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November 2011

Talking About My PLN to OEB11

Standing HangoutIN JULY 2011, organisers of Europe's largest e-learning event accepted my workshop on the OEB11 agenda. I had to stand to deliver my presentation because I could not sit to travel to Berlin in person.

The photo at left shows my Dell M2400 laptop, stacked on top of file boxes and art books. The stack makes the laptop's Logitech 910 HD webcam appear at the height of my eyes. I talked to a small group of interested OEB11 conference participants 880 miles away in Berlin. My campus infrastructure prevented me from using Online Meeting Rooms and that meant I could not queue up and serve nine video clips that were part of the workshop. Instead, we used Google Hangouts to connect thoughts. I talked for just under an hour, then answered questions from the Online Educa Berlin participants. We also had questions and comments from Mark Lynch (an LIT student in the Hangout), Gabriel T (joining from his laptop a continent away) and an Irishman walking on the streets of Blanchardstown with his Android phone serving up the audio-video hangout via 3G. As much as I like Hangouts, they bring distractions like audio bleed-through and offer more video latency than the robust Flash Communications Services of Online Meeting Rooms.

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Building a PLN by Starting at the End

Personal Learning Tools[PUBLISHED FOR #OEB11, an event I could not attend in person.]

I HAVE STUMBLED into a tap-and-learn process involving my personal learning network and hope to get a peer review of the way that I glean value from the ambience shared via online networks.

I think it's important to start at the end product and work forward. I have to produce transmedia material that can be shared in print copy and e-ink. To create these end products, I need to effectively leverage online hives of activity.

After trying a process during the past two years, I'm convinced there's great value in the easy handheld availability of a flow of high-quality information. Having a vibrant PLN to hand increases my abiilty to leverage quality information about trends in education that come pulsating through networks such as Twitter, Audioboo, Google Plus, Delicious, Pinboard, YouTube and Flickr. As the accompanying shot from my kitchen table suggests, I use several complementary technologies. I explain these in my YouTube and Audioboo clips. More below the break.

Ambient Availability

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Four Months with Kindle

Four Months of KindleAS I TYPE A FEW WORDS into my blog, I'm listening to I Live in the Future and Here's How it Works on my Kindle. Doing both simultaneously is a worthwhile activity for me.

I do a lot with the Kindle and I use it frequently enough to recharge it every four days. I used to get a week between recharges but for the past two months, I've done a lot of listening with the Kindle and that's putting a greater electrical load on the device. I also use it to highlight and share content onto Twitter and that makes its wifi antenna do more work as well. I grabbed four months of content from my clippings.txt file on the Kindle and ran the result through Wordle in order to produce the accomanying word cloud. As you can tell, I've read about Steve Jobs on my Kindle. I've also subscribed to the Irish Times with the Kindle. And I have a very vibrant Kindlefeeder flow appearing as e-ink once a day. If I could annotate the Audible.com book content on the Kindle, the word cloud would include many selections that I've used as part of lectures in our creative multimedia curriculum. I listen a lot while feeding our five-month-old son and in every case, I've listened to all audible books that I purchased at least twice.

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Flagged for Copyright Infringement

Copyright WarningMONTHS AGO, I made a video with Animoto, a web service. Although I used my images and a backing track served by Animoto, YouTube detects my work as a potential copyright infringement.

I wonder if it's possible for anybody besides myself to play "On My Xperia" or if the video is blocked by the copyright police because of the use of the track "1, 2, 3, 4" by Fake. Looking back on the work, I think it would have been much better pulling in the images at high resolution and using my own voice for the narration. But at the time, I was trying to demonstrate the quick effect that Animoto would bring to the making of a video clip. Cloud services like Animoto will inadvertently expose users to copyright claims because of the ease of integrating sound tracks from the Animoto library into the work that you can do with the Animoto cloud service. And because it's so easy to record a clip in the car and upload it while underway in Ireland, I get flagged for copyright when the radio is playing in the background. That's only fair.


Click to play "On My Experia".

copyright


Always a Good Whinge

Twitter SupermanADRIAN WECKLER writes about the group whinge factor on Twitter in his Sunday Business Post column today. And he concludes with the same thought as my unwired in-laws.

In his Reality Bytes column, Adrian dives deep into Irish people whinging about the Late Late show on RTE television. He could have cited a number of events, brands or personalities for similar treatment. That's because Twitter has evolved into the superhuman public channel for people to vent. I follow a lot of people who feel it is perfectly natural to open a Twitterstream with a litany of complaints about anonymous faces on emails, bad meals, slow trains or poor service. Sometimes I wonder if it might be faster to just pick up a phone to escalate a complaint through customer service channels instead of stirring up a gripe session online. But then I realise that a whole new service sector of social media experts has emerged alongside the popular adoption of Twitter and that those experts can advise clients on message tonality, brand recognition and conversations that engage. Twitter's ecosystem needs the whingers if there's to be any hope of sustaining the experts in social networking who live under the banner of "effective communication". Whinging, that is.


Sent mail2blog from my Nokia phone in County Kilkenny after reading the Business Post.

