Friday, August 30, 2013

World War Z

The US is prepared to act without the UK against Syria in retaliation for alleged chemical attacks. The Obama administration is still deciding on what Syrian targets will be attacked. Russia, Iran and China said that if a strike against Syria occurs there will be “catastrophic consequences” like we could literally be in a World War as of as of any day from now. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said his country would use “all means available” to defend against a US strike. The Russian foreign ministry drew a comparison with the build up to the war in Iraq in 2003, saying: "Attempts to bypass the Security Council, once again to create artificial groundless excuses for a military intervention in the region. The Syrian government immediately demanded that the United Nations investigate three alleged chemical attacks carried out by rebel groups on the outskirts of Damascus last week. One question how the hell do rebels have access to chemical weapons? Who armed them? The US government can still join with the 70 percent of Americans who oppose arming Syria rebels.

Syrian victims of the new ‘chemical attacks’ by rebels

China is a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. And like Russia, China has repeatedly blocked sanctions attempts against the Syrian regime -- leading to a perpetual stalemate at the U.N. body to take any serious action on Syria. "A political solution is always the only realistic means to resolve the Syria issue," Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard

Thursday, August 29, 2013

How To Never Stop Working!!

Google Drive allows you store and access your files anywhere -- on the web, on your hard drive, or on the go.  I have my files on the internet, which is basically everywhere. If I change a file on my tablet, the changes reflect on my other devices: school PCs, my PC and my smartphone also. So literally I can finish work I was working in my room, on the bus to school using my phone/tablet then when I'm at school simply find a PC lab and continue working on it. With Google Drive you can upload files, during the upload the files are converted to a format compatible with Google. The standard files I make use of are: Documents (word processor), Slides(Presentation) , Spreadsheet and the PDF viewer. These are not all the supported items in Google Drive there is more, you can even play videos/music!

For the English assignment we were put into groups and tasked to do a presentation. We had the challenge of meeting physically. Google Drive was the solution. One of my group members uploaded the presentation to Google Drive and sent everyone a link to it. Immediately we had avoided the problem of constantly sending these huge email attachments. Another feature of Google Drive that was very handy was  the chat option. If the person you shared a file with is on Google+ you can send instant messages between each other within the Google Drive web app. When we got to a point where the presentation was very large in megabytes we were very glad Google Drive allowed everyone was able to work on their section without the need of sending a file back and forth constantly!  So yeah we used Slides, divided the work, guys added notes and comments, and we were able to edit together simultaneously. It was effective use of a tool.

I know one Google Drive critic who feels that the privacy features in Google Drive aren't strict enough. Their argument is that some Google Drive users keep their documents open to the public, and if you're signed into your Google account when you view these files, other users will be able to see your picture and name. My solution looking at public files, is to log out of Google, or use a different browser. Anonymous users get assigned a random profile pictures of animals instead, such as a dolphin, dinosaur, or beaver.

I downloaded the Google Drive apps for my tablet and PC. With the app you have the option to select particular folders or documents for offline syncing, so when you aren't connected you can still view those files.

Google Drive gives you free storage of 15GB, for me that's a lot, but yeah if you want extra it starts at $2.49 for 25GB a month, etc. Below is an image with the prices:

Google Drive isn't the only file collaboration and online storage service available it's my preferred choice. The are alternatives such Microsoft's Sky-DriveApple's iCloud/iWork, Dropbox and many more. Just check below a comparison:
Cloud storage- a pricing and features guide

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sigmo Voice Translation Device

It's a matter of pressing the first language button, speaking, and waiting for the translation to be spoken through the device's speaker. The other person's reply can then be translated in the same way by pressing the second language button.

Although Google is perfecting this feature to the hardware, for now Sigmo may provide an awkward solution to chat in different languages.

Not sure why you'd need this. iTranslate does this on my iPhone - and I believe it was a free app.

Don't think it's that necessary for the occasional traveller there is iTranslate for iOS and Google Translate for Android which are both free! However I see conference organizers and event managers using these. Say there is a UN conference the organizers rent them out to attendees.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Some Potential Uses of Dropbox in Learning

dropbox_logoDropbox, the online file hosting service, is an amazing tool for use in class. It’s completely free, works with any operating system or electronic device, and allows you to decrease your carbon footprint through potential limited use of paper. Below are some ways Dropbox can be integrated into learning. 
1. Sharing stored files between you and your class, or another teacher.
2. Letting your students electronically drop-off their homework.
3. Solving that annoying email limitation size problem. With Dropbox you can send and share those large PowerPoint attachments or any document type. 
4. Create an online shared folder with you and your peers.
5. Store lecture/tutorial files, assignments, hand-outs or articles.