Cool interactive map of where people are moving to and from on a county and city basis. Check out your county at Forbes
As an electric bike enthusiast AND a VW lover, this new VW electric bike that folds up into your trunk on top of your spare tire is just too cool for words!
From Jordan Matter Photography, a gallery of Paul Taylor and Martha Graham dancers amongst daily life in NY. It's really worth viewing.
Each dot you add makes a new tonal pattern, and the tool repeats it. Very fun to play with! There is also a guitar simulator. Play here!
When Roz Chast can't sleep, she doesn't count sheep. She picks a subject and tries to find the ABC's for it. She takes on bodily woes in this cartoon. Extra points if you can define Jake Leg off the top of your head without using any search tools!
12 inches yesterday and last night!
Where are my scissors?
I have decided I like curling - it seems like the ice version of lawn bowling, which is something I do whenever I visit Seattle. I have friends there who go every Sunday, have a potluck breakfast, and then we all put on large hats and summery white clothes, and have a great time messing up every ball we throw.
Curling seems like the perfect winter alternative, but I have nothing in my wardrobe to match what the Norwegians wore. Now you can buy the same pants! NPR has the links!
Bloom Energy is developing a power box for the home too, a development that could fundamentally change the way home users buy energy, if (again) the Bloom box is the real deal.
More here! I hope it is not pie in the sky...... sigh.
We used to call this technique "poking around at it" when I worked in a doc team. After the half hour was up and I would go ask, the first question would be "Did you poke around at it?" Of course, advanced poking around included "what did you install last, and when did you install it?" and other such questions.
But this flowchart was in an article about the iPad, and how it may change computing. Because it would stop this kind of trouble. You use an app that does what it does, and if you are trying to get that done, well, then it is done. No more poking around.
This is the only one with drawers, unfortunately. How do people live without drawers? For more minimalist design, here you go.
My desk is actually two small dining room tables, trimmed down in height to fit my size, and with two rolling file cabinet/drawer units that slide underneath. I need drawers! And access to my files!
A drawing from the Guardian's mockup of their iPhone app development
Martin Belam: Starting a blog post with a definition of the topic to be discussed makes me feel rather like the captain of a school debating society. However, I've struggled to find a better introduction to the question of "What is information architecture?" than the definition provided by the Information Architecture Institute.
We define information architecture as the art and science of organizing and labeling websites, intranets, online communities and software to support usability.
Or as someone once put it to me: "You just draw boxes, don't you?".
The best introduction to numbers I’ve ever seen — the clearest and funniest explanation of what they are and why we need them — appears in a “Sesame Street” video called “123 Count With Me.” Humphrey, an amiable but dim-witted fellow with pink fur and a green nose, is working the lunch shift at The Furry Arms hotel, when he takes a call from a room full of penguins. Humphrey listens carefully and then calls out their order to the kitchen: “Fish, fish, fish, fish, fish, fish.” This prompts Ernie to enlighten him about the virtues of the number six.
Children learn from this that numbers are wonderful shortcuts. Instead of saying the word “fish” exactly as many times as there are penguins, Humphrey could use the more powerful concept of “six.”
Lord of the Flies by William Golding Perhaps the most famous pair of glasses in literature belongs to Piggy in Golding's novel. They are used as "burning glasses" to start a fire (physically impossible as Piggy is short-sighted). Then nasty Jack breaks one of the lenses. Later the specs are stolen, leaving Piggy almost sightless as a prelude to his murder.
More, and I won't tell you why, so you have to go read it ...
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
The Oxford Reading Tree
"The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez"
The Great Gatsby
The magic of this film, though, happens as the inky black expands. Pulling farther and farther from Earth, you see the deep blue of the Pacific give way to night as the Sun comes into focus, the orbits of the solar system shrink smaller and smaller, the constellations Sagittarius and Scorpio stretch and distort, and, as the Milky Way receeds, the spidery structure of millions of other galaxies come into view. Then, you reach the limit of the observable universe, the afterglow of the Big Bang. This light has taken more than 13.7 billion years to reach our planet, and you return, back to Earth, to two lakes that are nestled between Mount Kailash and Mount Gurla Mandhata in the Himalayas.
I bought my EZee Sprint bike about 4 years ago - it's a bike with an electric motor and battery, and a throttle. Vroom vroom! When you hit a hill, turn on the throttle, work a bit, switch to a lower gear, and don't kill yourself. Downhill, turn off the throttle and just go with it. On the flat lands, work a bit, and then when you want a rest, throttle up and zoom past the people you are with!
