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.

One down...

What a crazy week!

One month down...three more to go in this ultimate semester! I've kept off blogging mostly and consuming the content that I left on my Instapaper account instead so that it doesn't go stale. On the minus side, I've read so many interesting articles that sparked some ideas for commentaries that my starred items area in Instapaper is expanding - oh well. Hopefully in October I'll have some time to comment on some of these stories.

So...almost all of my major work for my practicum is complete, I've read all the articles I wanted to read, I've submitted the observations, and I'll be teaching a couple of sessions in October - Nice! The only thing left to do is to develop a small eLearning module and write a paper about it (not absolutely necessary to develop the module, but it would be an interesting experiment)

In Psycholinguistics I am almost done with my paper-writing and I am now just waiting for the mid-term and final exams...the only thing that's left is the comp exam which is unfortunately scheduled for my birthday. I guess after the exam I will have two reasons to drink LOL.

Back to crazy amounts of homework.
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The power of the network - random thoughts

I was listening to Leo Laporte on Twit the other day and he and Robert Scoble were talking about how great Twitter is (all hacking of the twitter homepage aside) when trying to find some information. You just throw out your query into the twittersphere (is that even a word?) and your followers will answer it.

Well, this might work for celebrities, but does it work the the average-joe-twitterer? For instance, let's say that Laporte follows over 10,000 (I can't check right this moment because of the twitter hack), this means that his query goes out to 10,000. If they retweet it, goes out to even more! Conversely I only follow about 100, and about 60 follow me. That's how I like it - I don't want my stream going by at the speed of light or populating with hundreds of posts every few minutes. That's just too much information for me.

The idea behind throwing the question out and just getting an answer is a bit troubling to me on two fronts:

First, there appears to be an economical inequity out there. If I am following tens of thousands of people, can I really repay the favors that they have given me by answering some of their questions? After all, this type of Q&A revolves around a knowledge based, and to some extend reputation based, economy. I give an answer, I get an answer. Perhaps not right away, but somewhere down the road in a Karma sense. If I am getting answers, at some point I have to give answers.

Secondly, what does this posing a question to the crowd and getting an answer entail for our own research skills? I've heard the expression "time is money", so if you can get the answer in 10 minutes from the crowd compared to 30 searching for it yourself, why spend 30? right? Of course, you do need to be able to search for it yourself - if there aren't people out there who have searched for the info at one point or another the whole system of referrals for Q&A will break down (or so it seems to me).

What do you think about it? Have you gotten answers by crowd sourcing your answer? Do you think this answer is reliable?
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Islam's Superheroes

The other day I came across an interesting news report from the Australian news show dateline (click here to view video). The news segment was actually particularly interesting, because it's about 99 superheroes (alluding to the 99 names of God in Islam) from many diverse backgrounds that are fighting evil in the world (one of those evils I guess I religious fundamentalism).

I highly recommend that people watch this news segment. I'd be interested in reading and English version of this comic and see how it compares (theme-wise) to standard American-type comic books (spiderman, batman, superman, x-men, etc.), if the achetypes are the same, but the implementation is different. This would be an interesting literature & art class ;-) What I find interesting is that the people who are working on the execution of this comic book series are all veterans of giant comic book publishing houses like Marvel and DC, so they are not n00bs in this game.
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Περασμένα ναι, ξεχασμένα όχι


Πριν κάτι εβδομάδες είχα πάει στο σπίτι του πατέρα μου. Η αποστολή ήταν αποστολή καθαρισμού! Πήγα να καθαρίσω το παλιό μου δωμάτιο έτσι ώστε ο πατέρας μου να μπορεί να πετάξει το παλιό γραφείο και τις βιβλιοθήκες για να ανοίξει λίγο το δωμάτιο. Βρήκα μερικά παλιά βιβλία που είχα ξεχάσει και πολλά τετράδια. Αρκετά τετράδια από το λύκειο με χημεία, φυσική, βιολογία, ανατομία και μαθηματικά. Από τα φοιτητικά χρόνια βρήκα τετράδια με σημειώσεις από τότε που μάθαινα Java, C, HTML και CSS, αλλά και τα τετράδια από τις ξένες γλώσσες που μελέτησα ως φοιτητής (Ιταλικά, Γερμανικά, Ρώσικα, Κινέζικα και Ιαπωνικά). Που και πού έβρισκα και σημειώσεις από κάτι ξεκάρφωτα μαθήματα που έκανα (υποχρεωτικά).

