Monthly Archives: July 2008

Mygazine a Great Compilation of Magazines

Mygazines is an online, simple yet comprehensive magazine archive. User upload, share, bookmark, send via email, comment on and, of course, read articles from magazines from all over the world. All this is a very sleek interface. First the user logs in and searches for a magazine they want to read, then they click on “read” and the magazine pops up on the screen in form of an elegant and feature-rich “flipbook”. The quality of the material is fantastic! Users can also use their keyboard arrows to browse through the pages of the flipbook.

Here are some of the features of the flipbooks (more info on their “flipbook help” page):

Just like anywhere on mygazines.com, from any page in the flipbook you can:

 rate an article (you must be logged in)
 comment on an article (you must be logged in)
 save an article to a mygazine collection (you must be logged in)
 share with friends (you must be logged in)
 social bookmark to your favorite site
 email an article to your friend
 tag article with unique keywords (you must be logged in and have permission)

Randy Pausch Passes Away

I never have sad news here but this one needs to be mentioned:

Dr. Randy Pausch passed away yesterday, July 25. 

He was a best-selling author and researcher who contributed a lot in the field of (educational) 3D/VR programming environments by founding the Alice project, for example.

He gained worldwide fame with his moving and inspiring “The Last Lecture” which he prepared after he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. This lecture is an amazing way of seeing life and definitely shows his positive thinking and admiration for the simple things in life.

 

The world misses him.

Adobe Max – Conference and a Hidden Game

Much like the good ol’ “easter eggs” that you find in software like Word Processing, games, etc. Now Adobe has hidden a game on their Adobe Max Conference website. It seems to be just a little “mysterious” incentive for those who explore the website, maybe some marketing move to make visitors want to share it with their friends… well, whatever the intent, I havve o confess I have already shared it with some people… :)

Google Knol Released Early This Week

Collaboration is the big buzzword of the year. Goolgle, that is trying to invest time and efforts on anything that has “potential”, is trying once again (after Google Docs) to tap that market.

They just released Google Knol which is a mix of collaborative authoring and community. The community aspect allows for search for specific subjects (or authors) and rating of the content. The UI is very simple (like most things Google) and discplays related content and a short author profile, for example. Users can rate, comment, email and print articles. A revision list is another interesting feature, all very well organized spatially within the User Interface.

Interesting move… and again, the question: how can we use this for learning situations? The answer seems obvious…

User-generated Encyclopedias Supervised by Experts

An interesting concept employed by Citizendium for instance, is that the crowds generate the content, but the “experts” inspect it for accuracy. Which brings more credibility and a more vast array of information. Since the “experts” will mostly “correct” minor errors, there is ore time to be dedicated to more content generation. 

The “crowdsourcing” element combined with the expert review side of it creates an interesting approach to the credibility issue in realm of user-generated content (especially that of encyclopedia-like environments)..

Any chance there could be something like Citizendium in educational environment that takes this approach? An environment to which users would add/edit/review content based on their “status” within the community? Multi-media content such as embedded videos, slideshows, images, flash objects would also enrich that environment… The media as an aid to learning, not as a means purely…
:)

Screen Capture – iPhone 2.0

Wondering how to get some screen shots of your iPhone’s applications to create tutorials or maybe just to show off on your blog? The iPhone 2.0 platform has a built-in screen capture functionality. Explained here by Gizmodo.

Enjoy!

Is it really all about the users?

I have been really disappointed with the whole sales process for the iPhone 3G. While Apple’s design and advance technologies are impressive, it is fairly disappointing that they still don’t understand it is about the costumer. We’re in the era of the prosumers, crowdsourcing. The whole iMonopoly or is a practice that (help me out here those who understand economy) might not work in the future. People want freedom, they are paying for a product, they want to use it the way they want to. Why impose a limit of 1 device per user at all costs? They had plenty of time to get the amount of iPhones out there in the market, but they prefer to control the market (even knowing that their costumers will pay for it anyway).

