Monday, 30 June 2008

Social networking

This is my first ever video - not sure about the quality but I've learnt a lot by doing it


No real surprise I suppose -I'm glad he's held his hands up though. Sadly this young man has been made wealthy by football but remains a thug.

700 up!

This is the 701st posting on this blog!

PM lied

Interesting post by Ray Corrigan (top clever blokey on web law and stuff) about the Prime Minister's assertions regarding the value of the national DNA database - the one which we'll all be on if the government has their way. ray has picked up on a report from GeneWatch UK (some of you think I make this stuff up!) which refutes those claims and states that Gordon was telling fibs. Check out Ray's post, it has links to the source. Ask yourself whether allowing any government to store your children's DNA is a good thing.

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Friday, 27 June 2008


Always loved this song so here's an excuse to bung the video in.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Monday, 23 June 2008

Learning behind bars » Learning behind bars

Great piece in the University of York student newspaper - it's about offender learning and gives a great insight into how offender learning works (albeit in just one prison - as the piece points out, all prisons are different). Worth reading!

Historical Football Kits!

Manchester City - Historical Football Kits

Historical KitsI love this - not just because it's about Manchester City but because it demonstrates, yet again, the lengths that some folk will go to when researching stuff that probably doesn't mean much in the whole scheme of things. Have a look - it's wonderful that someone has done this and even tracked down the kit worn in 1884, the cross reflects the origins of the team as a church club.

BBC NEWS | UK | Councils warned over spying laws

BBC NEWS | UK | Councils warned over spying laws

I suppose it's time that the government started pulling back those local authorities hell bent on using technologies to penalise people who put too much rubbish in their wheely-bins but this doesn't deal with the root problem - RIPA.

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (2000) gives "government" powers to intercept electronic communications and to insist that ISPs hand over records of communications and copies.

The long title of the act is:

An Act to make provision for and about the interception of communications, the acquisition and disclosure of data relating to communications, the carrying out of surveillance, the use of covert human intelligence sources and the acquisition of the means by which electronic data protected by encryption or passwords may be decrypted or accessed; to provide for the establishment of a tribunal with jurisdiction in relation to those matters, to entries on and interferences with property or with wireless telegraphy and to the carrying out of their functions by the Security Service, the Secret Intelligence Service and the Government Communications Headquarters; and for connected purposes.
Of course an issue here is who might be regarded to be "government" - and that's what has led to Poole Borough Council using RIPA to snoop on parents to determine whether they really lived in the catchment area of a particular school or a number of councils using RIPA to investigate dog fouling.

While RIPA is in place we are all at risk of a major erosion of our civil liberties on the most spurious grounds. This law is as invideous as 42 days without trial. If you've not heard of RIPA I suggest that you check out exactly what it means and, more importantly, who it allows to have access to your life.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Uni of Manchester

Whitworth Building
Originally uploaded by nogbad the bad
Just back from visiting Manchester for the university Open Day. It's one of Jemma's "Possibles". We went up on Friday and had a great evening with Rob Spence - we sipped a couple of glasses of rather good ale in a city centre hostelry (Jemma stuck with diet coke).

Saturday was a long day which wasn't improved by the rain but interesting nonetheless. Given some of the work I'm involved in it was interesting to see how another university "sold" itself and despite being a "selecting" rather than a "recruiting" university Manchester still have to make sure that they are attracting AAA to ABB students; they have >7k places to fill each year.

They also aspire to be in the top five research universities within the next seven years so they are actively pursuing Nobel Laureates to boost their RAE results (at no stage did anyone sidle up and ask me if I'd work for them!)

All up it was a fascinating experience and probably more so because I've never been onto the main campus despite spending the first 22 years of my life living a couple of miles away.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Nog's Blog - I blog therefore I am: Censorship

Nog's Blog - I blog therefore I am: Censorship

I thought I'd update this story as it's grown like Topsy while I've been away at the SL Conference. The actual comments which caused the fuss are available on Skitch and, in my view at least, certainly don't strike me to be so dangerous to the vendor that they should be contacting employers and issuing threats. Of course this isn't just on a couple of blogs but has been picked up in a good few places and Fizzics is another who has blogged about TALMOS. Also of interest is a Summize search showing tweets featuring TALMOS.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008


Click for full size. It's beautifully poetic but could become Twitter's death knell - they are spending too long with this type of holding message where their service should be :-(


If you've not had a look at Plurk yet follow this link to get involved. Best described as Twitter with a better UI but it also has some interesting features including threaded discussions and a timeline.

