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Friday, November 21, 2008

Vindication on Reading The Terms and Conditions

You are browsing the web, then you found this really cool site. And since you think that its worth that you sign up an account with them, you go through the registration process. Well. It then instructs you to read the site's Terms and Conditions. And it's 19 pages long! The same happens when you install a software, open source or licensed. You are asked to read this very long, very detailed and very, um, uninteresting list of things that you should comply. But what really is this? Is it important to read all of it?

The Terms and Conditions is the list of, well, terms and conditions that a certain company, group or individuals set when you are joining them or using their resources. It is what they wanted you to comply with. It is here that they state their rights on the content and their limitations as a provider or yours as a user or as a member. For example, when signing up on a certain site, you need to agree first and confirm your acceptance on the rules that they set, which includes the permissions that they provide you, the restrictions on the use of their site contents, your conduct while on membership and lastly, the indemnity with you participation (meaning, you hold them not reliable for any action that you take on or outside the domains premises).

But is it really important to read all these before agreeing? Yes. I would assume that most of us here would rather skip this step by simply agreeing to the terms and conditions without understanding it. But this is wrong.

There are advantages in reading through all of it. One of which is that you will be informed of what are your limitations, thus, preventing future issues out of their support. For instance, you did something that violates the terms and conditions of a software which resulted for the program to not function properly. This would be one of the situations wherein they would not offer any assistance to solve the problem, your problem.

But you can also use your limitations on their terms to review if your benefits do outweigh them. I mean, you wouldn't want to spend or waste your money on something not useful, right? But this is most of the time committed because of the wrong information due to self assumption, something that could have been prevented if you read through their conditions.

Another advantage is to know what it the scope of your possible actions that do not violate the law. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act protects original content on the web and reserves the its rights to the original author. This is the law that is mostly ignored by internet users. But well, the law excuses no one.

Always read the Terms and Conditions. It may take a while, but it is very worth of your time.

Astro Boy Teaser Released!

Remember my post about Astro Boy - The Human Side of Technology?

Well just passing by to make an update that IMAGI has released the official teaser trailer of the movie. Check it out!

Great trailer. And from the looks of it, it seems that they are keeping into great consideration it's previous anime structure. Definitely worth the watch!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Most Annoying Alarm Clocks

Technology can go great just like Pleo. Innovations like these are so magnificent that one would awe and believe that we are very close to another age, the generation of technology. If you are thinking like this, continue reading, and then think twice.

I was actually browsing the internet and viola! I found lots of alarm clocks that are funny, innovative and not only it assures waking you up, sometimes, it will leave you in a bad mood the whole day. *groan*

There are lots of it and the following are just the few.

The Flying Alarm Clock.

This clock has a spinning top that goes off of it and flies around your room when the alarm turns on to the time you set it up. Geeky right. But wait there's a twist! You have to catch it and put it back on place to turn off the alarm! Still thinking it's still geeky?

Wake up? Five stars out of five!
Leave you annoyed for the rest of the day? Three stars out of five. To think that would be fun.

Chrome Clocky.

Alarm goes on. You still sleepy? Try to hit the snooze button and it will actually roll off of the night stand, fall on your room's floor and run. It will not just run, but worst, it will hide from you on a new spot everyday. And alarm only turns off ones you catch it.

Wake up? Five stars out of five!
Leave you annoyed for the rest of the day? Three stars out of five. At least you get a good morning exercise. lol!

Laser Target.

All you have to do, in order to turn off the alarm, is to shoot the target with its laser beam. Sound easy. Still dizzy? Snap out of it!!!!

Wake up? Five stars out of five!
Leave you annoyed for the rest of the day? Four stars out of five. Simply annoying.


Here is the machine that will verbally abuse you. It starts nice, waking you up with a greeting. “Rise and shine, it’s time to get up!” Ignored? It'll wake you up again. This time, it gets nasty. And in order to turn it off, simply wring the clock's blue neck. Be careful, once it senses that you are angry, it will ignore you.

Wake up? Five stars out of five!
Leave you annoyed for the rest of the day? Five stars out of five. I mean, think about it.

Puzzle Alarm and Whack-a-Mole Alarm.

Puzzle is a distant cousin of Whack-a-Mole, and both of them are bound to ruin your day. To turn the Puzzle alarm clock off, you have to solve the puzzle at its top. It gets hard when you are half asleep and the pieces you put together will go off if you don't solve the puzzle fast. Now imagine if it's dark. Nerve racking.

On the other hand, with Whack-a-Mole alarm clock, all you need to do to set it off is to, ofcourse, whack a mole. Now not just guarantees to wake you up, but also to leave you annoyed the rest of you day.

