26
May
09

the new and shiny

So twitter now has a file sharing service called FileTwt. It looks like file sharing on FileTwt takes the concept from the mainsite, short (files) and fast. Just like Twitter, content that can be shared is limited to smaller files (currently 20mb). I’m nor testing it out because I don’t have a Twitter account but I’m not sure if File Twt will really take off. Then again I’m not too big on Twitter but look at the droves flocking to it. My argument is more because File Twt has to compete with so many other bigger and better filesharing services that allow for sharing bigger file sizes, whereas 20mb can only fit in a couple of high quality songs. Also it appears one needs a Twitter account to be able to use this service, whereas filesharing giants like mediafire and megaupload do not require this, unless you want to upload bigger files, get faster download speeds or organize your uploaded files. However the concept of Twitter itself is unique, even though I personally don’t like the word limit. I’d rather do a big post on my entire day than take the effort to update every few minutes. That said, I’m well aware Twitter is not to substitue a proper blog, more of just a status updater, but then Facebook is already adequate for this function I feel.

Another big shiny account to have now is Dreamwidth, but I don’t really see hordes of people flocking there either, although it does look promising (let’s give it a year or two and wait and see). I do have to say there’s been some pretty good comms set up and discussions are sane and friendly for the most part~ That said, if anyone wants a DW invite code, I haven’t used my spares! Although I’d rather give them to people I know in person rather than people I don’t. However I doubt I’ll be getting a paid account to DW anytime soon, unless at least 70% of my friends migrate AND post there regularly. But then it means my customization and user options are currently limited to that of a free user. Though I do have to give kudos to the people who founded DW~

And Apple now joins the ebook reader frenzy! The thing about ebook readers… will they become popular out of the states? It doesn’t seem to be promoted overseas much. Although during the magazines class, our lecturer brought up a good point: if universities could help students cut costs of textbook buying by providing every student with a kindle stuffed with regularly updated textbooks it’d be brilliant. Less burden on student’s pockets (especially international students) and textbook publishers can update their content with one click (so it’d be friendly for the environment as well, because seriously, having to buy a $100+ tome and not being able to sell it off because they grow outdated the next year is a pain.

Hm, nothing much else to say, except, this is the last week of classes! And I’ll be graduating in August. Wow, that’s fast.

08
May
09

miscellaneous musings

[Random: You know you’ve got too many accounts when you post at the wrong blog whoops~ fortunately it was an old tester blog so no one reads it.]

I really don’t get the hype over the kindle. For one thing it looks pretty big and awkward to carry around. And nothing beats actually flipping through the pages of a book. The only advantages I can think of are that it’s good for previewing books without having to pay for the full price of a physical book, so you can buy and sample lots more. Also it saves space in the longrun. It’s also not cheap. For that price I’d rather get a different gadget like an ipod or digital camera.

Other than that the group website project is going well so far. At least we have a site up and some of our commissioned articles up as well. This is probably the most interesting and fun assignment I’ve had to do this semester. I’ve also completed my essay for magazine publishing on the topic “Is the print magazine dead?” I had to look up stats and figures of magazine sales and related ad sales, as well as the reports of magazines that either shut or shifted totally to digital format. There was alot I was unware of, so it was interesting at least~ Most of my classmates chose the interview someone in the mag industry topic but unlike them I don’t have contacts since I don’t have much work experience in the industry or much work experience in general. Sometimes I do find it a bit intimidating to be in a class with people who are older than me and have more experience, some each working in the industry itself, but everyone has been pretty friendly so far, so it does ease my thoughts somewhat.

Anyway, I want to introduce a newsblog I read which I find interesting. I don’t read it often (I already have about 100+ entries to follow on livejournal daily so I don’t have the time to catch up with news as well aside from running the tv when I’ve having dinner) but they’ve got some interesting articles.

