Xebece – Information Visualization

freshmeat.net: Project details for Xebece
Xebece is a multipurpose tool for information visualization and organization. It can be used to set up intriguing presentations. Likewise, document management is straightforward and effective if you use Xebece. Application fields of Xebece include presentations, courses and training, document management, mind mapping and brainstorming, and knowledge management. This program was formerly known as Calientra or Ontographics.

Students Do Better Without Computers

Slashdot | Students Do Better Without Computers
The Telegraph is reporting a large study that shows that the less students use computers at school and at home, the better they do in international tests of literacy and math. The more access they had to computers at home, the lower they scored in tests, partly because they diverted attention from homework. Students tended to do worse in schools generously equipped with computers, apparently because computerised instruction replaced more effective forms of teaching.

There are some good comments in this piece. This study highlights the ambivilence toward the use of computers in education. It is not that difficult to find evidence on both sides of this argument, but the thing that one should carry away from it all is that computers are a tool. And any tool can have a either a negative or a positive impact depending upon how it is used.

I think the key to primary and secondary education in the US is parental involvement. Know what your kids are doing in school and at home, guide them in decisions on which tools to use, and be proactive about what is going on in your child’s classroom. Yes, it is a lot of work, but raising children is no easy task.

Google Print Results Are Turning Up

Slashdot | Google’s Library Up and Running
It seems that Google Print results are beginning to appear on searches. For those who don’t know, Google has been scanning from libraries from some of the world’s greatest universities in order to compile a freely accessible online library. An easy way to turn up these results is to simply type “book”, and then whatever you want to search for. For instance, book origin of species will turn up the full text of Charles Darwin’s controversial treatise.

A Look at Novell’s Hula

Doing the Hula : Page 1
At its core, Hula is a mail and calendar server, but the idea behind Hula is much broader. Instead of trying to position itself as the next thing in “groupware,” the Novell-backed Hula team has set out to create a solution that people actually want to use — a solution that, given the choice, a user would want to use over any other available products. That’s not to say that Hula won’t have the features of a robust groupware product — out of the box, it is an e-mail (POP3, IMAP, SMTP) server with a rich client web interface, calendar, mailing lists and virus protection. The possibilities, it seems, are endless.

Of note here is that Hula appears to be based on an open sourced version of Novell Netmail