Friday, March 31, 2006

Edupodder Podcast: Who needs ink?

Who needs ink forum?

The Future of Newspapers
On March 30th 2006 the Commonwealth Club in San Jose put on a forum entitled Who Needs Ink? The Future of Newspapers. This was a timely forum given the recent sale of the Knight Ridder newspaper chain, which includes the Mercury News to McClatchy. Many employees of the Mercury News were in the audience. Students were admitted free.

Jim Bettinger, Director of the Knight Fellowships Program, was the moderator. Speakers at the forum were Peter P. Appert, Publishing/Information Services Analyst, Goldman, Sachs; Jerry Ceppos, Former Vice President, Knight Ridder; Dan Gillmor, Director, Center For Citizen Media; Joan Walsh, Editor-In-Chief of Salon, After the forum I asked them some questions directed at Journalism education. Finally Zach Davis, an eighteen year old high school journalism student, offered his perspective. Link to podcast on button below:

Podcast Here

For great in-depth coverage
Ryan Sholin has a great post [Link] and several subsequent posts on his blog [Link]. Ryan did a fantastic job covering this event.

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Purrfect cat blog

"Every cat has his day," is the motto of this blog [Link]. This is a blog about cats done by a person who identifies herself as Zuleme. According to the boggers profile: the author "is a writer, videographer, musician and general creative octopus living in the White Mountains of New Hampshire." The author works at a shelter in her area caring for and finding loving home for cats. Writing about some of this Zuleme said, "We did our first video shoot at the shelter and I will edit Pawprints for our local channel on Tuesday. Maybe I'll even make it into a purrcast." It is fun blogs like this that remind me that a blog can be as serious, or as fun, as a blog's author(s) desire. Anyway, if you like cats, you gotta check this out.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

My other podcast

I have a bicycling podcast
This is a lot of fun for me. I really enjoy doing this. It is a great way to showcase a passion of mine, my great friends, and a great solution to some vexing problems our society has. Anything that helps resolve the energy, fitness and the obesity problems we have is a great thing to be involved with.

My Bicycle Club podcast:

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Newspapers beyond Ink

The Future of newspapers to be discussed at Commonwealth Club
There is a public forum at the Commonwealth Club tomorrow evening. It will feature:

  • Jim Bettinger, Director, Knight Fellowships Program, Stanford University – Moderator
  • Peter P. Appert, Publishing/Information Services Analyst, Goldman, Sachs
  • Jerry Ceppos, Former Vice President, Knight Ridder
  • Dan Gillmor, Director, Center For Citizen Media
  • Joan Walsh, Editor-In-Chief, Salon

According to their website [Link]:

Will competition from the Internet, broadcast and information repositories doom the journalism that newspapers have provided to broad groups of readers? Is traditional journalism essential, or on the way to obsolescence?

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SJSU Reflection

Tower Reflection

It is Spring Break
This is the wettest Spring Break I recall. It is cold, much more like January than the end of March. Normally winters here are so short, not this year. The halls are empty on campus. I can hear footsteps echo as we walk. It is quiet time, the puddles are undisturbed. It's a great time for reflection and enjoying them.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Emerging Pedagogy Tools: Video Podcasting

Example: Learning the Creative Suite with Terry White
This video podcast [Link] by tech book author and photographer Terry White is a fantastic resource! It is also a great example of how video podcasting can make possible great on-line technical skill training. This technology is a great way to off-load this burden from classes that use computers to teach other subjects. For example, in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications faculty members teaching Visual Communications have to spend a lot of time teaching students how to use page layout software. This is time they are not able to spend on teaching the subject of the class. I strongly recommend Terry White's technical blog as well [Link]. White has done several books [Link] and does training videos [Link].

