Internet video is largely dominated by short clips. YouTube, probably the most popular video upload service limits the length of individual videos to ten minutes for most accounts. So what happens if you just feel like relaxing in front on the TV, kicking off your shoes and just want to be entertained without having to make lots of decisions on what to watch? Fear not, solutions are emerging to meet this requirement and out of curiosity I sat on my sofa and tried two out: the new YouTube Leanback and Redux.com's “Watch in TV mode”.
Netbooks are often thought of as just being "little laptops", but that is not the entire story. The rise of these ultraportable machines at a time when mobile broadband was becoming both more affordable and popular has arguably created a much closer relationship between these machines and the Internet, with consumers using them to check up on social networking sites, use web applications such as Google Docs and keep up to date with their email. The physical characteristics of netbooks, such as the small screens, have driven innovation in netbook interfaces up until now, but recently some alternative ideas have begun to surface about what a netbook experience should be like, with new ideas such as making web sites and social updates "first class elements" of your desktop. An interesting example of these new ideas in action is Ubuntu Moblin Remix.
It has been a very interesting year for social networking, microblogging, the practice of sharing short messages with followers has really caught on and Twitter has certainly enjoyed the most buzz of 2008. A notable feature though of Twitter's rise has been the number of problems they have and its bizarre reverse product development cycle, it now has less features than when I first joined; and all in the name of stability, a goal that Twitter is going through a lot of pain to achieve.
On this day last year I wrote my very first blog post, prompted into action by a link from Martin Weller's blog to my then largely empty blog! I'm glad I became a blogger, I've already explained my reasons for blogging and the last year has no doubt seen some quite dramatic changes in the technology world.
Last week I had the pleasure of being at the SocialLearn workshop held for OU students, staff (including many Associate Lecturers - the vital members of staff who act as learning mentors to students) and alumni to discuss and get input for the SocialLearn project (a next-generation educational social network platform, more information can be found in Martin Weller's slideshow).
Up to now the computing experience has been divided into two - online and offline. Being online means using sites through a web browser, offline means working with different applications, mostly designed to work with documents not stored on the Internet, but instead on local file systems. However, changes changes in the way we communicate and work are starting to make this arrangement look creaky and old fashioned so thoughts have turned to how to integrate these two worlds.