Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Thing 47.... Eval

I really like doing this kind of assignment. However, I take so long to explore many of the otions that what should be a 20 min assignment has taken me 4 hours. Grrrrr.

Additionally, I get totally pulled towards assignments that I find relavent to me and so spend a bunch of time on them and learn a lot playing with them....

Then there are those sites that I find just plain, well, ummm... lets say "useless fun".

Its not that they aren't worth mentioning, but adding a bubble to a photo is not really learning a lot about web 2.0 features that are out there. Fun? yes. Useful? questionable. Good to know they exist? yes.

All and all good, but not as good as the first 23.

Thing 46..... WJMN... not for me

Ummm.... SKIP Please. Not truly relevant.

Thing 45....Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has a lot of advantages:
  • Far more secure
  • Always have access
  • Wont loose data
  • Cost is free or nominal
However, until the technology catches up (and it is... but not yet). The power is not there yet. Google docs is great for a basic paper or other documents, but for doing a lot of editing and playing with margins, it is a pain in the butt. Most notably would be the comparision of Google to PPT. PPT just plain kicks Google into the trashcan... at least for now.

I was weary to use at first and more and more I am using cloud computing for all kinds of tasks. What I am most interested in is to see where cloud computing will be in 2 years vs Microsoft Office. What more can Office offer that Google can't? That is the question and I think the question that has Microsoft shivering in their boots.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Thing 44... The Econonmy

I hate to say this, but I have been to almost every site listed. I teach Government and used to teach economics. Many of the videos and web sites are not new to me. However, I think many of them are wonderful and use them in my own classroom all the time.

here are few recommendations from Claude:
Public Agenda: This is a non-partisan/bi-partisan web site with more information about the hot 20 topics than you could hope to know. Not only is the information beyond fantastic but is is fully sited and backed up my multiple sources thus giving the data credence.

for a great exploration of the top 20 issues in our country click on "issues Guide". This will give you a drop down menue of many issues that will have you scowering the site of months to come.

Sound Money: This to me is a no brainer. It is good solid info on the economy and on personal finance. It is readily available and has tools for all educators and citizens of America to use. this is a must follow web site.

Thing 44... Hulu or bust

Ironically, I was one of the original 1000 subscribers to Hulu. I only know this because I received an e-mail telling me this little tid-bit.

Anyway. I love Hulu but there are numerous weaknesses to this style of broadcasting that Hulu has adapted to and is learning (as all rule breaking and future ideas do).

One of the issues I have noticed about Hulu is that they will have the current season of a show but not seasons 1-3. Why? Those seasons are for sale on DVD.

Or the converse is true... you can watch seasons 1-2 but none of the subsequent seasons.

what system they use is dependent on how old the television show is


Buffy the Vampire Slayer is part of the second method. You can watch seasons 1 and 2 but need to buy the DVD's for the other seaons. However is you are stuck on a currently aired show like "The Burn Notice", then you can't go back in seasons. You have to buy or rent the previous shows.

There are a few more obscure shows that you get the whole show.

There is a different system for what film are on Hulu. No huge block busters, and other films are related to release date and/or popularity. I'm not sure of the formula yet, but I haven't really explored it. However there are some patterns.

Like the T.V. shows, there are certain producers or directors that are more willing to sign off their products to Hulu than others. Thus Joss Weaton is every where and Stanley Kubric is know-where.

Already there has been a shift in television show writing. In the last three or so years the number-one show writers/producers has been HBO and Showtime. Why? They are no limited by the trite and trivial rules of the FCC. They can be truly creative and since the station is not dependent on advertising for survival is it a more pure market of how successful the show is. Hulu will have a direct impact on this as the Big Three networks figure out how to bring talent and creativity back to their channels and away from reality tripe.

Thring 43.... Music Baby... Give me the Music

Perhaps you don't know this about me, but I am sort of a music junkie. According to iTunes, my library consists of 141Gig of songs that would take 70.2 days to play from beginning to end. The great thing about my library is that it is growing.

Now one needs to be consious about sound quality, especially when compressing to mp3 which is a far inirior sound quality to "old technology". but it is easy and transportable. So I too listen when on the road. This, however, is not the place to go down the diatribe of sound quality. It is the place to talk about where I get my inspiration for music.

I am an avid MPR listener. Mostly the news, but then, The current. I love music that pushes the boundries, is inventive and honest. I dispise with absolute totality 99.9% of those things that are country (there is always the exception). However, I love the challenge. Being pushed to a new level is so intreging. So I think Pandora is the best thing since.. since... well after the direct application internet ap... its next.

I currently have 9 different "stations" on Pandora. What I like most is that my stations are really divirese:
Robyn Hitchcock
Talking Heads
Nick Cave
Louie XIV
But each station not only links to bands that I am familar with, but with new bands that I then begin to explore.

So, although I see the value in this "Thing". It is not a new place for me to explore, it was more like a familiar place for me to relax in.

Go Pandora!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Thing 41..... Arkan.. how to make order from disorder

Arktan enables you to segment your aggregate digital activity by topics, mix, curate, share and re-publish it and discover your friends’ activity.

There are lots of content aggregators as listed by "More things", but very few offer ways to easily segment your content into interest groups or channels. Arktan is designed to make it possible to aggregate not just your existing social media data and profiles (like bookmarking lists, photos and Twitter feeds), but to easily add that information from your friends into specific channels too.

What I really liked about Arkan is that I am able to add in my friends without forcing them to sign up for an account. If I want to follow some of my family’s Flickr accounts, Twitter updates and maybe some blog posts, I don’t want to have to rely on them to sign up for the service. That doesn’t mean they might not get added value from Arktan but it is nice that that isn’t a requirement.

Arktan is still evolving — there are some user interface inconsistencies and I had a difficult time adding some types of accounts — but I like where this is headed. There are so many services focused on content creation and aggregation, it’s nice to see a service designed for better organization and segmentation.