Wake up? Five stars out of five!
Leave you annoyed for the rest of the day? Five stars out of five. I've tested Whack-a-Mole. Trust me, you don't wanna try it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pleo: The World's Smartest Pet Robot

Everyone of us would sometimes long to be a child again. Someone who is carefree. Someone who appreciate life's simple joys. Someone who wants to have fun. Someone who plays TOYS. lol, I don't know with you but I would want to play robot toys again, just like when I was young.

Toys have evolve very much like with the pace of technology. As time passes by, and as technology progresses, there is also a rapid development of toys. From the traditional stuff toys, to hand held game consoles and now, interactive robots. Wouldn't you wish these existed in the 90s?

Back in 2006, Ugobe unveiled the yet smartest toy of the generation, Pleo.

Pleo is a robotic toy designed to emulate the appearance and act with the behavior of a week old Camarasaurus, a cute green dinosaur. A Camarasaurus may grow up to 60 feet long when it reaches adulthood, but its just as size as this toy when it was newborn. It was designed by Caleb Chung.

What makes Pleo special is that every individual toy is designed to be different. As the Official Site of Pleo has stated "Every Pleo is autonomous. Yes, each one begins life as a newly-hatched baby Camarasaurus, but that's where predictability ends and individuality begins. Like any creature, Pleo feels hunger and fatigue - offset by powerful urges to explore and be nurtured. He'll graze, nap and toddle about on his own -when he feels like it! Pleo dinosaur can change his mind and his mood, just as you do."

Isn't it great! Your Pleo can have a very unique personality, depending on how you raise it.

What also makes this toy very different and outstanding is that it can convey different expressions and emotions. It can go happy, playful, scared or sad, depending on the awareness it has developed with its companionship with you! Pleo also grows old with you. He starts as a newly hatch, then you can take care of him as an infant until he turns juvenile. And his characteristics would all depend on his experiences as he is growing old, would he be shy or confident or joyful.

So it would be wiser to treat Pleo as special as you could. This toy is also capable to interaction with others, or be it another Pleo. You can go and hug it, cuddle with it, talk to it, listen, shake hands and many more! Plus, Pleos can go bond with each other.

Ugobe has used its Life OS in developing this innovation. Life OS is the complex platform of tools and technologies that enable Pleo's mechanical, electronic, sensory, and Artificial Intelligence systems to interact as a lifelike whole. A Pleo is equipped with a infrared transmitter and receiver, touch sensors all over its body, cameras, microphones and speakers. It is also mobilized with a rechargeable battery, making it very mobile.(Plus, you'll know when you need to charge it because Pleo goes tired!)

Indeed, this is a great step in developing interactive robots and innovative entertainment. Go Pleo!

Violence in Video Games: Can it Lead to Violence in Reality?

A new research proves that violence in video games can indeed can increase on physical aggression among children and teenagers, just months after they started playing these games.

If you have time, go ahead and check my full article about this how violence in reality is linked to violence in video games.

Thanks, yadda!
Rod of the Future .(@_O)"

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Human Side of Information Technology Management (Book)

I was actually surfing the World Wide Web when I stumbled upon one item, a book by Edward J. Szewczak and Mehdi Khosrow-Pour. It is entitled as "The Human Side of Information Technology Management" and I felt like sharing this information because I do think that it is very rare that a book would tackle on management strategies with the focus on information technology.

Here are the details of the book as provided by Amazon:

The Human Side of Information Technology Management

by Edward J. Szewczak and Mehdi Khosrow-Pour
Hardcover: 388 pages
Publisher: Idea Group Publishing (March 1996)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1878289330
ISBN-13: 978-1878289339
Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds

Product Description by the Publisher:
The influence of information technology (IT) is being felt throughout modern organizations from the senior management level to line management to various clerical and support-group levels. As IT has grown in sophistication along a broad range of technical aspects and features, organizational personnel have witnessed changes in organizational life and ways of doing business that have transformed their thinking about what it means to contribute effectively and efficiently to the well-being of their organizations. It has influenced organizational decision-making, has altered organizational structures and cultures, has reshaped organizational communication and learning, has changed management thinking about organizational design, and has raised ethical issues that must be confronted daily in the workplace. People's responses to IT have influenced the nature of managerial work and the quality of work life. This readings text is a collection of scholarly papers dealing with issues concerning the "people" aspects of IT. It is intended to help managers and students of IT to better understand how the human side of IT is as important as the technical side of IT. Indeed, some may argue today that in the context of organizational life, the human side of IT is more important than the technical side of IT for successful organizational functioning, especially in the implementation of IT. These papers were originally presented at the Information Resources Management Association International Conference held in San Antonio, Texas during May 22-25, 1994. The papers were revised and expanded especially for this volume, and serve as individual chapters in the book.

