Windows only: That extra thumb drive you have lying around is great for portable apps suites, but if you'd rather leave out the hardware altogether, free web service Spoon lets you run a ton of Windows programs right from the cloud.
You will have to download and install a small plugin for this to work (so if you're blocked from doing so, you'll have to stick with the thumb drive), but after that you can run a ton of different programs without downloading or installing anything. Apps available range from TweetDeck to Notepad++ to Thunderbird to even browsers like Chrome, Firefox and Opera. It can also run a large number of games, both small (like Pac-Man) and large (like Second Life). You just find the app you want to run in their database, hit Launch, and the app will start right up in Windows. It's incredibly simple, but really cool if you need to run any of these apps on a computer on which they aren't installed.
Friday, 10 December 2010
Friday, 3 December 2010
Dot Scot is the campaign to get Scotland its own domain name on the internet. It shouldn't really be too difficult, with the proliferation of .nets and .orgs.
Catalonia already has its own, which is great for business, culture and tourism. It's a big world wide web out there and the more distinctive you are the better. It's also a great way of uniting the Scottish diaspora, linking a world wide family with affinity to the country.
Wednesday, 24 November 2010
If you're working without Flash, either out of hardware necessity (iPads, hot-running MacBooks) or computational fidelity, you'll dig Aviary's new HTML5-based editor. It's a suite that has most of what you need to fix up photos in a Flash-less browser.
Tuesday, 9 November 2010
Convert YouTube to MP3, Get MP3 from YouTube video, FLV to MP3, extract audio from YouTube, YouTube MP3 - ListenToYouTube.com
MP3 From YouTube Flash Video
ListenToYouTube.com is the most convenient online application for converting YouTube flash video to MP3 audio. This service is fast, free, and requires no signup. All you need is a YouTube URL, and our software will transfer the video to our server, extract the MP3, and give you a link to download the audio file.
Monday, 1 November 2010
How unsporting of Nicola Sturgeon to raise the issue of fiscal powers for Scotland on Question Time. During a discussion about the comprehensive spending review, she tried to explain this crucial aspect of her party's solution to cuts in Scotland. Her point was ruled out of order by David Dimbleby who more or less told her to be quiet. "This is for a UK audience!" said Dimbleby imperiously. That didn't stop the rest of the panel - all flown up from London - piling in with jibes about Ireland, Iceland and Scottish independence that Nicola was refused the chance to address, in Glasgow. It became even more extraordinary a few moments later when, during a discussion about the use of torture, Dimbleby himself raised the unrelated issue of Megrahi's release from prison, and asked the panellists - except Nicola - whether the Scottish government made the wong decision. She did get to make her point, briefly, but not at the invitation of the chairman. It was eye-boggling to behold.
Why does the BBC make a big deal of holding Question Time in Scotland, invite the Deputy First Minister of the SNP lead Scottish government along, then (selectively) ban Scottish issues? A question about the economy ignored the recent Scottish growth figures which were very different from the quoted UK percentage. Large amounts of time were spent discussing the effect of housing benefit changes on central London and whether Mayor Boris used inappropriate language. Simon Schama made a historian's joke about the Battle of Hastings. This programme was a perfect illustration of how the corporation don't get Scotland. It's worse than that. They seem to be pursuing their own campaign to deny Scottish difference, speaking instead to an imaginary and uniform country called Ukania. The terms of the discussion were clearly laid out - ie only talk about the "UK in Europe" or "Britain's position on torture" or "the UK economy" etc etc. The BBC seem unwilling to acknowledge that in Scotland, all these subjects are set in a different context. At one point last night, a member of the panel mentioned the aircraft carriers being built on the Clyde, how useless they were, how the contract was fixed etc. The Glasgow audience - and Nicola Sturgeon as MSP for Govan - may have had a different perspective. But it was impermissible.
With effects, samples, and transitions that rival vinyl turntablisms, Virtual DJ lets anyone produce polished MP3 mixes.
At the top of the graphically-intense interface, song-structure visualizations show the beats as the music plays. Two simulated turntables play the currently- loaded tracks. Windows below the turntables show samples, effects, music search, recording, program options, and an Explorer-style interface for loading music. You'll need to download an MP3 encoder if you don't want to record files in WAV format.
Virtual DJ not only can create audio collages, but it now also can make montages of video clips. The stylish interface and high number of features score points, but learning how to use the program is a hit-or-miss proposition. Fortunately, the program offers a thorough user guide. Virtual DJ is well worth a look both for aspiring mixers and newbies.
