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Photos: Fireworks at The Oracle Shopping Centre

by on Nov.21, 2009, under Photos

The following album is of photos that were taken at the Christmas Spectacular which took place at The Oracle Shopping Centre in Reading on the 21st November 2009.

All the photos:

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Theme Parks: Disney Blue Sky Cellar

by on Sep.06, 2009, under Theme Parks

This post is for Saturday 5th September, 2009

A short post this one. Disney Parks released this video about from the imagineers a few weeks ago. It gives a good insight into upcoming items. Pay attention to some of the footage in the video – there are some good insights in there you don’t want to miss!

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Random: Google Easter Eggs

by on Sep.06, 2009, under Random

google ascii logoI was listening to This Week in Google (from the TWiT network) earlier today and they mentioned a couple of ‘Google Easter Egg’s which I thought were nice features:

Does anyone else know of any other Easter Eggs they’ve programmed in?

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University: What Makes a Great Lecturer?

by on Sep.03, 2009, under University

lecturerA few of us were discussing over lunch today what makes a great lecturer.

Is it someone highly knowledgeable about a subject?
Yes they know a lot and if you have questions about a subject, they can probably answer them in a confident manner. However, these academics haven’t always got the best teaching skills, often making it difficult to learn what they’re trying to get across

Is it someone who gives you plenty of hints for the exam?
Although you may appreciate it for passing the module, how much is this setting you up for when you may need the content of the module elsewhere. In cases where you’re being forced to do a module, but you feel it is really of no use to you, is this the best type of lecturer to have?

Is it someone who has been lecturing the same module for a number of years?
At this stage, they normally have reasonable lecturing skills. They should also know the subject material pretty well. However, we felt they were normally bored of it if they were onto their 5th/6th time of teaching the same thing.

What are your thoughts on what makes the best type of lecturer?

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Photo: Hollywood Tower Hotel

by on Sep.01, 2009, under Photos

This week’s photo is of the Hollywood Tower Hotel, otherwise known as ‘The Tower of Terror’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Hollywood Tower Hotel

Hollywood Tower Hotel

This is one of my favourite things to take photos of at The Studios, mainly because it is fairly easy to get an awesome looking shot of the tower coming out of the nearby foliage.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t master a photo of it at night – I was generally let down by my camera. I’m hoping to be able to return at some point when I will hopefully have a better camera!

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Technology: This Week In Sponsorships

by on Aug.31, 2009, under Technology

TWISTOne of the podcasts I listen to (well I watch this one), is This Week in Startups. Usually it’s a pretty good show with some interesting information and normally ends up with me feeling inspired to go out and create something. I take that as being a pretty great show.

However, something in the past episode (13) really grated on me and although it has been happening in previous episodes, it seemed worse in that one. What is it? It’s how the sponsorships are being pushed.

I know sponsorships are important for a show like this and I think what Jason is trying to do with changing things up a bit is a noble idea (and I’ll be interested to see how things turn out), but the amount it was pushed on the show really got to me this week.

The usual bit of mentioning the sponsors on twitter is a bit meh. I’d personally call it twitter spam – but it’s no worse than the retweet contests that happen, which I’ll admit I take part in. Most of the posts containing the sponsors names are fairly meaningless apart from getting the name out – which as an average person reading a tweet someone has posted, wouldn’t really offer much. As an alternative I’d propose:

Make a post to twitter about one of  oour sponsors and how you’ve benefited from their service and don’t forget to contain #TWIST.

The sponsor is getting their name out, Jason can still do his competitions, but there’s a bit more value there.

The extra thing done for promoting the film, was reasonable for a one-off. I just wish the discussion hadn’t dragged on for quite as long about how good the idea was.

However, pushing the same idea during the Audible ad seemed one step too far for me. Perhaps this is colliding slightly with the way that it is the presenter putting out the adverts (something I’ve only really got used to via watching podcasts as it doesn’t happen on UK TV), but it just seemed to be really pushing Audible on people. I don’t doubt it’s helping audible (assuming people aren’t just signing up for the freebies), but is it just that little bit too much for the average viewer? Especially with the discussion of the idea that followed after. Personally I’d rather have heard a good review/recommendation of a book.

Through the show as a whole, I think the number of sponsors is about right. I like how Audible is sponsoring the homework section (though I hope this isn’t going to stop a few movies appearing in this segment again). The length of time spent on these sponsorships is what I’m not so sure about. It’s not awful – not worse than you’re average TWiT advert, but  things just seem to be pushed harder in this amount of time – maybe this is just me though.

One thing I would request though is if we’ve spent so much time listening to different ideas for putting adverts across (twitter, offering freebies etc.), why not feedback to the viewers how well/poorly this has worked? Especially if you can get a sponsor to comment on it. It’s probably some ideal information for viewers who may be looking towards ideas for business models.

I’ll still be tuning into This Week in Startups – but that’s what I’m tuning in for – not for This Week in Sponsorships. Also, sorry sponsors, but I’m now more than likely going to be fast-forwarding through the adverts.. I’ll leave you to decide if this averages out as value-added from what I’ve seen so far, or value-lost from the future.

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Photo: Worcester Sky at Night

by on Aug.25, 2009, under Photos

This week’s photo is of the night sky, taken just a week ago from my one bedroom window:

Worcester Night Sky

Worcester Night Sky

This is one of those photos I’ve taken that has made me wish I had a better quality camera. By the time it has been touched up a little, it just turns the photo quite grainy.

What got me to take this photo though was the colours present in the sky and how the tree line became silhouetted against it.

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Coca-Cola Polar Bear

by on Aug.13, 2009, under General

I saw this video appear on my twitter stream and though the animation in the face was fantastic:

How long until we see this appear in some of the Disney characters who are posing for photos.

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Random: I’ve Got The Power

by on Aug.09, 2009, under Random

The mess of cables behind my TV

The mess of cables behind my TV

So over the last few weeks I’ve been getting my new room all set up and everything plugged in. With the final part being the installation of Virgin Media today, so I now have broadband and TV in my room.

However, it has occurred to me how many electrical items I have – enhanced by the number of 4 ways I seem to have been buying recently and the mess of cables that now exists behind my TV.

This may not be an exciting blog post, but this is the current state of all the plugs in my room, going clockwise from the door:

(continue reading…)

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The Internet is Back

by on Aug.08, 2009, under General

I’m pleased to announce that I now have an internet connection in my new room.

The good news linked to this is that I should be able to start blogging again – hopefully meeting the daily frequency I’m aiming for (and so far failing at meeting…)

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