Not all is technology in Japan

japaneseFoodThis blog post is a along way from tech news, but is deeply at the heart of new human experiences – made us think here.

I came across an entry on Cabel’s Blog about a visit to Japan. He entitled it the Kashiwa Mystery Cafe. Nice design centre, sunny day and, presumably, exhibits to view.

Visiting the cafe – you order a drink and a snack and food you didn’t order arrives. You are ordering, in faltering Japanese, food and drink for the person in the queue behind you.

Your food has been ordered by the person in front of you.

Fantastic – what a great way to break out of old habits, or habitual food prejudice?

Could we not apply this to one day of school meals? An extraordinary serving of lunch at the community centre or a healthy eating day at the local sports ground. Way to go Kashiwa!

Live dangerously – give a total stranger a healthy eating treat.

…back to web and tech stuff for a while….

This post was created by Tim Smith, a partner at SmithMartin LLP. The original post was created by Cabel’s Blog – and reblogged by one of our favourites, Jason Kottke.

Get that Polaroid effect…in PowerPoint

This is a great short film showing how users of Powerpoint 2007 can create drop shadow and add ‘polaroid’ effects to their images.

If you don’t have Photoshop or other sophisticated image editing software…this film from @elearning shows you how.

Great for spicing up those newsletters or posters!

If you have any great image tips let us know and we’ll publish them here.

Post originally from Digital Inspiration.

Visit the home page of Third Sector Web here.

Summer Sounds of the City!

musicPic2Just lazing in the garden with the radio, basking in the intense heat of the summer sun. If only?

Instead during August, whilst it’s a bit quieter and we’re getting some housekeeping done, we’re going for an in-house alternative – fresh orange juice at our desks and listening to City – a gentle blend of trance, drum and base, dance and electronica oscillating in the background.

This simple web site feeds music tracks from cities around the world to your browser – very contemporary and rhythmic we thought. Ideal when you need that break from long periods of web coding…over 10,000 tracks at the last posting.

Created by Henrik Berggren and David Kjelkerud using the platform.

With thanks to Emily Chang for bringing this to our attention in her original post.

Have a good summer break from the Thirdsector Team.

You can find the Third Sector Web home page here.

Music graphic from dalbera on Flickr – A Creative Commons image.

Open access publishing on the web…

gatewayPicPlacing documents in the public domain is giving them away – often seen as an illogical position for a commercial entity to take?

Or should it be better put that placing information online in order to spread that knowledge as widely as possible, is best achieved by offering users of that information clear signposting that copyright and license of the material has been waived.

This is an Open Access argument. If you create information, articles or images that you wish to be freely available to others why not ‘mark’ them accordingly for others to use the material with confidence.

The World Intellectual Property Organisation has been working recently to provide researchers and information users with standardised sources of open access information.

The Creative Commons movement have also posted a set of tools online that can help you generate html to help signify the accessibility of information sources that you have published as original material.

These Creative Commons tools are clearly intended as markers for original content that has not been licensed. Delimiting material already prescribed by copyright is a cautious matter for the original content owners.

You can find the original blog entries from the Open Access Movement that inspired these thoughts here.

The Creative Commons tool kit or code generator can be found here on this Creative Commons web page.

If you are interested in reading more about the Creative Commons as a non-profit organisation you can find a Wikipedia article here.

There is some debate online as to whether the Creative Commons approach is really able to be aligned with the concepts of free software or images, or comparable with Open Source. Surely the point is that the creator of the work has a framework of possibilities available to him or her – deciding which right she or he wishes to devolve themselves of, or not.

We create content for access by the public and in our small way think any framework that helps information users or distributors to be clear about how material can be used is a good thing per se. What do you think?

You can find the Third Sector Web home page here.

Glogster – posterise yourself and your class!

glogsterLogoWe thought that this new web service, Glogster, shows great promise.

You can be creative and add images, sounds and text to a poster background – then publish or print as you wish. Simple and refreshing creativity online – you can of course send to friends on social networks too.

The key application is the opportunity for teachers to register both themselves and their class.

Go to the Edu Zone on Glogster, once registered in the ‘edu’ module teachers can maintain control of access to the Glogster creative content and, most importantly, students can only have access to their peers registered in the network of their teacher.

All the admin is done through the teacher email account too. This application has great promise as a creative tool for young people in a mediated environment.

The list of forthcoming application additions also add to the promise of the service.

Get your class Glogstering here!

You can visit the Third Sector Web home page here.

Chrome experiments – wild horses couldn’t….

Google Chrome, the browser with the fast Java engine, has recently added an experiments page for those interested in the browser wars.

We are, as regular readers will know, constantly interested in browser and search engine development. We do a lot of research for web content, as you would expect, and welcome web developments that parse information in new ways or just plain do it faster.

Visit the Chrome experiments page and see what Chrome can do. The site is best viewed, obviously in Chrome.

Visit the Chrome download page and get access to its functions. Chrome is fast and quick loading on our machines – the development of additional functions and add-ons making it an even more attractive option.

We have reviewed other browsers recently – Q t, Opera.

You can visit the Third Sector Web Home page here.

The world’s cheapest laptop?

A tablet PC in operationWe’ve been reading this week about the forthcoming launch of the 20 dollar laptop in India.

There has been some commentary in the rest of the world as to whether it is possible to produce such a machine, given – according to Nicholas Negroponte of OLPC – that the display alone will cost more than this.

Does this miss the point? The general thrust of the project seems to be to get learners and the population in general to access sites such as the Sakshat Portal – India’s gateway to learning resources. (Its tag line is The One Stop Education Portal for All)

If the Indian government are subsidising the creation of a cloud computing infrastructure across the sub-continent, then there must surely be a paradigm shift in the strategies needed to get ‘access point’ terminals into as many hands as possible. The National Mission on Education through ICT seems to be just this.

This is not a business proposition. It is a learning proposition.

The target of the Indian government is to get a 5% increase in tertiary education starters in 5 years. When your target sample is the largest democracy in the world…that needs to be a lot of takers.

The golden egg in the proposition is a vastly more connected society in the next generation, with more intellectual and social capital to deploy in the service of a perhaps vastly different world GDP mix and meta-economic model.

Cloud services and no-cost terminals must be the way to go. We watch the future product launch with interest. Go India!

These thoughts were drawn from an article by Mohammed Siddique at

What do you think?

You can find the Third Sector Web home page here.

Spring Design Challenge from Mozilla

designchallengePicMozilla Labs – the ideas and inspiration space for all things Firefox (…and many other things too) are having a Spring burst of inventive madness. Or rather, they’re looking to you for ideas.

Today we’re announcing the first of a series of Design Challenges as part of the Mozilla Lab’s Concept Series. We’re inviting design-focused students from around the world to develop new ideas & prototypes for the future of the Web.

Mozilla are looking for twenty students from around the world who are prepared to answer the following question…

What would a browser look like if the Web was all there was? No windows, no unnecessary trappings. Just the Web.

This first Design Challenge is looking to accept and mentor twenty students from around the world, with that cohort mentoring the next round of participants in order to ‘scale the design effort’.

mozillaLabsPicMozilla Labs will take the best and help deliver interactive prototypes.

Get your pencils and notepads…or paper napkins ready – the submission for initial ideas is March 1st 2009. You can read more detail on the Spring Design Challenge 2009 here.

Change your idea into a reality – change the world with web concepts. Good luck!

You can find the Third Sector Web home page here.