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December 27, 2008

Web Agents, NoteShare and Collaborative List Building and Note-Taking

I've been reading and pondering the various end of the year "top ten" lists that publications highlight to summarize the last 12 months.  They are predictable choices like most years although this year will go down in history for some notable first time events.  One such list that got my attention was Wired's Top Technology Breakthroughs of 2008 which was cleverly disguised by its title.  Actually, it was in fact a consumer "gadget" list while mostly touted devices or services related to digital technology for personal use.  Hardly what one would expect as breakthrough technology.

But it got me thinking about what was the most attention grabbing headline this year that I truly considered a scientific or technological breakthrough which stuck in my brain.  From my way of thinking, a real breakthrough would either demonstrate a significant milestone in our fundamental understanding of the underlying science behind the discovery and/or it would show the way to a potentially game-changing future in which the resulting applied technology would benefit the greatest number of humans. Simply put,  my metric was set on finding a technological breakthrough at the civilization or global level for positive change.

Suncover The #1 Technology Breakthrough of 2008
If you want to learn more about my top choice for technology breakthrough of 2008,
open this web notebook and turn to page 87 to watch the presentation or download the notebook document (requires OS X) that I generated from using the ClusterSearch Dashboard widget (a free web agent utility available on our site or from Apple's site).

2008 and beyond - the buzzword is infrastructure
In the weeks and months ahead, the United States and the world will be discussing the need for rebuilding our communities and nations via
infrastructure investments.  Traditional infrastructure spending typically means roads, highways, bridges and public works projects to improve the overall quality of life and productivity of the citizenry.  Also included in the nation's infrastructure wish list is networking infrastructure to modernize our power/energy transmission grids, to use more fiber optic lines within our communities to extend broadband capacity and to adopt a more intelligent approach to the networking of national information services (patient information system like the National VA Hospital system).  From magazines to newspaper thought leaders like Thomas Friedman, the nation's action item list is the hot topic of the month.  What's on your infrastructure wish-list?

Collaborative lists and notes
Many of my blog posts are about collaborative list building and sharing outlines using NoteShare and NoteTaker.  Today's blog theme about ranked lists and making national priorities raised another question that probably deserves a separate post but it certainly deserves attention.  Collaboration is a learned or acquired skill if not a formal, systematic process for teams.  If you're part of a workgroup or a project team that depends upon sharing information, building lists, making outlines to organize tasks and assigning responsibilities then you've probably tried several different tools or approaches.  If you're already a NoteShare user or accessing a NoteShare Server from your desktop or your
webtop,  then you know how useful a shared notebook is to a project team staying organized.  Instead of files and emails flying around, you have a central information hub organized as your project notebook.  That's the power of using NoteShare.    One of our goals in 2009 is to make collaborative list building and note-taking even more ubiquitous.  And, most importantly, even easier to get started.


(Category/Tags: education, outlining, academic life, lifelong learning, share notes, lecture notes, enterprise, workgroups, productivity, business software, collaborative tools, information sharing, outline processing, OS X, Windows, Linux, smartphones, desktop, webtop, information processing software, enterprise, sharing, notebook, outlines, note-taking, shared notes, workgroup collaboration, Java, NoteShare Server, life sciences research, lab notebook, Web 2.0, NoteTaker, NoteShare Express, NoteShare, Apple, e-books, literature, digital books, iPhone, iPod Touch, Leopard, OS X, Apple, Macintosh, Vista, DELL, web notebook, wiki, blog, knowledge management, netbooks, pervasive computing, cloud computing, smartphone, outliners, to do lists).



December 13, 2008

The Known Universe - another way to share notebook content for teaching and learning

The intersection of the Internet and video has enabled users and organizations to capture and archive presentations, interviews and profiles of important thinkers, leaders and visionaries from different and diverse fields.  The notion of recording the "living" biographies of people is now possible especially among society's most thought provoking individuals.  Whether you're scanning iTunes U for new ideas, watching an Edge.org interview or browsing the TED event collection, there are as many opinions as there are people to be discovered on these video sites.  They are fantastically entertaining and equally as informative.  So, where do you begin?

Knownuniversenotebookcover There are any number of fun thought experiments you can do to begin your video journey but in this case, I chose to think about the most influential technology thinkers, scientists and inventors of the past 25 years that had impressed me or had influenced me in some way.  I deliberately limited my choice to five and that's probably a good number to ignite a passionate argument about the role of science and technology vs the role of politics and religion in shaping the direction of human progress on our planet.  Although he's not on the list, Carl Sagan would probably and rightly so, deserve a special honor for his work in educating and inspiring the public about the vast grandeur of our cosmos that surrounds us.  And so I've called this web notebook, The Known Universe.