The site/blog is called Mashable.com and it’s all about social media news. Recently they had an useful post for those paranoid about the swine flu outbreak, in an article entitled How to: Track Swine Flu Online .

Speaking of the swine flu, one of my friend’s friends came up with a clever nickname for the swine flu. She called it Hamthrax – well I find that funny at least~ It’s definitely catchy and easier to pronounce.

Also Ning has apparently hit 1 million members and is developing apps to enhance user experience.

I also enjoyed the Iron Spider website that Sarah introduced us to in class. Although I have quite a few links to places I use for html tutorials I have never heard of this one and the explanations on it were clear and easy to understand even though the site design is pretty poor, but at least it’s simple to navigate. A while ago I did a post on my favourite web design sites. I’m plugging it here because some people might have missed it and may find them useful!

03
May
09

more on blogwatch

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted about it, but Tofugu apparently conducted classes at edufire.com on social marketing and how you can use it for your business, and by the looks of the class names, they mostly focused on twitter. Edufire.com is a website that offers live-time video classes, mostly on language learning to anyone around the world, and you can join in group classes or reserve private ones. They have a mixture of free and paid classes (that are very affordable, I think for people who can’t afford going to physical classes its pretty neat. All you need is an account and webcam to get started! Interesting features include whiteboard, text chat, presentation mode (where teachers can give powerpoint presentations).

The reason why I like Tofugu is because firstly the layout is nice and clean (I like white layouts that aren’t cluttered), does not have extremely long posts (if they are the bulk of the text is hidden under a cut), and the site is very easy to navigate. They’ve got direct links to the sections that are most popular, and links to the more popular and useful articles as well.

14
Apr
09

Google dissent.

Looks like there are quite a few people who are not happy with Googlebooks, or at least the direction they’re taking. I’m rather mixed about it myself. While I think it is a useful resource, I can imagine how some writers must feel about their hard work being made free for anyone to read on the net.

And it looks like HarperCollins is jumping onto the comics bandwagon as well. I quite like the using comics to get more people to read idea, but I do hope it serves as an encouragement for people to read actual books and not just look at pictures. That said, my favourite romance series is getting a manga form! I am torn between being feeling delighted, amused and backing away in horror because it could go one way or the other. Previews looks good though. But the thing about the American manga form is that it can’t exactly mirror the exact standards of Japanese manga. I’ll still try to get a copy though.

That said, I’ve also been pondering over the research essay for the magazine publishing project. I’ve decided to do ‘is the print magazine dead?’ so it will probably have some overlaps with the digital publishing subject.

04
Apr
09

wordpress

I’ve just given my older wordpress blog an overhaul, reinstalled the whole program and erased all my previous content so it’s got a shiny new look~ I’m very pleased with the outcome. I’ve also found all these nifty plugins that have been very useful. I do wish the free version of wordpress wasn’t so limiting. Got a plugin that collapsed the admin sidebar to a dropdown toolbar at the top so I don’t have to keep clicking so many things just to get to a certain function (here‘s the link to the plugin)~ And and themetweaker. Very useful. Breaksdown every single colour my default theme has and lets me change colours without having to go to the stylesheet and figure out which coding to edit (so I don’t have to risk messing things up and forgetting what I changed). Paid wordpress is actually pretty nifty, but it’s unlikely I’ll switch over from lj due to the lack of community activities and also very few people I know have wp accounts.

http://themottledgem.net/theonlooker/ – a blog of mainly reviews. slowly putting back the old content. erm, you don’t have to look it you don’t want too~

03
Apr
09

Epic 2014

Well so I finally watched the Epic 2014 video.  It was… interesting. But the thought of the future of news and reading being solely controlled by computers is somewhat scary, even though the internet is essential to my life now… but still… if you’ve seen movie Wall-E, well my view is not too far off. I found that movie fascinating because I thought the concept was daring. So if technology takes over our lives to the extreme, basically everyone will become too dependant on technology, and more distant from other people, and lazy lazy lazy. I do hope that reality will not turn out like that.

