23 Mar 2010

Google wave as a collaborating tool

Some of you might be yawning at the title - "Google Wave is so old news". I blogged about Google Wave when it came out and received an invitation soon after that. However, after the initial euphoria I soon got bored and haven't really used it at all. I saw it as just another instant messaging tool with a few extra whistles. A few days back I finally discovered how amazing this new real-time communication and collaboration tool is.

Last Friday, I was at a workshop on Blended learning at the Warwick Business School, where we discussed how electronic/digital technology supports teaching and learning activities. I did a short presentation on how social media and specifically blogs can be used as a teaching and learning tool which was very well received.

Leo, a really enthusiastic undergraduate first year student was also showing his vision of how the existing 'my.wbs' - Warwick Business School's own online community, could be improved. As part of his presentation, he was showing how he has been using Google Wave in collaboration with other students for a course project.

To see it in action was truly mind blowing. I have been using Google documents to collaborate with friends but after seeing what I can do with Google Wave, I don't think I will be using Google documents any more. The thing that really excites me is the fact that this is still under development and as Leo pointed out, new features had just been rolled out. In other words, we were in the forefront of social media technology.

When they say real time, Google really means it. You can actually see what the other guy is typing in as they are actually typing it. I recently wrote a conference paper with my supervisor and we had to email each other back and forth with the revisions - me in my office and she at home. We could have saved a lot of time if we had been working together on the same document. Another great feature of Google Wave is that it automatically records what ever we are doing so we can go back and replay whatever we have done to review the process and the progress.

I definitely see myself Google Waving a lot more in the future.

Read the Google Wave blog for the latest updates.

22 Mar 2010

Mobile phones with highest and lowest radiation ratings

There has been a growing debate on the effect of mobile phone radiation on our body. Though there is no hard proof so far, that the radiation is harmful in any way, it is quite worrying.

Anyway, ZDNet has come out with a list of the 20 mobile phones (or cell phones as they are called in the US) with the highest and lowest radiation ratings respectively in the US.

Top on the list of the list of phones with the highest radiation ratings is the Motorola V185s. In fact there are 6 Motorola models in the list. And the Blackberries as well. Check out the whole list here.

On the other hand, the Beyond E-Tech Duet D8 (have never heard of it before) has the lowest radiation level. It is immediately apparent that Samsung phones dominate the list with no less than 15 out of the 20 phones. See the whole list here.

15 Mar 2010

Nokia X6 16GB

Of all the mobile phones I have owned so far, the best has been my old Nokia. It was tough, easy to use and had a long battery life. I was seduced by all the whistles on the SonyEricsson phone but after one year of use, I have to say that I will never buy a Sony Ericsson phone again. They are rubbish. The next phone I own will definitely be a Nokia. Anyway, earlier this year Nokia launched the 16GB version of the X6. I don't use my mobile phone to listen to music and so I really don't have a need for their 32GB version.

Running the latest version of Symbian, the phone is aid to have up to 18 days standby time and 11.5 hours talktime (GSM). You will agree that's pretty amazing. For me, a phone should have a great camera and the X6 boasts of a 5 Mega Pixel Camera with Carl Zeiss lens. It has a large 3.2”Capacitive Touch Screen and comes with HSDPA, GPS and WLAN. The phone is also compatible with the Ovi Maps.

You have a choice of 4 finishes: all black, all white, white with pink highlights (see the picture) and white with yellow highlights.

The phone is now available from only £15 p/m on O2, £14 onwards on the 3 network or buy directly from the Nokia store for £299.

Those in the US can get the Nokia X6 Unlocked from the Amazon store for $399.99.