Sunday, December 26, 2010


It has been a tough year for 'free to use' web 2.0 technologies in 2010. We should have seen this coming I guess as the current global economic situation finally hit the tech sector, as they realise that the have to turn a buck!!!!
We had an early warning of what was to happen when the popular site Ning changed to a pay for use service..... it is still retaining its image it would appear.
The latest victim following its acquisition by the troubled giant Yahoo is one of my favourites, which having been around since 2003 has been  a web 2.0 stalwart - Delicious

It is not all doom and gloom however as other new sites and applications such a Prezi for presentations and many others ( link to Edudemic: Best 35 tools on the Web).
I must say a big thank you to Blogger itself for continuing to support the global blogging community year on year.
We look forward to the new innovations to come in 2011...... bring it on.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

UK's old Tweeter dies at 104 y.o.

This story appeared on the BBC Technology News pages yesterday, what a great lady she sounds, sadly I was not one of Ivy's 62,427 followers however I do wish that I had been.
Silver surfers rule! Digital Natives......pah!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Diigo Tags 07/23/2010

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Programmable origami which folds itself!

Thanks to for the video and article on how scientists at Harvard and MIT have created material which when a current is passed through it activates 'foil activators' to magically transform!

The power of,YouTube, iTunes and the Interweb!

Those who may have been following my ramblings for a while may well have picked up on one of my iPod favourites Carpool. This is a series of video recordings made by Robert Llewellyn ( aka Kryten from Red Dwarf...  Scrapheap Challenge ....How do they do it? and many more UK shows).
Robert has been dabbling in 'new media' since the early days with varying degrees of success, much as many of us he really 'got it' as far as using free new media such as,  iTunes and YouTube in 2008 it was then that he decided to launch Carpool,  a series of 30 minute-ish car journeys with well known people ( celebs and others less well known generally) where he would taxi them in his Toyota Prius chatting and generally having a good time. These clips were then uploaded originally through and also to iTunes and through Robert's web portal LlewTube in fact the power of the web came into play with the first episode which was downloaded over 4,000 times before any announcement of its existence had been posted!!!!
Carpool has gone on to gain an audience of over 2 million and has run into over 74 episodes ( there were a few lost due to technical issues) most of which are hugely amusing and I would recommend anyone with a 'UK' sense of humour and of the absurd to download a few episodes .... I believe you will get hooked quite quickly and will want more!

The show has succeeded because the combination of Robert's personality and that of his Carpool passengers. The good news that you will see in the announcement show above is that Carpool the videopodcast is now going to 'proper TV' as it has been commissioned as a show by Dave a UK satellite channel [link]. It is great to see that a show which began as an online experiment in new media  will now make it to a wider audience, Robert has also promised that posting to all previous outlets will continue.
Well done to Robert and all those who have made Carpool what it is, we the audience ( I can't actually get Dave on my TV!) look forward to the next chapter in the story.

Diigo Tags 07/04/2010

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

22 06 2010 post from

Eric Lauzon the IB Chief Information Officer gave IB staff in Cardiff a reprise of his presentation Education and Technology in a Global Economy which he gave originally in San Francisco in May for the Ed Tech Industry Summit. Eric used Prezi as the tool for his delivery which certainly held his audience. Please feel free to view the presentation and feedback your thoughts to me or directly to Eric.
We were taken through many of the issues that will be familiar to those endeavouring to encourage others in the use of technology in an educational setting - my favourite quote was from a child who says 'when I go into school I have to power down!'
When he came to discuss why it has proved difficult to embed IT in schools Eric challenged the reasons that are often given  -  ' Teacher Technophobia', 'Institutional Conservatism' and 'Lack of Resources', and put forward his theory that it is actually 'Teacher Practice', Curriculum design' and Assessment methods' that are having a greater effect. This certainly forces us all to consider how we can make serious long term progress in building technology into the curriculum..... thanks to Eric for his thought provoking presentation.

We were left with the thought from Prof. Stephen Heppell on what will be possible if we get this right:

'It's the death of education, but it's the dawn of learning that makes me happy' 

Diigo Tags 06/23/2010

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dan Pink..... gets the RSAnimate touch

I was searching around for information on Twitter ahead of a talk I am giving next month when I came across the above video animation of dan Pink's talk to the RSA.
Found on Nigel Whiteoak's Blog following a link from The Commoncraft guys page explaining Twitter

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ning is dead...... long live GROU.PS(BETA)!

