Offline (updated)

UPDATE: I have decided to stop blogging here and focus my blogging efforts on my new blog, Bird’s Eye News. This blog, however, will not be deleted and all posts will remain because this blog is still attracting visitors.

I now have a new blog about journalism, postings of my articles, etc called Bird’s Eye News. Launched today, the blog starts off with a post about some work experience I completed today.

This blog will still be updated, however, but less often than at current.


ODF meet your new enemy: OOXML

Microsoft’s Office Open XML (OOXML) document format has been adopted as an international document standard and joins the likes of ODF and PDF (yes, there’s a lot of acronyms).

I will echo what Knowledge Economy International, which campaigns for fairer access to knowledge, says: “We are disappointed,” (the director, James Love).

I don’t see why we need two document formats (PDF excluded) as an ISO-standard, especially when OOXML has 6,000 pages of code whereas ODF has a mere 860 pages. This, apparently, makes the two formats incompatible, “…many experts argue that translation between the two is too incomplete to allow true interoperability – a concept that Microsoft has recently publicly embraced,” Reuters says.

Who can we blame for the adopting of OOXML? Well, the United States, Britain, Germany and Japan, according to the OpenDoc Society, to name a few. I’m just glad that I can say that opponents not only included China and India but also New Zealand.

Internet addiction = mental illness

A psychologist has come out and said that having an addiction to the Internet, and technology in general, is the equivalent to having a mental illness.

You may have this illness if you cannot bear to be away from a computer, always wanting the newest and latest equipment, wanting to spend more time on your computer, and experiencing the negative repercussions of their addiction.

And it’s not just the Internet, it’s any form of instant communication such as text messaging with a mobile phone.Google Web History

I’ve attached my Google Web History statistics for the month of February, 2008, so you can make up your mind whether or not I am addicted to the Internet using its colour coding for the number of webpages visited (total Google searches is not just for February). I can also tell you that since the start of March I have sent 314 text messages – not a lot compared to some of my friends.

Flickr to do video too

I use Flickr quite a bit to post what I perceive as some of my best photographs to the site, so it is with bewilderment that I hear that Flickr is to launch a beta version of a video sharing service next month.

Yahoo! owns Flickr and I can understand that they would like to take away some of the market share Google currently experiences with its video-sharing service, YouTube.

Frankly I would like Flickr to remain a pure photography site, adding video just ruins that experience, doesn’t it?  I have various websites I use before going elsewhere: YouTube for videos, Flickr for photographs, Smaps for mapping in New Zealand, The New Zealand Herald for news, etc, etc.

Change comes when a service you use can no longer fulfill a need and the other website can and then some. I’m not about to change anytime soon.

Hulu launches officially

I blogged earlier about how I like Hulu and how I am able to use it, well tomorrow, New Zealand-time, is the official launch of the online television show hub. Warner Bros., Lionsgate, NBA and NHL have jumped on board to offer more content.

And not only is Hulu offering full-length TV shows with little advertisements, but is also offering full-length movies such as Knight Rider.

The launch doesn’t mean it is available elsewhere though, it is still currently limited to U.S. users.

Linux spreads; Government hops on board

I am an Ubuntu (Linux) user so it warms my heart to hear that IBM is going to start offering Linux-loaded computers in Eastern Europe.

And on the note of using Ubuntu, I was attending a workshop on, basically, the Government and it’s processes today. At this Government-run workshop the speaker had a laptop loaded with Ubuntu.

While there were a few technical hitches with running a DVD, everything else (Power points) ran great.

I’m glad that more and more people are ditching pay software and going with free and open source technology. Why pay hundreds of dollars for an operating system or a word processor when you can get an equivalent for free!? In this example I’m thinking of Ubuntu (of course) and OpenOffice respectively.

Let me go offline

While the EEE PC is geared and optimised towards the Internet, I can’t exactly use it’s primary purpose when I am out and about. There’s the problem.

I use Google Docs quite a bit, so it would be quite handy for me if I was working on a laptop (like the EEE PC, which I want to get) and that I could edit a document offline, then the next time I connected to the Internet, it would automatically synchronise everything.

Would be very handy for those who travel and doesn’t always have access to an Internet connection.

Or how about letting me download all my emails (Gmail) and RSS feeds and then if I go offline all of sudden, letting me still read and reply to those emails. Once the Internet has been restored all messages are sent.

I realise that Google Reader (which I use) has an option to download RSS feeds for offline use, but how about doing it in the background automatically (turned off by default though, of course).

If and when I get a laptop all I want from it is virtually the same functionality as I get from my desktop, but with the ability to move it around and still work on it when I am offline. Is that too much to ask?

Duty calls

I found this funny cartoon (attached below) via this blog. Cartoon by xkcd and licenced under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.

What do you want me to do?  LEAVE?  Then they'll keep being wrong!

The future of television today

I’ve been using Hulu, a website offering streaming full length TV shows for free, quite a bit recently. Hulu is made up from NBC and News Corporation (FOX).

The main television show I have been watching is Family Guy; I have also been watching a couple of episodes of Monk, and Bones. Other shows that are available I watch on normal TV anyway, so there’s no point in doubling up.

The best thing I like about this service is that there are very few ads during what would be an hour show with full ad breaks.

You may wonder how a New Zealand-citizen is accessing the content that is supposed to be locked to all non-US based IP addresses. Good question. I am using a service first highlighted to me by fellow New Zealand blogger, James Fleet, at Half-Geek.

This service called Hotspot Shield by AnchorFree creates a virtual private network (VPN). According to Espen, which told his readers which in turned informed Half-Geek’s readers, the service does this: “VPN creates a “tunnel” connecting a computer on the outside of a network with another computer on the inside. In our case we will connect to a computer in the U.S. making us appear as we are there as well.”

I’ve enjoyed my experience with Hulu so far, and I hope more television networks hope on board this site to make it even better. The only thing they could change is make it into an archive service as well, instead of removing shows after they’ve aired for a set time-frame.

New Zealand’s local television on demand service doesn’t remove television shows once they have been uploaded, and they are set to make all their content they carry free and without DRM protection once downloaded.

The Pirate Bay to be The Criminal Bay?

Popular file-sharing site, The Pirate Bay, is facing court action in its host country, Sweden.  The four men who run the site face charges of conspiracy to break Swedish copyright law.

BBC has the article in full.

About me

I write at Wikinews, and Practical eCommerce. I thoroughly enjoy writing about news and current affairs. I also have a TV related blog at Throng.

Support free media, donate to Wikinews!

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand License.

The Ubuntu Counter Project - user number # 14890


My Flickr photographs