Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Updates

Two interesting things of note today.

First from galleycat:
What are we to make of the fact that the Pershing Square Capital Management hedge fund revealed in a recent SEC filing that it owns shares in both Borders and Barnes & Noble? David Polonitza of SeekingAlpha focuses on Pershing's track record for shareholder activism to speculate (very wildly) on the possibilities of a merger between "the number #1 and #2 big box book stores in the country." He explains the logic behind the hypothetical move: "There would be considerable cost savings in merging the two companies with respect to distribution, management, along with the increased purchasing power. Each company's online presence is still not competitive and they might fare better combined...a much stronger competitor to the likes of Amazon than they are apart."

YIKES! This is terrifying.

And second from today's New York Times, an article on Middlebury College in Vermont not allowing students to use Wikipedia. Well at least people are realizing the limits to user-generated content. But this is disturbing:
Dr. Waters and other professors in the history department had begun noticing about a year ago that students were citing Wikipedia as a source in their papers. When confronted, many would say that their high school teachers had allowed the practice.

Terrific.

But it is interesting to see professors using it to give their students - even grad students - experience in writing publicly. I guess it's not the generating of content that worries me as much as the reliance on it from students writing papers.

So that's it, two interesting points to update this thing. More soon, I hope.

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