Learn Chinese Characters on the web

I don’t know the first thing about ideograms, but here is a very cool flash application that helps you learn to write Chinese characters.  It’s free for now (no private beta, just beta). According to my friend who posted the link:

It is simple to use and it teaches people how to write characters using spaced-repetition learning system which seems to be quite similiar to the method that Peter Pimsleur used to develop a system to learn to speak foreign languages easily (see Simon & Schuster for spoken language learning).

If that is your thing, it’s worth a look.


Google Apps For Your Domain Site Launch

One of the fascinating things about business is how ecosystems are created around big technologies. Think of car manufacturers. One of the big reasons that there is fear regarding letting GM go bankrupt right now is the knock on effect–all the suppliers, big and small, that would not get paid while the bankruptcy judge was reorganizing the business. They wouldn’t be able to pay their employees, and that would affect the employees’ ability to buy goods and services from others in the area, which would cause other business to have issues, etc. The point I’m making above is not an argument in favor of bailing out the big auto companies, but rather a bemused look at how complex business ecosystems get.

Software is no different–every big company (HP, Sun, IBM, Microsoft) has multiple channels for getting its technology products out in the market. Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) are crucial for platforms. Consultants, both those employed by the company and those outside it familiar with its technolooges, serve as wells of expertise that can be drawn on by clients for the short or long term. Value Added Resellers (VARs) are important for re-selling company products and technology.

A few months ago I had a conversation with a fellow who was building a VAR for the Google suite of products. It looks like it went live in October. I have not used it, but certainly the idea has power. It is similar to the Office Suite, including outlook, but brings in chat, calendaring, and HTML authoring, all with the simplicity of remote hosting on Google’s infrastructure. Check out Google Apps for Your Domain if you think it might be a good fit for you.


Colorado Tech News Roundup Site

Via Kevin Cawley (who also has an interesting post on the changing nature of blogging), I found Rocky Radar, which claims to be “Colorado’s Technology Record”. We’ll see how long the folks behind it keep it up–I certainly hope they do.

The Radar started in Sep of 2008 and covers info tech, clean tech, life science and CU news. They do have a nice calendar of Colorado Tech events, even if there’s no ical format exposed.

Hey Rocky Radar founders, here’s an idea I’ve been toying with. CU has a ton of mailing lists announcing free talks across a number of academic interests. Why not

  1. aggregate them all in one massive list, or
  2. provide some kind of calendar interface to them


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