Club Admiralty

v7.0 - moving along, a point increase at a time

Club Admiralty Blog

A blog about life in general, in as many languages as I can manage. Ενα ιστολόγιο περι ζωής, πολυγλωσσο - σε όσες γλωσσες εχω μεράκι να γράψω.

Adieu, NewsGator Online


Well, another one bites the dust!

Newsgator online, a competitor to Google's RSS reader, has been discontinued. I did use the service on and off when I was a NetNewsWire user.

Truth be told, I really liked NetNewsWire as a desktop RSS reader, but it was always a pain in the butt to use an offline reader, and then go to another computer and see the same stories in my google reader. It's true that I could have used the Newsgator Online service, but I really preferred (and still prefer) to use Google Reader.

On the plus side, I can now use NetNewsWire as a desktop client and have it sync with Google Reader (a feature I've been waiting for for ages!) It's an opportunity to test out the iPhone app as well, despite the fact that I bough ByLine a few weeks ago.
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Nokia is killing off Sports Tracker


I was reading the symbian guru the other day and I was saddened to see that Nokia is discontinuing support for Sport Tracker. This was such a great application, and quite innovative if I do say so myself!

I had sports tracker installed on my Nokia N80 and I used a separate bluetooth GPS unit (that added to my bulk) to track walks, hikes and then to get data from those excursions. It was great to plot things on a google map and have a visual of your trip! Since I switched over to the iPhone (2 weeks ago), I've been looking for an app that does the same thing - but there doesn't seem to be something comparable on the iPhone...

It's too bad that Nokia is killing off a mature app. This is something that they could work into their product like, like Apple and Nike have integrated Nike+ on all recent iPhones and iPods with screens.
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It's the data, stupid!


If you've read the Greek post I had on here a week or so ago you know that I got an iPhone recently to replace my broken Nokia N80. I thought long and hard about what phone would be good for me, both in terms of usage and in terms of philosophy. Yes, financial were part of the decision making process as well.

Right off the bat I ruled out the Blackberry. I had one for a number of months and it wasn't my cup of tea. The browsing experience just didn't impress me and messaging isn't that big in terms of my day. So Android, Nokia S60 and the iPhone were up to the chopping block next.

There were two important factors for my phone: it must sync with my mac, and it must support Greek.

The first to fall was Android. I did not find anything to support Greek on it, and it doesn't support iSync! Yes, I could sync all my data over to Google Calendar and Google Contacts, but I don't want to. I like iCal and the Addressbook, and after I saw how simple the iPod touch syncs everything OTA, why go through the hassle to keep everything synced in a backward way?

The second to fall was the Nokia S60 platform. I loved that it synced with my mac for PIM data, but there were no satisfactory handsets on at&t. Yes the E71x was tempting, but it's a year old and still selling for $200. The 5800 and the N97 were serious contenders, but I could not see myself spending all that money for an unsubsidized handset that was not kickbutt (like the P800 was back in the day).

So I came to the iPhone. Initially I was opposed to the iPhone. I wanted a handset that I could unlock for whenever I travelled, and at&t and apple are hardlined about unlocking the phone. Then was apple's app approval process that I had philosophical issues with and the fact that a carrier is preventing apps and features from coming to the phone. Finally the image on the right had be a bit concerned. But then I thought to myself - what do I need? Greek and Syncing. iPhone 3.0 gave us Greek throughout the OS, and syncing I had experienced with my iPod Touch for the last 7 months - flawless.

Would I tether? No. Would I stream video? No. Would I skype? Yes...but I could do that over wifi, so I could live with the crippling. Would I be traveling internationally? No, not in the near future. So when I have to travel I can jailbreak and unlock. Finally there was the price - $200. The thing is quite cheap - considering that my HTC Blue Angel cost me $500 five years ago when I got it from Cingular, subsidized.

All that lead to the iPhone. Worth it if you ask me :-)
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It just won't die!


The BBC had an interesting "in pictures" story the other day about appliances that just won't quit working.

My personal favorite was a 1936 domed bakelite radio that still works like a charm. Yes there are other pieces of tech that work even after years of abuse, but that radio just looks cool!

I just wish that some of my appliances would just keep working like my MessagePad 2100:-)
Yes sure it does't really surf the web like my new iPhone, but it can get online, get onto ICQ and jabber and send and receive email! Now if I could sync my addressbook and calendar with my mac (or even mobile me!) and if it had system wide support of Unicode Greek it would be awesome!

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Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles


Grumble, grumble....

I've written about my disappointment that fox cancelled the Terminator series a while back while keeping Dollhouse on the roster. Dollhouse would not have been kept on if it weren't a Josh Weedon series. Anyway - I digress.