Grabbed from an ftp site rather than through the website as that's not there (still). Certainly seems faster but time will tell.

Firefox down

So today sees the release of Firefox 3.0. Mozilla are hoping to set a new world record for the number of downloads but I fear this might struggle - as the screenshot shows the download site was down 14 minutes after the release went live, don't know if that's because of the demand or it collapsed before the off but either way it don't bode well.


Poor old Hazel Blears only wanted to do some work away from the office so she downloaded some sensitive government data to her laptop. She then took said laptop to her constituency office. She left it in the office overnight. Her constituency office isn't in a leafy suburban area - it's in The Crescent, Salford.

So let's walk this through:
  1. Downloads stuff, probably against the rules on handling sensitive data
  2. Takes the data outside her parliamentary office
  3. Leaves laptop unattended
  4. Overnight
  5. In Salford
This woman is a Secretary for State, she is making decisions which affect us every day.


Doug Belshaw has an interesting post about VLEs on his blog. Some jolly useful stuff except that one vendor took exception to his posting. Rather than commenting on the blog they contacted his employer!
***I had criticized TALMOS in this section, but they contacted my school to ask me remove my ‘potentially commercially damaging’ comments. It’s a shame to be effectively silenced through legal threats when all I did was compare their offering unfavourably against another…***
Not good, not good at all. Strikes me that the TALMOS vendors, Core Projects and Technologies (UK) Limited, simply don't get it.

* Update * - AJ Cann has blogged about this - it was Alan's tweet that directed me to the piece in the first place
* Update II - Jo Badge has picked it up too
* Update III - Careful who you pick on

Found at

Check out the source as it's a discussion about whether or not Richard Dawkins uses Twitter

Thursday, 12 June 2008


I've done this with Sprout Builder; not because I'm narcissistic enough to think my birthday is important but because I couldn't think of a date to countdown to. Looks like an interesting tool.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Offender learning

Great post by Niall Sclater which covers the meeting I was at last Wednesday. It points up the diverse range of approaches to offender learning across Europe and the way in which technology is being made available to prisoners.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

What we've been doing

The live blogging photos were to illustrate one of the technologies I was talking about during my presentation about "Social Networking" and the immediacy available in the digital age. The format of the day was great and we had some quality keynote speakers.

First up was Seb Schmoller from ALT. He brought an XO laptop and that was the first time I'd physically held one so that was useful and his presentation set the scene for what we were doing - eLearning technologies in the wild and also in the OU.

The poster sessions were hard work - the attendees were split into 11 groups, one per workshop, and moved round the posters while the workshop facilitators explained what the workshop was about. So we stood by the poster and burbled on to 11 different groups.

Then, after a lovely lunch and chance to catch up with friends, Denise Kirkpatrick - PVC Learning and Teaching at the OU gave a presentation about the OU's VLE and eLearning projects (including SociaLearn).

Then the workshops. I did my stuff and then we looked at some social networking sites and we looked at how we might use some of these tools in learning and teaching. I prepared a Seesmic video before I left for the conference and I've just done another to "top and tail" the day.

Cup of tea and a chat and then home.

I hope that explains the photos I've been posting :-) All the photos are now on Flickr.

Denise and Liz

Denise Kirkpatrick, Pro Vice Chancellor OU and Liz Gray, Regional Director for the OU in the South East

Live blog

Live blog

Lovely venue

Poster session

Poster session

Seb Schmoller

Seb Schmoller

Live blogging at Uni of Greenwich at Med

Live blogging at Uni of Greenwich at Medway

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Made me smile


Etienne Wenger: "Learning is a social journey as well as a cognitive process in that it involves our whole being. By transforming our ability to participate in the world, it is a transformation of our identity."

Arsene Wenger: "I didn't see it but I think the referee was wrong"

Tuesday, 3 June 2008