Thursday, January 31, 2008
To the rescue comes Baruch College - part of the City College of New York (CUNY) System. Baruch's Computing and Technology Center has developed a great resource for their full-time and part-time faculty - The Copyright Metro. This interactive tool prompts users with questions and guides them along the "metro" system based on their answers. When yo get to the last station, you will know whether your intended use is potentially violating copyright and the steps you need to take to ensure that you don't violate copyright and stay within the confines of fair use. The tool even creates a PDF checklist of what you need to do to properly use copyrighted material. Click the image below to take a ride on the copyright metro!
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Courtesy of the Design Info tumblr blog. This is a great example of how far technology has come. A few days, a few thousand dollars, a Mac and anyone can recreate the invasion of Normandy.
Watching this, I have to wonder - do we really do everything we can to empower our students?
Monday, January 28, 2008
ClickZ's Enid Burns details Nielsen Online data tracking the sites most often visited on the Web and the corresponding time spent per person. It's interesting to note that Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Time Warner lead the top 25, each with over 100 million unique visitors in December 2007. While Google and Microsoft lead, visitors spend significantly more time on Yahoo and Time Warner sites - suggesting that these sites may offer more compelling content.
Another table - shown below - details "stickiness," defined as the Time Per Person (TPP) spent at an Internet property. Online gaming sites - FullTiltPoker.com and Electronic Arts Online register a staggering TPP of nearly 11 and 8 hours, respectively - with 1.5 and 12 million unique visitors. Notice that Yahoo shows up in this list as well and that as before content is king. Read more @ Top U.S. Parent Companies and Stickiest Brands on the Web, December 2007 - ClickZ
Photo courtesy of Alex Watson.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
On this blog - Ask E.T. - Tufte discusses the pros and cons of the iPhone interface design and has even recorded a great video demonstrating what he thinks is right and wrong with the iPhone interface. Here's a quote from the posting and click on the image below to view the video.
The iPhone platform elegantly solves the design problem of small screens by greatly intensifying the information resolution of each displayed page. Small screens, as on traditional cell phones, show very little information per screen, which in turn leads to deep hierarchies of stacked-up thin information--too often leaving users with 'Where am I?' puzzles. Better to have users looking over material adjacent in space rather than stacked in time.
We kicked off 2008 with a slew of new presentation features and your feedback is keeping us busy. Today's additions address some of the most requested features:
- Save as PDF, for when you really need to download your presentation as a file.
- PDF-based printing options (save trees and ink!). Go to File->Print, select how many slides you'd like on a page (up to 12), and preview your choice.
- Vector shapes, for your basic diagramming and drawing needs. Use block arrows to point out what's important, or say something in a call-out bubble.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
- Capital Cities,
- All About Stem Cells,
- Marches on Washington,
- Country-by-country Abortion Laws,
- How Our Mail Gets to Us, and
- Vampire Energy.
In a great post - Thinking Visually - David Armano explains -
In a digital age of complexity—I forsee visual thinking as playing a key role in business—an effective way to get people to understand complex problems and begin working on solving them. I view visual thinking as a tool. A versatile tool that could fall under the catagory of design thinking.Read more posts on visualization.
Monday, January 21, 2008
When mobile phones first came on the scene, there were concerns regarding potential health risks. Most agree that modern cell phones have done much to mitigate these concerns. Unfortunately, the rapid proliferation of cell phones, wireless laptops and pdas, bluetooth headsets and ubiquitous wireless networks has seemingly out-paced our ability to understand the effect of all these wireless signals.
According to a January 21st John Timmer story in ars technica, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - to determine if wireless technology poses a health risk to consumers -
commissioned the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science to determine what areas need further study in order to better assess safety.The recently released report identifies
gaps in our current knowledge of biological changes that may result from exposure to wireless radiation and any health outcomes that these produce.Further study is recommended to investigate:
- differences between long- and short-term exposure,
- local versus whole-body exposure, and
- potential for risks in specific populations (children, pregnant women, and fetuses).
Saturday, January 19, 2008
We are living in an age of ambient interruption.
