Things I learned this week – #4
CC BY cooldudeandy01
On a personal level, I learned that when taking a toddler on a trip to somewhere (reasonably) far away like the National Railway Museum it’s always a good idea to ensure they have a very good sleep the night before, and to take a buggy. Even if you think they’re too big for it… 😮
- I watched David Blaine’s TED Talk entitled How I held my breath for 17 minutes this week. Riveting. A man focused and dedicated beyond belief!
- It turns out that language learning starts before birth. Unbelievable! (via @elonahartjes)
- The following Dilbert cartoon explains a lot about problems I sometimes run into – especially with the opposite sex:
- Some (big-name) people have had problems with their Twitter page outranking their personal blog or website. Lifehacker, as you would expect, has aquick-and-easy fix (which I’ve already carried out here!)
- I got my hands on a Pro code for BumpTop, the 3D desktop app, this week. I concluded it’s ‘interesting’ rather than useful.
- My mother’s in the market for a point-and-shoot digital camera, so this warning by Lifehacker to stay under 7 megapixels to avoid photo noise and diffraction in such devices is timely!
- I love this video of mini-ninjas unboxing the Google Nexus One. Best. Unboxing. Video. Ever. 😀
- YouTube has a multi-video uploader (I found out thanks to this post). Unfortunately, it would seem that Google Gears – which powers it – isn’t yet compatible with Mac OSX Snow Leopard?!
- Charles Leadbeater has an article in The Guardian in which he expresses concern (quite rightly) about corporate control of cloud computing. You get what you pay for, I suppose…
- RockYou, who provide apps and services for Facebook users, had a security breach recently and user account details were stolen. An analysis reveals, worryingly that some of the top passwords included ‘12345’, ‘123456’, 123456789′ and ‘password’. Unbelievable! 😮
- Ethan from Flowtown.com got in touch to make me aware of what they do. Put in an email address, get details from various social networking (and other sites) about the person that owns it. Here’s what it has to say about me (not all correct!):
(I don’t live in Doncaster any more and I’m not on Facebook…)
- CaptionTube allows you to easily add captions to YouTube videos (via Mashable)
- Don’t joke about serious things on Twitter unless you want serious consequences.
- TwitterAlerts.net provides, well… Twitter alerts via email, SMS or IM (via TechXAV)
- Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars out in the iPhone App store. Woop woop! (via TechXAV)
- G-Recorder allows you to record Skype to GMail (Windows only) (via @wilkoffnetwork)
- BumpTop, the 3D desktop app, launched for Mac OSX. I provided an overview here.
- Deloitte Canada have made some technology predictions for 2010. (via OLDaily) The most depressing? This one:
Cloud computing will grow faster than almost all other tech sectors, but it is not taking over the world because of concerns over reliability and security.
- Nokia is going to bring FREE turn-by-turn navigation to all of its smartphones. Wow! 😀
- YouTube in HTML 5 is geek-tastic (and Flash-free) (via Mashable)
- The PirateBay – either pure evil or digital liberators, depending on your stance on copyright – have launched a VPN solution for private web browsing and downloading ($5/month)
- Appolicious have named their Top 10 apps of the week. I’m not sure how they’re justified in putting one that costs $999.99 in there, though…
- Lifehacker has a good guide on how to put your PC to good use whilst your sleeping. Most of these are repair and optimization-focused which, of course, if you’ve got a Mac you won’t have to do (as much). 🙂
- It turns out that, despite criticisms, Spotify (where I get all my music nowadays) is actually paying labels quite well, thank you very much.
- Firefox has ‘Personas’ (via @andyfield). I still prefer Google Chrome.
- Stephen Downes has produced an interesting visual overview of how ideas diffuse in the blogosphere in 2010 compared to 2005 (see above). I’d contend that it’s a bit more complicated than that – as a commenter points out, there’s no mention of Facebook. And what about half-way houses like Posterous? And Delicious/Diigo networks?
- If, as I kept getting this week, you get the WordPress ‘Fatal Error: Allowed Memory Size’ error, here’s what to do!
Productivity & Inspiration
- Here’s 50 ideas for a healthy lifestyle that take 10 (or less) minutes to do. (Dumb Little Man)
- I like this Alternaview post on the fact that there is no such thing as a setback (it’s all about how you conceive of it).
- Mashable has a useful post on 18 online productivity tools for business. I’m already using most of them! 😉
- Humble Pied is ‘one inspiring creative [person] sharing one piece of advice, all over iChat’. Interesting!
- Apparently, cutting out grains from your diet temporarily could be a good idea: “Grains come preloaded with anti-nutrients, chemical defenses like gluten and lectins that are designed to dissuade animals from eating them by causing digestive issues and “leaky gut” syndrome.” (via Zen Habits)
- Zen Habits also has some great advice on how to get started running.
- Evernote can improve your productivity. We all know that. But here are 6 ways in particular (via @markhodges)
Education & Academic
- BBC History as a fantastic history of the world through objects
- This post compares Google Apps and Microsoft’s Live@edu. It turns out neither is ‘best’ (via @bengrey)
- It looks like Google is actually serious about Knol – they’re rolling out more features.
- STRIDE Hanbook 8 is out, this time focusing on E-Learning. It has separate sections on ‘Conceptual Overviews’ and ‘Technologies and their Applications’ (via OLDaily)
- Do teachers need agents? I like the idea of them being traded like Premiership footballers… 😉
- bigbluebutton is an OSS web conferencing system for distance education (via @helenrf)
- We all know that kids get bored and switched off at schools sometimes. But this is motivating, depressing and interesting all at once.