So now, everybody's looking at electric bikes:
TECHNOLOGY has eliminated many of life’s milder physical demands, like getting off the couch to change the channel, or going to the store to buy a book.
The latest exertion to be conquered: biking uphill.
Electric bicycles — a regular pedal-driven bike with a motor for steeper slopes and an optional extra boost — is an idea that has been around for more than a century. But while e-bikes have caught on in certain parts of the world, particularly China, where tens of millions are sold each year, they have never quite captured the imagination of auto-obsessed Americans.
That may be about to change. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this month, Sanyo, the Japanese electronics maker and a major producer of car batteries, showed off a sleek, lightweight e-bike called the Eneloop Hybrid Bicycle.
Go browse the list at the Wall Street Journal
Check it out here.... Have your finger ready for the pause button, because there's a lot of data.
So what really scares me? It’s the rise of fast food content that will surely, over time, destroy the mom and pop operations that hand craft their content today. It’s the rise of cheap, disposable content on a mass scale, force fed to us by the portals and search engines.
On one end you have AOL and their Toyota Strategy of building thousand of niche content sites via the work of cast-offs from old media. That leads to a whole lot of really, really crappy content being highlighted right on the massive AOL home page. This article, for example, is just horrendous. One of AOL’s own blogs trashes the company’s spinoff, rambles for miles without any real point, and adds a huge factual error to top things off (”the company is losing money”). Hiring a bunch of people who couldn’t keep their old media jobs and don’t have the stomach to go out on their own and then slapping little or no editorial oversight onto these masses of sub-par journalists leads to an inevitable conclusion – cheap, crappy content. And that crappy content is given a massive audience on the AOL portal.
On the other end you have Demand Media and companies like it. See Wired’s “Demand Media and the Fast, Disposable, and Profitable as Hell Media Model.” The company is paying bottom dollar to create “4,000 videos and articles” a day, based only on what’s hot on search engines. They push SEO juice to this content, which is made as quickly and cheaply as possible, and pray for traffic. It works like a charm, apparently.
These models create a race to the bottom situation, where anyone who spend time and effort on their content is pushed out of business.
We’re not there yet, but I see it coming. And just as old media is complaining about us, look for us to start complaining about the new jerks.
My advice to readers is just this – get ready for it, because you’ll be reading McDonalds five times a day in the near future. My advice to content creators is more subtle. Figure out an even more disruptive way to win, or die. Or just give up on making money doing what you do. If you write for passion, not dollars, you’ll still have fun. Even if everything you write is immediately ripped off without attribution, and the search engines don’t give you the attention they used to. You may have to continue your hobby in the evening and get a real job, of course. But everyone has to face reality sometimes.
Forget fair and unfair, right and wrong. This is simply happening. The disruptors are getting disrupted, and everyone has to adapt to it or face the consequences. Hand crafted content is dead. Long live fast food content, it’s here to stay.
Whew. I thought my office was bad. But it now seems sane and serene.
More insanity at http://thereifixedit.com/
(CNN) -- Fifty years ago, Jay Ward's animated moose and squirrel duo, "Rocky & Bullwinkle," debuted on ABC, forever changing the way the world looked at animated television.
His daughter, Tiffany Ward, continues her father's legacy as executive producer of the feature films "The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle, "Dudley Do-Right" and "George of the Jungle," and Cartoon Network's (sister channel to CNN) new "George of the Jungle" animated TV series.
"My dad was a true eccentric," Ward said. "His studio was a wonderland for me. It had a soda fountain, ice cream sundaes, a snow cone machine, a popcorn maker and candy bars everywhere."
More here... including attempts to gain statehood for Moosesylvania...
t's on Amazon, and it is the listing for a laptop desk that attaches to the steering wheel of your car.
But then, check out the customer-supplied images below the listing's picture. Priceless! Direct link:
And what are the lessons to be learned from this experience? Here are five:
1. Some people are going to come to you with tough jobs. How you respond to their inquiries says a lot about you and your work. Are you going to be like Michael, who relished the challenge and motivated his crew to step up to it? Or are you going to be like the Plumber of Doom and see problems all around you?
2. Be enthusiastic about what you do, even the unpleasant parts of it. It may not involve digging ditches in 100-degree heat, but you’re going to have to go through some tough stuff to get to the end result.
