Design, code and caffeine

Finally some Business help for school children!

Young people could finally be getting some work related help at a younger age! I went to two wonderful schools when I was young and the standard of Education was very high, however teachers still have to stick to the curriculum, and I sensed the whole time that the teachers wanted to teach me some other stuff which they wern’t allowed to.

One of the main things missing from the Education system in Britain is work-related advice. This is witnessed at all levels, from primary school, secondary school and higher education. In primary school one is encouraged to learn maths and english but without being told why this will help them later in life. In secondary school, one is asked to make choices about what subjects they will do for GCSE and A Level, without being told enough about what career paths they could make and what subjects would be necessary for those. In higher education, those reading for a degree are given plenty of information about their chosen industry ‘as if they were working for a company’ and little to no advice about how to set up their own business in the industry.

NESTA has announced that three programmes have been set up in partnership with Department for Children, Schools and Families. Local employers, schools and young people in Chessington, Warrington, Greater London, Devon, Bristol and Cornwall have started ‘Connexions‘, ‘Future Foundations‘ and ‘Real Ideals‘ will be involved in introducing children to real world business experiences such as pitching, negotiating, communicating to clients and working to deadlines. Its a fantastic opportunity for these children.

NESTA Reveals that:

“The programmes launched across some schools in the UK will expose 14-19 year olds to sectors representing the most innovative growth areas of the economy – the creative industries, the third sector and the rural economy. As part of this, young people will work closely with local businesses to get ‘real-time’ experience of entrepreneurship and innovation.”

“Reading, writing and arithmetic, are no longer enough when young people are setting out on their careers today. The report shows us clearly that experiencing being part of a small business, and learning entrepreunial and innovation skills are critical factors in the world of work today. Schools have an important part to play working with local businesses and we are very excited about these new programmes.”

Tom Hadfield (NESTA’s Innovation Programmes Committee)

Read the full article on NESTA’s website at: http://www.nesta.org.uk/groundbreaking-work-related-learning-programmes-could-transform-school-curriculum-for-young-people/

Thinking about all this has reminded me about the Internet myth (spread about in an email) about Bill Gates and what he apparently told Whitney High school – I’m not going to include the full set of rules as you have probably heard them before but heres one:

“Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.”

Posted in Uncategorized · September 28th, 2008 · Comments (0)

The 5 commandments (..more will probably appear :] )

Thou shalt not disable comments from thy blog, youtube video or deviantart gallery – this is a community, leave yourself bare, take your criticism and grow up!

Thou shalt not disable anonymous posting on your blog, forum or web site – who are you to decide that people need to sign up with another account they will probably never use again? anon posters are often more honest.

Thou shalt not remove peoples comments from your youtube video about bullfighting, just because they are in favour of the bloodsport – it may well be barbaric, but everyone has a right to their opinion.

Thou shalt not argue over whether the newbs are changing your online community for the worse; the internet is not the place to discuss “history”, you can do that in the library!

Thou shalt not use “marketese” on your website – people dont have time to read this rediculous crap, even if you are a major bank or building society.

Thou shalt not act on ‘everything’ Jakob Nielsen says – but look at what he has to say ;]


All comments on this blog are able to be posted anonymously, they will be checked by myself to see if they are spam first – I will not edit your comments, but if you post obscene or offensive content anonymously, ill feed you to the trolls!

Posted in Uncategorized · September 23rd, 2008 · Comments (0)

What is new media?

It does seem to me that there are still many technophobe/technophile arguments going on about this. There is nothing ‘new’ about writing content, however there is definitely something new about how far that content can travel.

It was not long ago that the traditional forms of media such as the television could only be picked up in the country that they were being transmitted. Now we have satellite TV reaching a huge audience, worldwide. It is connecting people in ways and giving us common topics to talk about.

Also, there is definitely something definitely different about what happens to that content before it gets to the public eye. We used to call that ‘editing’, and this word has definitely take on a new meaning:

‘edit this post’ – this is what you do when you make a mistake or don’t take enough time on a forum. It’s almost embarrassing to have a post with ‘edited by…’ attached to it.

‘this post has been edited by a moderator’ – This is even worse.

If you compare these meanings to the old meaning of edit, which is where one person secretly edits an others content to make it suitable for the publication, and you compare this to the shame involved in having a post edited by a moderator – you can definitely see a change.

Obviously there are many places where editing does not take place at all, for example chatrooms and online games…

And that leads me to another point; perhaps there are no ‘new’ games on the Internet – most RPGs are based on the traditional D&D rules, which were based on very simple rules of play from earlier games; however, this does not mean that the ‘medium’ has not changed.

