Thursday, October 30, 2008

Student UNIX e-mail dies tomorrow

Yes, tomorrow is the last day for all student (STUDENT!!!!) UNIX email accounts. Those are the STUDENT accounts that end in:

This only applies to students! If that is you call the help desk or go to the help desk TODAY! Our number is 408/924-2377. The help desk is in Clark Hall 1102. After tomorrow all e-mail on these accounts is wiped out and you will NOT be able to get it back!

More information about the new student e-mail system that has replaced the old student (STUDENT!!!!) UNIX email accounts is here at this link.

YouTube in HD

YouTube is high def

[Click to see Movie]

YouTube is Higher Dev

It is not new news but it is good to know and it provides some options for folks like me who use YouTube so much in the classroom. Especially when you use it full screen in the classroom. Keep an eye out for the button!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Murder of Avatar brings arrest

Woman in Japan charged with killing her virtual ex-husband

According to Associated Press:

A 43-year-old Japanese piano teacher's sudden divorce from her online husband in a virtual game world made her so angry that she logged on and killed his digital persona, police said Thursday.

Reportedly, She was charged with illegal access onto a computer and manipulating electronic data.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

CSU student held in Iran prison

Student was reportedly doing research

Reportedly Esha Momeni, a 28-year-old Cal State University Northridge mass communications master's student from Los Angeles, arrived in Tehran two months ago to visit her family and conduct research for her thesis.

According to a, October 23rd post on a blog run by the San Diego Union-Tribune:

LOS ANGELES – A California State University, Northridge student has been imprisoned in Iran since last week after authorities discovered she was conducting research on the country's women's rights movement, the university announced Thursday.

Inside Hiher-Ed also has a post on the subject. According to that post, "The reported arrest is the latest involving scholars whose lives span the United States and Iran."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Quark QPS to support InDesign

According to InDesignSecrets, The InDesign blog, Quark has just announced support for Adobe InDesign file formats:

"Given that that Quark’s flagship product, QuarkXPress, has fallen dramatically in market share, it only makes sense that they would want to expand the market for their workgroup QPS product."

Now, let me tell you MY Quark story.
About five years ago I bought Quark 6 as my wife and I were doing a book together. I loaded it on my desktop system. Suddenly my sister got very sick (she had cancer, which she later died of). I had to go and take care of her in Spokane and layout our 900+ book on my laptop.

At that time Quark was the only game in town for page layout. InDesign was a newcomer. Quark would only let you do one install on one machine. We paid about $600 for the product. I called Quark and begged, can I please install it on my laptop as well as my desktop?

They said yes, I could install it on my laptop if I paid them an additional $90 bucks for a "laptop license." Yes, they got their $90 bucks, I finished the book and they lost a loyal customer.

As soon as InDesign came on the scene I never looked back! I dumped Quark, switched to InDesign and helped my employer switch to InDesign. We dumped thousands of dollars worth of Quark product.

Never take your customers for granted.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

NYT and McClatchy on the ropes

Bad news for newspapers

According to The Silicon Alley Insider, The New York Times is running on fumes:

...the New York Times (NYT) is approaching the point where it will have to manage its business primarily to conserve cash and avoid defaulting on its debt. This situation will only get worse as advertising revenue continues to fall...

This follows similar concerns at McClatchy as told in the Sacramento Bee:

Fitch, the least known of the credit rating firms, downgraded The Bee's parent two notches, to "B-minus." That leaves McClatchy deeper in non-investment-grade, or junk-bond, territory.

The bad economy is not going to be kind to newspapers that were already on the ropes.

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Bigots vote yes on 8

You are safe

[Click to view video]

If I vote yes on Prop 8 am I a bigot?

In my book, yes!
Let's be clear about this. The idea that only heterosexual couples should be allowed the right to marry is discrimination. Pure and simple, we are talking civil rights here.

Fifty years ago the majority of voters might have voted against desegregation. But, that does not matter. Sometimes majorities are wrong. It does not matter if the majoritry is for or against the right of gay couples to enjoy the same rights as straight couples. Rights are not, or should not be, subject to votes. That is why we call them rights. If you vote to deny gays their equal rights are you a bigot? You betcha!