I know that the season (and the series) of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles ended with John and Weaver being transported into the future and Sarah and Elisson remaining in the present. I mean what else could they do but end the series? A Terminator series without a John Connor is like a PB&J sandwich without the PB (I don't like PB&J but anyway - the analogy still stands).

The series however IS called the Sarah Connor Chronicles and as such we didn't expect John to have such a major part in it, did we?

I personally looked forward to seeing what ingenious plot-lines the writers would come up with to get Sarah, Elisson and Miles Dyson's son! Oh well...

I am hoping that this opens the door for two separate television shows. One that follows Connor in the future (post time travel), and one that follows Sarah and the gang. It's probably not going to happen, but we can always hope.

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Newton | Upgraded


Well, it seems like the Y2K10 bug on the newton has been squished for all Newton models with OS 2.1.

This is not a new development, it's been out for a little while now, but I really did not have the motivation to pull out my MessagePad 2100 to test it out. Then two things happened which really motivated me to just get it done. First I saw the announcement that the Y2K10 bug is officially no more on mottek. "Yeah, Yeah" I thought, but I still don't want to unbury my newton to get it done.

Then I started cleaning up the mess that had accumulated in the area I was storing my newton, a summer cleaning of a sort. and just like that the MessagePad was clean and clear. I would have been a fool not to upgrade it :-)

I was a bit afraid that I would brick my newton by applying the patch, but considering that it's in a box already, what do I have to lose? Plugged it into my the mac mini, installed NewTen and then the patch and bam! It all works like a charm!

Now I am considering having the laptop-style battery of my newton recelled so I can use that again (even though I have a AA-tray).

Part of me also wants to get an eMate to mess around with :-)
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Εντοπισμός φέιλ


Αυτή την περασμένη εβδομάδα ήμουν στην δουλειά και είπα να δω πόσο καλά δουλεύει το GPS του νέου μου iPhone. Είπα λοιπόν να βάλω την εφαρμογή loopt να με βρει και τι μου έδειξε; Με βρήκε; Όχι!

Αντί να με δείξει να είμαι στο πανεπηστίμιο με έδειξε να βρίσκομαι ολίγων μακριά από την τοποθεσία μου.

Ένταξη, ξέρω πως όταν είσαι εντός κάποιου κτηρίου το κινητό σε βρίσκει με βάση τον τηλεφωνικό σταθμό στον οποίο είναι συνδεδεμένο το κινητό σου. Αν είσαι έξω χρησιμοποιεί και την μονάδα GPS. Το χαζό είναι πως στο πανεπηστίμιο έχει Wi Fi δύκτια τα οπόια θα μπορούσαν να χρησιμοποιηθούν για έναν πιο ακριβή εντοπισμό.

Άσχετο, αλλά χρησιμοποιεί κανείς το loopt;

-- Post From My iPhone
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Blackboard buys iPhone App company, product still stinks

Inside Higher Ed had this article recently on BlackBoard (the makers of the 'popular' learning management system by the same name) buying an iPhone application company.

Needless to say I was really excited about the news (prior to reading the article) because the BlackBoard application that they already have only supports their newer product and my campus uses BlackBoard Vista (no relation to Windows). If I want to access blackboard I can do so in Safari, but the interface is horrific on a mobile screen. It works on a Nokia N800 but not on the iPhone/iTouch.

So what did Blackboard buy? They bought TerriblyClever whose

MobilEdu application lets users access a host of campus services on their iPhones or other mobile devices. Students can examine the course catalog, find out how the football team is faring, watch lectures on YouTube and navigate their way around campus using GPS.

That's great Blackboard, but please go fix your original application before you go out and expand your realm into other campus related services...
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Πες το και ας είναι λάθος!

Διάβαζα αυτό το άρθρο στην Καθημερινή και μου θύμισε τις δικές μου εμπειρίες με την διδασκαλία των μαθηματικών στην Ελλάδα. Όντως συμφωνώ, πές το και ας είναι λάθος! Άμα είναι λάθος ο καθηγητής θα σου διδάξει πως να βρεις την σωστή λύση χωρίς να σε κάνει σκουπίδι (και χωρίς να αφήσει τους συμμαθητές σου να σε κοροϊδέψουν)

Με τον φόβο δεν μαθαίνεις και πολλά - με το ασφαλές περιβάλλων στο οποίο μπορείς να πειραματιστής και να μάθεις από τα λάθει σου μαθαίνεις καλύτερα.