...the new form interruption now comes from our peers. It's pervasive, subtle and ambient—it surrounds us at all times and manifests itself in various forms of technologies and devices.
We've given our friends and favorite brands permission to 'interrupt' us, through e-mail, text, IM, social networks—you name it.
Friday, January 18, 2008
- Develop rapport with the audience.
- Give them an idea of where you're going.
- Show your enthusiasm.
- It's not about numbers, it's about what the numbers mean.
- Make it visual.
- Save the best for last.
Read Reynold's full post.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
From the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show: Microvision demoed a "pico" projector. This tiny piece of electronics can be embedded in just about any type of device from cell phone, to PDA, to laptop. I think video is a killer application in education and training. Imagine not having to lug around even a portable projector and being able to deliver a video to a small group anywhere, anytime. Really opens up all sorts of possibilities for mobile or m-learning.
Video and potential applications follow.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
I didn't know about this - could be a great resource for images and classroom projects. Here's the link to the actual Library of Congress flickr page.
Read more - Flickr Works with the Library of Congress
The Library of Congress has launched its pilot project with Flickr. What began last year as a joint effort to bring the public library’s images to the web in a more organized and shareable fashion has finally become a reality. In conjunction with Flickr’s new program called The Commons, the Library of Congress has added about 3,000 of its millions of photos to Flickr albums so far.
One of the questions I get asked most often about the iPhone is "Can I View Flash Content?" Unfortunately, the browser on the iPhone does not - yet - support flash. Although this limitation has not really been problematic for me, there are websites that have video, audio and other content embedded as flash.
Joe Maller at - you guessed it - joemaller.com has written a really useful bookmarklet for the iPhone web browser. A bookmarklet gets saved in a browser like a bookmark, but instead of opening a new page, a bookmarklet runs a script on the page you're currently viewing. To use a bookmarklet, you save it in your bookmarks bar, and then sync to the iPhone. Here's a quote from Joe about iTransmogrify!
iTransmogrify! is a bookmarklet for iPhone which transforms embedded Flash content into direct links to natively supported formats. That means YouTube videos and MP3s can now be played from the iPhone’s Safari web browser with just a few clicks.Let's look at iTransmogrify! in action. Here is flash content on this blog - two YouTube videos. Notice we get icons signifying a missing plugin:
Here is the bookmarklet -
Here's the site after iTransmogification
And finally, here's the content in the iPhone's YouTube viewer:
here and here.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Click the image to watch a guided tour!
If people want to learn how to make better slides they should study good books on graphic design and visual communication to improve their visual literacy.
When it comes to designing appropriate visuals, there is a hole in our education. Concerning quantitative displays, for example, very few people have had proper training in how to design graphs and charts, etc.
In the end it is about knowing your material deeply and designing visuals that augment and amplify your spoken message.
As far as text goes, I say as little as possible on slides, but when text does appear it should be large and serve to complement your words. People did not come to read; they came to hear. Any speaker can read bullet points. The audience wants to hear your story not read it.
Audiences should not notice the effects we employ between slides[sic].
The problem with most presentations is that people try to include too much. You can go deep or you can go wide, but you can’t really do both. What is the core message?
Monday, January 14, 2008
The speed with which Grand Prix was developed (just three months from idea to version 2.0) should set off alarm bells up the coast in Redmond, Wash., where Microsoft Relevant Products/Services continues to struggle in its efforts to upgrade and simplify its mobile OS. It seems unlikely that 'Grand Prix' was an accidental choice of name.
Apparently, we're not alone. Paul McDougall in an InformationWeek story - Windows Vista, Office 2007 Expelled From British Schools - details similar struggles at schools in the UK. According to the article:
"The agency that governs educational technology in the United Kingdom has advised schools in the country to keep Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT)'s Windows Vista operating system and its Office 2007 software out of the classroom and administrative offices.Please share your experiences with Vista and Office 2007.
'Upgrading existing ICT systems to Microsoft Vista or Office 2007 is not recommended,' said the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency, also known as Becta, in a report issued this week.
Becta officials said a study the group commissioned found that upgrading school systems from Windows XP to Vista and Office 2007 would increase costs and create software compatibility problems while providing little benefit.
