Friday, April 3, 2009

Video Streaming and Sharing

The YouTube site is familiar to almost anyone with access to high speed internet, but this is the first time that I subscribed to the site. One bugaboo I have is the amount of PERSONAL information that these "service providers" want to collect and use. This reminds me of the problems we've run into in the past where retailers and even governments were all trying to track people using their SIN numbers. Once the information is collected, the user seems to lose any control over it, or, the legal disclaimers and agreement policies are so filled with legaleze that the average person can't be bothered trying to understand what they are agreeing to do....

Anyway, the site is fun to browse, and has some educational as well as entertainment value. The last time I checked however, the day continues to have roughly 24 hours and my number of hours of life continues to decrease. I think you get the idea.

Too much stuff, not enough time....

I watched a video about a crow that takes on a mothering/friend role with a feral kitten--what unlikely playmates.

The quality of the videos varies tremendously. For example, authors reading in an outdoor tent at Toronto's Word on the Street fair, shot with a cellphone or similar small camera do not make for great quality.... Like so much of the internet, YouTube has few gems and lots of dross.

Better get back to the library literature that I'm supposed to be reading.

Friday, March 27, 2009

PodCasts as a RULA20 exercise

Interesting coincidence: I wanted to listen to an audio file (an interview of Seetha Gunraj by Michael Schellenberg) today that I found on (actually I was notified about this file and about the book from a newsletter that I subscribe to), but first had to update some software.... this meant actually downloading the Itunes plug in.

The site also has podcasts, so I decided to use their RSS feed for this exercise.

I really do not like having to download all these plugins etc. in order to get everything to work... too much trouble that I'd just as soon do without. Besides, I'm not really a "music" person, don't have an ipod, and although I acquired an MP3 player with a cd-player once, I haven't actually bothered to use it. Only this past year did I rip music off a cd-rom onto my computer.... I'm not really a dinosaur but....

Here is a link to the page on podcasts and how-to do it. This is where I found the RSS link for their author podcasts.

Anyway, I'm actually looking forward to testing this out further by way of seeing how the automatic downloads work.

Time to log off! Ciao.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Browser Tools: RULA week 10

Although we're already in week 11, I did complete the week ten assignment but forgot to blog about it. I decided to download and install the Firefox Screengrabber application. First, I had to download a more current version of Firefox. I got some technical advice from Simon and everything worked out fine. The application seems simple enough to use.

Not much else to report here.

More on GoogleMaps and Public Transit

I just realized that Google Maps also has a public transit tie-in. Unfortunately, the TTC and the City of Toronto are not participants at this time, however you'll see from this url that many of the major cities in Canada are already participating in this innovative feature:

I've just contacted my city councillor and copied the Chair of the TTC (Councillor Giambrone) and Mayor David Miller encouraging them to participate too. Maybe you'll want to contact your city councillor as well. Here is a link to the elected officials:

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Social Networking Pt. 2: The Facebook Account

I've created the account, but really, I still think that e-mail is more than sufficient for my needs and wants as far as staying in touch with my real friends and acquaintances. I suppose there is some value in the networking possibilities of the site but there are only so many hours in a day and life is too short to spend it all on some electronic interface....

I haven't even been watching tv that much in the last year. Now that spring is almost here, I think I'll be out walking more, and listening to the birds chirping and singing, rather than to a talking book or sound recording.

logging off and shutting down,

Social Networking Pt. 1

Just checked out some of the library sites noted on the RULA2.0 blog that have social networking features. I'm far from impressed!
Seems like so much of a wasted effort to me.

If you were a real friend of mine, I might be interested in the diagnosis that your cat has OCD. In reality, you're some stranger in NYC and I couldn't care less!

The Denver site was way too busy. You need to have an attention deficit disorder to find it exciting.


P.S. Why doesn't the RULA posting mention any of the controversies such as Facebook's recent media flare up about "ownership" and "use" of postings.....

Ignoring important issues like this does not serve the user community well. Let's use tools but be smart about them.
Rula2.0 Catchup
Better late than never....
Just finished messing about with some of the Google docs stuff. It was quite straightforward to create a new post for sharing but I didn't try uploading an existing file. I received a couple of notices that people were sharing things with me, including Michelle's name game activity that I finally completed a little while ago.

The google mapping helped me to calculate some distances that I've been walking in the RUNAMOK team exercise project. Practical uses for learning things is more in keeping with my learning goals.

Now, let's see about last week's activities....
val - virile