- Top analyst blogs « Technobabble 2.0 - Impressive assembly--although I agree with Andi Mann that this is really about popularity rather than anything else.
- Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog: Cloud computing, circa 1965 - Interesting old document from Western Union presaging the information utility.
- Looking for Reasons to Care About Tiger Woods - Tuned In - TIME.com - There's a lot of truth to this: "But whenever a story like this breaks, the first thing that gets exposed is the gap between media outlets, like TMZ, that unashamedly love this kind of story and cover it well, and more-traditional media outlets, who are either uncomfortable with or unsuited to the story, yet finally can't ignore it.... As with so many things today, traditional media are caught between a newfangled audience, with new expectations, and an old-fashioned audience that expects old-fashioned standards of propriety."
- Miami News - Miami-based Psystar takes on Apple - page 1 - Detailed story about the guys behind Psystar.
- Hacking NetFlix : "Crash" Still Dominates Netflix Top 100 Movies - The self-reinforcing power law at Netflix.
- Eight Deep-Fried Turkey Disaster Videos [you're doing it wrong] – Eat Me Daily
- Theory of competition fails in open source, elsewhere | The Open Road - CNET News - This seems generally true. I'm not sure that all the dynamics are covered here though.
- James Governor's Monkchips » Jumping Off IBM Connect 09: looking back - "There is nothing new in IT. And there really isn’t. My own version of the dictum is implement, reimplement, rinse, repeat. People tend to think of Tim Berners Lee as some kind of godlike genius, who came from nowhere with a coherent view of the networked world, and a markup language to support it. But if you read Vannevar Bush’s seminal work on the Memex in 1945, you realise that Berners-Lee’s achievement was not vision, but implementation. A stack of index cards, hyper linked throughout in a great skein of memory. Vannevar saw the WWW before it existed."
- Philip Greenspun’s Weblog » Leica M9 on the test bench at Popular Photography - Ouch. Now that's damning with faint praise for you: "How did Popular Photography deal with the embarrassingly poor image quality results of the $7000 Leica compared to the Japanese cameras? “They’re completely differently tools for completely different styles of photographer. We don’t categorize the M9 as a pro model–think of it as the ultimate (deep-pocketed) enthusiast’s camera.”"
Monday, November 30, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
- Local Bookstores, Social Hubs, and Mutualization « Clay Shirky - "The local bookstore creates all kinds of value for its community, whether its hosting community bulletin boards, putting rocking chairs in the kids section, hosting book readings, or putting benches out in front of the store. Local writers, harried parents, couples on dates, all get value from a store’s existence as a inviting physical location, value separate from its existence as a transactional warehouse for books... Online bookselling improves on many of the core functions of a bookstore, not just price and breadth of available books, but ways of searching for books, and of getting recommendations and context. On the other hand, the functions least readily replicated on the internet — providing real space in a physical location occupied by living, breathing people — have always been treated as side effects, value created by the stores and captured by the community, but not priced directly into the transactions."
- The Economics of Pinball « Cheap Talk - Fascinating look at the end of pinball.
- Beowulf Page 1 - Fascinating piece on Beowulf translations.
- Why Wine Ratings Are Badly Flawed - WSJ.com - Wine ratings are apparently repeatable only within a range of about +/- 4 points.
- psu_sharp.pdf (application/pdf Object) - Good overview of sharpening in Lightroom.
- 5 things missing in VMware's new virtual desktop app, View 4
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
One of my recent home projects has been to decommission some old systems that didn’t really need dedicated boxes any longer. Aiding in this effort is virtualization. Thus, I moved what used to be a dedicated Linux installation to a Virtual Box VM; it’s mostly for development use so it’s fine just sitting on my main Windows desktop.
Installing DOS in a VM proved a bit more problematic.
(Why DOS?!? You cry. Mostly just for fooling around with for old times sake—running some old games and such. Not something I particularly wanted to have an ancient PC taking up space for as I did previously.)
