Unicum Akademie:

I’m on 180 and cooking!

As I just figured while checking my statistics, this is entry number 180. I’m sitting relaxed and chilled on the couch next to my girlfriend. We just ate breakfast and she’s about to learn for the Regional Development I course. I’m not sure what the day will bring, and I’m reluctant to find out. Apparently, I have to work on the materials for the Managers and the Law course. A lot material has to be digitally prepared for a new learning experience, and I plan to do this in the upcoming hours. Let’s see where this leads me to…



Positively, the support staff of Blogspirit reacted to my previous support tickets and suggestions, and I expect a new version of this service to appear very soon. I wonder how the new version will merge with the current version as it might compromise any self made HTML modifications - like in my own blog. As far as I can tell, the Trackback-Ping, Robots and Bandwidth modifications, and Comment-Spam filters will definately boost the engine.

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RSS Questionaire

Siegried Hirsch recently created a small questionaire concerning the topic of site syndication with RSS. As I wish to contribute to this questionaire, I suggest you will answer the questions on your own - either within his article (in german) or in my blog - where I translated the questions into english. The information provided might help Blogspirit to develop, too.

1. Which sources do you currently use to search for RSS-Feeds?
(Welche Quellen nutzen Sie im Augenblick um nach RSS-Feeds zu suchen?)

2. Which must be offered by a Search-Engine/Directory-Service for RSS-Feeds?
(Was muss eine Suchmaschine/Verzeichnis für RSS-Feeds bieten?)

3. How is the expectance to categorizing?
(Wie sind die Erwartungen an die Kategorisierung?)

4. How important is the completeness of recorded feeds?
(Wie wichtig ist die Vollständigkeit der verzeichneten Feeds?)

5. Should inactive feeds be listed?
(Sollen inaktive Feeds aufgeführt werden?)

6. How important is the possibility to subscribe to a Feed directly?
(Wie wichtig ist die Möglichkeit direkt einen Feed zu abonnieren?)

7. How important is a German feed-directory at all?
(Wie wichtig ist ein deutsches Verzeichnis von RSS-Feeds überhaupt?)

8. What else has to be considered?
(Was wäre sonst noch zu beachten?)

My answers:
1. As sources, I prefer the direct method to accquire feeds by news websites, blogs (of course) and other portals such as Technorati or search engines. I hardly browse Feed-Directories since most of these services are filled with (subjectively) useless feeds. These directories are often unmoderated as they grow in time. A centralized feed directory and not an endless sum of competitors aids the process of keeping up to date with education and information.

2. Search-Engines must offer a clear distinction between commercial (company/corporate) and private feeds. An up to date sample of each feed found by the search engine must be visible before choosing to subscribe to it.

3. The categorization process for a feed may not be limited to a handful of categories since many feeds contain multiple topics and areas to cover. As much as search-engines restrict users, the important entries of a feed may never become visible to a greater audience. For feeds themselves, the idea to categorize the content is highly advisable and should not be forgotten by its author or service provider.

4. Feeds may be distributed completely, but while the number of subscribed-to feeds increases, the download traffic increases, too. To offer teasers or the first paragraph of an entry is as much marketing as newspapers cover with their printed version: The reader is drawn towards the content, and will either decide between reading it or skipping the article while filtering the information by your most personal interest. I offer a limited feed for this blog as not every reader may not be interested in everything.

5. Clearly, an inactive feed should be marked as “inactive for xyz days”, but not completely be removed. This problem occurrs mostly for private feeds created by authors who are indeed able to contribute with world-changing ideas, but might be persecuted by their government in return for their written work.

6. It is very important, and I am not sure how you can not subscribe directly to a feed except if the subscription is moderated by the author(s). But certain people have experienced difficulties with the cut-copy-paste process of URLs. The feed reader software should link to the feeds and automatically catch them. Perhaps a special W3C guideline will aid this process.

7. A German feed is interesting, but not important at all as most German authors who write 7C-content usually distribute their content on a global scape.

8. Free accessability for at least a teaser article of 50 words or more instead of listing only headlines. A central archive for feeds will limit the chance of data loss for the smaller and greater authors, by which even articles of limited or restricted feeds are archived completely. Distribution of RSS Feeds by newspapers. To include Tagging contributes to the connectivity of feeds in order to create a network.

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Blogging with Tags

I suggest the programming department of Blogspirit might want to take a look at these scripts to implement some functionality for this service provider to implement the feature to create a connective network consisting of Technorati.com’s tags. The company offers this service as idea of a simple category name. Everybody from any kind of Blog can categorize their posts, photos, and links with any senseful descriptor (tag).

A few plugins have been released for Wordpress, one of the open-source software packages to create your own Blog. You can find more material on the plugin at TechnoTag. The plugins feature an automatic addon to each entry by which you may manually enter tags in a textfield or by which the plugin detects key words and elements by filtering the entry for word-relevancy.