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Why invest your time building your music library with expensive commercial DJ software, when it costs you a hundred dollars to upgrade every year? Through our open source license, Mixxx will always be free, and you'll never be locked in.
Great for teaching audio.
Thursday, 28 October 2010
A council has been conned out of £270,000 amid police fears that a major fraud is sweeping Scotland.
North Ayrshire Council last night confirmed it had lost the money after falling for a sophisticated scam.
The revelation came a month after South Lanarkshire announced it had been taken for more than £100,000 in a similar case believed to involve West African crime groups.
Law enforcement sources believe the two Scottish authorities are among many more organisations to be targeted by the fraudsters.
Police on both sides of the Border have launched a major investigation with a man from Wolverhampton already arrested in connection with the missing North Ayrshire money.
If you need to convert files from one markup format into another, pandoc is your swiss-army knife. Need to generate a man page from a markdown file? No problem. LaTeX to Docbook? Sure. HTML to MediaWiki? Yes, that too. Pandoc can read markdown and (subsets of) reStructuredText, HTML, and LaTeX, and it can write plain text, markdown, reStructuredText, HTML, LaTeX, ConTeXt, PDF, RTF, DocBook XML, OpenDocument XML, ODT, GNU Texinfo, MediaWiki markup, groff man pages, EPUB ebooks, and S5 and Slidy HTML slide shows. PDF output (via LaTeX) is also supported with the included
Pandoc understands a number of useful markdown syntax extensions, including document metadata (title, author, date); footnotes; tables; definition lists; superscript and subscript; strikeout; enhanced ordered lists (start number and numbering style are significant); delimited code blocks; markdown inside HTML blocks; and TeX math. Other options include “smart” quotes, dashes, and ellipses; syntax highlighting; and automatically generated tables of contents. If strict markdown compatibility is desired, all of these extensions can be turned off with a command-line flag.
Pandoc includes a Haskell library and a standalone executable. The library includes separate modules for each input and output format. So adding a new input or output format just requires adding a new module.
Windows/Mac/Linux/Web: Pandoc is a powerful command-line tool for converting text documents between formats like Markdown to HTML, HTML to MediaWiki, and more.
Pandoc reads markdown languages such as HTML, LaTeX, and reStructuredText, and converts them to other markdown languages and document formats such as HTML, LaTeX, XML, RTF, PDF, ePUB and more.
AppMakr is a webapp that lets you design iOS apps with a WYSIWYG editor. It's free to use, and you can create your very own app in just a few minutes.
AppMakr focuses on creating feed-based apps and starts you off by asking you for your web site (or, alternatively, some keywords). From there you'll need to sign up for a free account and you can start creating your app.
Monday, 25 October 2010
Professor Andrew Hughes Hallett explains why Scotland subsidises the UK, not the other way round - Go Lassie Go
Professor Andrew Hughes Hallett is a world class economist who divides his time between George Mason University in Virginia and St Andrews. He spoke to Newsweek Scotland today about the implications of the Comprehensive Spending Review. He carefully explained how Scotland is actually in surplus, how the calculations on UK spending misrepresent Scotland and why the bank bail out is not the disaster some would have us believe. Forget what you have been told. When the sums are done Scotland actually sents a small subsidy to England, not the other way around.
You can hear him here on Newsweek Scotland. When I have more time I may transcribe his interview, it really is that good!
Is your Council doing enough?
Have you ever tried to report a problem to your Council? Then you'll know how frustrating that can be. We take this problem away by simply using your phone's GPS and camera to route your report to the local Council. The Council now has all the information it needs to deliver a first time fix.
Yes, it's a bit tongue in cheek but you get the idea. You can publish your report on Facebook and Twitter so your friends can see how easy it is to report their own issues. That way, everyone can see what's being fixed (or not) by your local Council.
Powered by People
No doubt you'll have heard talk of 'Big Society', 'crowdsourcing' and how the government is encouraging people to take an active role in their communities. Well, part of the reason we created Speak Up! was because we absolutely believe that the only way we can make a difference is by working together.
Yup. Speak Up! is iOS 4 compliant so whilst you're taking a photo of the problem and doing your bit for society, we're figuring out who to send the report to.
How does it work?
- Simply click on the most appropriate category for the problem
- Take a nice picture and leave a comment
- Add your contact details so the Council can let you know when it's fixed
- Submit your report and we'll do the rest
Friday, 22 October 2010
As teachers and students become PRODUCERS of content on their blogs it is becoming essential that we model good behavior when it comes to Copyright issues. Rodd Lucier, aka as thecleversheep ( @thecleversheep on Twitter) has contributed a fabulous presentation to the K12 Online Conference 2010.