The first step was to find DOS. I had diskettes of various versions hanging around including DR-DOS but no easy way to use them to create a VM as my desktop doesn’t have a floppy drive. As it turns out, the best solution appears to be FreeDOS. I downloaded an ISO image, mounted it as a CD, and fired up Virtual Box.
Things went pretty smoothly except for one thing: I couldn’t get sound to work. Recent versions of Virtual Box do let you set audio to Sound Blaster 16, the de facto standard for sound output in the DOS world for many years. I also put what appeared to be the required incantations in the DOS startup files—a messy mix of DMA and IRQ settings and related arcana with which I was far too familiar from past years. But no sound—not even native PC speaker sounds (which are what I really cared about). And no sound meant not much use for games.
VMware Workstation to the rescue. I downloaded a trial copy, created a FreeDOS VM, and sound worked fine out of the box.
One caveat: After FreeDOS sets up your partitions, the system needs to reboot. However, now that there’s a primary partition, the system will try to boot from hard disk (rather than the CD) and fail. At this point, you need to go to the Boot menu in BIOS and change the boot order so that the CD boots before the hard drive. This is a bit tricky because, when the VM boots, it moves past the point where you can press F2 to enter BIOS very quickly. So you have to be fast. (Alternatively, you can edit the .VMX file to increase the delay.) After the installation completes, you then will need to switch things back.
VMware Workstation is for-charge software. However, I assume that once you have the VM set-up, you can run it using the free VMware Player. You may also be able to use VMware Server, the free version of VMware’s former GSX Server, although I have not tried either.
Finally, to move software on to the VM, I found the easiest thing to do was to create an ISO image of any files I wanted. I can then mount the ISO and copy its contents to the "C:\" drive (i.e. the VM's primary partition). FreeDOS provides packet drivers and various other networking pieces but I didn't feel especially motivated to spend the time to try to get this stuff working.
Friday, November 13, 2009
In 1998, the American Film Institute put on a 100 Best American Movies show. I’ve long been interested in movies—I was publicity director for my university’s film group--so I put together my own list at the time. It wasn’t markedly different from the AFI’s list but did generally incorporate more comedies and removed some films that were arguably more important than objectively excellent.
In the years since I’ve occasionally discussed the list with friends. New deserving films have come onto the scene. I’ve also taken a fresh look at some films I included on my list or excluded from it and tweaked my opinion in a couple of cases.
This new list is based on all that. It also cheats. Although I did prune a few movies that were probably near the bottom of my best-of rankings, I came to the conclusion that sticking to a strict 100 movies list would result in two things happening: Eliminating some older films that, while still enjoyable, require a certain historical perspective to fully appreciate and eliminating some newer films that I very much like today but may or may not stand the test of time.
I didn’t go nuts but there are maybe ten or so extra films. Much of the commentary from my earlier list still applies; I didn’t go hog-wild adding a lot of separate films on a similar theme or in a similar style (think Woody Allen or Pixar). In addition, while I haven’t included anything just because it’s supposed to be “great film-making,” I haven’t necessarily included movies that I like but would have trouble justifying as “best” or “ground-breaking” in some respect. (Thus, a number of favorite science fiction films are excluded.) This isn’t a films-for-a-desert-island list although the two would have a fair bit of overlap.
At some point perhaps I’ll add some commentary to these choices but, for now, here’s the list.
