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February 2014

January 2014

Thankful for the Wayback Machine

The Wayback MachineScreenshot from

IT'S GOOD TO KNOW that the Internet Archive harvests more than simple text. I've used it to resurrect images and audio clips from sites long discontinued.

Several voices I used to enjoy on Audioboo have closed their accounts but in many cases, their digital artifacts surface through the Wayback Machine. It's like hearing a blast from the past and rather amazing because their audio clips have been saved from Amazon's S3 servers even though their originators totally deleted their accounts on Audioboo. I get the same result from sites that depended upon photographs, images or maps presented from other sites.

As time goes forward, I hope that the iFrames and JQuery content from sites I use every week also get the same archival treatment.

Thoughts About Text Blogging

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Young and Irish Voices at #YoungITLG

Your Career Starts Here
Graphic by LIT Creative Multimedia Crew.

DURING A DAY-LONG Irish Technology Leadership Group event in the Shannon Airport, members of the Youth Media Team worked the crowd and recorded nearly 90 minutes of interviews. They're bundled into a playlist by that you can see at


[The Youth Media Team is supervised by the staff of the Limerick Institute of Technology.]

At Shannon with #YoungITLG

At ShannonPhoto by @topgold in Shannon Airport.

ALONG WITH 15 third level students and three members of our Youth Media Team, I'm in the Shannon Airport departure area watching and listening to young entrepreneurs today as part of the Irish Technology Leadership Group Challenge Competition.

This is an inaugural event that encourages young people to innovate for the world that they see several decades from now. I hope our third level creative multimedia students can capture first hand impressions from the younger students and share concepts about how we will live, learn, shop, play, travel and work in the middle part of the 21st century. I've a view of my own, formed around the venue of Shannon Airport itself.

Thirty years ago, the voice of Shannon Radio gave me comfort as I crossed the Atlantic Ocean in several directions. On the first 50 crossings, I had no Global Positioning System and we relied on navigators to shoot the stars as we maintained our tracks. Today, those GPS displays are on glass in cockpits--something I never thoughts would carve out space in the front of an aircraft.

And all the big map cases I would carry are gone as well, replaced by glass slabs light enough to hold in the palm of your hand. I would never have imagined that scenario. I wonder what a young teen would forecast in the aircraft of the future.

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From Analogue to Digital and Back Again

ONE PITFALL of living digitally is failing to create things your grandchildren can hold. I need to deal with that shortcoming by adding an analogue production process to my life.

In this regard, Flickr has affirmed its role. For years, I've been using Flickr's add-ons to produce handsome hard cover books. Normally, I produce a book a season with glossy images of children growing up and give the books to grandparents who can see the pages without using eyeglasses. I've stopped sending the books directly to the grandparents because they occasionally object to the 40 or 50 euro cost. But that's what you pay for a hard cover, glossy art book.

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First Page of Wundering Moleskine

Lucy #WunderingPhoto of Lucy snapped by @topgold.

I WATCHED MY NIECE sketch out the answer to the question. "Where do you live?" And when she finished both her Moleskine sketch and iTouch audio work, we shared her adventure online.

Lucy (6) has started a collaborative project with other primary school students who might want to get parents' help as they (1) sketch a place, (2) share an online audio of the process, (3) check into a nearby venue that helps define their place, and (4) tweet about the #wundering Moleskine.

If you want to play a part in this little project, please leave a comment on my blog, or talk to @daylightgambler or @iankath and we will work out a way to get you into the flow. The watercolour Moleskine will fill up with the work of 40 young people before the end of March 2014 and then return to Ireland's City of Culture as part of an exhibition co-ordinated by the Limerick School of Art & Design. Three of the Moleskines will feature in the Global Voices Conference in May at the Limerick Institute of Technology.

There will be six Moleskine journals crossing national borders throughout 2014--one for you if you want to claim two pages.

The First Wundering Report

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The Designer Hard Drive

LaCie Sphère Hard Drive by ChristofleLaCie Sphère by Christofle.

IF I HAD FIVE HUNDRED EURO to enhance my desk, I'd consider buying a USB 3.0 LaCie Sphère by Christofle for the same money that would fund a couple of two terabyte portable drives for my laptop bag. However, this design object is a silver-plated hard drive that make my hotdesk shine.

The handcrafted, globe-inspired LaCie device is enclosed in a spherical, silver-plated steel case.

Christofle was founded in France in the 1830s, when my forebears were still in Germany and France. Christofle has always symbolized luxury and elegance and that is the case with the LaCie Sphère. It looks striking because its unique round shape demands the attention of talented silversmiths in Christofle’s Normandy workshop (see the video below). The shape and the shine come from a precise manual silver plating procedure that culminates with Christofle’s hallmark signature, polished for perfect brightness. This time-consuming process results in a bold silhouette and highly reflective surface. I think we will buy one and give it away to a special person at the Global Voices educational technology conference in Thurles on May 10, 2014. Its presence on a desk will certainly spark curiosity and converstion.

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