OU player - seeking testers

Between the Wednesday 8th and 13th of June we are conducting usability and accessibility testing for the OU media player project, at The Open University's campus in Milton Keynes.

We are seeking test subjects for 1 to 1.5 hours testing. Travel expenses and a fee will be paid. Anyone can come forward, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing, those who have dyslexia and those who use a screen reader.

Email me N.D.Freear AT open.ac.uk if you are interested.

Thanks, Nick

e-access 11 conference

Dan Jellinek, founder of Headstar and Nigel Lewis, Chief Executive of AbilityNet, are co-chairing this year's conference. They have some great speakers lined up to discuss the state of digital inclusion and accessibility. Ed Vaizey, Minister for Communication, Culture and the Creative Industries is giving the keynote. Find out more at,

www.headstar.com / eaccess11

Captioned video search

This is an experiment to embed a Google Custom search in a page. Results are returned for dotSUB.com and Universalsubtitles.org.

Enjoy! (May 2011)


Creative Commons Licenses for software - just say "NO"

Two point before I start:

  1. I'm not a lawyer, so this blog post does not constitute legal advice. If you need help, contact a lawyer who specializes in software and content licensing. I accept no liability...
  2. I'm absolutely not against Creative Commons Licenses, for content. Indeed on recent projects I've made extensive use of CC licensed text, images and so on, and this blog is CC licensed. Just not for software...

So, you've written some software and decided to share it with others - congratulations! You may be contemplating licensing it with one of the range of Creative Commons Licenses... Hold on! In this blog post, I'll explain why this is a really bad idea, both for you and the community. And I'll hopefully dispel some myths and point you to other sources of information.

Open source at the OU

A colleague of mine asked me the other day at Dev8D if there was a list of all of The Open University's free/ open source contributions. I had to say that as far I knew there wasn't.

So, I've started this list on Delicious, using the tags ou opensource project. Note, I have also added tags for license where I can find one (eg. gpl for GNU General Public License), OU department (lts), technologies (svn, java) and wider projects (moodle).

Note that the tag ou does not necessarily imply that The Open University is the founding, sole, or main contributor to a project!

Feel free to add anything that I've missed. It's interesting to see what licenses we're using, what projects we're contributing a lot to (Moodle fairly obviously!) and so on. Enjoy...!

Direct messaging & CloudEngine 1.1.0 beta

I’m happy to say that last Wednesday (2nd February) my colleague Richard Lovelock put the new direct messaging function live on Cloudworks. It is something that Cloudworks users have requested and we have wanted for a while. Despite a quiet launch, it has already been taken up by the Cloudworks community. And, we’re excited about its potential for fostering private discussions that can lead on to public Clouds and Cloudscapes.