Archive for October, 2007
The Green Thing is a new, not for profit community site that’s just launched. The idea is to unite people against climate change by making it easy and enjoyable to be a bit greener, with the help of London’s creative industries. Every month you get a different Green Thing to do October’s is ‘walk once’ and all you have to do is do it.
The aim of Green Thing is to create people-powered sustainability to help as many people as possible in as many countries as possible to do the green thing; then to use this people power to get governments and business to take fast actions to reduce carbon emissions and do the green thing too thereby helping prevent climate change.
Because entertainment is very inspiring and lectures a bit less so, these monthly Green Things are suggested with great content from a growing community of brilliant writers, musicians, designers, directors and artists; as well as some of London’s best agencies.
So if you feel like doing The
Right Green Thing for the enviroment why not check it out at:
A Vision of Students Today is a video created by Professor Michael Wesch and the 200 students enrolled in ANTH 200: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University, Spring 2007. It began as a brainstorming exercise, thinking about how students learn, what they need to learn for their future, and how our current educational system fits in.
It’s pretty interesting to watch, plus you can also get a transcript of the A Vision of Students Today video here.
Welovelocal.com is a social local search website which helps people find the best businesses in their area, be it a florist, plumber or restaurant, by reading reviews and recommendations from people they can trust.
Microsoft Live Labs have recently released their latest technology preview, Microsoft Live Labs Listas, a web-based application tool for the creation, management and sharing of lists, notes, favorites, and other such stuff. Listas provides you with a WYSIWYG which allows you to quickly and easily create/edit lists and share them with others for read or write – in sense a bit like a wiki. Listas reminds a little of cl1p.net – the internet clipboard.
Listas also features a Listas Community Section, in which you can find a number of highlights of the most popular and random items from around the community of public lists such as the most used tags, the hottest lists, and prolific contributors. Within the Listas Community you can also add other users lists or RSS feeds to your own Listas as well as adding users as freinds so you can quickly find them again.
You can even create lists from all the things you find on the web, like search results, wish lists, videos, or all or part of virtually any page with the Listas Toolbar for Internet Explorer.
Now the question is where could Listas progress to – could some kind of Windows Live Spaces intergration be the key?
Yesterday evening I attended The Great Facebook Debate at the BT Centre in London. That of which was being filmed live – you can watch the webcast here.
The Schedule was as follows:
17:00 – 17:15 – Registration
17:15 – 18:00 – Networking
18:00 – 18:15 – Welcome from the Host, Paul Walsh.
18:15 – 18:35 – Panel Presentations (setting the scene)
18:35 – 19:00 – Q&A with Panel (turn up the heat)
19:00 – 20:15 – Debate (is it me or is it getting hot in here?!)
20:15 – 21:00 – Networking
21:00 – till late – After-party @ The Livery – thanks to Trusted Places!
I Arrived a little earlier than 5pm for registration, 4:25 to be precise, only to be told that they were still setting up and that they were kicking off at 5pm, of course I was a little confused as I’m sure it said 4:30pm on the web (checked the internet on my mobile and I was right), anyhow I was invited to take a seat and wait or come back later. So what I decided to do was to do a little bit of walking – quite glad I did actually as I came across a section of The Old Roman London Wall near the Musseum of London.
At 5pm I returned to find a queue of people registering!
Networking was good along with the food and drinks!
Paul Walsh – Chair
JP Rangaswami – The significance of us having this conversation
Chad Wollen – Making money from Facebook
Hugh MacLeod – Changing how we communicate
Q&A with Panel
Various questions thrown towards the panel!
Rules of engagement – Oli Barrett, Moderator.
There were 3 Motions which were as follows, though we had to all vote on which one we didn’t want as we could only have two motions go through for debate.
Motion 1 This house believes; Facebook should be banned from corporate networks
- For: Sam Setih & Damien Mulley
- Against: Robert Loch & Josie Fraser against
Motion 2 This House believes that Facebook’s decision to open up its platform to all developers was a mistake
- For: Josie Fraser and Robert Loc
- Against: Sam Sethi and Damien Mulley
Motion 3 This house believes that friend requests from your boss are best ignored
- For: Sam Sethi and Damien Mulley
- Against: Josie Fraser and Robert Loch
The motions choosen were “Motion 2 – This House believes that Facebook’s decision to open up its platform to all developers was a mistake and “Motion 3 – This house believes that friend requests from your boss are best ignored
I think as do many others who attended that the motions brought up some interesting conversations along with some laughs but that they didn’t really focus on things we didn’t already know or could have worked out for ourselves. It would have been nice for there to be more talk about how we can monetize facebook and some more talk about privacy and where do we think Facebook is heading next along with conversations such as should facebook stop trying to expand before it’s turns into a myspace site instead of what facebook was originally intended for.
More chance to do some networking with drinks from BT!
