on Amazon or one of the other major distributors, and when you get to the book information page, click on the bookmarklet on your links bar, and it should retrieve the catalogue information at your local library. Terrific timesaver!!!