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9 posts from February 5, 2012 - February 11, 2012

February 11, 2012

Febooary Social Audio

Click to play Febbooary Croissants

PROOF THAT SOCIAL AUDIO is alive and well during a month rechristened as "Febooary" by avid users of the Audioboo service. Every day has a unique topic, such as today's about "favourite smell and why?"

We like croissants, the bread in the crosshairs of the Irish government's increased tax plans. Unhealthy white pan bread escapes an increase in tax while croissants are blasted with an additional two percent of tax. Some merchants have increased the cost of their croissants by 10 cents, thinking we're expecting to pay more and won't gripe about it.

The audio clip below is a non-whinging report of our favourite smells and scents.

Febooaary Scents and Smells

Listen on Audioboo to Febooary Scents and Smells

Febooary Week Two Topics on the Audioboo Blog.

Bonus Audio: 

Whitney Houston Filtered Acapello


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February 10, 2012

Business Intelligence through Document Tracking

Adobe Tracker

I AM A BIG FAN of version-checked document handling and that's why I often prefer edits done inside Adobe's PDF ecosystem and with Microsoft Sharepoint docs.

The screenshot shows the dashboard we're using in a creative multimedia module as we learn how to squeeze business intelligence from email traffic. The toolset includes Adobe SendNow, Newsweaver and ReadNotify.


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February 09, 2012

Four Year Old iBook Creator

iBook CreatorSINCE OUR FOUR-YEAR OLD has better tap-and-move coordination skills than her parents, we're letting her put together her first epub by using Book Creator on the iPad. If she doesn't get bored with the process, we'll keep using the app.

The problem I'm facing lies in media rights management. Our four-year-old lives inside a world she has created with friends named Lola, Charlie, Homer, Bart, Lisa, Maggie, Ben, Holly, Barney, Peppa, and Dora. Creating a digital album of Mia's world by using the faces of her digital friends will walk us right into a copyright crossfire and probably would result in Mia's iBook being tossed out of the public iBookstore. We're happy enough to have a title sitting in our own bookshelf and in trying to share Mia's Book with cousins across the pond. In the meantime, Book Creator on the iPad has shown me that it's possible to incorporate Apple's iBook format on our third level epublishing curriculum without buying a suite of Macs.

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February 08, 2012

Adventures in ePublishing

Starting with the ScreenI HAVE WADED INTO the waters of e-publishing and believe I will have a result within 10 days of laying down my first cursor on text.

The focus of my work involves taking products that are in one format and giving them a more compelling look for Kindle. Alongside a small group of clever students in LIT-Clonmel, I'm using Adobe InDesign, Calibre, Acrobat Pro and several web services. The most important deliverable I've set in the audio clip below concerns the business intelligence of e-publishing. I want students to tell me the business value of the processes we will master during the next three months. It doesn't make sense to learn a skillset that has no appreciable value for management. Through a series of set pieces, I want these talented students to produce business and commercial value through e-ink. I've eight main areas that I believe merit practical academic exploration.

Adventures in ePublishing

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February 07, 2012

Key Words Point to Pen and Pixel

Pen and Pixel AVWE LAUNCHED PEN & PIXEL for our annual exhibition in the Limerick Institute of Technology and it immediately attracted more people on its first day (327) than I get on an average weekday (301).

The top three terms that attracted visitors to PenAndPixel.ie include all the high brow phrases (exhibition, creative work, 3D) that we hoped would represent a cross-section of graduate talent. It's still too early to draw any real conclusions from the analytics because it normally takes a few months and a few thousand visits to determine what's actually the big draw of a website. Plus the Pen&Pixel site is attracting a lot of ego surfers as they probe around and try to find samples of work.

During the same early February period, the top three terms referring people to my Inside View blog were people looking for the ugliest dog, real mermaid sightings in Ireland and pron.

Information from Statcounter.com.


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My Dream Chair

Clarion PenthouseI'M PUTTING MY LONG BET for a dream cafe into my blog's embargo release system because I think a virtual reality chair will be on offer before I die.

