Wednesday, March 30, 2005

iLife 05 has major flaw for Podcasters

I recently purchased Apple's new iLife '05 software for another project and decided to use the new version of GarageBand on my Mac to create my podcast. Suddenly I found that it has a major flaw that limits its usability for podcasting. Make that (in my opinion) MAJOR FLAW! It is documented on Apple's knowledge base. Other podcasters have also ran into this roadblock, it is a 999 measure limit that limits a song to about 30 minutes, maybe an hour with some hacking of the tempo settings. GarageBand is an application that is known as a podcasting tool. Why limit the tool this way? I think updates should be improved, not hobbled.

CATS presentation on Podcasting

This is the audio from the Podcasting session on Friday March 25, 2005 at the CATS conference. It was a very well attended session and I really enjoyed presenting there.

Monday, March 28, 2005

My sister Lura's memorial is tomorrow

Lura and Floyd at their wedding in 1960
On September 16, 1942, my sister Lura was born in Parsons, Kansas.  She died on March 7th of this year. I don't know what I can say about my wonderful and all of the good things she has done for so many people. I made this movie [ 45 MB, Quicktime Movie ] about her life. It only touches the surface of the love she had for so many, and the love we have for her.

If you do not already have it, this movie requires Apple's Quicktime Player.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

More From CATS: Fred Beshears Talk

My favorite presentation today at CATS was the one by Fred Beshears of the University of California. According to Beshears college and university students spend an average of over $800 a year on text books. This places a horrible burden on them and the higher education system has done little to address this problem. He proposes that colleges and universities form a co-op like body to create ebooks that can be made available under Creative Commons licensing for high enrollment courses to help address this problem. This is a proposal that is not likely to be greeted enthusiastically by book publishers. They have benefited from an unnatural market for a long period of time.

I really enjoyed Beshears' talk today and our brief discussions. I really think this is a subject that deserves careful consideration. It reminds me of what Dan Gillmor is doing with the grassroots journalism project.

By putting powerful information systems capable of global communications in the hands of the common people, and enabling folks to share content in a creative commons, emerging technologies have created a whole new information estate. There is now a body of high quality content to draw from, and thanks to the Creative Commons this well of visual information is getting more full all the time.

I think that emerging technology, not to mention an increasing scarcity of resources, may create a fundamental change in the way we do business. In my opinion we can't see that yet because we are stuck in the old paradigm. But, it is going to be interesting to see the impact of open source business models as they spread of other sectors, like publishing, and threaten industries that have enjoyed unnatural insulation from competitive pressure. The creative commons licensing systems have a strong enabling influence for emerging business models, such as he is suggesting, to gain traction.

By publishing books using creative commons licensed information, artwork and images, while at the same time adding to the creative commons even more information that can be remixed and reused, exciting possibilities start to happen!  This is a natural anti-thesis to the DRM and DMCA movement and may be the only hope we have of breaking that trend. Recently, I had the opportunity to hear Lawrence Lessig speak. He is a great speaker. This is from his blog:

Late last night, Yahoo! launched a Creative Commons search engine, permitting you to search the web, filtering results on the basis of Creative Commons licenses. So, as I feel like I've said 10,000 times when explaining CC on the road, "Show me pictures of the Empire State Building that I can use for noncommercial use," and this is the first of about 13,000 on the list. This is exciting news for us. It confirms great news about Yahoo!. I met their senior management last October. They had, imho, precisely the right vision of a future net. Not a platform for delivering whatever, but instead a platform for communities to develop. With the acquisition of Flickr, the step into blogging and now this tool to locate the welcome mats spread across the net, that vision begins to turn real.

More From CATS: Yesterday's session on RSS can be heard here

It's day two of the seminar. I got a lot out of yesterday's sessions. It was hard, though, because there were so many great sessions going on concurrently. It was hard to choose only one to attend at a time. Anyway, I thought you might be interested in hearing yesterday's session so I have posted it here [ 9 MB audio 1.2 hr. ].

