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November 2006
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January 2007

Surprise Surprise: Market Forces do Apply to University Choices

Golly. There has to be a PhD somewhere in all of this research...

The Higher Education Policy Institute describes a "hierarchy of esteem" in which students apply to the most prestigious places their results allow.

It says there is a widespread and probably accurate perception that degrees from some universities are more valuable in the job market than others.

Although it may be "regrettable", students tend to apply to the most prestigious institutions that they think they can get into, it adds.

Institutions then select the most able and employers favour candidates for jobs from those institutions.

This it describes as "a vicious (or virtuous) circle that perpetuates the hierarchy of esteem".

Link: BBC Education

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"I just use Google": Blogger2.0 launches

It's probably illegal to advertise another blogging product from within my TypePad account... but here goes.

Blogger 2.0 - lots of tools that now make Blogger a good tool rather than a lame one.

Makes that "I just use Google" suite of tools look very attractive.

Mail, Maps, Earth, Video, Spreadsheets, Docs, Search, Calendar, Photos, Feeds... need I go on?

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Extracting Meaning from Data

Swivel looks to be very, very interesting.

It's basically a Social Networking site that allows you to share data.

Think Flickr, but for statistics.

And just as Flickr offers serendipitous connections between pictures, so Swivel allows users to derive value from shared data sets.

Think Freakanomics but with lots of smart users all looking for smart connections.

Follow me on Twitter: @IanYorston

Moving away from Microsoft

Interesting story coming out of a Columbia Law School blog Freedom Now...

The United States Department of Justice announced today that it would be making a radical purchasing decision: stop dealing with the firm it considers an illegal monopoly. No more Microsoft Word at Main Justice.

So they will spend $13 million to acquire Word Perfect licenses from Corel

I thought it was worth looking for other stories relating to Corel, Microsoft and the Justice Department and turned up this from 2000 - which has Microsoft being investigated by the US Department of Justice over antitrust concerns surrounding its involvement with Canadian software company Corel which produces WordPerfect, one of the few competitors to Microsoft Word, the market leading word processing package...

Interesting.

As the blog suggests: "Did the DoJ consider OpenOffice at $0?"

Personally I write most of my stuff using web-based products: e-mail, blogging, etc.

I figure two things matter:

  • Stuff I write goes somewhere. So I might as well start where I expect to finish.
  • Stuff gets read - and people prefer to read stuff their way, not mine. Their software tools not mine. So I might as well start where I expect to finish.

In my younger days I used to run the 800m, Track and Field. We used to start where we expected to finish...

Follow me on Twitter: @IanYorston