January 2007 Archives

links for 2007-01-31

links for 2007-01-30

How about Park Slope in '79

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Had to chuckle when I read about this Rushkoff's public ordeal. It seems that B'klyn has become overrun with migrants from other parts of the country. Many of them are shocked or appalled that crime still exists even in the so-called exclusive areas in the BK.

My family left the city(Manhattan) to the safe haven of Park Slope section of BK in 79. It was much different during this time. I wonder how Rushkoff would have thought about his quaint Park Slope during those early years? Park Slope certainly didn't look very much like the gentrified village that people drool over today. Heck, Park Slope was just a sliver which ran from Prospect Park West to somewhere on 4th Ave. Times have certainly changed. Though, I no longer live in the Slope, I do visit fairly frequently. I never feel threatened and I rarely worry about crime. Dunno, but it seems that people move to BK, and live there only a few years and become instant authorities.

However, your best defense is common sense. I could be wrong, but my hypothesis is that gentrification gives folks a false sense of security. Recognize that you live in an area which has a fairly large disparity of wealth. If you're not sure, peep Bed-Stuy, Brownsville, East New York, and a few other places. Clear your vision.

Discussion on Brian Lehrer Show courtesy of WNYC

stevenberlinjohnson.com: On Leaving Brooklyn

Books for the all

I wondered when these types of machines would become reality. With Google's adamant stance of breathing life into texts that have outlived expired copyright, it clearly signals a change in the access mediums.

Just imagine having access to texts which were typically considered reference materials. Taking this idea a step further, I would expect that we will begins seeing digitized copies of the same. Perhaps this could resurrect the dead e-book market?

10 big ideas for 2007- On Demand Books

Education 2.0


Lately, I have been doing a bit of thinking about the much anticipated advancement of education due to the progression of technology in the classroom. Though, I'm not a classical educator, I do believe that there have been tremendous strides since circa 1985. Heck, I seem to recall that I may have used a computer in high school on a handful of occasions. In fact, in my close group of friends, only one of us had a computer. He was the guy that was truly the early adopter, with the Prodigy account and mobile telephone in the deft carrying case.

Suffice to say, that I did not use a personal computer in the classroom in one of the top 3 high schools in NYC. Yes, I did use a CNC machine, but that isn't a personal computer. I opted for the Mechanical Engineering curriculum, not the Computer Science track. So, we didn't get to use the Commodore 64 or Vic 20. I fully understand that having four or five PCs in the back of the classroom doesn't necessarily constitute a technology equipped curriculum. Nonetheless, it is a step in the right direction.

So, as stated earlier there have been huge advances, and I'm particularly encouraged by the work of grassroots organizations (EdTech Live, K12.org, LTSP) and others. The problem I continue to witness, stems from teachers who are either ill-equipped or unwilling to incorporate the technology.
Unfortunately, I don't think this problem can easily be solved. The other problem originates from poorly advised administrators within various municipalities. I would venture to guess, that most of these policy makers are of the baby boomer generation, and simply feel threatened by the change.

I really try not to be such a pessimist, but I do find it a bit disheartening to see countless examples of lost opportunities. At the end of the day, the children will suffer and lose out on opportunities.
In fact, if there is to be a paradigm shift, it will have to be the students that demand this change.

Update: Excellent conversation on technology in the classroom, compliments of Edtech Live

links for 2007-01-23

Where's the Innovation? (CES2007)

As a follow-up to my earlier CES2007 guest commentary. I figured that I'd write one of my own.

Ok. Let the flame war begin. I'm quite sure that I will certainly grouse the Mac zealots. Regardless I must speak the truth. The Apple marketing engine is again running at warp speed, regarding the new iPhone and their seminal entry into the smartphone space.
Let's reason together and review the technical merit of the new iPhone device.

Good, Bad & Ugly

The features that the iPhone offers are essentially identical to my dated Treo650. Quad Band (850/900/1800/1900Mhz) and GSM (GPRS, GSM, EDGE). Where is the high speed data exchange?
Perfect way to discourage sharing those delicious DRM iTunes selections. They conveniently did not include an extended memory slot. Another way to make sure that what is stored on the iPhone, stays on the iPhone.

I also understand that they did not include a simple USB cable for data transfer and DUN(wired). I suppose the Bluetooth2.0 and Wi-Fi make up for these shortcomings. Neither the Treo650 or Treo 680 have native Wi-Fi.

Closed - No SDK, so it will not be possible to foster 3rd party development.
Camera is only 2 megapixels (Huh? Apple zealots will scream).
Virtual Keyboard - Egad I'm not clear that anyone wants to type on anything other QWERTY

No streaming - 4GB/8GB device which presumably will be used to store music rather than making phone calls. Why not allow people to stream? Especially since you're touting Wi-Fi..
Simple answer DRM.. Gotta luv it.

My beloved Treonauts have done an excellent features comparison between the new Treo680 and the Apple iPhone.

Treonauts | Palm Treo 680 vs. Apple iPhone

Supernatural - S.P.I.T off the top of the dome

I have always loved freestyles, and Supernat is one of the best. My first introduction to Nat was during session with KRS1 and some of the former D&D Studios all-stars (Fat Joe, Guru, Lord Finesse, etc). I think the set took place at a spot called Roseland in the city (read: Manhattan). One of these days, I'll share it with you..