It was great fun presenting with Harish and David!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The presentation on RSS went very well!

CATS team

I am at the Conference for Academic Technology Staff (CATS) and our presentation on RSS went very well. The room was full with several people standing. We were a good team and, I think, we worked together well. Our skills and presentations were very complimentary. We were received well, had good comments and questions. A good time was had by all. This was my first conference presentation and I am glad to have it done!

Monday, March 21, 2005

Podcasting, RSS and CATS

I am going to be presenting on RSS and Podcasting this week at CATS 2005. This is a statewide conference of Academic Technology professionals. I have my powerpoints here. These are actually down level versions, as I have already updated the presentation with new information. This is my first time presenting in a conference and I am nervous as, well, a cat! Any suggestions are welcome.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Hear Dan Gillmor here

Recommended Listening: Dan Gillmor
One of the biggest thrills for me at was meeting Dan Gillmor and Doug Kaye. In his weekly E-mail, Doug said this about this podscast:

Dan is the author of We, the Media: Journalism By and For the People and former Business and Technology Columnist for the San Jose Mercury News at the Accelerating Change 2004 Conference. Grassroots journalists are dismantling Big Media's monopoly on the news, changing it from lecture to conversation. Dan Gillmor discusses the importance of this emerging phenomenon, a deep shift in how we make and consume the news. We the Media is essential reading for all participants in the news cycle: Consumers learn how they can become producers of the news through web journals (weblogs or blogs), Internet chat groups, email, and cell phones.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Etech, Read my Notes!

Starting today I will be posting my notes from the sessions at , these are raw PDF files taken directly off of my Tablet PC. This first set of notes is from day one. I will try to post more info on the session notes here as I get time.

Odeo, this is big for podcasting in education!

Yesterday, at I saw a presentation by Evan Williams of Odeo.

Who is Evan Williams?
According to Evan's blog, "Evan Co-founded and CEO'ed Pyra Labs, the creators of Blogger, in 1999, before coming to Google (with Blogger) in 2003."

What is Odeo?
The good news is: Odeo is a very user friendly tool to subscribe to and (here is the big part!) easily create . It is very accessible and again, easy to use. Also, according to Williams, on the road map for Odeo is access control lists. This means a professor could record his/her class, make a podcast of it, and only allow his/her students access to it. This is big folks, real big! Did I mention, it is EASY TO USE!

The bad news is: Mp3 files are the life blood of podcasts. Odeo is a great way to share mp3 files. It is possible for it to be used to share illegally copied music and that may cause some network admins to want to block it.

What is my opinion?
I think this is a killer app for education and that the good far out weighs the bad. I think we should be all over this. This is the kind of thing I went to Etech to see!

See also:
This blog!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Lessig offers inspiring insight

, I'm Inspired
I am like Jane Goodall, a researcher in a group of Alpha Geeks! I want to see what great chunks of wisdom I can gather and take back to my colleagues. The presentation by Lawrence Lessig this morning was awesome and awesomely inspiring! I hope it is available as a podcast because it is critical to understanding the threat to both technology and freedom that the direction of our society poses.

Etech, Uh Oh, I'm heading for detention!

, the third and final day
This morning I had lunch with Steve Gillmor and Doug Kaye. Doug left early and I had a long conversation with Steve, well, longer than any other conversation I have ever had with him anyway. The conversation was interesting, stimulating and intimidating as hell. At one point he asked me what RSS was and I felt like I was taking mid-terms. Wow, all that anxiety from my school days returned. He is sharp and, I think, takes no prisoners. He had some great ideas. I learned a lot and want to follow up on one idea to create a Help Desk Wiki. It is hard for me to conceptualize and express a lot of the issues I deal with on an ongoing basis, issues like staffing and training. Those are not his problems, they are mine. He is a sharp guy and I really appreciate his time. Ooops, I am being kicked out. It seems I am in the speakers lounge! It is like I am being kicked out of the teacher's lunch room. Bad Stevie! Gotta go....

