Sunday, November 30, 2008

Will Twitter Transcend Facebook?

Dale Larson wrote an interesting blog post on the rise of Twitter and its position versus other social networking platforms like Facebook. Larson writes:

The moment I was introduced to Twitter, my eyes got big. I saw something simple, different and open. It was already evolving through user behavior and through the addition of connecting services. It could be a kind of underlying protocol, the hub of an ecosystem, not a stand alone website.

To me it is just not the openness of Twitter that is so inviting and absorbing, it is its adaptability. Twitter works with so many platforms and devices. It is ubiquitous.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Brandon and Pam

Thinking of Brandon

Today's rain for some reason mad me think of Deb's son Brandon. Just last week we attended his funeral. He was 27 when he died. As I was driving in I heard David Gate's song, Suite: Clouds and Rain. The lyrics melted into what I was feeling for Brandon and his recent untimely death.

See the clouds adrift so far below
Ever changing as they come and go
Makes me wonder why I'm up so high
When really I am down so low

As we age we lose more and more people we know, sweet people, people we love. The first loss is a shock. It is like a grim myth has come to life and taught us that what we have been told is true; we all are indeed mortal. Even good sweet people die.

Of all the wonders I was one allowed
I think that I would always choose a cloud
Always brings my feelings right out loud
Whether I'm ashamed or proud

It all seems so unfair because it is. Death comes to the young, the sweet, the most precious and full of promise of us, people like Brandon.

See the clouds they're giving life below
In colors that the canvas cannot show
Keeping secrets no one else could know
For I'm the one who told them so

We try to seek meaning in it all; at least I do. I choose to believe in something bigger that this world. There is no risk in doing so and it holds out hope in some reason for what appears to be without reason. Also, it holds out hope for reunion.

Rainfall don't bother me at all
You see the world reflected in the highway
Come on rainbow-I can't let you go
Before I reach the end of you someway

I did not know Brandon well, but every memory I have of Brandon is good. Most of what I know of Brandon I know through his mom. Years ago we used to be bike riding buddies. We would often go on long bike rides and quite often would talk about our children. I knew Deb well then and I know Brandon enough to see that all that's best of Deb is in him.

Also, I know that Brandon continues to live on this earth in all of us who knew and loved him. Beyond that; I choose to believe that somewhere, someday, Deb will hold her son again.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A test roll of film

Red Scooter

Nov. 2008, SJSU and Downtown San Jose

[Click here to see pictures]

In mid-November 2008 I went picture taking around San Jose, California and San Jose State University. I chose days with different kinds of lighting.

These photos were all taken on a film camera using Kodak's new (yes, I said new) film Ektar 100.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Unpaid Boot Time?

Unpaid time while Vista boots results in lawsuits

According to an article in Electronista:

Certain employers are docking their employees' pay while they wait for their Vista PCs to boot up, to the tune of 30 to 60 minutes per day, resulting in class-action lawsuits being brought against the employers...

NOTE: I use Vista every day and I do not have such problems. My computer boots fine.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

CSU Systemwide Impaction

TO: All CSU Employees

FROM: Charles B. Reed, CSU Chancellor

RE: CSU Systemwide Impaction

This week the California State University will make an unprecedented decision regarding student's admission to the CSU's 23 campuses. The CSU's Board of Trustees and senior leaders will discuss whether or not to declare a systemwide impaction, a move that will require the CSU to restrict access to some students.

Why is such a move necessary? For several years, the CSU has provided access to more students while funding and resources from the state have remained static, and in some years, actually declined. In fact, the CSU this year is serving 10,000 students for whom the state provides no funding. This imbalance cannot continue. Admitting students without the resources necessary to provide the courses and services they need to successfully manage and complete their education is not fair to students, or to the faculty and staff members who support them. In the end, all stakeholders (students, faculty and staff, taxpayers and employers) lose when quality is compromised.

The CSU is facing significant funding reductions to its current budget which is already $215 million below our operational needs. Gov. Schwarzenegger proposes reducing the CSU’s current year budget by $97.6 million which includes an earlier requested $31.3 million one-time reduction. These cuts come as the state tries to close an estimated $11.2 billion deficit.

