Dec 28, 2007

Democratizing Innovation.. 3D printing

Amazing technology, wonder what the possibilities are.. Now these printers are not so functional, and rather expensive ($3000). But in 10 years...?

Pretty cool that this guy makes the software open source as well.

Dec 25, 2007

Open Yale Courses

Yale started an open educational resource as well. It contains merely video lectures introducing subjects as psychology, philosophy, politics, etc. Pretty interesting, but also a very standard OER.
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Open Yale Courses provides free and open access to seven introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University. The aim of the project is to expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn.

We hope these courses will be a resource for critical thinking, creative imagination, and intellectual exploration.

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Dec 24, 2007

Source of revenue for OCW

Another way to make an OCW initiative more sustainable. Increasing the revenues through book sales. Simple but effective.
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Amazon logo Help support MIT OpenCourseWare by shopping at! MIT OpenCourseWare offers direct links to to purchase the books cited in this course. Click on the Amazon logo to the left of any citation and purchase the book from, and MIT OpenCourseWare will receive up to 10% of all purchases you make. Your support will enable MIT to continue offering open access to MIT courses.
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Dec 18, 2007

promising new Google tool

Official Google Blog: Encouraging people to contribute knowledge  Annotated

  • promising! - post by hennis

Earlier this week, we started inviting a selected group of people to try a new, free tool that we are calling "knol", which stands for a unit of knowledge. Our goal is to encourage people who know a particular subject to write an authoritative article about it.

At the heart, a knol is just a web page; we use the word "knol" as the name of the project and as an instance of an article interchangeably. It is well-organized, nicely presented, and has a distinct look and feel, but it is still just a web page. Google will provide easy-to-use tools for writing, editing, and so on, and it will provide free hosting of the content.

A knol on a particular topic is meant to be the first thing someone who searches for this topic for the first time will want to read. The goal is for knols to cover all topics, from scientific concepts, to medical information, from geographical and historical, to entertainment, from product information, to how-to-fix-it instructions. Google will not serve as an editor in any way, and will not bless any content. All editorial responsibilities and control will rest with the authors. We hope that knols will include the opinions and points of view of the authors who will put their reputation on the line. Anyone will be free to write. For many topics, there will likely be competing knols on the same subject. Competition of ideas is a good thing.

  • very good idea.. this shows a number of differences with Wikipedia: author is explicitly named.. different versions of a particular subject are available: best one will emerge..? - post by hennis

Knols will include strong community tools. People will be able to submit comments, questions, edits, additional content, and so on. Anyone will be able to rate a knol or write a review of it. Knols will also include references and links to additional information. At the discretion of the author, a knol may include ads. If an author chooses to include ads, Google will provide the author with substantial revenue share from the proceeds of those ads.

  • ah, great idea.. why not making money out of some effort? Why write an article anonymous on Wikipedia, or write a knol that both can be valuable for the world as for you?

    Especially if the knol enables many more possibilities and lowers the barrier for writing and reviewing info. - post by hennis

Once testing is completed, participation in knols will be completely open, and we cannot expect that all of them will be of high quality. Our job in Search Quality will be to rank the knols appropriately when they appear in Google search results.