Monthly Archives: June 2011

Google+ Project – New Social Networking Service by Google

Will the guys from Techcrunch soon put one more of Google’s social media endeavors in the deadpool akin to Google Video, Google Wave and so many others??

I hope not, this new (“limited Field Trial”) social networking service Google is cooking up sure sounds intriguing and useful: Google+.

Here are the main features of the service (as seen on their project’s landing page):


 Icon for circles Circles
The easiest way to share some things with college buddies, others with your parents, and almost nothing with your boss.

Find out more »Take a tour.

 Icon for hangouts Hangouts
Let friends know you’re free for a video hangout, any time, anywhere. Then catch up, watch YouTube, or… just hangout.

Find out more »Take a tour.

 Icon for sparks Sparks
A feed of just the stuff you’re really into, so when you’re free, there’s always something waiting to be watched, read, or shared.

Find out more »Take a tour.

Storybird – Beautiful Collaborative Storytelling

Storybird is a powerful collaborative storytelling platform. One of its strongest features lies, of course, in the collaboration with other authors. However, it is also important to emphasize its library of creative artwork which can be incorporated into the stories created. Authors can choose from a wide range of illustrations when looking for creative visuals for the stories they’ve already written or simply looking for inspiration, a visual from which to start a story.

Check it out the video tour:


Free Language Learning Resources – KDE

For those looking for free language learning software, there’s always the online Rosetta Stone alternatives with a twist of collaborative learning such as: LiveMocha, Babbel, MangoLanguages, Bussu, and others (which I will discuss in another post).

For those who don’t care so much about the “practicing with a community’” part of it and just want to practice some vocabulary on their own, at the comfort of their desktop, you should try playing with the language learning tools. These tools are free to use and open source (as in freedom). They also count on a large community of users and entities (such as Vox Humanitatis) who create modules for them which are also free to download. The amount of languages covered by the materials is vast.

Parley (a vocabulary trainer) seems to be the most comprehensive of the tools on’s language learning page. It uses spaced repetition as it main guiding principle, a technique which is quite effective for learning concepts and storing them in the long term memory.



Para aqueles à procura de software grátis e livre para o aprendizado de línguas, há várias alternativas para o Rosetta Stone online  com um “quê”de  aprendizado colaborativo como: LiveMocha, Babbel, MangoLanguages, Bussu, e outros (os quais discutirei em outros posts).

Para aqueles que não se importam tanto com os aspecto de “prática com a comunidade’”  e simplesmente querem praticar vocabulário sozinho, no comforto do seu PC, experimente as ferramentas de prática de vocabulário do projeto language. Essas ferramentas são grátis e de código aberto. Além do mais, o projeto conta com uma grande comunidade de usuários e entidades  (como a Vox Humanitatis) que criam módulos para as ferramentas (que também são grátis para se baixar). A quantidade de línguas abordadas pelos materiais é vasta.

Parley (uma ferramenta de treinamento de vocabulário) me parece ser a ferramenta mais compreensiva do O Parley usa o conceito de repetição espaçada como seu princípio fundamental, uma técnica bem eficaz em aprendizado de conceitos que preza o armazenamento de informação na memória de longo.

Museum of Me – a Visualization of Your (online) Social Life

Intel’s Museum of Me is a must-see exhibition of a famous online personality: you.
It pull videos, photos, “likes”, friends, and other information about you on Facebook (with tour permission) and organizes a (fake, you didn’t think they’d really open a museum with photos of you, right?) exhibit featuring your data. Pretty interesting visualization… Will they also include Twitter and others soon?




Sharing a Goal

My wife is approaching 30 (tomorrow). I’m almost there too.
I wonder about accomplishments. Things a 30-year-old should achieve, should have achieved by this age. I can think of many examples of famous “accomplishers” who did great things by this age. Einstein, anyone?
I feel the quarter-life (well, a bit over 1/4) crisis hitting me.

I like sharing knowledge with people, enabling them to share knowledge, build knowledge. I want to achieve something around this goal.
What? I’ll need thirty more years to think about it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said ” “Our best thoughts come from others.”
Knowledge not shared are ideas not born. So, I want to help by sharing and enabling others to do so.

Or I could start with this blog itself. Sharing more, organizing my posts in neater categories with better visualization? As soon as I have time…

Ideas welcome. ;)

Evernote Peek – iPad Smart Cover Flashcard App

In a creative move which combines hardware and software, the developers at Evernote created an ingenious iPad app: Evernote Peek.
What’s it good for? Anything traditional flashcards are good for: memorizing facts, studying for tests, having fun in a trivia game.

Google Art Project- Virtual Tour of Museums and Art

Google Labs has a new tools in their projects. It’s called Google Art Project.
This tool lets you take virtual tours in museums around the world and explore specific works or art.
Interesting product for self-exploration or guided lessons in a school setting, for instance.




Windows 8 Sneak Peek – OS Convergence of Mobile and Desktop?

The Mashable team just posted a link to a video in which Jensen Harris, director if PM for the Windows User Experience team at Microsoft, goes over some of the new features of the future Windows 7 successor.
If anything, this video is serves as a good clue to how primarily desktop-focused Operating System developers are learning about what users would like to experience in their OS… and this learning seems to come from mobile platforms such as those of the Windows Phone, iOS, and Android.
When new modes of interactivity such as touch and other gestures, along with simplicity in switching between applications make their way into such an “old” OS, we know there’s something to be said about how people are starting to interact differently with their systems.

This convergence is not happening in terms of how we easily move from Desktop to laptop, to mobile devices, but also in how we can learn to interact with a given system once and apply that to all devices. Also, in a slightly different sense, we’re seeing a tendency for convergence to take place in how we expect our experiences to be seamless as we navigate from device to device (mobile to desktop and vice-versa), as we continue to watch a show that on a  second device after watching the first part on another: and we expect the experiences, the way we interact with both devices, to be seamless, intuitive, similar.

What’s next? Windows 8 tablets?

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