At the same time, applications for fall 2009 are up almost 20 percent from last year with a 36 percent increase in applications from community college transfer students. Student demand is increasing while state funding is declining. This has created a significant challenge, the magnitude of which the CSU has not faced before.

When access and quality are threatened, we must take action. The CSU is committed to serving students and to serving them well. This is demonstrated in the outstanding work all of you do everyday to support our students. But without adequate funding and with continued reductions to our budget, we can no longer provide the courses and services students need to assure their success, unless we manage enrollment to funded levels.

This will not be an easy decision. But it is one that is necessary if we are to preserve the CSU’s mission and its goal of providing access to an excellent education. We must continue to publicly advocate for higher education. All members of the CSU family--students, parents, faculty and staff, labor unions, alumni, donors and supporters--need to remind our legislators, our business and community leaders, our neighbors and friends, that for every $1 the state invests in the CSU, the CSU returns $4.41. The CSU provides the majority of the workforce in California and helps sustain more than 200,000 jobs in the state each year. Investing in the CSU is a winning proposition for every resident of California.

If you would like to read about the specific details of systemwide impaction, see the Board of Trustees Agenda item at (scroll to the third page). As the Trustees meeting takes place this week, I encourage you to check for the latest developments and to subscribe to our newsletter CSU Leader at

Thank you for the work you do everyday in support of the California State University.

Chancellor Charles B. Reed

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An imagining filled with sorrow

There are some events in life that draw us closer to our God, just in order to get through the day. The death of a child is one of those things. I do not know how you could survive such an event if you did not believe in God. The death of a child is about the worst. Robert Thompson describes the death of a child this way, "the death of a child takes you on a journey like a hawk carries a rabbit through the sky. It eventually drops you either dead or wounded. What you see and do on the journey is up to you. The journey itself is not."

There is a word for a person who has lost a spouse and for a person who has lost a parent but no word for a person who has lost a child. I have heard that is because such an event is too sorrowful to attach a word to.

My heart goes out to our friend Deb over the loss of her sweet son Brandon. As a parent I can only imagine the hurt and pain. It is an imagining filled with sorrow.

Monday, November 17, 2008

CSU to eliminate 10K admission spots

According to today's Sacramento Bee:

The California State University system will eliminate 10,000 admission spots for the 2009-10 school year as a result of the state's worsening fiscal crisis.

SJSU E-mail Issues

Update: Issue Resolved
There was an issue regarding Lotus Notes. This impacted users of Mail client software like Outlook & Apple Mail who were using this software to access Lotus Notes. Some users of Notes Client software may have noticed mail that was sent to them had not arrived yet. This problem was investigated and resolved.

This appeared to be impacting some, but not all, users of Lotus Notes.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Benjamin Netanyahu on Academic Boycott

Binyamin "Bibi" Netanyahu on Academic Boycot

Family Wedding

Lindsay and Alex Yale

Portland Wedding Photos

Here are some selected photos from nephew Alex and Lindsay's wedding and reception in Portland on November 8, 2008. Starring Alex and Lindsay and co-starring granddaughter Madison (age 4) as The Flower Girl:

[More Wedding photos here]

Before the wedding we went for a walk in downtown Portland. Of course I took photos there too:

[Morning walk photos]

Thursday, November 13, 2008

CSU to declare system-wide impaction?

First time in history declaration

The CSU may declare impaction for the entire CSU system at the November 18-19, Board of Trustees Meeting. According to a statement on the CSU Web site:

Trustees will discuss a plan to declare impaction for the entire CSU system, for the first time in its history. For several years, the CSU system has been providing access to more students, while resources have remained static and in some cases, have declined. While student demand to enroll at the CSU is at its highest levels, the 2008-09 budget does not provide funding above that of the previous year. Given the state’s worsening fiscal condition, it is anticipated that funded students for 2009-10 will remain at 2007-08 levels.

