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Google Wave: Why We’ll All Have Google Accounts.

Posted on : 30-05-2009 | By : Dean | In : Tech Reviews

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You know you’re something of a cultural phenomenon when the name of your company is not only bandied about the net as a verb, but added to the standard dictionary as such. And Google, the search engine giant that earned 21 billion last year, refused to disappear when the dot com bubble burst. In fact, their method of silent advertising has become a model for companies.

Google didn’t stop there, though. They announced the lofty goal of digitizing all knowledge, building an impressive library, while wrestling with copyright issues on the texts that they digitized and published.

You would think that would be ambition enough, but with the acquisition of YouTube, Google bought into the Web 2.0 concept in a way that made them a mothership, of sorts.

Enter Google Wave.

It’s being described as what email would have been if it were invented today, and surprisingly, after watching the hour and twenty minute long demo, I would say that description is accurate.

What does Google Wave offer?

  • It offers threading within messaging similar to forum features, so no more copying and pasting email sections you want to respond to.
  • It offers real-time chat, integrated into the messaging system. Gone are the days when you will need an email account and one of the many instant messengers out there.
  • It offers real-time blog posting, integration with twitter, and all your favorite social networking site addictions.
  • It offers real time language translation (yes, it translates as you type).
  • It offers a spell checker that matches the context of the word against the web, finally solving the problem of words spelled correctly but used incorrectly contextually. The days of confusing “to” and “too” will be a thing of the past. Well, they will seem to be, since we’ll continue to mess them up, but Google will fix them.
  • It offers automatic link detection and embedding (type in google.com and it searches the web for the link and embeds it).

But where it really shines is as a tool for collaboration.

  • The level of real-time collaboration it will offer (I watched 4 users edit the same document at the same time) will render Microsoft’s One Note obsolete at launch.
  • The “playback” feature allows any member of the team to roll back the changes made to a document, see individual contributions, and create a pristine document anywhere along the development stage.

Check it out.

The video is a typical business launch presentation, complete with bad humor and headset microphones. Skip to the parts where you can see the Google interface for the good stuff.

College: The Next “Bubble” to Burst?

Posted on : 29-05-2009 | By : Dean | In : Uncategorized

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This was taken from the Chronicle of Higher Education. While cuts are being made across the board in salaries and almost everything else at the level of actual teaching, the rising cost of tuition may have reached its ceiling. Private education is something now reserved only for the insanely wealthy, and maybe “public” education won’t be so public either at the unsustainable rate tuition is on the rise:

The public has become all too aware of the term “bubble” to describe an asset that is irrationally and artificially overvalued and cannot be sustained. The dot-com bubble burst by 2000. More recently the overextended housing market collapsed, helping to trigger a credit meltdown. The stock market has declined more than 30 percent in the past year, as companies once considered flagship investments have withered in value.

Full article here

Copyright Resources for Teachers and Students

Posted on : 28-05-2009 | By : Dean | In : Uncategorized

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Here’s a great site that I came across for anyone interested in copyright laws, especially as they apply to educational use.

Teaching Copyright

Mieville goes Mainstream? Finally…

Posted on : 15-05-2009 | By : Dean | In : Uncategorized

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city-and-the-city

It looks like a foray into the detective genre, but the buzz is also that it’s leaving off the fantasy that Mieville has done so well for so long with steampunk work like Perdido Street Station, The Scar, and Iron Council.

The complaints that I have read on fantasy fan sites are pretty predictable and baseless, centered on that age-old critique of a favorite artist selling out or thinking he or she is “too good” for the genre that earned them fame. Nonsense. Such a move is a welcome shift, an opportunity to explore another genre and widen readership interested in solid writing.

Mieville is an incredible prose stylist, no matter the genre, and it will be great to see what he does with the detective story. I fully expect to see the city take on a looming life of its own (one of the staples of Mieville).

The critical reviews that are starting to multiply on amazon are very promising.

I have my copy preordered, and will be offering more commentary soon after it arrives.

New Portal Look

Posted on : 15-05-2009 | By : Dean | In : Uncategorized

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I am toying with a new look for the portal, at least until I can get this and the forums skinned alike. I am not sure that will ever happen, but I can always hope.

The content that I will add here will be relating to my classes, including general announcements, thoughts on teaching and lit, and maybe a review or two now and again.

Students who wish to get in touch with me can use the forums or email me.

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