People in WoW are connecting with others across europe/america that they would never have met before, they are picking up on each others linguistic styles, grammar, and other languages not just 1337 speak!

The *medium* has changed, 2,3,4-way communication can be had (the prime minister of the UK has his own youtube channel where the public can ask questions and get a personal response), Games are now ‘emergent’ (the outcome of a task is unknown it depends on the people involved and their roll in the game). Jesper Juul has discussed much on this subject and his book Half-Real tracks games from their beginnings through ‘virtual reality’.

Many people feel more connected, they feel that their stories ‘can’ be heard. They don’t have to mass produce and ship their personal diary around America, they can just write about their ‘escape from scientology‘ on blogger.com.

On the subject of Scientology, what about the political influence and changes which are apparent? If you look at internet meme groups like anonymous, their entire power lies in the safety of their anonymous global community – It may have started “for the lulz”, however, much work has been done to try to raise awareness (project chanology) about the cult-come-pyramid-scheme of Scientology and are trying to help the victims of this group. Anonymous Vs. Scientology is an eye-opener for those dubious about the power of digital media.

There are many more options open to us with new media – we can read the same news story on elpais.es and on bbc.co.uk we can see the two countries newspapers different takes on a story.

The ‘medium’ changed because of the technology which drives it. The ‘media’ just got bigger, it got easier to participate in (for those on the power grid).

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Posted in New Media, The Web · September 22nd, 2008 · Comments (0)

Web Work Chart

I stole this chart from http://wallstreetfighter.com

Seems about right :D

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Posted in Uncategorized · September 21st, 2008 · Comments (0)

Why we drink

This humerous movie which is featured on current, uses free associations to build a picture of ‘why we drink’.

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Posted in Animation, Infosthetics · September 21st, 2008 · Comments (0)

Platform & Browser Testing

My dad often sends me interesting emails, but recently I recieved one of the most useful yet. It contained a link to this website: http://browsershots.org/ where you can test your web designs in various browsers. You are given a page with screenshots of what your site looks like in a multitude of different setups.

Enjoy :)

Posted in Uncategorized · September 21st, 2008 · Comments (0)

Seriously good cider!

I recently stayed with a friend in Herefordshire. We had a BBQ at his house and had to rush to get there on time. I was wondering what the fuss was about, I was on holiday, why all the rush? I heard him say something about cider… must get to the cider place…

ok, well theres plenty of shops open I thought – we can get cider anywhere? But I was wrong. We finally arrived at this little building in the middle of the shire… picturesque place with rolling hills and sunshine and trees…. we went inside, just in the nick of time apparently and were greeted by a fascinating gentleman who scurried about pouring various cups of sweet, medium and dry ciders, telling us about each of them with passion!

We decided on a vat of each, the sweet and the medium.

We arrived back at the house, put on the BBQ and drank this cider from 6:00 till 3:00 am, and we drank a lot! I swear I should have been ill, but I was not – this cider has to be tasted! It was absolutely amazing, we were completely drunk, but without any of the adverse affects of swerving, slurring and feeling ill!

Has to be one of the most beautiful things I have ever drank, only sloe gin can compete :)

I discovered the website only tonight when a friend started a conversation about cider and I had to find the link to this fabulous stuff! So here it is, Knights Cider, seriously – wow!

http://www.knightscider.co.uk/

Knight's cider, seriously good stuff!

Posted in Uncategorized · September 17th, 2008 · Comments (0)

Clearing Your VS.Net 2.0 Start Page

Sometimes you create a project by mistake and need to delete it. However, when you delete it the start page does not recognise that the project has been deleted yet.

This can be rather annoying, so I searched the internet for something which would help.

I discovered this useful tool which does the job perfectly: http://www.mattberther.com/2004/06/28/clearing-your-vsnet-start-page/.

Hope this is useful to you =)

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Posted in .NET, Development, Environments, Software, Visual Studio · September 11th, 2008 · Comments (0)

music: Barry Nelson and Jeceris

In this world where open mic nights are filled with beat boxers who get up show off their often talented skills, and then leave the room when they are done, not even staying to watch any one else’s performance; it’s great to hear some good old fashioned rock bands!

If you are into rock, blues and acoustic (song oriented) music then check out Barry nelson and Jeceris.

Barry%20Nelson%20%26%20JecerisQuantcast

Posted in Uncategorized · September 11th, 2008 · Comments (0)

What I do and How to contact me..

I am a new media designer with particular skills in HCI, Interactive web design, Edutainment systems and mini computer games. I work as a freelancer under the business name of Lucid Dragon. My website is at http://www.luciddragon.co.uk and my personal website is http://www.cosmicpenguin.info.

Posted in Uncategorized · September 11th, 2008 · Comments (0)