Διαβάστε ολόκληρο το άρθρο:

Πώς μπορούν να διδαχθούν τα μαθηματικά με επιτυχία, τι πρέπει να ξέρει και να κάνει ο καλός δάσκαλος των μαθηματικών και πώς μπορεί να προετοιμαστεί ένας τέτοιος εκπαιδευτικός;

Απαντήσεις στα ερωτήματα αυτά επιχειρούν να δώσουν τα αποτελέσματα ερευνών που πραγματοποιήθηκαν στη Βρετανία και την Αυστραλία και παρουσιάστηκαν στο 33ο Συνέδριο της Διεθνούς Ομάδας για την Ψυχολογία της Μαθηματικής Εκπαίδευσης, το οποίο διεξάγεται στη Θεσσαλονίκη.

Τα αποτελέσματα ποιοτικής έρευνας σχετικά με τα μοντέλα αποτελεσματικής προετοιμασίας και στήριξης των εκπαιδευτικών στα μαθηματικά, που πραγματοποιήθηκε υπό την εποπτεία της καθηγήτριας στο βρετανικό Πανεπιστήμιο Λάφμπορο, Μπάρμπαρα Ζαβόρκσι, έδειξαν ότι η συνεργασία εκπαιδευτικών με τους ερευνητές μυεί συστηματικά τους εκπαιδευτικούς στο να ενθαρρύνουν τους μαθητές να εκφράζουν την άποψή τους, χωρίς το φόβο του λάθους, να τολμούν να θέτουν ερωτήματα, να αμφισβητούν τις θέσεις των συνομιλητών τους και γενικά να δρουν ως διαπραγματευτές και ως αναπαραγωγοί των μαθηματικού νοήματος.

Η συγκεκριμένη έρευνα εστιάστηκε στις δυνατότητες, που προσφέρει η συνεργασία εν ενεργεία εκπαιδευτικών με τους ερευνητές για τη βελτίωση της διδακτικής πράξης στα μαθηματικά και συμμετείχαν, συνολικά, περισσότερες από 30 τάξεις, 500 μαθητές και 80 εκπαιδευτικοί από τη Μεγάλη Βρετανία και τη Φιλανδία.

Από την έρευνα προκύπτει ότι στις ημέρες μας είναι γενικά αποδεκτό ότι η προετοιμασία καλών δασκάλων των μαθηματικών δεν μπορεί να πραγματοποιηθεί ούτε μακριά από την τάξη, αλλά ούτε και σε άγνοια των ερευνητικών δεδομένων. Η διεθνής τάση στο ζήτημα αυτό υποδεικνύει ότι τόσο η βασική εκπαίδευση όσο και η ενδοϋπηρεσιακή υποστήριξη του εκπαιδευτικού, θα πρέπει να στηρίζονται σε ένα κύκλο δράσης με κομβικά σημεία την τριάδα σχεδιασμός -υλοποίηση- αναστοχασμός συμβάντων μιας τάξης των μαθηματικών, αυθεντικών ή παραδειγματικών.

Εξάλλου σύμφωνα με τον καθηγητή του Πανεπιστημίου της Μελβούρνης και διευθυντή του Διεθνούς Κέντρου για την έρευνα στην τάξη Ντέιβιντ Κλαρκ (ο οποίος συντονίζει διεθνή έρευνα, όπου εμπλέκονται 16 χώρες και η οποία επικεντρώνεται στη διερεύνηση «καλών διδακτικών πρακτικών στα μαθηματικά» ) είναι φανερή η υπεροχή των προσεγγίσεων, που επενδύουν στη σκέψη του μαθητή, στην επικοινωνία και την αλληλεπίδραση στην τάξη και δεν αγνοούν την καθημερινή του πραγματικότητα.
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Should Everyone Go to College?

I saw this on NPR the other day - I starred it and forgot about it - but Byline reminded me of it :-)

The title is "should everyone go to college?"... Perhaps this is a better post for my multilitteratus blog, perhaps not. The answer of course it "it depends". It really depends on what one's definition of college is. Is college anything after high school? If so, then yes, everyone should go to college.

If someone's definition of college is a four year undergraduate school (and beyond), then the answer is no, not everyone needs to go to college (for work purposes anyway). People can thrive with a technical education much more than they can with a degree in English (I am sorry to pick on the English majors - they happen to be the easy target :-) ).

I have many friends and acquaintances in other countries that opted to not pursue higher education (defined as a BA/BS or higher) and they are still leading good lives. Those individuals did however pursue some sort of education post-high school, be it a trade school or technical school, a community college, a certificate in something.

Education is always useful. When it comes to work, Education is most useful when you can apply it right away. Should everyone go to college? It depends...

What do you think?
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