Digging up the web

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Jun 182012

Google Alerts seem to be a useful way of having a continuous search for certain topics. It is kind of a RSS feed to the Google search for that topic. The alert I set up was for Dungeons and dragons for which a new revision is due soon and I would like to be up to date on.

I Signed up on Digg and found a couple articles and voted/commented on some as well. I found that I like the idea of digg.com but it is not my thing. I would rather just look around online to find things and links from my usual sources than popular things which really do not interest me.

The article I posted on Digg was about physics and math which interests me but I doubt such a dry source would gain much approval on digg.

I can see why these sites get so much net traffic though. with so much content on the web may users could get lost in the sea of information and using these sites to organize sites and vote on thinks they like can allow for easier web browsing.

If only I had a Forum

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Jun 182012

1). Rail Travel in Canada:

The google groups server was not communicating wit me apparently and I was unable to find anything.  Oh well.

2). Chowhound:

A wide selection of Italian, Thai/Asian and Mediterranean restaurants but not much else and most of them are pretty far away or hidden because I have not heard of most of the places. I Would love to try some of them though I Kind of wish that people would link to the websites or give a better address for these places so that I could find them easier.

3). Thorn Tree:

I have always wanted to travel to Yakushima Island  In Japan. The island’s flora and fauna are gorgeous and were the inspiration for one of my favorite movies of all time Princess Mononoke. I found that there are many misconceptions about the Island and that It is a very good place for tourism though it can be a little difficult to interact with the people if you can not speak Japanese.


4). Looking for a Forum:

I have been wanting to join the MTG salvation forums to aid in my understanding of the rules In order to be a better magic player and maybe to become a magic judge in the future. There are a good number of judges on the forum and it is a good place to learn about magic in general.

5). My own Forum:

I made My own forum about one of my favorite games Dungeons and dragons (official and Wiki) which is not as bad as the press it gets. It Is an engaging and though provoking game which encourages creativity and critical thinking. The forum is meant for casual player as opposed to hardcore players who tend to make casual gamers feel out of their league and uncomfortable in many forums.

R(ealtime) S(ynchronization) S(ource)

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Jun 172012

Twas only recently I found out about RSS feeds and have been taking advantage of them. I was using them to keep track of some of the blogs I frequent mainly MTG Realm, Magic Game Plan and The Steampunk Workshop. I have wondered if RSS feeds could be incorporated into more than just blogs and newsprint. It would be great if a site could be followed by an RSS and sent to your inbox/reader even if it were just a forum or a magazine. I know that most of the news providers such as the New York Times and Washington Post provide Feeds to follow, but sites which are in touch with a specific community are lacking these useful little orange squares ().

I have endeavored to perform a public service and send emails to the site managers about remedying this issue and giving the readers of the websites the ability to follow certain articles rather than logging into the site to find what they are looking for.

The RSS feeds on this blog should be up as well though the night I was attempting to set up the feed the site was down. i am not sure there was a problem but I am going to double check it tonight just to make sure that the feed is up.

the title of the blog is something that I made up to help me remember what RSS feeds are when I am explaining it to other people. It helps most people to think about the fact that the linked sites are “Synchronizing” with your email or reader rather than trying to explain how it works exactly.

Jun 132012

I have been using the cloud for a while now. My high school used a drop box program to trade files and turn them in to the professors who assigned them.  The cloud services have always been a little scary for me. When you post things out in the open on google docs for example you are releasing it out onto the web with out any kind of protection. The newer cloud services are much more secure than I thought and I will be using the cloud more often now that I am more comfortable on the internet.

As per the hands on activity I have created a scribd and posted a short story which I wrote a while ago. It is one of my favorites and I hope some feedback comes my way.

I have made a resolution to try and publish more material in the cloud due to it;s compatibility. I have created a few different docs on my various google accounts though most of them are boring school material and I  do not think I will share them just to save everyone time.

I found this article which outlines the cons to cloud computing. This article has a point though I think it is on the extreme side of the argument and that an intelligent person can handle both the pros and cons of cloud computing.

I am also considering buying a Chromebook for my father who needs a computer and doesn’t need a powerful machine to check email and surf the web.

Social Bookmarking

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Jun 122012

The tag which we were set upon (link) revealed three links one to a blog about a history seminar done by UMW students. The subjects of the presentations on the blog vary from The history of the university to the civil war. The second was an offline channel which is part of ustream.  The channel was a teachers teaching teacher’s site though due to its offline status it was difficult to discern. The third and final link was also a teaching site for teachers with seminars about the internet and teaching technologies.

Afterwords I started my accounts on Delicious.com, Connotea.com and Diigo.com and set up some bookmarks on each of them. Since my favorite hobby is Magic: The Gathering I posted a few links for them as well.

I found the Sites for social bookmarking to be rather difficult to navigate. the user interface of the sites are strange and It seems that most of them use the search bar to find new bookmarks  and tags.

The organization of these tags is irrefutable and is an asset to the internet as a whole. This user classification is flexible and fits to the needs of the users themselves; leading to a less rigid organizational system and a good way to connect to new things online.

The group creation and network which I attempted were rather lackluster given the current context though I will continue to work on social bookmarking in the future and perhaps I will learn how to take advantage of these features.

My Delicious account : Link

Presentation on Personal Networks

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Jun 062012

Personal Networks are the webs of interactions and connections that people use to solve problems and obtain relevant and immediate information.

