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March 2012

February 2012

Who Looks at My Cameraphone Shots

iOS 4 in the handLIKE A LOT OF PEOPLE, I tap and accept app prompts when asked by apps for permission to access my phone's photo album. Doing that may allow an app to copy and store my images on another server.

And if you believe Nick Bilton, after you permit some iOS apps to have access to location information, "the app can copy the user’s entire photo library, without any further notification or warning." This might concern some friends who carry around compromising cameraphone images. But Apple apps aren't the only apps pulling images off phones. I see this happening with Instant Upload when using Google Plus. For years I've stored photos in the cloud while connected to Nokia's Ovi service.

It might not be apparent to iPhone owners that when they give permission for an app to use location data, perhaps for mapping, that they are also approving “access to location information in photos and videos.” That "location information" is embedded inside the images themselves. To get the approved "location data", the images have to go to the application developers' servers where they're stored, opened, and analysed. For some iPhone owners, this can create a huge risk to privacy.

But that's one of the issues we have with phones that track our movements.

I shot the iPhone photo myself and uploaded the image with its EXIF location data inside to my Flickr photostream.

Nick Bilton -- "Apple Loophole Gives Developers Access to Photos" on the NYT Bits Blog, February 28, 2012.


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Eight Months Plussing

Add Me to Your CirclesI TRANSITIONED OVER to Google Plus in late June, effectively using that network as my first stopping point of the day. I think it's helped streamline a few parts of my routine even though some think G+ is a ghost town.

The biggest advantage I've seen lies in the way G+ serves up recent information. With Twitter, you can blink and miss a stream of information. On G+ the flow picks up credibility as people add comments in big threads. I like that viewing information that way because I can vet its provenance better. In fact, I get a lot of the first hand information that I share on Twitter from Google Plus. I extract good value from the 2500 people I follow and encounter few on G+ who pettifog.

Continue reading "Eight Months Plussing" »

Content Marketing for Learning Spaces

Learning KindleI AM PART OF A TEAM planning the annual ICT in Education Conference and we're deep into a content management strategy that should pay dividends.

We're making content, not advertising copy. We're putting that content on our owned or earned media. We're driven primarily because we have a very small line for advertising. But more importantly, we're motivated by the knowledge that content marketing is a pull, rather than a push, strategy. Done well, content does not interrupt. Rather, it attracts readers and it should attract people to attend our day-long conference in Thurles on Saturday, May 19, 2012.

The next step is to attract some vendors into the mix, persuading them to advertise inside our content marketing strategy. We're putting together threads of content on web pages and into Kindle format. I expect to blog about some very interesting results at the end of May when we wrap up our annual conference.

I shot the image of us making content with my Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc and auto-uploaded it to Google Plus.


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RIP Marie Colvin

RIP Marie ColvinTHE SUNDAY TIMES gives front page tribute to journalist Marie Colvin, killed by a government rocket attack while working with a team of journalists in Homs, Syria.

Colvin and a group of other journalists had all followed the local custom of removing their footwear before entering a building in the besieged city which was being used as a rebel press centre. Marie had returned to retrieve her shoes from a front hallway before moving into a protected area of the house when a rocket landed on the street outside the front door. When I searched Google for more information on Marie, I discovered 94 other people in my Google Plus circles were talking about her.

One of the reasons I have bought the Sunday Times for the past six years was because of her compassionate, clear writing. She had a empathetic way of reporting war's effects on civilians. She did that all the way up to the final report she filed from the beleaguered city of Homs. 

RIP Marie Colvin

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File Sharing Involves More than Music

Sharing books with 1000 a dayWE TEACH HOW TO MAKE e-books in a module at the Limerick Institute of Technology and we know some students acquire their books through file-sharing sites like the now-defunct

Until its closure on 15 February 2012, viewers could access an enormous collection, including nearly every essential textbook prescribed in the creative multimedia curriculum of LIT. The presence of Kindles in student backpacks from first to third level has boosted the appeal of electronic titles. I saw this trend emerging three years ago when I spotted a Bit Torrent seed in a shared Dropbox folder. The link allowed people to sync and download book titles related Adobe products. By 2010, this practise had become a private set of links, shared casually wherever wifi access was served on campus. But the real burst of activity happened when I saw being discussed in a Facebook group. People were interested in reading dozens of the titles that Amazon was marketing and the easiest way to fill your Kobo, Nook or Kindle was to drop some things onto it from As the screenshot at left shows, around 1000 people per week visited this illegal book site from the States. Enough of them left behind a donation to make a handsome operating profit for Fidel Nunez, the NUIG graduate running the site.

