Friday, November 16, 2007

Really Done with Final Reminders This Time

I sent out all the final reminders except one. The last one I could not send because Gmail shut me off again, probably because I had lots of errors on the university of Pittsburgh recruitment - plus I think I've exceeded my limit of mail.

Usually the error will go off in about 24 hours.

I always make sure that the URL in the reminder email matches up to the URL in the previous email, since this is a reminder.

Also, if I had errors in the previous email, I can see those in the thread. So, I cut and paste all the emails into a word document, and then search for and delete the previous emails that bounced.

There is a lot of be said for using various technological tools for sending out these kinds of recruitments.

If someone had emailed me and stated that they had taken the survey, I deleted them as well because I didn't want to bother them with a needless reminder.

Final Reminder Survey

OK, I am going to send out the final reminder to my last batch to take the survey.

At present:




TOTAL = 422

Anti-P2P Bill Makes it Past the House with No Problems

C/Net news reports that ( )

"In the House Education and Labor Committee's mammoth College Opportunity and Affordability Act (PDF) lies a tiny section, which dictates universities that participate in federal financial aid programs 'shall' devise plans for 'alternative' offerings to unlawful downloading, such as subscription-based services, or 'technology-based deterrents to prevent such illegal activity.' The committee unanimously approved the bill Thursday."

The article went on to state that the Association of American Universities had written a letter to House committee leaders urging them against such mandates. "The letter was signed by the chancellor of the University of Maryland system, the president of Stanford University, the general counsel of Yale University, and the president of Pennsylvania State University."

The bill passed nonetheless.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Academic Analytics Ranks Michigan State University Rhetoric and Writing Program

Top Universities in Humanities & Fine Arts Disciplines in FSP Index 2006-07

Composition, Rhetoric, & Writing

  • U. Arizona (Rhetoric, Composition and Teaching of English)
  • U. Pittsburgh (Rhetoric and Communication)
  • UT - El Paso (Rhetoric and Composition)
  • U. Washington (Technical Communication)
  • Texas Tech U. (Technical Communication and Rhetoric)
  • Michigan State U. (Rhetoric and Writing)
  • Illinois IT (Technical Communication)
  • Iowa State U. (Rhetoric & Profession Communication)
  • Indiana U. of Pennsylvania (Composition and TESOL)
  • Miami U. (OH) (Composition & Rhetoric)
  • Wednesday, November 14, 2007

    House Bill Forces Colleges to Police Copyright or Risk Losing Fed. Aid

    A House Bill has been introduced on Nov. 7 (over 700 pages long -- to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA), "College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007") requiring institutions of higher education to develop new institutional plans for addressing infringement on
    their networks or risk losing federal funding.

    I learned about this at the League for Innovation Conference on Information Technology in Nashville this week -- however, a number of bloggers have taken up the cause, asking for concerned citizens to write their congress persons. My understanding is that this is an urgent matter. I heard that the bill could be signed tomorrow--although I am not able to independently confirm that.

    Stuart Selber presented a paper on related issues at the WIDE conference a couple years ago.

    According to "Talking Points" by Educause (taken verbatim from ):

    "Part two occurs in a new SEC. 494 (A), CAMPUS-BASED DIGITAL THEFT PREVENTION, which requires that all institutions eligible for financial aid under Title IV "(2) develop a plan for offering alternatives to illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property as well as a plan to explore technology-based deterrents to prevent such illegal activity." These requirements are unacceptable and the higher education community urges that this section be removed from the bill.

    • Campuses that offer legal downloading services typically must charge a student fee to cover the expense. Taken across all campuses, this practice could represent a transfer of over $400 million annually from higher education to the entertainment industry while raising the cost
    of higher education.

    • Most colleges and universities have already considered offering legal, online music or movie services. Their students, however, have often told them they do not want to use or pay for these services because they do not carry musicians that the students want, do not work with Apple iPods, etc. The failure of industry to create and offer attractive downloading services should not lead to a federal solution in which colleges and universities must bear an additional financial burden so that industry can sell more of these services.

    • Today's technologies to deter copyright infringement on college and university networks are expensive, do not solve the problem, and fail to meet basic requirements identified by higher education community experts in a workshop of the Joint Committee of Higher Education and the Entertainment Community on April 19-20, 2007. Installing deterrent technology now at every campus would require an even larger increase in the cost of higher education.

    • The higher education community is already working with the entertainment industry to explore technology-based deterrents as planned in the next steps of this workshop.

    • Campus networks are a small fraction of the copyright infringement problem. The MPAA estimates that 18.4% of copyright infringers are college students and that they are responsible for 44% of revenue lost to copyright infringement. These figures are inaccurate and overstate
    the case. Yet even by these figures, since less than 20% of college students live on campus and use the residence hall networks, this means that less than 4% of the infringers are using campus networks, and they are responsible for less than 9% of the losses. Over 91% of the claimed losses are on commercial networks. While solving this small part of the problem on campus networks would be desirable, any solutions will be partial, difficult, and expensive, and will only move the problem elsewhere. Campus networks should not be singled out with respect to commercial networks when addressing copyright infringement.

    We oppose the provision in part (2) of section 494 (A) and urge that it be eliminated."

    Friday, November 2, 2007

    Test Suite of Fair Use Videos

    This is a great set of videos that test the bounds of fair use -- might be good as discussion points in a course - the argument by EFF is that watermarking to stop or block such videos is inappropriate because each needs to be interpreted in context in order to determine whether fair use is protecting these remixes or not.

    Fox News v. McCain on Fair Use

    An excerpt:
    “The Fox News Channel has sent a cease-and-desist letter to John McCain’s presidential campaign demanding that he stop airing a new commercial because it uses footage from a recent Republican candidates’ debate sponsored by Fox News. (You can view the ad, entitled “Tied Up,” on McCain’s site here). The Fox News logo is visible in the bottom corner of the screen.”
    Excerpted from William McGeveran’s blogpost, “Fox News v. McCain on Fair Use”


    I am sending out the final reminder for the final segment of the population. Here are the numbers at present: