Category Archives: news

UK iPhone Launch???

As I write it’s about five minutes before the Apple event at the Apple Store in London gets underway.

Generally it is accepted that this will be the launch of the iPhone in Europe.

It will be interesting to see if it is a 3G version or whether the fact that O2 have been upgrading their network to EDGE will mean that the UK iPhone will still be EDGE only.

Not long to wait now…

Comic Life for Windows – Third Beta

Comic Life IconPlasq have launched their third beta of Comic Life for Windows.

Here is Comic Life Windows beta 3! Please UNINSTALL your old version of Comic Life BEFORE INSTALLING the b3 version. Remember it is still a beta. So remember anything can still go wrong! We do try our best to make it as reliable as possible – but as it is a beta, we do ask that you are cautious and don’t recommend using it for time-critical work in case anything goes awry.

You can find the download, new beta serial number and release notes in this forum post here.

I do like Comic Life on my Mac and I am pleased to see a version for Windows.

Teaching statistics

When I was told I had to teach statistics to a group Advanced GNVQ Business students many years ago I did wonder how I would approach it.

In the end I went with themed series of bitesize lessons.

Each lesson had a theme, some of these included:

Time Series – Toy Story, to infinity and beyond, could now use Doctor Who

Correlation – Indiana Jones

Regression – Star Trek

Dispersion and Range – Blackadder goes Forth

Normal Distribution – X-Files

Each lesson was self-contained and included theory and different kinds of assessment.

It seemed to work well, with students who years later still remembered many of the lessons.

As for copyright, well I was a different person then…

Two Millionth Wikipedia Article

Mashable is reporting that Wikipedia has reached two million articles.

Wikipedia has hit a record 2 million articles for its user-regulated online encyclopedia. On Monday, the English Wikipedia’s two millionth article was “El Hormiguero,” detailing the Spanish TV show of the same name. After its launch six years ago, I think we can all attest to the establishment of Wikipedia, its example of effective crowd wisdom, and its lasting power as a long tail entity.

There are concerns in the academic community over relying on articles from Wikipedia, and therefore any lecturer or learner using such sources is advised to also consult and confirm sources, say using an online published reference in addition such as Britannica Online. Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia) has also recommended this approach (in a podcast interview).

Didn’t take much…

Just a follow up to my previous post.

As you can see from the following photograph that it doesn’t take much, seems like they used a screwdriver to get in!


Still lots of hassle dealing with insurance companies. More annoyance more than anything else. I was lucky that I didn’t lose any data (all backed up).

Another annoyance has been changing passwords. Though I am sure that the thieves are not really that interested in my Flickr photographs and my Facebook profile, I’d rather be safe than sorry. I didn’t use the laptop for personal financial stuff so there is virtually no risk there.

Following the comments on the previous post on having a whip-round, which really touched me, I have setup Paypal to allow this to happen. Thanks in advance, much appreciated.

Great conference, unpleasant aftermath…

I really enjoyed ALT-C this year, however as I was leaving the conference I found that my car had been broken into, my work laptop had been stolen, as well as a digital SLR camera and my funky bluetooth printer which had gone down so well in my workshop.

The thieves had done their best and as a result my passenger door was so damaged that I couldn’t secure the car and had to drive all the way home. I was suppose to be only going as far as Birmingham for a JISC Collections workshop tomorrow.

I am insured, but with excesses I am going to be somewhat out of pocket as a result. I have also paid for a hotel room I can’t use and couldn’t cancel.

I am trying to not to let this get me down, it is more annoying more than anything else.

Great conference, for me though it ended on somewhat a sour note.

“Million more UK homes go online”

According to recent figures as reported by the BBC, a million more UK homes have now gone online.

The number of UK homes with internet access has gone up by nearly a million over the last year, figures suggest.

Some 15.2m UK households – 61% of homes – now have an internet connection, compared with 54% in 2006, research from National Statistics found.

In total, 84% of web-enabled households said they had a broadband connection, up from 69% in May 2006.

61% of homes now have an internet connection and those 84% have a broadband connection.

For those learners coming from homes without internet, what can they do? Well yes it would be nice if every learner had a broadband internet connection, but it would also be nice if every learner had free transport to college, it would be nice if every learner had all the core texts they needed, it would be nice if every learner didn’t need a part-time job to support their studies, etc…

Colleges don’t provide libraries or teachers at home, so even though a learner may not have access to the internet, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use the internet and web based services (like a VLE) to support and enhance learning.

For those learners who don’t have access to broadband internet, they do have options in terms of access to the internet. Some have mobile phones or other mobiles devices which could be used. Some will be able to access free internet from their local library. Some will be able to access the internet at a relative or a friend. Virtually all will be able to access the internet at college.

A warning to all coffee lovers out there

Found this interesting article on the BBC News website.

Girl overdoses on espresso coffee – A teenager was taken to hospital after overdosing on espresso coffee.

It would appear that she had seven double espresso coffees and as a result had overdosed on caffeine!

A warning to all coffee lovers out there, I know that a lot of teachers and lecturers seem to thrive on coffee, or they can only survive through the average day in FE by drinking coffee.

It would seem that extra caution is needed where I work as we now have Starbucks coffee available in our college cafes and I quite like the off Starbucks espresso now and again .

Comic Life for Windows!

Comic Life IconI am a great fan of Comic Life which comes free on most new consumer Macs and was pleasantly surprised to see that Plasq are working on a version for Windows.

The second Comic Life for Windows Beta is now available for download – with ongoing thanks to our encouraging and patient beta-testers. Thank you all for your kind words and helpful feedback!

This latest beta includes many small improvements relating to installation, usage and stability.

You can find the download, new beta serial number and release notes in this forum post here.