'Our advice is to be sure there is a strong business case for upgrading to these products as the costs are significant and the benefits remain unclear,' said Stephen Lucy, Becta's executive director of strategic technologies, in a statement."
Sunday, January 13, 2008
which streams video over Wi-Fi to a video driver component on the Mac. This way, you can use the iPhone’s camera stream in any Mac video program like iChat, Photo Booth or Skype.Read more and watch a video here Mac Daddy World » Blog Archive » Sneak Preview: iPhoneCam
displays all the gadgets and feeds from tab in a single column. To switch to another tab, choose a name from the drop-down displayed at the bottom of the page.Screenshots -
The iPhone interface has a public URL: http://google.com/ig/i, but iPhone users will be automatically redirected to this URL.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
A prototype flying car, dubbed Sky Commuter Aircraft, has been listed for sale on eBay. The vehicle, which has an electric gas assisted lexan bubble canopy, electric controlled directional driving and landing lights, electric joystick, dual foot pedals for double pilot based controls and an advanced Carbonfiber and Kevlar front dash shell, marks the potential end to the oft visited, flying automobile dreams.
simple and free solution for companies, organizations and individuals who want to get rid of spam without buying and maintaining their own anti spam server or anti-spam software.This is pretty similar to what I am doing, except I use Gmail's imap service. Thanks Gmail100!
"Planning a trip using Google Maps just got a little easier and useful. Google teamed up with The Weather Channel to create interactive layers that overlay weather data and radar information on top of Google Maps.Here are a couple samples for Saturday's NFL games.
To use the feature click on the Google Maps' My Maps tab and select The Weather Channel feature to begin exploring."
One early casualty could be ThinkFree, which looks to be in turmoil.It would be a shame to see a promising company like Thinkfree go under, but with so much competition for the online office market, contraction has to be expected.
The company’s Web-based versions of Office never really gained much traction—they trail well behind Google Docs, Zoho, and others."
Read more on Office 2.0
Friday, January 11, 2008
Definitions that Got Missed in the Dictionary: "Definitions that Got Missed in the Dictionary
Posted by Ian McKenzie
January 11, 2008
Posted in Friday Funny
1. Coffee (n.), a person who is coughed upon.
2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.
3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.
5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent
6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightie.
7. Gargoyle (n.), an olive-flavored mouthwash.
8. Flatulence (n.) the emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
9. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.
10. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.
11. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified demeanor assumed by a proctologist immediately before he examines you.
12. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddish expressions.
13. Circumvent (n.), the opening in the front of boxer shorts.
14. Frisbeetarianism (n.), The belief that, when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck there."
What does that mean? In plain English, that means anything you type while logged into SquirrelMail can be intercepted and read by eavesdroppers. That includes usernames, passwords, credit card and social security numbers, any student information and communication and even private communications that might be embarrassing and/or compromising.
SquirrelMail interface consists of dynamically generated HTML pages. These pages are transfered to user's browser using HTTP protocol. HTTP protocol does not have any built-in encryption functions. Information is transfered in plain text. HTTP traffic contains login passwords and any information viewed or entered in browser.If you want to secure web traffic, you should use HTTP protocol with SSL encryption. [emphasis added]
Now a little about gmail - not to say that there aren't plenty of other secure web-based mail solutions available. I use gmail because it's free, fast and reliable. When you start using gmail it's through a regular http - unsecured - connection. How do you set up secure email in gmail? It's actually much easier than you would think. Instead of typing http:// just type https:// - yes, it's really that simple - just add the "s" and you're communicating over a secure connection. Now for the dirty little secret. Where does SquirrelMail come from? It's actually part of an open source Linux distribution - that's right, your IT department doesn't pay for it. I learned this fact teaching my Linux course, when we looked at what applications to install. You can also install SpamAssassin an open source spam filter. I love open source applications, but we shouldn't be exposing our communications to eavesdroppers and subjecting ourselves to tons of spam just to save a few bucks. The spam has been addressed - at least for faculty, administrators, and staff - with the purchase and installation of a spam appliance from barracuda. Unfortunately, students are still using insecure email with no reliable spam filtering. Many students don't bother using the campus email solution for these very reasons.
