All entries for April 2009

April 15, 2009

Ban Ki–moon – UN Secretary General and Spammer!

not really of course but what a great bit of spam:

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon


Attn: Sir/Madam,

Note! after series of meeting that lasted for three (3) Months with the secretary General to the UNITED NATIONS. You fall on the names submitted to receive a United Nations Compensation. This goes to all the people that have been scammed in any part of the world, the UNITED NATIONS have agreed to compensate them with the sum of US$120,000.00 (One Hundred And Twenty Thousand United States Dollars)This includes every foreign contractors that may have not received their contract sum, and people that have had an unfinished transaction or international businesses that failed due to Government problems etc.

Your name and e-mail was in the list submitted by our Monitoring Team of Economic and Financial Crime Commission observers (EFCC) and this is why we are contacting you, this have been agreed upon and have been signed. You are advised to contact Mr. David Avarlos, as he is our representative in United Kingdom, contact him immediately for your International Bank Draft of USD$120,000.00 (One Hundred And Twenty Thousand United States Dollars) This funds are in a Bank Draft for security purpose he will send it to you and you can clear it in any bank of your choice. Therefore, you should send him your full Name and telephone number/your correct mailing address where you want him to send the draft to.

Person to Contact Mr. David Avarlos

Phone No: +44 7035 9855 47

Good luck and kind regards,

Dr. Ban Ki Moon.

Secretary General (United Nations )
Making the world a better place

A better place indeed.

April 14, 2009

Tate joins iTunes U

Interesting to see the Tate and Palace of Versaille listed on iTunes U today.

Some great content there as well, plus it raises some interesting debate about academic content.

iTunes U has long had the Beyond Campus section – an area for institutions that have an educational remit but are not universities.

I find this interesting for several reasons.

1. Many of these institutions have a better track record at public engagement than the HE sector and so much of this sort of thing should be easier for them.

2. The Tate gets a lot of support for its digital work from private sponsors – Bloomberg, BT to name two. What happens if a University of Warwick Economics series is sponsored by Barclays International Capital. Does that devalue the content? iTunes U is an expressly non-commercial environment, but sponsorship seems to be ok. We’ve shied away from this is the past but maybe we need to embrace it.

What is also interesting is the degree to which this blurs the distinction of what is an educational provider. Much of the Tate content would not look out of place alongside a Fine Arts History course, the only real difference is that they cannot issue a degree.


BTW – I don’t have a problem with the Tate in iTunes U – fantastic stuff in my mind and a great call to action from the HE sector which has rather had this intellectual space to itself for quite a while.

It is interesting to muse though on the impact of the Tate, Science Museum, Natural History Museum, competing for eyeballs and ears in this space. Universities could end up sidelined by slicker, more focussed content providers.

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