On Sunday last Grandma Jean ( Debbie's mum - on the left of the table) celebrated her special birthday at the Olive Tree Restaurant, Celtic Manor - she enjoyed a birthday lunch with her younger sister, children(2), grandchildren(3) and great grandchildren (2) plus myself and my parents ( my dad 83 on 3rd November). Happy Birthday to a very special classy lady from us all.
Following the worst weather experienced by Wales and north western England leading to horrendous flooding including the sad loss of a policeman swept away when a bridge collapsed into the River Derwent it was a joy to see the blue sky above and as it went dark, the moon was just rising over the hills in the background ( apologies for the G1 shot - note to Santa a decent camera for Christmas please!).
It certainly raised the spirits at the end of a long busy week to see that the natural world is always a mix joy and disaster.
View Larger Map I do feel extremely privileged to live in such a beautiful part of the world .... even when it is raining.
You can take a look at what has been taking up much of the past few weeks here [link]
Kim Cofino from ISB ( Bangkok) gave a presentation on Friday 20th November to an audience of educators at Yokohama International School. Kim is always an enthusiastic presenter and took her audience on a journey showing ways of integrate web 2.0 technologies into their curriculum and classes using the 3 step method: 1. Design 2. Tools 3. Management The Design element states that the use of the technology should be curriculum driven, the technology must not be the learning. Tools of course is self explanatory however it is keeping up to date with these that is where teachers such as Kim and Jeff Utecht come into their own - every school or group of schools should have access to a good 21st Century technology practitioner who can show others how to integrate the new technologies into an authentic learning setting. Management comes down to how teachers integrate the use of technology into the classroom, perhaps easier in a 1 to 1 school setting, but more of a challenge in others - there is also the need to show school management and curriculum planners that discrete IT time and use of computer labs for timetable sessions might not be the way to go! Thank you Kim for a wonderful session and to Brian Lockwood for the video stream.
Cucku is a new backup program come web service that attempts to take the best parts of each form of backup. First, Cucku lets you easily backup your important files and folders to your own hard drive and to portable drives you own. Then, in a unique twist on traditional online backup services, Cucku lets you store an encrypted copy of your files on your friends' and family member's computers through the internet using Skype.
This gives you the best of both worlds - the accessibility of a backup on a local drive with the additional security of a remote backup, all the while letting you keep your data on computers of people you trust instead of a datacenter.
Google Chrome powered netbooks are around 12 months away according to the official Google Blog but they have today released the code and early design ideas allowing the open source community to begin the process of playing with Chrome OS and as in previous releases developing it for them. You can't blame Google as this not only has the effect of galvanising the community but also raising the profile amongst the general public. After watching Google's video above I for one will find the 12 month wait for an operating system which is based on Chrome which has become my preferred browser over recent months very long indeed!..... the speed of start up will hopefully be quick as you would expect from a Linux inspired system. Chrome OS taster:
I was sadly disappointed when visiting the tech shops in Cardiff recently and finding Windows 7 has taken over the netbook business..... it would appear that the Linux/Android revolution has been swamped for the present. The opportunity to increase the start up and speed of computing will hopefully be the big seller allied to long battery life.