Όταν τα είδα λοιπόν αναρωτιόμουν, να τα κρατήσω ή όχι; Αν τα κρατήσω που να τα βάλω; Στην τελική ανάλυση ξεφύλλισα όλα τα τετράδια και κράτησα μερικές σημειώσεις (περισσότερες βλακιούλες, αλλά βλακιούλες που άφησαν εποχή) και τα περισσότερα πήγαν για ανακύκλωση.

Από τα μαθητικά σας χρόνια εσείς κρατήσατε τίποτα; Αν ναι ήταν τίποτα σοβαρό (π.χ. η δομή ενός μορίου ή μια κυψέλης) ή βλακιούλες που γράφατε με τους φίλους σας για να περάσει η ώρα;
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Adieu Vox!

Well, I got this in my inbox the other day:

Vox has been a fun place to explore, create and connect with your friends. But Vox is closing its doors on September 30, 2010.
This doesn't mean you have to say goodbye to your blog. We want you to make sure you can keep the great content you’ve shared on Vox, and continue to have a home for your blog. To help you make the transition off of Vox, we’ve added new export features that make it easy to move your blog to a free TypePad account, and your photos & videos to Flickr.

To be brutally honest I never really used vox to its full potential.  I just imported my Pownce items and them made it a backup to my tweets (by using to post to both services concurrently).  The truth was that I was happy with blogger and wordpress so I don't needed something to compete with them.

The great irony is that Vox acquired Pownce which they subsequently closed down. Now Vox is going down the drain...oh well, maybe it's the curse of the acquisition ;-)  (or maybe they just didn't do anything to entice us to use it, other than importing our Pownce posts)
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The Newton invades the iOS!!!

I've said this before, and I will say it again: the ingenuity of the Apple Newton community never ceases to amaze me! We've had the Einstein emulator for quite some time now on Windows and Mac (and some Linux-based PDAs), but not on the iPhone or any other iOS device.

Now that is no longer an issue! Newton can run on iOS! There is of course the issue of slowness, but with a little optimization and lots of programming elbow-grease I can see einstein being super cool on the iphone (perhaps with a pogo stylus?) Now how do I go about sucking out my ROM from my Newton 2100 along with all the apps that I have installed? :-) I can copy my ROM, but I am not looking forward to reinstalling all my apps ;-)

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Bioshock - some thoughts (and Spoilers)

Last week I had the opportunity to finish off the original Bioshock.  Having heard a lot about it when it first came out I borrowed the game from one of my friends.  I have to say that this is the first game that really had me on the edge of my seat when I first started to play it - I avoided playing it at night or before bed because I would probably wake up in sweat thinking that a splicer was after me ;-)  As the game progressed and I got used to it (or desensitized?) I was more like the Woody Harrelson character in zombieland.  I started talking to the splicers, greeting them with a "hello there little fella!" before attacking them, and big daddies did not seem as menacing as they did at the beginning - I guess I found my stride in the game ;-)

In any case, I have to say that I really enjoyed the game, initial jitters aside. The art direction was pretty good, the environmental sounds really did get me sucked into the environment and helped immerse me into the experience and the story-line was great (I wonder if there are novels based on the series that talk more about the pre-history of Rapture City) and the ending was satisfactory.  The BIG surprise was that the character you play was actually programmed to go and seek out the creator of Rapture and that Atlas is not your friend...this was disappointing as I would have liked to have been just a plain survivor working my way back to freedom.

I am wondering if we're going to see a Bioshock that takes place in the mainland.  At the end of the game Splicers attack sailors on a US Navy submarine, so I am wondering if they eventually make it to the mainland somehow...

Anyway, I have to say that I am looking forward to Bioshock 2!

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Να το! Να το το π...

ΟΚ, κάτσε, γράψε λάθος - δεν είναι το πειρατικό, αλλά το τελευταίο τρίμηνο!

