Virtual World Wobble

December 9, 2008

Google’s brief foray into virtual worlds has come to a swift end. Google’s ‘Lively’—its answer to Second Life—has been shut down. Launched in July 2008, it offered virtual world characters, three-dimentional graphics and virtual rooms for people to socialise.

It’s quite possible Google thought there was no future in virtual worlds, certainly after the increasingly ridiculous Second Life stories being reported in the press.

Even a Reuter’s reporter has left Second Life, after concluding that there wasn’t really anything of value to report after being ‘sent there’.

However, as one door closes, another one opens. Muxlim has just been launched – a Sims-style virtual world aimed at the Muslim community, with the hope of members socialising and sharing common interests.


Virtual Worlds and Gaming for learning

November 24, 2008

Virtual World Watch is ‘Tracking activity in UK universities and colleges’. It’s set up through a collaboration of researchers including ‘Silversprite‘ (aka John Kirriemuir) who writes a great blog on Second Life research and using video games for learning. It’s the future.

This interesting article and videoclips show how a future generation are using new technologies for learning.

And more recently, the Nintendogs DS game is being used to teach pet care – in association with The Dogs Trust (and launched by Girls Aloud, naturally).


Cloud computing Vs Personal storage

October 2, 2008

Cloud computing seems to be the buzzword du jour in the world of technology. Cloud computing is a new concept of computing that uses third party software and storage space provided by companies such as Google or Microsoft, to handle work that would normally be done on your desktop computer.

There’s certainly an interest here at the College to try and utilize this technology and the advantages are numerous: No maintenance, free storage, no software installation, no access restrictions. But while we continue to explore the options of Google Docs and MS Skydrive, there is also a backlash against using this new technology.

This Guardian article has GNU founder Richard Stallman giving his opinion on cloud computing, “It’s stupidity. It’s worse than stupidity: it’s a marketing hype campaign.

It also has Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle saying, “The interesting thing about cloud computing is that we’ve redefined cloud computing to include everything that we already do,” he said. “The computer industry is the only industry that is more fashion-driven than women’s fashion. Maybe I’m an idiot, but I have no idea what anyone is talking about. What is it? It’s complete gibberish. It’s insane. When is this idiocy going to stop?”

Is cloud computing just a fashionable fad in computing or will it revolutionise the way we use computers?

My main concern is the security of data put in the hands of third party companies, but with an incredible amount of data already out there on personal PCs (emails, bank details) and the increasing gaffs of data security breaches from personal hardware, maybe the ‘safe hands’ of Google would be a better idea?


Smartphones

September 29, 2008

The new wave of smartphones are upon us! We’ll all be GPS-ing, 3G-ing and touchscreen surfing the web on-the-go soon.

Let’s have a quick look at a few on offer:

T-Mobile G1

Caused a big stir when it was launched last week, it’s the first phone to feature Google’s Android operating system. Android was developed by The Open Handset Alliance – a collaboration of developers creating an open and free mobile platform.

Lot’s of people think the phone is ugly – I think it looks solid and functional. What’s more off-putting for me is the geeky nature surrounding the phone (and promoting it).

http://www.t-mobile.co.uk/shop/mobile-phones/whats-hot/

iPhone

We all know what this is all about…What I find sad is the amount of awe and wonder with which people treat the phone. People seem to wrap it up in all sorts of protective cases and then touch it like they’re rubbing a precious stone.

http://www.apple.com/uk/iphone/

Samsung Omnia

A direct competitor to the iPhone, the Omnia is an all singing and dancing touch screen phone with a better hardware spec than it’s rival. Runs Windows Mobile 6.1.

http://omnia.samsungmobile.com/

Sony Ericsson Xperia

A rather swish looking touchphone with slideout keyboard (ok, so this phone does make the T-Mobile G1 look like a brick). Features some quirky touch phone features such as the nine panel grid layout.

The website is worth a look if only to hear an odd sounding European woman explain the phone to us (“I just love this giant touchscreen!” and tantalizingly, “I can’t live without my daily dose of celebrity gossip.”).  I’m sold.

http://www.sonyericsson.com/x1/index.aspx?en-gb


Phasing out IE6

September 18, 2008

Scott Mallinson reports on the phasing out of Internet Explorer 6 by some mainstream web companies but warns that it might exclude users who are yet to update to a modern browser.

Shamefully, I only upgraded my work machine to IE7 a few weeks ago – although to be honest, I’m not a browser geek. I’ve only ever dabbled with Firefox and Safari.


Online Collaborative Meetings blog

July 23, 2008

I’m maintaining a blog for a work project tracking our research and developments into online collaborative meeting tools.

Read about the project here:

http://ehwlcdtproject1.blogspot.com/


Matt (Multiple Account Twitter Tweeting)

July 18, 2008

Matt‘ is a useful Twitter tool created by the innovative Bath based web development company Carsonified. Matt (Multiple Account Twitter Tweeting) allows you to post to multiple Twitter accounts without logging into each one everytime. Useful if you are Twittering to a work account and a personal one.

Read my friend Scott Mallinson’s excellent write up of the whole project.