This will mean fewer students will be admitted to the CSU system than are anticipated will apply. According to a release from the Chancellor's Office, "The unprecedented CSU action is caused by the state’s worsening fiscal crisis, and the anticipation of additional budget cuts. CSU is already serving 10,000 students for whom the state provides no funding, and while student demand is at its highest, it is anticipated that 2009-10 will be the second consecutive year that the CSU receives no funding for enrollment growth."

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Microsoft Windows Azure

Microsoft's new OS for cloud computing

According to Wikipedia, "Windows Azure is the name of the upcoming cloud-based operating system ("cloud" is a metaphor for the Internet) being developed by Microsoft, announced by Ray Ozzie at the Microsoft PDC on October 27, 2008.

Microsoft's Web site for Azure says, "The Azure Services Platform provides a wide range of internet services that can be consumed from both on-premises environments or the internet."

Google, and the range of Google applications, have long pointed out that the future of software is the cloud. Empowered by always on portable connected devices, like the iPhone and the Android mobile device platform. Phones and portable computers are merging into a mobile computing platform that is neither a mere phone nor a laptop computer and is more than both. Wired together, using high speed telcom technologies like 3G, and using real-time Web technologies like Jabber and Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP). The Web is becoming more synchronous and cloud computing is a huge part of that.

Installing software is increasingly becoming a thing of the past. There will be no need. Our applications will be in the cloud! All users will need to do is to be there. The good news is they will be. They already are.

It will be interesting to see where Microsoft goes with Azure. Educators need to watch this type of technology. It will likely be mainstream by the time today's freshmen graduate. If we are not there, where will our students be? We gotta get our heads beyond e-mail and Web pages and into and wrapped around; the cloud.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Back from Portland


Back from Portland

Early last night we returned from Portland. Alex and Lindsay's wedding was lovely and we had a nice stay in Portland. We spent some great time together and with family.

SJSU server and services issues

Today we are having a variety of server and Internet services related issues. This is following a scheduled maintenance that occurred yesterday. For the latest information regarding system status; please call the University Help Desk at 408/924-2377.

UNIX e-mail had been down this morning as well as the campus e-phone directory. Those services were restored. Reportedly, there are other issues that may still be ongoing.

I have been posting updates here:

Friday, November 07, 2008

Great day at Powell's

Powell's bike parking

The Best Book Store We Have EVER Been To!

Sue and I are in Portland. We spent all day today at Powell's Books. It is an amazing bookstore. About a half dozen people recommended the Powell's to us and we had a great time. One day there was not enough, not even close. It is said to be the largest new and used bookstore in the world. (With the possible exception of Strand's in New York.)

We are shipping over a dozen books home.

We had a very good meal and some fantastic local beer at Henry's Tavern!

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Going on vacation

Steve Sloan

I am headed out of the area. I will be posting mostly on my Twitter Feed.

Please follow me here:

Schwarzenegger calls for cuts for employees

The governor proposes tax increases, forced furloughs and the loss of two holidays. According to today's Sacramento Bee:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called today unpaid furloughs for state workers for the next 17 months, as well as rescinding two of the workers' 13 paid holidays...

The Web site for our staff employees union is here.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yes we did!

Part three of Obama's victory speech

[Click here to see video]

Yes we did, change America

It has been a long time since I have felt proud to be an American. I do today. But, I am reminded by the passage of California's gay marriage ban that despite our election of a black president, bigotry is still alive in our state and our nation!

I think Obama is the man for this time and his election sends a powerful message to the world about our capacity for peaceful revolution. But, there are still barriers to overcome. Despite these barriers, in my heart I know, we shall overcome them. We shall overcome.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A revival of the fairness doctrine?

Is this a good or bad idea in the Internet era? From a tweet by Dan Gillmor, as posted on The Hill:

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday defended the so-called Fairness Doctrine in an interview on Fox News, saying, “I think we should all be fair and balanced, don’t you?”

Schumer’s comments echo other Democrats’ views on reviving the Fairness Doctrine, which would require radio stations to balance conservative hosts with liberal ones.

Bad, I think. Especially if it is applied to new media! There are so many alternative mediums and so many channels it is going to be almost impossible.