office alternatives

31 08 2009

ship2Naturally we know OpenOffice. Now there is also NeoOffice for the Mac OSX.  Very cool.

Advertisements




MIT’s open access research and other open scholarly resources

31 08 2009

MIT has done it again. After the MIT courseware and open source courses online, now it has created a space for researchers on Dspace which was “built to save, share, and search MIT’s digital research materials”. It even has theses collections. That is a fantastic resource.

Here are some more resources:

  • Sofia from Gavilan College
  • Connexions: where you can gather modules and compile a course. It also has open textbooks.
  • Merlot: a repository of materials, animation, research and everything you need to build a course
  • Open Michigan

Publishing venues and open online journals:





impact of facebook

29 08 2009

If ou ever doubted it, here are the stats for Facebook use across the globe.

http://img41.yfrog.com/img41/2347/facebookwqi.jpg

Talk about influence!!





yamli:a new Arabic search engine with a twist

7 07 2009

I found this fascinating because it is finally an attempt at using proper Arabic content. Yamli is a new Arabic search engine. When I typed my name in English, it actually immediately translated it into Arabic as I was writing. I then tried to type a whole English transliterated sentence and Yamli immediately changed the lettering from English to Arabic as I was typing. This is what Yamli calls the ‘smart keyboard‘, and I must say it is quite smart. I am impressed.

yamli-keyboard

The search engine itself has a very unique and different interface that I also found quite interesting.

Yamli was created by two Lebanese men, Habib Haddad and  Imad Jureidini, and the idea came during the most recent war on Lebanon in 2006. Yamli’s definition of itself is that it “is a search engine focused on providing more relevant search results for an Arabic query by expanding it to its most frequently used Latin representations.”

The word Yamli itself comes from the Arabic to dictate – or, as Yamli itself says “The word Yamli is inspired by the Arabic verb “يُملي” which comes from the noun “إملاء” referring to dictation or transcription of spoken text.” One can even embed Yamli in their website through the Yamli API.

Job well done and I look forward to how this will develop further.

yamli-search





two new ‘search engines’ that aren’t

26 05 2009

Well they are not exactly search engines.. they are more atuned to the semantic or intelligent web. One has already launched and the other is in the launching beta process.

wolframThe first is Wolfram Alpha, whose name comes from its creator,  British-born physicist Stephen Wolfram who insists it is not a search engine but rather  “a computational knowledge engine: it generates output by doing computations from its own internal knowledge base, instead of searching the web and returning links.” This engine is based on what he calls Mathematica and not on the semantic web.

He claims that Wolfram|Alpha’s aim is

“to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable by anyone.  You enter your question or calculation, and Wolfram|Alpha uses its built-in algorithms and growing collection of data to compute the answer”.

Here is where you can find out about Mathematica.

Naturally right now it is only available for English language searches and is not internationalized just yet.

imindiThe second is iMindi – which, according to its creators, “helps you collect your thoughts and share them with like minded people”.  Since it is still in beta, you need to register to try it and give your opinion.





Twittering Queen?

9 05 2009

Twitter did not yet catch up in the Middle East as did Facebook. Nevertheless Queen Rania al Abdullah, Queen of Jordan, is now twittering asfter youtubing. And guess why she twittered? to mark Pope Benedict’s visit to Jordan.

This is what she twittered: “Just choppered to airport to receive the Pope. Husband piloting, he got acrobatic to quiet butterflies in stomach . . . told u he was action man!”[link]

Who is she talking to?





data mining of Second Life and World of Warcarft

10 06 2008

Here is what I found on Bill Moyers’ site:

Rick Karr on Internet Surveillance

Congress is still deadlocked over the Bush Administration’s efforts to listen in to phone calls and read emails without search warrants. The sticking point is whether or not to allow private citizens to sue telecom conglomerates, the huge firms that provide most of us with phone and internet service – and helped the Administration spy on us. Now, the Administration wants to try to spy on Americans in another way. My colleague Rick Karr has this to bring you up to speed.
-Bill Moyers

And view the video

The project is called Project Reynard, and the report may be downloaded here in pdf format.

Terrorist avatars bewaaaaaaare of the big bad wolf Reynard [incidentally, he IS a wolf].