[See related story in Mercury News]

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Google expands mobile news platform

Google G1

New Google G1 (way more than a) Phone

The future is increasingly mobile, increasingly pervasively connected computing. The new Google G1 has been released. It joins the iPhone and other similar devices that provide an Internet delivery system using standard Web protocols, independent of Wi-Fi networks. You can expect almost everybody to have such devices in about 24-months, given the rate people replace their phones.

This technology is providing a medium to deliver compelling content to everybody all the time. Since these devices are increasingly aware of their physical location, thanks to integrated GPS, this opens up all kinds of new and interesting ways for journalists to deliver content.

Thanks to "easy access to all Google Applications" these devices really leverage the power of Cloud Computing and in my opinion they should be thought of as hand-held computers and not mere phones or mere PDAs.

[Device Specs]

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cameraphone: SJSU Evacuation

Yesterday we had an evacuation drill. We were paid to enjoy the morning sun.

Why the new face to Office 2007?

In a 3 part post in Network World's Security Strategies Alert Column, M. E. Kabay explores why Microsoft changed the User Interface (UI) with Office 2007 and did not provide a classic view for users happy with the old UI.

As most readers know, the Office 2007 suite has a radically different user interface, called the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface (UI), in which familiar functions are grouped in new ways.
  • Some functions have disappeared entirely.
  • The limited user-definable toolbar is restricted to a single roll of symbols.
  • Icons in the user definable toolbar cannot be customized.
  • There is no way to revert to the more familiar Office 2003 (or older) interface.

The new UI has been a source of user frustration and has slowed adoption of the new version of Office at our institution.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

School sued by mom of dead cyclist

A recent Mercury News article said, “accusing San Jose Unified School District of falling short on traffic safety, the mother of a sixth-grader struck and killed by a motorist has filed a claim against the district, saying it shares the blame in the death of the youngster who was riding her bike home on the last day of school.”

I have more on this and other information on my blog related to this issue:

San Jose State University has been warned time and time and time again. There are 40,000 people at SJSU who share our paths and sidewalks with skateboarders and cyclists. One wrong step, one slip, one mistake and a tragedy could happen here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

SJSU Wireless Network Problems

The SJSU wireless network has been having problems.

Update --> Wed Oct 15 14:19:31 PDT 2008
Wireless redirect server is having problems and is slow. Spot problems may occur

Update --> Wed Oct 15 13:43:53 PDT 2008
Wireless network is fixed

Update --> Wed Oct 15 11:55:58 PDT 2008

The wireless redirect server is down. We are in troubleshooting mode and do not have an estimated time for resolution.

Best value Mac laptop; the 13" white MacBook

Buy it then Hack it; your new MacBook!

If you, like me, consider the new 13" MacBook a downgrade, then here is what you should do (and IMHO you will get more for less!) Buy the $999 White MacBook as bare bones as possible (even cheaper with an education discount.) When you order it also order 4GB of RAM and the biggest notebook SATA drive you can get from Other World Computing. You will get a great little Mac for way cheaper than Apple is charging for their new downgrades. You pay less and you get that precious Firewire port for video. You can get a cheap, less than $25, USB enclosure for the hard drive you will be removing from your MacBook. Before you swap drives, you can use Carbon Copy Cloner to copy the data on the old/new Hard Drive to the new/new Hard Drive. That's what I would do if were replacing my still perfectly good white MacBook. You get a great value Mac with a dandy portable hard drive to boot!

I may even do this myself before the white MacBooks go for good.

[A 12-inch MacBook Pro Forum]

Vote for a 12-inch MacBook Pro:

[Here is a Poll on 12 Inch MacBook Pros]

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New MacBooks are a downgrade!

WTF! New MacBook Lacks Firewire?

This is a deal breaker!
I have really liked my "old" MacBook. Not only is it upgradeable, but I can use it to edit movies when I am on trips. Like last year, I was on a cross country trip and I documented my adventures with my digital video camera using the MacBook's firewire port. I edited my movies in motels and campgrounds. It was great!

I am disappointed
My old MacBook is about two years old. I was looking forward to being able to replace it with the new model. 13 inches is as big as I want to go with the screen for mobility. But, I just found out the new MacBooks lack Firewire. I cannot hookup my digital movie cameras to it. How can you boot this into "Target Disk Mode?" Answer, you cannot. You could with the old model!

WTF! In my opinion, the new MacBook's are a downgrade.

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Photoshop CS4 Magic!

