Colby Starts Podcasting

October 12, 2006

Colby has started podcasting from high atop Mayflower Hill. Currently there are three podcasts available, but that number will surely grow.

The first podcast to launch was InsideColby [RSS | iTunes], a student persepctive of life on campus. This bi-weekly (for the most part) show released its fifth episode today, with a feature story about the woodsmen’s team produced by Rose Long ’10, and a short story written and read by Shelley Payne ’09.

Additionally, the Goldfarb Center has begun making audio of some of its lectures available through the Goldfarb Center Lecture Series [RSS | iTunes] podcast, and president Adams is making his speeches available through his The President at the Podium [RSS | iTunes] podcast feed.

More: Colby Blog and Podcast Directory


Catch her in Kissehman: Erin Rhoda ’06 blogs from Ghana

October 12, 2006

“Erin Rhoda graduated from Colby in May and is now co-running a youth program in Kissehman, Ghana through a nonprofit called the Maine-Ghana Youth Network. Read about her adventures with tro-tros, lots of children, learning the language Ewe and working in a building that has no ceiling or floor.”

Via: Maine Coast NOW


Forget what your mama told you, the RIAA says sharing is Illegal…and they’re coming after you

August 22, 2006

A must-read review from Boing Boing of the new RIAA back-to-school propaganda video.

This is such a steaming pile that it desperately needs to be remixed. Someone out there needs to make a version where every lie is interrupted with an explanation of the real story, to be shown alongside of it.

Read the article at Boing Boing: RIAA propaganda movie for students in desperate need of remix


Ad-Supported Textbooks Saving Students Money

August 22, 2006

According to some studies, students spend about $900 per year on textbooks and textbook publishers are under intense scrutiny over prices that have risen at twice the rate of inflation since 1986. Minnesota-based Freeload Press is looking to fix that by offering free textbooks. The model: instead of trying to get money out of already cash-strapped college kids, get it from companies’ marketing and advertising budgets.

Students, or anyone else who fills out a five-minute survey, can download a PDF file of the book, which they can store on their hard drive and print.

Freeload will start this fall offering about 100 textbook titles, free of charge to the student. It sounds like a good idea, but will it catch on?

The model faces big obstacles. Freeload doesn’t yet have a stable of well-known textbook authors across a range of subjects, and it lacks the editorial and marketing muscle of the “Big 3” textbook publishers (Thomson, Pearson, and McGraw-Hill). Its textbooks don’t come with bells and whistles such as online study guides that bigger publishers have spent millions developing in order to lure professors _ who assign textbooks and are the industry’s real customers.

This Washington Post article is full of interesting textbook-related facts, like these:

A new Connecticut law requires that textbook sellers tell professors what their books will cost students, and other states are considering similar measures. Cost complaints come not just from students and parents but also teachers. A 2005 study by the National Association of College Stores Foundation found 65 percent of students don’t buy all the required course materials—which means many probably aren’t learning the material, either.

Freeload claims that they will have over 250,000 textbooks and study guides available by next year.

Read the Washington Post article: Ads Coming to Texbooks


Stopping to See Skowhegan

July 25, 2006

Blogger JenoftheNorth stopped by the Colby College Museum of Art to see the “Skowhegan School of Paining and Sculpture: 60 Years” show, and is glad she did.

“i also really liked the ben shahn piece–i think it was called music lesson–and the jacob lawrence hiroshima series. wow. i never knew he taught there either.

anyway, the show overall was meaty enough and well worth the stop…”

Read the post: jen of the north: “skowhegan school of painting & sculpture–60 years”


Osaka University Professor “Robots In” to Class

July 24, 2006

Forget the high price of gas, rush hour traffic, and finding a parking space. Hiroshi Ishiguro, head of Osaka University’s Intelligent Robotics Laboratory, can “robo-commute” to work. He has created a humanoid version of himself that he can control and speak through remotely.

“Everyone, thank you so much for coming today,” it says in polite but languid Japanese at an ATR demo Thursday, its lips moving to the sound. The voice is Ishiguro’s, broadcast through a speaker inside his android double.

Ishisguro also wants to see if the android can convey, through its complex micromovements and life-like appearance, a sense of human presence. In addition to being a technical experiment, the robot is also an experiment on human nature.

But why bother to build robots that look like humans? Ishiguro views machines as good vehicles to learn more about human nature. He combines engineering with cognitive science with the aim of making very humanlike robots, which can be used as test beds for theories about human perception, communication and cognition. He calls his approach “android science.”

Read the article: Meet the Remote-Control Self
[viaWired News]


Government Monitoring of College Students: A Follow-up

July 17, 2006

Sean Blanda, of the College V2 blog, has posted a follow-up to his post about the government monitoring of college student emails (which I wrote about here). He has attained a copy of the Department of Defense report on the contents of college students’ emails. It is, at the same time, an entertaining and frustrating read.

“The e-mails are trivial, with not the hint of any violent action. The most dramatic action any student e-mail mentioned was a ‘food not bombs’ demonstration complete with a drum circle.”

Read Sean’s post: College V2 – tips, tricks, and advice for college students.