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.

Study like a scholar

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Pretty funny! I never had a celestial sandwich though - maybe I should have gone to that library LOL :-)


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Ελληνική Μουσική, που είσαι;

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Όταν ήμουν στο λύκειο είχα λίγα πάρε-δώσε με την Ελληνική σκηνή. Δεν ήταν πως δεν ήθελα, ήθελα και παραήθελα, άλλα ως «μετανάστης» στην Αμερική δεν είχα και πολλές επικοινωνίες με την Ελλάδα - μόνο αλληλογραφία με πέντε φίλους. Τότε δεν ήταν και πολύ εύκολο να βρεις ελληνικά media, και αν τα έβρισκες ήταν πανάκριβα.  Το 1998 με τα napster, caraccho, hotline, FTP και όλα τα σχετικά προγράμματα και πρωτόκολλα μπορούσες να βρεις (παράνομα) αρχεία μουσικά.  



Μαζί με την αύξηση ταχυτήτων τα περασμένα 10 χρόνια μαζί με μουσικά αρχεία η Ελλάδα έρχεται σε ‘μας στην μορφή τηλεοπτικών σειρών, μουσικής, μουσικών βίντεο, ταινιών και άλλων μέσων. Αυτά όμως αν έχεις τον χρόνο για να ψάξεις στο διαδίκτυο, να βρεις τα λημέρια και τα φόρουμ αυτών που τα διαδίδουν για να τα κατεβάσεις και είναι και παράνομα! (για να μην ξεχνάμε πως είναι πειρατεία).  



Την τελευταία εβδομάδα διαβάζω το Free του Chris Anderson και άρχισα να αναρωτιέμαι: Τόσα χρόνια έχουν περάσει. Οι υποδομές στο ίντερνετ πια υπάρχουν (βλέπε  hulu, netflix, και joost) για διαδικτυακό βίντεο και το iTunes για να κατεβάσεις νόμιμα.  Όσον άφορα την μουσική έχουμε last.fm, pandora, iTunes για παράδειγμα που θα μπορούσαμε να χρησιμοποιήσουμε δωρεάν για να ακούσουμε και με πληρωμή για να αγοράσουμε  Γιατί δεν μπορούν τα ελληνικά κανάλια να προσφέρουν το περιεχόμενο τους δωρεάν μέσω αυτών τον υπηρεσιών και για πληρωμή μέσω iTunes;



Ξέρω πως το business model είναι διαφορετικό, αλλά πόσους πελάτες χάνεις που δεν έχεις το περιεχομένο σου σε υπηρεσίες που είναι εύκολες για τον απόδημο καταναλωτή;
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Μια προσευχή για τα νεκρά podcast

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Τις προάλλες άνοιξα το iTunes στον υπολογιστή στο σπίτι μου - πράγμα που δεν κάνω συχνά επειδή κατεβάζω podcast από το iPod Touch μου, και είδα πως είχα podcast  τα οποία είχα ξεχάσει - τα κατέβασα και τα συγχρόνισα με το iPod μου.  Είδα επίσης πως είχα πολλά podcast τα οποία ήταν νεκρά, τα οποία είχαν ένα, δύο, τρία επεισόδια και μετά τίποτα.



Το ξέρω πως το να κάνεις podcast είναι μια χρονοβόρα διαδικασία.  Άντε μια ώρα να κάτσεις να μιλήσεις, άντε άλλη μια να διαλέξεις μουσική (αν έχεις μουσική), άντε και άλλη μια να κάτσεις να μιξάρεις τα  tracks, περνάει η ώρα.  Τις παλιές καλές μέρες που έκανα μουσικά μίξ, ένα τριαντάλεπτο μίξ μου έπαιρνε κάνα δίωρο να το κάνω (με MacOS 9 παρακαλώ ;-)  ). Εδώ και καιρό θέλω να κάνω podcast αλλά δεν έχω χρόνο (από Δεκέμβρη που αποφοιτώ βλέπουμε και πράττουμε) οπότε το καταλαβαίνω αν δεν έχεις χρόνο να κάνεις podcast συχνά, αλλά ρε φίλε, αν δεν έχεις χρόνο μην αρχίζεις.  Κάνεις ένα podcast με ενδιαφέρον θεματολογία και μας το κόβεις μετά από 2 επεισόδια; Μας το κόβεις πάνω στο καλύτερο :-)



Παρεμπιπτόντως, ενδιαφέρετε κανείς για ελληνικό podcast με θεματολογία γλωσσική, εκπαιδευτική ή παιδαγωγικής τεχνολογίας; Αν ναι, σκέφτομαι να αρχίσω ένα μετα την εξεταστική μου τον Δεκέμβρη - αφήστε σχόλιο αν θέλετε να είστε συμπαρουσιαστής :-)
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Audible iOS app is good!