After-party @ The Livery
Yet another time to do some more networking – with drinks sponsored by Trusted Places - when me and Kevin (University Student I meet at the Future of Web Apps the other week) first arrived at the Bar there were not many people there yet – so we decided to take a walk around the block and come back in a bit and see if anything was happening yet, this time round there were some more people I remember seeing from the debate, including Alex Tew (http://www.milliondollarhomepage.com/) – got my self some pixels on his site when it first went live before the media went crazy about it – there were still pixel corner spaces available at this time!
In overall the debate was pretty interesting in the fact that it had a different format, that being instead of the usual presentations and questions and answers at the end. However it certainly does need some tweaking in places which is expected considering it was the first one so well done Paul and everyone else for a great time!
Sarah Blow has been offered two free conference tickets to the Web 2.0 Expo in Germany. However due to other commitments she is unable to use them and as such is offering the opportunity to two female university students in the UK via a very short competition. And just in case you’re wondering why a short competicion… it’s because the event is on from the 5th – 8th November 2007 which isn’t far off!
So female university students, all you have to do is the following:
In no more than 50 words explain how you would use this opportunity and what you would like to learn from the event. Post your responses to this post and include your university e-mail address in your submission. (otherwise I can’t possibly send you the prize!)
This competition will finish on Tuesday 23rd October 2007 at 6pm. The ticket does not cover travel expenses or accommodation however Sarah is trying to find a sponsor to cover this. In the eventuality that she can’t find one for some reason, then she is willing to talk to your head of department and help you to sway them into covering your costs (Apparently she did something similar whilst at uni to get to the World 3GSM Congress and it worked well.)
Of course if a company would like to sponsor the expenses for travel and accommodation for a student then do get in touch with Sarah as she would be more than happy to include that in the package!
The lucky winner will also be invited to the launch party for Girl Geek Dinners in Germany!
A month after announcing the final development stages of the Space Shuttle Mission 2007 (SSM2007) space simulation game, Exciting Simulations reveals never-before-seen in-game pictures of the highly realistic Space Shuttle Virtual Flight Deck.
The SSM2007 3D Virtual Flight Deck is equipped with fully operational highresolution Multi Function Displays, Heads-Up Display and gauges which allow budding Shuttle Pilots to perform the manual HAC intercept and landing procedure completely from within the virtual 3D view.
This is only a taste of things to come as Exciting Simulations is working around the clock to meet the December 2007 launch target.
You can find new pictures on the official Space Shuttle Mission 2007 forum at www.space-shuttle-mission.com.
Microsoft has today announced the final updates to the fall release of its Live Search service, introducing a broad array of new services and features to its local and mobile search offerings. The new features and enhancements are designed to make it easier for people to find what they need at home or on the go through significant innovations in mapping, imagery and driving directions as well as new services to make the mobile search experience easy and powerful.Microsoft also announced the availability of the Live Search 411 service. Customers can gain toll-free* access by dialing (800) CALL-411 (800-225-5411) from any phone to find and connect to local businesses and other local information, such as weather updates, movie show times and airline information. People using a cell phone with Internet access can also receive links to traffic maps from Live Search 411.
Microsoft is building on several years of innovation in imagery and 3-D visualization, adding some of the most significant innovations to driving directions technology in the last several years and expanding how our current 185 million customers can experience the improvements to the core of Live Search to include access from a wider variety of clients, platforms and devices, said Satya Nadella, corporate vice president of the Search & Advertising Platform Group at Microsoft. Collectively, these improvements build on the work we did in core relevance and differentiated vertical experiences, and are an important milestone in our efforts in delivering a comprehensive, innovative search offering that includes mobile, mapping, Web and local services for customers to find what they need, when they need it, on any device.
Today’s announcement comes on the heels of the release on Sept. 26 of several new capabilities for Live Search, which included significant improvements in relevance and coverage in the core Web search service and expanded the range and depth of information available in areas where most customers were doing most of their queries entertainment, shopping, health and local searches.
Today’s release offers these key features:
Maps and Directions
- Innovative driving directions. The new Live Search offers more accurate and easy-to-use driving directions, including dynamic rerouting of directions based on real-time traffic information, one-click directions that allow drivers to get only essential directions to their destination with no starting point needed, and inline hints that tell drivers if they have gone too far based on local landmarks. Combined with new, one-page printing, these new enhancements have taken driving directions to the next level.
- Innovative visualization and 3-D. Coverage of bird’s-eye and 3-D imagery has been increased to cover 80 percent of the U.S. population. In addition, nearly 200 complete cities are available in 3-D, and customers can now combine views of 3-D imagery with Live Search’s unique 45-degree bird’s-eye images, giving a complete and detailed geolocation experience. In addition, people who use Live Search Maps can create and share their own 3-D models of buildings through an alliance with Dassault Systemes.
