Open Document Format and Microsoft OpenXML Converter

While ODF is an ISO standard, Microsoft lobby hard to get their OpenXML to be standardised also, in the face of objections from a substantial number of countries (strictly the National Bodies that represent national interests at ISO).

A CETIS colleague blogged about all of this last January, but in the mean time a translator has been developed that can be used as a MS Office add-in and MS is now having a second go after getting a bloody nose the first time. Place your bets please…

Creative Britain – a New Economy?

The view from DCMS and BERR in “Creative Britain – New Talents for the New Economy” (published 22 Feb) includes quite a few mentions of IP and “new business models” but doesn’t really deliver much that breaks the mold, certainly nothing that goes anywhere near the open source or open content worlds. This is an unfair comparison, given the diversity of creative industries and some may quibble about the open source comparison, but the seemingly complete omission of new business models is a bit of a shame.

(IP = Intellectual Property, BERR = Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, DCMS = Department of Culture Media and Sport)

Cross-Platform, Real-Time Games. A Sign of Social Networking’s Future?

If one is speculating about technology platforms/approaches that might be applicable to education, or maybe more particularly self-managed learning, casual real-time games might be giving us a hint. I’m thinking not so-much the gaming aspect but the underlying capabilities/technologies that are relied upon. The current state of play (!) is quite crude still but a couple of articles caught my attention.

There are some interesting points on a recent TechCrunch article, especially “Third-party applications may end up substantially downplaying the importance of each particular social network as they replicate the same functionality across networks. This trend may emerge particularly strongly if the social networks themselves resist opening up their social graphs to other networks while users demand interoperability.”

I also noted some elbowing to be at the front of the queue, although this appears to be mostly vapour-ware.