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Category: Uncategorized

The audit of every thought and word

I recently read this great post on Sheila MacNeill’s Blog, one of the many reasons I thought it was a great post being that it was so open and honest. My favourite posts give an insight in to what was going on in the person’s head as their fingers hit the keyboard. Sheila explains that her feelings on the subject made her to write an article in a certain vein, but she couldn’t, the subject of the post interweaved with her own feelings about commenting on the subject. I told her via twitter that I enjoyed the post because I thought it was honest, which made it an enjoyable read for me. I followed up by saying that I thought an open practitioner is not somebody who just posts stuff online so people can read it, but can really open up about how they feel about a subject and their…

Adsense in Unity Android Applications

Now that Google create and maintain their own Adsense for Unity plugin it is really easy to get ads on your Unity built games. The process can trip you up and there seems to be conflicting information out there, this may be because the process has changed as the admobSDK has changed and because there are a few paid Unity assets that will do it for you. It’s very easy to do tho and there is no need to pay. This little run through will show you how to create a blank project with nothing but buttons that call adverts. You can then take that example integrate that in to your own app. II’ve tried this on both Windows and Mac OS X. It worked fine on both and the only differences were OS stuff that I won’t bother highlighting. I assume the process is similar with iOS but there…

Our favourite posts of 2012

Those who subscribe to the CETIS newsletter will receive the top posts of the month ranked by the total number of views they’ve had, while its nice to see what our audience find interesting sometimes we have our own personal favourites that we’d like to share. I asked CETIS staff if they wanted to share any of blog posts they had written in 2012 they were fond of and why.. Sharon: My favourite post of 2012 is “The MOOC just got even better“, which mentions some of my reflections on taking Stanford’s HCI MOOC over the autumn semester. There has been a lot of MOOC-bashing lately and whilst they’re not perfect (in fact Coursera has only been around for a year), from a student’s point of view they’re a great way to access free education from reputable institutions. Sometimes I think we’re so busy looking at the technology or the…

Thoughts on a huge social media strategy

Whether you’re trying to flog wares, advertise consultancy skills or simply have a big ego; it seems that we all want to abuse social media for a cause. I find it interesting that we all choose to use different social media services and guess that our strategy depends on on many factors such as what it is we are sharing, the audiences we are trying to reach and ultimately the user base size of the social media service. Yesterday Obama claimed the most popular Twitter and Facebook posts of all time with over 640 000 retweets and 3 million likes of a picture of him and his wife and it occurred to me that the two huge social media strategies; that of the U.S presidential candidates will be winding down. With my social media strategy restricted to posting on Google Site’s and this very blog I thought it would be interesting to poke about…

My First Ebook

When I purchase an item I like having a physical thing to hold and show for my purchase. There is something about my physical CD collection that my digital one does not capture; is it all those colourful cases, the fancy sleeve artwork, the smell of a new cd or am I just a hoarder? My addiction to the physical means I am often late to the party where purchasing digital versions of media content is concerned. When I do finally cave in and opt for my first digital taste of something I remember what it was and the exact reason I opted for digital over physical. My first digital CD was a limited print and only sold in physical form at U.S gigs . My first digital games came from a ‘pay what you want’ indie charity bundle. Yesterday I purchased a physical book, the book is called Getting…

Developing a web analytics strategy for a distributed organisation

For as long as I have been a web developer with CETIS we have relied on analysing server logs to give an indication of traffic sources and visitor trends. This approach existed long before I joined CETIS and seemed like a logical way of doing things, CETIS has had many web servers and many different developers have installed different tools and resources and since they were all using the same servers and producing the same style logs it has been a reasonable method of producing comparable stats. While this method of collecting stats has stayed the same over the life of CETIS, the direction of CETIS and the environment that it finds itself in has changed over time and a need for a new strategy has become apparent. Challenges from JISC CETIS and the environment JISC CETIS is more distributed from a technical point of view Historically CETIS has had…

Thoughts on Agent Based Models and Institutional Systems

Over the past few months I have developed an interest in agent-based modelling using tools such as Netlogo, RePast or Swarm. These tools combined with increases in processing power make it incredible easy to get started and soon sucked me in. Agent-based models are computation models that are used to make predictions about the interactions of agents in a system and how these interactions may affect the system on a whole. Quite often the systems being modelled are ones where simple small interactions on a low level have a huge effect on the overall system at a higher level such as how greenhouse gasses blocking infrared light might have an effect on global temperature (have a play on the model by Lisa Schultz here!) After playing with these models I got me wondering about the possibilities of modelling the interactions of agents within educational institutions and how we could use…

FSD Village Pump

The Village Pump is an information hub for activities relating to the Flexible Service Design programme. The hub is a go to place for FSD related articles, events and contact information. Articles in the hub are aggregated from sources using their RSS feed and currently we gather information sources such as blogs, JISCMAIL lists and forums. We would like to populate the hub with as much useful information as possible so if you have any suggestions on sources you would like to see aggregated in to the village pump or if you are running a project blog and would like its posts to be aggregated then please comment on this entry with information and RSS feed.

Getting started with the Cloudworks API

The Cloudworks team have been developing an API for Cloudworks to allow developers to create their own visualizations, programs and mash ups. The API currently supports calls to get data and I found this is a great opportunity to test different ways of visualizing and organising the resources within cloudworks for the Design Bash 2010. Sheila MacNeill has created a cloud to store and discuss Cloudworks API tests, my test demos can be found there and the cloud works team are encouraging developers to get stuck in and have a go. If you would like to play with the API yourself and add your own demos you will need to get an API by signing up to Cloudworks and contacting Nick Freear. There is some excellent documentation on using the API already made available by the Cloudworks team and Nick was happy to provide example code, his PHP example can…

The Evolution of Digital Distribution Systems in Gaming

Digital distribution is everywhere; applications such as iTunes provide the ability for digital products such as MP3s, movies and computer software to be delivered to audiences over the Internet instead of using physical media such as CDs, DVDs or Blu Ray. They provides easy and direct sales to a global market. With iTunes and the App Store ‘Apple’ may be the company that comes to mind when digital distribution is discussed but it shouldn’t be forgotten that plenty of video game consumers have been using these systems for years and recent announcement at this years Game Developer Conference 2009 have really shown that there are plenty more exciting developments to come. Over the past 5 years gaming has seen a massive rise in digital distribution systems; many customers have been more then willing to make the switch from obtaining a physical copy of computer game software from a ‘bricks and…

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