Showing posts from 2007

Eric's Podcast Rant (or, "Why's Terms of Service are frustrating")

I'm sitting here in my den, putting off going to bed, and thinking that I really should get out a podcast before we're in 2008. But Candela is literally three feet in front of my face, separated from me by only 1/2" of drywall, 3 1/2" of dead space, and another 1/2" of drywall. So, I don't think I'm going to try recording anything tonight. But that got me thinking about podcasting, and the fact that, at least for me, right now, insert other qualifier here, it's somewhat difficult to pop out a quick podcast. There's recording, then assembling the different sweepers and phone clips, then compressing, then normalizing, then saving, then uploading to the server, then writing and publishing the blog entry to populate the RSS feed... at which point I remember that I left out "update the ID3 tags" from the process and wonder whether I should even bother. There's got to be a better way, right? So, that got me thinking about what used to be c

Discovering "Asterpix Interactive Video"

Thanks to a tip from a blog reader, I've now got a new interactive video site to add to the toolbelt: Asterpix Interactive Video . It seems to fall in that Click.TV or Mojiti or Viddler category, but also seems to feature a "tracking" function so your clickable "hotspots" will stick with objects as they move on the screen. Awesome for home movies or any long shot that has an object of interest; I'm not so sure it's a good fit for collaborative commenting on a produced video, but I'll have to play with it more to get a good handle on its strengths. Three cheers for the blogosphere and the answers it can provide! :)

Mojiti is dead; long live Viddler!

I'm not sure people beleive me when I say in presentations, "Here are some interesting third-party online services... but be careful, because they could disappear at any time." Well, that's what happened to Mojiti, which was AWESOME (and now rumored to have been bought out by So I went on the hunt for an alternative. I think I found it: Here's a sample from a project we're working on right now: Augustine test video . I'm not embedding the video here (though that does indeed work) because, to have it show up, it has to be "public". What I included above was a "secret link", as they call it -- security by obscurity, which is totally fine for these purposes.

The Future (circa 1984) is now

Someday, there'll be a good balance of reasonable DRM (after all, intellectual property is worth something) and fair use. In the meantime, we can read things like The Future of Reading (A Play in Six Acts) [dive into mark] and hang on for the ride. P.S. Yes, I'm back to blogging! We'll see how long it lasts this time 'round.

Where to turn for "breaking news"?

Sadly, it takes a local tragedy to drive me back to blogging... but I'm carrying on a conversation over Twitter right now and 140 characters just ain't cutting it. Full disclosure: Dad taught Journalism for 32 years so I have that running in my veins, still know lots of folks in the field. But I'm much more "techie geek" and "social media proponent" than I am "journalist" at heart, so I think the family/personal background makes me balanced rather than biased. That having been said... I'm having a good-natured debate with folks over... well, what Jon Gordon described on Twitter as "bloggers' etc. response to 35W bridge collapse for Future Tense". So, first of all, to clarify, "blog" does not equal "citizen journalism". I'm thinking of "blog" as the delivery medium and "citizen journalism" as the source. And given that... I think that "citizen journalism" is useful and go

Why I'm glad I sold my Apple stock...

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Plastic: Good, evil, or something in-between?

Just last night I was talking with friends about the fact that burning our oil in internal combustion engines isn't the best use of it, and when we run out of oil we're going to regret that we can't make plastic anymore. But, now I read Best Life Magazine: Our oceans are turning into plastic...are we?

How can we help Donald Hurd?

Here's a really sad story: - Mugging victim leaves jail with nowhere to go . I'm as "law and order" as the next guy and don't think vigilante justice is a good thing... but people should be entitled to not think 100% clearly when they've just been beaten and mugged by some punk kids. Why haven't the suspects been arrested yet? Sounds like the police know who they are -- especially the one who was shot, right?

Cool Cat Teacher Blog

An interesting blog, and I'm having trouble posting it to, so here it is, just so I can keep track of it: Cool Cat Teacher Blog - powered by FeedBurner

Check off your news!

Checkbox News (Scripting News) What a great idea! What I don't know is how you'd handle competing tags, but we'd eventually figure that out. (For instance, the example is un-checking news about Anna Nicole. Which I would do. But the problem is that if Anna Nicole's partner's gardener's father says something insulting about Billy Graham, I might want to know about that, even though I'd never go out and check "Billy Graham" news as something I'd like to know about. So the automated system would drop that article out because it would see the Anna Nicole tag, even though it's not about Anna Nicole. It gets complicated.)

Sounds like...

Thanks to a memory-jog on Twitter by " Ariel Waldman ", a friend of Jon Gordon , I got to thinking... Did you ever compare Saint Etienne's cover of "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" with White Town's "Your Woman"? Maybe everything in the early 90's sounded the same? Seriously, don't those two songs sound a lot a like?!?

