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Showing posts from 2008

Miscellaneous 2008 Updates

Walking in to the office this morning, I realized that it's been ages since I've thrown an update into this blog. Most of my day-to-day updates are in Twitter now, but I've got a few "ponderings" that wouldn't make sense to put there... so, here they are.

The Thanksgiving break was outstanding -- a good stretch of down-time to reflect and catch up on various projects. (Even simple things like getting the oil changed in both vehicles and making sure the snow blower starts are nice to check off the "to-do" list.)

Today is a "December with integrity" day -- it's not "bitterly cold", but it's cold enough to trigger the "winter is here" response. Winter isn't my favorite season, but I can handle it just fine. Unfortunately, the side streets up here in St. Paul are incredibly slippery thanks to the light snow we got yesterday.

Last week I had coffee with Albert Maruggi, which started out as a conversation about b…

"A solution that doesn't exist"?!?

Okay, I had just the strangest conversation with a very nice young woman at a research firm who called to pre-qualify me for a study. It was on "digital media," and I figured I'd probably have a good shot at attending something like that given my life and job.

That is, until we hit the last question, which was so incoherent that I had to ask what she meant:

"Have you ever hacked a web site, or created an internet solution that doesn't exist?"

Huh?

I think I know what they mean by "hack a web site", and I can say "No" to that in that I've never cracked a web site... though at work I've had to "reverse engineer" some of our web applications or repurpose them for a different class/program, and if you define "hacking" as "innovatively adapting," that probably qualifies.

But, anyway... what does it mean to "create an internet solution that doesn't exist"?

Like, "Are you a web developer"…

Thoughts on my leadership style

Those who've been keeping up with my Twitter posts know that I'm at the EduCAUSE Learning Technology Leadership program right now, which is giving me plenty of opportunities to introspect -- one of my favorite activities! And what I'm pondering right now is my "personal leadership style". I found in today's "project meeting" (we've been put into a "team" and were given just under 47 hours to bang out and deliver a proposal) that my natural inclination is to listen to the "vision" of those around me and then start reaching into my miscellaneous knowledge to find a way to implement that vision.

(For instance, we discussed the idea to find low-cost ways of engaging students in the community. I immediately thought that one low-paid university staffer could serve as "volunteer community coordinator" and work with the volunteer groups in the city -- organizations that would love to have students help them and would prob…

Automatic home-building?

Concrete isn't a very eco-friendly material, but the blog posting of Next Big Future: Built for Speed: Printing Buildings is really interesting on the "how to build more homes for people, better and faster" topic.

What I don't get yet (and, yes, that's because I haven't read about it in detail) is how you can build on top of concrete when you have the issue of curing it -- unless you build really slowly. But I'm sure I'm just missing something...

So I'm listening to...

So I'm listening to a podcast and I got an idea, there's a reference to a competitive ecosystem being more healthy for innovation. The contacts being cable companies where there's competition the prices are lower if there is no competition prices are higher, and that's harmful for start ups like Utube sort of organization. Well I wonder if the same thing applies to biological ecosystems, where if you have competition the ecosystem is healthier over all. I have no idea. And I wonder if jott will handle this long if it gets posted to blogger. listen

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Driving home, and using...

Driving home, and using Jott supposed to blogger. Apparently, I have 30 seconds. I don't know if it puts in periods or not. Now that I've mentioned period maybe it will actually join an extra period. But I've been using this for twitter. It's been working pretty well. I'm trying to carry on so much, so I can squeeze into 30 seconds. Maybe it's the way I can give back eventually(?) blogging heamit(?). listen

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Alive and well but not blogging...

It's amazing how my life in Twitter has taken over all my blog-related tendencies; hard to believe that it's been almost four months since I posted anything here.

Out of curiosity... is anyone still listening here? :)

Belated hot air balloon update

Last Saturday, Candela and I got up at the crack of dawn in hopes that the Hudson Hot Air Affair would go off as planned... and it did! So Candela got to experience the same thing that Dad and I did nearly three decades ago (only once or twice, as I recall, because they were often cancelled).

Playing with Picasa Web

For a long time we've been hunting for a good "throw a bunch of photos on the web" solution. Looks like Picasa Web Albums might be an option (thanks to a tool called Migratr, which helped move a bunch of photos that I had on Flickr).

Here's an example of the embedding function; let's see how it turns out.

Do interviewers pay attention anymore?

Years ago, Larry King was interviewed (on 60 Minutes or some such program) and noted that people don't pay attention when conducting interviews. There was a quote like, "Someone does a man-on-the-street interview, 'What brings you here today?'; "Oh, I'm here to [do some terrible thing]"; "Great! And are you planning to have lunch anywhere?"

Fine... but I expect better from David Frost, of all people!


Osama bin Laden - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "November 2007

In an interview with political interviewer David Frost, taken on November 2, 2007, the recently assassinated Pakistani politician, and Pakistan Peoples Party chairwoman, Benazir Bhutto, claimed that bin Laden had been murdered by Omar Sheikh. During her answer to a question pertaining to the identities of those who had previously attempted her own assassination, Bhutto named Sheikh as a possible suspect while referring to him as 'the man who murdered Osama bin Laden.' Des…

Interesting article on competition

Can competition (against your business -- not, like, running in track and field) be a good? Read Why Starbucks actually helps mom and pop coffeehouses. - By Taylor Clark - Slate Magazine: "Starbucks has been about as lethal a killer as a fluffy bunny rabbit."

In a nutshell, if you have Starbucks around, that gets people thinking about spending $4 for a cup of coffee, and if that's the field you're playing in, it's good to have people thinking about that.

So, I suppose it depends on what your business field is; if you're selling something that's really necessary and important, competition might hurt you... but if you're trying to sell snow to Minnesotans, the more people shouting "Snow is great! You need snow! Buy snow now!", the better off you'll be.

Maybe? Thoughts?