hello facebook vs google. goodbye microsoft. nice try aol: the future of instructional technology

Facebook vs. GmailFacebook has taken the next step in its quest for world domination of people’s online lives. Facebook email (codenamed “Project Titan”) was introduced today:

While the new product will incorporate @facebook.com e-mail addresses, Zuckerberg said it will be more than just Gmail competition. It will offer three key features other e-mail services lack: seamless messaging across a variety of platforms, including SMS and texting; conversation history across those platforms; and a “social in-box,” meaning the company can filter the in-box just to include messages from friends.

Of course, the problem with email is that it’s old. Who under 30 years of age uses email anymore outside of their work-mandated email? Today, messaging is done instantaneously with text messaging, chat, and video conferencing. Email is what my generation (I’m 37) uses when communicating with those who aren’t on Facebook or don’t carry wireless devices.

Google made an earlier attempt at rethinking email with its Google Wave, on which it has stopped development. Now Facebook is giving it a try. In adding email, Facebook is essentially hedging a bet against Google, just in case email lingers for another decade. If Facebook can add email to its social networking offerings before Google can add social networking to its assortment of apps (remember Google Buzz?), then Facebook may be able to wrest away the throngs of users that are fleeing Microsoft exchange for Gmail. Add to this the impact that Apple is making on Microsoft with its Macs and the iPhone, and the transformation of modern media is complete. The biggest loser in all of this is Microsoft. (We’re not counting AOL’s “Project Phoenix” – Elvis left the building years ago.) Google docs will continue to do away with MS Office; iPhone, iTunes, and the Mac computer line will continue to erode away at the Microsoft operating systems (methinks they’re on Windows 7 now) and media players; and Facebook will continue to devour all social interaction.

We are left with a world that will use Google Android and Apple iPhones to access all communications, including the internet. (Sure, there are other phones and service providers, but how will they compete with Google Voice long term? Cable companies should be wary as well, as both Google TV and Apple TV are here.) Apple will continue to offer its Macs as a computing solution, while Google is adopting the cloud solution with its Chrome OS.  Google will continue to be the search engine of choice, and Google Docs, Earth (which should merge with Maps), and Calendar, will continue to provide the free, cloud-based apps to businesses and individuals alike, thereby continuing to vex Microsoft’s dying business model. Google Voice, an assortment of mobile voice tools superior to those of most wireless companies, will continue to erode at the very old school models of phone communications and the less antiquated, but hat-handed wireless companies by offering a free alternative to voice mail and dirt cheap long distance service. Meanwhile, Facebook (and FB apps on Droid and iPhones) will become the place for all social interactions, especially for the younger generations.

As far as higher education is concerned, the first company sync Facebook profiles with university class rosters, harness Google Docs, YouTube, and Wikipedia into a Moodle-style content management system wins. The first university to employ Facebook’s networking abilities, Google’s apps, and Wikipedia’s knowledge base with their library holdings will not only lead the way in online education for years to come, but will produce a revenue stream by exporting such a system to other universities.

If Facebook and Google have taught us anything, it is that cloud-based computing, social networking, and crowd-powered collaborative research are not only the future, they are the here and now. First one to get there wins.

writing the dead sea scrolls to air july 27, 2010 at 9:00 pm on national geographic

Writing the Dead Sea Scrolls on Nat GeoWriting the Dead Sea Scrolls” will air on Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at 9:00 PM on the National Geographic Channel. The NatGeo website has complete details of the show, including a synopsis of the program, photos, quick facts, and video clips from the beginning and the end of the show.

I mentioned my trip to Israel and the West Bank earlier this year to make this program in a previous post.

National Geographic Israel previously featured the UCLA Qumran Visualization Project in 2008. The QVP resulted in the digital model of Qumran, a 3D virtual reconstruction of Qumran that was a central component of my doctoral research at UCLA. The UCLA Experiential Technologies Center website has a description of the Qumran project, complete with a video introducing the project, which can be viewed in the virtual reality visualization portal on UCLA’s campus.

how lost should have ended

i hated the lost ending. there’s no disguising that. so, this is hilarious.
seriously, the lost folks blew it with that ending!

(ht: james mcgrath)

i shall not be watching jay leno

it’s pretty simple. he agreed to leave the tonight show. then, he backtracked and did a primetime show, which hurt both conan o’brien and a number of nbc writers. then, he failed in primetime. so, he wanted his old job back. so, he exerted tremendous pressure behind the scenes at nbc and used his position to pressure a kind and talented comic, conan o’brien, into leaving his job.

conan played by the rules, was gracious, waited his turned, and still got screwed in the end by a powerful insider who wanted what he wanted.

so, i won’t be watching jay leno. i’ll watch letterman and craig ferguson and jimmy kimmel. but i won’t support those who abuse their position to have their way at the expense of others.

lesson to be learned: don’t be a dick. in this modern age of media, everyone hears everything, and it’s usually recorded somehow. act professionally. act like those you’re talking about are standing next to you. don’t say it if you don’t want it repeated everywhere. act like a professional. and oh yeah, and don’t be a dick.

you have got to watch this: the worst christian children’s show ever

i’m not even going to describe it. i’m just going to let scott bailey describe it.

go to scott’s site. read the post. watch the videos. two hints: watch the top video first. then watch the bottom video, which is a bbc exposé of the program. i’ve reposted them here.

it’s absolutely hilarious in a very, very bad theology sort of way. you can see the puppeteer. and listen to him sing. david liebe hart has a decent voice in a ridiculous kind of way. opera? really?? i don’t know whether to laugh or cry, but either way, i leave being very afraid, yet coming back to watch it again. it’s the train wreck of christian cable access programming.

(with thanx (methinks) to scott.)

robert cargill celebrity sighting?

well, here’s a new one for ya. i’m taking this as a compliment. i’ve never seen the show, but i hoping this character is not a serial killer or worse – a fundamentalist ;-)

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

A scene from "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"

Dr. Robert R. Cargill

Dr. Robert R. Cargill

ucla’s kara cooney to star in discovery’s new archaeology show, “out of egypt”

Kara Cooney, star of  Discoverys Out of Egypt

Kara Cooney, star of Discovery's "Out of Egypt"

updating a previous item on this site, ucla’s kara cooney will star in the upcoming discovery show, out of egypt. the la times says:

Using Egypt as a starting point, Cooney embarks on a journey to find links between the social, cultural and religious practices of several ancient civilizations. She discovers that despite being completely disassociated from one another, the societies had striking similarities in behaviors, traditions and beliefs.

you cannot miss this show!!

check out dr. cooney on craig ferguson just this past week:

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