Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Young Filmmakers create dreams with high tech cameras

One day last week I was talking to my pal Jose about his son John and the movie he shot using a high tech prosumer video camera. They had recently issued a press release on the debut of the film...
John Ferrer, a 22-year-old resident of Greenville and former student of Wade Hampton High School, the Greenville County Fine Arts Center, and the North Carolina School of the Arts, will debut a feature-length film, Grownups, at 8 PM on Monday, January 30th, at the Handlebar, 304 East Stone Avenue, in Greenville. Ferrer wrote the screenplay and directed the film, which features a cast and crew comprised of numerous area residents.

The release goes on to talk about how they did this on no budget using a Canon XL-2 camera. My friend Ken is doing something similar, and the resulting picture quality is amazing.

The equipment clearly exists for these talented guys to create movies and edit them at home. For those intetested in the journey into film making, Ken is talking about his experiences in a blog and podcast targeted at independent film makers just like himself and John.


via: GSA Technology Council


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Monday, February 27, 2006

Want to learn to think like a CIO?

Want to learn what Chief Information Officer's are thinking about? You might want to come see us at the next meeting of the GSA Technology Council. The meeting features a distinguished speaker, Dr. Ric Routh, and me.

qv: GSATC: Think Like a CIO


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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Scientists trying to give Pond Scum a good name

According to an article in Wired Magazine, some scientists believe that they may have found a strain of pond scum that could be used to create vast quantities of Hydrogen. Believe it or not, that will be way more useful that your being able to convert small quantities of frijoles negro into methane.

qv: Wired

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Next Live Date -- March 9th, 2006

I think (know) I messed up the date in a previous post. I've edited it there, but someone else asked me today, so I thought I'd bring this bit of news back to the top of the blog. We will next host the live call-in segment on Your Day on March 9th.

Looking for a station near you? Try one of these:

  • 89.3 Charleston

  • 90.1 Greenville / Spartanburg

  • 91.3 Columbia

  • 88.1 Sumter / Columbia

  • 89.1 Aiken /Augusta

  • 89.9 Beaufort / Hilton Head

  • 90.1 Conway / Myrtle Beach



How could you tell?


Kathryn 3189
Originally uploaded by Yanov.

If this kid were any cuter, I don't know how I could tell.


I signed the petition for Shoeless Joe Jackson

I really can't say I am much of a baseball fan. I do like to support my own community, however, and it seems crazy to me that we can't name our local baseball team after local baseball hero Shoeless Joe Jackson. I notice that some of my clever friends have appealed to baseball commissioner Bud Selig's sense of logic.
The Lifetime ban on Joe Jackson ended 51 years ago.
It seems that 51 years after his death, the commissioner could show a little compassion and a little forgiveness.

qv: HallYes.com

ps: The Greenville Drive may be the least appealing name ever proposed for a baseball team.

pps: On the other hand, I find the Greenville Joes shirts to be both snappy looking and deliciously subversive.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

RePost - Fight Club, The Musical

My other lost Blogger Post. This is very strange. I think I lost the second post (the nuns) when I republished my blog earlier today to fix an error in a previous entry. This does not bode well. It has happened to me twice in a week. What's up Blogger?

qv: Original Post on new Fight Club Musical

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RePost - Nunchucks send Nuns Flying

This is one of my lost blogger posts. I am reposting in hopes it will remain this time.


qv: The original post

What's up with Blogger?

I have had two of my blog posts mysteriously disappear. They are gone from my Blogger dashboard, and they are gone from the main postings of my blog. The individual pages are still there, but the index is gone.

"Nun" chucks send nuns flying

Read the entry.






Fight Club The Musical

Read the entry.




I've put a support request into Blogger, but no answer yet...


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Friday, February 17, 2006

Grumbling grammarian takes technology to task

Tony Long, Wired's copy chief and curmudgeonly commentator, rants on the role of technology in the the decline of grammar:
The very nature of e-mail (which, along with first cousins IM and text messaging, is an undeniably handy means of chatting) encourages sloppy "penmanship," as it were. Its speed and informality sing a siren song of incompetent communication....it's not enough to simply vomit out of your fingers.

