Saturday, January 26, 2008

Mad Money Movie Review

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Frozen Pea Friday

Please check out and donate at:

Also, check Susan's blog about her cancer battle here:…oobsonice/

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Social Media Overload?

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

SOBCon08 - Blogging Conference in Chicago


SOBCon08 is “Biz School for Blogging.” This year’s event tracks entrepreneur bloggers and corporate bloggers alike, with an innovative format and a stellar cast of speaker/instructors.

The SOBCon08 program guarantees to send each attendee home with a Business Action Plan that can be immediately executed for measurable success. The “mastermind” teams in which attendees will be interacting will provide uniquely deep working relationships that are more meaningful than the business card trading found at other conference/networking events.

So when and where is it?

SOBCon08 will once again be held in the Chicago area from May 2-4, 2008; the place will be announced shortly.

I'm not a business blogger but I'm looking forward to networking with successful bloggers from across the US. It'll be a fun and educational experience, and a chance to make some new friends.

Your support in making this happen will be greatly appreciated. Feel free to help with room and board, transportation at the conference, and extra meals. (grin)

If you are going, let me know and we'll plan to meet at the conference.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

I can haz Scrabulous?

Hasbro has supposedly issued a cease and desist to Scrabulous and Facebook. What really happens and plays out remains to be seen.

I can haz invites

See it full size here, at and Tojosan the Cartoonist

I hereby declare myself a cartoonist! Or a Toonletist maybe? In any case, I'm going to be playing at

Toonlet is a free site where you can construct comic strip characters and piece together full blown comic strips. Now mind you there are no flashy things here, but the tool set provide is enough for any budding story teller.

The character creation allows you to piece together various body parts, such as torso, arms, and head. As well, there are hair, eyes, and mouth selections. These parts come in various sets, and can be mixed and matched.

New characters belong in new strips of course, and that feature is straightforward if not full of features. The strip allows the entering of a title, a panel heading, and filling in a text balloon. Only one text balloon per panel is available right now.

Strips can be as short as one panel or can span a significant number of panels. The largest I've seen had 16 panels. Panel background color is selectable per panel.

Overall, I can see this as a lighthearted stop on the net, but like any medium, there will be many uses for it. The biggest downfall to that though is the inability to imbed the strips or characters into a blog/web page.

Well all that said, here's my latest comic strip. A small homage to Susan Reynolds and her blog, Boobs On Ice, the ongoing story of her dealing with breast cancer.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Open Mic Night @ Successful Blog

Tuesdays are open mic (open comment) night on Tonight was the first one I've really participated in and fun was being had by all.

The link is here for tonights. Each week the theme is different.

If you love social interaction, but aren't a big Twitter fan, this might be for you too. Lots of my Twitter buds joined us there tonight, including Liz Strauss herself.

Go check it out.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Twitter as Village - Mayors and Assholes?

Well it seems that some folks just don't get jokes, and can't just play along with the fun. J by Jayfresh blog writer is calling out Shel Isreal, @shelisreal, on his follow up Twitter Village post. The one in which he jokes about naming Chris Brogan Mayor.

J, did you really take that post seriously or are you just pulling our legs on your blog post? We all realize that Twitter is not a country, city, or no, even not a village for real. Duh. And logically, you can't elect anyone anything. Of course, that's obvious too when you consider is a company, in which none of us is likely on the board of directors.

And what's with the asshole comment? I get that you're objecting to his post, but good grief, name calling? You're more mature than that. Which leads me back to you just pulling our legs for a little attention.

Cute; you got mine.

Twitter as Village - a rebuttal?

David Krug of Blog Herald has a rebuttal to Twitter as village. His key argument? It's infrastructure!

He's right. Twitter is just that; it's the streets in Soho, it's the waterways in Venice, it's the pub down the street. So technically, no, it's not a village, but it's the part of the village that enables a village to exist. That by his own admisssion:

"It’s a place to create relationships on a different level. its a place to idea stream, its a place to collaborate. It’s an infrastructure to build other communities ..."

No, it's not a community, but the paths, and byways of many communities. So the rest of us are wrong more by semantics and interpretation than anything else.

But what's your opinion; do you live in a Twitter village and would you elect Chris Brogan Mayor?

Coding Horror on Teaching Computer Science

Coding Horror shares thoughts on what teaching computer science should be about. As a full time programmer, I'm inclined to care. But as a person who came to be a programmer via running nuke power plants for the Navy, maybe I shouldn't be bothered.

Well honestly, I do care. Programming is as much about getting the code into production as anything, as CH states. It is more about solving real problems and daily issues, and finding bugs than discussing which O(n) algorithm is best.

Oh yes, programming is about which is best, but that takes up a fraction of the time to get real code into production. Seldom, or never in my case, can I just make a program change in isolation. Theory is great, where you consider a system in isolation. But take that same piece of code out of the classroom and into a complex working environment and suddenly it's not so simple.

Daily programmers deal with the complications of dependencies between portions of software and systems. Dependencies more complex than most schools would even try to cover in class.

Then there are conflicting goals in real world software development. In the class rooms, it's usually much more clean cut. Make this report, import this data, create a data entry screen. In the real world there are users. Users, the great corruptors of your beautiful design. Users, who have no inkling of what beautiful code is, and don't want to know what a compiler is, or why it isn't working today. Users care about the F3 key doing what they want it to, or the double-click making things dance on the screen.

CH is right, many schools are not preparing their graduates for the real world of programming. Programming where you and three other coders need to work in the same code. Programming where appearance is not only equal in importance at times, but sometimes more important than implimentation. Programming where your source control software is buggy. That's real life programming.

Honestly, I'm with CH, coders should work in the real world while they learn. To be a programmer you need to program.

My 2 bits? If your goal is to be a programmer, then start doing it long before you even get to those classes. But you say, how do I do that? Easy enough. Start simple, code a javascript application to serve up random images on your home page. Move up to writinga php script to read the list of commenters on your Wordpress blog. Practice all types of SQL commands over any database you can get your hands on.

I could go on, but like any field, the learning is in the doing.

/rant off.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Twitter as Village Roundup

So I spoke about Twitter as Village earlier, and the idea seemed well received. Here is a round up of what some other bloggers thought about Twitter and community.

Glenda Watson Hyatt
shared about it and what it's inspired her to do.

Before Glenda thought of Twitter as community, here's her initial reaction:

"Initially, my opinion was confirmed: Twitter was instant messaging on speed. It was like being in a room full of people talking and overhearing bits of conversations. Some bits are useful, others are interesting, some are downright bizarre, and, occasionally, a bit is directed at you, drawing you further into that particular conversation momentarily. It was intriguing and addictive, but I didn’t see the value of all this tweeting. Several times I thought of leaving, but being one not to leave a party early, I hung around to see what would happen next."

Shel Isreal also had something to say about the Twitter Village theme on his blog.

Shel has a similar initial reaction to Glenda:
"I've been using Twitter since September, and like she said, for a while, I could not get what it was all about. I was new in the village. people said hello to me and exchanged niceties. The language and content of the 140-character spoonfuls of conversation seemed to me to be kind of shallow. Yep, people really do publish what they had for lunch and say good night before signing off."

Jim Benson followed suit to Shel's post with his own on Twitter community.

Jim questioned the why of Twitter:
"When you are from somewhere and you go somewhere with a very different culture, many things seem patently stupid. Why would someo care if I stuck my chopsticks in my rice and left them there? or Why did he look upset when I gave him a thumbs up and a smile? or Why do I say Thank you before I'm given something?"

In the end though, these people and many others have found that Twitter really has brought them a sense of community. I challenge you to put aside your fears and preformed ideas about what Twitter is or is not, and give it a try. But I warn you, you just might find a real community that brings you joy, tears, a smile and a frown, or unexpected gifts even.

I can be found on Twitter here.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Twitter as Village or My neighbors are writers, bloggers, cameramen and more

I'm inspired by the insightful article Twitter is my Village by Laura Fitton of Pistachio Consulting Inc. She writes:

"For me, connecting on Twitter with someone I’ve just met in person is inviting them to live in “my village.” Follow-up won’t be limited to the “nice meeting you” email cul-de-sac. On Twitter, we’ll cross paths incidentally and without pressure. I may bump into them “around town” for maybe a word or two at the “coffee shop” or “post office.” Over time we may discover common interests (aka social objects) in each others’ tweets, and connect more deeply as neighbors or friends."

What a great analogy. For me, Twitter has become a new and rich neighborhood of individuals and groups to chat with and bump into as well. The 'without pressure' part is key too. It's nice to be able to watch as people stroll by each evening, and overhear snippets of conversation. Then being able to dabble in and join in any, all or none of them.

The feeling becomes even more like a neighborhood when random words become heartfelt moments, moments of tragedy and support. Laura writes about Ashley Spencer, @ashPEAmama, and the tragic accident that took her life. The village feel really applies there as well, with Ashley being a neighbor from around the block for me instead of another village. What's wonderful is what happened next. Another of my neighbors, Dan Mosqueda, @mosqueda, came out with a fund raiser for her family. That fund raiser collected $5000 in just a few days, and is on it's way to $6000. All that from the generosity of neighbors.

So you can see perhaps that Twitter may be just another social networking tool, but it really allows for more community than some may find on the real life street. Not the only amazing thing I've seen recently either.

Susan Reynolds, another friend, was recently diagnosed with cancer. Within weeks of that, Twitter friends got together an online fund raiser site, and have now raised thousands of dollars for cancer research.

Like other neighborhoods, there are more than tragedies. In my neck of the Twitterverse, there have been births, marriage proposals, spontaneous get together's at local pubs, and folks that traveled across the country to meet for a cup of coffee. It's truly provided a wealth of friend and partnership opportunities. Heck, I may have met a future employer or coworker online. That remains to be seen, but what better place than your own neighborhood to meet someone like that.

Take care, and Twitter if you dare.

Geek Girl's Got Flip

Geek Girl Tv has Flip camcorder review/video over at MacHost.

I just picked up the Flip today and have already made a couple of recordings with it. You can check out one about the lensbaby lens for the Canon here.

So far I'm enjoying this little camera. My wife, with no instruction, was able to pick it up and record a video. She even figured out the deletion part in no time.

Does it work with the Mac? Indeed it does. It's literally plug in and go.
But there's no CD? Nope, none required. The software is on the Flip.
But is it really simple? Indeed - one button record.

The model I purchased is the Flip Ultra.

Flickr Hiccups - It's official

UPDATE: Flickr is doing an update during this massage.

There's a post on the Flickr blog about today's hiccups.
Check it out.

Dayngr Girl on Reaching out and coming together - Ashley Spencer

Dangyr shares with us how social media brought diverse folks together around Ashley's family and friends. She brings us reminders of Ashley's family, the fund raiser, and today's funeral. Please put in a prayer for all involved.

Thanks DG.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Gizmodo at CES

Here's the video for "The Meanest Thing Gizmodo Did at CES". Ouch...

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Help Ashley's Family

This is an opportunity to provide a cash gift to Ashley's family - her husband Peter, son Toby, and daughter Lucy. I think other funds for college would be great, but I lost twins shortly after birth and funeral expenses can be enoromous. Moreover, Peter will have additional expenses for daycare at some point. I believe this is an excellent opportunity to help this family out in a very real and substantive way.

Ashley was best known to several of us as @ashPEAmama on Twitter. She was tragically taken from us the week of Jan 7th. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends.

The Chip-In above was created by another Twitter friend Dan Mosqueda, @mosqueda. Please consider donating. Thank you.

Crazy Eight for ‘08

I got tagged for "Eight Things You Didn't Know About Me" Meme by Shashi Bellamkonda. It's always interesting reading memes where folks have to share things, and as Shashi put it, spill the beans. So here are 8 things about me, the good, the bad, the useless.

1. I was born in Litchfield, Illinois. Why there? Because that was the only town with a hospital in the area.

2. I've lived on both coasts of the United States, and beyond.

3. I used to be a US Navy Machinist Mate before I got payed to work with computers. I did 11 yrs 4 mns and 27 days in the Navy.

4. I was stationed on submarines while in the Navy. Both of my boats, the USS Atlanta, and the USS Norfolk, where stationed out of Norfolk, VA.

5. I consider myself a self made success in my current life. Though I'm not rich nor written a best selling novel, but I make good money for what I do, and don't work many weekends. I taught myself 90+ % of all I know about programming, networking and tech stuff in general.

6. My second car was a green Pinto. Yes. Pinto. It was known as the Toad Mobile. That was adopted for use by my friends, and my future wife. That car saw more action than I care to admit.

7. I've had beer in Norway, Belgium, Italy, England, Canada, Gibraltar and more. And one of my favorites is still a good stiff Guinness.

8. I have diverse friends and I'm proud of that. This may surprise some folks, as my personal choice is to be conservative, but I have long time friends that are gay and have been.(don't tell mom) I've got friends that aren't Christians. (no, don't tell my mom) I've got friends that don't speak good English. (again, don't tell my mom) But you get the idea. Don't be fooled into who I might be because you've never gotten to know me.

Thanks Shashi for inviting me into this meme. Thanks Geoff Livingston for kicking it off.

For now, I'm passing on tagging anyone in this post, though I reserve the right to come back later and edit. Ha.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The News on Ashley

UPDATE: There is now a fund to help her family.


At 11:12 AM, on Tuesday, January 08, 2008, State Police, Troop A began investigating a two vehicle crash that resulted in a fatality. The crash occurred on US Hwy 61 north of LA Hwy 621 in Ascension Parish. Two vehicles, a Hyundai Elantra (eastbound on Duplessis Road) and a 2006 Peterbuilt (southbound on US Hwy 61) were approaching the intersection of US Hwy 61 and Duplessis road. The Hyundai Elantra traveled through the intersection into the path of the 2006 Peterbuilt. In doing so, the Hyundai Elantra was struck on the driver side by the 2006 Peterbuilt. The driver of the Elantra, Ashley Spencer (W/F/Age 20) of Geismar, LA, sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Ascension Parish Coroners Office. The driver of the 2006 Peterbuilt, Yancy Hebert (W/M/Age 42) of Gonzales, LA, did not seek medical attention at the crash scene. Seatbelts were used and alcohol/drugs are not suspected to be a factor in this crash.

Ashley was known to most of us as @ashPEAmama on Twitter. Ashley was a bright spirit to her contacts. Many of those contacts are expressing their feelings at the link below.

Correct age is 29.

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Social Media, You and Politics

On a quick couple of questions to the twitterati:

How has social media affected your view on politics?
Would you consider yourself more informed thanks to social media/networking? i.e. YouTube.

Some answers:
@DearYvette Social media has not impacted my political view, in the slightest.

@hooeyspewer Social media has had no impact on my political views at all.

@hooeyspewer Though I have noticed that people throw the word *Immigrant* around interchangably with *Illegal Immigrant* quite a bit. :(

@blawgger it has allowed me to deal directly with enough people to make me worry about the future of the american economy

@livingfrisbee Zilch!

@richpalmer It hasn't; still don't like it. And I believe there are more animals on planet than donkeys & elephants. Bipartisan=incomplete.

@princess_belle with an incredibly busy life, the information I've picked up on SM sites, esp Twitter, have allowed me to actually learn & follow

@luvsels It hasn't really affected my views just provides a way for me see a broad range of views on the political issues.

yes, more informed because of social media... I'd agree with that.

@luvsels More informed... definitely... and the plus side is the media bias is absent.

@eladyland I think so. I think I'm better informed and picking up the pulse of what other people think, and not just of my political stripe

Nope, but I have access to even more people who are uninformed and noisy about it.

So how has social media and social networking affected your views on politics? Give me a shout on Twitter or here on the blog.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Skitch - screenshots and more

I've been using Skitch for some time now, and it's one of the easiest Mac tools for screen shots. It affords you the option to capture a frame of what's in the Skitch 'window', or a full screen capture. The window is resizable as well.

Not only does Skitch capture the screen but has built in tools for circling and highlight as well. Even better, it has text and arrows. This sounds fun but it's practical as well.

I've used Skitch to capture screenshots from various web sites. Also, it can be used, and I've done it, to capture images from a web cam.

My Flickr gallery of Skitch shots is here.

But enough of my thoughts. Another blogger, Jonathan Bailey, over on The Blog Herald wrote an in-depth review and describes how it's useful in many ways. Go check it out.

Fight Against Boredom: Firefox

Found via TechCrunch.

The First VOIP Call on the iPod Touch

Found on the Jeff Pulver Blog.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

WowWee Robots - Wow Wee!

At the CES this year, the WowWee Robots team brought out lots of new robot companions. Engadget bloggers at the conference are bringing us pictures and more. I've rounded up a bunch of those here for you.

Video: WowWee's Tribot comes alive on the small screen

Video: WowWee Bladestar takes to the (indoor) skies

Hands-on with WowWee Mr. Personality, Rovio, and Bladestar

WowWee lets out Alive animal bots, Fun mini-bots

WowWee's Robotics lineup gets some new additions

WowWee introduces Mr. Personality, Rovio, and Flytech Bladestar

These things are simply amazing! So where might a person purchase one?
Sharper Image has them, as well as Amazon.

PC World also has a set of robot shots to share from CES.

So go check them out and get you a new toy. I know I'm thinking about it already.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Top 10 OS X Shareware Applications of 2007

50 Leaves put together a list of 2007's best shareware for the Mac. Some top runners are Textmate, and 1Password, both of which I use. A few that failed to make the list which I use and enjoy are Skitch, Cyberduck, and Adium.

What are your favorite Mac OS X shareware apps of 2007? Of all time?

14 Ways to Live Broadcast with Social Video

David Adewumi of VentureBeat brings us a comprehensive run down of the big competitors in social video. He includes a quick review in Good, Bad, Ugly format of Stickam, Kyte, and even just released Qik.

The favorites of this list seem to be Kyte and Ustream.TV. While, Seesmic, one I'm trying out, didn't fair well here.

Check this article out if you are interested in adding video to your social networking experience.

Security, for starters

37 Signals welcomes their new employee with a security brief.

For Jeffrey, they share information focused on encryption in daily work life, including in Mail, chat, and disk drive encryption.

Of note, they recommend Thawte for acquiring a certificate for Mac Mail.

Let's visit and welcome Jeffrey to 37 Signals.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Seesmic and OpenSocial?

Loic and Patrick from Google review comments and thoughts about Seesmic joining in on OpenSocial. Great detail about what OpenSocial is and isn't is provided by Patrick. It becomes easy to see some potential for Seesmic to benefit from this.