Newly Discovered Bird Named after Twitter Text Messaging

The Tweeting Puffin is the latest animal to be identified after the 2009 text messaging sensation known as “Twitter”. The Tweeting Puffin shares several traits with its service namesake, so it only made sense that the biologists who discovered it in 2008 would think of naming it as they have. The Latin, and scientific name for the bird, microverbe aviflockus, refers to the short bursts of chirping the Tweeting Puffin makes, reminiscent of the 140 character “tweets” that humans can submit to the Twitter service from their cell phones and computers.

The History of Twitter [link fixed]

And God Tweetethed it, and it was so. Or, some guys and gals made some things, and put them together and stuff, so celebrities can better entertain us.

socialbooknerd: Pretty sure that going through an interview with a name dropper is even more annoying on the second listen.

saskboy @socialbooknerd: I was talking with Peter Mansbridge about that once, and Rick Mercer totally agreed with me. har har

Hat tip to Alec

Twitter Jumping Sharks

We all know the glory days of Twitter will come to an end, but no one knows when for sure. I think it has recently crept closer to self mockery today, because I’ve found a toilet to follow. Yes, it’s a self-tweeting crapper.

You can read the blog of the designers here. And yes, the self-Tweeting-toilet is a [future?] Canadian invention!

Iā€™d consider it an honour if I was the 3rd person in history to be Followed by a Toilet. @saskboy

ADDED: I’m not a “Twitter Shitter“. — Hat tip to Sarah S.

Hat tip to DietCoupon


And speaking of Twitter and crapola, Twitter spam — does it have a name yet? Spam blogs are “splogs”, and spam email is “spam”, but what is Twitter spam? Surely there must be a cutesy name for it. I notice Twitter spam when I post my Twitter profile on my blog because spam bots search for it, and then follow me, hoping I follow back. Spammers are also randomly including “Trending topics” on Twitter (the most talked about key words) in with their short ads to spam websites. Searching for why something that’s hashtagged is on the Trending list, is nearly useless.


My latest free CD of Ubuntu 9.04 Linux arrived the other day, woo hoo! Maybe I’ll upgrade from version 8.10 or whatever I’ve got installed. The version I’m using has trouble resuming from hibernation, it sticks upon resuming, and I have to reset.

Lazy Professors – Bring Experts into the Classroom by WWW

TLt Keynote

EdBloggers and XO laptop at TLt 2009

11:00 Dean Shareski and Alec Couros explaining how professors can exploit online connections and technology to connect students directly with experts in an area of study!
Alec shows his TweetDeck on Mac.
Tagging and back links keep discussion rolling.

Dean: changing minds is not comfortable at first.

Brand videos with title screen.

11:15 Make good writers realize they have an audience.

If you name someone in a blog post, more often than not, that person will respond.

Pay it forward, share your time as an expert. Transparency and openness is a good thing, but may be uncomfortable at times, and to start.

Control, transparency, privacy, and assessment are key issues.

Dean finds grading in this system more difficult, and provides students some flexibility in how assignments are weighted.

STF code of ethics observed. Students are adults.

Find experts already interacting online. Educators, welders, doctors, etc. who have blogs or Twitter.

Q from online Twitter participant: Reluctance from interns?
A: Yeah, to start. Some don’t want to blog. We all should learn from each other as professionals. Even this TLt event, you should share it with coworkers.

Q: Deirdre – bring experts in from other side of the world for an hour, at no cost – dream come true.
A Dean: SK geography leads us to think of this solution.

Q: Needed permission to try this?
A: not really, but Assoc. Dean aware of it. Students positive anyway.


Q: Concern over externalizing student work, on Blogger or Twitter instead of saving it in UR Courses/Moodle?
A: Let go of control when possible, don’t duplicate free tools. Gmail, and university webmail forwarding mentioned.

Alec – should be open courses on Moodle, freely created (and persistent if used).


If you’re looking for a Swine Flu cure, have I got a deal for you!

