Maybe you are as shocked to see a new post from me here as I am. Maybe not.
It has been a long time since I even considered posting here on this longest running of all my blog attempts. It’s not worth the time to rehash or go back and try to analyze what was going on. It’s best to see my posting this entry as someone walking in the door and calling out “I’m home.” The only salient fact is that I’m back, not how long I was gone or for what reason.
Life has moved on for me, but I am back here and vocal again. For better, I hope, or worse, if need be.
Why am I home again? If I answer that honestly, I’d say it’s because I took a look at WordPress.com again, and I was delighted by the improvements that the Automattic team has made to the interface for writing a blog. Everything is easier to do than it used to be. I can focus on adding the content and what to say, and pretty much whatever I want to do (at least so far) I have been able to do intuitively and with remarkably little effort. I so liked the interface, I decided to use it for this entry.
Today Nancy Scola introduced me to a delightfully quirky character named Carl Malamud in her June 13, 2010 article entitled “Washinton’s IT Guy” in The American Prospect. So impressed was I by her description that I visited Mr. Malamud’s website Public.Resource.Org where I found a link to this video. In this amusing and informative presentation, Mr. Malamud describes his 10 rules for radicals and relates the story of his mission to make “Government Information More Accessible.”
Oh, by the way, in case you are wondering about the title of this post, it comes from Ms. Scola’s article. Here’s the quote:
Malamud, who has made a career of exploring and developing the transformative technology of the latter 20th and early 21st centuries, was eager to convert the job of public printer, which traces its roots to Benjamin Franklin, into an Internet-age publisher. He started a campaign for an appointment under the slogan “Yes We Scan.”
I’ve been using this tool for a number of months now and find it incredibly useful.
While the video describes how to add this tool to Firefox, Safari and Chrome, it is quite possible to add it to Internet Explorer too by just making it a Favorite and storing it in your “Favorites Bar.” It is my experience that you may have to remove some of the pre-installed Favorites that Microsoft, in their infinite wisdom, have determined to put there so that the Readability link will appear when you are reading a page. Also, you must assure that the Favorites Bar is visible at the top of your browser for this tool to be of any use to you.
Fortunately, Arc90 has created a video to illustrate how to install this bookmarklet into Internet Explorer too.
Though I’m sure there’ll be reservations about this development, I can hardly wait for it to be available. Having already connected my HDTV to my computer via HDMI cable, I already appreciate what the bigger, clearer screen means to using the computer. Being able to use the computer to find and watch TV shows with the power of Internet search technology is a far cry from the days when my father would tell my mother to “change the channel” — and she would do it compliantly.
I only hope I live long enough to see it and that it isn’t so expensive that I can’t afford it.
Another digital photography resource that I’ve used for a long time is Digital Photography Review. The various topic specific forums (fora?) on that site are a wonderful way to delve deeply into a subject of interest and profit from the experiences of others. Sites like these two and a multitude of others illustrate how the computer can be a patient educator, in addition to its more common use (for many) as a source of entertainment. As I think Yogi Berra is reported to have said, “You can observe a lot by watching.”
Thanks to my following Garry Margolis on Twitter and his forwarding a link from Jake Dambergs, I am able to share this video of Pranav Mistry’s presentation at TED with you here. Garry says, “My mind is blown!” I can’t help but agree. It is fascinating to see what creative minds can do when they are free to experiment.
The total length of the video is about 14 minutes.
Instead of sending my friends links and suggestions that they watch this kind of content, I’m taking Leo Laporte up on the opportunity to embed his content here on this site. TWIT (This Week in Tech) is frequently interesting and almost always informative. I enjoy watching it even if some of my more tech savvy friends may look down their noses at it.
I have just created a free basic subscription at Vimeo. Running the HD video there through my HDTV is stunningly spectacular. Even it you never upload a video there, it is worth creating an account just to be able to save your favorites from this fount of creativity and beautiful imagery. Here’s one example.
I recommend that you click on the button at the bottom right of the video (with the arrows pointing to the four corners of your screen) to cause it to display in full screen mode. It warrants every pixel you are willing to devote to it.
This video is one of many HD videos available at Vimeo.