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Monday, March 27, 2006

Edupodder Podcast: The Student Entrepreneur

Lambert Lum and Terry Thompson

SJSU student entrepreneur Lambert Lum's perspective
Lambert Lum, SJSU MBA student and a young entrepreneur talks about the business he started in the campus community, He discusses how his studies prepared him for entrepreneurship and what he feels the university is doing right and what it can do to better prepare students for the business world.

To listen to this podcast, click on the podcast button immediately below this text, Podcast here:

Podcast Here

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Friday, March 24, 2006

Restaurant Review: Tony Soprano's

Tony Soprano's Pizza

Tony Soprano's
87 E. San Fernando St., San Jose, CA 95113

This is new downtown pizzeria has a website [Link.] The Downtown San Jose, San Jose State area has been exploding since both City Hall and the new King Library are at the corner of San Fernando and Fourth Street. Local eateries are not so dependent on student and faculty customers who go away Summers and this has allowed more places to open and greater gastronomical variety to be available. Some of the places that cut back their hours after the dot com bubble burst are back and others have opened. Even new shopping venues have emerged. This is fun!

Tony Soprano's is one new place that shows a lot of promise. Today we got one of their New York style (thin crust) pizza's for lunch. It was really good. This is a great new place to checkout. My "new scale" rating [Link] 89.

Goodnight Knight Ridder

Knight Ridder Sign

San Jose Mercury News Employees Seek to Save Paper and Their Jobs
Employees of the San Jose Mercury News, fearing that the planned sale of their newspaper will lead to staffing and coverage cutbacks, launched a website that asks readers to push for a new owner committed to high-quality journalism. The website [Link] appeared just four days after McClatchy Co. said it intended to sell the Mercury News and 11 other papers around the country as part of its $4.5-billion acquisition of Knight Ridder Inc., a San Jose-based chain that owns 32 daily papers.

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Book Review: Smart Mobs

Smart Mobs Cover

Smart Mobs, The Next Social Revolution
Howard Rheingold, 2002, ISBN 0-7382-0861-2

This is an important book, especially for anybody interested in the future of mass communications, politics and/or our society. Rheingold talks about how portable devices, pervasive connectivity and increasingly powerful hand-held computing is leading to the creation of virtual communities tied together by their devices and not by their physical proximity. Remember Moore's Law applies to hand-held phone/computers [Wikipedia Link.] Most of his examples are not in the US. Rheingold makes the point that we are far behind in this country in having the kind of infra-structure that supports pervasive portable computing.

Despite being printed in 2002, Rheingold's book is timely today as we look at what is happening to print journalism. Why subscribe to a paper newspaper when the technology to get information in your portable device is here, is improving, is more timely and is more compelling than print?

One of the things that really is apparent to me as I read this book, and do things like text message my friends, is that there is a mobile generational digital divide based not on incomes, but on age. Many of my older (my age) friends who consider themselves very tech literate just do not seem to get this technology and the social implications of it. Could this be because our socialization skills were developed in a pre-silicon era? We have already seen pedagogical implications of mobile technology in students using the collaboration capabilities of portable picture capable devices to cheat on exams. Rheingold over and over makes the point that we need to not think of portable devices as cell phones, he says we need to think of them as remote controls for life. In my opinion when you mix portable devices with RSS enabled software as a way to deliver podcasts, you have a killer way to deliver instruction. Here is a related Blogsite [Link].

In my opinion we hold the future of journalism, the future of education, the future of social interaction in our society; in the palm of our hands.

This is a geek must read book. It rambles a bit, but worth the effort. My "new scale" rating [Link] 93.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Dane Riley at our university

Dane Riley

Dane Riley, a great resource for SJSU Mac users
Yesterday I attended a very good session in the Center for Faculty (and staff) Development and Support at SJSU [Link]. Dane is a systems engineer at Apple and a valuable source of information. Several times Dane has shown me new technologies and introduced new tools that I have been able to apply to my work and non-work geek life. Yesterday's session was on directory services and integrating Apple's Open Directory [Apple knowledge base on] [Wikipedia on] services with Microsoft's Active directory service [Microsoft Technet on] [Wikipedia on]. Dane's presentation file is here [PDF].

