Monday, August 04, 2008

iPod touch TypePad App

Testing a new widget.

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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Gadget Lust

Lifedrive (Click)

OK, so I've got a serious jones to go buy a new techno-toy right now. I have been thinking about getting back to using a PDA again, and since I'm going to be doing a fair bit of commuting starting this fall, I wanted to get something that would do voice recording so I can keep track of stuff on the way to and from campus (about 50min to an hour each way).

After a bit of looking, I have gotten all misty-eyed (hot and bothered, gaga, pick your euphemism...) about palmOne's new LifeDrive. The Palm dudes are calling it a "mobile manager" so as to avoid the moribund term of Personal Digital Assistant.

Some pretty sweet specs on this thing: 4GB memory, an amazingly clear, beautiful screen, voice recorder, built in WiFi, abilty to read and edit Word and Excel files, yadda, yadda, yadda. I can see this being useful and fun to play with.

I have done both the PalmOS thing and the PocketPC thing before, and I never used either to their fullest potential (although I came closer with my PalmIII). What I am concerned about is paying the $$$ for the toy and then having it sit in a desk drawer six months later.

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Sunday, January 16, 2005 Top 25 Science and Technology Innovations of the Last 25 Years

From Top Science and Tech Innovations Since 1980. This was posted a few days ago.

Interesting read. They list #25 through #2. I guesss #1 is going to be posted sometime today. Check back for an update.

The list is down below:

2. Cell phone
3. Personal computers
4. Fiber optics
5. E-mail
6. Commercialized GPS
7. Portable computers
8. Memory storage discs
9. Consumer level digital camera
10. Radio frequency ID tags
11. MEMS
12. DNA fingerprinting
13. Air bags
14. ATM
15. Advanced batteries
16. Hybrid car
17. OLEDs
18. Display panels
19. HDTV
20. Space shuttle
21. Nanotechnology
22. Flash memory
23. Voice mail
24. Modern hearing aids
25. Short Range, High Frequency Radio

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Sunday, January 09, 2005

Nerd Alert! Nerd Alert!

I am in my office this afternoon, working on some stuff for my new CIS class - "Introduction to the Digital Culture". I realize that they picked the right person for this job when I realized all of these things were happening on the three computer monitors (two different boxes) at (or near) the same time:

- 30 second updates on the football game
- iTunes in the background playing U2 - "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb"
- TypePad up as I try to figure out how to upload the .pdf files that I am creating on:
- Microsoft Word, with files for:
- my new blog for this CIS class.
- Entourage is open and pinging every 15 minutes, as I am waiting for an email response from a friend.
- A second TypePad window with this post.

I am starting to understand why my friends tease me so much about my geekiness.

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Monday, December 20, 2004

Another Cool Google Logo

Googlebear You have to love the folks at Google for the fun logos that they regularly put up on their "masthead".

I really like the "soft" style of the graphics that they use.

Check out more of their artwork here:

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Friday, September 03, 2004

Mac vs PC, Round 3492


I thought this was pretty amusing. Especially with all the problems we are having on campus with students and their computers.

See more "Speed Bump" at ucomics.

09:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

G5 iMac


It's here! I checked the Apple website this morning and saw the new pics of the new box. Pretty sleek. An all in one monitor/CPU that is only two inches thick. 17" and 20" widescreen LCDs. 1.6 and 1.8 GHz G5's 533 and 600 MHz FSB's. 80 or 160 GB SATA HD's NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultras. Sorry, slipped into geekspeak there.

Looks pretty sweet. I can already imagine some of the interesting stuff that might come up. It is hard to have a CD/DVD drive that spins fast at a nearly vertical angle.

I am jealous of the new box, but not jealous enough to give up my trusty 15" 1st rev LCD iMac, and about $1300 - 1900.

Check it out though. Another impressive design from the gang in Cupertino.

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Friday, August 20, 2004

Waitin' for the Cable Guy...

So, this whole "I'll be there somewhere between 1 and 5" thing should really stop. But since I am a captive now, might as well blog.

The Cable Dude is coming to help me revamp my whole home entertainment network. Thanks to a phenomenal deal from Comcast (yeah, I know it is tantamount to making a deal with the devil), I will be gaining increased functionality and technology, and actually reducing the monthly cost of being wired.

The status quo: DSL internet, DirecTV satellite, and Comcast basic "lifeline" cable for the local channels. A VCR for timeshifting. There are three TVs in the house, each with different connectivity (living room is satellite only, office is cable and satellite, and bedroom is cable only). There is about 500 miles of cable in the ceiling of the basement. And the space behind my TV in the living room (which has a DVD player and stereo connection as well) looks like a huge cat had a digital hairball. Monthly cost of this mess is approx. $88.

Coming soon (hopefully today): Digital Cable (with HBO and Starz), to be installed in the living room and office. Cable modem (faster than DSL) in the office. Expanded non-digital cable in the bedroom. AND....drumroll please...Comcast Digital Video Recorder. This tech is brand new to my area, and I am psyched to see it here. The monthly cost for this setup is $72 per month guaranteed for one year.

I have been wanting to get a TiVo type system for a while now, especially since my friend Katie got hers and has been extolling its' virtues. The problem with TiVo is that it (at least initially) requires a home phone line, which I gave up about a year ago in favor of local cell service. The Comcast DVR gets its info from the cable connection, so it works for me.

I do not think the Comcast deal has all the bells and whistles, but it is better than what I've got and it comes with the deal. It should be fun to play with, and now I can get caught up on "Six Feet Under".

