So what’s this World Wide Web then?

April 9, 2009

A short explanation from the brilliant people at Commoncraft on what makes the World Wide Web work: browsers, packets, servers addresses and links.

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It’s not black and white, it’s grey

September 12, 2008

I recall in a forum once, someone thought we should not allow recorded lectures to be available as podcasts because this would be unfair to deaf students.

So the spoken lecture is fine, but the podcast is not….

Hmmm

I think part of the problem is that people think in black and white terms, either/or and forget that we can have both or grey areas.

I was showing some staff an UMPC once, the Q1 Ultra, which I am thinking of using in our library, and first comment was that the 7″ screen would be too small for some students.

This is a fair comment, but I am not going to replace all the computers in the library with UMPCs, there would still be big computers with big screens for those that wanted them. The UMPCs would be in addition not a replacement. Some users will be fine with the UMPC, others will want what they see as a “normal” computer.

It’s not black and white, it’s grey

I would say it is similar with web services, just because a service is not accessible to everyone, doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be used, but consideration needs to be given how you would support the users for whom it *may* be inaccessible.

In my lecture/podcast example, I would say that if a signer was provided for the lecture, then a signer could be provided for the podcast.

If “services must be accessible to all or they shouldn’t be deployed” then non-web services should be subject to the same constraints, in which case nothing would happen in an educational institution!

It’s not black and white, it’s grey.


EU extends net safety programme

March 1, 2008

BBC reports

The European Commission is spending 55m euros (£42m) on making the net a safer place for children.

The money will be spent over four years on educational efforts and ways to protect children from inappropriate content and cyber bullying.

Read more.


Adobe AIR

February 25, 2008

Adobe today announced the immediate availability of Adobe AIR, a new platform for building rich internet applications (RIAs) across different platforms, including Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.

Adobe AIR enables developers to create RIAs on the desktop using the skills and Web technologies — such as HTML, Ajax, PDF, Adobe Flash and Adobe Flex — they already employ. Applications deployed on Adobe AIR have the advantages of browser-based RIAs, such as speed of development, ease of use, and access from virtually anywhere. Yet they also have the benefits of desktop applications, such as the ability to read/write local files, work with other applications on a user’s computer and maintain local data storage on the desktop.

Adobe AIR

It’s an interesting variation on applications, some use desk bound applications such as Microsoft Office, whilst others use web based applications  such as Google Apps.

It’s looking like Adobe AIR will allow users to have the flexibility of web based applications with the backup of desk bound applications when there is no internet connection (such as on plane).


Mobile Internet

February 4, 2008

BBC’s Click has a nice article on the mobile internet.

It is estimated that just one in five people with phones that are able to connect to the net actually do. But the iPhone, however, is having a profound effect on the willingness of its users to go online.

Mobile Internet


Happy Birthday BBC News Website

October 29, 2007

The BBC News website is ten years old.

Happy Birthday.

BBC News

I have been using the site for that long now, so it’s nice to see that not only is it still around and still very popular, more importantly, all the stories I was reading and using for learning back in the late 1990s are still available as well. For example this story about Sainsburys from 1999 is still online and the links still work!

Too often on the web sites will rebrand or rename and all their old links die or change or become redundant. At least with the BBC News it is possible to link stories from nearly ten years ago.