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A week or so ago I heard on one of the TWiT Podcasts that audible had an audible application for the iPhone out.  Now over the years I've bought many Free audible books. They go on sale, or there is a special promotion going on and the books are free. These are automatically downloaded and added to my iTunes library. I don't have them automatically synced however because I don't plan on listening to them right away, and when I do want to listen to them they are backed up on some disc because I ran out of hard drive space and needed to clear things out ;-) Thus I never get to listen to the audiobooks I got for free.

Well, this is a problem no more!  Whenever I get an audiobook from audible it's on my account - I can access my account via the audible app, and download on-demand straight to my iPod touch or iPhone! My entire purchase library is there, so no need to look back through backup discs of older purchases :)  I'm currently in the process of listening to Free.  Interesting book, not entirely new to me, but still interesting none the less!

My only wish: I wish I were able to import my one iTunes purchase: jPod the audiobook. Audible provides iTunes with their audiobooks, so it should be doable, no?
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Assassin's Creed II Weekend

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This past weekend was a bit of an overdose on Assassin's Creed II - even though I did not spend the whole weekend playing it!  The game just sucked me in! I have to say that it is definitely an improvement over the first Assassin's Creed - which I loved - and I just realized that even though I've put in 20 hours playing this game (over the past couple of weeks), I still have a long way to go! - probably because I am indulging in completing a lot of the side missions.

 In any case, what I like about this game (and what I find frustrating at times) is the puzzle aspects of the game - the find-the-glyph-and-solve-the-puzzle, the price of persia-esque environment puzzles, and the new weaponry - not to mention the fact that I can upgrade weapons, armor and clothing!  There is also a sim-city aspect to the game where you are supposed to go back to the Villa every now-and-again (usually every 1.5-2 hours of game play) to collect money and upgrade the small ancestral city's infrastructure.

It's a great game, the only critique that I have is that the AI of the enemies is a little weak at times. I did a mission to assassinate some monk that went over to the dark side (the templar side), and after I took out all the guards in the monastery and stood in front of the abbey doors so he could not escape, he just stood there! I walked up and staked him! He didn't even grovel or run away! Now when the guards were alive, he ran like crazy (it seemed) and made it to the abbey a few times, but take out the guards and he is helpless. Seems to me like he could have been a little more in fear for his life.

Oh well, nice game!  Still have only scratched the surface!
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You're in the Matrix Now Mr. Phelps!

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OK, I've mixed my movie metaphors a bit - Mission Impossible, the Matrix, James Bond, but it's all in good fun.  Last night I was out at the movie theater to view Inception.  The movie was a couple of hours long and I was getting a bit twitchy by the end, but it actually went by quite fast!


I really liked the movie, It was like the Matrix had a mash up with Mission Impossible, Life on Mars and Hustle! The main premise is that people's dreams can be invaded, and since our brain does not expect external elements to be there our secrets are more vulnerable. So a team of "dream experts" sets up a multidream con - a dream within a dream within a dream type of thing in order to plant an idea into someone's head and make them thing that it was theirs to begin with (hmmm... have they ever heard of hypnosis?) and the target's mind starts attacking them (so each and every one of us has a Mr. Smith protecting us LOL). In any case, the movie was a thrill ride!


Of course I was thinking of the medical implications of such a technology.  Imagine having been diagnosed with a terminal disease. If you go into a dream state you can live a full, and happy, life in your head - maybe they will come up with a medical series based on this concept ;-)

Definitely go see it on the big screen!
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Wither the PDA?

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I was reading this post yesterday on ProfHacker, and the author was asking where are the PDAs in today's smartphone world?  PDAs...you know!  Those pieces of technology from the mid-to-late 90s that were not connected to the internet and held information like your addressbook, calendar, notepad (and of course the games!). The author is contemplating getting an iPod Touch and a cheap, voice-only, cell phone to go along with it (and use the WiFi on the iPod) instead of getting an all-in-one smartphone with a data plan.

I used to be a cell-phone + PDA user, but that was a long time ago.  I owned (and still do) an Apple Newton 2100 which I had tricked out, I had an external keyboard, I had installed a 5 language dictionary (which came in handy for my language classes), an Office Suite, games and much more.  I also used an old school Nokia GSM phone on OmniPoint/VoiceStream.

Don't get me wrong, I really loved my Newton, but once the SonyEricsson P800 came along things changed a bit.  Since the SonyEricsson supported Greek (and my Newton did not), I started using my P800 for all my contacts and calendar items.  I not longer had to use the latin alphabet to write in Greek which was pretty cool and I could sync via bluetooth with my Mac once a day so anything I added on the phone was on my Mac and vice versa.  I still used my Newton every now and again but not with much regularity.  For a while before the P800 I also dabbled with an iPaq running Windows Mobile (*shivers*) + a SonyEricsson T68i but I essentially came to the conclusion that (1) Windows Mobile was awful and (2) trying to tether my phone to my iPaq was a nightmare!  The P800 won out!