Android Manager WiFi is a free tool for syncing your Android phone to your Windows PC without tethering it via USB. From within Android Manager WiFi you can sync your contacts, messages, photos, videos, music, and more. In addition to syncing it offers a high level of interactivity. If you're not a fan of browsing for applications on your phone, Android Manager WiFi offers easy browsing and import from the Windows client. You can also browse received messages and send them from your desktop.
Thursday, 21 October 2010
Everyone loves quoting a statistic, and no wonder: specific numbers always sound more convincing than broad generalisations. However, not all statistics are created equal—the results of a web poll are demonstrably less valid than votes in a national election—-and many of us misquote data for our own ends even when the source is basically reasonable. Here are some simple issues worth bearing in mind whenever you consider statistics. They should be obvious, but they're often ignored.
Wednesday, 6 October 2010
Earlier today, Google formally released Goo.gl, their URL-shortener, to the public. They’re calling it the “stablest, most secure, and fastest URL shortener on the web.” But it also may be the coolest thanks to an easter egg.
As Google’s Matt Cutts’ just tweeted out, if you simply add “.qr” to the end of any goo.gl URL, it will create a QR code. Scanning this with any QR code reader will take you to the URL.
Tuesday, 21 September 2010
All systems: We suggested last week that, for many college students, a used laptop reloaded with Ubuntu is good enough. UberStudent, an Ubuntu installation loaded with student-friendly tools and customizations, is a smart pick for getting your actual school work done.
UberStudent looks a lot like Ubuntu in form and function, but you'll see the differences as you poke around. Firefox has a look that's customized for reading the web and grabbing notes from it, and also contains a host of bookmarks for textbooks, research, and other academic matters. The reference-tracking note app Zotero is included, as are text editing, mind-mapping, and presentation tools beyond what a standard Ubuntu disk offers. All in all, it looks like a handy disk, especially for those trying to use their computer for actual work, and save the fun stuff for the Xbox and smartphone.
Monday, 13 September 2010
September 12, 2010
Scotland's future: a vanity project
This week Iain Gray, the leader of the Labour group in the Scottish parliament, said giving the people of our country a say in their future by means of a referendum was, in his words, “a vanity project”. Just think about that for a moment. The future of Scotland: a vanity project.
The word vanity has several meanings. One definition is futility. To wish for something in vain is futile. Not worth the candle. Vanity is also, according to the Oxford Dictionary, an “excessive belief in your own abilities.” Well nobody ever accused Mr Gray of a can do attitude. It’s fortunate for the Labour party that he wasn’t around 100 years ago to tell Keir Hardie his plans to create a new force in British politics were a pointless exercise...
When Iain Gray dismisses the desire for independence and full economic powers as “a vanity project," he is really saying it’s over ambitious to want Scotland to have the status of a normal nation. That ambition stems from having too much confidence in your own ability. He is saying it is futile to hope that in an globalised world, Scotland might speak for herself in The European Union, The United Nations, The OECD or The World Trade Organisation.
He’s even saying it is excessively ambitious to argue for economic power to create a prosperous and fairer Scotland. A Scotland where never again would we see average wages fall during a period of prosperity – as they did in The Scottish Borders between 2007 – 2008. Or where one in five households officially live in poverty and the same number are now workless. We desperately need to invest in infrastructure – in transport and for digital connectivity. To do that the Scottish government needs borrowing powers just like the Isle of Man, Northern Ireland and local authorities. This is the bare minimum demand that Scottish government officials have tried to extract from The Treasury in the course of the current talks around the flawed Calman Commission proposals. Yet we are denied even that limited request. It is setting our sights too high.
So let’s take the advice of Mr Gray, Mr Scott and Miss Goldie and lower our ambition to a more realistic level. Let London do the talking for us in Europe, even though London bargained away our fishing rights and agreed to a CAP reform that discriminates against most Scottish farmers. Let’s not grumble that we have sent more than £155 billion worth of oil revenues south while the cost of filling up your tank in rural Scotland would feed a family for a week
Let’s shed our vanity. Let London continue to make the big decisions, like taking us into illegal wars. While we are on the subject of vanity projects – was there anything more vainglorious than the Iraq War which cost this country £9.5bill and killed upwards of 200,000? Actually I can think of one thing potentially worse - replacing Trident at a cost of £34bn. Now there is a real example of excessive ambition and futility. Is there anything more futile than a set of weapons that can destroy humanity several times over? Compared to these plans for mass annihilation, SNP ambitions for Scotland appear rather modest.