Άρχισε λοιπόν αυτή την εβδομάδα το τελευταίο τρίμηνο σπουδών μου ως φοιτητής σε πρόγραμμα μάστερ. Αυτό το τρίμηνο λοιπόν έχω δύο μαθήματα καιτελικές εξετάσεις  ( comprehensive exams).  Το πρόγραμμα το συγκεκριμένο σου δίνει την δυνατότητα ή να δώσεις εξετάσεις, ή να κάνεις διατριβή η οποία αναγκαστικά σου προσθέτει τουλάχιστον ένα τρίμηνο ακόμα - οπότε καλύτερα οι εξετάσεις παρά το εξτρά τρίμηνο :-)

Τα μαθήματα αυτό το τρίμηνο είναι Ψυχογλωσσολογία και η πρακτική.  Την περισσότερη ύλη την διάβασα το καλοκαίρι, αλλά απ΄ ότι βλέπω υπήρχε και κρυφή ύλη που δεν γνώριζα ότι υπήρχε πριν ;-) Τέλος πάντων, μικρό το κακό.  Στην πρακτική θα παρακολουθώ μια καθηγήτρια που διδάσκει αρχαία και στο τέλος του τριμήνου πρέπει να δημιουργήσω και να διδάξω μια μέρα σε αυτήν την τάξη. Σκέπτομαι να δημιουργήσω κάτι ως eLearning οπότε να μην κλέψω χρόνο από την καθηγήτρια που διδάσκει ήδη.

Το μόνο κακό είναι πως δεν είμαι σίγουρος τι να διδάξω.  Μπορεί να είναι κάτι στο θέμα τις γραμματικής, κάτι στο θέμα αρχαίας ιστορίας, ή κάτι που να έχει σχέση με φιλολογία ή ακόμα και μουσική. Απλός πρέπει να είναι προσαρμοσμένο για νέους μαθητές των αρχαίων, οπότε δεν πρέπει να είναι πολύ πολύπλοκο.

Έχει κανείς καμία ιδέα;

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Batman Arkham Asylum - some thoughts (Spoilers)

Last week while on vacation I  plowed through Batman Arkham Asylum.  I was really surprised to finish the game while I was I was only showing a 66% completion rate (I guess I should have read the manual to really know what that percentage actually meant!).

In any case, I have to say that once I finished the game and I saw a container of Titan along with the Scarecrow coming up from the water by the sea I was hoping for more - which obviously did not come.  The game was pretty good: the gameplay was pleasing, the graphics and the combat were visually pleasing and it was just right for my level of play.  There are times that I felt that I was being lead from point-to-point in order to collect something or punch some henchman's lights out which made the game not as much fun. I felt that the game didn't have as much of an open-world feel to it as Assassin's Creed did.

I think I only got a little more than half of the achievements in this game, but then again I was not looking to get all the riddler trophies and to complete all of the challenges (I really don't get the point of these challenges outside of the story). Note to self - plug xbox to the internet to I can upload changes to my gamer score...
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AOL Keywords for a new decade

Last week I was off from work.  I was quite happy because I thought I would be able to go to my local baker every day and sample each and every daily specialty they had.  Unfortunately they chose the same week I took off to complete renovations to their operation so no bread unless I went to the not-so-local farmers markets where they also sell their wonderful bread-seriously, their bread and pastries are awesome!

In any case, I noticed that they have a facebook page and they would keep their customers abreast of any information on this facebook page.  They also have a website, which is not updated nearly as often as their facebook page.  Walking back home on the last possible day I could get bread from them I started thinking - this facebook fan page thing is like the AOL keyword of the 90s.  Back in the day, while most companies had websites, a lot of action seemed to happen on AOL (where I was not a member). Radio and television ads (probably print ads as well) would have the WWW address and then "AOL Keyword: xxxxxx".

While I do see the benefit of having interaction with your customers, keeping them informed of what's going on, responding to their concerns AND to their praise of your products, I think that this interaction should take place on your website, and not on facebook.  A lot of websites these days are like brochures, or flyers. You see what's offered, but you don't get the interaction, and you certainly don't get the updates that the proprietors put on facebook fan pages.  I wonder if this is because facebook "is just easy" compared to editing a page, or if there is that mental barrier that says "this goes on the website, this goes on facebook". Seems to me like facebook pages are the AOL Keyword for this decade.
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