Archive for the ‘Cyber Education’ Category

I love browsers. Hey, it’s the reason we surf the web. But lately they have thrown up more issues than need be required. Let’s take a closer look at why I love and hate web browsers.

People use different web browsers for different reasons. These reasons range from ‘I have no choice, my company has not upgraded my Internet Explorer 6 from 2001’ to a ‘Firefox plug-in connoisseur whose quest it is to maximise their web experience by finding the best and most useful plug ins’. Their options are wider then ever with there being a multitude of web browsers available for download.

This presents two key problems. First for the users, their web experience is altered slightly from browser to browser if a site has not been tested fully, maybe the website does not take into account the user’s browser type, or that the user needs to download RIA technologies like Flash etc. Secondly for businesses, this means having to spend more money developing their web applications to work across all browsers at all times.

But where do you draw the line, between the good browsers and the bad. Unfortunately it’s not that simple, because different browsers can be good for different reasons. For example Flock is built on Firefox, but is targeted towards users in social media. Those web browsers that offer cross-platform compatibility are at least trying to give users a fair choice. So when Microsoft stopped offering Internet Explorer for Apple users back in the day, it was seen by some as a strange move.

Currently a majority of users would use only a few of the industry’s leading browsers, like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera & Chrome. However since each of these alone are available in different versions this can also create further issues for both the user and the designer and/or developer.

Personally I use various browsers for different reasons, so as to separate my browsing history. I would use one browser for my favourites, another for social media etc. It helps me get the best from each browser because I get to test and play each one continuously. I am not your average user, therefore my reasoning for picking various browsers may not might sense to some people.

As the digital channels of communication continue to expand, we will start to experience the Internet from a variety of new web browsers like those on your mobile to the ones on your OLED television. That means even more setting up time required for users, designers and developers, that’s just great. Didn’t someone once say ‘what ever you do KEEP IT SIMPLE?’

Let’s hope HTML 5 helps simplify things, but I got a funny feeling it’s not going to be that simple.

Find out more about the history of Web Browsers and HTML 5 at :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_web_browsers

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML_5

This is an interesting question because the source of news for many is in a state of transition. Some get their news from a traditional newspaper, some use television, some look to the Internet, whilst the rest are getting their news from a multiple number of sources throughout the day.

But the Internet is causing users to look further into cyberspace for their news fix. We can utilise RSS Feeds in a multiple number of ways, whether pulling the feeds into a Blog, Email, personalised news sites like MeeHive, Social Networking Site or software like NetNewsWire. Then every Newspaper, Television News Station and every type of newspaper has a website section dedicated to news. Consumers are also looking towards journalistic web blogs that can carry the news from one person to the next, and is simultaneously posted to a number of sites, introducing conversation to allow users to discuss the news subject.  Twitter has been a new recent source of success and continues to grow at an alarming rate. I am not saying that this is a definitive list, but it shows that there are a number of options and creative opportunities to get the news you want, how you want it and when you want it.

Now that accessing the Internet from your mobile phone without major issues using Mobile browsers like Skyfire are possible, you are actually getting your news direct to your handset, which is usually positioned with you twenty-four hours a day. And with the recent unveiling of Apple’s latest gizmo, the iPad, magazines like Wired, GQ and Vanity Fair are already preparing their digitised versions of their magazine for launch in April 2010 which bring even more options for consumer engagement.

Personally, I do not think I can give up a traditional newspaper for a while yet. There’s a few reasons for this, I prefer not to look at a screen as soon as I wake up and I find reading a paper newspaper is generally more relaxing. Interestingly, even though I read a number of traditional newspapers throughout my day, sometimes I still do not come across the same news story on the Internet, unless the traditional newspaper has forced me to look for it. So I wonder how all the people can see all the news without missing some of it. This is also one of the reasons I started this blog, I sometimes find things that I want to share, but how do I know my if my friends or colleagues have also seen the same content.

My day is spent in front of some screen or another, so there is always time for the Internet. Should the future do away with the traditional newspaper, for economic or environmental reasons, I will be sad, but I could always print my news if I missed it that badly.

Pew Internet & American Life Project recently conducted a study called Understanding the Participatory News Consumer. When you look at the findings which looked at American citizens news habits, there were some key points to note.

Content below courtesy of Pew Internet & American Life Project.