  • Social networks are a source of information
  • As are online resource sites
  • Forums create a more personalized experience


A person using a personal network can connect to a source, namely another person, which can provide the information most relevant to the problem or person. The power of social networks came from the PC now the power of personal networks is in the smartphone. The ability to continuously send information which is relevant to receivers generates a flow of information which has a higher impact on the the one reviving it.

One of the new apps on the market which takes advantage of this paradigm is Path.

A personal network connects people at all times to each other via the core as well as the core being connected to all of the components at all times in a controlled matter.

The connections in a personal network are different from those of a social network in that the connections in a personal network can be either stronger or weaker based on the relationship between the core and the other party. This can also change the value of the information exchanged by the two part

The beauty of this system is that if multiple personal networks are overlapped with similar nodes of connection then by maintaining these networks one is not only helping one’s self but all of the other people in the network.




SAP Design Guild

The Next Web

Ahead of Ideas

Huffington Post



A Flickr in Time

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Jun 052012

I started a Flickr account tonight and it is good timing considering that my other summer class also wants me to make an account on Flickr. I have been thinking about joining Flickr though i have not gotten around to doing it until now. After exploring some I found that the community on Flickr  is similar to the deviant art community but just for photos not all art. the comments were for the most part constructive and friendly.

The photos I posted were from my camera and I need to see if the ones I have saved on my computer are not copyrighted. Here is my photo stream which is rather sparse at the moment though I will upload more soon.

The commons had a mix of interesting photos most of which were rather random though I found a couple cool marine and air black and whites with a steam punk vibe.

I also found a vast amount of costuming for steampunk which I love and would do If I had a studio to work on it. Steampunk is a type of sci fi which is an alternate history where the history of technology is different. there is a cool video here which explains it rather well.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFCuE5rHbPA[/youtube]

The third party application were interesting though rather anti-climatic. I was not impressed by any of them and was confused by some The most common tags of the day and week were a little over my head most of the photos looked like cosplay though I know not where or why the cosplayers were performing.


May 242012

Although I am not a “Facebooker” I do have a page which I use to communicate with old friends and groups which usually use Facebook rather than a blog to coordinate. After listening to the two ted talks and observing the different sites in the hands-on links, I began to view  the internet social networks as a benevolent tapestry of interconnected ideas and information. These connections are similar to the connections created between businesses which form the structure of the capitalist economics which have done fairly well for the past few centuries. the contributions of a single business can affect the rest of the businesses in the community and from there the businesses in neighboring communities and so on. As I read further though I began to see an interesting analogy forming for these networks. That of a spider watching a web. If the web is the network then the spider is the company which profits from the user’s participation. By getting as much information as possible and making as many connections as possible the company makes more money from the advertising agencies who desire the information.Although they claim to keep your information private they create an illusion which reels in the unsuspecting consumer into a sense of security  and thereby giving up information which the prey will have no control over once it is handed over.

although these two views are contrasting the balance between the two is needed to make the social network successful. By having a spider the network is encourages to provide information and to grow which aides in producing a beneficial set of connections between the networkers and the tapestry of open source information is what drives the usefulness of the network in the first place.

May 232012

So I opened up a twitter account and followed some people who I find interesting as well as some of my favorite bands thiugh the coolest thing was the link to the preveiw video for the Armory Wars by Claudio Sanchez (Link). This will be a good way for me to keep up to date on new developments in the Magic The Gathering TCG community as well, which i always seem to have an issue with the excess of new information which they post on the official site.

I attempted to see what people thought about the london olympics, but it seems that the hype is not really up to speed yet though the Australia women’s eight crew team qualified for the 2012 Olympics which is a big deal to me seeing as I was a coxswain on my high school crew team and i have always loved the sport.

I resigned to be mediocre and search the Italian earthquake. Most of the tweets were either well wishers or thank-you’s from the well wished though there were six deaths reported on so far there was tragedy in the food world as well. During the earthquake ~300,000 wheels of parmesan cheese fell and broke open during the aging process. This major loss consists of about 5-10% of the worlds parmesan cheese production for this year!! The farmers lost approximately 80 million euros to this tragedy. many of the local farmers are suffering from a loss of income from the destruction and are settling in for a rough year. (CNN report)



First Post: Blogs and the Internet

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May 222012

6/10 on the Web Quiz


Three things I found Interesting on Wikipedia :


1).  The “Rathergate” scandal which ended up being the first recognition of Blogs by the Mass Media as legitimate sources of information and News

2).  The Blogosphere is the collective community of all Blogs which is watched carefully by Internet marketers

3).  The Blogger’s code of conduct.


The web quiz on the history of the internet was interesting though I found that  a good number of the questions were historical events that happened before my lifetime and during my childhood which I had never heard of (Bubbles?) or remembered with only the faintest quality. These questions pertained to the early connections made on the internet and issues on the web during the 90’s and early 2000’s .

The interesting niche which blogs have found for themselves is within a strange duality. Information from blogs is directly from the opinions and observations of normal people and relatively uncensored content which can be regarded as legitimate news. On the other hand It is publicly created content which is inherently opinionated and unedited. This duality makes blogs a double edged sword. The authors can produce pure conjecture or real facts and nether is guaranteed.

Blogging on a whole is new to me and I am interested in this type of networking and communication. The potential of the blog to share Ideas is great for contacting other people without having to be hypervigilant about the posts as in a forum.