Archives for October 2006

New InqScribe Discussion Forum

We’ve been using phpbb to run our discussion forum for InqScribe. Unfortunately, phpbb-run sites receive a ton of spam, and the ratio of spam to legitimate posts was extremely high. In addition, in order to try to slow down the spammers, we had to create a set of hoops that everyone who wanted to post a question or comment had to jump through: you had to complete a registration form, check your email for a “welcome” message that contained a URL, and click the URL… all just to ask a basic question about how InqScribe worked.

It’s no wonder we weren’t getting a lot of traffic on the forum. So, we’ve switched over to a new forum that should address both issues: it’ll have limited spam and you can post a question right away, without having to register at all.

We’ve left the old forum up as an archive: you can search its contents, but no new posts (or registrations) are allowed.

Stop by and drop us a note.

posted October 28, 2006 by eric | permalink | Add comment

Eudora to Gain New Life as Open Source

Tidbits reports that Eudora will become an open-source collaboration with the Mozilla Foundation. Eudora has long been my favorite email program, though it is getting dated and has not seen a significant upgrade in sometime. Look for a version of Eudora built on top of Thunderbird in the first half of 2007. Steve Dorner, Eudora’s original developer, will lead the project and invites user input at the project’s new page. Viva Eudora!

posted October 18, 2006 by matt | permalink | Add comment

Get ready for the web to break...

Internet Explorer 7 is due to be released in a few weeks via Automatic Updates! Apparently the developers have gone for standards compliance over backward compatibility, so we can expect a lot of web sites to break. Time to do some testing on your site!

posted October 17, 2006 by ben | permalink | Add comment

Breathing Earth

Breathing Earth is a very nice dynamic visualization of population change and carbon dioxide production on a country-by-country basis. A country’s birth and death rate is shown using real time events, taking advantage of the fact that in fast growing countries like India and China, there is a birth every one-to-two seconds. The dynamic nature of these events makes the overall visualization interesting to watch over time, and it illustrates one way to represent multiple attributes of a country (birth rate, death rate, CO2 production) simultaneously.

posted October 13, 2006 by eric | permalink | Add comment


Passing on the call for papers for CSCL 2007.

The Computer Support for Collaborative Learning (CSCL) conference is an internationally recognized forum for the exchange of ideas related to learning through collaborative activity.

CSCL 2007 will be held at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey from July 16-21, 2007. The theme of the conference, Of Mice, Minds, and Society, promotes exploration of the interrelations among technology, individual cognition, and social cognition. The goal of the conference is to sharpen community perspectives on how these threads of CSCL are interwoven and how they interactively contribute to an understanding of the nature of learning in technology-supported environments.

The call for papers can be found at

The deadline for submission will be November 8, 2006.

(If you’re wondering — I was — “mice” refers to the mouse as input device. Not the furry little maze-runner.)

posted October 02, 2006 by eric | permalink | Add comment

ICLS 2006 Video

Several of the ICLS 2006 conference sessions were videotaped, and they’re now available in three formats: streaming RealPlayer, streaming QuickTime, and downloadable iPod video. If you missed the conference — or even if you were there — it’s a great way to catch up.

posted October 02, 2006 by eric | permalink | Add comment

AERA 2006 SIG-ATL Podcasts

At AERA back in April, SIG-ATL announced that they would be posting podcasts of several AERA sessions on their site. I haven’t seen a formal announcement on their weblog, but as of today, at least, those podcasts are available in WAV format.

posted October 02, 2006 by eric | permalink | Add comment

Cultural Studies of Science Education blog

So back in August, Springer announced their Cultural Studies of Science Education blog: essentially a companion for their eponymous journal. So far, it seems to be a glorified RSS feed of their published content, which is too bad. If they wanted a RSS-based notification system for their published content, they should have just created one. But announcing a blog creates expectations for a different kind of content.

Regardless, if you’d like occasional notifications when new CSSE articles come out, take a look.

posted October 02, 2006 by eric | permalink | Add comment


If you’re a Mac OS X user, take a look at Perian. It’s a free QuickTime plugin that enables QuickTime to play back additional formats, including Divx, XviD, FLV, MS-MPEG4 v1, MS-MPEG4 v2, MS-MPEG4 v3, DivX 3.11 alpha, 3ivX, Sorenson H.263, Flash Screen Video, Truemotion VP6, and more.

Did I mention it’s free? This is a great way to extend QuickTime (and InqScribe) to play back additional content.

posted October 02, 2006 by eric | permalink | Add comment