Rory and Darren – Nokia N95 Vs Apple’s iPhone

Two of the hottest mobiles go head-to-head, which one comes out best? Take a look at the video and decide?

 

Wil Harris reviews Mac OS X Leopard

Wil Harris pinpoints a few pain areas in Leopard and suggests some neat workarounds. I completely echo Wil’s thoughts on how Apple’s GUI designers were trying to make the OS more ‘Vista’ than Vista. I’m not a fan of the transparent toolbar, (I don’t see the point of it). Time Machine is a good feature for non power users. However, I’m sticking to old faithful, carbon copy cloner which does the job very well

Windows Home Server 120 day evaluation version

I have been using WHS while it was in beta and I have to say I love this product. On a technical perspective, there’s nothing new here. A trimmed version of Windows Server 2003 that you would find on a Windows Powered NAS. However, the interface is designed for home users. As we all know, backups are boring. WHS helps to take the pain away of manual backups. If you have a lot of digital data that you need to backup. I suggest you evaluate WHS.

 

Microsoft offers up a free eval version of Windows Home Server:

Can’t wait to centralise and showcase your family’s memories and media? Order the Windows Home Server 120-Day Evaluation Kit today. You’re just a few clicks away from a new digital life.
What will you receive?

  • Windows Home Server Installation DVD
  • Windows Home Server Connector CD
  • Home Computer Restore CD

Are you ready?
This software is intended for evaluation purposes only. In order to preserve your existing data, you must backup prior to installation. The setup process for server installation will erase any existing data.
To install the Windows Home Server 120-Day Evaluation Kit, you need:

  • Computer with 1 GHz Pentium III (or equivalent) or faster processor
  • 512 MB of RAM or more
  • 70 GB or larger ATA, SATA, or SCSI hard drive as the primary hard drive and any number of additional hard drives of any size
  • DVD drive—your home server must be capable of booting from this drive
  • VGA or higher-resolution monitor for software installation
  • Keyboard and Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device (needed only during initial home server software installation)
  • 100 Mbps or faster Ethernet network interface card

To run Windows Home Server, your home network must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Internet broadband router/firewall device with a 100 Mbps or faster wired Ethernet connection for your home server
  • Windows Home Server assumes that your home computers get their IP address from the router/firewall device on your home network
  • Broadband connection (fees may apply)

Notes:
A wireless connection between Windows Home Server and your network is not supported. You must have a wired Ethernet port available on your router/firewall device for your Home Server. However, home computers connected wirelessly to a wireless router/firewall device in your home can access your Home Server.
Order your 120-day trial.
Why wait? Order the Windows Home Server 120-Day Evaluation Kit now to protect, connect, and organize your photos, videos, music and more.

 

HP – The Computer Is Personal Again

I have always loved Apple’s advertising silhouette campaign for iPods. However, HP is doing great things with their "Computer Is Personal Again campaign.

"This is not just a commerical. It’s a promise. Handshake. Smile. Mission statement.
Alliance. Beginning Safety net. And an exclamation from us that you will never feel alone.

Hardly anything you own is more personal than your computer. And nothing is as important to us than preserving that bond"

 

Google strikes BACK! The OpenSocial API is born

 

Hat tip to Brady

This is huge!  One API to rule them all?  Finally, a common standard for developers to write social utility apps. 2008 IS going to be the year of the social network app.

Google has announced OpenSocial, a new open API for social networks. The new standard will allow developers to create Facebook-like apps on any social network site that implements it with the same calls.

The open API will have three parts

  • People
  • Storage
  • Activity stream

All of these calls will have a GData counterpart and they will use HTML and Javascript only. On Thursday the following links should go live:

Google’s launch partners are hi5, iLike, Slide, LinkedIn, Plaxo, Ning and SixApart (the largest). Check out Techmeme, Techcrunch, and the New York Times for more coverage.

Google will be holding the first of their developer CampFires at the GooglePlex this Friday to explain OpenSocial. A CampFire is Google’s new method of disseminating information to developers. These events will be invite-only and will include about thirty developers. Video of the event will be available in the days following.

Google’s OpenSocial API will gain traction with a lot of social networks, but I doubt that we will see Facebook or MySpace supporting it. Both are large enough to require their own API.

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Microsoft Project Gatineau beta begins

http://blogs.msdn.com

We are happy to announce that Project Gatineau, Microsoft’s new, free web analytics service, is ready for beta testing and the first invitations are now being sent to customers.

To manage Project Gatineau’s growth and give customers the best web analytics service possible, the beta is for US advertisers by invitation only for the moment. 

All advertisers can request an invitation here: http://advertising.microsoft.com/microsoft-adcenter-gatineau

Project Gatineau’s web analytics are useful to sites of all sizes – from smaller sites that can’t afford an expensive web analytics solution to larger sites looking for a boost in their web analytics capabilities.

With the Gatineau beta, you can learn more about where your visitors come from and easily measure your marketing campaigns across any medium and from any traffic source.

Features include:

  • Click and visitor tracking reports
  • Marketing campaign reporting and conversion tracking
  • Unique demographic and geographic information from your site visitors

Of course, Project Gatineau is a beta service so we are still adding features and working hard to improve.

With your participation and feedback, we hope you will help us build Gatineau into the best web analytics service possible.

Request your invite today!

Check out the adCenter Forums to see what people are saying!

Thanks

Ian Thomas & Justin Carder – Microsoft Project Gatineau

Hugh drawing Scoble’s next business card

Hugh over with Scoble yesterday. Amongst the discussions, the origins of Blue Monster. This is particularly significant as the Blue Monster celebrates its first birthday today. Steve Clayton has also posted the Blue Monster year in review over at his blog

The Blue Monster represents an excellent example of a "social object", which has grabbed my attention ever since high first coined the term. I will be writing more about this later, along with some further insights from Hugh.

 

A Vision of Students Today

 

Professor Michael Wesch has published yet another excellent video, looking at some of the most important characteristics of students today. In particular, how they learn, what they need to learn, their goals, hopes, dreams, what their lives will be like, and what kinds of changes they will experience in their lifetime. The video is a follow up to the amazing The machine is using us.

As a recent MBA student this video struck a deep chord within me. I strongly feel that Universities and Colleges need to work harder and smarter in their efforts at “blended learning” in a Web 2.0 world. It is true that we all learn and absorb information in different ways. However, the evolution of multimedia is allowing us all to learn things quicker and faster.

The growing number of foreign students (where English, may not be their first language) and distance learners are likely to derive many benefits from course content that is made available through podcasts or vodcasts. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not writing off the written word. But, in a rapidly developing digital world the appetite of younger students who have been brought up with iPods and YouTube videos will need something “stronger” than course text books to assimilate information. Web 2.0 technologies can help here.

I’m not alone in thinking Universities will need to change. I recently attended the Future of Web Apps conference in London. Paul Graham from Y Combinator delivered a presentation on The future of Web Startups. Among many areas, Paul discusses how he perceives the roles of University colleges will change in the future in relation to Web startups

8. College Will Change

“I grew up in a time where college degrees seemed really important, so I’m alarmed to be saying things like this, but there’s nothing magical about a degree. There’s nothing that magically changes after you take that last exam. The importance of degrees is due solely to the administrative needs of large organisations. These can certainly affect your life—it’s hard to get into grad school, or to get a work visa in the US, without an undergraduate degree—but tests like this will matter less and less.

As well as mattering less whether students get degrees, it will also start to matter less where they go to college. In a startup you’re judged by users, and they don’t care where you went to college. So in a world of startups, elite universities will play less of a role as gatekeepers. In the US it’s a national scandal how easily children of rich parents game college admissions. But the way this problem ultimately gets solved may not be by reforming the universities but by going around them. We in the technology world are used to that sort of solution: you don’t beat the incumbents; you redefine the problem to make them irrelevant.

The greatest value of universities is not the brand name or perhaps even the classes so much as the people you meet. If it becomes common to start a startup after college, students may start trying to maximize this. Instead of focusing on getting internships at companies they want to work for, they may start to focus on working with other students they want as cofounders.What students do in their classes will change too. Instead of trying to get good grades to impress future employers, students will try to learn things. We’re talking about some pretty dramatic changes here”.

Meredith Farkas has also published a very interesting presentation on the role of Social Software in Higher Education – a librarian that “get’s it”

 

I do hope that Universities focus less on their obsessions in raising student numbers (especially with foreign students). Rather, I hope they concentrate on producing and delivering digital course content that students can easily engage in. Though, for some teaching staff this could be a huge culture shock.

“Our students have changed radically. Today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach”.

Mark Prensky, Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants

The machine is really teaching us…

Hugh Macleod’s talk at Mix ’07

Hugh’s MacLeod’s great talk at Microsoft’s Mix ’07. Hugh discusses the Blue Monster, his work with Stormhoek and his views on Web 2.0 Marketing, social objects (Web symbolism) and the power of blogging.

Chasing Leopard

The latest incarnation of Mac OS X, codenamed Leopard arrives next week. Almost a year after the launch of Windows Vista. As an operating system freak I am truly excited about this release. OS X is becoming more refined with each new release. Though, I do think Apple is pushing it’s luck a little with the promise off 300+ features. Many of the new ‘features’ were already available in xcode!

Pre-order you copy from the Apple Store now!