Dane maintains a website that is full of information on things Apple [Link]. In his spare time he is a mountain biker. He recently showed one group a book he produced using Apple iPhoto tools of a trip he and his father made riding their bicycles on the famous Slickrock Trail [Link] in Moab, Utah. I think Dane has been a good friend of our university.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Today at SJSU

Snow over SJSU

Yellow lamp

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Second Life at SJSU

"Living virtually is getting a lot of attention," said Microsoft tech guru and SJSU alum Robert Scoble [Link to blog post.] Scoble has been blogging about Second Life [Link] [Link: Wikipedia on] and other "virtual living" experiences quite a bit lately. So, who is Scoble and why should I care what he is blogging about? This link to an article in The Economist  [Link to article,] written over a year ago, talks about the role Scoble has and the audience he has developed.

If Scoble is talking about Second Life a lot of folks are listening and are interested. We should know what this is and possible pedagogical applications of Second Life. If you are a faculty or staff person at SJSU there is an opportunity coming up to learn more about Second Life. The April meeting of the SJSU Tech Innovators group will be focusing on Second Life. According to the Interim Associate Director for the Center for Faculty Development at San Jose State University, Mary Fran Breiling, "next month, April 11, James Morgan [Link to his content] will be demonstrating Second Life [Link to what is Second Life] [Link to join Second Life]. James will be producing Hamlet that a professor from the theater department in Second Life later this spring. This month's edition of Campus Technology features gaming in higher education. We should have a very interesting session and a lively discussion."

SJSU faculty, staff and peer mentors interested in this session should contact the Center for Faculty (and Staff) Development at this link.

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

The American Hand Made Bicycle

Kellogg Spectrum Bicycle

A matter of craft
I think the difference between a custom hand made bike frame and an off-the-rack frame is like the difference between an off-the-rack suit and a tailored suit. Not only can a frame builder take into account your height, but also your proportions, inseam, weight, build and how you ride. Plus, of course, what you wish to spend is a major factor. We are all built different but off-the-rack bikes often offer generic off-the-rack sizings.

Plus, there is the art of it. With a custom bike you are riding a living, moving piece of hand crafted art. You are supporting real artisans. The personality of the builder is in the bike. He/she hopefully has expressed that. How he/she thinks you will use the bike is reflected in everything from the length of the tubes to the types of materials and the construction methods used in the bike.

Joe Starack built my first custom bicycle, a Rivendell, and Joe Bell painted it. Local builder Dale Saso built my other custom bike. That bike was the result of visits to Dale’s shop, of long conversations about types of tubes, materials and riding styles. I remember holding and looking at bare steel tubes and going through boxes of fork crowns and being able to specify the most small of details on that bike. It was a collaboration effort. I saw the bike evolve from metal. My Saso bike is the result of the many conversations Dale and I had. Does that make me faster? No. Does that enhance my own personal riding experience? Yes, very much.

You may be surprised to find the cost is not as high as you fear. Only you can decide what you want. That’s what makes’em so cool.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Edupodder Podcast: J-school, Newspapers and Podcasting

Professor Steve Greene

SJSU Journalism Professor Steve Greene
Long time SJSU Professor of Journalism Steve Greene discusses the concurrent sale of the Knight Ridder chain of newspapers and the announcement of SJSU's participation in Apple Computer's iTunesU initiative [link]. This very candid discussion focuses on the decline of print journalism and the growth of emerging technology as a way of delivering news and the effect that all this is, or is not, having on the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at SJSU.

To listen to this podcast, click on the podcast button immediately below this text, Podcast here:

Podcast Here

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Richer learning through podcasting

Ryan Sholin [link] wants to know how we can use podcasts as something other than as a way to send lectures over the Internet:

I left the folks I talked to lots of openings to really explain how podcasts could be used as supplemental audio/video material, and not just class lectures, but I must have hit the wrong sources, because no one really took off on that angle.

