Thursday, January 22, 2009

M450: Result!

Last night I got home to find a letter from the OU giving my result for M450.  To my surprise (after all the heart ache and worry) I got a DISTINCTION.

The letter was the standard OU result letter also showing my OCAS (83) and OES (87).  There was no explanation as to why there had been a delay in releasing my result.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

MotoGP: BBC Coverage – A Possible Solution

Those of you in the UK who follow MotoGP will no doubt be aware that British Eurosport has lost the rights to broadcast MotoGP, with the BBC now being the sole broadcaster of the event.

This means that we are no longer able to watch practice, qualifying, or the 125 and 250 races unless we use the BBC’s interactive service or have access to the Internet.

UK fans are outraged by what Dorna has done by limiting MotoGP coverage in the UK, yet I believe I have a possible solution.

Back in October 2008 it was announced:

The AB Groupe and Eurosport France have agreed a three-year deal with commercial rights holders, Dorna Sports, for the television rights for MotoGP across France, until 2011. 

Under the deal, digital-terrestrial channel NT1 will broadcast all 18 MotoGP races live throughout the season, including a pre-show for each race whilst cable-satellite channel Eurosport France will offer practice and qualifying sessions on Friday and Saturday, followed by all three races live on Sunday. Each channel will create its own individual programme for the events.


Therefore why don’t we petition BSkyB to get them to broadcast Eurosport France to UK Sky TV subscribers?  Ok the commentary will be in French but at least we will get back the coverage we were used to, and we might even learn a foreign language at the same time.

Go on e-mail Sky today.

Monday, January 19, 2009

M366: Open For Business

Both the course website and FirstClass conferences are now available.


There are 8 conference areas, of which 7 are sub-conference areas of the main area , M366 09BStudents.  The sub-conferences comprise of an area for each of the blocks (except for blocks 1 and 2 which have a combined area), an FAQ area and a revision area.  At present it looks as though we can post messages to any of the areas except for main area which I find a bit strange.  Still we might found out the reason why at some point.

Course website

The course website is tightly integrated into the students home page under the Courses menu option, as opposed to previous courses where their respective website has been a separate site.  I think that this might be to do with the OU restructuring their websites and how they present information to students.

The main page displays a 3 week view of the course calendar and a number of menus to go to other areas.  For example under Resources you can access the course materials for Assessment, Course resources, Library resources and Errata, with a majority of these materials downloadable.


I have downloaded all the course materials that are currently available, including TMA 01 (due 14.Apr.09), so that I have access to them whilst travelling to and from work.

As yet my course record is still not showing who my tutor will be for the course or when / where the tutorials will be held.  I am waiting with anticipation.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

M366: Assessment Information

Having just read the “M366 Course Guide” here are some of the details concerning the course assessment:


  • Four TMAs
  • No substitution
  • TMA Block coverage
    01 1 and 2
    02 3
    03 4
    04 5 and 6
  • Some TMA questions will involve practical computer work


  • Three-hour unseen paper
  • A specimen examination paper and solutions will be made available on the course website

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

M366: Course Material

Last night I received the course materials for M366.  The package contained:

  • Block 1 – Intelligent machines
  • Block 2 – Symbolic intelligence
  • Block 3 – Natural intelligence
  • Block 4 – Neural networks
  • Block 5 – Evolutionary computation
  • Block 6 - Reflections
  • Course Guide
  • Software Guide
  • Using the Electronic TMA System – A Student Guide
  • Course News
  • Course Software (DVD)
  • Online Applications (CD-ROM)

The course software disc contains:

  • multimedia material, such as videos, audio presentations and animations
  • case studies and other supporting printed texts
  • activities
  • computer exercises
  • web links to various topics and advice on further research
  • proprietary software packages (NetLogo, JavaNNS, SB-MASE)

NetLogo:  An implementation of the Logo programming language, written in Java.
JavaNNS:  Java Neural Network Simulator, a package for producing computer models of neural networks.
SB-MASE:  No description given in the software guide.  A search of the web described SB-MASE as being aimed at students and researchers in AI, for simulation and control of agents and robots (