I am not sure if I am late to the party..... the answer here is, probably yes I am. However it was only today thanks to a participant in one of our online workshops who has been working with net guru Julie Lindsay. We have had groups using Ning sites for some time, with the soon to be implemented pricing structure for Ning many of us have been looking for what next......... .
Today it came with GROU.PS BETA - which describes itself as:

GROU.PS is a do-it-yourself social networking platform that allows people to come together and form interactive communities around a shared interest or affiliation. The functionality of any online group is limited only by the members’ collective imagination and ambition. The GROU.PS platform is used to create a wide variety of community sites, including online gaming forums, e-learning classrooms, fan clubs, charity fundraising campaigns, college alumni societies, and event planning portals. In short, any organization seeking to aggregate and organize people online can greatly improve its effectiveness, engagement and appeal by migrating to the GROU.PS platform. By giving any user the ability to create an easy-to-use, yet powerful, social network, GROU.PS is propelling online collaboration, communication and content sharing in a new socially-aware direction.
The company is privately held and headquartered in Palo Alto, CA with development offices in Istanbul, Turkey. GROU.PS was founded in early 2006 by Emre Sokullu. The site has more than 3 million registered members. The company is backed by Golden Horn Ventures. offers a home for your Ning site

For those familiar with Ning will recognise the header section titles as they correspond exactly. Once you create your site you can simply copy across your Ning group.
Apologies if this is old news.... it was news to me!

Friday, May 14, 2010

DimDim V5.5

With a free meeting room for up to 20 people and a re-usable meeting room for 50 attendees for $25 a month. DimDim and its version 5.5 is still my favourite in the webinar stakes, and its virtual classrooms for educational meetings and training it remains on track and a company which listens to its customers.

Adobe respond to Apple

John Warnock and Chuck Geschke the co founders of Adobe have respond to Steve Jobs move with regard to the use of Adobe Flash on Apple devices in the form of the  open letter above. John and Chuck make very good points regarding open markets, which is of course an easy pitch against Apple and its controlling nature. There are many in the IT community who are pleased that HTML5 has come along to give Adobe and its downloadable Flash and FlashPlayer a run for its money. I must say that my only experience of HTML5 is using the beta test on Youtube and it is pretty unsatisfactory with youtube videos play very slowly and with distinct lines across the playback video. I would be interested to see native HTML5 at its best. I am aware that James FK and Will Finch at IB have been playing with the use of HTML5 videos which play on smartphones, the result so far was it worked on iPhone but failed on an Android device. I do hope that we are not going through another VHS v Betamax for the 21st Century!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Such Tweet Sorrow.......

I have missed this earier today but we appear to be close to the end game at Such Tweet Sorrow... as you can see below early this morning Romeo appears to be distraught .....
he is followed a little later by Juliet!!!
Follow the story at Such Tweet Sorrow.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Romeo and Juliet.... parting is such Tweet sorrow

Things are heating up with Romeo and Juliet - following Tybalt's death at Romeo's hand at a football match on 5th May Romeo has fled to the Eurozone, however his mobile might lead 'the cops' to him as you can read in his tweets from this evening.

While Laurence Friar is pointing Juliet towards a solution see here from his Kool-Aid Cafe.

Alas poor Juliet.
Continue to follow the story to its sad conclusion.... in real time.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

WeTab - the slate/tablet previously known as WePad

** Updated post 09/05/2010 following the emergence of the now renamed WeTab on German Amazon priced at 449 Euros (£390) for the 16GB [ link] ** see below.

The iPad has emerged I would say with a great deal of trumpeting and flag waving but not much to back it up as yet. Typical of many Apple initial products it appears again to have come out of the oven 'half baked' for example with no camera or USB connectivity - the kind of connectivity that has become standard even on the simplest netbook.

It appears that 'Apple Air syndrome' has struck again.
There are of course many other tablets in the market many of which pre-dated the iPad and most of which quite frankly also lack any 'game changing' functionality.

However following an article from Engadget April 12th on the emergence finally of the (1) WePad from Neofonie in Germany. A quiet entry into the world of tablets, I did not hear many trumpets or see flags - but there surely should have been for this product!
You can see the WePad in action at the WePad channel on Youtube
Check out the WePad v iPad specs at their site it shows webcam, usb, sim card, multicard reader and audio out... yay at last, a game changer!
Apple you have I believe met your match, I for one can't wait to get my hands on a WePad and look forward very much to demonstrating one when they become available in the UK.

(2) Next is the HP Slate

(3) The Archos 9

Google Chrome........ one fast browser

Google Chrome has become my personal browser of choice following my earlier scepticism, I personally like its clarity and lack of clutter. Now it is also super fast..... faster than a speeding, POTATO??