Ryan, follow my link of November of 2004:

I have been thinking a lot of the potential of the medium. I really think there is something here for education!

In my opinion Podcasting is a great tool:
  • for distance learning
  • to facilitate self-paced learning
  • for remediation of slower learners
  • to allow faculty to offer advanced and or highly motivated learners extra content
  • for helping students with reading and/or other learning disabilities
  • for multi-lingual education
  • to provide the ability for educators to feature guest speakers from remote locations
  • to allow guest speakers the ability to present once to many sections and classes
  • to allow educators to escape the tedium of lecturing
  • to offer a richer learning environment

This is why I started what I believe is the first podcast in higher education. This is why I said, "the sky is the limit." It is two things that make podcasting such important technology. First is the value add. The richer learning experience it allows students to bring to the classroom. Second, and this could be the most disruptive to the existing paradigm, is that RSS based instruction may allow for new learning methods to emerge that enable learning and higher education to reach learners and potential students for whom the traditional higher education paradigm may simply not be an option. In a flat world, I think this is critical.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Emerging Pedagogy Tools: Origami

Origami, your textbook goes here! This device [link] combines your laptop, textbooks, paper notepad, iPod, and just about everything in your backpack but your lunch into one 5x9 package. How much does it cost, must be expensive? Try $600, (yes including WiFi and Bluetooth.) Do I want one, you betcha! This is also a great podcasting and VoIP tool. In short, this is killer for education. Biggest question, can they evangelize this? If so, watch out Apple.

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Monday, March 13, 2006

Skype and security: SJSU useage considerations?

Some folks consider Skype a security threat
I am not trying to take a position on the matter, just point out what is a matter of conversation.

Traffic over the Internet uses a protocol (definition link) aptly named Internet Protocol (IP definition link). Protocols, like IP, often have sub-protocols. Protocols, like this, that link and work together are also known as stacks of protocols. There are several of these for IP. Two of these sub-protocols are of note for this conversation (regarding network traffic that is transmitted using Internet Protocol.) The first is Transmission Control Protocol (commonly called TCP) and the other one is User Datagram Protocol (commonly called UDP.) When you hear the term TCP/IP, this is what the term means. For this conversation the differences between TCP and UDP are not important. Most services over the Internet have numbered "ports" assigned to them that can are used to identify and potentially block related traffic. There are TCP ports and UDP ports. What a firewall does is block all but a few of these ports. For example web traffic uses TCP port 80.

Skype is different
Skype, a peer-to-peer voice, video, file sharing and instant message service [Link], does not have a numbered Internet Protocol port assigned to it. Instead what Skype does is it port hops. Skype is like those birds that reproduce by laying eggs in other birds nests. Skype is like a network virus in that it searches for open ports then uses those to get through a firewall. Skype will try UDP and TCP. Most firewalls have port 80 open to allow employees to gain web access. If so, Skype will use that. It is hard to block Skype. It is also hard to detect Skype.  This port hopping nature makes it appear as different types of traffic on the network.

Skype is peer-to-peer
Some networks, specifically in academic settings, have specific acceptable use policies that restrict the use of peer-to-peer networking. In a peer-to-peer network individual computers talk to each other and exchange data. This is different than typical client-server networks where data resides on a central server that is typically administered by a server administrator whom is accountable for content on the server. Skype, like many peer-to-peer technologies, can be used to distribute content in violation of copywrite laws. Though it has not happened, some folks allege that because of its ability to evade firewalls, if the Skype application was compromised by a virus, Skype itself could be used to attack networks and the computers on a network.


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Slides no longer rule Winterail

Winterail show

All digital Winterail
Except for the three favorites, and a few slides put on the screen to salute some icons of railfanning like the recently deceased Will Whitaker, this was the first all digital show. Only one slide projector was set up and its roll was not critical for any of the shows. For years, up until my sister's cancer, my roll was central. I ran the slide projectors. But, I had to be away. The last show I did in 2003 was the last all-slide Winterail.