He is right, of course.

Writing well is hard work. Precisely written communications require not just writing, but editing, and rewriting. That takes time. Email's informality as well as it's perceived urgency contribute to the rush to get something out even if it is easily misunderstood. Most email senders don't have the time to be precise and admittedly, most email messages simply don't require precision. The senders assume that if the reader is confused they'll ask questions. If the sender is lucky, the reader can infer the message's intended meaning without conference. That's perfect for the sender. Sure, it's messy, but if the idea was to convey essential meaning at the least possible process cost to the sender, a poorly worded email was sufficient to the purpose.

Technology's speed of light evolution has put us in a rush to communicate as well. The technology idea marketplace teaches us that first-mover's have a tremendous advantage. Technology fairly screams "Be first to put our ideas into the marketplace! You can edit later!" This might be an artifact of the American obsession with copyright and trademark. If we can be first with an idea, we get to take credit for it. Alas, it provides even more encouragement for publishing incompletely formed, and sometimes slovenly communicated ideas.

qv: Wired

Monday, February 13, 2006

GMail for Business, GMail for Schools

Google is test hosting mail for some big operations. According to a recent entry on their blog, they are hosting 10,000 mail accounts for San Jose City College. Mail hosting and management is a pain in the neck. A lot of small businesses would benefit by having an easy to manage platform for email without the hassle of owning and maintaining a mail server. The question is -- Will business trust Google to host their email? Certainly some will.

via: Big mail on campus

qv: Gmail for your domain

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Another sad Bluetooth saga...

My question to Nextel Support:
Why can't I listen to music through my Bluetooth headset on my i870 phone? I get the error message "Connected Accessory is not compatible." How do I remedy this? I am using an i870 phone and a Motorola HS850 Bluetooth headset.

The answer from Sprint (together with Nextel) support:
Please be advised, the Motorola HS850 Bluetooth Headset is only compatible for voice conversations. In order to listen to music, you will need to purchase a stereo headset.

Bluetooth has always suffered from over promising and under delivering. It should be a lesson to us. It's just now an acceptable technology in a very limited number of circumstances. Much of what we wanted it for, however, it just isn't delivering in a way that delights.

Nextel is telling me that they have included an MP3 player for my phone, but to listen to the music through a headset, I have to use a wired headset even though my phone supports Bluetooth headsets.

It's so ridiculous that I am still having a hard time believing it. Maybe I can appeal to a higher power. (Would that be Odin?)

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Scam Alert: Senator Idris Kuta (purported) letter

Today's scam letter is below. This is probably an example of an advance fee fraud. In most cases, answering this letter will net you a bunch of annoying emails and you'll lose on average, $1000 dollars. Fall for the scam hard, agree to fly to Nigeria and you might be kidnapped and ransomed or worse yet, murdered. The letter follows:

FROM:

SENATOR IDRIS KUTA
#36 old Ewu Road
Mafoluku Oshodi
Lagos-Nigeria


SIR,

I AM SENATOR IDRIS KUTA, THE SENATE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN OF THE EXTERNAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE IN THE NATIONAL HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY, REPRESENTING RIVERS STATE. MY REASON OF CONTACTING YOU IS THAT THERE IS A SUM OF $8.9 MILLION (EIGHT MILLION, NINE HUNDRED UNITED STATES OF AMERICAN DOLLARS ONLY), WHICH I AND MY COMMITTE MEMBERS DISCOVERED IN A FINANCIAL & SECURITY TRUST FIRM LAST 3 YEARS AGO AND IT IS UNDER MY CUSTODY.

THIS FUND WAS DEPOSITED THEIR BY ONE OF THE MINISTERS IN OUR PAST GOVERNMENT ADMINISTERATION UNDER DISGUISE. IN OUR OFFICIAL DUTY, WE DISCOVERED A LOT OF LOOTED FUNDS WHICH WE HAVE BROUGHT WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF SOME FOREIGN HEADS OF STATES BACK AND HANDED OVER TO THE CURRENT PRESIDENT WHICH SUPPOSE TO BE IN THE NATIONAL TREASURY, BUT SINCE THEN UPTILL THIS MOMENT, NOTHING HAS BEEN ACCOUNTED OR SAID BY OUR PRESIDENT CONCERNING THE BROUGHT BACK LOOTED FUNDS TO THE TOTAL GENERALITY OF THE NIGERIAN CITIZENS AND THE FIRST TENURE OF THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT/PRESIDENT IS OVER BUT RE-ELLECTED FOR THE SECOND TENURE.

I HAVE SINCE THEN BEEN WAITING TO HEAR AND SEE THE INTENSIONS OF THE PRESIDENT FOR THE RECOVERED FUNDS, BUT TO MY ULTERLY SURPRISE AND DISMAY, I HAVE JUST FOUND OUT THAT OUR PRESIDENT DID NOT HAVE A GENUINE INTENTION FOR THE FUNDS. IT HAS BECOME OBVIOUS THAT HE USED PART OF THE FUNDS TO SPONSOR AND PAVE HIS WAY INTO HIS CURRENT TENURE IN THE OFFICE NOW.

AS A HONOURABLE MEMBER OF THE HOUSE, I MADE FRANTIC EFFORTS TO MOVE MOTIONS ON THE MATTER IN THE HOUSE, BUT I WAS ALWAYS SIDELINED IN THE MINORITY VOICE AS IT WAS OBVIOUS THAT THE PRESIDENT HAS ALL OUR NOTABLE AND RESPECTABLE MEMBERS IN HIS PAYROLE, EVEN OUR HONOURABLE SPEAKER.

NOW I HAVE DECIDED TO LEAVE THIS AMOUNT ABROAD AND FIND A RESPONSIBLE PERSONALITY WHOM I CAN TRUST TO HANDLE THE CASH FOR A POSSIBLE PROFFESSIONAL INVESTMENT AS OUR OWN GAIN SINCE HE [THE PRESIDENT] DO NOT HAVE THE RECORD OF THIS FUND.

I WANT YOU TO TELL ME IF YOU CAN BE ABLE TO LOCATE A VERY GOOD BUSINESS WHICH THIS $8.9 MILLION CAN BE INVESTED IN. ALSO CAN I TRUST YOU TO HANDLE THIS CASH? NOTE THAT YOU ARE GOING TO BE MY TRUSTED PARTNER IN THIS INVESTMENT AND I WILL DRAW AGREEMENT FOR THE PERCENTAGE OF THE INVESTMENT DIVIDENDS FOR BOTH PARTIES INVOLVED. LET ME HEAR FROM YOU AS SOON AS YOU RECEIVE THIS MESSAGE.

THANKS AND REMAIN BLESSED.

YOURS SINCERELY

SENATOR IDRIS KUTA

By the way, my host server says this message came from:
REMOTE_HOST: 221.142.245.144


The wikipedia has this to say about these Nigerian scam letters:
Some investors have hired private investigators in Nigeria or have personally travelled to Nigeria, without ever retrieving their money. One American was murdered in Nigeria while pursuing his lost money. In February 2003, a scam victim from the Czech Republic shot and killed an official at the Nigerian embassy.

Victims of 419 Advance Fee Fraud have little recourse. Since 1995, the United States Secret Service has been (somewhat) involved in combating these schemes, however they will not investigate unless the monetary loss is in excess of fifty thousand US Dollars. Very few arrests and prosecutions have been made due to the international aspect of this crime.


Since this scam has been around in it's non-internet form since the sixteenth century, we shouldn't hold out much hope that it will go away on its own. It looks like the best we can do to protect ourselves is to ignore the letters completely.