TLt Conference 2009 – Monday course online LIVEBLOG

10:46 Steve Wihak gives intro.
Pandemonium or Panacea? using technology to teach history
Dr. Ken Leyton-Brown on moving his history course to online delivery.

Disney’s apprentice image in mind. Does an apprentice know what to do? Trial and error – “grim phrase”. Learn to swim by drowning? “Trial and success” not in lexicon.

Can teach what you know? Not innately. “The sage on the stage” – someone said.

If there’s no learning, there’s no teaching going on.
Teacher can’t understand why students not engrossed in subject.
(I’m confounded that people are disinterested in politics.)

WebCT initially tried. Then pottery, and digital maps added to program.
Podcasts made available, and students taking notes from podcasts did better than those who attended!

10:59 Harvard stopped offering paper handbooks, and calendars.
There are issues. Cost, training, and theoretical problems with usefulness.

WebCT was a good introduction, and wasn’t different from what he was doing before – notes distribution. Some didn’t use it at all. “I hate WebCT, I hate computers.”
Pottery tool is “neat” grade A. Want speed and results. Digital maps may not help everyone learn better. Gave a quiz… some thought water was the land! “Parts blue, that would be water, green would be land.”

11:08 Search hits on Google are not “research”.
Wrong acceptance letters sent from American university.
(I got mentioned,) CD distributed with photos too large to open. (I helped identify this problem for Ken a few weeks ago.

I recall 2 years ago Randy McLeod talking about having to use texting to communicate with his distance students. When I took his satellite course in late 1990s, it was telephone and fax.

Tweet me I’m Irish.
students in trouble around world for online remarks and behaviour.
People are passionately attached to their technologies. Books on maintaining digital relationships, or “defriending”.Woman stabbed due to facebook status change! (Pres. Timmons made joke other hour about confusing facebook friends when she changed her “relationship” status to hidden to respect her husband’s privacy wishes. Facebook said she was single, and a niece was traumatized.

TLt Conference 2009 – Monday LIVEBLOG

President Timmons of the UofR, and Vi Meers also of UofR among introducers at cpnference.

9:16 Keynote from Dr. Rory McGreal of Athabasca U. Saw rice farmer behind oxen team while farmer was text messaging in 1990s.
eBooks, like Kindle have a huge problem not technological: copyright. Can’t even show it to someone! Few hands went up in room when asked who has read a software license.

9:22 Virtually projected keyboards: only work about 60% of the time.
Netbooks. I almost held up my OLPC XO high for all to see.
Bendable screens. “Can safely look forward to a future where paper will be more expensive than your computer.” It’s possible, but maybe not in the long term.

9:28 He had tolearn with a fountain pen – ballpoint forbidden at school – anti-technology streak.
Toys? PSP – broke code in Canada, still legal, but trying to stop it through C-61 style DMCA.Wanted PSP game player to be good for more than just games.

Children learn by playing games, and adults can/should too!
Schools taught workers to sit still and stick to doing boring work. Nt designed for knowledge economy. Use games to teach more effectively.

“Twitch” mesurement in gaming, move a joystick from one position to another. 200 milliseconds – enough to transmit light to other side of the world. God designed the universe for gaming on Earth.

9:40 Now talking about XO and capabilities. Direct sunlight screen. Can get a computer to every person.
Cell phones may be the future, I think.

9:50 Asked what tech did most harm to community? I thought “gun”, and he said that was the most common answer in the USA. He said it was personal book, and I thought “personal automobile”.

9:59 Firefox crashed. Rory is talking about cloud computing, and hands off IT approach. Patriot act a concern. Naive opinion that our security won’t hand over our data anyway. (Moot, because USA could spy on us legally.)

Free university courses for free available too. Profs could take and credit developed courses that are tested!

“Copyright laws coming in are going to be so onerous”, will have to join open university model.

Kurzweil’s Law – on exponential scale, progression of Internet was linear – predictable. Been going on since 1900. Accelerating returns.
2009 already a computer with more intelligence than a human being. By 2020 whole race of humans.

