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In relation to Matt Godfrey’s seminar on On-Demand TV; recently info has been leaked regarding Netgear’s latest media streaming product the ‘EVA-9000’.

 

Shipping with a 500GB hard drive the device can support upto 40mbps bit rate and can currently stream YouTube’s new ‘HD’ service as well as Flikr content. Although at $400 it seems abit on the pricey side!

Tom.

So far my experience on WordPress has been satisfactory.

I have enjoyed the flexibility of the themes available, I feel this functionality allows anyone with few skills to create a smart looking personal blog very quickly. One thing that has irritated me however, is the fact that many of the themes seem to carry style tags such as borders and drop shadows on images, see below for example…

… obviously when an image carries a transparent background this border does tend to look crap ruin my layout intentions. I have tried to add html to remove this but with no luck (yet). Therefore one improvement for me would be the ability to further customise the style of a particular theme, I do realise CSS editing functionality is availible at extra cost.

I have been impressed by the functionality of the Dashboard menus and how each field can be moved around to suit the individual, much like offline applications. I feel this ability supports WordPress as a fully fledged ‘2.0’ website. 

So far posting blog entries has been quick and easy and I will post further problems/discoveries as they arise!

Tom.

Short vid outlines some amazing new features in latest Google Earth 4.3 (currently in beta)…

Google Earth Research

Following Hattie’s in-depth seminar on Google Earth I will compile some further research on my blog…

 

Controversy and Critisism Surrounding Google Earth.

The software has been criticized by a number of special interest groups, including national officials, as being an invasion of privacy and even posing a threat to national security. The typical argument is that the software provides information about military or other critical installations that could be used by terrorists. The following is a selection of such concerns:

Former Indian president APJ Abdul Kalam has expressed concern over the availability of high-resolution pictures of sensitive locations in India. Google subsequently agreed to censor such sites.

The Indian Space Research Organisation has said Google Earth poses a security threat to India, and seeks dialogue with Google officials.

The South Korean government has expressed concern that the software offers images of the presidential palace and various military installations that could possibly be used by their hostile neighbour North Korea.

In 2006, one user spotted a large topographical replica in a remote region of China. The model is a small-scale (1/500) version of the Karakoram Mountain Range, currently under the control of China but claimed by India. When later confirmed as a replica of this region, spectators began entertaining military implications.

Morocco‘s main Internet provider Maroc Telecom has been blocking Google Earth since August 2006 for undisclosed reasons.

Operators of the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor in Sydney, New South Wales asked Google to censor high resolution pictures of the facility. However, they later withdrew the request.

In July 2007, it was reported that a new Chinese navy Jin-class nuclear ballistic missile submarine was photographed at the Xiaopingdao Submarine Base south of Dalian.

In October 2007, The Guardian reported that the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades were using Google Earth to plan Qassam rocket attacks on Israel.

Some citizens may express concerns over aerial information depicting their properties and residences being disseminated freely. As relatively few jurisdictions actually guarantee the individual’s right to privacy, as opposed to the state’s right to secrecy, this is an evolving, but minor, point. Perhaps aware of these critiques, for a time, Google had Area 51 (which is highly visible and easy to find) in Nevada as a default placemark when Google Earth is first installed. The United States Government ordered for this to be removed.

As a result of pressure from the United States government, the residence of the Vice President at Number One Observatory Circle is obscured through pixelization in Google Earth and Google Maps. The usefulness of this downgrade is questionable, as high-resolution photos and aerial surveys of the property are readily available on the Internet elsewhere. Capitol Hill used to also be pixelized in this way but this was lifted.

Critics have expressed concern over the willingness of Google to cripple their dataset to cater to special interests, believing that intentionally obscuring any land goes against its stated goal of letting the user “point and zoom to any place on the planet that you want to explore”.

Worth a watch…

Internet Forums

Some further research following Ryan’s seminar on Internet Forums….

 

The History of Internet Forums

Early Internet forums could be described as a web version of a newsgroup or electronic mailing list; allowing people to post messages and comment on other messages. Later developments emulated the different newsgroups or individual lists, providing more than one forum, dedicated to a particular topic.

Internet forums are prevalent in several developed countries. In terms of countable posts, Japan is far in the lead with over two million posts per day on their largest forum, 2channel. China also has many millions of posts on forums such as Tianya Club. The United States does not have any one large forum, but instead several hundred thousand smaller forums, the largest of which are Gaia Online, IGN and GameFAQs. China, the Netherlands, and France are also home to hundreds of independent forums. Some countries such as Finland and Sweden do not have many prevalent forums despite having open and easily available Internet access. As of yet no study has been done on the prevalence of forums in countries around the world.

Forums perform a function similar to that of dial-up bulletin board systems and Usenet networks that were common from the late 1970s to the 1990s. Early web-based forums date back as far as 1996. A sense of virtual community often develops around forums that have regular users. Technology, computer games and/or video games, sports, music, fashion, religion, and politics are popular areas for forum themes, but there are forums for a huge number of topics. Internet slang and image macros popular across the Internet are abundant and widely used in Internet forums.

Forum software packages are widely available on the Internet and are written in a variety of programming languages, such as PHP, Perl, Java and ASP. The configuration and records of posts can be stored in text files or in a database. Each package offers different features, from the most basic, providing text-only postings, to more advanced packages, offering multimedia support and formatting code (usually known as BBCode). Many packages can be integrated easily into an existing website to allow visitors to post comments on articles.

Several other web applications, such as weblog software, also incorporate forum features. WordPress comments at the bottom of a blog post allow for a single-threaded discussion of any given blog post. Slashcode, on the other hand, is far more complicated, allowing fully threaded discussions and incorporating a robust moderation and meta-moderation system as well as many of the profile features available to forum users. Full content management systems such as Drupal and Mambo can also incorporate full-blown forums as plugins or basic features of forums in other portions of their website.

Hello world!

Hi!

This is a blog to display further research for my studies in Creative  Digital Communication.

Tom.