Flock 1.1


I have been following the upgrade path of Flock. For a while now, I had been using version 1.0.9 and reading about the new features that would come along with the release of version 1.1. I had been a little frustrated with the 1.0.9 version because I was unable to use the People sidebar in the Windows version. It worked nicely under Linux and on the Macintosh.

This week was the time for the release.

I didn’t actually go looking for the upgrade. I had just nipped over to read the Flock blog to find out that Flock had won an award as the SXSW conference. As I was scrolling through and reading the post, I noticed the previous post about version 1.1 being released. It hadn’t been pushed through the updates but you could download it directly.

So I did.

It was just a quick download and I fired it up. Rather than getting frustrated with Flock not pulling in the new feeds, I told it to “forget” the current information and recreated it. Everything worked perfectly. The people sidebar works beautifully. A new feature is integrated Webmail. Hmmm. Added my GMail and Yahoo! Mail accounts. The two accounts worked instantly. There were some changes made to “My World” and a new Widgets button. I checked those out and made sure that my news aggregator was working properly. Everything went through so nicely.

If you’re a fan of Firefox and also do things like blogging, visit Twitter and Facebook, look for YouTube and Flickr/Photobucket content constantly, I strongly suggest that you take a quick download and check out this latest release. These developers really have it all together and bring an interesting mix of social networking, communication, and web browsing together in one spot.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

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A couple of new learning worlds


Just tripped over a couple of unique educational websites that I figure I’d better blog about so that I don’t lose them in a whack of del.icio.us links. They’re there too; but I don’t want to lose track of these.

The first one takes us back to 1750. Apparently, this is on Channel 4 in the UK as a television series. In the internet version, you delve into this virtual world to solve crime scenes, explore, collect evidence, etc.

http://www.channel4.com/history/microsites/C/city-of-vice/game/

What a cool concept. If the goal is to inspire discovery and a deeper understanding of history, this site definitely has done it for me. I can’t wait for new episodes to be added.

Secondly, welcome to the Next Vista for Learning

http://nextvista.org/

Discover educational concepts by video. Today’s student is fascinated by all that exists on services like YouTube so this is a natural. I really like the quality and the friendliness of the activities. There are commercial endeavours similar to this but I’m somehow more intrigued with these and their qualities. Recognizing that sites like this are likely to be blocked by some school districts, each has a download link right on the page so that you’re good to go. I’m thinking that this approach will be easily replicated and hopefully educators and students from all over contribute to this project.

Both of these resources are under construction as of this date but both demonstrate huge potential to me.

Seemed like a bad idea at the time


Recently, I had to take a drive to Brockville for a meeting.  The weather in South Western Ontario was awful just as it is again today.  Will Spring ever come for good?

We were concerned as we left that we not even get there because of the snow on the road.  However, the 401 was really clean and you could just sail along at the prescribed 100 km/h.  Then, all of a sudden, traffic came to a crawl at a precise 50 km/h.  And we went on and on at that speed just outside Kitchener.  Finally, at one interchange we saw what it was.  In order to remove the snow from the side of the road to the left of the passing lane, there was a flock of ploughs.  Staggered from the left to the right, the snow was passed from plough to plough until the one on the right had it off the road. 

We ran into two sets of ploughs west of Toronto and then ran into another just west of Kingston with the max speed at 30 km/h.  Now, that was slow.  It turned our 5 hour drive into a 7 hour one.  Had a good long stretch once we arrived but wondered about the wisdom of slowing down huge traffic like that.  After all, the traffic nicely cleans the driving lanes.

It became apparent as we headed home.  The traffic slowed just a bit and in the distance we saw a transport truck that either did a 360 or had come across the ditch dividing the east bound and west bound lanes.  As we got there, it was apparent what had happened.  The truck appeared to have dug into the outside and was dragged right across the middle.  Fortunately, there didn’t appear to be anyone who had been a part of a head-on collision.  The value of the middle concrete barrier also becomes really apparent.

Living in the somewhat warmer southwest, I’d never seen this tandem snow plough movement before.  It makes a great deal of sense and I take back all of the frustration that I let loose in the car. 

Blogged with Flock

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How to shop


I learned a great deal about shopping on the weekend.  You can use words like “pinky”, “purpley” or “amythesty” in a jewelry story.  Not only does the attendant know what you’re talking about, but they will make it part of their conversation as they try to seal the deal.  I was just a witness to this whole process and my sole purpose was to say that I liked it when prompted. 

There is an experiment in RFID that potentially makes my presence no longer necessary. 

RFIP comes to suggestive selling.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/02/29/business/RFID.php?page=1

The experiment in Europe is intriguing.  We are all aware that techniques have been in place for years to present shoplifting.  Imagine, however, through this communication network in the store the possibilities of suggestive selling.  “I’m sorry, sir, but that item doesn’t match with the previously selected item.  May I suggest this instead?”

I’m liking the possibility.  Power shopping for Christmas gifts couldn’t be easier!

I no longer have to figure out what “pinky” or “purpley” or even “amythesty” means. 

We’ll just let the computer figure it out.

Blogged with Flock

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