Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Review 3~

Bookr.  ( )
            Based on the popular image hosting websites, Flickr, Bookr allows it users to create a photobook by compiling the images from Flickr. Bookr is actually a project by, which also develop  a few other interesting tools, like ‘Phrasr’ and ‘Bubblr’. were run by Daniel Julia and Anna Fruster which are working on concept, design and development of interactive projects and university teaching.
            Bookr is a very simple, easy-to-use tools that has an easy to the eyes interface. When you go to Bookr, you can create your own photobook right away without having to go through any registration that most websites would require us to do nowadays. You can see your photobook right when you are making it, without having to go to ‘preview’ mode. The tool itself is pretty simple and user friendly.
            The search function located at the bottom of the page provides a good search results that consist of the most popular images with the tag searched. Search can also be made by using the username of the uploader of a picture, which is easier if you want to use a specific picture that you have uploaded beforehand. There seems to be no limit on the number of pages a photobook can have.
            This tool should be utilized in the schools and universities to help their students in learning. Researches have proven that with visual aid or stimulus, the effectiveness of learning can be improve exponentially. The photobook could be used in class rooms, for various subjects at any level from the elementary schools, to the universities level as an addition to the normal text books for the students to gain better understanding on the subjects. Instead of using an actual flash cards, or other visual stimulus which comes with a price why not use Bookr, which is free and equally if not more effective.
            In conclusion, Bookr is a tool with a huge usage potential. The versatility it makes it suitable to be to be used in any level of education, from being an aid in teaching an elementary schooler how to read to being a last minute note for high level education students preparing for exam.

Review 2~

            Chatroulette.  ( )
                        Chatroulette is a website that pairs two strangers from all over the world for a webcam based chat. It is one of the first websites that uses this concept. The website was created by a Russian teenager, Andrey Ternovskiy. Chatroulette was actually inspired by Skype’s video chat, but instead of chatting with a list of friend, you chat with random strangers. The site is basically a webcam based chat with added touch of randomness which was taken from the Russian Roulette, hence the name ‘Chatroulette’.
                        Ever since it was first made online on November 2009, Chatroulette has improved its system. The most noticeable improvement is the filter. During the early stage, the biggest problem faced by Chatroulette was the huge amount of perverts and ‘exabitionist’ which showed ‘unwanted’ and disturbing scene on Chatroulette. This problem has made Chatroulette unable to spread to users of all ages. At first they came with a ‘report’ button which users can click to report a user that is broadcasting’ inappropriate view’ through Chatroulette. If a user is report more than 3 times in 5 minutes, he will be blocked for up to 40 minutes. It also added a blurry video for the first few second of the broadcasted video before it actually shows the full view, which gives the option for the users to cancel it before seeing something that could be disturbing.
                        However, with the latest version of Chatroulette, this problem appeared to be solved. Based on my latest visit on the website, the ‘exabitionist’ and pervert there has been totally eliminated. The site is now literally clean. The ratio of man-woman using the website however still remains the same, where man dominates the population of the user. Based on my last visit on it, from 10 users, only one of them is a woman, while the others are men.
                        Despite the fact that most of the users there spent their time there just for casual talk or chat, Chatroulette can actually helps a lot in improving the mastery of English language. For local students that do not have anyone to speak English with, they can use Chatroulette to practice and hone their speaking skill as most of the users on Chatroulette are English speakers. I believe that this will be a tremendous help to them in learning the English language.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Review 1~

