College Bans Wikipedia

A His­to­ry Depart­ment Bans Cit­ing Wikipedia as a Research Source

“…the Mid­dle­bury his­to­ry depart­ment noti­fied its stu­dents this month that Wikipedia could not be cit­ed in papers or exams, and that stu­dents could not “point to Wikipedia or any sim­i­lar source that may appear in the future to escape the con­se­quences of errors.

With the move, Mid­dle­bury, in Ver­mont, jumped into a grow­ing debate with­in jour­nal­ism, the law and acad­e­mia over what respect, if any, to give Wikipedia arti­cles, writ­ten by hun­dreds of vol­un­teers and sub­ject to mis­takes and some­times delib­er­ate false­hoods.“

See full arti­cle from
The New York Times

See Open Cul­ture’s pod­cast col­lec­tions:

Arts & Cul­tureAudio BooksFor­eign Lan­guage LessonsNews & Infor­ma­tionTech­nol­o­gyUni­ver­si­ty (Gen­er­al)Uni­ver­si­ty (B‑School)

University Video Collections


Note: Please don’t for­get to vis­it our col­lec­tion of Free Cours­es, which includes many cours­es from top uni­ver­si­ties in video.

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Goodies from Our Readers — Take 1

Here’s a new fea­ture that we’ll do on a reg­u­lar basis. If you know of good­ies (pod­casts, videos, etc.) relat­ed to what we gen­er­al­ly dis­cuss here, and if you think oth­er read­ers might appre­ci­ate them, please drop us an email (or post your tips in the com­ments sec­tion below) and we’ll do our best to post them. Thanks in advance for any con­tri­bu­tions.

Here are sev­er­al that we recent­ly received:

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The Top 25 Educational Podcasts on iTunes

ItuneslogoBelow, you’ll find iTunes’ rank­ing of the top 25 edu­ca­tion­al pod­casts. For your con­ve­nience, we’ve includ­ed links to the feed for each pod­cast so that you can access it any way you like. We’ll aim to
update this list twice per month and high­light what’s new and worth lis­ten­ing to.

#1. Cof­fee Break Span­ish  iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#2. MyDai­lyPhrase Ital­ian  iTunes  Web Site

#3. Legal Lad’s Quick and Dirty Tips for a More Law­ful Life  iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#4. Gram­mar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Bet­ter Writ­ing  iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#5. Learn French with Dai­ly Pod­casts  iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#6. The French Pod Class  iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#7. Twelve Byzan­tine Rulers: The His­to­ry of the Byzan­tine Empire
  iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#8. Final­ly Learn Span­ish — Beyond the Basics iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#9. French for Begin­ners  iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#10.  iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#11. MyDai­lyPhrase Ger­man  iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#12. Man, God and Soci­ety in West­ern Lit­er­a­ture (Course at UC-Berke­ley) iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#13. Learn Span­ish Sur­vival Guide  iTunes  Feed

#14. Learn Ger­man with  iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#15.  iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#16. Let’s Speak Ital­ian
  iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#17. NPR: Satire from the Unger Report  iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#18. Learn Man­darin Chi­nese with  iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#19. Dig­i­tal Pho­tog­ra­phy Tips from the Top Floor iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#20. Just Vocab­u­lary iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#21. Learn French by Pod­cast  iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#22. One Thing in a French Day  iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#23. TEDTalks (Video)  iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#24. LSAT Log­ic in Every­day Life (Prince­ton Review) iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#25. Life and Death in the USA: Med­i­cine & Dis­ease in Social Con­text iTunes   Web Site

See Open Cul­ture’s pod­cast col­lec­tions:

Arts & Cul­tureAudio BooksFor­eign Lan­guage LessonsNews & Infor­ma­tionTech­nol­o­gyUni­ver­si­ty (Gen­er­al)Uni­ver­si­ty (B‑School)


Part 4: Learning the Languages of the New World Powers — China

china-flag.jpgChi­na is the 800 pound goril­la among the new emerg­ing world pow­ers Its econ­o­my, says Gold­man Sachs, may out­size every econ­o­my except the Unit­ed States by 2016, and even sur­pass the US as soon as 2039. There is no point in bela­bor­ing things. Chi­na will be a force to be reck­oned with.