So what about now?  I have an iPod Touch, and before my iPhone purchase  I used it with a Nokia N80.  Now the Nokia N80 was a smartphone in its own right, but the iPod had a bigger screen with which to browse the web, and a bigger keyboard with which to reply to emails with. I too was of the opinion that I am blanketed by WiFi so I did not need to spring for a data plan (I was kind of resentful in the beginning that I had to!) - but after about eight months of testing out the WiFi situation and comparing that to my iPhone use, I saw "data plan all the way!"

Here's why:
Yes, at home I've got unrestricted WiFi but that isn't the case everywhere I go.  At work there is a lot of port blocking going on, so even though I am on WiFi all day, the email client won't send or receive emails, there is a log-on procedure to even get online, and at times the network is as slow as molasses (I think things like Last.fm are also blocked).  On the commuter rail there is free WiFi but that can be slow (on the plus side mail ports are not blocked) and finally around town there are pockets of free wifi but you really have to be stationary to use them.

In contrast, with a data plan I can be on the move, I don't have to worry about important ports being blocked and I can use the GPS and Maps to figure out not only where I am but also where I am going.  With apps like Dropbox, MobileMe's sync to the cloud and Evernote, I don't have to worry about my data. I can be assured that it's there when I need it, without synching to a computer, and if my device gets lost before I get home, I don't have to worry about a day's worth of data entry going down the toilet - it's just magically synced to the net. :-)

So where is the PDA?  My iPaq was recycled many years ago and the Newton is on a display shelf - I take it out every not and again to remember the good ol' days - but that's it.  Viva le smartphone! :-)
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Floppy drive w/ legs!

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Well, this is retro!

A floppy drive that grows some legs to avoid spilling liquids (that invade from the bottom - top invading liquids are still a problem) ;-)

I haven't used a floppy disk or a floppy drive in close to 10 years now so I took this to be more of an art installation rather than something of actual use :-)



Floppy Legs Portable Hard Drive from James Chambers on Vimeo.
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Πάμε στο μουσείο!

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Αυτό το περασμένο σαββατοκύριακο είπαμε να πάμε στο τοπικό μας μουσείο να δούμε επιτέλους την έκθεση τέχνης των Μάγια. Στο τσακ το προλάβαμε γιατί αυτό το σαββατοκύριακο ήταν το τελευταίο σαββατοκύριακο το οποίο ήταν στημένη η συγκεκριμένη έκθεση.

Μπορώ να πω πως μου αρέσει αρκετά η τέχνη των πολιτισμών την κεντρικής Αμερικής, και η γλώσσα είναι κάτι αρκετά ενδιαφέρων επίσης αλλά είναι λίγο δύσκολο μερικές φορές να βγάλεις άκρη όταν βλέπεις εικόνες σε διάφορα πήλινα σκεύη ή σε διάφορα γλυπτά. Αν είσαι συνηθισμένος σε ένα ελληνορωμαϊκό (ή ευρωπαϊκό) τρόπο να καταλαβαίνεις την εικονογραφία μια τέχνης πρέπει πραγματικά να κάνεις ένα βήμα πίσω για να δεις τι συμβαίνει σε μια σκηνή πάνω σε ένα πιάτο ή ένα γλυπτό των Μάγια.

Το μόνο που ήταν πραγματικά εύκολο να καταλάβεις ήταν μια τοιχογραφία (απόσπασμα της εικόνας στα δεξιά) που έδειχνε μια σκηνή καθημερινότητας Αρκετά ενδιαφέρον έκθεση. Τώρα πρέπει να επιστρέψουμε ξανά στο μουσείο να δούμε την έκθεση τέχνης από την Ινδία (νομίζω κάποιος συγκεκριμένος θεός και οι απεικονίσεις του)
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Movie (procrastination) weekend

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I love summer! I can actually kick back on the weekend, without any homework and just enjoy the weather (or a movie). This past weekend was a movie weekend (to the detriment of house chores - oh well!) In any case, here is a brief overview:

GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra: this wasn't a bad movie - I was expecting it to be far worse than it actually was. Yeah sure there may have been a couple of plot holes here and there, but it was full of action and things going BOOM that it made for a nice movie. Now I never really paid much attention to the comic-book and animated series universe of GI Joe (I did when I was a kid, but I wasn't a die hard fanboy) so this is most likely a disappointing movie for the fanboy.

2012: This was the "WTF movie" of the weekend. If was people driving through buildings, flying in-between falling buildings, escaping flying fireballs and so on. It was a disaster movie through and through and at 2.5 hours it was a thrill ride - a WTF thrill ride, but a thrill ride none the less.

The Linguists: This documentary was both inspiring and depressing at the same time. It followed these two linguists (one of which is the author of when languages die) on a quest to document some of the world's dying languages. The inspiring part was that these two white guys were interested enough in the linguistic heritage of this planet to go out and find the few speakers of these dying languages to record them and their language. The depressing part is being confronted, yet again, with the devastating aftermath of linguistic (and other types) of hegemony where people are made to feel like their language and culture is of little value in our go-go-go world.

The Village Barbershop: This is one of those "feel good" movies about the little guy, the major a-hole, change and renewal. This was quite a good movie - lots of LOL moments and moments where you root for the underdog.
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