Animepaper.  ( )
            The moment you go to Animepaper, you will be ‘served’ by a few of the top rated wallpapers, possibly among the most amazing anime wallpapers ever made in history. The web interface features a very neat and user friendly design that are not only easy to the eyes but also convenient in terms of accessibility.
            Animepaper or in short often called (AP) was founded in the year 2004. Ever since then, the site has gone through a couple of improvements and evolutions. Currently, AP is known as AP v6, which is the sixth major update which included the visual, functions, and also the administration updates. With the updates, the popularity of AP also increased with the more interactive interface.
            As the name suggested, AP offers a wide, almost infinite variants of not only quality anime wallpapers, but also games, and ‘manga’ wallpapers too. These asian art styles which are highly popular nowadays can be accessed easily and the best thing is that it is totally free. This site acts as a center for both professional and amateur artists from all over the world to exchange and share their works. The fact that they can comments and criticizes the others piece of art can help to improve their level of mastery in the art of wallpaper design. The ‘note’ function where users can tag an area of the wallpaper to give a specific comment on that part of the wallpaper is a very brilliant feature.
            AP provides its users with a wide selection of groups and section where its users can get together and focus on a topic regarding digital arts. One of the most helpful section is the ‘session zero’, in which AP users, mainly the amateur or newbie ‘waller’ (a term used to call people that makes wallpaper) post their draft and unfinished work to be commented and to get some advices from the other users. AP also provides huge collections of manga, art book, and poster scans which is used as a base to create wallpaper by the artist. Vectors can also be found on AP.
            All in all, AP is an excellent site for those who have passion on digital art. Graphic design students could use this site to get advice and to share their works with other people with the same passion with them from the whole world. They could learn new techniques and skills from this site, and made them better at what they are doing.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Intro to Genre~


            The two texts that I am going to compare are a short story by O. Henry titled ‘The thing’s the play’ and another short story by Saki titled ‘Tobermory’. The first is romance realist fiction and the latter is from a science fiction genre.
            The two stories have two distinguishable themes. The first story’s theme is about the complex nature of love, that it is not influenced by physical traits. Helen’s love towards his husband that she only saw for less than an hour after taking the vow stays and never withers even after twenty years. The second story’s theme on the other hand is about a man idea of changing the nature of the world backfires, bringing panic to the world. Cornelius’s experimented for almost seventeen years to make animals able to speak human language, but right after he finally succeed, the animal, a cat named Tobermory was too cleaver and knows too much of the secrets and gossips of the people around him. This appears to be too problematic for them which cause them to plan on exterminating Tobermory. We can see that the theme of these two genres contradict each other in which, the realist fiction use a more personal theme in which someone who may have experienced it in real life may be able to relate to it better, while the science fiction one use a more public theme that is easier to be accessed by readers.
            The story ‘The thing’s the play’ starts with a conversation a scene with the narrator were with his reporter friend, at a performance. The reporter talked about his situation where he needs humor story for his column in the newspaper. This is when the narrator, starts his story, though his story are not ‘humorous’. His story starts with the description of a place that once a wedding took place. This is where the ‘actual’ story starts.  The narrator introduce the characters involved by relating them to one another, in which we were told that Helen is marrying Frank, and John was Frank’s best man. The conflict arose when John came to Helen asking her to flee with him, which was rejected by Helen, but Frank saw them together in the bride’s room and misunderstood. Both Frank and John left. Helen was left alone married by without her husband with her. In the coming years, she was proposed by a young lawyer but she rejected him, saying that she was married. After twenty years since the incident, two men came and rent a room at her house. Both of them were charming and caught her attention. One of them, Ramonti, is a musician, who had no memory of his past, and another one is a handsome man that has something special that made Helen think that he was