Metaverse and Multiverse

I just read a great article about the 3D virtual worlds marketplace, where it has been, where it is going and analogies from near technology history.

The Next Big Thing – TSC Daily

I can not do a better job than the article all ready does discussing the move from a 2D data world (current WWW) to a 3D connected world (what WoW and SL are starting to show us signs of) so I am not going to even try. What I did find very interesting was the discussion in the comments section. There seemed to be two camps. One making the case for the current 2D WWW as the optimal format for exchanging information and the other making the case for a 3D WWW which the first camp seems to think would be excessively cumbersome and bloated simpyl for information exchange. I immediately see a third way. Why can’t I “live” in a 3D virtual world and be able to view media when needed in a 2D world when appropriate. IF we have both the 2D and 3D technology at our disposal why not take advantage of both, inetgrate the two, and use each when needed.

Read the article and read the comments….very interesting as to where we might be going! Long live Netscape….

Resources:

Croquet Project

Multiverse

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CECA Conference Podcast 2006

All breakout sessions and the keynote address at this years CECA conference were either audio or video recorded. Anyone can subscribe to the CECA podcast and listen to/watch the sessions starting November 1st. Please subscribe to the CECA podcast now using your favorite podcatching software (I use iTunes 7 but there are other optins out there!). Three new sessions will be released every week until they are all public.

CECA Podcast feed: feeds.feedburner.com/CECA
or go to: http://feeds.feedburner.com/CECA

David Warlick at CECA

David Warlick gave the keynote address at the CECA Conference 2006. I got a chance to talk with him the night before the confeence when we were setting things up for the next day. I have followed David quite closely the past 2 years via his blog and podcast.

During the course of the day I heard from numerous attendees how “enjoyable” and “enlightening” the keynote address had been. I missed it but I am looking forward to listening to the audio version in the CECA podcast (the keynote and all breakout sessions will be avilabel 11/01/06 at http://feeds.feedburner.com/CECA).

IMHO, David does a remarkbale job at making connections between the technology we use and our learning needs and objectives. While many of us often get sidetracked into discussing technology for technology’s sake, David has a knack for bringing the conversation back to how the technology will impact student learning. His remarks as well typically involve the “new” technologies that specifically impact learning as opposed to the scatter shot school of thought that “all technology is good” which we see at most conferences. These technologies include but are not limited to wikis, blogging, podcasting, many Web 2.0 applications, etc.

David…you continue to speak and the people are listening…thank you and keep spreading the good word!

Sony Reader…Part 2

On second thought….I am still in love with the idea and the e-ink capabilities of the Sony Reader but after reading the reviews discussing the poor performance when it comes to displaying PDF files, RSS feeds, and other text files I will wait for v2.

Sony Reader – WOW!!!

My wife, kids, and I treked up to Providence this past rainy weekend to catch an IMAX movie and do some early xmas window shopping. I had never been in a Sony Style store before and as luck would have it my first time just happened to be the same day that the store received their first batch of the new Sony Reader.

From the Sony website:

The Sony® Reader provides a new way to experience reading. It boasts an impressive display1, utilizing breakthrough technology that’s almost paper-like. In addition, the text can be magnified for sight-impaired readers. Daylight readable, high contrast, high resolution, near 180º viewing angle.”

All this is true and more!!

When I first picked up the device I thought for sure I was looking at a stick on decal that often is used for display items. Much to my surprise when I hit the menu button, the text changed and I was greeted with a new screen, looking equally like a decal, but actually was the real thing. The E-INK technology is amazing!

Again from the Sony site:

What is e Ink® Technology?
The Sony® Reader’s display uses e Ink® – a significant improvement over CRT and LCD technology. Instead of rows of glowing cells, e Ink® microcapsules actually appear as either black or white depending on a positive or negative charge determined by the content. The result is a reading experience that’s similar to paper – high contrast, high resolution, viewable in direct sunlight and at a nearly 180-degree angle, and requiring no power to maintain the image. In other words, it’s a screen that, like you, is well read.

I want this device very much. I am still debating on whether the $350 is worth it especially for a 1st generation device!?!?

Additional features that make this device even more exciting are many. It has an SD card slot for increased storage capacity. It plays unprotected MP3 and AAC files. It will display PDF files and other personal documents (I believe MS Word but not sure about ODF?).

The idea of being able to carry one small device for all of my media needs…electronic books, PDFs, classical music to listen to while I read, podcasts, etc…..is a game changer in my book. What if every student was issued this device on the first day of school????

NOTE: I am not typically a fan of SONY (search “SONY” and “rootkit”) and I have no relationship with the company other than being a consumer of their products. In this case I am very excited about this offering.

Last question: will the syncing software work on Mac OS X and Linux in addition to Windows????