3. Don’t give your clients too much homework. Take care of things for them. You’ll become known as the guy (or gal) who gets stuff done.
4. Don’t be afraid to show off your work. And, yes, you can even show off a ditch if it’s well done.
5. I’m writing this from the United States, where there is a tendency to look down on people in the trades. Don’t do this. Tradespeople take great pride in their work. Take some time to learn what they do, especially the experts. You’ll be helping to bridge a divide that has existed for too long in our society.
“The words we suggest,” says senior editor Steven Kleinedler, “are not meant to be exhaustive but are a benchmark against which graduates and their parents can measure themselves. If you are able to use these words correctly, you are likely to have a superior command of the language.”
The following is the entire list of 100 words Every High School Graduate Should Know:
Okay, you have to go to the website for the full list. But I love that "feckless" and "moiety" made the list, and I am happy to see "taxonomy" on it!
Find out how bad Mad Men has been doing with historically-accurate fonts.... in the NYT
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA CRUZ
Grateful Dead Archivist
The University Library of the University of California, Santa Cruz, seeks an enterprising, creative, and service-oriented archivist to join the staff of Special Collections & Archives (SC&A) as Archivist for the Grateful Dead Archive. This is a potential career status position. The Archivist will be part of a dynamic, collegial, and highly motivated department dedicated to building, preserving, promoting, and providing maximum access both physically and virtually to one of the Library's most exciting and unique collections, The Grateful Dead Archive (GDA). The UCSC University Library utilizes innovative approaches to allow the discovery, use, management, and sharing of information in support of research, teaching, and learning.
Under the general direction of the Head of Special Collections and Archives, the GDA Archivist will provide managerial and curatorial oversight of the Grateful Dead Archive, plan for and oversee the physical and digital processing of Archives related material, and promote the GDA to the public and facilitate its use by scholars, fans, and students.
• Master's degree from an ALA-accredited program or equivalent accredited graduate archives management program. -- Okay, have that!
• Significant, demonstrated experience working with books, manuscripts, photographs, recordings, or other material in a special collections & archives environment. -- okay, it was 25 years ago, does that count?
• Knowledge of the access tools for special collections and archival material and the standards and procedures for their preservation and conservation. -- I am so out of date....
• Demonstrated experience developing processing plans and creating finding aids in accordance with national standards. -- oh hey, finding aids! Tons of experience!
• Knowledge of and ability to maintain awareness of developments in archival processing, digital information technologies, and their uses in special collections and archives. -- seriously out of date
• Expert knowledge in the history and scholarship of contemporary popular music, or American vernacular culture, preferably the history and influence of the Grateful Dead. -- I think I have this nailed. I even know where the name came from
• Excellent analytical, organizational, and time management skills. -- Ditto
• Demonstrated oral, written and interpersonal communication skills sufficient to promote and present the archive to multiple audiences. -- I hope this doesn't include singing every verse of the songs - I tend to forget words here and there.
• Prior experience directing the work of others. -- I hate this part, but have done it.
STRONGLY PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS:
• Demonstrated experience working in public services in an academic environment. -- I did this in 1978, I think that's a bit dated
• Demonstrated experience working on outreach and other donor related activities. -- Uh, does doing the Navajo Nation Library Annual Mutton Stew and Fry Bread event during the Arts and Crafts Fair in Window Rock count? It was an annual event, and I had to get all the flour, mutton and lard donated. We served up Navajo Tacos for two bucks apiece and mutton stew w/frybread for $3, all for the library. Do you think that would work?
Professional librarians at UC are academic appointees. They are entitled to appropriate professional leave, two days per month of vacation leave, one day per month of sick leave, and a generous benefit program including an excellent retirement system. The University sponsors a variety of group health, dental, vision, and life insurance plans. Relocation assistance is provided.
RANK: Associate Librarian or Librarian
SALARY: Appointment Range: Associate Librarian III – Librarian I, with an approximate salary range of $52,860 – $68,892, commensurate with qualifications and experience.
Should I write the cover letter and post it here? Just think, I could tell them about my VW van that is named "Uncle John's Van." Maybe I could even wear old t shirts to work, and tie dye?
Feds plan heap of random audits in early 2010
November 5, 2009 by Jared Bilski
Beginning in February, 6,000 random (unlucky) companies will start getting the IRS version of Happy New Year’s wishes: a notice they’re going to be audited over employment taxes.
