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Saturday, 23 May 2009

The World of Tomorrow

Social Landscape

Hi everyone! While I was surfing the web, I came across this picture. It is an artist’s representation of the current Social Media. However, a thought struck me: Is this the world of tomorrow? For example, there is a building for the bookmarking site Delicious, this could very easily become a reality, with buildings all over the world. People could go into the buildings, make an account (maybe a card like a library?), and recommend places around the world for people to visit or have a look at. They would also be able to look at places and topics other users of the service have recommended. Even if the place user they want to view is on the other side of the world (or even the other side of the city) the user would simply have to log in with their card to a computer and check any of the newly recommended places. Users could also print their recommendations out and give them physically to their friends who may not be members of the service.

Further along the landscape there is the Skype truck. I do think that it would be a building rather than a truck. Anyway, this could be used to make video calls, like the current computer based service, to other members of the service. All that would be needed is a handheld device (similar to a pager) that all users would be carrying around with them that would instantly notify them (text based) if someone was trying to contact their unique number. The user would then go to their nearest Skype building and use their unique number to ‘log in’ to a booth. They would then be able to access all their contacts, missed calls, current calls and also call other people whether they’re on their contact list or not, just like a normal phone. The main advantage would be that users would now be able to see the people they were talking to, allowing better communication between people. For example, if someone was talking about how good their new iPod was, they would also be able to show them the iPod and take the person they were talking to through it.

Furthermore, the Google building would be great if anyone wanted any information fast. They’d simply go into it, and, like an Apple store, as a clerk at the counter a question. This clerk would then check any of the files and, in seconds, would come up with an answer. If it wasn’t the answer required, then the clerk would search again. Did I forget the mention that the clerks were probably robots? Well, the clerks are probably robots. This would make the search more efficient allowing the clerk to index their own memory, making it far quicker for everything to take place.

Finally, the YouTube building would be ideal for anything vlog. A user would simply go in, and go to one of the cameras. The whole building would really be more of a skyscraper, probably Empire State Building size, to be able to accommodate all of the ongoing users and video recording. The main building would probably have a few floors dedicated to video editing. This would be great for vloggers as they would be able to request that one of the staff edit their video for them, cutting out anything they don’t want to see. However, if the user didn’t want staff to do it, they’d be able to use whatever software available for them to edit their video. This software would be anything from novice software like windows movie maker, to professional software used in professional movies. I would have thought there’d be a few other floors filled with computers, with both microphones and webcams connected allowing users to make a screen cast. The computers would also be fitted with the video editing software on the other floors, it’s just that these computers would be used for screen casts ONLY to increase the amount of people editing at any one time. Users would also be able to ‘log in’ to any of the computers (will be loads on every floor, but these will be used only for the following purpose) and check if any of their friends have made a new video. They would also be able to ‘subscribe’ to someone and get notified (on the same pager device used with Skype) when they make a new video.

As you can see the possibilities of what would be in this Social Networking city are limitless. I have mentioned only a handful of things shown in the image. I now have just one question for you all: Will the world actually turn into, or a version of, this city? Discuss in the comments if you will.

In other news: As mentioned in the previous entry, the next video I make will be about the new features in Safari 4. I may also make a few articles before then as I don’t have much time for videos at the moment. I will, however, get more time in the not too distant future.

For now,



Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Competition Results

Hi all!

As you may remember, I recently ran a survey to ask you all what you wanted the next video I made to cover. The answer was unanimous: A look at the new features in the public Beta of Safari 4.

In this video I will cover a number of the new features, though not the advanced ones, however I may touch on these a little bit.

While I have been away waiting for these results, I have been studying the art of Digital Photography and Photo Manipulation. Especially in Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended. Therefore, I plan to do a video on some of the basic features you can do in this version of Photoshop. Some of these may be available in the other versions, though I am not sure.

The video I make after the Photoshop one will be about how to succeed when making a YouTube video. This will be shot when I am uploading the Photoshop video, therefore I may have to delay the upload of Photoshop. Or, instead, I might not do this video altogether and instead make an article out of it.

I have also decided what the following videos and/or articles will also be, however, I have decided to keep them hidden away for the time being.

For now,



Thursday, 14 May 2009

Twitter News

Hi all!
On Twitter this week, the Twitter 'bosses' have been doing some updates to the servers and site itself. One of the most talked about updates in all of Twitter has been the fact that Twitter has removed the setting to filter the replies you see on your Timeline. Replies are any Tweets that include your Twitter user name preceded by a @ sign. For example, if I was to send a Tweet to Evan Williams (Twitter CEO) asking him what he was doing I'd say:
"@ev What are you doing?"
Before Twitter was updated, there was a setting in "Notices" that allowed you to filter the types of replies you see in your timeline. This particular setting was a drop-down menu, the choices were as follows:
~ Show replies from anyone you're following
~ Only show replies if you're following both the sender and the person being replied to
~ Show none
If one was to select the "Show none" setting, they would still be able to see replies with themselves in the question, but only by going to their replies page. However, if I was to select any setting, I'd still see Tweets like:
"Just asked @ev what he was doing."
Despite the fact @ev is included, it is not a direct reply to him, it is showing other Twitter users that I have spoken to @ev. (Yes, I know, it gets very confusing )

As I mentioned at the start of this entry, Twitter has removed this setting completely, disallowing users to change this setting. Instead, Twitter has made it so that users automatically use what was the second setting: "Only show replies if you're following both the sender and the person being replied to." This means that if I send the Tweet mentioned above:
"@ev What are you doing?"
Only people following both myself and @ev would be able to see the Tweet. As again mentioned, users are still able to see Tweets just mentioning users, like:
"Just asked @ev what he was doing."
However, if, for example, I was to send the Tweet to @ev, he would not be able to see the Tweet because he is not following me. The only way of seeing this would be for him to check his replies feed, which, because he is CEO would be very full. The same principle of people not seeing messages you send to them unless they check their replies feed is the same for anyone you send a reply to who is not following you.
This same issue applies in a case like this: I am following @chrisdjmoyles, though I am not following @ev (for example, I am, in fact, following both). If @chrisdjmoyles sends a Tweet to @ev reading "@ev Hello, I like Twitter." I would not be able to see this Tweet as I am not following ev. I would only be able to see this Tweet if I were to go to @chrisdjmoyles' Twitter profile page. However, this sort of thing is not really quick and easy when you have to constantly keep checking people's profiles to see if they say anything.
Many Twitterers have been commenting on this all week (since the update) and are hating it. Mostly it is because many people like to view the Tweet being replied to and possibly follow that person.
Many Twitterers have also been making a hashtag (popular subject tagged with something preceded by a #) with #twitterfail and #fixreplies and tagging many of their "hate mail" as it were, with this particular tag. They are both some of the most mentioned things that they have BOTH made it into the Trending topics: an item in Twitter listing the 10 most mentioned words or phrases.
Discuss your thoughts on this topic in the comments and on Twitter itself.

In other news: Remember, the vote for the next video ends on Sunday 18th. There have already been many entries, enter yours now, it may be the video!

For now,

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Good news and bad news.

Today I have some good news, and I have some bad news. I'll start with the bad news, so that the good news can cheer you up!
Here's the bad news: The program advised by PCWizKid for screen recording in Ubuntu, Gtk-RecordMyDesktop is not working on my machine. I don't know what it is, but the screen recording overtakes the sound (frame skips) and some of the parts of the sound have been cut out. This means that it neither looks nor sounds great. This means that, for some time, the most of my videos will end up being Windows.
Here's the good news: I have recently joined Del.icio.us under the name of Ratscallion and will be sorting my bookmarks out soon. This means that I will attempt to add a Del.icio.us button to the end of the blog, to add to the ReTweet and Digg This buttons. After some time, I will possibly be adding a Facebook, MySpace, Reddit, Bebo etc buttons, and may, instead, add the bar that is often seen on many places.

I have also added some more parameters to the Vote mentioned in the previous post:
  • The deadline for sending submissions will be Sunday 17th May 2009.
  • The submission must be Windows based, unless it is suitable for an Article, in which case it must be Windows or Ubuntu (preferably 9.04) based.
  • If software is being submitted, then the full install should be under 1 GB.
  • If software is being submitted, then it must be free on either a trial or permanent basis.
  • The item must not have an age restriction on it.
There has already been a few submissions, all pointing to one topic in particular. I am not obliged to reveal this, and, do not actually wish to at this time.

For now,

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Hmm... Help?

Hi everyone! As most of you know, I've had this blog for sometime now. At the start of the blog, I had a poll at the bottom, asking viewers what they thought of the blog... Unfortunately, the poll didn't actually have ANY replies. I was quite annoyed at this, though, knowing the blog was new, ignored the fact.
Now, because of the fact I have put blog links on many websites (twitter, Ubuntu Forums, my personal blog, unofficial mills, gnome-look.org, customize.org) I think I have quite a few more readers now. Therefore, I am going to ask you to help me.
I cannot actually think of an article/video topic to do this month. This is why I ask you, readers, to send me a message, on any of the sites I am a member of (I will put a link to each at the end of this post) to request anything you want. You can chose to make a preference for either a video or article, though, if you don't, I will choose the most appropriate.
Here are the links for the sites I will regularly check for comments and/or messages:

My YouTube Channel
My Customize.org Profile
My Ubuntu Forums Page
My Unofficial Mills Profile Page
My Gnome-Look.org Profile

If you don't want to use any of these, feel free to e-mail me directly with your request: Here it is!

Finally, you can always just comment on THIS post. I will ignore all request comments on other posts, only these one's will count.
Once I have done this first round, unless there is a unanimous winner, I will put all the ones with the biggest votes in a poll in this blog.

For now,

A brief Introductory Video to RATSCALLION