Robot scientist to test new ideas.

10″12 Thought I charged this thing after EnergizeIT, but it’s at 32% battery or about 54minutes. on low power screen it should go til lunch.
Half the world Elvis impersonators by 2020? Careful of results of predictions.

10:15 Ride, don’t jump, the shark.

10:42 About to start listening to Dr. Ken Leyton-Brown in new presentation. Will open new blog post for that.

The Intelligence of Blogging

Well, I had quite the evening. Rubbing shoulders (figuratively of course) with the top education and technology people in the province this evening at TLt at the Regina Inn, I was shocked by how many people recognized me. Okay, most of them knew me through work, but they remembered me as a blogger, not as the role I play at work. The President of the UofR (Hi Vianne) knows my blog well enough to refer to parts of it due to my live blogging of various UofR events in my free time.

In a conversation around the table I sat at, we discussed the connection between Facebook and intelligence (or the lack of good grades from the majority of high-use facebookers), Twitter, and computer viruses. I love being at a place where computer and education geeks are the norm, because I can talk about what’s on my mind and I’m unlikely to bore people (like usual).

I picked up some juggling tips from my former Greece and Rome history professor, and bumped into people I hadn’t seen in years since I was at a former job. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow, so I better hit the hay to finish fighting off this scratchy throat.

Drowning in a Sea of Social Media for a Cube

Well, some of you may have noticed my somewhat odd stance against the Vancouver Canucks, and the city and fans related to them? Turns out, I was only kidding. Ryan over at WiredCola gave me an idea to try out a little mock blog war, and see if it generated interest in our blogs. It had some effect in the blogosphere and Twittersphere (Tweetdom? Twitterverse?), but not as massive as I expected.

Anyway, before my reputation as a Canada loving (all parts of Canada, even Vegreville, Alberta with their creepy giant space ship egg) blogger gets tarnished by a performance satire, I’m coming clean with the truth. I like the Canucks, and am glad they dispensed with the St. Louis Blues in 4 games straight. Vancouver’s rowdy and destructive fans can go suck an egg still, however.

Ryan offered to take back the mean things he said about Saskatchewan and Gainer, especially if I support his bid to social-medialy-win an auto Cube. Yes, he was mock[?] insulting the Roughriders beloved mascot of a gopher because he wanted to win a new car. Forgive him? Gainer the Gopher doesn’t hold grudges (except maybe against Calgary for banning him once).

Rannie is also in the competition for a Cube, and has a fitting panoramic photo available of “B.C. and Saskatchewan”, from Toronto I presume though šŸ˜‰

So help Rannie and Ryan “nerd their rides”. I met them both in Toronto in 2008 when we were on CBC’s Test The Nation.

Last time I set out to win an online contest, I didn’t fare so well, even with most of the Canadian blogosphere behind me, but I was new on the scene then. At least Cold Yeller finally was replaced with something a little more Earth and power bill friendly.

1,000,000 Spam Blocked

Well, a dubious honour for my blog occurred moments ago. My spam blocking software has now stopped over 1000000 (1 million) spam comments from appearing on my blog.

Akismet has protected your site from 946,253 spam comments already, and there are 5 comments in your spam queue right now.

WP-SpamFree has blocked 53,763 spam comments.


Thank you Akismet, WP-SpamFree, and the previous spam blocking software I used too.

Once Twitter Spam really gets rolling, maybe more people will blog again šŸ˜‰

Internet Explorer + Twitter = Free Worm

Social network texting service Twitter is being affected by another XXS worm that works reportedly on Internet Explorer only. If you are using Internet Explorer for your websurfing and Tweeting, why? Get Firefox.

The mikeyy worm is described by a Mashable commenter:
Stephen Sclafani

The worm exploits a XSS issue in the profile colors. It’s the same issue that was used in the last attack. Twitter partially fixed the issue but they left open a vector that only works on IE.

Hat tip to @anndouglas