- Innovative local content index including user-generated content.The new local search capabilities in Live Search include not only a broad set of expert sources but also broad access to user-generated content from Live Search and from across the entire Web, through searchable user-created collections and Keyhole Markup Language (KML) support.
- Virtual Earth platform updates. The Virtual Earth platform is the underlying technology behind well over 1,000 partner mapping solutions as well as Live Search Maps. Updates in version 6.0 of Virtual Earth include multipoint trip routing; enhanced geocoding that combines results for multiple geocoders; rooftop geocoding, which provides more precise geocoding results; map control support for Safari 2.0; and the release of MapCruncher beta, making it easier to publish maps overlaid in an application using the Virtual Earth map control. More details on the Virtual Earth platform can be found at http://dev.live.com/virtualearth.
- Live Search for Windows Mobile with voice input. The updated Live Search for Windows Mobile® 5.0 and 6.0 will be available for download for free on Tuesday, Oct. 16, and now includes voice input (beta version), gas prices, and hours of operation for businesses. The service can also use Global Positioning System (GPS) data on GPS-enabled phones to provide location-aware local search for customers.
- Live Search 411. Jointly developed with Tellme Networks Inc., acquired by Microsoft earlier this year, a new toll-free number will be available for anyone using any kind of phone to access the power of Live Search. Users can simply dial (800) CALL-411 (800-225-5411) and say the city and state, then ask for the business or business category to hear a list of options. Users say, Connect me, to instantly connect to the business. Cell phone users can ask for a text message with a link to a map of the business.*
- Live Search for use with BlackBerry® Devices. Live Search designed for use with BlackBerry devices is in beta and will be available for download for free on Tuesday, Oct. 16. It is a new offering designed for use on BlackBerry OS 4.0.2 or later phones, and customers with GPS-enabled phones can use location awareness to enhance their searches.
The Kent IT Clinic (KITC) at the University of Kent has been awarded Technology Enterprise Kent’s ‘Enterprise and Training Award for excellence’ under the category of IT Support.
The award, which was presented to David Soud, Co-ordinator of KITC, on 4 October, is in recognition of ‘the considerable achievement of KITC consultants in delivering the intensive assists on behalf of Medway Authority in 2006 and 2007′.
Launched in October 2005 and with branches at the University’s Canterbury and Medway campuses, KITC provides high quality, low cost IT support, services and consultancy to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and micro-enterprises in the Canterbury, East Kent and Medway area. The Clinic is unique in that its consultants are undergraduate computing students, many with industrial and consulting experience gained through placements at major organisations such as Sun Microsystems, IBM and Microsoft.
The relationships between KITC and its clients are managed by full-time IT professionals, monitored by KITC management and mentored by academic and technical members of the University’s Computing Laboratory.
David Soud said: ‘I am very pleased that Technology Enterprise Kent has recognised the achievements of the IT Clinic and the excellent work carried out by KITC consultants during 2006 and 2007. This confirms the position of the IT Clinic as a training provider of excellence and affirms its status as Medway Authorities IT provider of choice to small and micro enterprises in the Medway area. I look forward to further distinctions for the IT Clinic in the coming year.’
Professor Simon Thompson, Director and Head of the Computing Laboratory at the University of Kent, said: ‘I am delighted that the Clinic has received this recognition. Student consultants in the Clinic are giving real benefits to the local community as well as equipping themselves with invaluable experience for a career in computing and IT. Until this year, Clinic consultants have been undergraduates, but this autumn we began teaching a new MSc in IT Consultancy, based in the KITC.’
Carole Barron, Director of Enterprise at the University, said: ‘The University is understandably proud of KITC and its achievements. This award closely follows its success in receiving national recognition in 2006 when they were shortlisted for the Computing Award for Excellence. It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the students and their supervisors in supporting businesses across the South East.’
I Myself as a Student was an IT Consultant last year for The Kent IT Clinic, so I know just what it’s like working within the KITC – At times it can be hard trying to work for both The Kent IT Clinic while also attending the other university modules you are taking, but I think it’s all about balance – you need to try and balance the two.
The great thing is I can say I’ve worked at The Kent IT Clinic and be proud of it. It was a great experience and it’s great knowing that I was in the first group of consultants to be at Medway and that my work done there (Server Configuration, Laptop Training Guides etc) as helped the KITC get to where it is now!
A striking image of seaweed shows the complexity of even the simplest organisms.
Seen here is Irish mossâ€”Chondrus crispusâ€”a common Atlantic red alga that is routinely harvested for its carrageenan. The chemical is used as a thickener in many processed foods.
Andrea Ottesen of the University of Maryland’s Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture shared a first place prize in the photography category of the 2007 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge for the natural light photo.
The awards are given out each year by the National Science Foundation and the journal Science for the imagery that best conveys complex scientific information and concepts.
Read more about National Geographics Best Science Images of 2007 here.