Of course they are not modest at all. With real power we could transform this country. That must always be our main focus. Yes we want to govern well. But not by abandoning our core principal. We are not about managerialism. We about lifting Scotland up to a higher level. The same level as everyone else.
Back in 1992, I was involved with Scotland United, a cross party organisation that campaigned for a multi-option referendum on Scotland’s future - the very thing the Liberal Democrats and Labour now spend much of their time and energy trashing . Back then, they had signed A Claim of Right for Scotland in which they acknowledged the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of government best suited to their needs.
Where is the sovereign right of the Scottish people today? When did the Scots in the unionist parties abandon that solemn principle? Twenty years ago, The Scottish Liberal Democrats talked about the democratic deficit. Now they just talk about the deficit. And sometimes they seem even more rabid in their desire to cut it than the Tories.
Ruling elites always accuse those who challenge them of having ideas above their station. If you are a radical – and you do not get any more radical than wanting to break up the British state – you need to get used to name-calling, exaggeration and distortion. It is a distortion to label as vain those who walk tall in the world.. There is absolutely no shame in believing in yourself. It is essential if you want others to respect you. First though, you must take responsibility for your own life, your own future and your own country. That is not a vanity project. It is a self-respect agenda.
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Years ago, I was an ardent Skye bridge scam anti toll bridge campaigner. One eminent Tory politician, Hamilton by name had the crass ignorance/arrogance to call me a luddite and a lunatic!! I took great exception to that ill conceived utterance. Firstly, because I was a professional engineer engaged in the repairing, servicing and maintainence of erm ...machinery which I heaped tender loving care on.
Secondly, being called a lunatic because I strongly disagreed with both Tory and New Labour flagship policies and their application in Scotland and elsewhere *. How dare they presume to dictate policies to the folk in Scotland which goes against what they would wish for themselves and their communities. How dare they treat us with contempt as if we were too wee, too parochial and too lacking in ambition to think and act for ourselves. We're too stupid and immature doncha know. Little childen should neither be seen or heard apparently. Even when those little childen mature, have intelligence and independent thought, deviant from what Westmidden considers to be appropriate to our station in life.How dare they continue with this nonsense in this enlightened age when education is universal in Scotland and folk can think for themselves. Don't they understand contempt breeds comtempt. Aye ...and resentment.
*see George Monbiot's Captive State for short biography and ...list of resentments.
Posted by: Tom McAlister | September 13, 2010 at 10:25 AM
What scotland needs right now is for those of us who want independence, and in particular our elected representatives, to stop being defensive and to stop appeasing the uniuonists. we need to be on the attack constantly to counter their lies.
To give just one minor example, the Dumfries Courier had an editorial on Friday that stated with no hint of irony that the coming custs were being administered by the SNP Government. That sort of lie is nearly transparent but it will fool some. Labour is attempting to blame someone else for everything, even the disaster of the trams in Edinburgh FFS.
Off your knees, Salmond, and start kicking their arses. We know you can destroy them with your eyes shut, so it's time... to attack.
Posted by: Alastair | September 13, 2010 at 08:26 AM
Good post, I will mention it on my blog.. Cheers
Well said Joan!
Go lassie go!
Posted by: Neil | September 13, 2010 at 07:38 AM
Great article Joan, but is it only me that despairs of the SNP's publicity unit? Why are they not hammering out the message, for instance, about Edinburgh Trams, which was forced through by the Unionists and is now a huge white elephant. Do we want Iain Gray as FM. I think I would have to emigrate out of embarrasment!
Thats another great article from you joan, brilliant stuff. A point that should be hammered home by the SNP on peoples doorsteps between now and may, and its a very simple and powerfull point, is, when you put your x next to the SNP on a ballot paper you are doing far more than simply voting for a political party, you are stating a belief, you are saying you believe in the PEOPLE of scotland! the unionist partys dont, they constantly tell them it would be a disaster if they ran their own affairs, what a low opinion the have of the people of scotland. believe in yourselfs people! believe.
ps. sorry i missed you in moffat joan, I had to go to glasgow! hope you got on ok.
But how, Marian? I sincerely hope that the SNP have something up their sleeve for the election in May, but at the moment all I see is a fairly naive attempt at consensus-based on the received wisdom that the cuts in public spending we're about to see are A Bad Thing. I don't agree with that, but let's put that to the side for the time being. The SNP ought to be going in hard-for example, by repeating again and again and again that the Labour party wants to increase council tax-let them deny it with any credibility.