Now I am back, now it is digital, now I am peripherial. My shirt no longer says "projectionist." It now says "roadie." That is okay, the shows are better now. Some things that were once major issues in the past, like slides jamming and tray changes, are now not issues. Slide registration is now perfect. Time lapse sequences are no longer a major pain to project.

Has the show lost some of its theatrical awe? No longer is the audience greeted by a huge bank of slide projectors up on a podium. It is more work-conference like.

As I sat up by the one remaining projector I was often reminded of what it must of been like when dirty and hard to work with steam engines were replaced with diesels. The job got done a lot cleaner with diesels than with steam. With diesels the job could get done quicker with less people. But, for some it was never the same. Will next year be the start of three favorite jpegs replacing three favorite slides? Stay tuned for Winterail 2007, March 10, 2007

Friday, March 10, 2006

SJSU Help Desk pita party

Help Desk kids

Help desk training and lunch day
Yesterday we had a morning training and a noon lunch together. We have such a great crew and I am so proud of these young people. Over sixty percent of all the trouble tickets that came into San Jose State tracking system were closed by our team. These students each work half-time or less. The other, less than 40 percent of the tickets, are closed by all the remaining full-time staff employees. In short, these kids rock! For all but one of them, this was the first time they ever had a Pita. We had a great time.

GWI statistics

GWI statistics for Feb. 2006
This screen shot shows the percentage of trouble tickets closed at SJSU within the University's ticketing system. Over 60% of all the tickets in the system at the university this month were closed by the Help Desk Staff made up of myself and our seven half-time student assistants. All of the students who work here are from India and they are a close hard working group. I am very proud of them.

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Podcast: Staff Union Meeting Mar. 04

CSUEU Board of Directors meeting, March 4, 2006
These conversations were recorded at the CSUEU Board of Directors, SEIU Local 2579, meeting in Sacramento, California. It is about 45 minutes long. It is made up of three seperate recordings.

  1. CSUEU President Pat Gantt's president's report to the board.
  2. A recorded conversation with CSEA President J.J. Jelincic.
  3. J.J. Johnston SEIU's California Area Director's presentation on the International's review of local jurisdictions in California.
To listen to this podcast, click on the podcast button immediately below this text, Podcast here:

Podcast Here

Lookout world, here comes Origami

The move to mobile pervasive computing is about to take a big leap with the announcement of Origami [Link]. An awesome portable computing platform by Microsoft.

Thinking of the passing of my sister

My sisters and I

Thinking of passings
The following started out as an E-mail to a friend who lost a loved one and ended up as this blog post:

With today being the one-year anniversary of the passing of my sister Lura, I have been thinking about the passings that we all have in our lives. I have been there at the beginning and at the end of life in this world. What I keep coming back to is the transience of much of what, in the moment, seems so important and the preciousness of what, in the moment, seems so expendable. We spend so much of our time focused on our work and tasks we let take precidence of how we spend our time. Yet, the most precious commodity is the time we spend with those we love. Too often we let that slip through our fingers thinking we can get it back "later."

The most important aspect of life is love and precious moments lost can never be recaptured.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Protest at SJSU

Cindy Chavez

Faculty, students and staff rally for higher quality
Today at SJSU a group of faculty, students and staff spoke out on issues related to quality education at our university. They spoke in opposition to higher fees, reduced class availability and more crowded classrooms and in favor of better wages and working conditions for faculty. It seems amazing to me that in a flat world where our citizens are having to compete on a global scale that we are cutting education and making it more inaccessible. It seems to me we should be going in the other direction. The group of about 75 marched on the office of SJSU President Don Kassing.