Anyway, just some comments on some of the platforms and things mentioned in Epic 2014.

Amazon – Even though I haven’t bought things from Amazon (since I have no credit card), I do use it to keep my wishlist of mainly books which I’d like to read at some point, and to read reviews on books left by other users. Looking at people’s recommendations based on ‘Listmania’ lists can be pretty addictive.

Google – This is not really related, but I recently discovered the firefox add-on, Google Previews, which is really neat! It puts a thumnail preview of the website next to each search result. Very handy to know if you’ve already been to the site (for research) or if a site is fishy.

Tivo – I never really got what this is… I don’t use subscription tv in Melbourne but I presume with the ability to record onto the set it’s similar to Foxtel? Singapore has a Singapore Cable Television boxset which is similar. It lets you look at tv listings on the tv (instead of the accompanying montly magazine), and the newest ones allow recording although I think ours is still an older model and not the latest one.

Friendster was really big when I was in highschool. I remember people faking their ages so they could get an account, it was like the Facebook of it’s day but of course now Facebook has overtaken Friendster. I do prefer the profile page layouts of Friendster than Facebook though. Facebook should let users to customize their profile layouts, or at least let us change the layout colours or something basic like that. But I guess the idea of having everyone have the same plain and simple blue and white layout means that you won’t get someone having an irritatingly sparkly and graphic laden page. So there are the pros and cons. I miss the original Facebook layout.

Google buys Blogger – Haha, actually I was really irritated when gmail bought blogger. It was fortunate I already had a gmail account so I could access my old blogger account, but I just don’t like the idea of having to use my gmail details to login. I like my journaling account to be seperate. Which is why I’ve switched to livejournal and wordpress.

Newspapers become newsletters for the elite and elderly – Actually I do like reading the physical newspaper. And I do use the old papers to wrap things up or for protecting the table/floor when I make things. I just love the sound of paper being turned and it’s very nice to not have to stare at the screen all the time. I stare at it enough as it is. So call me an old fogey but I will always support physical newspapers. I do agree with what was said on Epic 2014 in that news that people watch on the net tends to be of a more trivial nature. It’s also easier to keep physical copies of newspaper clippings than to copy and paste articles and print them out. And if you kept things on the computer and your computer died, well, you won’t have them anymore. There’s a lesser chance of your house burning down and destroying your scrapbook or folder of clippings.

In short, while I spend a huge amount of time on my computer and internet, I do not want it to take over the world of news and reading like that. To me the internet is more of a source of communication, entertainment and information (research), but at the end of the day, print just seems more serious? (can’t find the right word for it). And the idea of having to look at the screen even more than I do now and spoil my eyesight further is not exactly appealing either.

01
Apr
09

nifty language apps

Linked from Tofugu

Japansoc is a website with a similar concept to Digg, except it focuses solely on Japanese news!

I’m not Japanese but I’ve been thinking of looking for work there after I graduate, so I like to read about the happenings in Japan.

Also, I find this other post useful: Top Online Resources for Learning Japanese for Free.

I already use Rikaichan, an online J-E dictionary which makes browsing Japaneses websites so much easier because if you mouse over words a box will pop-up with the hiragana readings and meaning!

From the post, I was most intrigued by:
Lang-8 – a blogging service that allows people (specifically aiming at native speakser) to correct and comment on your Japanese/Chinese/English/French/Spanish etc posts. It sounds like an interesting learning + social experience in one. And there’s also a ‘notebook’ function for you to save phrases you want to remember. This could be a great way for language learning provided this is your kind of thing.




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  • the new and shiny May 26, 2009
    So twitter now has a file sharing service called FileTwt. It looks like file sharing on FileTwt takes the concept from the mainsite, short (files) and fast. Just like Twitter, content that can be shared is limited to smaller files (currently 20mb). I’m nor testing it out because I don’t have a Twitter account but […]
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