Accord­ing to yesterday’s New York Times, the hottest lan­guage being stud­ied right now by busi­ness trav­el­ers is Man­darin, and quite right­ly so. Man­darin is the offi­cial lan­guage of Chi­na and Tai­wan, and it’s also spo­ken in Sin­ga­pore. (Can­tonese is wide­ly spo­ken in Hong Kong.) As the Times arti­cle notes, speak­ing a lit­tle Man­darin can trans­late into new busi­ness oppor­tu­ni­ties, and so it could be worth spend­ing some time get­ting con­ver­sant in the lan­guage. You could spend $2,500 for a week-long Man­darin course. How­ev­er, if you’d like to do it on the cheap, we have some sol­id, free resources for you.

To get up and run­ning, you’ll want to check out the well-reviewed pod­cast called Chi­nese Lessons with Serge Mel­nyk (iTunes Feed Web Site). Put togeth­er by an Eng­lish speak­er who stud­ied Man­darin Chi­nese for almost 20 years (and who has lived in Bei­jing and Shang­hai for 12 years), the free pod­cast cur­rent­ly offers 55 lessons that last between 20 and 30 min­utes on aver­age. A sec­ond option, which also gets very high marks, is (iTunes Feed Web Site). Pro­duced by native speak­ers, these dai­ly audio pod­casts, each 10 to 20 min­utes in length, will immerse you in col­lo­qui­al (read: use­ful) Man­darin. Both of these pod­casts are free, and the freely avail­able mate­r­i­al will keep you busy for some time. How­ev­er, each pod­cast also offers addi­tion­al resources for a rea­son­able fee, although you can cer­tain­ly get by with­out them.

Beyond these pod­casts, you may want to check out a cou­ple oth­er free alter­na­tives: Think and Talk Like the Chi­nese (iTunes Web Site) and Chi­nese Learn Online (iTunes Feed Web Site). Also, if you’re look­ing for more sys­tem­at­ic approach­es to learn­ing Man­darin, we’ve includ­ed some options in our new Ama­zon store.

Also, one of our read­ers asked us to through this one into the mix:

Please see the pre­vi­ous install­ments in this series:

Part 1: Brazil­ian Por­tuguese
Part 2: Russ­ian
Part 3: Hin­di

See Open Culture’s pod­cast col­lec­tions: Arts & Cul­tureAudio BooksFor­eign Lan­guage LessonsNews & Infor­ma­tionTech­nol­o­gyUni­ver­si­ty (Gen­er­al)Uni­ver­si­ty (B‑School)

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Steve Jobs on DRM: The Business Strategy Behind the Manifesto

JobsdrmMost of the out­side world did­n’t care. They did­n’t even know what Steve Jobs was talk­ing about. But with­in tech cir­cles it was a big deal, a land­mark moment. Jobs’ s anti-DRM man­i­festo, Thoughts on Music, moved us all clos­er to the day when music would be set free. (DRM = Dig­i­tal Rights Man­age­ment. Get more info here.) The reac­tion in the tech press was, of course, jubi­lant. Here’s a quick sam­ple reac­tion from the major tech blog, Giz­mo­do:

“Steve Jobs dropped a big one on us today, and no it was­n’t a new Mac­Book. Instead it was his anti-DRM Man­i­festo, a state of the union for the music indus­try so to speak. In a nut­shell, he advised the music indus­try to give up on DRM. It won’t work. There are smart peo­ple cir­cum­vent­ing this stuff, and with all the CDs being ripped in the world, just give up on it.

Amaz­ing to hear the man speak with­out the PR mouth­piece, with­out regards to any­thing but what he feels is right for the world. He even throws the iPod/iTunes monop­oly to the wind with these notions.”

Now before we start a peti­tion to can­on­ize Jobs, it seems worth reflect­ing for a moment on whether St. Steve found reli­gion, or whether Jobs was just being a bril­liant CEO … yet again. And that’s why its worth giv­ing a lis­ten to Robert X. Cringe­ly’s recent pod­cast arti­cle DRM Catch­er (iTunesFeed). (You can also read the text ver­sion here.) Cringe­ly is a par­tic­u­lar­ly astute observ­er of how tech­nol­o­gy trends dove­tail with busi­ness strate­gies, and he’s right to see Jobs’ man­i­festo as dri­ven less by ideals than by what makes the most busi­ness sense for Apple at this par­tic­u­lar moment. DRM helped put Apple into its mar­ket lead­er­ship posi­tion. Now, hav­ing a lock on 75% of the mar­ket, the best way to sell more iPods is to drop DRM. It’s smart busi­ness think­ing that you see at work here, not altru­ism. You can bet on that.

Give the pod­cast some of your time, and be sure to lis­ten to the part about Google’s ambi­tious web strat­e­gy, which ties into his recent think­ing (see this piece) about the big plans that Google has on the hori­zon.