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Etech, that was day two!

Etech attendee using computer, my last night in San Diego. This has been an incredible experience. I met Doug Kaye this morning and he offered to help in my Podcast presentation. , and the IT Conversations podcast, has been an inspiration to me, an inspiration of what Podcasting could look like in higher education. I have already mentioned the folks in the morning sessions. The afternoon sessions included Clay Shirky's entertaining session,  the folks from Creative Commons showed their search engine. That is something I will use. I wish somebody would extend Nvu's XHTML tagging capabilities to include "rel" tags that provide tags that Technorati could map so I could license each post! Natalie Jeremijenko did a presentation on Social Robotics that was very interesting to me. One of the robot designs allowed folks to relate to ducks as a robot duck. I suggested that technology could be extended to allow people to relate to their pets as peers and that could make her rich. I think she thought I was nuts. But, I know I would love to be able to relate to our cats at their level. This evening was an Apple Developer Connection Reception. Once again I told the Apple rep they needed a tablet Mac, and that it would be very helpful for them to release their new OS version "Tiger" to our Help Desk staff a few weeks before our users get it so we could prepare to support it! After that was the Maker Fair, that was nice, but not my cup of tea. This is the end of day two at .

A nice demo, a very nice guy and a great conversation

, the continuing story
I went to the Nokia booth hungry to learn as much as I could about moblogging. The have some phones and software tools. David Jacobs gave me a great demo on lifeblog and offered me some good advice. I also met Mary Hodder who is doing work on extreme usability  We had a conversation on the subject of usability testing and the cost of not doing it well. I look forward to doing more with this technology! There was several other neat folks I talked to but I didn't get their names. That was fun!

Etech, lunch time, day two!

is still going strong. This morning's sessions were great! Cory Doctrow, Justin Chapweske, Jimmy Wales (on Wikipedia), then a whole series on education featuring Clay Shirky, Tom Igoe and Tom Hoffman, then a great talk by James Surowski on group beahvior, then a finale by Jon Bostrom on mobile computing. I had lunch with a bunch of guys from Microsoft Research. I am wearing the Channel Nine T-shirt Bob gave me, so that brought up a whole conversation about Scoble. The best though is the conversation with Doug Kaye this morning. This is great stuff!

Etech, that was day one

, day two
I had a fun lunch with a bunch of PERL coders from Belfast yesterday. They were a great bunch. They said they thought last year's event was better. They lamented the lack of tracks at this year's event. It was great seeing Suzanne Axtell from O'Reilly. She is a real nice person. I told her about our sick cat at home. She is also a pet person. We also talked about the size of the conference.

I just talked to Doug Kaye, great guy! I gotta go...

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Live from Etech, End of Day One

has worn me out. I just got done talking with Wendy Seltzer of EFF. I think it would be great if we could get her and/or some other folks to come to SJSU and do an Emerging Technology session on what EFF is doing. This is such a natural fit, it just occurred to me as I was talking to her and Annalee Newitz. I also spoke with Steve Gillmor briefly. He is a really sharp guy and I really want to pick his brain on Podcasting and higher education. But, he also is pretty busy! There is some good information here on Steve's blog. Speaking of Steve, it was really exciting meeting his brother Dan Gillmor. His book, We the Media, changed my life and really opened my eyes to how the world is changing. Other folks I met include John SanGiovanni, of Microsoft Research and Rodney Aiglstorfer and Bjorn Hildahl of mFoundry, these folks really reinforced my belief in the great future of mobile devices in education. I would love to have them talk to us too. So many great people, so many great ideas and I am so tired. I heard Scoble's name come up many times. I am very proud of all the great things he has accomplished and how highly he is regarded. I had a conversation with a presenter here and said I think the greatest thing about working in education is the great things our students do with their lives. That is I think that is especially true when they become your friends. I am going to go to my motel and go to sleep now. This blog entry just touches the surface. I am having a great time!