I think the ultimate out-of-body experience  can't be hard to program. It involves being able to press a button and have the whole room disappear, to be replaced by a virtual destination of my choice. This isn't too far away. I've been in rooms where people have been transfixed and lifted by Pink Floyd in 5.1 separation with lights. I already use 3D glasses to go inside things I never imagined. I've known friends who have used mind-altering drugs and shared dimensions beyond anything I've seen or heard. So I don't think it's too far-fetched to create a finely tuned and focused magnetic field coupled with direct electrical stimulation. You'd need a lot of electrical power if you used today's technology. I'm putting a "waking dream state" into my bucket list. If you check back onto my blog in 2030, you'll see "my dream chair" on my list of things that I hope transpire before I make my last post.

Shot I took of the Clarion Hotel's hanging chair from the North Quay in Dublin, Ireland.

Future Post: "Dream Chair on my Bucket List", February 7, 2032.


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February 06, 2012

Facebook Needs to Make More Money Out of Me

Fistful of DollarsI AM STUNNED by the market capitalisation of Facebook and the way I see things, Facebook needs to make a lot more money out of me. Or go pop.

Facebook will get more money from my eyeballs, especially if Mark Zuckenberg's vision to connect everybody on the planet comes to fruition. It's not important that half the planet doesn't have modern electricity or phones. Most of the other three billion people have access to mobile phones where they're going to find Facebook powering their phone books and notification client.

Around a year ago, Marc Andreessen put my value to Facebook at "one or two dollars per user"($1.53 to be precise), which sounded perfectly acceptable to him. Last year, "each of the 845 million active members brought $4.39 in revenue and $1.18 in net income. Even better, based on the $3.9 billion in cash and marketable securities on FB’s balance sheet, each of these users generated a cosy cash input of $1.53 dollars," according to Frederic Filloux of Monday Note.

If the stock market values Facebook at $100 billion, my Facebook subscription is worth $118. I won't have to pay that money but that's what the market thinks my attention and my presence is worth (alongside every other Facebooker too).

Frederic Filloux cranks some other media property numbers for comparison.

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Intellectual Property Laws Damage Innovation

Genome IStockphoto David Marchal HAM-FISTED INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY (IP) rights on existing technologies hinder subsequent innovation, according to Heidi Williams at the Department of Economics at Harvard. She based her conclusion on newly-collected data on the sequencing of the human genome by the public Human Genome Project and the private firm Celera.

Her research paper estimates the impact of Celera's gene-level IP on subsequent scienti c research and product development. The paper explains how genes initially sequenced by Celera were held with IP for up to two years, but moved into the public domain once re-sequenced by the public e ort. Across a range of empirical specifi cations, I nd evidence that Celera's IP led to reductions in subsequent scienti c research and product development on the order of 20 to 30 percent. Taken together, these results suggest that Celera's short-term IP had persistent negative e ects on subsequent innovation relative to a counterfactual of Celera genes having always been in the public domain.

Heidi Williams -- "Intellectual property rights and innovation: Evidence from the human genome" in the Yale Law Review, December 30, 2011.  Download IP and Innovation

IStockphoto by David Marchal.


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February 05, 2012

Talking Points

Fresh NewsSEVERAL SUNDAY BROADSHEET ITEMS are likely talking points for early February in Ireland, beginning with the new-found prosperity some working in Facebook's Dublin headquarters may soon enjoy. Facebook enjoys the same corporation tax breaks as other multinationals operating with services in Ireland.

The Sunday Times Magazine is also worth a long read, covering 50 years of themes and photos from its archive. I'm handing it to the grandparents because the coverage pays fair tribute to life in the Sixties in both England and Ireland. I recorded a five-minute clip with my Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc and let it automagically upload to YouTube. I'm doing these weekly clips because I hope they can give my children an idea of what we were talking about in this decade of austerity. I've embedded the video clip below the break.

The economists in both the Sunday Business Post and the Sunday Times point out compelling flaws with the economic austerity imposed on the country. I don't think the current imposition of deflation stimulates recovery.

Fresh Sunday News

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