I am Flipped

San GiovanniI have seen the light, and I  am FLipped,  for so long, I have used Zite to read articles, and search for more of the same, it worked for me, I liked the way I could leaf over pages and add more as I wanted, Flipboard came along and I just did not get it, so Zite remained my way. The purchase of Zite by Flipboard, also went by me, I stayed with what I liked. That is until just recently I sort of played with it this weekend, and it struck me, I got the idea, and I spent a lot of time reading pages I had made up, I did play on Flipboard over the years, and did make up pages, but lost interest as I went back to Zite, I have even uploaded all my searches and interests from Zite to Flipboard, and I don't think I will look back. I use a rather old iPad, its slow and lacking in both speed and ability, but Flipbard seems not to bother.I read the articles I want, I use the evernote app to save it, and all is good in the world, Oh one small gripe, Evernote sometimes will not save a Flipboard article, just a link, so I have to use the "open in Safari" and do it from there, not a great inconvenience, but worth a mention. So there it is, I am FLipped,

Walter Segal Video

Segal Close and Walters WayIt might come as no surprise to any one who reads this blog, I am a fan of Walter Segal, I never got the chance to meet him, but I did get involved in one or two projects using the construction methods he outlined, so when I saw this Walter Segal vide0, I have never seen before, I was all over it. For students you might well want to take a look at my other article on Walter Segal, do a search in the bar above to see all I have collected and the AJ article I still send out. As always, I wrote this post, then found another video I want to share,,,,,  

BIM & Drones

The serious racing edition. 4s-6s Clean and easy to maintain #QAV250 #luminer #FPV #gopro #immersionrc #rc #berlin #quadcopter #multirotor #droneporn #drones #cobra2204 #dys30A #blheli #cleanflight #fatshark #frsky #hqprops #osdoge - all naze32 pins are hThis excellent article on the CIOB Bim+ site, also entitled BIM & Drones outlines the use of drones to monitor large construction sites and use that information to check on progress. For me is a massive extension to the use of time lapse photography that we have al seen and watched, but this seems to take it to a whole new level. I can imagine there are issues to resolve, privacy and other buildings it may well video, but I think this can easily be solved, the real benefits come from high end use of software that can measure progress against the BIM drawing model and Gant charts,    

It’s not just Solar power

Colector SolarIt's not just Solar power now, there are many types of solar power collectors, all making use of the suns free energy, and as time goes on, we see leaps and bounds in product innovation, helped so much by the battery storage innovations we see from Tesla. So is it just solar panels, hell no, there are at least a dozen different methods, this article on Wiki, is probably the best I have seen so far, and is well worth the time to read, and follow up on the links and references. I particularly like the way steam power is making a come back, all be it in a very different form, and the way the suns power is being collected and amplified by mirrors.and lenses, known as Concentrated solar power. So far this is large scale but it should not be long before simple domestic models are available or at least local communes of houses, each sharing a small collector array. There are problems the further north or south of the equator, the less sun and more cloud, so no power, but watch and see, battery technology, and increased equipment efficiency, with better building design could over come this. Oh and taking the human out of the control loop for heating, and letting the house run things.

Google has added solar data to their maps

Sun PathWhen you think about it, are you really surprised, that Google has added solar data to their maps. It make such sense, and it was done on what we all know as Google 20% time, Still its a great project, even if its only available in two locations in the USA, For a really good overview, try this episode of  Twit.tv "This week in Google", Matt Cutts is the guest and the team discus it at length. it's towards the middle of the show . I have found the show on Youtube and it's embedded below. ArchDaily also have a good overview, and links to other sites, plus the Google Video I also have. Linking to the site, via the site, you are required to enter a post or Zip code,  currently USA and limited to just two cities, Boston were the teasn in Google reside, and San Francisco Bay Area, although if enough coverage is given, I hope the globe comes under its banner. We all have access to CAD programs, some such as Vectorworks have heliodon software, and can show shadow rather well, I think this give the other perspective of power available from the sun. Todays photo is one I use to try and explain the suns movement, for a given lat long, and is part of a large presentation of how the sun moves, the effects, not just shadow, but heat and power.   This week in Google Video   The Google video below is the simple overview

Google & Twitter link

Top 10 Fastest Cars In The WorldHave you noticed that twitter feeds are now appearing in Google Search results, the problem is, so short a space to put in so much , so is the tweet all that Google is looking at or is it following any link, or is it just the name or account holder, what ever, the Google & Twitter link is live. What ever this is a big deal and one we need to look at. I know so many who seem to divorce Google Search and Twitter, now this no longer can be the case. Todays photo, no other reason than I want one,,,,, just can't rase that much money !!  