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Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Meme Propogation Test

Copy This GoMeme From This Line to The End of This Article, and paste into your blog. Then follow the instructions below to fill it out for your site.

Steal this!!!! This is a Gomeme -- a new way to spread an idea along social networks. By adding this GoMeme to your Weblog you can get higher Google rankings for your site, and help your friends get higher Google rankings too. You will also be participating in an experiment to generate a distributed Blog survey and test how memes spread through social networks.

By following the instructions below, your blog will be linked from every other blog that discovers this GoMeme downstream from your blog (from your readers, their readers, and so on). And that will raise your Google rankings in proportion to the number of downstream bloggers that get this GoMeme from you and post it to their blogs.

The dataset from this experiment is public, open and decentralized -- every blog that participates hosts their own data about their own blog. Anyone can then get the whole dataset by just searching Google for this unique string: 98818912959q This code is the "global unique identifier," or GUID for this GoMeme -- it marks every web page that participates in this GoMeme so that it can later be found with all the others. (Note it may take a week or longer before Google indexes your blog, so be patient).

To find out what a GoMeme is, and how this experiment works, or just to see how this GoMeme is growing and discuss it with others, visit the Root Posting and FAQ for this GoMeme at .


This is purely an experiment and is just for fun. We are really just curious to see what will happen and this is not a commercial project. Participation is voluntary. We don't mean to annoy anyone. However, if you don't have much curiosity, or at least a sense of humor, you may find this experiment to be upsetting. In that case, you might try drinking a good strong cup of coffee. If after that you are still unhappy with us, just don't read any further and have a great day! (If you don't want your blog to get better Google rankings, that's purely your choice!) On the other hand, if you are interested in exploring new technologies and pushing the envelope, then keep reading and we look forward to your participation in this experiment. We also request that participants in this experiment refrain from spamming anyone with this GoMeme. To spread it, just put it on your blog; that should be enough.


Step 1 First, to add your site to this experiment, copy the GoMeme to your site from the "Copy This GoMeme From Here" heading above to the End of this article. Please copy this whole article and try not to alter the text so that it is authentic for the people who get it from your blog.

Step 2: Now, fill in your answers to these Required Survey Fields (Note: Replace the answers below with your own answers). These will later be automatically data-mined by bots to compile the survey results.

(1) I found this GoMeme at URL:

(2) I found this GoMeme on date (day/month/year):04/08/04

(3) I found this GoMeme at time (in GMT format): 14:20:57

(4) I foundit via "Newsreader Software" or "Browsing the Web" or "Searching the Web" or "An E-Mail Message": link from MetaGrrl.

(5) I posted this GoMeme at my URL (use a hyperlink): Random Thinks

(6) I posted this on date (day/month/year): 04/08/04

(7) I posted this at time (in GMT format): 14:57:00

(8) My posting location is (city, state, country): Adrian, Michigan, USA

Step 3: If you're feeling very altruistic today, also fill in these optional survery fields (Replace the answers below with your own answers):

(9) My Weblog is hosted by: Typepad

(10) My age is: 38

(11) My gender is: Male

(12) My occupation is: College Professor

(13) I use the following RSS/Atom reader software: none

(14) I use the following software to post to my blog: Typepad

(15) I have been blogging since (day, month, year): 17/06/03

(16) My web browser is: Safari, Firefox

(17) My operating system is: Mac OS X, Windows XP

Step 4:Now add an entry for your site after the last entry in the PATH LIST below:
Your entry should be of the form: line number, URL, hyperlink, optional personal GUID for your blog.

(Note: If you would like to track all postings of the Meme that result from your posting of it, once Google has indexed them, you may add your own optional GUID after your hyperlink on your line of the Path List -- just make sure it is short, unique, and doesn't return any results on Google -- for example "mysitename137a2r28". Also note, if the path list gets too long, you should still try to include the whole path in your blog -- even if you have to put the list on a continuation page rather than the excerpt for your posting -- and make sure others copy the whole GoMeme along with your Path List when they get the GoMeme from you -- If they don't copy it, your blog and your upstream blogs won't be linked from their blogs).


1. Minding The Planet, mindingtheplanet14798
2. Random Thinks, randomthinksabcd1234
3.(your Path List entry goes here in the form URL, hyperlink, GUID. Also, please add a new line after this one, for the next person.)

The End

You did it! Now spread it! If all goes well and others find this GoMeme from your blog, you should see some interesting results. Please comment back on the original post and tell us how you're doing or what you observe, if anything noteworthy happens.

10:52 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Internet Kills Book Reading: Who'd'a Thunk It?

Found today via Slashdot, article is available at the Seattle Post Intelligencer.

The National Endowment for the Arts profiled a new survey yesterday describing a sttep downward trend in book reading by Americans. Seems that this decline nicely matches the increase in the amount of time Americans spend with the Internet. Ya think?

The NEA is warning us of "an imminent cultural crisis". Again...ya think? Not much earth shattering news here.

As a college professor, I regularly ask my students to answer an information survey at the beginning of each semester. I use the information to get to know a little bit about who they students are, and what they are interested in. One of the questions I ask is "What is the last book you read for fun?" As little as 7 years ago I had no problem getting feedback. More and more I get responses like: "Do magazines count?" or "I don't read for fun" or the name of a book that was from their last high school literature class.

My colleague Brian and I talk about this situation pretty regularly. He calls our students part of the "postliterate" generation, implying that they know how to read books, but that it is become their least favorite way to access information. Part of the problem I have with this argument is that there are so many more reasons to read books than "accessing information".

I worry that this sharp decrease in reading is also coming with a decrease in the curiosity and creativity of our younger generation.

04:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack