Stuff that isn’t blog-post-worthy, but may be helpful to think out loud.

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Tyler Hellard on the state of journalism

Columnists, Gawker, ViralNova, porn and websites profiling other websites prove that the Internet was a wonderful thing and we absolutely broke the shit out of it. Well done, team! โ€ฆ So what's the point? A lot of this stuff isn't thought provoking, it's rage provoking. Which, I suppose, makes it traffic/pick-up provoking, too. Newspapers are supposed to be for the benefit of public discourse, so it kills me that pageviews could be keeping these assholes in work. Read More
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On using a Surface 3

I’ve been using a Surface Pro 3 as my mobile tablet-shaped device for 3 (non-consecutive) weeks. If I’m going to be able to work with instructors who use various bits of tech, I need to be able to speak from experience. That means I need to use more than just Apple devices - so, my time with a Surface. Also, I used an Android phone (Nexus 5) as my phone-shaped-device while traveling to DC last year for Open Ed 2014. Read More

Downes on lectures

The point of a lecture isn't to teach. It's to reify, rehearse, assemble and celebrate. via Stephen's Web. Stephen ended his post linking to Tony's blog post with what appears to be a throwaway line. It's not. This is where the tension is centred when it comes to teaching. Lectures aren't teaching, but have been used as a proxy for teaching because how else are you going to make sure 300 students get the appropriate number of contact hours? Read More
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on after-hours work email

The results were immediate and powerful. The employees exhibited significantly lower stress levels. Time off actually rejuvenated them: More than half said they were excited to get to work in the morning, nearly double the number who said so before the policy change. And the proportion of consultants who said they were satisfied with their jobs leaped from 49 percent to 72 percent. Most remarkably, their weekly work hours actually shrank by 11 percent—without any loss in productivity. Read More
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UofC budget

I haven't seen an official breakdown of the impact of provincial budget cuts on the UofC itself. Saw this mention in a related article on executive salary freeze: In its 2013 budget released two weeks ago, the province cut the University of Calgary's operational budget by about $32 million, or seven percent. The university states that is equal to a nine percent difference in funding when it includes a two per cent increase which was promised in the 2012 budget. Read More
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Gehl, R.W. (2013). What's on your mind? Social media monopolies and noopower

Gehl, R.W. (2013). What’s on your mind? Social media monopolies and noopower. First Monday. 18(3). On noopower1 through marketing and repetition extended into ubiquitous social media: Operating within the larger political economy of advertising-supported media, it is not surprising that Facebook, Google, and Twitter mirror marketing’s penchant for experimentation and repetition. Software engineers working for these firms pore over data about what actions users most commonly take รขโ‚ฌโ€ that is, what is most often repeated within the architectures of the sites. Read More
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Bassett, C. (2013). Science, delirium, lies?

The potential for thinking through new re–combinations, new ways to draw up code and language into a new media politics are suggestive. But I want finally to return to the question this article began with: more or less? This text has been framed by a belief that social media monopolies ought to be disrupted — and in the name of at least two of the things they are axiomatically understood to promote (social justice, solidarity as a form of community) and do not. Read More
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understatement

"At the University of Calgary we have built a strong financial foundation due to the hard work of many people over the last several years," says Cannon. "We have contingency funding set aside, and we will continue to work to find operational efficiencies and grow revenue. We will continue to move toward our Eyes High goals. Nevertheless, a budget reduction of this size means that we have some difficult decisions to make in the coming months. Read More
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Post-secondary budgets cuts a surprise, U of C president says - Calgary - CBC News

Operational grants for Alberta colleges and universities are being slashed by about $147 million for the next year - almost seven per cent. University of Calgary president Elizabeth Cannon told CBC News the university was expecting a two per cent increase for each of the next three years. via Post-secondary budgets cuts a surprise, U of C president says - Calgary - CBC News.
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Alberta budget 2013 marked by deficit spending, increased debt | Canadian Politics | Canada | News | National Post

Although its economy is still strong, growth is high and unemployment is low, a decline in bitumen prices brought on by decreased pipeline capacity has thrown the province's finances off the rails. Alison Redford's government announced it would cut spending and borrow billions to cope with a multi-billion-dollar shortfall. via Alberta budget 2013 marked by deficit spending, increased debt | Canadian Politics | Canada | News | National Post. (also, the National Post's crazy " Read More
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