78% of Americans say they get news from a local TV station
73% say they get news from a national network such as CBS or cable TV station such as CNN or FoxNews
61% say they get some kind of news online
54% say they listen to a radio news program at home or in the car
50% say they read news in a local newspaper
17% say they read news in a national newspaper such as the New York Times or USA Today.


Americans today routinely get their news from multiple sources and a mix of platforms. Nine in ten American adults (92%) get news from multiple platforms on a typical day, with half of those using four to six platforms daily. Fully 59% get news from a combination of online and offline sources on a typical day.  Just over a third (38%) rely solely on offline sources, and 2% rely exclusively on the internet for their daily news.

Of course not every country is the same and there is only so much news you can digest in one day. Therefore news for the future consumer is likely to continue to arrive from a multiple number of sources and from different delivery platforms accessed at different times. This post will have to be updated in a few years time, because I cannot wait to see where I get my news from next.

Find out more about the Pew Internet & American Life Project findings at :

http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Online-News/Summary-of-Findings.aspx?r=1

Read more about magazines coming soon to the iPad courtesy of Stephanie Clifford, New York Times at :

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/01/business/media/01conde.htm

Machines are processing more and more information everyday. We need them to survive in today’s’ information age.

What will happen as the data begins to pile up, and we decide to ask the machines to help us make decisions based on this historical data.  Ooh scary! Well maybe it is or maybe it ain’t or maybe some of will not be around to find out.

Take a look at the video posted by Michael Wesch of Kansas State University a couple of years ago. It gives you an idea and makes you think about how the ever evolving role and impact of technology is having on our lives.

Get a better idea of how steep the slopes really are with Google’s Snow View.

Keep up to date with the games with Google and Street View for the slopes at :

http://www.google.com/intl/en/landing/games10/index.html

One of my favourite articles from Wired Magazine November 2008.

Secret Geek A-Team Hacks Back, Defends Worldwide Web

But who was he kidding? He was just some guy. The problem had been coded into Internet architecture in 1983. It was 2008. Somebody must have fixed it by now. He typed a quick series of commands and pressed enter. When he tried to access the Fortune 500 company’s Web site, he was redirected to an address he himself had specified.

“Oh shit,” he mumbled. “I just broke the Internet.”

Read the full article courtesy of Wired UK at :

http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/16-12/ff_kaminsky?currentPage=all


I used to hate carrying books to school. You’d think I was packing for a round the world tour, filled with sun and action packed adventures. No, I was just going to school.

Macmillan US makes textbooks dynamic which allow teachers to freely customise and modify the textbooks, which can then be made available online or for download.

Find out more about this story at :

http://www.graphicartsonline.com/article/450700-Macmillan_Launches_DynamicBooks_Subsidiary.php

Couretsy of GraphicArts ONLINE

Find out more about Dynamic Books at :

http://dynamicbooks.vitalbook.com/

Find out about Macmillan at :

http://international.macmillan.com

These guys have a serious point to make about how some users on location based services are not aware of the online privacy issues.

Find out more at: http://pleaserobme.com/

Free Online MIT Course Material.

What is MIT OpenCourseWare?
MIT OpenCourseWare is a free publication of MIT course materials that reflects almost all the undergraduate and graduate subjects taught at MIT.

  • OCW is not an MIT education.
  • OCW does not grant degrees or certificates.
  • OCW does not provide access to MIT faculty.
  • Materials may not reflect entire content of the course.

How do I register to use MIT OpenCourseWare?
There is no registration or enrollment process because OCW is not a credit-bearing or degree-granting initiative.

Can I get a certificate?
No. MIT OpenCourseWare is a publication of the course materials that support the dynamic classroom interactions of an MIT education; it is not a degree-granting or credit-bearing initiative. However, you should work through the materials at your own pace, and in whatever manner you desire.

How do I find what courses are available? How do I search your site?
site overview is available for MIT OpenCourseWare. You can also browse courses by department or use the advanced search to locate a specific course or topic.

High school students and educators should check out Highlights for High School.

What it takes to support this work

Each course we publish requires an investment of $10,000 to $15,000 to compile course materials from faculty, ensure proper licensing for open sharing, and format materials for global distribution. Courses with video content cost about twice as much, but your feedback about the significant value of these video materials helps to justify the cost.Learn more.

Find out more at : http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/about/about/index.htm

Free education… can’t be bad, and evolving that tacit way of thinking.