Part 3: Learning the Languages of the New World Powers — Hindi

indiaflag.gifIf you take even the slight­est time to read the news­pa­per these days, you’ll know that the two
most impor­tant emerg­ing pow­ers are India and Chi­na. Gold­man Sachs main­tains that India has posi­tioned itself to become a dom­i­nant glob­al sup­pli­er of man­u­fac­tured goods and ser­vices, and, in the com­ing decades, it’s econ­o­my will like­ly grow faster than any oth­er. With­in 30 years, you can expect India to have the third largest econ­o­my over­all, right behind the US and Chi­na. Watch out for India.

Among Indi­a’s huge pop­u­la­tion of 1.1 bil­lion peo­ple, Hin­di is the dom­i­nant and offi­cial lan­guage. Yet it’s impor­tant to note that, as a result of Britain’s long colo­nial involve­ment in India, an esti­mat­ed 4% of the pop­u­lace speaks Eng­lish. This might not sound like much, but when you do the math, it turns out that you’re actu­al­ly talk­ing about 40+ mil­lion peo­ple, which makes India one of the largest Eng­lish speak­ing coun­tries in the world. And the impact is only ampli­fied when you con­sid­er that Eng­lish is spo­ken main­ly by the coun­try’s eco­nom­ic elite.

Although the preva­lence of Eng­lish is itself con­tribut­ing to Indi­a’s eco­nom­ic growth (just think of how many Amer­i­can call-cen­ter jobs have migrat­ed to India in recent years), and although Eng­lish will like­ly remain the lin­gua fran­ca of the busi­ness com­mu­ni­ty, it seems log­i­cal to assume that Hin­di, spo­ken by 40% of the coun­try, will become more impor­tant as the coun­try grows into the third largest econ­o­my.

At the moment, there’s not exact­ly a pletho­ra of pod­casts that will teach you Hin­di. How­ev­er, the most promi­nent one is per­haps the most con­cep­tu­al­ly cool. It’s called Learn Hin­di from Bol­ly­wood Movies (iTunes Feed Web Site). Bol­ly­wood is the infor­mal name giv­en to Indi­a’s Hin­di-lan­guage film indus­try. And the idea here is that you can pick up some Hin­di as they play and explain select­ed clips from well-known Bol­ly­wood films. So far, they’ve put togeth­er 21 episodes, which are a bit kitsch, often bizarrely humor­ous, and not par­tic­u­lar­ly slick when it comes to sound qual­i­ty. If you want to sam­ple it, check out this seg­ment which will teach you how to get a trav­el­er’s visa. Final­ly, if Bol­ly­wood is your thing, you’ll want to check out this Eng­lish-speak­ing pod­cast, Pod­Masti — Every­thing You Ever Want­ed to Know about Bol­ly­wood & India (iTunesFeedWeb Site).

In terms of oth­er free Hin­di lan­guage resources, we’d rec­om­mend review­ing this web page that has col­lect­ed and cat­e­go­rized a host of web-based resources for learn­ing Hin­di. It will point you in a lot of good direc­tions. Oth­er­wise, if you want a more com­pre­hen­sive approach, you can take a look at the sev­er­al items that we’ve placed in our new Ama­zon store. Giv­en the dearth of free options, these may be worth explor­ing.

Tomor­row, we end with Chi­nese, where we have lots of free pod­casts in store for you. If you missed Parts 1 & 2, you can catch them here.

Part 1: Brazil­ian Por­tuguese

Part 2: Russ­ian

See Open Cul­ture’s pod­cast col­lec­tions: Arts & Cul­tureAudio BooksFor­eign Lan­guage LessonsNews & Infor­ma­tionTech­nol­o­gyUni­ver­si­ty (Gen­er­al)Uni­ver­si­ty (B‑School)

If you need a new/bigger iPod or iPod Gear to lis­ten to our pod­casts, snag one from our new Ama­zon store.

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Open Culture Podcast Directories Viewable in Feed Readers

The only down­side to using a feed read­er (Blog­lines, Google Read­er, MyYa­hoo, etc.) to access Open Cul­ture
is that you won’t be able to see our pod­cast direc­to­ries which reside
in our left nav bar. To assist you, we have past­ed links below that
will give you direct access to the pod­cast col­lec­tions. We’ll post this reminder from time to time.

If you like what we’re doing here, please email your friends and let them know about Open Cul­ture.

If you need a new/bigger iPod or iPod Gear to lis­ten to our pod­casts, vis­it our new Ama­zon store.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.