Frank, and she had an affection towards him. But, the story was twisted here where actually Ramonti is actually Frank who lost his memory but still love her, and the other man is John which still love Helen too. In the end, her love is still with the real Frank, when she knows the truth after John tells her who he actually is. Contrarily, the story ‘Tobermory’ starts with a scene at a tea-table where Mr. Appin, a scientist was at Lady Blemley’s house party. Mr. Appin announced that he had made a new discovery, he was able to make animals talk. The other guests did not believe him resulting in him bringing Tobermory, Lady Blemley’s pet that he had been conducting experiment on. To their surprise, Tobermory can speaks human language perfectly. But as they asked Tobermory questions, the cat proved to be highly intelligence and knows a lot about their secrets as he had been watching them all this time. He exposed many of their secrets and this had made them panicked and ultimately decide to exterminate Tobermory, worrying that he might teaches other cats and cause more chaos. They poisoned his food, but he didn’t went for his dinner that night. They were all anxious, but in the morning the gardener found Tobermory corpse, with a bite on his throat. He was killed in a fight. We can clearly see the difference from the way the story we told, which in ‘The thing’s the play’ the story is actually in another story, while in ‘Tobermory’ it was quite straight forward. The plots in the first story which is a realist romance were also more complicated compared to the second story that is from the science fiction. A realist genre’s plots usually are more complicated because they reflects that of a real life, while a science fiction may have a more straight forward plot in order to let the readers absorb the new ideas and the concept introduced in the story.
            The first story, ‘The thing’s the play’ takes place in a western country, at around the 19th century based on the act of kissing the lady’s hand while kneeling which suggest that it was around that era. The second story, ‘Tobermory’ also takes place in a western country, at around the same era as the first story. This is due to the fact that they have a house party, with their acquaintance and they also have servants which the Englishman usually has in the 19th century. This shows that, stories with different genres can have the same settings.
            In ‘The thing’s the play’, the main character Helen was portrayed very detailed in which her personality were well presented to the readers. Again, this is due to the story being a realist fiction where the main character needs to be real enough to enable the readers to engage the story. In ‘Tobermory’ the characters are not as detailed as the one in ‘The thing’s the play’, because the focus of the story lies in the ideas and the philosophy of the story. We can also see the difference in the amount of characters in the two stories where in a realist fictions, less characters were used in order to enable the reader to dive into the story easier without losing focus.
Point of view
            Both of the stories use the third person omniscient point of view. The reason why this point of view was used is because it explains everything in the story. This allows the story to be accessed easier by the reader without having to guess and make assumptions which can cause confusion in understanding the story. As mention before, a realist fiction has a complicated plot and therefore having a clear picture of the whole story would helps a lot. As for science fiction, since it is a new concept or idea, a clear image of the story is needed to prevent misinterpretation of the writer ideas.
            In the story ‘The thing’s the play’, Helen herself symbolized ‘true love’ in which ones love was not affected by physical appearance. Helen almost accepted John only because she thought John was Frank, but once she knows the truth, she came running at Ramonti, who is actually Frank. She loves him not for his looks or traits, but for who he is. As for ‘Tobermory’, the talking cat, Tobermory, symbolized the human desire in changing the world without thinking about the side effect or the collateral damages. Mr. Appin thinks solely about giving the animals the ability to talk, but he never considers the possible unwanted effects.
            The language used in the ‘The thing’s the play’ was rather simple but with a lot of adjectives, to give the readers the most accurate visualization of the situation in the story. On the other hand, in ‘Tobermory’ there were not as many adjectives used and the writer keeps the surrounding simple and maintain the focus of the story on his new concept and the ideas. A realist genre is more descriptive and in-depth compared to the science fiction genre which is straightforward and less rich vocabulary.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Im having a very serious crisis right now... hopefully it wont last long....
i hate it! i just want everything to be normal again....

