Monday, June 30, 2008

On the iPlayer beta

The wizards at the BBC have been hard at work and have let the next version of iPlayer into the word. I've spent little time exploring but it's lovely!.

I turned to it on Saturday to watch Dr. Who and Elbow at Glastonbury (note fast forward four minutes).
Watching Davros and the Daleks on my Mac Book Pro was a delight, even from behind the sofa!

My only complaint as you might expect is that I still can't download programmes on the Mac, but that facility will be here soon so I should be patient.

The new site brings together TV and radio in one place, a sort of super media portal for all the BBC on demand services. They say that sound quality is improved, and the screen is 640 pixels bigger. There's some scheduling information, last played programme information and an excellent scrolling carousel. Watching television is just more fun using the iPlayer interface. The Yesterday on TV display is a clever idea, as is the bringing together of radio and televison programmes in the categories displays. If you have to stop watching a streamed programme, on returning it starts to play where you left it; no more fiddling and estimating running times.

At present the beta version is running in parallel with the mark one player, but I have read somewhere that it will be going fully live in July.

Since iPlayer arrived I have exceeded my ISP download limits twice, it's time to sign up for a new contract

Powered by ScribeFire.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

On Baby's Bums, Asda and a Birthday Cake

It has been reported here and here (nsfw), that a mother who attempted to purchase a birthday cake from Asda for her twenty one year old son, featuring a nude photograph of him taken when he was five months old; was told tht the photograph would have to be censored as it showed him nude.

Asda deny thinking that the photograph was pornographic, it's just that their "policy across the board" is that they "don't do nudity of any sort at any age".

In the end staff solved the problem by covering baby David's bum with a star!

Is this the sign of a healthy society?

I wonder do they have a policy about selling cigarettes, or cheap alcohol?

Powered by ScribeFire.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

PowerPoint to YouTube

I've not used this yet but can see that it's a powerful tool.

authorSTREAM is an online sharing site that allows the free uploading of PowerPoint presentations but facilitates their sharing with friends, students, or co-workers.

It seems authorSTREAM allows registered users (and it's free) to embed presentations in blogs and networks, or share them via YouTube, which means that they become viewable almost anywhere and on nearly any platform including iPods.

YouTube rules the world in terms of video sharing, this could be another nail in the coffin of VLE's


Powered by ScribeFire.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

On Driving with Google....

Well, look at this, came across it via Gizmodo

It's a driving simulator, sort of, powered by Google maps.

It's a shame that it doesn't notice when you leave the road or crash into things but wow it's a lot of fun!

Four types of vehicle, three types of map, simple controls,indicators and the whole world to play with!

Monday, June 09, 2008

On the iPhone 3G

Well who would have guessed?

There's a second generation iPhone on the way!

Engadget blogged the whole event.
Read it here, and look at the pretty pictures.

Remember when I wanted an iPod nano?

I still don't have an iPod touch, but I'm lusting after this phone.
I wonder if the contracts will still be as expensive.
I'm not certain it was the cost of the phone that stopped people getting one, I think it was the price of the contract

Thursday, June 05, 2008

On The Apprentice, Plagiarism and CVs

I am a fan of The Apprentice.
This evenings episode had my full attention, while the remaining candidates were interviewed by Sir Alan's colleagues and friends.

It was entertaining, interesting, and unsettling viewing.
Lee's interview revealed that his CV was not all it could have been; containing some fairly basic spelling errors and what were described as inaccuracies.

Consider the spelling/grammar mistakes on a CV word processed by a man who is a sales manager for the Capita Group applying for a job as Alan Sugar's apprentice.

You might think that he would have used a spell checker; the errors highlighted included tommorrows, fulfill, ambtion, and recoingsed!
Perhaps they were typos, perhaps not. Perhaps he can't spell, perhaps he's dyslexic.
He should have checked or asked a friend to check for him. Does he not have a secretary?
Scribefire (the blogging extension for Firefox) is showing me his mistakes as I write.

Why didn't he notice?
He was writing a CV, an application for a job, and it was full of errors.
I'm not certain I would have even short listed him.

What was more worrying was the fact that he had been less than honest about his educational background, claiming to have been in receipt of a college education for two years when he actually left the course after four months!

The impression the programme gave was that this was forgivable, which is unforgivable. He lied.
Would you employ him?

Industry claims that job applicants cannot spell, are barely numerate, often lacking in social skills and ill prepared for the business environment.
In The Apprentice, a highly visible, televised selection process, the selectors note that some applicants cannot spell, lack social graces and do not always tell the truth but they still select them.


Like Universities identifying plagiarists, Lee's interviewer spotted the lie.
What is the difference between plagiarism and fabricating a CV?

On Plagiarism

Here is a curiously interesting story that requires a little thought and action.

BBC education reporter Sean Couglan notes that the Higher Education Authority and JISC have established the Academy JISC Academic Integrity Service "to help promote a culture of academic integrity in UK Higher Education"

It would appear that they face a monumental task.

"A study found only 143 students caught cheating were expelled out of
9,200 cases - despite almost all universities threatening expulsion as
a sanction."

I guess that tells us that the sanction isn't working.

"despite the repeated warnings to students not to cheat by using
someone else's work, those caught are unlikely to face particularly
severe penalties.

More than 98% of students caught cheating were allowed to stay
at their university - even though some of these students had been
caught before."

Perhaps more disturbing is the observation that

"the recorded level of plagiarism among postgraduate students was so
much higher than the recorded level among undergraduate student,"

It seems that the colleges face a problem.

Plagiarism can and is being detected.

The question is what should be done with the plagiarists?