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Podcast: Live Call-In show helps with Spam and Phishing Attacks

Well we got the live show in the can. Hmmm.... I guess it isn't live anymore. I trimmed this episode up, so you can start at the very beginning.

We mentioned a couple of links in the show that you might find useful. One was the FTC website with games that help you learn how to spot phishing emails.

qv: www.consumer.gov/ncpw

Eric mentioned a website to find out about what internet providers may service your rural community. (www.broadbandreports.com)

We also mentioned some real help in the battle to reduce SPAM. Our caller was already using Yahoo, so we directed her to antispam.yahoo.com.

Enjoy the show, and remember we'll be back live on March 8th. Our plan (as of this writing) is to do the live call in segment the second Thursday of every month. Between those times, there will continue to be recorded tech segments that occur most other Thursdays and on some Mondays. We'll be back LIVE on March 9th.




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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

We're going Live!

Don't forget that Eric Rodgers and I will be LIVE on Thursday, February 9th! We will begin at 12:30 (or thereabouts) on WEPR 90.1 FM in Greenville as well as the other stations in the South Carolina Educational Radio Network.

Got questions you'd like us to answer on the air? Ask them here.

Want to listen on the web? Do that here.

Podcast: Moxi or Tivo - DVR makes TV watching better

Miss Monday's Your Day radio show where Eric Rodgers and I spoke Moxi, Tivo, and digital video recorder? Never fear -- the link is here! The tech segment begins at 16:57.

As I mentioned, I am using a Moxi which I rent from Charter. Other boxes I considered include the Tivo. I quoted Alan Kay, on the subject of watching TV. He is a very clever guy, and I had the opportunity to hear him speak at a conference several years ago.

Update: We have already had to retire our first box and am glad we are renting it. If I had to guess, I'd say the hard drive on our first unit was developing a bad spot. Our programs would break up on playback. The repair person who came to the house replaced the box with a new one.

Replacing the box was a less than ideal solution since we lost everything we had saved on the first box. We also lost all of our programming which meant that once again we had to tell the new box which shows we like the most. Harumph!

Alert! Don't forget that Eric Rodgers and I will be LIVE on Thursday, February 9th! We will begin at 12:30 (or thereabouts) on WEPR 90.1 FM in Greenville as well as the other stations in the South Carolina Educational Radio Network.




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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Survey Says: Clydesdales win Superbowl Ads

According to Zogby:
After some Monday-morning quarterbacking, Super Bowl XL viewers have decided that Budweiser's "Young Clydesdale" ad wins Sunday's other big game -- the battle for the top commercial spot.

What especially caught my attention was this:
CareerBuilder.com's ad depicting workplace chimps celebrating the "growth" of sales at their company scored progressively worse as income level rose, besting the income categories below $25,000, but rapidly receding among others.

Zogby says that funny ads that make you feel good tend to do best. I think I already knew that. If an ad doesn't make your brain do a "Happy Dance," it isn't working.

I wonder... what type of personality enjoyed Hummer's "Little Monster" ad?
That one was lost on me.


via : Zogby

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Monday, February 06, 2006

Nerds Needed!

There have been a lot of new jobs posted on the GSATC website lately. It looks like upstate companies are looking for developers, networkers, and project managers. As a public service, the GSATC allows hiring companies to post these job openings for free.

qv: forums.gsatc.org

Friday, February 03, 2006

Podcast: yt? Your IM buddy may be a worm

Miss yesterday's Your Day radio show where Eric Rodgers and I spoke Instant Message virues? Never fear -- the link is here! The tech segment begins at 16:23. Again, we are talking about the virus I previously mentioned here.




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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

This month's Flickr toy calendar

Kathryn Calendar - February 2006
I just love the stuff I can create by combining my digital photos, the Flickr website, and cool Flickr toys like the ones hosted at Flagrant Disregard. The baby is five months old and I'm still creating calendars for her. The family loves them. It also causes me to be sure that I have caught at least one great photo of the baby each month.


qv: This photo on Flickr.