Continue reading "File Sharing Involves More than Music" »

The Easily Revised Mobile Reading Experience

Gutenberg on KindleI HAVE REDEFINED "mobile experience" because it is not difficult to find someone who owns a Kindle, a Kobo, or a Nook nowadays.

Right under the noses of those looking at how people use mobile data lurk biblophiles. They are reading living books. Dan York suggested this idea during a segment on For Immediate Release and he's writing about it on his Disruptive Conversations blog. He muses about a book being "more than just a fixed collection of text at a given point of time" and offers a treatment for a narrative that "evolves and changes over time". I like his thinking in this regard because it means our early 21st century concept of a book has changed.

The change is nearly mainstream too because Irish broadcasters, not known for their confidence with embracing new technology, now sprinkle words like "Kindle" and "iPad" into their radio minutes. These talking heads often buy and chat about e-ink they've read. While that's nice, Dan York points out an O'Reilly innovation that goes one step further.

Continue reading "The Easily Revised Mobile Reading Experience" »

Totally Immersive Flight Simulation

Aibus SimulatorWORKING AS A FLIGHT SIMULATOR instructor, I developed a deep appreciation of the value of immersive education.

I put pilots through both T-38 and C-141 flight routines, using sim time to rehearse basic procedures as well as to escalate events to points of no return. Even though pilots knew that they hadn't left the ground, they were sweating while racking up sim time.

As a creative multimedia lecturer, I have learned more background about why pilots got so deeply engrossed in simulation. Part of it was spatial--their eyes told them they were really in the virtual world of flight. Accompanied by the sound of engine noise and flying full motion six-axis of motion, it's really easy to get caught up and to totally engage in the whole process of flying the box.

We did a lot of things in that box through my 3500 hours of flying. I have to think that the sweaty moments I endured saved me the embarrasment of bent metal while behind the controls of a multi-million dollar airplane.

That's a shot of an Airbus simulator cockpit accompanying my blog post.

Previously -- "Beating Jet Lag", March 20, 2004.

See also "Reverting to Circadian SELCAL", January 16, 2009.


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Kindlegen Delivers

First Kindlegen ScreenWE HAVE THOUSANDS of euro sunk into pretty software packages for e-publishing and I've discovered that it might be more worthwhile to teach creative multimedia students how to use the cryptic Kindlegen software instead.

I draw my conclusion after spending less than an hour to produce an eight page document. Things would have gone smoother if I was not required to create the source document with tables in Microsoft Word. Even so, Kindlegen delivered content that quickly dropped onto my Kindle for testing. I need to spend hours every day, engineering my work flow so an ePub sits at the end of every week's production line. When I do that, the lessons learned will flow directly into the e-publishing module we teach in the Limerick Institute of Technology.

Kindle Touch available internationally for $139.

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Where CU Meets SM

Heliport DawnA NEW DAWN for Ireland's credit unions could be coming into focus as the industry begins to embrace an overall assessment of its current social media capabilities. 

As a credit union member for nearly 30 years, I've seen the industry from diverse vantage points--from a small farming town to the bustling concourse of the Pentagon. I believe Irish credit unions could enhance their time-tested connections with key stakeholders and turn those connections into real clout with decision-makers. It's an essential process, driven by tumultous forces across the financial sector.

There are real goal and real metrics inside this process. In several creative multimedia modules I teach, we create separate metrics plans and consider them alongside helicopter views of the goals we need to achieve. 

Continue reading "Where CU Meets SM" »

Liking Klipsch S4i Reference Sound

Klipsch S4iI KNOW IN-EAR SOUND isn't really delivering the same range of audio as over-the-ear headsets but for walk-about work, it's hard to beat the Klipsch S4i in-ear headphones. Unless you want deep bass.

The S4i has an inline mic that works well with Audioboo and the cables don't seem to generate the same kind of rustling noise as I get with other earbuds. You might expect the 3.5mm plug on the unit to work with everything but it won't work for my Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc and only the earbuds work when the S4i jacks into my Nokia Lumia 800 or my laptop. You can't expect all pieces of technology to be interchangeable and there are some clever mic technology circuits embedded to the voice part of the S4i that don't work the same in other configurations. When used with iOS devices, the in-line microphone seems to reduce mechanical background noises and wind buffet. At least that's what I've noticed when making Audioboos with the Klipsch S4i. And Johnny Cash sounds just fine through the earbuds.

Johnny Cash I'm On Fire

Amazon -- Klipsch S4i reference earbuds



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