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Showing posts from March, 2012

Shared Technology Links for March 2012

Here are my Shared Technology Links for March 2012. Please let me know in the comments if you find any of the particularly useful. I'll keep my eye open for similar items -- Douglas HOWTO request your FBI file - Boing Boing Mac-o-Lanterns -- Could be done with any obsolete computer really Uberlife Makes Hanging Out Offline Easier Animated GIFs: The Birth of a Medium SpinCam brings shareable 360-degree photos to iOS Audacity 2.0 audio recording software released Deliver Shares Messages and Files Between Your Macs and iPhones (or Other iDevices) Almost Instantly Samsung's WiFi-laced DV300F camera now available, priced at $200 -- Engadget Eventbrite unveils At The Door Card reader, turns iPads into ticketing terminals -- Engadget Cloak Automatically Secures Your Browsing on Open Wi-Fi Networks, Is About as Hassle-Free as It Gets YouTube wants to make your crummy video slightly less crummy -- Engadget Startup SendHub Lets You Send Mass SMS to Students, Clients Cool Tools: Evernew W launches video channel -- Slashdot TV

The venerable tech and geek discussion site, Slashdot (also seen as /.) has announced it is launching its own video channel, featuring stories and interviews on all things geek. There is a wide variety of videos already available including, "Gamestar Mechanics Teaches Kids to Make Video Games", "The Tesla Model S at the Detroit International Auto Show", and the video linked below, " Timothy Gets a MakerBot Replicator Demo at CES ." I know I will be keeping an eye on this page in the future. One complaint, though. It appears that the site doesn't have an RSS feed. This makes it much more difficult to see when new videos have been added. RSS isn't dead yet, despite what some people say and I still use it for most of my online reading. The video embed codes don't appear to be working yet, either, so I included a link to the video, instead of embedding it here directly.

Highlights from ACLU Digital Privacy Panel Discussion

Back on March 20, 2012, I was invited to participate in an ACLU panel discussion on Digital Privacy at the UCLA School of Law. Below are some highlights from my part of the presentation. My fellow panelists were Heidi Kujawa (Founding Member of Kode Corporation - a company dedicated solely to intellectual property protection) and Nicole A. Ozer (Technology and Civil Liberties Policy Director of the ACLU of Northern California). Despite all the news about privacy breaches, selling of personal data, and GPS tracking, no one is ready to throw away their digital devices This is the present. This is where we live. We are never going back. We need to think about the benefits that all this technology gives us Was it better before the Internet? Hell, no! I lived there, it was not. Mainstream media is reporting on technology stories that, for the most part, they do not understand. We like to think that mainstream media is smarter than we are. We like to think they understand all this technology

Don't rely on mainstream media for your technology news

It may sound a harsh judgement, but I have come to believe that no one should rely on mainstream media sources for their technology news. For the most part, mainstream media is trying to report on stories they simply don't understand. They are looking for sensational exposes and stories that make good headlines, but -- much in the same way they report on science stories -- mainstream media focuses on creating fear surrounding our technology and reporting those stories at a knowledge level that can best be described as elementary. One of the largest problems that mainstream media faces is making technology understandable to the "average" person, whoever that might actually be. Often reporters, editors and producers don't really understand the story. They are simply parroting what they heard from one of their sources. Of course, as in the recent case of Mike Daisey's claims about the Apple-hired Foxconn manufacturer in China, these sources often have an agenda

Technology users need to be more accepting of change

Of all people, technology users -- those who immerse themselves in technology for pleasure, hobby or as a career -- need to be more adaptable to technology change. You would think after years of breakneck develop that most would understand this message, but every day I am confronted with those who seem to miss the point. It distresses me to see otherwise intelligent people complaining about this or that feature that has been changed or added -- or even worse, removed -- from the software or hardware they use. If it can be said of anything, change is a constant when dealing with any technology. Computers change by leaps and bounds. Software moves from feature to feature with changed in the user interface from version to version. Change is going to happen whether you like it or not, so you need to develop a strategy for dealing with it. "If it can be said of anything, change is a constant when dealing with any technology." It is fine to complain about a particular change -- deb

Watch out for your technology freedoms - use the judicial processes already in place

Technology is important to everyone's lives today. It has infiltrated deeply no matter whether you use computers on a daily basis or not. Even the most technologically-discconnected person must deal with systems and software at some point in their day. This importance means that everyone has something to lose when legal safeguards are overridden or ignored. Each day my news reading brings new stories of web sites seized or taken offline without any semblance of judicial review. Web sites seem to exist outside the normal legal process and law enforcement entities like the FBI and Homeland Security are able to remove them with nothing more than the accusation of wrong-doing. While I am fully in support of charging people and companies who are violating the law, I am also a strong supporter of the legal process. We have methods of reviewing legal proceedings that have been developed over hundreds of years. To ignore their application to new technologies is a dangerous precedent in its

