Things naturally have been a little quieter on the weekend, but here are a few things to chew on.
1. Barry Dahl over at Desire2Blog has a couple of good new posts. First an interview with John Baker CEO of D2L about the whole mess and then more information about why the suit was filed in East Texas and efforts aimed at patent overhaul in the US. I had blogged a bit about the latter here.
2. Something I am curious about is where Chris Vento (current CTO of Blackboard, formerly of WebCT) stands on all this. I have always thought of Chris as a. having some real innovative smarts when it comes to e-learning technology and b. as having done some really good work with inter-operability eg at Alti-Lab's over the years. I did a search at the Patent Office and couldnt come up with any claims issued or pending in his name. Someone else with better Boolian skills than me might have better luck. But I think that tells us something interesting.
I have said since the acquisition, some of the things I will be watching to gauge how the purchase of WebCT and Blackboard is going and what it will mean to us in higher education are
i. Whether or not and how long folks like Chris Vento, Barbara Ross and Karen Gage stay at Blackboard. I have always thought highly of all of these (and others).
ii. How Blackboard deals with consortial clients. WebCT was always more open to consortial kinds of arrangements though recently Blackboard claimed it was changing its technology (and one assumes business model) to be more accommodating.
iii. related to this, another important indicator would be how good of a relationship Blackboard established with the big (and very knowledgeable) WebCT clients like the Finnegans at Georgia, Ed Klonoski at Connecticut and John Campbell at Purdue.
4. Its even worse than any of us had thought. Blackboard has also patent the toaster oven. What's next, motherhood and apple pie? OK, sorry my mistake, that's a patent issued to James Chasen, not Michael Chasen of Blackboard. Ok. Though Blackboard may want to think about licensing James's "odor elimination system" given some of the stink surrounding the activities of the last couple of weeks. File under satire.