Fun at Etech

etech 2005

Great session so far. I have to sit down and blog my notes. Stay tuned

Live from Etech!

The first people I met were Steve and Dan Gillmor. Dan again repeated his offer to come to SJSU. Steve offered to advise me on my presentation on Podcasting next week. There is a huge number of people here. I will blog more when I can.

Recommended listening and I'm there

I checked in to the O'Reilly conference

I got my session material and am planning my first day. So far it looks great. People are dressed nicer than they were at OSXCon. This is more serious, like there is more money at stake.

More recommended listening:

Ito and Zuckerman - Emergent Democracy Worldwide
As we look at the field of emerging technology, a field that I believe is changing the world, one wonders how is this changing the third world and societies that are building democracy. That is what this is all about. About this podcast Doug Kaye said:

While we're building great new tools to build communities, we've done very little to ensure that people around the world have access to them. And even when we've made it possible for people in developing nations to speak, we've done little to ensure that anyone listens. How do we ensure that the "Second Superpower" Jim Moore proposes includes the poor as well as the rich? When a new democratic structure emerges from highly-wired westerners, how do we ensure it's fair and just for those currently unwired? The answer is more complex than bridging the so-called "digital divide" - it involves bridging countless cultural divides. Emerging technologies make it easier than ever to bring first-person perspectives, as well as images, movies and music to people in other nations - is this enough to bring cultures together and ensure they care about one another?

I did more train photography yesterday

Train at Colton

(Written March 14, 2005, 10 P.M.) --- I cannot remember photographing in winds worse than this! At times the wind was driving sand at what seemed like hurricane ferocity. It blew away the smog, that made for some of the clearest skies I have seen over the Colton area in Southern California, but it was hard to hold the camera still. I had to shoot at a thousandth of a second.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Recommended listening and heading south

Recommended listening, Kent Seamons - Negotiating Trust

Like it or not, because of growing privacy and security regulations, identity theft and threats of terrorism, computer security requirements are going to increase at SJSU rather than decrease. Mechanisms like SJSUOne are fine for proving association with the university, but simple password/challenge security mechanisms do not provide the kind of granular security requirements the future is likely to require. Password/challenge methods, like SJSUOne, do not work across organizational lines, for example: how do you give a professor at another university access to a resource at our university using SJSUOne?

Password/challenge methods, like SJSUOne, are frustrating and confusing to users and difficult to establish and support and have problems administering, especially for distance learning. They are vulnerable to cracking, for example: if somebody phishes a professors SJSUOne password all his/her digital assets are vulnerable. That is where this IT Conversations podcast comes in! According to Doug Kaye:

How do you establish trust between strangers on the Internet? Identity federation is one way to create a community of trust, but it relies on establishing the trust domains before the interaction. That doesn't work for many Internet transactions. In an all-new IT Conversations series, Phil Windley interviews Professor Kent Seamons who explores in depth some specific ways of solving this problem.

Heading South

This is written Sunday Night: I am in Mojave. I am in a Motel 6 listening to trains go by. Today has been very windy in Mojave. It was rainy and foggy when I came up through the Tehachapi mountains. I couldn't see the trains, but I could hear them.

train at Mojave

As most of my friends know, I am a train buff. I have tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of train photos. My dad was a locomotive engineer for the old Southern Pacific Railroad and I started to photograph trains when I used to go to work with him and ride the trains. The hobby of photographing trains is called railfanning. I discovered photography through railfanning. This is the first time I have railfanned with a serious digital camera.

It is amazing to me to be able to look at my train photos on my laptop before I even get home. I also brought a film camera. I am down to my last three rolls of Kodachrome. I have used Kodachrome since the days of Kodachrome II in the 1960's. Now when I think of Kodachrome, and the subject of film, I think of how the railroads must have pictured steam engines after the diesels came along. I remember reading about a time when a steam engine derailed. Rather than rerail the steam locomotive and put it back into service the railroad just scrapped it on the spot. Diesels had made steam engines so valueless the steam engine was not even worth putting back on the track. The same seems to be happening with film cameras. Great cameras have gotten so cheap. When they break they are not worth fixing. I doubt I will ever buy another roll of Kodachrome. I wonder how long it will be before we will not be able to buy film?

