Time to Kick Back

For once this is a weekend without pressure. No meetings, no children’s taxi runs and definitely no work.

So how best to take it easy? Well, sometimes the simple things are the best:

  1. A takeaway
  2. A (decent) bottle of wine
  3. A DVD

Bliss.

(Maybe next time I’ll manage a spa break http://www.superbreak.com/features/spa-breaks.htm)

ExamTime Gives Students a Place to Post Mind Maps, Notes, and Quizzes

Mind map of the mind map guidelines.
Mind map of the mind map guidelines. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ExamTime is a free web service that gives students and teachers a place to organize mind maps, flashcards, quizzes, reports, class notes, and more. The service was designed for students and educators, and you can use it to store your own notes and class materials, or use it to collaborate with classmates.

ExamTime has specific templates for storing mind maps, flashcards, notes, and quizzes, so they’re the easiest to add. As you upload them, you build out a collection of study data thats easy to refer back to when you need to brush up for an exam. The services study planner also makes it easy to build a schedule for your classes and your after-class study sessions, so you can make sure youre studying the right topics at the best times. Plus, everything you post can be made public or private, and shared with friends on or off the service, so comparing notes and quizzes is a snap.

via ExamTime Gives Students a Place to Post Mind Maps, Notes, and Quizzes.

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Getting Started with Windows Azure and IaaS – TechNet UK – Site Home – TechNet Blogs

Image representing Microsoft as depicted in Cr...
Image via CrunchBase

Are you an active user of Windows Azure? Tried it and not convinced, or yet to give it a go? There are a whole range of resources available to help you get to grips with the Cloud and harness the power of Azure, and we have recently released a number of new free documents on top of whats already out there. More than that, we also have some free events planned to introduce the multitude of Azure services available and give you the chance to ask questions to Microsoft experts and partners. You can find a summary below, along with some great examples of how it all really works in practice.

via Getting Started with Windows Azure and IaaS – TechNet UK – Site Home – TechNet Blogs.

On Being a Data Skeptic – O’Reilly Media

Tim O'Reilly 2005 Where 2.0 Conference1
Tim O’Reilly 2005 Where 2.0 Conference1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Data is here, it’s growing, and it’s powerful.”

Author Cathy O’Neil argues that the right approach to data is skeptical, not cynical––it understands that, while powerful, data science tools often fail.

Data is nuanced, and “a really excellent skeptic puts the term ‘science’ into ‘data science.'” The big data revolution shouldn’t be dismissed as hype, but current data science tools and models shouldn’t be hailed as the end-all-be-all, either.

via On Being a Data Skeptic – O’Reilly Media.

Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon: Excerpt From ‘The Everything Store’ by Brad Stone – Businessweek

Image representing Jeff Bezos as depicted in C...
Image via CrunchBase

Amazon.com rivals Wal-Mart as a store, Apple as a device maker, and IBM as a data services provider. It will rake in about $75 billion this year. For his book, Bloomberg Businessweek’s Brad Stone spoke to hundreds of current and former friends of founder Jeff Bezos. In the process, he discovered the poignant story of how Amazon became the Everything Store.

via Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon: Excerpt From ‘The Everything Store’ by Brad Stone – Businessweek.

To-Do Lists Don’t Work – Daniel Markovitz – Harvard Business Review

Stop making to-do lists. They’re simply setting you up for failure and frustration. Consider the to-do lists you’re currently managing: how many items have been languishing since Michelle Bachman was leading the field for the Republican nomination? How often do you scan your list just so that you can pick off the ones you can finish in two minutes? How many items aren’t really to-dos at all, but rather serious projects that require significant planning?

There are five fundamental problems with to-do lists that render them ineffective.

via To-Do Lists Don’t Work – Daniel Markovitz – Harvard Business Review.

The secret to finding high quality educational iOS apps – EduBloggery

Mac App Store
Mac App Store (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’re looking to spread your digital wings a bit, you probably want to find some of the highest quality educational iOS apps available. You probably head over to the official Apple App Store on your chosen iDevice and check out the ‘featured’ area and perhaps the ‘Top Sellers’ list. That’s great and a solid way to see what is being used on devices around the world.

For the most part, though, all those top apps are either just big names or have had some recent promotion. As someone who once made an iPad app, I know what it’s like to try and get your app onto one of those promoted areas in the App Store. You would do just about anything because, as I found out, your sales and download numbers skyrocket as soon as you crack the top 100 apps in your category.

So how should you avoid the crazy featured and top sellers lists? By becoming familiar with the category filters, of course!

via The secret to finding high quality educational iOS apps – EduBloggery.

Building more beautiful Line of Business apps using LightSwitch – MSDN UK Team blog – Site Home – MSDN Blogs

The Microsoft Visual Studio .NET logo.
The Microsoft Visual Studio .NET logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We talk a lot about building and designing consumer apps but what about line of business apps?

The new features in Visual Studio LightSwitch are designed to help you build beautiful, mobile business productivity apps without having to write a lot of code. You can create SharePoint apps and HTML5 client apps – the LightSwitch templates provide the fit and finish so you can get your app up and running pretty quickly and WPF, Silverlight and SketchFlow to Blend for Visual Studio have recently been added to the toolset.

LightSwitch HTML clients are built on standards-compliant HTML5 and JavaScript and provide touch-first experiences on Windows RT, Windows Phone 8, iPhones and iPads with iOS 5 and 6, and Android 4.x devices.

via Building more beautiful Line of Business apps using LightSwitch – MSDN UK Team blog – Site Home – MSDN Blogs.

5 Data Science Sins To Beware | Big Data

Big Data
Big Data (Photo credit: Kevin Krejci)

OK, perhaps our fire-and-brimstone headline goes a bit overboard. Then again, maybe it is time for a dose of data science atonement, particularly if youre guilty of any of the five deadly sins summarized below.

According to Michael Walker, founder and president of the nonprofit Data Science Association, a professional organization of data scientists with more than 500 members, these big-data sins are all too common. In fact, the Association’s recently pennedCode of Professional Conduct is designed to establish a set of ethical standards for the burgeoning data-science industry.

Not all big-data professionals are guilty of the five deadly sins, of course, which Walker summarized in a phone interview withInformationWeek. So here they are. Do any of these data-science transgressions hit home?

via 5 Data Science Sins To Beware | Big Data.

You Don’t Need Complex Charts to Tell Powerful Stories | Visual.ly Blog

whatyoutweet
whatyoutweet (Photo credit: Kim Tairi)

One common misconception about creating infographics is that more is better. The more data, the better! The more eye-popping design, the better! Make those charts as complex as can be, turn that bar chart into a circle to make it more interesting… or just come up with a whole new type of chart that no one understands.

It doesn’t have to be this way. If your data tells a good story, sometimes all you need is a simple chart – one single chart – to tell it. No need to add more facts and figures, simply to expand on the argument — or to garnish everything with flashy images and eye-popping illustrations.

via You Don’t Need Complex Charts to Tell Powerful Stories | Visual.ly Blog.