Friday, 31 August 2007

Microsoft? Are you scared yet?

At last another bit of competition for Micrsoft with Dell launching the use of Ubuntu an opensource operating system to be included on some of its machines. Perhaps this will see the end of such narrow competition ... yes I know that Apple's Tiger (grrrr) is lovely everyone .... but you know what I mean.

Ubuntu is designed by the people for the people (ha ha) or as Dell says, it:
lets multiple people change, improve and redistribute the source code, meaning the software is generally community developed and available for free

So of course that makes it cheaper. And competitive. I wonder how many other manufacturers will follow suit... and what will Microsoft do to bribe them to stay loyal?

In the meantime Brendadada has this piece on Flickr, where Yahoo's takeover of that initially wonderful online space has progressivley annoyed her so much that she has emigrated (with some friends) to
Ipernity. It looks like a very nice place indeed.

Interesting watching the debates about control of online spaces and so on and all this does have resonances for literacy practices and research about online text production and consumption. (So keep those articles coming Brendadada).

In the meantime, here is me zooming down the A57 by Stines in Derbyshire ... relieved to be on the downhill run at last ... and hoping we will have some kind of summer in the UK afterall

(Thanks to TT for the shot of me smiling at last and for telling me bout stuff for my blog).

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Pimp that snack

is such a great website. (here.) It shows how you can make a cake like this. Or a giant jaffa cake. Or a massive Munchie.

I found it on a link on one of the eBay forums, which was quite a random thing, I thought. This is how to make a giant toffee crisp.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Gasoline or Yoghourt?

I would go for Yoghourt everytime:

I love the rough-cut film culture; this seedy side of life thing that YouTubers seem to do so well. It is like a ritual resistance performance which is anti- hollywood / anti glam/ anti sophistication.

A lot of online humour is self parodying and understated. But I also like this film as it has a bike in it and bikes are the NEW THING as far as I am concerned.

I also love the joke people were having on Flickr with this photo here

The comments made me fall about laughing. I just lurve hanging with the kids online.

And just randomly ... this was in my kitchen sink:

drying out

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

New stuff everywhere

who taught him......???
Originally uploaded by hb19

Like this cyber school.

Accipio Learning is the UK’s leading provider of live, online teaching to secondary school students who are unable to attend mainstream schools. Accipio delivers its services through live, interactive lessons allowing pupils to communicate with teachers and peers in a safe and secure virtual learning environment.

I would be very interested to see exactly how interactive the lessons are. Wonder if it old school stuff just put online... or is it truly exciting??? Would love a tour.

And as regards other old stuff mnade to seem new ...

div>Radio 4's Today programme ran a piece about online Scrabble.
Apparently you can get an application to play Scrabble through Facebook now - and I ought to have a go. Apparently it is incredibly popular on facebook.
To me, this is quite fascinating as it is surely an old wine in new bottles type of scenario - which has been much criticised as an outmoded approach to technology (usualy used by schools). It is the notion of doing 'old style literacy activities' but using technolgy. Examples might be asking kids to type up their good work on a wordprocessor as a reward; having the kids do reading comprehension on a computer.This idea of using technology as a tool that could be performes judt as well using pen and paper or which does not take advantage of the affordances of new technolgies.
Scrabble, on the surface ooks like an example of simply transsplanting something old into a new package. But is it?

A new literacy, as Colin and Michele argue, is about new ethos stuff as well as new technoogy. And I guess it is the fact that the game of Scrabble is being polluted with 'new ethos stuff' that has caused consternation in some circles...

On the Today programme, (at 8.20 here) there was a traditional guy (henceforth 'Tradman') talking about how terrible the idea of online Scrabble is and that 'social intercourse' was a forgotten skill and that people are suffering because they stare at their computer screens all the time (etc.) He recounted how pleasant it is to play face to face 'with a glass of wine' and seemed to speak as if he and his friends' activities (of doing just that) were in some way under threat. Strange.

The defender, and developer of the online Facebook application (henceforth faceman) said that the game was good to play online as these days people often do not have time to meet face to face.

Tradman said that people could cheat if they play online as they could look stuff up; faceman said that people would not cheat if they were playing friends and that if they did do so, they would only be cheating themselves.

Oh dear oh dear, what a puerile discussion. And doesn't poshman know that you can cheat in face to face games (I do).

The game is DIFFERENT online. And why one earth should face to face 'intercourse' suffer because people also interact online?? This discussion is really old hat and DRAGS ME DOWN.

Here's a poppy to cheer you up.


Monday, 27 August 2007

National Reading Conference in Austin Texas this year

and so I have done a bit of research about Texas.

Found this video in the New York Times online.

Wonder if the NRC people will affect the Texans at all. I am looking forward to attending... I understand Austin is really different from the rest of the state.

Friday, 24 August 2007

Dinner on the underground

Just an example of how the internet has changed people's lives ... you cannot tell me they would have done this without planning to put it on YouTube first.

People lead more interesting lives through what they do online as well as what they do in order to report it / show it online.

Anyway, regarding this video, I love the way the drama challenges the space and the rituals of the London tube.