My Students use of a Library

Completely Booked UpI found a rather nice list recently, re the top 28 libraries in the world, and as usual, I thought what would my list be like, and what would be My Students use of a Library. I once asked a couple of students this very question, and there first answer was the internet, the repository of all knowledge. my answer was, hardly, So much knowledge is stuffed away inside the shelves of the great libraries of the world, they are just sitting there, and unless you know how to at least access them and make use of them, knowledge can be very one sided. I alway list my bibliography, or reading list on any subject I teach, some are in my private collection, most are available in the Uni library, and some, just a few I have borrowed from other lecturers, and made note of them, as always in Evernote with the right "Library" tag. Even at Gloucester College where I taught, and still guest lecture, the library is a place I hope students will use to the fullest extent, and get used to using it, I wish there was some way to allow me to check on who is doing this, but something tells me this might not be possible. My own collection has been built from specific purchases of new books from amazon, to trawling old book shops in any city I happen to be in, some are in a dreadful state, some show the love they received, some have never been opened, a fact I find hard to believe. Birmingham City University Library has recently moved into a new building, and my first visit was far to short, I found the books I wanted almost immediately, three on Real Estate Management, Its all part of expanding my own knowledge base away from my comfort zone. Video is also becoming part of my interest, and you might find it strange to accept this fact from such a book lover, but so many great lecturers and just good construction people, are making excellent videos, and I have started to add these to Evernote using the same tags  

ifTTT and Mac IOS

CookerOne of the Professors at BCU was complaining about not being able to multi post, I suggested ifTTT and the Mac IOS, I use it a lot to make sure I post to twitter from this blog, also I use it for Evernote, I have a link to my Google Library, so when I open up Evernote in a new note, the heading is already set. But it was this post I saw on ifTTT to save batter life, but also to stop me logging onto stray wifi signals, i don't know why, but my iPhone gives priority to wifi over my 4G, and so often it hangs waiting for me to register, and I am left wondering why no email. You can get this and a load more so useful links and rule set on using ifTT with IOS following this link to the Macworld site.

Levi Stadium App

Levi StadiumThe two Scoble Videos he posted onto Facebook, Part 1 and Part 2, are the Levi Stadium Apps and back ground infrastructure, are must view videos on the way apps are going, but most importantly, they show the real need for Technologists to appreciate the technology, and the Architecture they need to exist, that is the ducts, power and specific rooms. Look behind the vide, and see the vast rooms they need for screens, then the way these screens can be fed with data, the cable runs, power supply and the room layout. Then think of a stadium like the Levi Stadium, it general size and the way cables will need to be fed to the individual stations, like entrances, bard and kitchens. The Wifi cabling to allow people in the stadium to use their cell phones and the incoming cabling to the stadium. All need planning and adding to the drawing set, but some one, and mostly we as Technologists start and control it. Just think of the data you can learn about people movement, how they access the stadium, and leave, timing, and parking trends,,,,,, so good.

How do you learn

SwitzerlandI read an article on the Faculty Focus new email, I get quite frequently. its focus was on the way students learn, written by Martellen Weimer, it got me thinking as I was updating my own slide set ready for Sept / Oct. We teach, or Lecture, there is a difference, I hope I do a little of both, some days there is so much to get through, it tends to be a lecture, but as often as I can, I teach, that is I interact with the students, both during the attendance time and after. I am currently also reading Whats the use of Lectures, by  Dona;d A Bligh, it's a little heavy in places, but worth it so far. I care for the students, I want them to pass, but I expect some form of commitment, attendance at my lectures, come to the lectures prepared, that is having read my notes, and reading list, coming with sufficient paper pencil set, and detail paper, and a willing ness to talk.,,,,, oh and not to sit at the back so they can log onto the wifi and watch facebook or videos. I have thought of giving a short lecture on how to learn, I wonder how many would turn up. But back to the subject in hand, how do students learn, so far all I have commented on is my way of teaching, it seems that I should, perhaps sit back and watch how they learn, in my early years teaching, all I had to go on was my first hand experience at college, some excellent lecturers and great practical advice and training. I would like to pass that experience on, but modern Universities seem not to have those facilities, lecture rooms or nothing. So perhaps friendly site visits are in order, at least there is a way to see a site working, but little chance to lay a brick or mix and test concrete. Video is also a way forward, its so easy to use with electronic whiteboards and in-class projectors, but it still lacks the feel you get from doing it. Some one once said to me teaching is easy,,,,,, how wrong they were, it's not easy, knowing your subject is the easy part, getting it over so students learn is the hard bit, and once you loose them because your boring, thats it, finish, start again, change your ways, I can't admit to being perfect, some days I come out of lectures with a real buzz, it's worked, but others I feel just deflated. Some times it in the preparation, you think your slide set works, but after, or even during the lecture, you know it's not working. Some lecturers it's a class only thing, no out of class interaction, I can't do that, Architecture and construction is hard enough, dealing with CAD and getting the materials to lay correctly is completely another thing, so I tend to say, always available and will give as much time as my good lady will allow, or you will be home on time tonight dear !, so I tend to be in Uni early to try to get that "out of class" interaction.. The ones who do interact like this, tend to be the ones who give more in the lecture, not afraid to question or ask me to stop and expand.