Google celebrate the 150th anniversary of JM Barrie's birth

Google used the Doodle above to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of the originator of Peter Pan the boy who never grew up. Many other organisations joined in on the celebrations [link]
with 10 facts about the author:

1 – According to his passport he was a short man of only 5 feet 3 and a half inches.
2 – He was the ninth of ten children and when he was 6 one of his brothers died in an ice-skating accident. His mother was so distraught that Barrie tried to take his place, even wearing his brother’s clothes and whistling like him.
3 – Although he wanted to be an author his family wanted him to become a minister.
4 – He would play ‘pirates’ in the gardens of Moat Brae house with his friends, later depicted in scenes of Peter Pan.
5 – Until he wrote Peter Pan, the girls name Wendy, had hardly been heard of.
6 – Barrie made known in 1929 that the copyright of his most popular work Peter Pan, should be given to the Great Ormond Street children’s hospital in London.
7 – He had many famous friends, among them H.G. Wells and George Bernard Shaw. One of his closest friends was Robert Falcon Scott (Captain Scott of the Antarctic), who actually wrote to Barrie in his final hours at the South Pole before he died.
8 – He was married although it was reportedly unconsummated and ended in divorce. He never had children of his own.
9 – In 1912 a statue of Peter Pan was erected in Kensington Gardens but Barrie was disappointed in it saying “It doesn’t show the devil in Peter.”
10 – Barrie died in 1937 of pneumonia and is buried at Kirrimuir.

1. His full name was James Matthew Barrie.

2. He was born in 1860 in Kirriemuir, Scotland, the ninth of 10 children. Two of his siblings had died before he was born. His birthplace is now a National Trust museum.

3. When Barrie was six, his brother David died just before his 14th birthday in a skating accident. To try to comfort his devastated mum, James wore his brother's clothes and whistled like him.

4. He wanted to be a writer but was persuaded by his family to go to Edinburgh University. He wrote drama reviews for a local newspaper and went on to spend 18 months working as a journalist in Nottingham.

5. Barrie established himself as an author with novels about Scotland based on pieces he had written for a London newspaper, inspired by his mother's stories about Kirriemuir.

6. He married actress Mary Ansell in 1894, having met her when she appeared in his play Walker, London. They divorced in 1909 after her affair with another playwright and author, Gilbert Cannan. Despite his marriage, Barrie had a close relationship with Sylvia Llewellyn Davies, whose five boys George, John (Jack), Peter, Michael and Nicholas (Nico) were a major inspiration for Peter Pan's Lost Boys. After the death of Sylvia's husband Arthur, 'Uncle Jim' supported the boys financially and later became one of their guardians when Sylvia also died.

7. Barrie's most famous creation, Peter Pan, first appeared in his 1902 novel The Little White Bird. Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, was first performed in London in 1904. It was transformed into the novel Peter and Wendy, published in 1911. The royalties from the Peter Pan series were assigned by Barrie to Great Ormond Street Hospital from 1929.

8. He was friends with Sherlock Holmes writer Arthur Conan Doyle, asking him to revise and finish his attempted comic opera Jane Annie. Robert Louis Stevenson, based in Samoa at the time, was a penpal, George Bernard Shaw a neighbour, Thomas Hardy an acquaintance, and HG Wells a friend, the science fiction writer trying to help Barrie as his marriage fell apart. Conan Doyle, Wells and Barrie played cricket together for the Allahakbarries, a team founded by Barrie. A friend of Captain Scott, he was one of the seven people Scott wrote letters to as his death approached on his South Pole expedition.

9. He was involved in the 1909 and 1911 attempts by playwrights to challenge the Lord Chamberlain's censorship of the theatre, but went on to be made a baronet - becoming Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet - in 1913.

10. He died of pneumonia in 1937, leaving his estate (except Peter Pan) to his secretary Cynthia Asquith.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

New from Asus - mutli touch screen desktop and netbooks

In news from the Engadget gang I bring you the latest goodies from 'tech gem' ASUS:

EeeTop PC 2010
Above is the extremely desirable and good looking EeeTop PC 2010 with the 20 inch multi touch screened beauty packing an AMD Athlon II CPU and up to 2GB of RAM plus a DVD drive in a package 1 inch deep..... to be priced in the UK at 1p less than 620GBP.

The eagerly awaited Eeepc1218 an the one-piece aluminium shelled beauty as sleek as an MacBook Air which combines elegance with practicality - packing a range of ports that we have come to expect from ASUS this one will pack the Nvidia Ion2 GPU ( see video from Nvidia below) ... no pricing yet.

EeePC 1005PR
Last but not least there is the Eee PC 1005PR the device that will pack the Broadcom'sCrystal HD accelerator ( see below) along with Intel's Atom N450 processor, 250GB hard drive, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, a battery good for "11 hours" of life. In a package selling for $399.99

ASUS CEO Jerry Shen has not only stated that ASUS will sell 8 million EeePC's this year capturing 20% of the market, he has predicted that netbooks will continue to outsell new tablet PC's in an interview on April 30th this on the day that Steve Jobs announced that the iPad has sold 1 million units in its first month!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Such Tweet Sorrow the story so far.......