Gus Lease at rally

Friday, March 03, 2006

Emerging Pedagogy: Emerging Technologies of Importance for SJSU

Emerging and Disruptive Technologies
Emerging technologies represent a new paradigm that at first grows on the edge in relative obscurity and often seems to be of no threat or even of little utility to users of the sustaining technology. Then through development of new features and unexpected capabilities relative to the previous paradigm, the new emerging technologies disrupt and supplant the existing technologies. These kinds of technologies are called disruptive technologies and their utility makes them impossible to avoid. Preparing for these new technologies is the key to making the best use of them.

  • RSS, (Really Simple Syndication)

    • E-mail is broken
    • E-mail is insecure, RSS is a trusted source
    • Combines push and pull technologies
    • Client centric packaging and consumption
    • E-mail is ubiquitous
    • RSS has an adoption curve ahead
    • Requires act of subscription
    • Requires client software (aggregator) and configuration

  • Podcasting
    Really a subset of RSS & Blogging. Can be thought of as audio/video blogging.

    • Video or audio
    • Puts human voice and/or face to university
    • Allows for conversations
    • Capture of oral history
    • Bandwidth forgiving
    • Requires either a fast or a pervasive Internet connection to move files
    • Not indexed
    • Time consuming
    • Production considerations

  • Blogging
    (Duplication is intentional)

    • Hierarchies based on time
    • Conversational
    • Hyperlinks subvert hierarchies
    • Eases publication of web content
    • Hierarchies based on time
    • Conversational
    • Hyperlinks subvert hierarchies
    • Eases publication of web content

  • Portable device technologies
    A whole range of technologies associated with affordable portable devices:
    • Camera Phones
    • Text messaging

    • Puts the power of documentation in our students, staff and faculty members hands
    • Enables instant access
    • Can group send information
    • Smart Mobs
    • Smaller, cheaper devices than computers
    • Extends reach of Internet
    • Requires having, charging and using portable devices
    • Small devices easy to lose
    • Time consuming and learning curve
    • Generation gap with this technology

  • OPML (Outline Processor Markup Language)

    • Hierarchies can be linked, mapped, imported/exported
    • OPML files can be linked to form a tree of information
    • All kinds of things relate to hierarchies
    • With an intuitive taxonomy it is easy to find information
    • Can share & import lists of RSS feeds
    • Hierarchies need to be intuitive
    • Not clear that symbolic links are supported
    • Grafting and pruning issues
    • Very new, spec subject to change

  • VoIP (Voice/Video over Internet Protocol)

    • Can allow personal video and/or audio conferencing
    • Clients like skype are free
    • Can save us gobs of money in travel expenses
    • Collaboration is greatly enhanced
    • Human interaction critical
    • Initial cost a barrier to entry
    • Considered a peer-to-peer technology may violate acceptable use guidelines
    • Can be bandwidth intensive

  • Other Web 2.0 technologies
    The web as a platform
    • Social Networking (FOAF, XFN)
    • Wikis and other collaboration software
    • Mapping

In conclusion
Most core technologies that we now use and consider part of our daily lives were once "nascent" and were considered emerging technologies. For example, 100 years ago the steam powered passenger train was the primary mode of interstate travel and automobiles and airplanes were nascent technologies. The same can be said for the telephone, the personal computer, the Internet and the Web. In time these technologies evolved and the previously existing paradigm was disrupted and devolved. This is the lesson of history. The advantage goes to the person and the institution who sees the change when it is on the horizon and is prepared to timely apply the new technology.

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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Emerging Pedagogy: Web 2.0

What is Web 2.0?
Web 2.0 is a term you are going to hear more and more. It is an important concept and I urge everybody interested in technology, pedagogy or the future of our university to follow this link to an explanation by Tim O'Reilly of what Web 2.0 is. To summarize:

The Web As Platform
Like many important concepts, Web 2.0 doesn't have a hard boundary, but rather, a gravitational core. You can visualize Web 2.0 as a set of principles and practices that tie together a veritable solar system of sites that demonstrate some or all of those principles, at a varying distance from that core.

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