Salmond, Sturgeon et al should be attacking the Labour party, not mollifying them-for what? For the possibility of a Lab/SNP coalition next year? That would destroy the SNP. The thought of Labour in government from 2011-2015 makes me shudder...I cannot imagine the economic and social wasteland they'd leave behind.
AS should stand up now and say that the SNP will never, under any circumstances, go into coalition with Labour. As a party, the SNP needs to look like a clear contrast to Labour, not a close relation.
Posted by: Lox | September 12, 2010 at 10:14 PM
Well put Joan.
I was out delivering my MSP's annual report today and one older guy called out for me to wait as he opened the door. He handed me back the report and I said it was OK it wasn't aflier fr Pizza delivery. 'Don't care!' he said. Itold him what it was; 'Don't care. Don't want it!'. Isn't this just typical of the problems the SNP has in convncing Scts to listen?
Posted by: Donnie MacNeill | September 12, 2010 at 09:48 PM
I wish this could put on advertising hoardings all around Scotland... so everyone had the chance to read and ponder.
Righteous indignation - love it. We need more of that attitude.
Posted by: Drew Murray | September 12, 2010 at 02:59 PM
A printed copy of this succinct analysis should be delivered to every household in Scotland.
Posted by: Birnie | September 12, 2010 at 02:44 PM
Positive consensus lies with Soverainers from all political parties and none.
Posted by: el el | September 12, 2010 at 11:55 AM
More power to your pen. No chance of getting The Hootsmon to publish thsi I suppose? :-)
Posted by: Tom | September 12, 2010 at 10:51 AM
Well said, Joan. The Lib Dems in particular are bereft of ideas, and did nothing to counter the economic decline in the Scottish Borders, which saw a huge decline in GVA per capita during their period in office.
However, it is the Gray man's comments that once again demonstrate that Labour are completely out of touch with the aspirations of Scots and use of the term "vanity project" is an insult to Scots that should be noted by the substantial number of Labour supporters who support Independence for Scotland.
Posted by: Paul Wheelhouse | September 12, 2010 at 09:12 AM
Spot on analysis of the quicksand that the unionists are walking upon.
The SNP must pull out all the stops to ensure that it swallows the unionists up completely at the 2011 Scots government elections.
Posted by: Marian | September 12, 2010 at 08:12 AM
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Friday, 10 September 2010
Microsoft has released a free—and lengthy—ebook covering a wide range of security topics. Although intended for teenagers, the book offers a solid enough look at using the internet safely, and it's suitable for anyone looking for a primer on internet security.
It's difficult to write books for teenagers that don't fall into the "trying too hard to be cool" trap, but Microsoft has done an admirable job. The text is a comprehensive guide for teenagers (and new computer users) that covers everything from how to spot phishing tactics to setting up your browser to protect against browser-based exploits to dealing with cyber-stalking and bullying. It also provides interesting history and real world examples of the harm that can come from security vulnerabilities.
FontPark is a great big database of free fonts—for personal and/or commercial use—that'll work on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
With 70,000 free fonts it can be hard to narrow it down, so FontPark has a bunch of filtering and sorting options so you can browse only the top fonts, for example. You can also search the site if there's something you're looking for in particular. If your typographic gluttony doesn't cap off at 70,000, you can also find great free fonts at DaFont (our take), The League of Movable Type, and Urban Fonts.
Thursday, 9 September 2010
Free webapp OtherInbox wants to do the job you loathe doing daily—looking through all those semi-regular news alerts, coupons, account updates, and other non-personal mail. Give it the keys to your inbox, and OtherInbox can summarize and prioritize your bacn.
Tuesday, 7 September 2010
Although we'd previously given a nod to Incompetech for their free graph paper they have a vastly more interesting collection of royalty-free music. Check out the huge selection and add some quality tunes to your next presentation or video.
It isn't hard to find Creative Commons licensed music online but the majority of CC-licensed music is non-commercial. What if you need music for a presentation for work or a video for your new business? Incompetech has a massive collection of high-quality musical tracks that are free for use in any context so long as you provide attribution. Every song has the same license so you don't need to dig through the archives looking for a perfect song that's also available for your specific type of project.
Monday, 9 August 2010
Thursday, 10 June 2010
Miro Video Converter FREE - Convert any video to MP4, WebM (vp8), iPhone, Android, iPod, iPad, and more.