Mythbusters vs. Newton's Apple

Just watched an episode of Mythbusters where they busted the myth that flying birds in a truck weigh less than resting ones. Tested with birds, and confirmed with a model helicopter on a scale. So? Some of us are old enough to remember that Newton's Apple, produced by our very own KTCA-TV and hosted by Ira Flatow, did this exact same experiment in the 1980s. Down to the model helicopter on the scale. Anyone else remember this? (The result was the same back then, by the way; it's a myth.)

Comment triggers a marital crisis

So, now I have a problem. Comments are few and far between on this blog, but "casedog" gave me some advice in response to an old post : get a girlfriend, kari doesnt like your loser a** The problem is, my wife doesn't want me to get a girlfriend. Should I listen to her over "casedog"? And I'm confused; would "getting a girlfriend" cause Kari Byron to like my "loser a**"? Does "casedog" have inside knowledge that Kari already likes some other part of me (spleen, kneecap, etc.)? UPDATE (June 2006): I've moved all my Kari Byron commentary over to a different site; you're welcome to browse around here... but for anything new, check out the Kari Byron category on .

Shiny, happy Kari Byron

Okay, guys (and gals... no, it's 'guys')... if you haven't seen this one, you need to. Believe it or not, I missed it when it aired. Editorial comment: At the end, she must have powdered her hair. Personally, I think it looks best just before she does. UPDATE (June 2006): I've moved all my Kari Byron commentary over to a different site; you're welcome to browse around here... but for anything new, check out the Kari Byron category on .

Cognitive Labs: Anomalous Image on Google Maps

UPDATE: Alternate photo is now working. Skimming over the Coast to Coast AM web site, I found a reference to Cognitive Labs: Anomalous Image on Google Maps Basically, there's some strange shiny starbust on a picture. And folks wonder, "What's really there?" Well, thanks to , you can find out. Here's a [BROKEN]link to an alternate high-resolution photo , which may or may not work (because I took it from their "shopping cart" engine). UPDATE: That link doesn't work, so I'm just posting the photo here, risking the wrath of the Terraserver folks. No offense, guys -- I love you a lot! Give me a link so people can see (and maybe even buy) this photo, and I'll send them your direction! Image Size = 500 x 500 pixels Ground Resolution = 0.5 Meter (ul = upper left) - ulx = 4.947711693793586; uly = 52.512580909946806 (lr = lower right) - lrx = 4.951287799174984; lry = 52.51042524349497 (cp = centerpoint) - cpx = 4.9496189499969985;

If you criticize a conspiracy theory, does that mean you're a part of it?

Okay, conspiracy theories are fine and there's probably something to some of them... but this? School Shooting: Another Government Black-Op?

Pearls Before Breakfast -

What a story! Pearls Before Breakfast - My personal take on why people ignored Joshua Bell as he performed in a subway station is because he had a case open looking for money and people didn't want to make eye contact and feel obligated to pay... but 1) maybe that's just a Minnesota perspective, and 2) who wouldn't be willing to chip in a buck or two for a performance like this one?!?

Hobbies, Communication and Community?

So I'm thinking about what I might be able to throw in a podcast while Chloe's sleeping (and Ruth and Candela are at McDonald's), and I think I'll title the next one "Hobbies in Community". I fired up Twitter this morning, saw something from Garrick Van Buren, and started reading. The interesting thing is that, intentionally, I'm Tweeting my initial thoughts rather than analyzing the whole situation and composing a blog entry (or something else). Maybe there's a continuum like... Whitepaper > Blog > IM > Tweets But I realized that there are some hobbies ( podcasting being one) that only make sense if you do them in a community. They have a strong social aspect to them. If others aren't interested, the hobby loses its "purpose". Some hobbies are enhanced by a community -- you can knit alone, but it's fun to knit with friends (so I hear). But some don't make any sense if you don't have others involved. And some,

Mikael Rudolph and "Swim Home" is back!

The FridgeFest site has information on a series of performances by Mikael Rudolph of his "Swim Home" show. If you listen to my podcast , you might remember this episode where I interviewed Mikael and talked about the "history of mime" (among other things). I can't believe that after months of not blogging, I'm back with, "Dude! You gotta go see this mime!" But, seriously, this is a remarkable performance and a really interesting study in non-verbal communication, personal interation... all sorts of good "instructional design" or "usability" stuff. (A slight stretch, but not by much.) So, for my hip friends who can pop up to the Loring Playhouse on an afternoon (you know who you are!), you should check this out. Here's the update from the e-mail Mikael just sent out: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Minneapolis-based Vaudevillian Mime Artist/Physical Comic Mikael Rudolph, who for much of the year tours nationally to fairs, festival


If it's good enough for Jon Gordon of Future Tense fame, Twitter is good enough for me! Checking it out to see if it might be a good way of keeping up on work-related activities. Of course, one could argue that a blog update isn't a work-related activity and shouldn't be Twittered (is that the past tense of it?), but when you're an Instructional Process Analyst, that's the kind of thing you have to keep up with!