I got into a discussion with someone about their interactive education idea. They're separating the video and audio tracks of recorded classes, then using a painful system to keep the two files in sync with each other. Think "my video stopped downloading... okay now it's going again..." Squared.
Their reason for separating the tracks is to give users in far-off countries the option to remove the video. But then why not make it either-or? Why make a video that the target users won't see? Why stream chapters bits at a time, losing them when the user goes to the next page, when you want people to keep and re-watch the complete lesson?
I got to thinking the best way to do this is torrents from nearby networks. The State Department may agree, as they recently funded a program called BitMate specifically for torrents in the 3rd world. Has anyone tried this yet? It sounds like the best chance to make classes like MIT's OCW pop up in remote parts of the world, as promoted by this programmer in Rwanda: http://blog.nyaruka.com/learning-to-swim-by-reading-a-book
I was going to pass this on to my acquaintance, but they sent a lengthy research paper explaining their new method of global learning and new XML schema and... they're too invested in this one idea for my input to do any good. Figured I'd share these ideas here instead.