(Category/Tags: education, outlining, academic life, lifelong learning, share notes, lecture notes, enterprise, workgroups, productivity, business software, collaborative tools, information sharing, outline processing, OS X, Windows, Linux, smartphones, desktop, webtop, information processing software, enterprise, sharing, notebook, outlines, note-taking, shared notes, workgroup collaboration, Java, NoteShare Server, life sciences research, lab notebook, Web 2.0, NoteTaker, NoteShare Express, NoteShare, Apple, e-books, literature, digital books, iPhone, iPod Touch, Leopard, OS X, Apple, Macintosh, Vista, DELL, web notebook, wiki, blog, knowledge management, netbooks, pervasive computing, cloud computing, smartphone, outliners, To Do lists).



December 09, 2008

Some goodies and gems from around the AquaMinds community

It's Tuesday,  December 9th and I thought it would be a good time to cover a number of items of interest to our user community, readers and partners.

Collaboration, sharing and information processing continue to be the central themes of our software development work.  As we prepare for the new year, we expect more users will be sharing and working with their notebooks on more platforms than ever before.  The energy and creativity of the AquaMinds community continues to grow in new and exciting ways.  If you've got a NoteTaker or NoteShare resource, success story or an application workflow you would like to share with us, write to us at this email address.    We enjoy hearing from you and appreciate your support and suggestions.

And now, the news...

It was forty years ago today, Dr. Engelbart taught the band how to play

EngelbartcoverEngelbart's computing DNA is everywhere.  Visionary extraordinaire, Doug Engelbart has been thinking the big thoughts for a very long time and we salute him and his team of pioneering scientists that showed the way.  We've put together a web notebook of site links you can browse to learn more about the amazing history of Doug Engelbart and his colleagues that kicked off many a revolution; more than just the mouse device we use today.  And if you're looking for a fascinating book to read about the halcyon days of Engelbart's generation before there was a commercial "Silicon Valley" (pre-Apple, pre-Atari, pre-Osborne),  check out What the Dormouse Said by John Markoff (New York Times technology reporter).  NOTE: Our local NPR station KQED, home to Michael Krasny's popular Forum program, also had a special today to celebrate and reflect upon Engelbart's contributions.  You can listen to it here.

Terrific new NoteShare screencasts for educators and students

Ann'svimeosite-1 Middle school teacher Ann Marie Hutton of Maine has put together her own site of NoteShare and NoteShare Server screencasts to share with educators who are using NoteShare in the classroom and on their campuses.  The series of screencasts show NoteShare being used to organize grade-level notebooks for organizing lessons, homework and course notes.    She also features the use of RSS and web notebooks for anytime access by both students and parents.  For schools using Etech's Studywiz Spark, check out the screencast on embedding live notebooks and RSS feeds within Studywiz pages.


Teachers on teaching in a digital world using NoteShare and other social tools

Collaboration6 I have written here before that the state of Maine is one of the most innovative laboratories for studying and understanding the impact of 1:1 personal computing in the classroom and on campuses.  This past year I sat down with Freeport Middle School teacher Betsy Sky-McIlvain to talk about her teaching style, her literacy blog and her insights about teaching students today in a digital world.  The complete interview transcript is published here on our education site.


Notebook sharing and collaboration with Windows PC and Linux users

Expressdoc We are shipping NoteShare Express this month which is our exciting new web-based application for live editing of shared notebooks.  That's correct.  Mac users working on their shared notebooks with Windows PC and Linux users, anytime, anywhere.    You can preview the new user documentation via NoteShare Express from your browser (requires latest version of Java).


Netbooks, iPhones, iPod Touch and Pervasive Computing
And in looking ahead to 2009, we predict (like others) that personal, social computing gets even more mobile and more pervasive as users connect daily through their smartphones, netbooks, iPhones and other mobile Web devices.  And to address this pervasive computing trend, we'll continue to enhance our
web notebook technology even for the most basic application scenarios like browsing notebook information.


(Category/Tags: education, outlining, academic life, lifelong learning, share notes, lecture notes, enterprise, workgroups, productivity, business software, collaborative tools, information sharing, outline processing, OS X, Windows, Linux, smartphones, desktop, webtop, information processing software, enterprise, sharing, notebook, outlines, note-taking, shared notes, workgroup collaboration, Java, NoteShare Server, life sciences research, lab notebook, Web 2.0, NoteTaker, NoteShare Express, NoteShare, Apple, e-books, literature, digital books, iPhone, iPod Touch, Leopard, OS X, Apple, Macintosh, Vista, DELL, web notebook, wiki, blog, knowledge management, netbooks, pervasive computing, cloud computing, smartphone, outliners, To Do lists).

Posted by Scott Love on December 9, 2008 05:08 PM | |