“We Got An App for that!”

The internet is one of the most amazing ideas we human beings have created.  I was born in the 70’s and the greatest thing to me back then was a Game & Watch. But now we have a whole plethora of amazing things that were not made possible before.  Surely we’ve come a long way from discovering fire and making pre-historic tools.

Without the internet, it will not be possible to make collaborative and instant connections with friends, loved ones and people who may be far away.  Without the internet, communication and the gathering of information would not be as enriching as they are now – as the Web allows multiple avenues for insight, opinions, ideas and choices in a truly interconnected and global world.

These past few weeks i have been on the websurf mode most of my waking life.  And in my own share of web app experimentations, allow me to showcase three really cool and amazing web applications: all of which are on top of my personal favorites these days.

PREZI: An alternative to powerpoint

Sometimes powerpoint can only do so much.  And as an innovation of going beyond bulleted statements and presentations, Prezi introduces pan-zooming as a creative and fluid way of getting your point across.  With Jack Dorsey (Twitter founder) as advisor and TED (a non-profit idea information organization) as investor, Prezi takes presentations into a whole new paradigm.

To illustrate how Prezi is used, here’s a thought-provoking message created by Alison Blank on teaching mathematics in a non-linear approach.  It advocates for an imaginative exploration of how mathematics could be better appreciated by employing a more non-structural educational way.  Perhaps, this can help eliminate what i call “math-block” especially for those kids who shun subjects that deal with numbers. (Click on the image below to see the Alison’s presentation on Prezi.com.)

Math is Not Linear – A Prezi message

Lino:  A Free Sticky and Collaborative Canvas Service

Lino is a free sticky platform with an online ‘corkboard’ look and experience.  Users can peel and unpeel post-it notes, attach photos, weblinks, audio and be reminded about tasks.  Some users utilize Lino as a form of collaborative messaging and information-sharing.  Educators and teachers on the site use their canvases in order for their students to post messages, questions and comments on subject topics or homework.

Lino, created by a Japanese company Infoteria Online Corporation, takes a rather unusual name for a sticky note application.  There are many meanings and definitions associated with the word lino (and of course, it is not a Japanese word).  It can mean any of these four things:

  • slang for a football linesman
  • slang for a chronic user of cocaine
  • any of the following political acronyms:  Libertarian In Name Only, Liberal In Name Only or Labour In Name Only
  • short for the word linoleum

My guess is that the Japanese company adopted the name in reference to linocuts, a woodcut printing style variant using linoleum as a relief surface.  Linocuts and/or lino prints, originally a German method in the late 1800s, were used as an emerging printing technique by modern painters like Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.  Acclaimed urban painter and street artist from New York, Swoon and guerilla artist and activist Josh MacPhee are prominent contemporary users of lino prints too.

An example of a public lino canvas is My Daily Stickies: a collection of notes, photos, conversations, quotes and pictures of anything i find amusing or anything i simply want to pin or jot down into an online ‘corkboard.’  (Click on the image to go to my lino canvas)

Animoto: Photo-videos done the MTV way!

This is perhaps one of the best (if not the best) and one of the most innovative web applications on the internet today.

Animoto is a trailblazing and intelligent webapp that will continue to wow you and your friends without having to go through long and cumbersome video editing processes.  What you get is a distinctly professional video rendered in true entertainment quality.

Animoto boasts of a patent-pending technology called Cinematic Artificial Intelligence.  The genius comes in an amazing algorithm that uses the rhythm and tempo of selected music to match the overall flow of the photo sequence.  Thus, enabling an integrated sight and sound dynamic.  It does not only take photo slideshows to a higher (and i mean way, way higher) level of sophistication, but it also promotes DRM-free music from emerging artists.  The Animoto playlist of songs and music provides users with an eclectic array of choices.  And they are not bad at all.

Here’s a Youtube version of a free 30-second  Animoto video of my niece when she was still four-years old.  I was totally amazed and impressed at the results!  If you opt to view it directly within the Animoto site (mind you, it is best viewed on animoto!), click here.

Also, i made a greeting card-styled video of select photos from my parents’ recent golden wedding anniversary.  Embedded below is the Youtube version.  To watch the video in much better quality, click here.

There are other cool web applications that i am experimenting on, but i guess they require another blog entry all together because this one is getting lengthy.

Have a nice websurfing day everyone!

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