What's the solution? It's not hard. Consider migrating to Google Apps for Education - here's a case study from Arizona State University. Another "quick fix" is to install the already existing secure login and encryption plugins for SquirrelMail.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Here's an interesting story from the BBC News Clarkson stung after bank prank. Jeremy Clarkson, host of the TV show Top Gear, was downplaying the risks associated with the October 2007 loss of two CDs containing personal information on 25 million people. To illustrate that furor over the data loss was much ado about nothing, Clarkson published his own personal information - details of his Barclays account, and how to find his address - in The Sun tabloid.
As he detailed in his Sunday Times column, Clarkson learned his lesson very quickly, when a reader using the details he provided created a £500 ($982.75) direct debit to the charity Diabetes UK.
According to Wikipedia, Clarkson
is an English broadcaster, and writer who specialises in motoring. He writes weekly columns for The Sunday Times and The Sun, but is better known for his role on the BBC TV show Top Gear.I see two lessons here:
#1 Don't stray too far from what you know - your core competency.
#2 Never, never, never dare a hacker!
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
1. Programming/application development. These include Web 2.0 skills (AJAX, .Net and PHP) and integrations of Microsoft's Silverlight - an alternative to Flash.
2. Project management. There is demand for people with real-world project management experience, not just someone with a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification .
3. Help desk/technical support. More applications (web-based or not) and more complex applications requires greater technical support.
4. Security. Ever-present demand for professionals with core security credentials (intrusion-detection, government security clearances, database and wireless security).
5. Data centers. Companies are upgrading and relocating data centers to benefit from virtualization, data automation, and respond to external storage requirements such as Sarbanes-Oxley act (SOX) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
6. Business knowledge. Increasingly, companies are looking for IT professionals with knowledge of the businesses they support - often referred to as business intelligence.
7 & 8. Networking and telecommunications. Current networking skills in demand include general network administration, network convergence, wireless and network security.
Monday, January 07, 2008
Compare to Jeff Han's multi-touch devices and of course the Apple iPhone.
I think these devices are particularly exciting for education. Consider how little the traditional chalk/whiteboard has changed in the last 50 or 60 years, and imagine what we could do with a board like this - I don't even know what we'd call it.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
To embed a presentation:
1. Click on the "Publish" tab on the far rightThis is a feature that's been available from slideshare since their slideshow-sharing service began. Read previous slideshare posts.
2. Publish the presentation to let people view your embedded presentation
3. Copy the code that appears
4. Paste the code anywhere to share it to the world! (in a blog, website, etc.)
Other new features include the ability to import individual slides from other presentations (google docs or powerpoint) into an existing presentation, drag and drop image insertion, improved slide sorting, and easier modification of themes and backgrounds. Read more at the Official Docs Blog or view this embedded presentation.
What's really exciting is that Google has declared that "2008 is going to be a feature packed year for Google Docs." I cant wait!
Friday, January 04, 2008
In 2004, Chris Anderson of Wired Magazine coined the term - The Long Tail. In the subsequent book The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More, Anderson describes Long Tail businesses (amazon.com and netflix.com) abandoning traditional models (think brick and mortar Barnes and Noble, Blockbuster, CompUSA) of selling products to the large masses and instead focusing on digital distribution - for little or no cost - to smaller niche' market. Anderson argues that a great deal of income is available from that "long tail" of the curve.
A January 4, 2008 New York Times article "
Album sales in the United States plunged 9.5 percent last year from 2006, as the recording industry had another weak year despite a 45 percent surge in the sale of digital tracks, according to figures released Thursday. [emphasis added]
The availability of downloadable digital music from iTunes, Amazon and others has been a major factor in the erosion of album sales - along with peer-to-peer file sharing. The critical factors, according to Anderson, are the low cost of digital distribution and storage and the ability to leverage niche' markets. Music and video lend themselves to the long tail because they are easily stored and downloaded in digital form. No warehouse; no physical media (CD); no increase in costs whether you're serving 10, 100, or 100,000 customers.