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Unicum Akademie:

Tutition Fees in Germany

Yesterday, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany adjucated against a governmental interdiction to disallow Germany’s states the introduction of tutition fees. The government, consisting of the parties SPD and Grüne, clearly voted against tutition fees, while the states governed by the opposition CDU/CSU already introduced the fees prior to the final judgement of the Federal Constitutional Court. For several thousand students including myself, it is impossible to raise 500 Euros or more for each semester, especially since this affects those who study a second time or have aborted the first study. After a long road of perdition, Germany now found its role among those countries which penetrate society and divide it into classes - the educational class based on the richer individuals, and the uneducated class found in the roots of those people who are socially unable to finance the study.

In the aftermath of the judgement, nationwide student protests and petitions are planned to terminate the decision, as the European Union created a directive according to which any EU government may not ignore a petition signed by more than 1 Million EU citizens. The ASTA of the University of Constance started an online petition which every German student should sign - please visit the petition website.

Web 2.0, Zukunft:

Google Video

Another venture for Google - the Google Video Search (beta) enables the user to search the recent (US) TV channels. The company introduced the new tool this tuesday. Since December 2004 the software indexed the program of e.g. PBS, NBA, Fox News, and C-SPAN. As result, the user will be prompted with a screenshot and a small text passage from the moment in which the search-phrase has been mentioned. Apparently, real video will not be shown by Google but up to five screenshots, more text passages and program functions of the TV channels containing date and time stamps. Yahoo uses a similiar software which has been integrated as a tab into the US version of the Yahoo portal and search engine, however they search the web for video files instead of indexing TV channels.

Upon entering “blog”, I strumbled upon 51 results on Google Video.


Firefox-Developer moves to Google

One of the top developers for the Firefox Browser, Ben Goodger, has moved to Google. As he announced recently, Google became his main employee already on January 10th, 2005.

“My role with Firefox and the Mozilla project will remain largely unchanged, I will continue doing much the same work as I have described above - with the new goal of successful 1.1, 1.5 and 2.0 releases. I remain devoted full-time to the advancement of Firefox, the Mozilla platform and web browsing in general.”

Medien, Zukunft:

Google: Voice over IP

Google is in the media! Wherever you search for it, you will find news about this company. As I previously expressed a few thoughts concerning their subsidiary companies, they expand farther in the technocratic environment of communication. Google is about to create a free voice-over-IP service similar to the already established VoIP platform Skype. The VoIP software allows to call other people on their computers or phones. But instead of utilizing the software for the global market, Google plans to form a community for professionals in the UK. According to The Times newspaper in London, Google’s own network as totally free communication platform will aim at a challenge of the established local network operator British Telecommunications.

On another note concerning VoIP, you may reach me via Skype as Sichelputzer, but only at home since the university’s network limits the internet access.


A Special Winter Time

Its snowing today for the first time this year. The powder snow covered the landscape completely, it took me about five minutes to clean the car twice. Of course my girlfriend had to take a few fotos of me while doing this job. After our breakfast with crossaints, coffee, jam, honey, cheese and lots of love, she presented me my new Shisha. Its base is dark blue covered with a few sparkles of silver glitter. Later this evening, I must buy coal and tobacco for our new entertaining pleasure of luxury and relaxation… I love having birthday!

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12 Reasons against nofollow

As featured on NoNoFollow.net, a new discussion has centered on the recent matter events caused by Google’s plan to implement the method of filtering links for their pagerank and searchindex systems.

As the argument rel=”nofollow” will only restrict the robots to continously follow links, any blog can contain further spam as the filtering for spam can only be implemented in the blog software manually, via a plugin or directly on the side of the blog service provider. Almost too easy, an automatically created link can be formatted with the nofollow argument. This can be done secretly in any message system or bullitin board software without noticing the users. It may be used to restrict the number of links within html pages and might affect the pagerank of your own website if you use generic tools like this blogsoftware. On top of this, a human being will not be interested in the differences of normal links and the nofollow links as human beings are usually able to determine whether the link leads towards relevant content or spam.
The whole argument causes the filtering of link, the discrimination of users, changing the idea of the web, the discrimination of weblogs, the dissemination of free speech - all of this is based on the development by only search engine companies and not the W3C (World-Wide-Web Consortium) who should be responsible and decidable in concern of these matters.

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    Mein Name ist Mike Schnoor und ich präsentiere dem frivolen Internetuser ein erstklassig privat geführtes Medienblog. Die Themen siedeln sich zentral in der Medienwelt an: Web 2.0, Weblogs, Video on Demand, TV, Radio, Print, Medien, Marketing und Kommunikation.

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