While agents will be looking for an array of violations, they’re really targeting Form 1099 independent contractors who should be classified as regular employees.
And firms who are caught violating this are likely to receive hefty back tax bills and sizable fines.
IRS agents are also hoping to sniff out tax rule violations for exec pay and fringe benefits.
The random nature of these audits includes all companies — regular C corporations, S corps, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), etc. — across all industry types.
According to the IRS’s chief of employment tax operations in the Small Business/Self-Employed Division, John Tuzynski, the audits will be conducted based on Form 941 and then they will work backward.
In addition to sterling documentation, doing an internal audit in the targeted areas may help ensure A/P and Payroll are thoroughly prepared should the IRS come knocking.
AND, another article on Fedex, and their slim survival of an IRS audit for contractor/true employee status:
Making matters even more complicated, even as the IRS let FedEx off the hook, the agency said it is taking a closer look at other companies that use contractors. The IRS announced that, starting in February, it will undertake extensive audits of 6,000 yet-to-be-named companies, in part to review employee classification. Meanwhile, lawmakers in several states—including New York, Maryland, Washington, Colorado, and Minnesota—have recently passed laws tightening rules over contract workers in an attempt to protect individuals and keep tax money flowing to state coffers.
MORE CONTRACTORS AHEAD
The legal definition of a worker turns on how much control a company has over the person: The more control, the more likely the individual will be considered an employee rather than a contractor. Littler Mendelson, a large law firm that represents employers, predicts that half of all Americans who are rehired after being laid off in the current downturn will return as "contingent" workers, such as contractors or temps.
Studies show contractors cost up to 30% less than payroll employees, mainly because they have to pay for their own benefits and employment taxes. They also aren't covered by most workplace laws, such as those related to discrimination and medical leave.
I love marsupials!
When you look around the room at a tech or social media conference what do you see? Are the panels filled with a diverse group of tech and social media experts? Chances are they are probably filled with white men. So why is that a bad thing, when after all, the tech sector is comprised of about 75% men and 25% women? It’s a problem because when we design technology and social media platforms we design it for all. Women make up approximately 50% of computer and social media users. By not filling panels with diverse speakers, we tend to give conference attendees only male perspectives on tech and social media, when in reality our consumers and users are men, women, people of color, etc.
The lack of women represented at tech conferences has been discussed and debated for years, though it has not been a hot button issue publically as it has been privately until now (Women Snubbed in Top Ten Speakers List, Diversifying Speakers at Tech and Social Media Conferences, At the Ideas Conference, Women Don't Have Any).
This is a question I have been asking for a long time. I ask it when Wired comes out with its issues of the "top 100 important people." When Time or Newsweek does the same.
Indexers seem to be much more gender-balanced at presentations and conferences, but what do you think the proportions of male to female indexers over all are in our field? My impression is that this is a heavily female field, and that many of the males lean towards the technical end, but that's just my impression.
Vista, I have to tell you something, and I thought it would be easier to say in a letter. Microsoft's newest operating system is on its way; Windows 7 will be here on October 22. So, I know this is kind of awkward, Vista, but I'm going to have to ask you to get your things ready and start packing up.
Look, I know you'll miss your old hard drive, but this kind of thing happens all the time. I hope you aren't crying. Don't you remember your cousin? Windows ME? He had a tough career too, and now he's got his own Wikipedia page. Retirement is going to look good on you too, Vista. And, remember, Microsoft will be giving you product support for a few more years anyway.
More from Ian Paul. I remember Microsoft Bob, and I even have a notepad with old Bob on it. We have been using it to keep Scrabble scores for a long time.
If you rabidly focus on work, in the long run, you'll be unhappy. Ran Kivetz, a professor of business at Columbia University, recently conducted a series of experiments that identified a paradox in our behavior: Doing the "right" thing—putting our responsibilities ahead of momentary pleasures—often leaves us unhappy down the road. When we skip a vacation to work overtime or pass up that awesome vintage Porsche for a used minivan—sure, we pat ourselves on the back for a week or two. But as the years go by, we invariably regret our monkishness and wish we'd enjoyed ourselves more.
