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September 2014
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November 2014

October 2014

Geofenced e-mail. Venue-specific correspondence.

I GET A LOT OF MILEAGE out of Gmail and now I can boomerang a message to a specific location. This is very handy when I need to have petinent messages in front of me at the right place.

All my important meetings involve working through details connected by threads of emails. With Boomerang, I can push received mails to the top of my Inbox when I arrive at different locations. All I have to do is to Boomerang a message and also set a Location option.

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Making Email Fun

Inbox by GoogleAS I WATCH people playing with Inbox for Google, I wonder if this clever mail management system might actually make e-mail enjoyable.

I stopped working my email as a centrepiece of my day sometime during 2009 when I realised I didn't have to delete anything. So I merely scan subject headings for intriguing topics, permit certain people to automatically percolate up to a priority level and just let the rest (more than 100,000 others at this point) simply fester in a digital archive. I don't want to make deleting email into a separate duty process so I just ignore more than 90% of the stuff that blows into my tray.

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Browser Activity as Time-Motion Analysis

Social History
Screencap from Google Chrome.

I'VE USED SEVERAL time-tracking methods over the years but think one of the best ways to measure efficiency is to analyse browser activities since most of my paid work happens through browsers. The screenshot snapped during a typical weekday (above) offers telltale signs about my work process.

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Zero to One Pricey on Kindle

I'VE LISTENED TO Peter Thiel, the entrepreneur and venture capitalist, on several occasions. I'm certain the creative multimedia students in our Emerging Trends module will learn as much as I have so we're dissecting Thiel's Zero to One: Notes on Startups as part of an exercise in building for the future.

The Washington Post recorded Thiel sharing familiar stories of the lessons he learned as CEO of PayPal, how to prevent conflict among employees, and why he doesn't think you should live each day as though it's your last. He also reflects on what he calls the "features and bugs" of his personality. It's included in this blog post for your listening pleasure.

Peter Thiel Talks to Washington Post


[Bernie Goldbach teaches creative multimedia in the Limerick Institute of Technology.]

1. Affiliate Link: Peter Thiel on Kindle.

2. Washington Post -- Peter Thiel on What Works at Work, October 10, 2014.

Before Phones Become Social Objects

WE HAVE THREE mobile phones connected to separate phone numbers in our home and watch with great interest how both of our young children use those phones. I suspect their behaviour will change when they become teens.

We share all three of the phones, trying to ensure our youngest respects how easy it is to break a screen if he drops the handset. He's seen two cracked screens in his three years when his parents placed their phones in precarious places. You grow up by experimenting.

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Using @Sway to Recap a Week

BECAUSE I LIKE the stories revealed by selections of photographs, I'm trying the same thing by using Office Sway from Microsoft to share a storyline that originates during the last week of autumn. It's a work in progress that is going slowly because I'm trying to do the complete story using only Lumia phones.

While I edited my Sway, I embedded the work in progress on my blog. I want to see how it appears in various syndicators downstream. I'd like to see the embed updates itself when viewed several days after the unfinished work went public.

Sway is a cloud-based beta product that works well in Safari, Chrome and Internet Explorer. I used the Lumia 1520 as my primary editing tool and sourced the images and YouTube clip from online locations.

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#fitnessmedia New to Microsoft Sway

THE 56 SPORTY students in our degree for Sport and Conditioning have a social media module in which we document pathways to both personal fitness and enhanced personal profiles. We're using Microsoft Sway to complement both of these goals because it reimagines work typically done with Powerpoint. [1]

Our first public Sway started with collections of smartphone images saved in a communal OneDrive space, then emerged after 15 minutes as a simple series of screens at Then it was modified several times by different hands on the keyboard.

On first touch--and after fewer than 30 minutes of an introductory session to Sway's online editing platform--our cohort of coaches, weightlifters and gym bodies think Sway offers a very quick and easy way of sharing moments that precede personal bests. That's the conclusion Brad Sams reaches as well [2] after using this clutter-free, easy to use, and simple WinJS toolset.

The iFrame that renders each Sway is produced may not display in the most predictable ways on some smarphone screens. For that reason, I recommend people tap the little letter S at the top left corner of the Sway and view the content outside of the iFrame. We tested the Sway clip you see above on several handsets and desktops. It rendered best on Mac OS X in our Mac Lab, 30 miles south of the squash courts shown in the above clip.

[Bernie Goldbach teaches creative multimedia in the Limerick Institute of Technology's Clonmel campus.]

1. Microsoft Sway Team -- "Announcing Microsoft Sway", October 1, 2014.

2. Brad Sams -- "Hands-on with Sway" on Neowin, October 24, 2014.

Taking Time to Carve Out Creative Corners

I'M MUCH MORE effective in teaching and learning when I take time to carve out spaces for creative reflection. I've shot a simple video clip that shows an unlikely space that features in my weekly routine.

The Lumia video clip includes several materials that have always played a part gathering and distilling information. My youngest daughter has reinforced one of those objects--a small 28 page Moleskine. Mia likes its miniature dimensions. I do too because it's the most portable note-taker I own. And I can get several months of use out of it without worrying about recharging it. See the clip at

[Bernie Goldbach is the senior pilot creative multimedia lecturer in the Limerick School of Art & Design.]

An Evening At #RealexFireWebs

I SPENT AN EVENING in the Ballsbridge Hotel ballroom with hundreds of others celebrating the Irish Web Awards--our first Irish internet event in six years. The ground has shifted since my wife and I first coded a web page in 1997 just as the event's big screens suggested while rewinding history back to Netscape, Windows 95 and the time frame when Realex Payments was just a flicker of a fire, well before it moved into the realm of a trusted payment system.

Nowadays, awards programmes are more about agencies getting credit for the work they do. When the Irish web was a teenager in the early 21st century, these Irish awards programmes would bring out the coders, the writers and the database designers. Some of those people mingled in the crowd of the rebranded Berkeley Court hotel tonight but you need to go to quiet corners of the lobby (or to other Dublin watering holes) to find those same people today. Tonight's well-run event belonged to the agencies, their clients and connectors.

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Words from tthe battlefield

The Sleepwalkers by Christopher ClarkA CENTURY AGO, when my grandparents were teens, The Great War ravaged the world. As I read about how Europe sleepwalked into that conflict, I can point out some vocabulary words that arose during WWI.

I point out to our children that although millions of men gave their lives on the battlefields of Europe, influenza claimed 50 million more lives in the conflict’s immediate aftermath. Some of those deaths happened in military hospital wards scattered throughout Dublin.

World War I also gave us daylight saving time, triage, chemical weapons, plastic surgery, fascism and yet another war. Man learned more ingenious way to kill and also discovered miraculous ways to save lives.

While reading Christopher Clark's The Sleepwalkers, I simultaneously read Sarah Sloat in the Wall Street Journal as she summaried words that emerged during the conflict to enter the common vernacular.

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