- 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)
- ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, THE (1938)
- AFRICAN QUEEN, THE (1951)
- ALL ABOUT EVE (1950)
- ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (1930)
- ALMOST FAMOUS (2000)
- AMADEUS (1984)
- AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1973)
- ANNIE HALL (1977)
- ARSENIC AND OLD LACE (1944)
- APOCALYPSE NOW (1979)
- AVIATOR, THE (2004)
- BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985)
- BIG CHILL, THE (1983)
- BLADE RUNNER (1982)
- BONNIE & CLYDE (1967)
- BRAZIL (1985)
- BREAKER MORANT (1980)
- BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S (1961)
- BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE (1935)
- BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, THE (1957)
- BRINGING UP BABY (1938)
- BULL DURHAM (1988)
- BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID (1969)
- CASABLANCA (1942)
- CHINATOWN (1974)
- CITIZEN KANE (1941)
- CLOCKWORK ORANGE, A (1971)
- CABARET (1972)
- CHARIOTS OF FIRE (1981)
- DAY OF THE JACKAL, THE (1973)
- DR. STRANGELOVE (1964)
- DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965)
- DUCK SOUP (1933) [but it could just as easily be NIGHT AT THE OPERA (1935)]
- ED WOOD (1994)
- ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (2004)
- FANTASIA (1940)
- FARGO (1996)
- FORBIDDEN PLANET (1956)
- FRENCH CONNECTION, THE (1971)
- FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953)
- GIANT (1956)
- GODFATHER, THE (1972) and GODFATHER PART II, THE (1974)
- GONE WITH THE WIND (1939)
- GOODFELLAS (1990)
- GRADUATE, THE (1967)
- GRAPES OF WRATH, THE (1940)
- GUNGA DIN (1939)
- HAROLD AND MAUDE (1972)
- HIGH NOON (1952)
- HIS GIRL FRIDAY (1940)
- INHERIT THE WIND (1960)
- IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)
- KING KONG (1933)
- LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962)
- LEAVING LAS VEGAS (1995)
- LIFE OF BRIAN (1979)
- LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy (2001/2/3)
- LOST IN TRANSLATION
- MALTESE FALCON, THE (1941)
- MAN WHO WOULD BE KING, THE (1975)
- MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, THE (1962)
- MARY POPPINS (1964)
- M*A*S*H (1970)
- MATRIX, THE (1999)
- MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939)
- MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935)
- MY FAIR LADY (1964)
- NATIONAL LAMPOON'S ANIMAL HOUSE (1978)
- NETWORK (1976)
- NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
- ON THE WATERFRONT (1954)
- PAPER CHASE, THE (1973)
- PATTON (1970)
- PHILADELPHIA STORY, THE (1940)
- PINOCCHIO (1940)
- PLAYER, THE (1992)
- PRODUCERS, THE (1968)
- PSYCHO (1960)
- PULP FICTION (1994)
- RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981)
- REBECCA (1940)
- REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (1955)
- SCHINDLER'S LIST (1993)
- SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE (1998)
- SIDEWAYS (2004)
- SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, THE (1991)
- SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952)
- SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)
- SOUND OF MUSIC, THE (1965)
- STAR WARS (1977) and EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, THE (1980)
- STING, THE (1973)
- STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, A (1951)
- SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950)
- TAXI DRIVER (1976)
- THIN MAN, THE (1934)
- THIRD MAN, THE (1949)
- TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
- WALL-E (2008) – or just about any other Pixar film of your choice
- WHEN HARRY MET SALLY (1989)
- WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT (1988)
- WIZARD OF OZ, THE (1939)
- WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939)
- YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY, THE (1983)
Silents: GENERAL, THE (1927) GOLD RUSH, THE (1925) INTOLERANCE (1916) MODERN TIMES (1936) SAFETY LAST (1923) THIEF OF BAGDAD, THE (1924)
I served this at happy hour on a recent hiking weekend and it was a big hit. It’s also a staple of my summer barbecues. I tend to just serve this easy-to-prepare dip with strips of red pepper (or a mix of red, yellow, and orange for more of a multi-color effect) but you can use a wide variety of fresh vegetables.
2 cups of Mayonnaise (If store-bought, a 15 fluid oz. jar is just right)
3 cloves garlic, peeled
5 TBS trimmed white bread or bread crumbs, lightly toasted
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 cup Almonds
2 TBS fresh Parsley
Crudities (i.e. sliced pinkie-sized carrot pieces, cauliflower flowerettes, 1/4 in. strips of peppers, small red and white radishes, young scallions, and any other fresh vegetable which seems appropriate)
Clean and slice assorted crudities.
Add garlic, bread crumbs, pepper, almonds, and parsley to a blender or food processor. Pulse until finely chopped.
Scoop mayonnaise into a bowl and stir in the chopped ingredients until well-blended.
In “Backup Your Photos Online & Preserve Memories Forever,” Amit Agarwal succinctly lays out the options for backing up your photos with a focus on online services. He concludes that “For most users, the best option for preserving digital photographs is often "online backup" because it doesn’t require you to burn DVDs (which are unreliable anyway), you don’t have to invest in any new hardware and your photos are likely to last forever as long as you pay the yearly bills.”
I agree in part and disagree in part.
I agree about the value of online services in general. I view backup services and photo sharing sites to be complementary rather than alternatives.
I use Mozy—Carbonite is another good alternative—to backup all my data files, including my digital photos. Both have a fixed annual fee of about $60 with no bandwidth charges.
I also have a Flickr Pro membership. I don’t really consider Flickr a backup mechanism though. I can only upload processed JPEG images. And, although I could theoretically upload every frame I shoot, in practice that would get in the way of using Flickr as a photo sharing site. (SmugMug has a service called SmugVault that you can use for RAW images and other types of files but then you’re getting into Amazon S3 bandwidth and storage charges which can get pricey for large volumes.)
Yes, at the end of the day Flickr provides me with a totally independent backup of reasonable fidelity copies of the majority of my most valued photos. But this is a side effect that I certainly hope I will never have to depend on as opposed to a systematic backup.
I don't consider an online backup to be sufficient though. I also recommend keeping a local backup. I like to keep an uncompressed file-by-file backup. In my case, a program called SyncBack synchronizes a network drive to my user directory every night. A USB drive will also work as would image backups. I do things the way I do for a couple of reasons: 1.) Data files in the backup are readily available to other computers on my network and 2.) In the event of a problem with my main computer, I don’t need to restore backups and so forth; the data files are right there ready to be accessed by another system.
In general, my philosophy is that I want to make backups using two different mechanisms and I want one of those mechanisms to give me an offsite backup. Backing up to both a local drive and an online service--using different software--is a good way to accomplish this objective.
One final suggestion for the less technically savvy who shoot a more modest quantity of photos than I do. (This is what I have my dad doing.) If you’re not going to have a good backup process, consider just leaving the photos on the memory card given that a 2GB card costing maybe $10 can store 400 or so JPEGs. Note that even if you do have rigorous backup, you shouldn’t erase any important pictures until your processes have had a chance to actually make a backup.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
- Cool Tools: Recipe Aggregators - I use Epicurious (one wonders what will happen with this over time with the demise of Gourmet). Curious to take a look at the others.
- Irving Wladawsky-Berger: Communications, Journalism and Media in the Internet Age - "Such highly visual experiences are now commonplace in games and animated films, but these are mostly designed for entertainment, not to deliver and emotionally feel real-world news in non-traditional, innovative ways. The real breakthroughs here will be to marry these highly visual, interactive, immersive capabilities with serious journalism and a new, more experiential way of delivering the news."
- Edwin Diamond - Ed Diamond popped up in a conversation today. As with Paul, he was one of my favorite professors at MIT.
- VMware announces View 4 with software PC-over-IP and vSphere 4 support - Brian Madden - BrianMadden.com - Overview of the announcement--including what isn't there yet.
- KS2009: How Google uses Linux [LWN.net] - Interesting behind the scenes.
Monday, November 09, 2009
The sunroom I added earlier this year got a 42-inch plasma panel for the wall. Part of the panel’s purpose is to serve as a giant digital picture frame; the TV has a built-in SD card slot. My Wii and Xbox consoles are also connected.