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Recommended listening, Clark Aldrich, plus ETech

Simulations and the Future of Learning
According to IT Conversations, "Clark Aldrich is the co-founder of SimuLearn and the author of, Simulations and the Future of Learning. He recently lead the international team that created SimuLearn's Virtual Leader, the first ever learning experience to follow the development cycle of a modern computer game. Virtual Leader has been featured on CNNfn, on CNet, in The New York Times, and in U.S. News and World Report, and it has been sold to some of the largest enterprises in the United States." This is an excellent podcast and I recommend it to anybody interested in the use of simulation in education and distance learning. This presentation was recorded at Accelerating Change 2004, November 5-7, 2004.

O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference

Next week I will be at the Emerging Technology Conference (ETech) and will be blogging from the event. As always the focus of my blogging will be applications of the technology presented there in higher education. So, stay tuned!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The value of backward compatibility

Spring blossom

In this post my friend Robert Scoble talks about the added value of abandoning old standards for the increased functionality of new standards. He used the example of what he perceives as a value ad when Canon abandoned its user base and its old lens mount. He said that enabled Canon to offer lenses that Nikon couldn't, like a 50mm f1.0 lens. Perhaps that is true, but Nikon did have a 55mm f1.2 Nocht Nikkor that was a very fast normal lens. But, more importantly to me, at the time I was a newspaper photographer I had to purchase my own cameras and lenses (this is typical in small to medium markets.) I was, and am, very thankful that all of my old Nikon lenses still work if my camera body has to be replaced. I do not have a big city newspaper or a Sports Illustrated to buy me the latest and the greatest gear.

This backward compatibility led me to continue to use Nikon equipment and I still do so today. I recently purchased a Nikon D2H digital SLR camera and am able to still use all of my old Nikon lenses to make great photos! Some of these lenses are almost 35 years old, and they work on the D2H! The 50mm f1.0 lens that Robert Scoble talks about is an exotic piece of glass, it is heavy and few photographers use it. The lenses I have I use every day, and they are still going strong, even after all these years. Perhaps from his perspective Canon is better. But, I am loyal to Nikon because Nikon has been loyal to me!

Monday, March 07, 2005

My sister died today

My sister died today and I will be off line for awhile. For more information see this post.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

People to watch in Emerging Technology at SJSU: Richard Craig

Richard Craig
"If you saw me after I got back (from the Poynter Institute) it was like I got religion," said Journalism Professor Richard Craig. Craig spoke today at a brown bag session in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at SJSU. Professor Craig attended the Poynter Institute Convergence for College Educators Seminar February 13-16, 2005. The topic was the convergence of broadcast, print and on-line journalism and how that is being reflected in the teaching of Journalism. Professor Craig has much more information about that visit available on-line.

The Tampa News Center, at the institute, is the home of the Tampa Tribune, WFLA-TV and Tampa Bay Online.  All three media outlets are produced under the same roof, at the same time with intermingling staffs.

Professor Craig has more to say about Tablet and mobile computing than came out at todays talk. As an aside Professor Craig said he discussed the recent visit to SJSU of Robert Scoble. According to Professor Craig they did not agree with Scoble's predictions of the demise of print based newspapers.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

People to watch in Emerging Technology at SJSU

First of the people to watch in ET at SJSU


Harish is a doer, not just a talker. He is the person who made SJSU's RSS Feed work. He is presenting on the topic at an upcoming CSU technical conference where he has presented before. He really knows how to make web applications work and, from what I can see, is the expert on server side open source web solutions at SJSU. He has a passion for both Emerging Technology and Open Source and, oh yea, he is a heck of a nice guy. It is a pleasure to work with Harish.