please....i hope u understand....ukm jaring...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My personal learning environment~

            As a human being, we are automatically engaged in an ongoing learning process since the day we were born into this world. However, despite the fact that learning is a human nature, each and every individual have their own different distinguishable learning preference. These learning preference may be predetermined biologically even when they are still an infant, but at the same time can be developed and adapted to be more effective in order to cope with the current need and surrounding environment of that particular individual. In other word, some people may prefer a type of learning process which is effective to them, while some other may prefer a different one but can change depending on the situation.
            As an individual, my learning process involves cramming and focusing on a subject at the very last minute. This method may be considered as a bad habit by some, but so far for me it is not as bad as it was claimed by those people. I have learnt and know lots of ‘effective’ learning process in many seminars and academic camps that I have attended since primary school, but I just cannot adapt to those styles. As mentioned above, each individual have their own effective learning preference and this is my learning preference. Cramming means trying to absorb a huge amount of information in a short amount of time, which is one of the best method to be used during the study week before an exam takes place. This technique is relevant to me, as I find myself unable to stay focus for a long period of time.
            However, I have to admit that this style has its own flaws. The huge amount of information that were forced to be remembered in such a  short time tends to last for a short time too, if not practised or revised in the near future. This would be a problem if that information needs to be used again for future studies. Another downside of this technique is that not everyone can handle the pressure in order to actually use this technique. Cramming on the eleventh hour will surely put an enormous pressure on oneself, and some people cannot withstand it and end up not being able to absorb anything. Though there is a saying that people work best under pressure, it only works on a certain people. Lastly, this technique limits you to work alone, or at most in a small group, due to the reason above; not many people can survive this technique.
            Learning process can be improved in many ways, and one of them is by using technology. Technology does not mean only computer and other digital gadgets, it is not limited only to those. In fact, almost everything that we use today is a technology, in fact even a simple tool like a pen is a technology. The history has proven that technology is a very powerful force. Learning process has been improved countless time in all these years by using technology. Books were improved from being hand written to the more organized and uniform printing method. This allows the knowledge to expand faster and indirectly improved not only the learning process but also affected the course of human living style.
            The internet is considered as one of the most powerful tool of technology ever created by human. In the learning context, the internet can helps us achieve many things that were considered impossible in the 60’s and the 70’s. Information can be send across the world in mere seconds, video chat, virtual reality, these things were never even thought at that time. But now, with the arrival of the internet, the world is now truly is without boundary.
I myself have used the internet as one of my main source to get information and knowledge. I can interact with the lecturers online and get instant feedback, rather than having to make an appointment and wait for a specific date where both the lecturer and I are free, which is not always possible. The online is undeniably far more convenient, faster, and efficient. The SPIN and the IELLS, used by The National University of Malaysia are a few examples of websites that allows the direct interaction between lecturers and their students.
Personally, I find reading a long printed text to be hard. It is easy to lose track of the text due to physical condition of the reading material as well as the limited human ability to focus to small written text. This is where the digital media comes to play. Digital media allows me to read easily and more organize. No more losing track to the text, as the digital media can be viewed in various modes and sizes of font.
             The digital media, be it an e-book or just a rewritten form of a book in a digital form is extremely effective to me compared to the traditional books. They are indeed an upgraded version of the traditional books and are meant to be a better medium for us.
            Technology will never stop improving. As long as human have imagination, there will be new ideas, and these new ideas will be the very foundation of the next generation technology. This means that the technology is almost limitless, as long as we can think of it, there is a possibility for it to be achieved. Even the current technology can evolve into something new to fulfil the current need.
            I wish that I can utilise the technology available to me to help me understand and absorb even more information in a particular time period than I already can. This would improve my learning process a lot, as the objective of cramming is to absorb as many information as you can in the least time.
It is stated in , the more sense that we use in the process, the better the information will be absorbed. Therefore, I will try to make use of the technology to involve as many of senses as possible in the information absorbing process. Visual aid is one way to increase the effectiveness of the absorption of information by the human brain that has been used by today educators in Malaysia. Lessons can be improved by being accompanied by visual and audio stimulation, and maybe even physical stimulation for certain subject for maximum learning effectiveness. If used, this would be a huge improvement for me, as my learning style involves focussing in the class, and cramming in the last minute. The extra effectiveness in the absorption would helps to reduce the time needed to absorb the information when cramming.
            The text books for schools and universities should be made available in        e-books and audio books form. This would make the learning process more interesting and allows me to experience a more interactive approach, rather than just merely read. By being more interactive, the contents of the books will be able to actually engage my mind more than it would when it is in the traditional text book form.
            The internet, as stated earlier being one of the most powerful tools for human kind are also one of the most useful. It usefulness are almost infinite, you can access any information that you can think of from it. I can easily access any previous lecture notes from the portals that every university has nowadays, in order to revise them when the exam draws near. Furthermore, extra information for a particular subject or topic can be found on the internet in millions of the websites across the world that can provide me a better understanding on that particular subject or topic.
            In conclusion, each and every one of us has our own learning preference that may be effective for us but not other. I prefer cramming on a subject at the eleventh hour, which may not be favoured by others. We should use whatever style that suits us for our current condition and surrounding that can provide the best result in term of effectiveness of learning. 

yesss! siap pon akhirnya!!!! skrg pukul 5.30 pagi, boleh tido sejam! oh yeah!!!