Today is the day that A levels results are released to students and their parents. For the first time in as long as I can remember, the news media has not been obsessed with grade inflation. The estimated 175,000 students who won’t get a place has moved that old chestnut off top spot. That said, universities which told a Guardian poll last week that they were full are suddenly able to take well qualified students (Clearing 2010: Universities offer lifeline to top students, The Guardian).
An odd one this … but bear with me.
Sprachbar is part of the Deutsch for Ausländer (German for foreigners) programming of Deutsche Welle, the German equivalent to the BBC World Service.
To quote from the website
Sprachbar is an offering that introduces you to the subtleties and secrets of the German language. You will listen to explanations of current headlines, quotes from literature, figures of speech and grammar.
I like it because my wife is German and though my writing and speaking skills are minimal, my aural comprehension is quite good, and I can actually understand these short, humorous explanations of the idioms of modern German. In other words, it helps to keep my ear in.
Deutsche Welle (dw-world.de) provides lots more interesting resources for the budding German speaker, potential visitor, or home-sick native. And don’t worry, lots of the web site and resources is actually in English. For the serious student there are also Lots of German as a Foreign Language resources including news, programming, videos and Podcasts.
The latest Sprachbar podcast is Ein Loch kommt nie allien:
Sommerloch – Astloch – Stopfloch: Es “löchelt” viel in der deutschen Sprache. Wer genug Löcher in die Luft gestarrt hat, besucht Loch Ness – und fällt dann vor Ent-täuschung in ein tiefes Loch.
There’s a full transcript (in German only!) on the site.
I can’t wait!
Simon Wardley introduces cloud computing with an interesting history lesson on the commodization of technology. Includes an introduction to the OSCON 2010 Cloud Computing Summit. Memorable quote:
the only [service providers] who call their customers “users” are drug dealers and software vendors.
Update: Simon has posted his own introduction to the Summit in Arguably, the best cloud conference in the world?, Bits or Pieces.
More from the Cloud Computing Summit:
- Subra Kumaraswamy, “Security, Identity – Back to the Drawing Board?” 25 minutes.
- John Willis, “Cloudy Operations“. 22 minutes.
- Patrick Kerpan, “The Cloud Myths, Schemes, and Dirty Little Secrets“. 17 minutes.
- Stephen O’Grady, “Curing Addiction Is Easier“. 18 minutes.
- Dion Hinchcliffe, “Cloud, E2.0 – Joining the Dots“. 30 minutes.
- James Urquhart, “The Journey So Far“. 11 minutes.
- Marten Mickos, “Cloud and Open Source – A Natural Fit or Mortal Enemies?“. 8 minutes.
- Neil Levine, “The Future of Open Source“. 9 minutes.
- Marten Mickos, “Cloud and Open Source – A Natural Fit or Mortal Enemies?“
- Tim O’Reilly, “Infoware + 10 Years“. 10 minutes.
- Panel Discussion: “A Cloudy Future or Can We See Trends?”, Speakers L-R Tim O’Reilly, JP Rangaswami, Kate Craig-Wood, Dion Hinchcliffe . Moderated by Simon Wardley. 50 Minutes.
As part of my training for the Macmillan Gower Macmarathon, Renate and I walked to Verdi’s in the Mumbles yesterday. Across Singleton Park and down to Mumbles Road via Derwyn Fawr, up to Verdi’s and back to the bus stop at Oystermouth, this is a total of 5.3 miles. We did it in 1 h 50 walking time. Still need to build up some strength before September 11, including some more challenging walks in Gower, but feeling pretty good.
Sponsorship is building up quite nicely too …
In a circular email from the EPSRC forwarded to Engineering and Physical Sciences staff at my Institution via our Research Office, it seems like the public engagement of science is going to be an early victim of the Government’s new austerity package.
> … from April 2011, we will no longer offer dedicated support for public engagement; rather it will be embedded through our research and training investments.
and of course, *consultation* will be done ***after the fact**:*> Over the next few months we will be consulting with advisory groups on how to maximise the impact of our embedded public engagement portfolio. We also intend to hold workshops to help the research community adjust to our new way of working.
In four week’s time, on the 11th September, Renate and I will be taking part in the Gower Macmarathon Walk from Rhossili to Mumbles. A distance of 22 miles. We’ve set up a page to help collect sponsorship (see widget to right) and hopefully some of my readers, followers, friends and colleagues will be able to contribute.
Seriously, if MS Office 2010 can deliver, it might be a Google Docs killer!
Caveat: maybe not so great if mobile access only works on Windows phones.