But I wanted to add a PC—not so much to be a home theater PC in the usual meaning of the word but to display videos from a browser. In addition, in spite of options within the TV itself and in the attached Xbox to display photos, they all have some drawbacks for walking through a slideshow manually. I find Irfanview on a PC to be the best option.
My starting point was a micro-ATX MSI 785GM-E65 motherboard with an Athlon II X4 processor. The price on this combo was right given that AMD gave it to me after a recent analyst event. (Mobo+CPU is under $200 in any case.) However, it was also a good fit; the integrated graphics seem to be plenty fast for my purposes and it comes with an HDMI out. In fact, I was also given a discrete graphics board but chose not to install it and let the system run a bit cooler and quieter.
I added 2 GB of DDR3 DRAM; I can always bump that later if I want to but I don’t intend to do a lot of multi-tasking or run resource-intensive applications. The disk is a 10K RPM Raptor, another freebie from a friend of mine. It’s only 75GB but I’ll typically keep media content on a network drive.
There’s no internal optical drive. This wasn’t so much a design decision as a reflection of the fact that I have an external USB Blu-Ray drive that I got with my HP dv2 laptop—so I figured I’d start out just plugging that in as needed.
I’m running a beta of 32-bit Windows 7, again pretty much a no brainer. (Yes, I suppose I could have installed Linux and perhaps I will when the beta expires but it was simpler to get started with Windows and see how I end up using the system.)
In the end, I really only had two decisions to make.
The first was the control device--the Logitech DiNovo Mini that I described in an earlier post. It’s an unobtrusive handheld keyboard and trackpad combination. For tasks that are tiresome to tackle by thumb typing, I establish a remote connection using another PC. Logitech also makes a larger version if you’d rather have a full-sized keyboard.
Finally, I settled on an Antec NSK2480 case for micro-ATX boards. It’s stylish which may or may not matter to you depending upon where it’s housed. It also takes full-height PCI boards without adapters or other tricks. It seems well put together and fairly quiet. This case was a bit bigger than would have been my preference, given that I didn’t need space for either drives or PCI cards. But reviewers dinged a couple of smaller cases that I looked at for either noise or heat buildup so I stuck with the larger size.
- Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog: Be everywhere now - "There are those who, in their desire to sell themselves and others an idealized version of progress, are quick to dismiss all fond personal memories as nostalgia. But some of those memories are not sentimental distortions of the past but accurate records of experience. Taylor argues that, when it comes to music or any other form of art, the price of our "endless present" is the loss of a certain "magical power" that the artist was once able to wield over the audience. I suspect he's right." << This is related to although separate from the audience fragmentation that has at the least diluted "Must See TV."
- Spec Work Is Evil / Why I Hate CrowdSpring | Andrew Hyde - Startups. Start Here. - But see also this. Yes, it makes me feel a bit squeemish whenever I see dozens of designs submitted for one low-cost project. One the one hand, OK -- maybe useful experience for some kid starting out -- but, on the other, feels rather sweat-shoppish.
- Global marketplace for creative services: logo design, business card design, graphic design and website design | crowdSPRING
- 423 – Flow-Charting the Ring Trilogy « Strange Maps
- Bullet Trains for America? - A detailed look at high-speed rail challenges.
- FEED » Hello - Razorfish's FEED09 study charting how consumers engage with brands.
- Summering and Lobstering in Westport, Mass. - NYTimes.com - Pretty amusing account of lobstering by summer residents.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
When I connected up a PC to a wall-mounted television in a sunroom that I had built earlier this year, I knew that I needed something to control it with.
Using a configuration that required a separate mouse wasn’t a good option as I didn’t have a hard surface near where I would normally view from. The Lenovo ThinkPad UltraNav keyboard would have been an interesting option but there isn’t a wireless version. Remote control from another computer was and is another possibility but I also wanted something that I could just directly control the computer with. (And I know there are some iPhone applications but I didn’t yet have an iPhone at the time.)
What I settled on was the Logitech diNovo Mini. This 6-inch by 3.5-inch handheld keyboard and pad isn't perfect but it’s a pretty good option for a home theatre PC so long as you don’t intend to do lots of typing. It’s a lot more functional as a keyboard than a typical remote control is but you’re not going to want to compose long emails and the like.
What I like:
- It’s small and stylish with a smoked plastic flip-down lid. It won’t look out of place sitting on a coffee table.
- It has a mode for directly controlling Windows Media Center
- The integrated pointer control works well
- The thumb pad works pretty well for entering URLs and other relatively short strings or blocks of text
What I don’t like:
- It’s relatively pricey with a list price of $150
- As I noted, it’s basically a thumb keyboard, albeit a relatively large one, so you’re not going to be banging away like on a regular keyboard
- Right click and dragging operations are more awkward than they would ideally be
Bottom line: If you can live without having a “real” keyboard and just want something unobtrusive to easily pull up YouTube and Hulu videos and the like, it’s a good, if premium, choice.
Here's another more detailed review of the DiNovo Mini. I concur with most of his comments, especially with respect to mouse operations.
- Coding Horror: Preserving Our Digital Pre-History - In many respects, preserving digital history is more haphazard than it probably should be.
- Google: Android fragmentation not 'bad thing' • The Register - The keys to Android are 1. how different are targets wrt developer? 2. how many targets? how big targets?
- Chuck's Blog: The VCE Coalition: Redrawing The Landscape - EMC's Chuck Hollis on the integrated stack.
- Is Verizon Being Unfair to AT&T in 3G Map Comparisons? - Wi-Fi Networking News - Succinct backgrounder of the technical aspects of Verizon vs. AT&T 3G network coverage.
- AT&T sues Verizon over 'there's a map for that' ads - A lot of predictable fanboism on both sides of this issue. Without subscribing to the "People who don't know what 3G is shouldn't be allowed to own a phone extreme," it does seem to me that the commercials clearly emphasize connection performance and don't (to me anyway) suggest that they're talking about overall coverage. Of course, lots of ads include disclaimers and qualifiers of various sorts and perhaps some such is appropriate here.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Although the signal-to-noise ratio is regrettably poor, every now and then I get a random PR email that piques my interest. So it was with one titled “Workplace Story Idea-Study Shows Professionals Lack Virtual Meeting Skills / Avoiding 5 Common Pitfalls.”
It caught my eye because I’m seeing more and more attempts to run virtual events of various types. And, in my experience, even the best ones have problems.
In any case, the email in question was followed by a copy of the book The Hamster Revolution for Meetings by Mike Song, Vicki Halsey, and Tim Burress. It’s written in what for my taste is an overly cutesy style but it’s a thin book and a quick read that I got through in a short evening.
It gets into a number of common-sense recommendations for meetings: have an agenda, stay on course, schedule meetings for less than a full hour, and so forth. However, a lot of the book deals specifically with virtual meetings. On the one hand, the authors make some good suggestions such as:
Technical glitches slow the flow.
Tip: If it's an important web conference, shut down and restart your computer before it starts. Arrive 20 minutes early and encourage participants to get there 10 minutes early. Do a sound, mute, and visual check with a colleague. Create a virtual meeting cheat sheet that lists all web and teleconference features such as "mute all" and customer service line. A free "tech glitch cheat sheet" can be downloaded at: http://infoexcellence.com/icfreelessons.htm.
(I believe this is called documenting around a bug.)
I also think they’re spot on about some of the problems associated with virtual meetings and events (even if some of the suggestions related to this problem reflect the aforementioned cuteness).
Virtual distance makes relationships go cold.
Tip: Remote meetings make it harder to build warm productive relationships with colleagues. Adorn your presentation with photos of presenters and participants so people connect faces with names. Use the chat function to ask quick, fun questions of the team at the meeting's start to break the ice and get acquainted. For example: "Type the name of your favorite movie into the chat box."
However, much of the authors’ focus seems to be on making virtual meeting a more immersive experience. For example:
Participants email during your webinar.
Tip: Jazz up your visuals to distract them. Use web conferencing tools like Webex and Go to Meeting to turn graphics on instantly. Pepper your presentation with a parade of charts, slides, and competitor's websites to keep them engaged--and invite them to email comments at the end.
People tune out of web conference and chat on Facebook instead.
Tip: Transform your meeting into a social networking event by asking participants to use your web conferencing tool's chat function to comment in real time. You'll get great ideas, instant feedback, and lively, entertaining banter.
Web meeting fatigue is setting in.
Tip: Take a 5-minute surf break! Invite everyone to take visit a relevant, humorous, motivating, or topical business-appropriate website that you've bookmarked ahead of time. Examples include NASA's astronomy picture of the day site, motivational quote sites, or a site that features a fun quiz or survey.
Now, there may indeed be meetings in which it’s important to keep participants engaged as fully as possible. Perhaps it’s a brainstorming session for a new product launch. (Although, this is a case—as we recommend when we do consulting days with clients—where it really makes sense to do face-to-face if at all possible. There are also more advanced telepresence systems such as HP Halo that go way beyond web conferencing.
However, given that the book describes these as “common webinar pitfalls,” the insistence on maintaining single-tasking engagement seems misdirected. Sure, the occasional poll and the use of chat can help keep the session from being a pure one-way broadcast. But I have yet to see mechanisms to make web conferencing a truly interactive medium. And, given that even attendees at a real, live conference are multi-tasking more often than not, trying to force virtual interactions to be even more focused seems misguided.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
- Building a SaaS Application: One of the keys to success: Multi-Tenancy - Nice overview of multi-tenancy models for SaaS.
- Views From The Top - Forums - View Single Post - $25,000 fine assessed for teen hiker - This comment sums up my issues with what's going on with hiking rescue fines in NH pretty nicely.
- This tech news is not embargoed - InternetNews:The Blog - David Needle - I generally feel that embargoes are useful.
- BrokenBridge - Good detailed look at what happened with the Bay Bridge
- YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. - Videos from Google Atmosphere conference.
- James Governor's Monkchips » Towards a Permission-based Web. Wherefore Net Neutrality? Or: Maybe Open Source Wins After All - I am perhaps less convinced that Android is an elixer. Is it truly a cross-platform open environment or does it just splinter (while providing Google an entree into many different mobile phones)
- Giz Explains: Why Every Country Has a Different F#$%ing Plug - Worldwide electric plugs - Gizmodo - Fun rundown on the whys and wherefores of electrical plugs around the world.
- Who Says TV News Is Biased? TV News Viewers Do! - Tuned In - TIME.com - "One thing that annoys me about studies like this is that they force a choice among "liberal bias," "conservative bias" and "no bias." This ignores moderate bias, which absolutely exists and is arguably the most prevalent bias in traditional "mainstream" media: the general establishmentarian belief that the middle ground is probably the most rational, and that a belief that varies too far from it must necessarily be wrong, or at least require a counterbalance implying that "the truth lies somewhere in the middle.""
- Custom Camera Applications Development Using Iphone Sdk - The part of the SDK that needs to be used by third-party camera apps is pretty kludgy and limited.
- Virtual Appliances – More Risk than Reward? - Virtual machines can't be black boxes--except where they can.
- Computer History Museum | October 29, 1969 - Happy 40th Birthday to a Radical Idea! - And so Skynet was born.
- High Anxiety: Where We Won't Be Going for 2020 Olympics - The NBC reporter's question made me laugh. It is pretty inappropriate though.