Online Conferences – EduOnline2007

EVERY evening this week I am attending a conference in South America. Yes, through the wonder of the Internet, I am able to work during the day and then from 17:00 to 01:00 I am attending live conference sessions and interacting with other delegates at the EduOnline2007 Conference.

This is the second online conference that I have attended and the previous one was about a year ago. Things have changed quite a bit. The quality of the audio and video has increased unbelievably. This has all happened not only because of the improvement of the infrastructure of the Internet world­wide, but also the software and compression techniques used to manage the delegates and their connections to the main venue.

When I was first invited to attend this conference I was worried about the bandwidth that would be used each day as it is quite a few hours that I will be receiving audio and video over the Internet.

The reality, however, is that the bandwidth usage was very low. How they manage it will be a topic for another column.

Another first for this conference is that each presentation is presented simultaneously in three different languages. The presenter presents his talk in English and two other presenters translate it live into the other languages. The delegates have no idea that it is not the presenter giving the presentation in the other languages. When entering the virtual conference venue you choose your preferred language and off you go.

This medium for presenting conferences is in my opinion so effective that it may reduce the need to physically attend conferences considerably, and may reduce the expenses to attend conferences to such a degree that more conferences could be attended. This in turn will increase our ability to interact with specialists worldwide.

The future of Television is online

TELEVISION as we know it, will be changing considerably in the next few years.

This revolution has started with youtube.com.

As I previously wrote in one of my columns, youtube.com is a social networking tool that enables people from all over the world to easily share videos with their friends and anyone who would like to view it.

The distribution of video content online in an easy and effective way has been difficult due to the large amounts of bandwidth that is needed to distribute high quality video. Video files need to be large to ensure a high quality image for you to watch.

High network speeds are also needed as you do not want to wait weeks just to view one file.

Luckily, worldwide, the cost of bandwidth is dropping and speeds are picking up.

We can only hope that this trend will also be one to catch on in South Africa.

The creators of Skype.com and Kazaa.com, two hugely successful internet services, have now taken on the task of finding a way to distribute huge video files effectively. The tech community speculate that this may just be the guys to do it. They launched the project under the name The Venice Project and last week the name changed to www.joost.com.

If this project is successful we will soon be able to watch movies and television shows online just like we watch television.

I must point out that they are still in Beta and it will probably take a year or two before a high quality video image is delivered, but at least the right guys are on the job.

We can expect to see great things from  joost.com  in  the  next  few years.

Lees boeke stukkie vir stukkie

IN vandag se gejaagde lewe is dit baie moeilik om werklik te gaan sit en ‘n boek te lees.

En soms voel dit dat jy tyd mors as jy nie iets lees wat met jou werk verband hou nie.

Ons lees egter elke dag honderde e-posse en daar is altyd tyd om te kyk watter nuwe e-posse vir ons wag.

As ‘n mens nou net die twee kon kombineer.

Wel, jy kan. Een van die nuwe opkomende internet-konsepte of -dienste wat onlangs begin het, maar wat daagliks groei, is DailyLit.com.

Hierdie diens neem die hele boek en deel dit in stukkies op.

Jy ontvang dan elke dag ‘n gedeelte van die boek.

Jy ontvang net genoeg om vinnig nog ‘n stukkie van die boek te lees.

Môre ontvang jy die volgende gedeelte.

As jy op ‘n dag meer tyd het, kan jy ook dadelik vir nog ‘n deel van die boek vra deur op ‘n skakel, in die e-pos wat jy ontvang het, te kliek.

Wanneer jy www.DailyLit.com besoek, kan jy deur die databasis gaan en uit ‘n hele reeks klassieke boeke kies.

Boeke soos Alice in Wonderland, Frankenstein, Sherlock Holmes en Gulliver’s Travels is maar ‘n paar van die boeke wat beskikbaar is.

Jy kies dan die boek uit hierdie versameling wat jy graag wil lees.

Volgende moet jy besluit hoe gereeld jy dele uit die boek wil lees.

Daagliks, net van Maandag tot Vrydag of dalk elke tweede dag? Vul jou e-posadres in en sluit aan.

Jy sal dan op ‘n gereelde grondslag, soos deur jou bepaal, ‘n paar paragrawe van die boek ontvang. Voordat jy dit weet, het jy die hele boek gelees.

Die diens is gratis, so gaan sluit sommer vandag aan en begin jou volgende boek stukkie vir stukkie lees.

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4