Sunday, December 30, 2007

Navigator bites the dust

Web icon set to be discontinued: "The browser that helped kick-start the commercial web is to cease development because of lack of users.

Netscape Navigator, now owned by AOL, will no longer be supported after 1 February 2008, the company has said.

In the mid-1990s the browser was used by more than 90% of the web population, but numbers have slipped to just 0.6%."
Not really that sorry to say goodbye to something which kind of got its legs tangled in the web of the late 1990s and never quite moved on... but it was the first browser I used and was my first experience of the web. I definitely don't use the web in the same way I did back when Navigator effectively was the web for many people (I no longer have to go make a cuppa cha and pile my way through other work while a 1 meg file downloads for a start!) and it's interesting to think how rapidly and how far it's come. And how relatively easily a hu-u-u-u-uge name can become a blast from the past. And no-one even really notices it's gone.

The web's a strange old place, isn't it?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Power of Facebook affects law

Much to the surprise of sceptics who paint government as unable or unwilling to listen to public concerns, those voices had an immediate impact. Ten days after the Facebook group's launch, Jim Prentice delayed introducing the new copyright reforms, seemingly struck by the rapid formation of concerned citizens who were writing letters and raising awareness.

Not only had tools like Facebook had an immediate effect on the government's legislative agenda, but the community that developed around the group also led to a "crowdsourcing" of knowledge. Canadians from coast to coast shared information, posed questions, posted their letters to politicians, and started a national conversation on copyright law in Canada.
BBC NEWS | Technology | Power of Facebook affects law

Interesting example of how potentially powerful Facebook can be.  You definitely have to pick the right topic to get people interested (obviously!), but there's an additional factor as well.  Grabbing a little piece of zeitgeist and getting in with the 'right' people early.  The article also has some useful clues as to why this group had the impact it did.  Sowing the seed of awareness is important and making links to appropriate places too.  I guess some of this treatment of a political issue can be translated into an educational context.  If you want students to adopt a tool for their learning, you either have to give them ownership and let them run with it or tap into something they can run with.  Facebook groups aren't challenging to belong to.  There's very little barrier to entry once you've got a Facebook account.  Search for a particular topic of interest, and join in.

The potential of this stuff is pretty huge - but it does seem to be that things are 'hot or not' in very brief spans of time and I wonder if the lumbering beast that is education can move quick enough to keep up...

Monday, December 17, 2007

Ten years of blogs...

Weblogs rack up a decade of posts

The word "weblog" celebrates the 10th anniversary of it being coined on 17 December 1997.
BBC NEWS | Technology | Weblogs rack up a decade of posts

Happy Geeky Birthday, Blog!

Makes you wonder though...  ten years of blogs but mention them to many internet users and the word 'geek' is never far from their lips.  Do blogs have a bad press?  After ten years will they ever be more than a minority tool?  Or is currently that the nature of things anyway?

I wonder if blogs will be having the same 'death knell' comments that e-mail receives these days in another ten years' time.  Either way, ten years is an awful long time in IT... so Happy Birthday blog!

Words not to like

The system will centre around authored articles created with a tool Google has dubbed "knol" - the word denotes a unit of knowledge - that will make webpages with a distinctive livery to identify them as authoritative.
BBC NEWS | Technology | Google debuts knowledge project

Urgh!  New made up word 'a knol'.  How on earth can you have a unit of knowledge which is quantifiable and measurable in any truly meaningful way?  Not only are Google jumping on the Wikipedia bandwagon a few years too late, now they're inventing words like some third-rate web 2.0 company.  Think I'll be keeping my 'knols' to myself unless Google manages to put out something pretty special...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Shock at $85k mobile phone bill

BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Shock at $85k mobile phone bill: "Shock at $85k mobile phone bill Mobile phones - file photo Many new mobile phones can connect to the internet A Canadian man has been shocked to receive a mobile phone bill for nearly $85,000 (£41,000). Piotr Staniaszek thought he could use his new phone as a modem for his computer under his $10 unlimited mobile browser plan from Bell Mobility."

Ouch!!! That's gotta put a dent in your Christmas spirit, hasn't it?!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Two weeks

Two weeks is clearly a long time in RSS world.  I've over 1000 feeds to read!!!  So I'm not going to.  As far as I'm concerned, the last two weeks never happened.


Problem solved.

This online life malarky is dead easy, huh?
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