Tuesday, 8 June 2010
Full Stream Ahead is a week-long celebration from 7-13th June of legal online movies. Several Hollywood studios are working together with Blinkbox in the UK to offer Britons the chance to try out its legal movie streaming service for nothing.
The campaign, which is backed by the BFI and UK Film Council, is intended to show internet users that there's an alternative to illegal downloading. All you have to do to get £20 of credit to use on Blinkbox's website is to visit fullstreamahead.co.uk and click on the Free Trial link on the right-hand side.
You'll then be asked to create a free account on Blinkbox and once you sign in, you'll see you have £20 of credit to rent or buy movies. The selection, from studios such as Paramount, Sony, 20th Century Fox and Universal, includes Avatar, Law Abiding Citizen and Sherlock Holmes.
Over the last few months, we've gotten incredible feedback from the hundreds of thousands of users in our Office Web Apps Technical Preview. We’ve been busy incorporating much of that feedback, and today, Office Web Apps on SkyDrive are now available to everyone in the US, UK, Canada, and Ireland. We’ll have more to share next week when Office 2010 is released to consumers, including how Office 2010 + SkyDrive + Office Web Apps give you the best productivity experience across the PC, phone, and browser.
In the meantime, if you live in the US, UK, Canada, or Ireland, you can head over to Office.live.com today to start viewing and editing Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote documents right in your web browser – and share them with your friends.
Friday, 4 June 2010
Windows Phone 7 promises to be an amazing mobile phone operating system given its innovative user interface and functionality, as well as its great development platform upon which you can quickly and easily build games and applications. With a myriad of new devices, a powerful and immersive software platform, and a new marketplace to attract developers and provide easy access to applications, consumer demand for Windows Phones will be high, and developers will quickly adopt the Windows Phone platform to capitalize on this growing mobile marketplace. This Training Kit will give you a jumpstart into the new Windows Phone world by providing you with a step-by-step explanation of the tools to use and some key concepts for programming Windows Phones.
Wednesday, 26 May 2010
Windows/Mac/Linux: Droopy is a Python script that creates a miniature, one-shot web server that lets anyone upload files through a web page straight to your computer, no matter the size.
Instead of using traditional file-sharing methods like FTP or even Dropbox (which requires an account), Droopy lets people upload large files without hassle through their web browser. The file is saved directly onto your machine in a chosen folder. Unlike other web-based file-sharing services, like YouSendIt, it does not require the additional step of downloading the file.
Tuesday, 25 May 2010
He has the speakers:
Grainne Conole, Peter Scott, Chris Pegler, Frank Rennie, Simon Buckingham Shum, Laura Dewis, Patrick McAndrew, George Siemens, Tony Hirst, Linda Wilks, Elton Barker, Steve Swithenby, Anne Faulkner, Doug Clow, Lesley-Anne Long, Joe Smith.
He has the topics:
- Open Content: Cloudworks, iTunesU, SCORE
- Open Learning: SocialLearn, OpenLearn, OLNet
- Open Teaching: Creating open courses, Digital Humanities, Open CETL
- Open Access: iSpot, the OU in Africa, Researching the environment in the open
And he manages to squeeze in Jimmy Wales too for a closing talk.
What are you waiting for?
Thursday, 20 May 2010
A startling new image released by NASA today shows a massive column of oil extending out Southeast towards the open ocean.
Perform OCR with Google Docs – Turn Images Into Editable Documents
Google Docs can now perform OCR on digital images. You can upload an image containing typewritten or printed text (like a fax document or a scanned newspaper clipping) to your Google Docs account and it will turn that image into editable text.
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
10 Awesome Vintage Video Games You Can Play Online
There’s something about an old video game that does a body good. The 16-color graphics, the 8-bit sound — something about it conjures memories of simpler times, when joysticks seemed larger because our hands were still small, and a dollar seemed like a heck of a lot more money than it does right now.
Allow us to take you on a vintage voyage with a time machine of links, if you will. Here are ten computer and arcade games we all know and love that you can now play online and free of charge. If you’re of a certain age, you probably played these games while waiting for your mom to finish grocery shopping. Or they might have been on your very first video game console. We hope you remember them fondly and enjoy playing them again.
Quick Pitch: Nachofoto is a real-time image search engine with a focus on trending topics and rising search terms.
Genius Idea: Nachofoto is designed to return the most relevant and recent images for rising search terms, as determined by Google Insights for Search, Google Trends, AOL Hot Searches and Yahoo Buzz.