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Making Monday News on a Sunday

12 Minute NewsroundMONDAY NEWS IN IRELAND often starts with the headlines on Sunday and several very newsy stories broke in the Irish Sunday broadsheets at the end of November that promise to run through Christmas.

Two big items should reverberate all the way into 2012. The first concerns the train wreck of the Irish economy. David Drumm, past head of the Anglo Irish Bank, gave a lengthy interview to Niall O'Dowd and the main thrust of that interview ran across several pages in the Sunday Business Post. If Drumm has any credence, the mandarins in the Irish Ministry of Finance were well out of their depth during the running of the over-heated Celtic Tiger era. The second main story that will affect Irish society concerns the serious libel unleashed by Prime Time Investigates on Father Sean Reynolds, an Irish priest. On the front page of the Sunday Times, Colin Coyle quickly dismantles the investigative work of RTE Presenter Aoife Kavanagh as it tries to decipher why an inflammatory piece was broadcast apparently without any independent fact-checking behind the scenes. In fairness, the investigation is still running but from the simplistic viewing of broadsheet coverage, it appears that the Irish national broadcaster does not have critical safeguards in place to independently cross-check the veracity of substantial reports. It would come as no surprise to learn that old head fact checkers no longer roam the halls at Montrose because they would have been easy targets during repeated culls of staff. I hope the institution of investigative reporting is not mortally wounded on the heels of this sorry mess.

I cover several issues related to current events, technology and small business in the video clip below the break.

Lots of Sunday News

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Persistent Cookies

Tech PrivacyAFTER LISTENING TO Jeff Jarvis for more than 40 hours, I'm sold on both the necessity to let some of my online life remain public. But I'm also a little concerned about persistent electronic data.

I've had a few experiences where some companies know about me before I declare any credentials online. Google seems to correlate my home router with advertisements that fit nicely with my wife's browsing habits. On several occasions, her iPad has displayed ads that would have been tailored to the home broadband router's identity, not to any Javascript cookie on her viewing device. LinkedIn addresses me via my Flickr e-mail identity, not through my LinkedIn account e-mail. It gets this information from a persistent cookie served by Yahoo!

Two years ago, Samy Kamkar described how the Evercookie Javascript API produces extremely persistent cookies in a browser. Its goal is to identify a client even after they've removed standard cookies, Flash cookies (Local Shared Objects or LSOs), and others. As we move towards HTML 5 on laptops and mobile phones, we're moving closer to a world where we're all displaying those public parts that Jeff Jarvis cites in his book. If you're a creature of habit and your browsing patterns follow a set routine, I don't think there's much you can do about keeping yourself totally cloaked.


Jeff Jarvis -- Public Parts ISBN 978-1451636000

Tanzina Vega -- "New Web Code Draws Concern over Privacy Risks" in the New York Times, October 10, 2010.

privacy


Not Looking for Social Circles

AFTER FIVE MONTHS dabbling in Google Circles, I realise I don’t have any family who are active in G+ and only a small cluster of my real life friends congregate there.

I've nearly as many connections on Google Plus (3700) as I have followers on Twitter (4000). Those numbers don't convert into people who pay me money, read my blog, or buy my rounds at the local pub. But there's another page in this story and it has the avatars, faces, and tearaway commentary from hundreds of strangers, many writing in languages and type fonts I do not understand. I have discovered one very large community that incorporates thousands of smaller encircled groups of real people, often with really interesting perspectives when using Google Plus inside third level education or for business.

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Back When We Dropped Turkeys

Brightstar ThanksgivingTHANKSGIVING MEANS MORE when you bring something to the table. Like in 1981 when I dropped turkeys with paratroopers into Egypt.

I've got pencil notes of those drops, made as part of Bright Star. A few years later, a Captain I didn't know crashed and burned in his C-141 near the same drop zone.

Thanksgivings come and go in Ireland where I live now and few people around my home really know the occasion. I never forget. We had some remnants of American Thanksgiving around the table today but the comparisons are so evident. The sweet potatoes are never the same as in the States, probably because I cannot duplicate my mother's sweet sauce. Irish mashed potatoes are better than anything I've had around a Thanksgiving dinner setting in America. Irish turkeys save themselves for Christmas when everybody else knows November is the best month to eat big birds. I had tasty beef ribs today and then made myself a turkey sandwich late in the day, just like many Thanksgivings ago. Next year, I'm taking the day off because Thanksgiving deserves more respect than just observing the memory.


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Honouring Stanislaw Lem

Stanislaw LemTODAY'S GOOGLE DOODLE celebrates the 60th anniversary of the first book written by Stanislaw Lem.

This prolific Polish author penned works covering science fiction, philosophy and satirical themes. He was famously ahead of his time for delving into areas such as nanotechnology and virtual reality. His work intersects the Emerging Technology and Trends module we teach in LIT-Clonmel. He wrote science fiction greats such as the 1961 novel Solaris, which has been made into a feature film three times.

View on http://youtu.be/GBKPVJM0Rjo below the break.

 

Honouring Stanislaw Lem

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