Content Aware Scaling Demo

Content Aware Scaling

This Lynda video featuring Deke McClelland illustrates an almost unbelievable feature that Adobe says will be part of their Creative Suite 4 version of Photoshop. It is absolute magic!

[Click here to view video]

SJSU Staff Fee Waiver Workshop

Staff thinking about fee waiver? Then you need to know about this class:

Tuesday, October 14 2:00pm-3:00pm CLARK HALL 547 FEEWV1
Facilitated by Lindsay Hamm, OD&T Specialist and Staff Fee Waiver Coordinator

The Staff Fee Waiver Program allows employees to take classes at SJSU at a reduced cost. The classes may be to improve current job skills or to get a degree for career development. The fee waiver benefit may be transferred to an employee’s dependent, allowing a spouse to get a degree or providing a child with the college experience. This course explains the types of fee waiver available to staff, why and how an employee may participate, how a dependent may participate, and how managers can use the program to encourage and train their employees.

For more information contact, Lindsay Hamm, Organizational Development & Training Analyst, Human Resources, ext. zip 0046, San Jose State University, T: 408.924.2141, F: 408.924.1784,

Windows XP won't die

Mitchell Ashley of Network World wrote:

Microsoft's officially cut ties with selling new copies of XP but PC manufactures can still downgrade new Vista PCs to Windows XP until June of 2009. Microsoft just extended that date from January 2009 until June 2009.

My opinion, Vista SP1 seems to be working fine!

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New Macs News

Apple to announce new notebooks next week?

It seems pretty certain that next Tuesday Apple is going to be announcing a new line of MacBook computers. In my opinion the white MacBooks (as opposed to the MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs) have been the best values in portable computers. It does not take much to upgrade a MacBook. I upgraded mine several times. Over the two years I have owned it my white MacBook has gone from having 1 GB of Ram to having 4 GB of Ram and from having a 60 GB hard drive to having a 250 GB.

With that much ram and storage I have little trouble running both Mac OS X and Windows XP on it using VMWare. Sweet! You cannot replace the battery on, much less expand, a Mac Book Air, just can't. It is sealed like an iPod.

For portability bigger is not better. The white MacBook 13 inch monitor makes it much easier to carry around than either the 15 or (yuch) the 17 inch monitors of the silver MacBook Pros. When Apple moved to Intel processors and discontinued the 12 inch form factor of the old silver Powerbook G4 notebooks, I was bummed. The white MacBook 13 inch monitor became the smallest monitor available. That is why I bought it. I would be very excited to see a 12 inch silver MacBook Pro. That is what I am rooting for! (I have given up on a MacTablet.)

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Second Life and Mass Comm

Reuters and Second Life

[Click here to view video]

Your vision: the Future of the Internet and Mass Comm

In April 2008 Reuters was purchased by The Thomson Corporation and it is now Thomson Reuters. The old Reuters opened the first news bureau in Second Life, Thomson Reuters is still in Second Life, reporting on news in this other world.

In Wednesday's class we will view the Reuters video as well as the DVD Second Life: A Documentary by Anders von Reis Crooks [View Trailer]. The class blog assignment for next week will be to comment on the video and look at trends in our real world as well as technology trends and share your personal vision of where you think this all is going.

Invite your friends, the class and the conversation is open. Dwight Bentel Hall room 226, 6 p.m., Wed, October 8, 2008 at San Jose State University.

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I am off sick

Sorry but I am not on campus today due to illness.

Monday, October 06, 2008

I hate surprises

I just learned this morning of the surprise death of one of our young "dream" students. This sad surprise is just another example of why I hate surprises. Most of the surprises I have had in my life, that I remember, have been tragic. The few really wonderful surprises I remember are not enough to balance them. A fact of life is, we have to deal with surprises. But, I do not have to like them. I know some people do like surprises. Good for them.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Skateboard and Bike Grievance at CO

SJSU Safety Grievance to be heard by Chancellor's Office

Earlier this year the California State University Employees Union (SEIU Local 2579), which is the union representing most of the university staff employees, escalated the safety grievance regarding the use of non-motorized vehicles on the SJSU campus to the Chancellor's Office. Indications are a hearing of the grievance may be approaching. If the union is unsuccessful at this level it can take the matter to binding arbitration.

[Click here to see related blog]

[Click here to see related photographs]

[Copy of Grievance Here]

Wednesday, October 01, 2008