All entries for Wednesday 22 February 2006

February 22, 2006

GMail for institutions

Writing about web page

The Google Blog contained an interesting announcement the other day; they're becoming the email provider for an educational institution – specifically, San Jose City College in the US. They'll be GMail accounts, but they'll have SJCC addresses, and they'll be supporting about 10,000 students.

Given that GMail accounts are free to individuals, I wonder how much the college is paying Google for the service?

Google aren't the only ones pursuing this line; Microsoft have a similar offering called Windows Live @ Edu. If anything, Microsoft's offering is even more interesting, since it includes not just hosted email, but contacts management, calendering, Messenger, MSN Spaces, MSN Mobile and SMS Alerts. Furthermore, if I understand the web site correctly, the Microsoft offering is free to the institution with 2GB of storage per student, and the email accounts persist forever – so the institution can offer lifetime hosting for alumni at no cost to itself.


Jumping for joy

Jumping for joy in the park

(Click for larger image)

This photo is a bit of a fluke in three ways. First of all, like most children of his age, my son is pathologically keen not to do things to order, so had I asked him to jump off the ramp for me, he would certainly have done something completely different. So it's pure luck that he happened to do something in my vicinity while I had the camera to my eye.

Secondly, the camera I was using here suffers from shutter lag, so there's a great deal more luck than precision timing in catching him in mid-air like this. I've lost count of the shots I have showing him just after a leap or run or hop, or just before he's left the ground. So it was nice to finally catch him in the act.

Thirdly, there's a special telepathic link between boy and camera which enables him to know exactly when the shutter will come down, and in that same moment do one or more of close his eyes, look away, scrunch his face up into some hideous gargoyle facsimile or produce instantly a look of thunderous rage or ineffable sadness. I can't explain why the link failed on this particular occasion.

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