Podcast of the Week #5: The Changelog

Git sounds like an insult, but it’s actually a distributed version control system which was originally invented by Linus Torvalds, the developer of the Linux kernel. GitHub is a phenomenally successful open-source code hosting site build around Git. GitHub is also a community and the unofficial voice of the GitHub community is The Changelog, a blog and weekly podcast which highlights developments in Open Source by monitoring GitHub. The podcast is hosted by Wynn Netherland and Adam Stokoviac who regularly get to speak to the developers whose code is being developed in the open on GitHub*. Rather eccentrically numbered like the releases of open source projects that it documents (episode 0.0.1 was released November 22, 2009, 0.3.2 is the latest episode), this podcast is an essential stethoscope for listening to the pulse of open source development.

If there is a weakness, it is the slight bias towards web development with so-called nosql (pronounced no-sequel) databases, JavaScript frameworks and web design tools taking centre stage. But even so, *The Changelog* has risen quickly to the top of my list of *must listens*. I’ve learned a lot in the 10 months it’s been broadcasting.
*Chris Wanstrath is interviewed about GitHub in [episode 0.1.1](http://thechangelog.com/post/352878673/episode-0-1-0-chris-wanstrath-from-github).

BBC Micro brought back to life

Really liked this story that was a small item on Today’s Today programme. Students on A level computing course being let into The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park to programme the BBC micro (in BBC Basic) in order to learn how computers really work.

Visit the link for a more detailed article, background to the BBC Micro, and video from BBC News team.

The Real Life Social Network v2

I was wandering aimlessly across the internet, as you do, when I came across an interesting SlideShare Presentation The Real Life Social Network from Paul Adams (@padday) who works as the user research lead for social on the User Experience (UX) team at Google. He works on projects like Buzz and YouTube (and maybe even Google Me).

The [SlideShare is well worth going through in its entirety](http://www.slideshare.net/padday/the-real-life-social-network-v2) as it brings forth some issues that all of us who are keen to maximise our use of social networks in our work and play. Although aimed at an audience of institutions and companies that are looking to exploit people’s social networks in their offerings and services, it has some clear messages about the mismatch how people actually think about their social networks and how the social network providers and exploiters actually behave.
The presentation is divided into six parts:
– it starts by discussing how the **social web** is changing the world-wide web;
– goes on to discuss the **connections** that people have with other and how these change our on-line behavior;
– illustrates what people’s **relationships** really look like and how they compare (badly) to the relationships possible in social networks possible on line;
– examines the **influence** we have with our peers and how this can override any influence we might want to impose, say as a service provider, from the outside;
– **identity** and our need to project different identities to different audiences; and
– **privacy** or how to keep your private life separate from your professional life.

Paul has clearly thought deeply about these issues and it is interesting to know that Google are researching it so thoroughly. It will be interesting to see what, if any, changes there will be if and when Google releases its new social network offering.
I shall certainly be thinking through some of these issues.

Your Personal Learning Environment

Nice presentation made to students at the University of British Columbia as part of “JumpStart 2010″ UBC’s international orientation by former student Andre Malan (andremalan.net). Includes a very good presentation.

As well as an orientation presentation (in Prezi) of Personal Learning Environments from a student’s Point of View (POV), it concludes with some suggestions of suitable tools.

Would be worth Student Support Services taking a look and adapting for the Swansea University case.