FunnyMonkey Blog

Bill Fitzgerald | September 4, 2007

On a listserv in which I participate, a member recently asked about safe blogging tools for students. I was surprised to see several people recommend, a social networking service targeted at kids. This was my response to the list:

imbee's terms of service rule it out as a tool I would recommend to anyone.


"You understand and agree that you have no ownership rights in your account. imbee may cancel your account and delete all content associated with your account at any time, and without notice, if we deem that you have violated the terms of this agreement, or for any other reason."

So, as a teacher using this site, you should probably be aware that your data is there entirely at the discretion of It's the technological equivalent of couch-surfing to avoid paying rent. It's a great deal, until the person who owns the couch...

Bill Fitzgerald | August 17, 2007

I'll admit it at the outset: I'm in a bad mood today.

But when I see things like this, and this, and this, all talking about running courses in Facebook, I can't help myself

(Okay, really I can. But in this case, I don't want to).

Read Facebook's terms of service.

The "User Content Posted on the Site" section is particularly relevant here:

When you post User Content to the Site, you authorize and direct us to make such copies thereof as we deem necessary in order to facilitate the posting and storage of the User Content on the Site. By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual,...

Bill Fitzgerald | August 14, 2007

Get release 5.2-1 here.

From the upgrade notes included in the release:

This upgrade is in response to the CCK security announcement.

While this security upgrade only affects a specific use of CCK that is not present in the DrupalEd configuration, anyone running DrupalEd is strongly advised to upgrade. A healthy dose of paranoia regarding security concerns can save you hours of time/emotional distress.

Code updates:

With the exception of CCK, none of these...

Bill Fitzgerald | July 26, 2007

All users of DrupalEd should should know about a security upgrade to Drupal core. As this is a security upgrade, people with sites in production are advised to upgrade immediately.

The announcement, with upgrade directions, can be read here.

The new version of DrupalEd with all security patches applied can be downloaded here.

Bill Fitzgerald | July 16, 2007

In the few months since we released DrupalEd, there have been some upgrades in the codebase running the application. None of these upgrades are security issues, but many of them offer performance and functionality improvements.

If you are running the original version, there is no *need* to upgrade -- unless you want to have the newest, shiniest version of DrupalEd there is :)

Be sure to read the upgrade_notes.txt file that accompanies the download -- it gives an overview of the upgrades, and includes instructions for the upgrade. For more complete upgrade instructions, you should also refer to the Drupal handbook.

Without further ado, download the code.

Bill Fitzgerald | July 13, 2007

It looks like Ning has got some new friends -- I first saw the news at everybody's favorite home for digital whispers, and Marc Andreessen confirmed it on his blog.

Marc Canter has something to say about it, and Diego Doval responds.

Although the exchange started with news of Ning's newfound booty, Marc Canter brings the conversation back to an important place: the relative openness of social networks. My comment on Marc's post pretty much sums up my feelings on...

Bill Fitzgerald | June 22, 2007

I posted this comment in response to this post by George Siemens -- as of this writing, it's in his moderation queue, but I cut and pasted it here before hitting the submit button.

Hello, George,

Web 2.0 and open source are related but separate entities -- I wrote about this in a couple posts last year -- and --

This difference is very clear to many open source developers, but not always so clear to end users, who equate the type of "free" as embodied by GMail with the type of "free" as exemplified in code that can be freely downloaded and modified.

The challenge before us is to articulate the advantages of FOSS tools with regards to privacy, functionality...

Bill Fitzgerald | June 17, 2007

I've been reading some of the reactions to Steve Hargadon's work in generating a list of session tags for NECC. It runs the gamut from those who think it's pretty darn great to those who are underwhelmed. For the record, I think it's a great idea because it has the potential to get a lot of people (ie, NECC attendees) thinking about applications of tags and metadata.

I was also struck by how unnecessarily laborious the process of creating that list must have been. I'm assuming/hoping that Steve was at least given a comma-separated list of all the presentations to speed his work along, or a spreadsheet with some calculated fields to automatically generate the html for the lists. However, if the NECC site had been built on Drupal...

Bill Fitzgerald | May 25, 2007

David Wiley recently posted on what some folks are calling Open Educational Resources, or OER's. This post extends my comment left on David's original post.

In his post, David starts by examining the difference between producers and consumers of Open Educational Resources, with an emphasis that Good Things '„¢ start happening when the Consumers become the Producers through the magic of wiki-style group editing.

He suggests that one of the impediments to broader re-use of OER's results from the original R living in a strict context -- ie, the R came into existence because of a specific educational need in a specific educational place, and reusing the R will be difficult in part because no two contexts are alike.

This leads to a comparison of OER development to Open Source development, particularly...

Bill Fitzgerald | May 9, 2007

This came to me by way of Tom Hoffman --


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