Software: Audacity 2.0 Audio Recorder Released

{EAV:16e16eed17411a34} Wow, this is great news. Audacity has long been the goto audio app for Windows-based podcasters and others who wanted a capable audio editing environment. That said, it has had some stability problems over the years and has been slow to update. The crash recovery mode alone is worth the upgrade. You could recover from crashes before but it was a fiddly and time consuming process. I hope this makes it easier. Audacity also carries one big banner feature…it runs on nearly any computer platform including Windows, Mac and Linux. No wonder it has been the audio recorder of choice for so many for so long. Download Audacity form Audacity 2.0 Adds Automatic Crash Recovery, Improved Keyboard Shortcuts, Stability, and Better Effects from Lifehacker by Thorin Klosowski Windows/Mac/Linux: The free, open source sound editing program Audacity has been updated with a few new features. The most notable include improved effects, a ton of new keyboard shortcuts,

Game: Draw Something/Draw Something Free

Everyone needs a little break in their day. I am fond at taking a quick 5 minutes or so to play a game or something between tasks. I think it keeps me fresh and working at my best throughout the day. My latest bit of fun is Draw Something (also available in a free version as Draw Something Free ). This Pictionary-like game is played over the Internet using your iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad or Android tablet. You each takes turns drawing and guessing each others chosen words. Each game provides a mixed bag of letters that make up the word you are drawing so you are given a bit of a hint, just in case the drawing is a little hard to decipher. Since the game is turn-based, you can play it whenever you have a few free moments throughout your day. If you would like to try it out in a round with me, my Draw Something username is douglaswelch .

Elsewhere: Apple launches iTunes section for Retina Display-ready

I only recently (2 days ago) became true owner of a Kindle, so I have been reading books on my iPhone 4. I thought the display was pretty good, but after loading this update I didn't know what I was missing. The iPhone screen is a bit small for reading books, so every possible pixel is useful and it shows. The sharpness seems much greater, which I find the most important quality. A nice update, although you have to wonder why it took them this long to release it. The update also includes some nice changes in how book are organized, downloaded and displayed. Nice touches, all. Apple launches iTunes section for Retina Display-ready iPad apps from AppleInsider In preparation of the upcoming Friday launch of its new iPad, Apple on Thursday put together a list of 24 apps that best utilize the new tablet's high resolution Retina Display. Read the entire article at AppleInsider

Web: virtual "war rooms" to keep your team connected

A "war room" is a term used to denote a centralized location -- a conference room, a tent, a trailer, whatever -- where the organizers of a project can come together and communicate, plan, strategize and share important information about the project. Today, I was introduced to an online version of the concept at . It surprises me that this site has been under the radar, especially with the explosion in use of Google+ Hangouts feature. A war room allows you to have a private environment for all the collaborators associated with a particular project. In each room you will find a get chat, file sharing area, interactive, shared notepad, and integrated, multiuser video chat. If your staff and/or projects are scattered over a wide geographical area, war rooms could be just the tool you need to improve their communication and productivity. Check out and create your own war room to try it out with your collaborators.  

Digital Privacy Panel Discussion - March 20, 2012 - UCLA School of Law

I've been invited to be a part of this panel discussion sponsored by the ACLU of Southern California. Join me, if you can, for a night of delving into digital privacy and what it means for us all. -- Douglas PANEL DISCUSSION ON DIGITAL PRIVACY "Party Like It's 1986" (the last time electronic laws were updated) Date : Tuesday, March 20thTime: 7p Panelists : Douglas Welch (Independent Technology Consultant for New and Social Media Strategies) Heidi Kujawa (Founding Member of Kode Corporation - a company dedicated solely to intellectual property protection) Nicole A. Ozer (Technology and Civil Liberties Policy Director of the ACLU of Northern California) Location : UCLA School of Law (385 Charles E Young Dr. East, Room 1347 Los Angeles, CA 90095) Parking : Lot 2 (attached is a UCLA Campus map) Cost : FREE Also, light hors d'oeuvres and wine will be served, along with a chance to network before and after the panel presentation.

Apple (and other smartphone makers) have a big problem on their hands - carriers

Cell phone carriers and their policies could put smartphone sales on the skids Another day, another story about how a cell phone carrier -- this time AT&T -- has a much different idea about how you should be using your smartphone than the company that made it -- and this could mean big loses for smartphone manufacturers. Share AT&T Clarifies Data Throttling Policy but Still Faces User Backlash 10 hours ago ... When it comes to data throttling, there is no way that U.S. mobile carriers can win the war of public opinion. That go... Readwriteweb Share Unlimited data customer challenges AT&T's throttling in court . . . and ... 6 days ago ... AT&T already has a PR nightmare as more and more of its unlimited data customers find their access throttled after j... Chron Part of the absurdity, in part, comes from AT&T's definition of the word "unlimited". For AT&T, and other cell carriers, unlimited means exactly the opposite of what you think it means.