October 13, 2008

Lula and the Petting Zoo

As you can see, delicate she ain't. :-)

October 11, 2008

Nonlinear Presentation Tools

I'm so jealous of Chuck Todd (MSNBC) and John King (CNN) who get to dazzle us with their fancy interactive displays. It's mesmerizing watching them use these non-linear presentation tools to help us understand the polls and electorate map.

The other day, someone on Twitter described their newest pet peeve--watching someone present about 21st century skills using 20th century techniques. That is annoying---and it's something I've been doing myself. In fact, that's been bugging me lately.

Traditional PowerPoint (or Keynote) presentations just aren't good enough these days to engage an audience, especially one comprised of 20 somethings or younger. Yes, people can be creative and spice up their presentations using PowerPoint and strategies to foster discussion, etc. Interactive whiteboards and even something like Inspiration software could be used creatively as a presentation tool. But, I still want that cool board that Chuck and John keep rubbing in my face on TV.

Not long ago, Microsoft unveiled Surface, their new interactive, touchscreen, multi-gesture, eye candy of a display board (actually, it's what Chuck Todd uses on MSNBC). It looked amazing to me, but I was really skeptical that we'd see it in schools anytime soon. Well, I'm starting to reconsider that assumption.

I think we may see the software that drives the interactive whiteboards and displays being used in classrooms integrate more use of gestures as part of their user interface. Since the iPhone, we've already seen an increase in the number of portable electronics that have a touchscreen capable of using gestures such as swipe or pinch. Check out the T850 from BenQ, for example. Very cool!

How great would it be to add these features to PowerPoint or keynote? Or better yet, give us a new Web 2.0 tool for creating interactive nonlinear presentations right in our browser!

Well, I'm really excited about a promising new solution I discovered this morning--ZuiPrezi (Hungarian?). I requested to help be a beta tester, and I'm super excited about the possibility of trying to use it for one of my upcoming presentations. It looks intuitive, extremely capable, and best of all--mesmerizing! Check it out for yourself--tryout their interactive demo or view some of the examples.

October 9, 2008

Common Sense: Wikipedia

Wow, what a great video! And the CommonSenseMedia.org website has a bunch of similar videos on topics including Facebook, Political Ads, Sex & Media, and more! Watch this video, then check out their website.

Tom Friedman on Palin, McCain

Great Op-Ed piece by Tom Friedman today on Sarah Palin's politics and John McCain's reckless VP choice. Friedman writes...
I only wish she had been asked: “Governor Palin, if paying taxes is not considered patriotic in your neighborhood, who is going to pay for the body armor that will protect your son in Iraq? Who is going to pay for the bailout you endorsed? If it isn’t from tax revenues, there are only two ways to pay for those big projects — printing more money or borrowing more money. Do you think borrowing money from China is more patriotic than raising it in taxes from Americans?” That is not putting America first. That is selling America first.

Whether or not I agree with John McCain, he is of presidential timber. But putting the country in the position where a total novice like Sarah Palin could be asked to steer us through possibly the most serious economic crisis of our lives is flat out reckless.

Click here to read the full article.

October 8, 2008

Online, Social, Collaborative Comic Strip Creator

Wow, I just learned about this very intriguing online comic strip creator--Pixton. Thanks to Twitter users @jdornberg and @monarchlibrary

October 6, 2008

Missing iPhone Features

I've been using my iPhone 3G for a couple of weeks now--long enough to
get used to the keyboard, thankfully, and also to compile the
following list of missing features. Now, I'm hoping that some of these
"missing" features are just hidden features that I've yet to discover.
If that's the case, please post a comment to correct me & point me in
the right direction. BTW, overall I'm extremely pleased with my iPhone
& even the AT&T service. I'm composing this blog entry on my iPhone
from a waiting room, in fact.

The List:

  1. Is Bluetooth crippled??? I can't send photo, contacts, etc, via
  2. Bluetooth?
  3. No search, especially in iCal, Notes?
  4. No copy/paste?
  5. Where are my todo items from iCal?
  6. No select? Why can't I double-click or click n drag to highlight text?
  7. I should be able to send a URL from Safari to Mail or other apps.
  8. Maps: I'd like to rotate screen for horizontal view like safari &
  9. photos.
  10. External keyboard support would be nice--bluetooth keyboard or something to use during meetings.
  11. Inline spellcheck (auto complete/correct is good a start).
  12. Camera is good, but no flash?
  13. No option to record video? What's up with that?

October 2, 2008

Great tips for using your computer

Another David Pogue referral... He just posted "Tech Tips for the Basic Computer User" on his blog. Hey, is that a nice way of saying Tech Tips for Dummies? Well, in any event, these tips are good, and they apply to a much wider audience than just novices. For example...

Google is also a units-of-measurement and currency converter. Type “teaspoons in 1.3 gallons,” for example, or “euros in 17 dollars.” Click Search to see the answer.