Daily Archives: September 16, 2005

Podcasting university lectures

I guess I’m one of the late adopters of a number of technologies. I didn’t get my iPod until Christmas of 2004, though I did buy my oldest son one the year before, and #2 son is getting one from Santa this year. I’m intrigued by podcasting, though I’ll admit that I don’t listen to the ones that I subscribe to very often…I just like having them there. I’m quite intrigued by the idea of podcasting lectures. Not that from a conceptual standpoint this is new technology (folks have been doing casette recordings of lectures since the dark ages). However, now that Apple made podcasting easy by incorporating in iTunes (podcasting for dummies) even folks like me can easily subscribe.

A number of universities are experimenting with podcasting of lectures. Here’s a article from the Chronicle from March about Drexel, and a September Chronicle article about podcasting at Purdue.

The technology makes it much easier to contemplate doing this. Hey, maybe the folks at Duke were onto something when they distributed iPods to incoming students.

Those of us in IT who pooh-poohed Duke when this first came out need to remember that there are many ways technology development and adoption move forward, and we don’t have a corner on that understanding.

I’ll be interested to see how this all works out; here’s an article about the Duke experiment.

I’ve gotta say, though, that as an adjunct faculty member here at UNC (in the School of Information & Library Science), having all my lectures recorded would be a strange thing…I guess I’d get used to it, but I’m sure that I’ll sound like Gomer Pyle…well gollleee, y’all….

Flexible optical networks

So one of the things that’s of growing importance in the networking community is creating an optical networking environment and an associated control plane that offers capacity-on-demand from authorized users/applications for usage that pushes beyond the capability afforded by even very fast packet-switched networks. For one perspective on this, and an idea of what sorts of usage might drive this need, there is a good paper from the folks working on the CHEETAH project. One of the pundits I follow very closely in the optical networking community is Bill St. Arnaud of the Canarie project. I get Bill’s newletters; he also maintains a column in LightReading. Earlier this month, Bill was at a NASA Research and Engineering Network meeting, and posted this very interesting perspective on the needs (or lack thereof) for such networking, as presented by a senior technologist at Level3.