Believe it or not, the impetus for this post came from a Scoble. Yes, you can actually find useful stuff from the Scobelizer.

Nuff respect due to the Godfather James Brown, the best who ever did it. Hiphop owes him a supreme debt.

links for 2007-01-13

links for 2007-01-12

Preferred personal media device (CES 2007)

What follows is a guest entry by a visionary colleague.
Disclaimer: Though he is a friend of mine, we do have differences of opinion. So these are his ideas, not my own. However, I plan to have a short special edition 'AG Speaks' chat to talk about the CES(Consumer Electronics Show) and the short article.

Consumers have long awaited a truly converged device. I'm not talking about a simple camera phone, but a device that would combine the best of all of their Consumer Electronics world. Today you can see several people weighted down with a digital camera, an IPOD, two cell phones, and a Nintendo DS. Granted this example may be a bit extreme, but the concept is very real. Consumers carrying multiple devices to meet all of their needs.

In this article I will attempt to detail specifications for what I call: "The Preferred Personal Media Player".

To begin with we will need to have the utility of the following devices:

  • Smartphone/PDA
  • MP3 Player (with radio)
  • Video Player
  • Digital Camera
  • Game System
  • GPS System

The important part of this device is having everything integrate together. To get the most out of this system special attention must be made to adding the following key features:

  • Bluetooth
  • Wifi
  • SD Capability
  • Modem
  • Speakerphone
  • Full Keyboard

    Bluetooth is critical for the device. This will not only allow groups to share data, but it also enables hands free phone and hands free music selection. This feature will also make it possible to record dictation as well as critical calls.

    This feature is a must for not only getting online but also for quickly transferring data to and from the device without a cable.

    SD Capability
    This feature is critical for many reasons. First, the device will need to have expandable memory and with the projected growth in capacity of flash media, soon consumers will be able to place full HD movies on one SD card. This capacity will allow for more than adequate room for your photos, music, movies, and yes even games. There is also, however another not so obvious reason for this feature. This slot will enable compatibility with future wireless technologies. Today there are already SD Bluetooth and SD Wifi adapters.

links for 2007-01-10


Run Tiki, Run

As both the G-Men and Gang Green bowed out of the playoffs, I clearly have to give props to Tiki Barber. He is clearly deserving of NFL elite status. I'll never understand why athletes catch so much hell, simply because they opt to leave the game on their terms, not that of management or the press.

If and when Eli Manning receives the proper tutelage, the Giants will finally go deeper in the playoffs. Playing QB on any NY squad certainly puts you under the microscope. Most believe his maturation process needs to be accelerated. However, it is difficult to execute when you have guys who drop passes, and offensive schemes that do not play to your strengths.

Other intangibles:
I also believe that they need to improve their special teams (read: get some playmakers), and the defensive secondary. The O-line and D-line is very capable and will improve, though it wouldn't hurt to get more depth. The problem is that offensive lineman and capable reserve defensive lineman are not commodity items in the NFL.

I think Jets have fewer holes to fill; however, in the impending retirement of Curtis Martin does not bode well for them. I'm not certain that they will be able to find a Tier I running back. Their time of possession was nearly one-third that of the Pats, a clear indicator that if you do not have a running in January, you'll likely to go home early.

MT Tags vs. Technorati Tags

Not sure what the difference is between them, but I'd sure like to easily aggregate them. It really seems as though you're duplicating matters.. Typically the tags that I would use would be identical to the Technorati tags. I would also suspect that the underlying technology is still the same XMLRPC?

If I'm wrong, perhaps one of the MT developers can explain it to me..



I have been singing the praises of the OLPC for quite awhile. After learning of the opinions of some close to the project, I'm not so sure anymore. Have I been hoodwinked?

AFAIK, there is an effort in MA, to leverage OLPC for its _deserving_ population. If you are looking for a more deserving group, what better place than NOLA? It seems like a no brainer to me?

Could it be that the underlying goal is to line the pockets of Negroponte and other privileged intellectuals? I really hope that I'm mistaken here. Well, if Ashley Morris can gain support of a united front ( ie educators and policy makers), he might have a shot at getting some sort of grant for the most hard hit areas. If not OLPC, perhaps the LTSP (Linux Terminal Server Project) could help support some of these depleted school districts.

I will personally make contact and offer my support.

OLPC News: What About One Laptop Per New Orleans Child?

Housekeeping items

Finally got around to upgrading my MT publishing engine. Though, I have heard that rebuilding the backend database can be fraught with peril, it really was a fairly painless procedure. I made sure to backup the entire mySQL database. phpmyAdmin is a really helpful application. Thus far, all of my customized templates work as desired. I've not yet tried StyleCatcher, it seems as though 6A borrowed some functionality from its TypePad codebase.

I will restore trackback utility and monitor the traffic, my assumption is that they security and stability is much improved over the earlier MT publishing engines. It seems that erroneous trackback pings are now silently rejected without putting an unnecessary load in the webserver.

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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