Thursday, August 31, 2006

Painless book publishing

Well almost. But makes it easy for aspiring writers to get their written masterpieces published. Blurb says:

"Publish and sell easily within minutes. No set-up fees. No minimum order. Keep control of the rights. Set your own price. Each product is printed as it is ordered. No excess inventory."

Even comes with a title scorer to help you decide on a killer title for your novel.

Johann Gutenberg must be smiling somewhere.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Concept Mapping 101

Or how to have a look inside the mind of David Byrne when you read his book Arboretum. Here's how the book review reads:
"For over twenty-five years, David Byrne has focused his unique genius upon forms as diverse as disco, architectural photography, and PowerPoint. Now he presents what may be his most personal work to date, a collection of drawings and diagrams mapping the strange corners of his mental landscape. It’s an eclectic blend of faux science, automatic writing, satire, and an attempt to find connections where none were thought to exist — a sort of self-therapy, allowing the hand to say what the voice cannot. Irrational logic, it’s sometimes called. It's the application of logical scientific rigor and form to basically irrational premises. To proceed, carefully and deliberately, from nonsense, with a straight face, often arriving at a new kind of sense. The world keeps opening up, unfolding, and just when we expect it to be closed — to be a sealed, sensible box — it shows us something completely surprising."
A sample page and more comments can be seen here.

Monday, August 28, 2006

This just in (25).

aka Empire-building, one step at a time

SEO Blog reports that Google Launches Enterprise Software Solution called Free Google Apps. The Apps are targetted at small businesses (for now, and even schools). The toolset allows users to customize the look and feel of their Read/Write Site. Follow the Apps here.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Want another layer of privacy for you favorite webmail service?

Use freenigma. It comes with strong e-mail open source encryption.
Quote of the Day

"The more you can dream, the more you can do."

Time to check out RockEd. "Rocking Society Through Alternative Education."

Friday, August 25, 2006

A message to old school teachers.

Are you ready for the friendster generation?

Some of the new learner skillsets consist of the following:
  • inserting links
  • inserting images
  • syndicating content
  • distinguishing avi, mov, mpg, 3gp
  • unzipping files
  • blogging, wikiing, myspacing, flickring, youtubing etc.
  • and above all, connecting and collaborating
I have assembled a power point presentation here.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Feel the urge to rant and rave about a product or service?

Check this out. The clickable icons (stars) will not exactly allow you to diss a lame product or service but if you give it a one star, the implication is it's inferior. Otherwise, you can comment freely on how the product/service in question sucks or rocks.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Worried about the insidious effect of Friendster, Myspace, Youtube, etc. on students ?

Forget about them for a moment. Elgg - just might make educators welcome social network software in schools. Steve O'Hear reports:

"Described by its founders [Ben Werdmuller and Dave Tosh] as a 'learning landscape', Elgg provides each user with their own weblog, file repository (with podcasting capabilities), an online profile and an RSS reader. Additionally, all of a user's content can be tagged with keywords - so they can connect with other users with similar interests and create their own personal learning network. However, where Elgg differs from a regular weblog or a commercial social network (such as MySpace) is the degree of control each user is given over who can access their content. Each profile item, blog post, or uploaded file can be assigned its own access restrictions - from fully public, to only readable by a particular group or individual."

More about Elgg here. Now can I be part of your Elgg space?

Social Software linked people and stuffs in a six degree of separation

Originally uploaded by Isaac Mao.
Six degrees indeed! Scale free (as opposed to scale rich) networks are characterized by an uneven distribution of connectedness. Now where do I fit in the scheme of things?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Here's an opportunity to hook up with international technologists

Air Jaldi Summit 2006 is a power-packed conference half of a halfway around the world (coming from Manila, that is).

It's going to happen on October 22-25, at Dharamsala, India. Map

[It] will address some of the ways that wireless solutions can be used to provide affordable Internet access in rural communities. The conference will focus on the advantages that wireless networks can provide, by enhancing the quality of education, governance and health-care, increasing economic development, and promoting cultural exchange. Special emphasis will be placed on identifying best practices for rapidly increasing connectivity for regions most in need.

Summit keynoters and speakers will include social activists, IT opinion leaders, philanthropists, and international technology professionals. The AirJaldi Summit will also provide an opportunity for participants to share the lessons learned from the Dharamsala Community Wireless Mesh Network, a successful example of a sustainable technology integration model. With its unique combination of low-cost yet robust technology, community-based implementation, and relatively large scale, the Dharamsala project is an appropriate model for many rural areas around the world.

Now there's got to be a way to be part of the Philippine delegation to the summit. Like I said to Janette Toral: "Actually I am interested and would like to propose that a Philippine delegation be represented there. That could be a valuable opportunity to cascade learnings on Cheap Wi-Fi deployment back home." So she suggested that I blog about this. Right, perhaps it could add to her thoughts about the Pinoy blogging phenomenon.

Cultural Industry Model

cultural industry model
Originally uploaded by joelogs.
This is D. Throsby's Model of Culture Industries. You should be able to find a place for blogging and social software somewhere in the midsection.

Incidentally, a case study on the economic impact of the arts and culture industry makes a strong case that exposure to the arts builds skills.

More on Culture Industry here.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Free, clean and constant energy

An Irish Company claims it works on the principle of magnetic fields interaction.
This I gotta see. Who wouldn't want to?
This just in (24).

More like Quote of the day.

Dalai Lama, on the Internet:

"The internet's contribution to the diffusion and dissemination of knowledge and information is truly remarkable.

"By itself the internet cannot feed the poor, defend the oppressed, or protect those subject to natural disasters, but by keeping us informed it can allow those of us who have the opportunity to give whatever help we can."

Original text here.

Now let us ask ourselves. What help can we give?
Quote of the day.

"Any corporation that doesn't do [weblogs] in the future is going to be playing catch-up." (2004)

Tim Bray, Sun Microsystems' director of Web technologies

I guess this applies to educators too. ... sauce for the goose... For social issues surrounding social software, go here.

Friday, August 18, 2006

This just in (23).

Amiglia and Riya mash up family networking and face recognition. Folk Knowledge Management in action. More of the press release here.
Harnessing the power of collaboration

Miya Knights reports that:

"Fifteen years since the invention of the worldwide web, the growth of web logs, wikis, chatrooms, peer-to-peer websites, and multiple-player gaming environments is paving the way for new web applications for business."

She describes for example how eCourier used Traction's Teampage as a collaborative tool and found that they "can customise it as much as [they] want." Now can we talk about a bespoke version for grassroots efforts in social development projects?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

What? Even flash drives are confiscated in airports?

Here's more. Might as well travel naked.
Community e-center helps track down Filipina in Lebanon

Thus reports Very compelling case study on how ICT can help build communities. A welcome government initiative, indeed. Time to empower the real community (Read: Allow them to collaboratively direct their own growth through ICT tools).

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Ninoy Aquino, 23 years hence.

Is the Filipino worth dying for? Ask Google. Now this proud group believes so.
Online gaming in classrooms?

Janette Toral made a "very interesting" (anyone can draw inferences) post on the state of online gaming in the Philippines.

Now I'd like to pose a challenge to educators. There's got to be a way to harness the power of this wave to enhance formal learning. Now thinking aloud: Perhaps schools can enter into "JV" arrangements with internet cafes for collaborative education? Could become win-win.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Why must I keep this to myself?

But is there a way to blend a bicycle wheel hub dynamo (generator) and a Singer sewing machine to power a laptop?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

From Dunbar Number to Mating Desire Lines

Robin Dunbar of the University of Liverpool has made a range of studies that could give us fresh insights on IT-enabled human behavior (Think MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, or Friendster).

Consider 150, and that means "[the] cognitive limit to the number of individuals with whom any one person can maintain stable relationships". Good piece of information in studying the value of Networked Communities of Practice. More of that here.

Then think about the following categories:
  • Attractiveness
  • Commitment
  • Resources
  • Sexiness
  • Social Skills
Dunbar found that Lonely Hearts Columns (Read: are closely linked "with evolutionary preferences". More of the article here. Now that's a good piece of information in studying the value of FOAF.

Perhaps Social Software could help propagate the human species and preserve human civilization.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Why copyright should be the exception.

Or how to promote innovation in education.

Here's the paper that should help promote the cause of Creative Commons in schools.
And don't underestimate the power of the women ...

coz Vinnie Mirchandani, summarizing results of a study commissioned by cable television's Oxygen Network, reports that "four out of every five women felt comfortable using technology with 46 percent doing their own computer trouble-shooting".

More about the study here.

And while you are at it, take a piece of advice from the two books below:
"Seems like diamonds may no longer be a girl's best friend."

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

How about this for a solar-powered wi-fi router!

More of the initiatives of here.
Want a Humane Web Text Generator?

Sometimes you'll need an alternative approach to html coding.

Go here for an interactive cheat sheet to Textile.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Long Tail of Apathy

The Long Tail of Apathy
Originally uploaded by Ross Mayfield.
Ross Mayfield takes another look at his Power Law of Participation when he extended the Long Tail to the apathy-civic engagement spectrum. Google search returned this.

A couple of questions: Isn't this derivative model culture-bound? In the Philippines, one might argue, for example, that the mass of people who "vote" does not necessarily pay taxes. Are they involved in civic engagement any more than the tax-paying (at the income source) non-voting citizens?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Jupiter in 1880 and 1999.

It seems like astronomy hasn't really advanced much.

Courtesy of and

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Making non-techies become Wikipedians easily.

How do you turn around really smart people who are uncomfortable with the Wikipedia interface? Introduce them to Wikiwyg. Demo is here. Steps to Wikiwygify are available via this site. (No saving mechanism in the server yet though.)

Friday, August 04, 2006

Now you might wonder, are experts born or made?

This may provoke debate, but a study by experts from UC Fullerton seems to show that they are made. More here. Follow the updates. They show the way to a "how-to". Anyone here need loads of certificates and credentials?

Hummer or Hammer?

Mawe's locally made Hummer
Originally uploaded by jayadewa.
Filipino ingenuity at work. Should be an interesting addition to "100 Best Things About Being Pinoy".

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I was beginning to get tired of ranting and railing ...

So I did this instead. Leave a comment in the Cbox on the right panel if you want to help. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Need to reach a wider audience?

Add translation to your Website. Here are some solutions. Too bad it seems like Wordpress offers better support through its plug-ins though. This other site proves that point.
How do you celebrate mistakes?

Promote alchemy. Here's part of the argument.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Colonizing the First World and more.

Dr. Joaquin Gonzalez III gave a talk in DLS-C last week about abandoned Churches in First World countries and the Filipino diaspora's role in replenishing the host countries' social capital. Think "brown" churchgoers filling the old churches any given day.

Underpinning the Filipinos' behavior, was some sort of a motto that goes like this: "Nasa Dios ang Awa, Nasa Tao ang Gawa" which he roughly translates to Prayers and OFW remittances.

I vaguely sense a validation of the need to preserve Pinoy culture using social software.

Speaking of abandoned churches, I ran into Shivah, a Rabbinical mystery PC game (by Dave Gilbert) about a Rabbi running a failing synagogue on the Lower East Side of New York. Could perhaps also help bridge cultural/generational differences and give flagging religious belief a shot in the arm. Here's the link. Thanks to