The site functions just like the search engines you’re already familiar with, but is much more convenient for searches related to widely discussed topics. So a search for “Miss USA” will return images of the newly crowned winner, Rima Fakih, instead of a barrage of older photos that aren’t relevant to yesterday’s pageant.
Windows: Free utility Identity Finder scans your hard drive looking for sensitive information, like credit card numbers and passwords.
Similar to previously mentioned Sensitive Number Finder, Identity Finder searches your Windows user folder, including files and browser data, for possible credit card numbers or passwords, and then lets you know so you can do something about it. The program also has a few options for dealing with that data, like "shredding" the file (which will make it unrecoverable), encrypting the file, or quarantining it.
Sometimes, you just have to take a picture of what's in front of you but you're stuck with low light and a cellphone camera. Free utility Unshake makes those photos somewhat presentable by toning down the blur.
You can't truly make a blurry photo clear (the only thing you can do is breathe like a sniper when you first take the photo), but you can at least salvage some of it with this handy program. Unshake can really make your photos passable, but it takes a bit of tweaking. There are a number of settings that you'll have to play around with to find the right balance—the wrong combination can produce super etched-looking photos—but with a bit of patience, you can probably turn a trash-bound jpeg into a photo worthy of at least showing your friends.
Monday, 17 May 2010
Access over 25 free* downloads of the same design software used by professionals worldwide.
Now you can push the boundaries of design with Autodesk® software. Download the same, full version software that over 9 million designers, engineers and digital artists are using at 100 percent of Fortune 100 companies in over 183 countries around the world. Experience the newest editions of 2D and 3D products, such as Autodesk® Inventor®, Autodesk® Revit®, Autodesk® 3ds Max®, Autodesk® Maya®, and AutoCAD®.
Wednesday, 12 May 2010
You've taken digital pictures for years across multiple systems and camera upgrades, and now your collection is a mess. These free tools and techniques will fix your photos' metadata, weed out duplicates, reorganize folders, and otherwise whip your digital photos into shape.
The aim here is to provide fixes for the common problems that plague photo collections, no matter what kind of photo organizer you're using, or what kind of data your digital camera provides. After this de-duping, meta-tagging, folder-fixing shape-up, you should be in a good place to keep your photos organized with whatever methods or tools you choose.
Wednesday, 5 May 2010
Windows: An update to Free Audio Editor doesn't change its simple mission, but the newest version is chock full of extra-helpful features. The application downloads YouTube videos, and then strips audio from those FLVs and other video files.
By entering a URL, you can strip audio from YouTube videos online. It downloads the YouTube video in FLV, then strips the audio from the FLV file. Free Audio Encoder will also strip audio from normal videos, such as those in AVI format.
Tuesday, 4 May 2010
Tuesday, 27 April 2010
[Suggested twitter tag #selfpacedazure]
We (myself and David Gristwood) have been working in the UK to create a fantastic opportunity to get yourself up to speed on the Windows Azure Platform over a 6 week period starting May 10th – without ever needing to leave the comfort of your home/office. The course is derived from the internal training Microsoft gives on Azure which is both fun and challenging in equal parts – and we felt was just too good to keep to ourselves! We will be releasing more details nearer the date but hopefully the following is enough to convince you to register and … recommend it to a colleague or three :-)
What we have produced is the “Microsoft Azure Self-paced Learning Course”. This is a free, interactive, self-paced, technical training course covering the Windows Azure platform – Windows Azure, SQL Azure and the Azure AppFabric. The course takes place over a six week period finishing on June 18th. During the course you will work from your own home or workplace, and get involved via interactive Live Meetings session, watch on-line videos, work through hands-on labs and research and complete weekly coursework assignments. The mentors and other attendees on the course will help you in your research and learning, and there are weekly Live Meetings where you can raise questions and interact with them. This is a technical course, aimed at programmers, system designers, and architects who want a solid understanding of the Microsoft Windows Azure platform, hence a prerequisite for this course is at least six months programming in the .NET framework and Visual Studio.
They bypass the democratic
will of the people. Are ALEOs
While we shouldn't give way to excitable speculation about shadowy cabals – Glasgow City Council is more reminiscent of Tammany hall than la cosa nostra - it is plain that the matrix of power and accountability in Glasgow has become much more fluid and intangible during the past decade. While once we had a fairly predictable vertical arrangement of administration we are now treated to a barely intelligible spaghetti of partnerships amongst stake-holding agencies, both public and private.