About the Authors:
Edward J. Szewczak is a professor and Chair of the MCIS Department at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. He received a Ph.D. in MIS from the University of Pittsburgh in 1985. His information systems research has been published in Data Base, European Journal of Operational Research, Information & Management, Information Resources Management Journal, Journal of Management Systems, Journal of Microcomputer Systems Management, Journal of MIS, Omega, and Simulation & Games as well as in a number of readings texts and scholarly conference proceedings. He has also co-edited two books of readings entitled Management Impacts of Information Technology: Perspectives on Organizational Change(1991) and Growth :The Human Side of Information Technology Management (1996), and Measuring Information Technology Investment Payoff: A Contemporary Approach (1999) published by Idea Group Publishing of Hershey, PA. He is currently an associate editor of the Information Resources Management Journal.

Mehdi Khosrowpour is currently an Associate Professor of Information Systems at Penn State Harrisburg. He is the editor-in-charge of the Information Resources Management Journal, the annals of Cases on Information Technology Application and Management in Organizations and Information Management and consulting editor of the Information Technology Newsletter. In addition, he also serves on the editorial review boards of six other international information systems journals and has authored/edited 10 books and more than 30 articles published in various scholarly and professional journals.

I have not read the book yet, but if given a chance, I will. I will buy it if I found a copy(buying online is not an option here in my place). If you have a copy and you are willing to lend it to me, the better, lol! But seriously, The Human Side of Information Technology Management seems to be very interesting.

Why work with a Virtual Assistant?

Heyya, just dropping by to share an article about on what are the advantages of hiring a virtual assistant. If you have time, check it out.

Rod of the Future .(@_O)"

Monday, November 17, 2008

Friendster is back... but will it's users be?

One of the largest, most popular and the best social networking site in the world of the internet, Friendster(Google Pagerank 7 and Alexa Ranking 40 as of the day this has been posted), has been offline for several days last week. After that it went active for about few hours only for most of its users to find their list of friends to be gone. Now, for someone who have loyal for some years and those who have grown in love with the site, that's something very scary!!!

A social networking site focuses on building communities of people who share interests, hobbies and activities online with each other. Many social networking websites, like Friendster, are web based and provide a many of ways for subscribers to interact, like electronic mails and instant messaging.

Friendster, according to Wikipedia, is "based on the Circle of Friends and Web of Friends techniques for networking individuals in virtual communities and demonstrates the small world phenomenon." Also stated is that "based on Alexa.com, Friendster ranks 2nd most visited website in the Philippines. It is estimated that nearly 90 percent of internet users in the Philippines have Friendster accounts. David Jones, vice president for global marketing of Friendster, said that 'the biggest percentage of users is from the Philippines, clocking in with 39 percent of the site's traffic.'"

Now, what happened? Here is the statement released by their team (which is found on the page of the full friends list):
What happened to my friends?
Currently, the number of friends in the friends list is being displayed incorrectly.

Are my friends lost permanently?
No. The data for all friend connections is intact and is not lost.

When can this be fixed?
Friendster is currently working on this problem and we hope to have this fixed within 24 hours.

Can I still add friends while the problem has not yet been fixed?
Yes, users can still add new friends and use other features of the site.

What caused this problem?
There was a building-wide power outage at the QTS / Globix data center in Sunnyvale, California, USA where Friendster’s servers are co-located, along with about 50 other customers. As a result, the memory caching of data was affected. Since Friendster has 85 million users, the cache is taking a considerable amount of time to build. Once the cache has been completely built, all friends will re-appear.

I have my full trust that their technical team can indeed fix this issue. To date, I see no problem now with one of my accounts, but on the other account of mine, I have ZERO friends!!!! All my hard work, the sufferings, the heartbreaks, the triumphs and the sacrifices of collecting those 200+ friends, all gone!!! Huhuhu! Nah, I'm just overreacting, but well, good luck to them on fixing the problem.

Will the hordes of followers of continue to patronize Friendster, even when they have to start again from scratch? Yes ofcourse. To most users, Friendster has been parts of their lives. I, myself, wouldn't consider my internet life complete without signing in to my account in the site once a day.(Thank goodness, my friends are still intact on my primary account.) Friendster has become one of the most effective way to find old friends, create new ones and stay in touch with them. Friendster is the human side of technology.