Category Archive:education

DRM is really, really stupid. ( admin posted on July 16th, 2008 )

I’ve been avoiding anything ipod related for a long time – especially since I read Cory Doctorow’s excellent speech some years ago.

Today I heard another story where someone wanted, quite reasonably, to put music onto a different player to their normal ipod for a while. And couldn’t. Yes there are ways round it, but making people jump through hoops to play their own music is not good for business, or as was said to me “If I had known about this I would never have had an ipod. I will never buy another”. Nuff said. Your music should be your music.

Googling for Cory + DRM finds a lot of similar comments.

Another funny explanation of drm is here.

I don’t have an MP3 player, but my kids do . . . . .

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Categories: education, general

Check this out ( admin posted on June 21st, 2008 )

Register story here

Site here

(Professor David J C MacKay of the Cambridge University Department of Physics )

Interesting reading.

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Categories: education, general

Teenagers ( admin posted on February 26th, 2008 )

Take note – this means you . . .


Just superb.

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Categories: education, general, kids

BECTA Reports again ( admin posted on January 30th, 2008 )

BECTA has reported more fully on Microsoft and their office products. They don’t like it – a lot of money for little gain for most people. Having just ordered 2 new computers for work (with XP and Office 2007) I will get to see what all the fuss is about at last. Giving Vista a wide berth of course.

These are my favourite bits of utter madness regarding school licensing :-

  • If a school is using some Apple computers that are not running any Microsoft software they must still pay Microsoft annual licence fees for those computers, even though they are running software supplied by Microsoft’s competitor.
  • If a school wants Vista on some computers under its subscription agreement but decides to set up an internet access lab using computers that were purchased in (say) 2002 and that cannot run Vista, the school must still pay Microsoft annually as if it was actually running Vista on those older computers.
  • If a school sets up a small network in its computer science department running an open source operating system such as Linux, to ensure that pupils have as wide a range of ICT skills as possible, it will have to pay Microsoft annual licence fees for each of the Linux PCs in the school.

We can’t switch yet to openoffice for everyone at work because MS XL still has a killer feature (shared workbooks) which we use all the time. Google docs is not an option for us in a small office but does work well between individuals. It is being worked on at OOo, though.

Also this week the French Police are switching to Ubuntu according to The Register. Glad I’m not the sales rep. for Microsoft in Paris right now. Big headache.

We (kids) use Ubuntu at home (currently 7.04) and it “just works” – apart from when they try and run an EXE file from school. No loss there then.

I am still on SuSE 9.3

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Categories: education, general

BECTA and VISTA/Office 2007 ( admin posted on March 7th, 2007 )

BECTA just published an interim report for schools to consider before “upgrading” to MS Vista and Office 2007. Full report is not out until 2008.

One or two choice comments :-

“The new features of Vista add value but do not justify early deployment in the educational ICT estate. Educational institutions are strongly advised to consider the findings of Becta’s final report on Vista before considering any wide-scale deployment.”

“Of the 176 new features of Office 2007 identified, many are considered to be of more use to a business than to an educational institution. Following their analysis, Oakleigh concluded that none of these new features were ‘must have’.”

“With Office 2007, Microsoft introduces a new UI for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, but there is no ‘c