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“Type, Don’t Click, URLs” sez Microsoft

Microsoft provides this “hard to believe someone wrote it seriously and they were not smoking crack” Knowledge Base article Steps that you can take to help identify and to help protect yourself from deceptive (spoofed) Web sites and malicious hyperlinks..

In a nutshell, the smart folks in Redmind suggest that you type all in the browser address field rather than actually touching your mouse on those dangerous hyperlinks:

…a malicious user could create a link to a deceptive (spoofed) Web site that displays the address, or URL, to a legitimate Web site in the Status bar, Address bar, and Title bar. This article describes steps that you can take to help mitigate this issue and to help you to identify a deceptive (spoofed) Web site or URL.

The most effective step that you can take to help protect yourself from malicious hyperlinks is not to click them. Rather, type the URL of your intended destination in the address bar yourself. By manually typing the URL in the address bar, you can verify the information that Internet Explorer uses to access the destination Web site. To do so, type the URL in the Address bar, and then press ENTER.

Can you imagine how popular the web would be if this was how Tim Berners-Lee designed it from the start? Heck, we’d still be using Gopher…

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This is the “Simple” Way to Build RSS? Yikes!

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Motivating Drivers- One Person’s Actions Drives Learning E-mail Filters

I’ve always had this fascination in the large scale effects from small points of change, punctuated equilbrium not just in evolution and white water rafter trips, but also in human nature (anyone with me on that one?)

Actually, I was thinking about a vocal faculty member in our college system that for sake of vagueness, I refer to as non-gender specific “Pat”. The frequency of Pat’s antics vary, but Pat is well known in our system for the loud (in email) finger-pointing, administration bashing, emails blitzed system wide. On a much lower level of frequency, Pat sends out a meaningful story related to life or learning, but usually it is a rant against Pat’s department, Pat’s college leadership, the dark forces of our District office, etc. Anyone who rebuts Pat, whether to the entire system by email or even privately in a direct email to Pat, is then publicly lambasted by Pat in (again a system-wide) email. The best way to deal with Pat is to ignore Pat, logic and reason fail if Pat disagrees.

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The Pachyderm is Coming to Town

No, this is not about the circus. Well, we hope not. Tomorrow (Jan 30) is our Pachyderm: Building Meaningful Content with Learning Objects Dialogue Day event for about 70 registered participants from our colleges, held at Paradise Valley Community College (our “Dialogue Days” are one day special events, workshops, etc that are organized by our office in response to requests of faculty or promising trends, etc).

Pachyderm is one of the most promising tools that would actually be able to build something useful from so-called “learning objects”. Developed by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art as a vehicle to allow non-technical staff (museum curators) to create rich multimedia web/CD/kiosk experiences that add layers of context around the museum exhibits, and it is constructed via a web interface that accesses a database of digitized assets. It is not a small leap to say this is a similar need for faculty, so SFMOMA in conjunction with the New Media Consortium (NMC) have launched the Pachyderm 2.0 project with this goal in mind- to create an open-source authoring platform for educators.

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And My Right Little Toe is a Weblog

A recent barking about “everything is a learning object”, including my left big toe got some interesting responses– sometimes you can slave over an important blogged item and get nary a trackback, but toss out something silly and it ends up down under somewhere. So part two to this escapade is “Everything is a weblog” […]

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Not So Great Moments in Software Design #945,562

It is happening again. If you are like me, you have spent a chunk of time every few hours recently deleting piles of messages from email virus protection systems elsewhere, all claiming that I sent them infected emails (the latest viral attachment crud, W32.Novarg.A@mm, yum what a name). Nothing has changed since September 9, when […]

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My Left Big Toe is a Learning Object

When ever a discussion turns to “defining learing objects” my attention span goes out the door. With more than 500,000 Google-hits (link above), it is not any more clear what a LO is.

The “Learning Object Virtual Community Of Practice” bears the cheery acronym LOVCOP, but it has been a ghost town since summer 2003. The virtual tumbleweds are blowing down main street and the saloon is slient.

But I have read some things recently where it seems that almost any multimedia lesson created, any web page, every single flash goober, seems to bear the hot label of a”learning object.” Therefore, I proclaim that everything that exists is a learning object, including my left big toe, so we can drop the silly jargon and move on to what counts…

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The Panther is Stalking

As I write, my G4 TiBook is evolving from a Jaguar (wow, no links left at Apple)to Panther. I was getting worried about those messages every few days warning that iChat was going to expire. Then I heard about the Mars sim program Maestro that was supposed to be awesome, but on Mac required OSX…. […]