For those not yet up to speed on this project - the RSC have commissioned a 'live- real time' performance of Romeo and Juliet that is being carried out through the medium of Twitter and associated 'web2.0' tools.

It would appear that love has blossomed between our doomed couple Romeo and Julietcap16

who are having to keep their love secret from their friends this is not easy in the world of social networking much as it wouldn't have been in the closed community of the original couple - you too can follow this on the live timeline as you can see in the screenshot above, or of course by adding Romeo and Julietcap16 plus the rest of the cast as 'Twitter friends'.
If you wish you can also follow how the story has unfolded since April 10 at 'the story so far....' on the show site.
It is fascinating to follow this story in this new medium and also to have an extended story that will keep everyone on the edge of their seats until the eventual sad conclusion.

I like many others look forward to continuing to follow the story...... I hope that you will join us?

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Charlie is still so cool....... like :-)

Visit the inimitable Charlie McDonnell at his Charlie is so cool like?? YouTube site, it is worth it to see the talented Charlie in action.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Adobe response to Apple's contract changes

The Wall Street Journal’s Alan Murray had an exclusive interview with Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen Thursday afternoon, and Digits live-blogged the event. Highlights are below:

Interestingly in the IB Cardiff office our tech guru's are currently working on embedding video which will play cross platform and more crucially on the iPhone using HTML5 see intro to HTML5 below:

Introduction to HTML 5 from Brad Neuberg on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Adobe Flash - Android 1 - iPhone 0

It appears that after a recent more draconian clause in the Apple iPhone developer program license which stated :
'3.3.1 — Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).'
The clause basically informs iPhone and iPad developers that they cannot use a code creator such as Adobe Creative Suite 5. Which at the very time that Adobe were working on shipping Flash CS5 for which would work on iPhones allowing them at last to play back flash.
This appears to have finally driven Adobe away from Apple as Mike Chambers stated on his blog on 20th April
'Personally, I am going to shift all of my mobile focus from iPhone to Android based devices (I am particularly interested in the Android based tablets coming out this year) and not focus on the iPhone stuff as much anymore. This includes both Flash based, and Objective-C based iPhone development.'

'We are at the beginning of a significant change in the industry, and I believe that ultimately open platforms will win out over the type of closed, locked down platform that Apple is trying to create. I am excited about Flash Player 10.1 and Adobe AIR 2.0 and all of the opportunities that they will make available to Flash developers across multiple platforms (desktop, Android, Palm, Windows Phone 7, RIM, etc…).'

Why oh why do Apple continue with their attitude of wanting to control the world and everything that runs on their devices.... Apples are the best in the world how much better could they be with some OpenSourcing???

Read Mike's blog and the BBC technology report

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Location Based Social Networking

There is a growth at present lead by smart phones and the growth in the ability to geotag, images and places. A few people that I know are trialling FourSquare a mobile app which has a web presence also - FourSquare allows you to tag places that you visit be these casual visits, workplaces and make comments about them. This is great as when you visit a new location you can pick up what people have said about it - you can also gauge the number and type of people who have visited. Another similar app is Loopt which also allows this geotagging of places.
Also in here is Gowalla which has tied up with some US based promoters to offer deals to those who 'check in' at a venue.

Now there is photo networking with Mopho ( app which uses geotagging

What is mopho?

mopho is the fun new way to share your location by posting a photo

Other apps let you check in to a location and add a photo. With mopho, the photo is the checkin.

This isn't just location-based social networking - it's "social photography": geotagged photos enriched with metadata, comments, and likes. It's all about the photos - the real proof that you were somewhere.

Here's how it works:

  1. You're celebrating your friend's birthday, and the pics you take become your checkin at that event. Your friends are notified that you're there, and your photos are automatically posted to your Facebook wall and saved on your iPhone.
  2. During the event, you can see who else is around.
  3. Later, you can see who else took photos at the event, and view their pictures.

Here’s how it works. The app is essentially built around the camera, requiring you to first take a photo at an event or place (bar, restaurant, business, work etc). Once you take a photo, you can add a caption and you must pin the photo to a geographic place or event. Once you publish your photo, the image, along with your location according to place or event, will be pushed to your friends who are also using the app, to Mophoto’s site and your Facebook friends, via Facebook Connect. Mophoto will soon add the ability to push to Twitter as well. On the app and site, you’re notified when your friend posts a photo and can easily see photos your friends are posting from places and events around you, giving you an opportunity to follow them in pictures. You can also comment on and “favorite” their photos.

While Gowalla allows you to publish photos with your location, Mophoto aims to differentiate itself by emphasizing the photo first, with the check-in as an afterthought.

( TechCrunch 23/04/2010)

A dear friend

It seems very apt to be writing this blog post in tribute to a dear, dear friend. The world has lost a true global educational  IT innovator...