Here is a rag bag of different articles that you could have read and pondered over just the last 24 hours if you were a Twitter or Zite user. For those who don't know it, Zite is a great free iPad app that functions for me as a personal newspaper or reader. It knows my interests (I told it) and it learns what I like to read and delivers me more content on a regular basis without all the rubbish that clutters other services. I wonder how long it'll last like this so get in fast before Rupert kills it.
- The e-book lending wars: When authors attack. Fear of piracy and authors against lending on principle. It all sounds awful. What is lovely is this bit: As musician Neil Young put it recently: “Piracy is the new radio — it’s how music gets around.” So true. I heard a very experienced lawyer for US musicians recently at an ideas fest in the OPera House. He said that the problem the record companies had with Napster was not that they stole their content, but that Napster could do what they could not do: distribute music really fast (online).
- Top 10 Clever Uses for Dropbox. Normally I don't like top 10 lists, but I do like Lifehacker and I use Dropbox, so I looked at this and saw some uses that I wasn't familiar with like monitoring your computer for unauthorised access or managing BitTorrent downloads (not that I even know what a torrent file is!).
- Twitter and Scientists. A PhD candidate shares some of the things she finds useful with Twitter.
- Textbooks Unbound. A startup called Boundless challenges the textbook market by packaging (freely available) open access materials. This talks about moves by companies like Amazon to rent textbooks and the developing open educational resources movement (or market?). Boundless is being sued by at least three publishers. Of course it is.
- What Will Higher Education Look Like in 2020? Tanya's maths is bad: 2020 is only eight years away, not 12. This is, however, a topic that is concentrating a lot of thought in universities at present. It is all still a bit debatable. You could look into the economics behind Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in this essay Bitter Reality of MOOConomics or another article on What's right and wrong about Coursera-style MOOCs. How do future libraries fit into all this? If you have any thoughts please send them to me. And here are Four Reasons Librarians Should Join a MOOC.
- For those keen on sport and the recent Olympics in London there is this great article Swimming Australia's incentive model was a failure: fact. Essentially the article is about people, not sport. As a lapsed economist I agree with this sociologist's take on it all that not everything in life should be reduced to a simple cost-benefit analysis and also that sociability shapes our motivation. We do care what others think of us. I really enjoyed reading this article and the voicing of opinions like this is long overdue.
- Putting an End to the Biggest Lie on the Internet. Those pesky Terms of Service that we all agree to! A new site aims to give more power to users by summarizing terms of service, flagging potential issues and rating apps on a scale from A (the best) to E (the worst). TwitPic gets the worst possible rating so you might want to consider future use. Thanks to @marksmithers of Swinburne Uni for that tweet!
- BrainPickings is always good for thought-provoking content, so here's 10 Rules for Students, Teachers and Life by John Cage and Sister Corita Kent. I really like rules 4, 6 & 8. Life is short: share your passion!
- Finally, some tips for those with iPads: a how-to guide for Blogging Using Just the iPad.