- The Conservatives (in the UK) want to create an ‘elite’ teaching profession by only paying for teacher training for those getting a first or a 2:1. Is that the best way forward?
- This is a quick way to make elearning templates in Powerpoint, if you need to!
- Alec Couros has expanded his Open Thinking Wiki even further. There are now 90+ videos for tech. and media literacy.
- Newsflash: if your kids are awake, they’re probably online. So what? So am I… :-p
- According to another study, kids spend 53 hours a week on media, apparently (via TechXAV):
- D’Arcy Norman defined educational technology as “whatever stuff you need to use to support the practice of effective teaching and learning”. That’ll do for me! (via OLDaily)
- Ludoliteracy is a book about games in education. It’s a free PDF download. (via OLDaily)
- Will Richardson makes a good point: this is the first generation of students not to have a choice about using technology in their learning.
- In the UK, languages are becoming ‘twilight subjects’ in state schools.
- There is no adequate evidence for ‘learning styles’ (via @hjarche). Stephen Downes would argue (I think) that no evidence doesn’t mean they don’t exist, but I’d defend myself with Occam’s Razor… 😉
Data, Design & Infographics
- This video games by the numbers infographic is interesting. The average age of gamers is 32 and the average amount of time playing per week 18 hours, so I’m still justified in ramping it up! 😉
- I like this hand-drawn overview of the electromagnetic spectrum (via Cool Infographics):
- Digital access varies hugely worldwide, according to this graphic.
- I’ve never heard of the term ‘information architecture’ before, but these are some useful resources! 😀
- Google Earth can be used for stunning data visualizations (via datavisualization.ch):
- Bing destination maps look cool in a fake hand-drawn kind of way.
- I learned how to make a heatmap this week. It’s far from perfect, but a start!
- The UK government launched data.gov.uk this week (via The Guardian)
- What causes jet lag? This infographic explains it:
- I like this idea of always ‘starting with the doorknob’. Makes sense!
- The Internet 2009 in numbers. It’s crying out for an infographic! (via @courosa)
- When people sing about the body in songs, what do they sing about? It turns out that it varies by genre! (via @csessums)
- Tom has a great post entitled Lessons from the Uncanny Valley. Explains how Avatar is getting closer to seemless CGI/human interactions.
- It turns out that the sound of massive ice sheets cracking is almost exactly like the blasters in Star Wars. Ace!
- Hugh McLeod won’t be releasing any more gapingvoid cartoons on his blog as he wants more interaction with his community via email. And probably more sales too. Harold Jarche has reflected on what this means.
- Clay Shirky wants more female assholes, so to speak.
- Shirky has also pointed out that previously-scarce things are no longer valuable. Which means quite a lot for everything from business to education.
- DeweyMusic is a frontend for all of the wonderful (free) music on archive.org.
- I’ve taught the Vietnam war before, but wasn’t aware that McNamara’s actions has led to what’s known as the McNamara fallacy (via @ChrisPadden)
- Seth Godin says that too much data leads to not enough belief. How true!
- Could the reason our Stone-age ancestors settled down and started farming have something to do with beer?
- Depressive Realism is the theory that people suffering from depression actually have a better grip on ‘reality’ (via @courosa)
He who knows enough is enough, will always have enough. Lao Tzu
It is never to late to be what you might have been. George Elliot
The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it. Woodrow Wilson
Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils. Louis Hector Berlioz
Knowledge will give you power, but character, respect. Bruce Lee
There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning. Louis L’Amour
Disconnecting from change does not recapture the past. It loses the future. Kathleen Norris
And finally, as Nick Bilton from the New York Times states, and (appropriately) Scott McLeod links to, we’re all human aggregators now:
If someone approached me even five years ago and explained that one day in the near future I would be filtering, collecting and sharing content for thousands of perfect strangers to read – and doing it for free – I would have responded with a pretty perplexed look. Yet today I can’t imagine living in a world where I don’t filter, collect and share.
More important, I couldn’t conceive of a world of news and information without the aid of others helping me find the relevant links.
9 thoughts on “Things I learned this week – #4”
Another outstanding post … again!
I’m loving this weekly feature on dougbelshaw.com – jam packed full of interesting stuff! Don’t stop.
I’d like to know what percentage of your weekly Internet browsing is represented in this blog post. I’m sure it could be represented in an infographic.
Thanks Stuart! It wouldn’t make fora very *interesting* ingographic –
Techmeme would feature heavily I think! ;-)
Lots of interesting things there, I’m learning from your learning =).
Re the spotify link- they may be paying labels well, but the concerns I have read were over whether artists were actually seeing much of that money. I have no figures but would be interested to see some on this.
Well that’s not Spotify’s problem, is it?! My conscience is clear.. :-)
True, at least it isn’t the new medium lessening reruns for artists, just the industry doing what it has done for years.
> I’d contend that it’s a bit more complicated than that
I had the option of creating an obviously simplified version that people would understand, or a complicated but still incomplete version that people wouldn’t get.
I chose the former. And yet, some people still didn’t get that it is an obviously simplified version.
I’d love to hear your fleshed-out version. And thanks for patronising me.
Well, you can imagine it, can’t you? Insert some triangles ofr Facebook, stars for Posterous, etc. So that you have a more dense diffusion web with different types of websites.
Happy to patronise you, not a difficulty at all. :)
Thanks Stephen. :-)