When you call AT&T stores, the automated message says you should “get iReady before going to the stores due to high demand”… well, maybe Apple and AT&T should have gotten their iAct together before starting sales, iTested the servers, and given better iCostumer treatment. Instead of trying to turn everyone into iSuckers by asking them wait for ours to them find out they don’t have enough devices or that they can’t iActivate the phone. And what a tasteless pun: “iReady”… ha    ha… 

Why not offer the same activation options as AT&T? My wife and I have a discount on our plan which can only be maintained if we buy the iPhone at the AT&T store. To get it activated at the Apple Store we’d have to deactivate the discount to then, call AT&T to reactivate the discount on our plan.

Anyways, Apple needs to stop having this attitude of iCanDoWhatever because they will still buy my products… it is all about the customers and I have encountered quite a few people that are upset with Apples policies and services lately… the whole MacBook Intel systems haven’t really been the “greatest” thin on Earth… anyway…

“i” am starting not to like Apple as much… already iHated iPhoto, for instance… now it’s worse…

iPhone 2.0 Applications

Has anyone been surprised by the new iPhone apps?

Some amazing ones…

Like Loopt.com that lets you know where your friends are on a Google map…

Others like Evernote.com that let you take photo notes, audio notes, etc (all sync’ed to your profile on their website)…

One of my favorites is the Shazam app which RECOGNIZES a song when you play it next to yourt phone and tells you the title, artist, album AND lets you buy right there… :) Amazing… So, when you are preparing some learnign material that you need THAT song that is playing on the radio but you don’t know its name: Shazam!

Cool apps… I even use the iPhone as a book light now ;)

Google Lively – 3D Chat/Virtual World

As if Google wasn’t already trying to be the know-it-all and the have-it-all of the Web, now they also try to compete with 3D chat rooms and virtual worlds in this new release in beta phase:

Lively – “Chat and interact with your friends in rooms you design.”

“Customize your avatar and stream personal photos and video.”

“Invite your friends to chat and help decorate.”

The look an feel resembles virtual worlds such as CyWorld, for instance. Many others are compared on this chart by TechCrunch. The Blue Book published by the Association of Virtual Worlds contains and enormous list of Virtual Worlds…

It might be worth giving it a try. I am just not sure whether we need yet another virtual world combined with a chat room capability… mmmm… All in all, It might be just another move for Google to place their ads all over the Web , this time on the 3D Web…

By the way, no Mac version as of now…

Also, take a look at Karl Kapp’s list of Alternative to Second Life.

Hold Off on the iPhone 3G?

An article by Ben Patterson on Yahoo! Tech has case some buzz on the Web lately. It’s title: “5 Reasons to Hold Off on the iPhone 3G”.

While I agree with him on some points and disagree on others (I love freedom of speech), I feel like I need to respond to his article:

1. Shortages are unlikely

I agree on this one, if there reason you are camping outside an Apple store to get your new iPhone 3G, forget it. Unless you want to be known as “that guy” on the local news, there is no need to hurry…

2. Chaos on Day One

Totally agree that the new activation method (over the counter and not iTunes) might be a little bit of a stressful change, especially for the Apple stores, which are not used to processing phone contracts. Patterson is right: it might be a bit chaotic that first week.

3. 32GB iPhone 3G on the horizon

I disagree on this one. Why is a bigger storage number going to keep you from getting a gadget these days? They are always going up on storage, email, hard drives, video game consoles, SD cards, even the brain size… You are going to have to have an outdated gadget in a few months no matter what. Also, why do you need more than 8GB for a PHONE?

4. Best new iPhone features are coming to the original iPhone

Agree and disagree. While I don’t want to miss a call because I am looking at the GPS on my iPhone, I do think that the faster internet will be a big deal here. But the price in the long run is worse for this service package… IT might be good to keep the old iPhone for some reasons but bad for others…

5. The HTC Touch Diamond

I agree we shouldn’t get all excited about the iPhone being the ultimate phone and turn a blind eye to new technologies out there. But I do think that the iPhone, for many reasons and for different audiences might be the best one out there today…

The biggest reasons to hold off on the new iPhone to me really are:

1. the price of the new service package with the faster 3G connection

2. I forgot which one was number 2

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