Jameel Jamal: Facebook.sch.uk – fantastic or flawed?

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Illustration by Jameel Jamal

There simply aren’t enough non-conformist, strong minded people in today’s society who could deny or tear down the growing might of Facebook. Not long ago, emails and letters were the most common form of communication and now it’s questionably developed into inboxing and posting on people’s walls, something we seem to have found more favourable. So why is it that when most school teachers are part of the Facebook hype, this social network is banned for use in schools, leading to frustrated students all over the country? Ever since this topic arose, scores of head teachers have hidden behind the bush of “it will distract the students and provoke cyber bullying”. Debatable.

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Bizhan Govindji: Siri who?

3 million people in the UK pre-ordered the iPhone 4S (that’s 5% of the population, by the way) and were eagerly awaiting a soft thud as it landed on their doormats this morning. The feature that’s quite literally got everybody talking isn’t the highly improved camera, or the potentially revolutionary iCloud; it’s Siri, your new virtual assistant. (If you haven’t heard of Siri, you’ll want to say goodbye to that rock you’ve been living under and watch the advert here). But Voice Recognition on mobile phones is hardly something new. In fact my first ever phone – the now-ancient Nokia 3310 –  came equipped with voice-activated dialling.

So why all the fuss about Siri, and what are the alternatives for non-iPhone users? (more…)

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