Central to this re-vamped structure of service delivery has been the creation of a number of 'arm's length' private companies (ALEOs) and limited liability partnerships to take over many of the functions of the council, leaving the latter free to do….well, other things. The attraction of these is obvious; accountable only to their shareholders, outwith the ambit of administrative responsibility, able to apply for alternative sources of funding, they are far more attractive than dull civic committees. And there is a political bonus. They bypass the democratic will of the Glasgow electorate and represent nothing short of a coup.
Wednesday, 31 March 2010
Parliamentary Outreach offers free training to organisations wanting to know more about the UK Parliament and how they can get involved with the work of the House of Commons and House of Lords.
Each training session is tailored to the specific interests of your organisation. It could include any aspect of Parliamentary work
Numbers—especially big ones—can seem pretty abstract. One way to help people better understand them: Provide context based on numbers they do understand. Free web service NumberQuotes spits out related statistics containing any number you throw at it.
For example, if you wanted to give context to a number like "50 billion", punching it into NumberQuotes returns things like "the 2008 GDP for Bulgaria," or "50 billion dollars would buy a 2010 Cadillac Escalade for everyone living in Indianapolis City, Indiana." Similarly, punching in "15" returns "the population of Friendship town, Oklahoma," "15 iPhones would buy 1.49 MacBooks," and, strangest of all, "15 hot dogs laid next to each other would reach as far as 1.18 dollar bills." All you do to get a quote for your number is type it in on NumberQuotes' home page—you'll be instantly greeted with a bunch of other statistics pertaining to that number (or one close to it). Some of them make a lot of sense, and some are just downright random.
Tuesday, 30 March 2010
A talented micro-sculptor has proven you really can see the world in a grain of sand - after carving this incredible church from a single granule that fits inside the eye of a needle.
Willard Wigan, 52 made a name for himself by sculpting tiny recreations of everything from Barack Obama and his family, to Neil Armstrong on the moon's surface.
He was challenged by his girlfriend Sarah Slade, who lives at the foot of Chosen Hill in Churchdown, near Gloucester, to sculpt the hilltop parish church St Bartholomew's.
Micro view: Willard Wigan carved the St Bartholomew's church into this grain of sand and then put it in the eye of a needle. It's so small that it can't be seen with the naked eye
Friday, 26 March 2010
- Anti-virus: protection against viruses, worms and Trojans
- Anti-spyware: protection against spyware, adware and identity theft
- Administration toolkit: system recovery tools
The AVG Rescue CD is essentially a portable version of AVG Anti-Virus supplied through Linux distribution. It can be used in the form of a bootable CD or bootable USB flash drive to recover your computer when the system cannot be loaded normally, such as after an extensive or deep-rooted virus infection. In short, the AVG Rescue CD enables you to fully remove infections from an otherwise inoperable PC and render the system bootable again.
Apart from the usual AVG functions (malware detection and removal, updates from internet or external device, etc.), the AVG Rescue CD also contains the following set of administration tools:
- Midnight Commander - a two-panel file manager
- Windows Registry Editor– simple registry editor for more experienced users
- TestDisk - powerful hard drive recovery tool
- Ping - to test the availability of network resources (servers, domains, IP addresses)
- Common Linux programs and services– vi text editor, OpenSSH daemon, ntfsprogs etc.
Free of charge
The AVG Rescue CD is a free-to-use product that anyone can download. This also covers any new program versions and virus database updates. If you have any other paid AVG license, you are also entitled to receive our full technical support.
Thursday, 25 March 2010
Most people who work in IT will know that O'Reilly books are very expensive. I'm sat at my desk looking at a 'Learning Java' book that cost me the thick end of £30.
Well, whilst browsing the app store on my iPhone I found that O'Reilly have bundled a load of their books up in the Stanza ebook reader app and are selling each title for peanuts (£2.99 seems to be the most common price point). That 'Learning Java' book I paid £28 for? £2.99.
SCOTTISH local authorities have paid out more than £40 million in fees to consultancy firms in the past year, new figures have revealed.As councils wrestle with looming budget cuts, data released by 28 of Scotland's 32 councils showed £42m – roughly £115,000 a day – was spent on management and finance advice, with many consultants hired to help councils cut costs.
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
Macmillan, one of the largest textbook publishers in the world, is introducing a new software for instructors that will allow them to change the online versions of textbooks that their students use.
According to the New York Times, with DynamicBooks, "Professors will be able to reorganize or delete chapters; upload course syllabuses, notes, videos, pictures and graphs; and perhaps most notably, rewrite or delete individual paragraphs, equations or illustrations."