The word for this is hyperopia: an excess of farsightedness. In a 2006 study, Kivetz asked respondents to think about a moment from the previous week when they had to choose between work and pleasure; then he asked them to rate how much they regretted their decision. The amount that people regretted either working or relaxing was pretty much equal. But then he asked a second group to think about a similar moment from five years earlier. This time, people's regret over working was more than double the regret over playing.
Car-Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, soft
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Beat in egg, followed by flour mixture and chocolate chips.
Place dough on a large sheet of wax paper and roll into a log approximately 11-inches long by 2.5-inches wide. Freeze for 2-3 hours, or overnight.
When ready to bake, park your car in the sun on a 100F+ day. Slice cookies into 1/4-inch thick slices and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Place baking sheet on car dashboard (with protective towel underneath) and bake for 2 1/2-3 hours, until done.
If you have a big dashboard (or a friend with another car), you can do two batches at once, otherwise you can save half of the dough for another day.
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.
abuzz the past few weeks with chatter about
Microsoft’s announcement today at its Worldwide
Partner Conference in New Orleans about the new
version of Microsoft
Office 2010. There’s even a
mini-movie about its debut. Facing potential
challenges from Google’s browser-based Apps
products and its new
Chrome OS, Microsoft has been touting its
three screens strategy, which is the ability for
products to synchronize across the phone, browser,
and desktop, for some time now.
With the release of Office 2010, SharePoint Server 2010 and Visio 2010, we finally see the implementation of Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie’s mantra. We had the opportunity to see an in-depth demo of the new suite of products from Microsoft’s Group Product Manager for Office 2010, Chris Bryant. Here’s a complete breakdown of all the functionality that has been added...:
To The Browser
Most certainly a direct response to Google Apps, Microsoft is rolling out lightweight, FREE, Web browser versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote. All based in the cloud, the web-based versions of these products have fewer features than their desktop cousins but still give users basic tools to edit and change documents.
Worth listening to here.
Oh dear, good thing I don't work for a company. Here's more of their great ideas, with Larry Dignan's highlighting in italics:
The general theme of Challenger’s advice isn’t to actually work, but to look like you’re working. That’s productive. Here’s Challenger’s advice with my comments in italics:
- Arrange with your hotel to have a fax machine installed in your room. Chain hotels favored by business guests already have done so. Yes, your boss will be damn impressed that you have a fax machine in your room—especially since he hasn’t used one since 1995.
- While most of the large hotels now offer Internet connections (some free, some for a fee), some of the smaller hotels and motels favored by budget-conscious travelers may not. Prior to leaving, visit websites that can help you locate Wi-Fi hotspots near your hotel. Translation: Spend your vacation in Starbucks.
- If traveling internationally, check with the hotel or car rental agency about leasing a cell phone capable of receiving/making international calls. Or call your carrier for a global card.
- Do not change your voicemail to say you are on vacation and unavailable. Customers may respond by seeking out a new source where someone is available. Many newer phone systems allow you to forward calls to a cell phone. Yeah, that would be great for me. PR calls at the beach woo hoo!
- If you don’t have call forwarding, check voicemails throughout the day and respond personally. Damn, I’m screwed. I don’t do this when I’m working.
- Check e-mails regularly and respond or arrange for someone at the office to respond. This is just in case one of those 1,000 emails a day are worth anything.
- Provide cell phone number, hotel phone number and/or e-mail to your supervisor so they can reach you. That way it’s easier to find you amid layoffs.
- Make sure your laptop or smartphone is set up to retrieve your emails on the road. Probably doesn’t apply to our audience.
- During the workweek, check in with your supervisor and/or a colleague in your department at least twice a day (once in the morning and once in the afternoon). The goal: Be as annoying on vacation as you are during the workweek!
- Make sure you have synched up your PDA so that your calendar, Rolodex, e-mail history, and to-do list are current. And we’re trying a vacation why exactly?
- Make sure to bring the various chargers and A/C adaptors for your cell phone and laptop. The only sane advice here. This applies to all travel.
Just shoot me.
I adopted little "ten-cent store"... Which one will you adopt?
I spent yesterday getting tomatoes and basil and beans put in and generally pothering in the garden. Since we have a serious deer, rabbit, gopher, squirrel and chipmunk problem here (and the squirrels and chipmunks climb the walls of the house and eat stuff on the upper balcony!) we made a pest proof enclosure for the vegetables. Everyone is now settled in, and of course, we had a storm late yesterday that brought the temps down to 55 degrees. Great, for their first night out. Everyone seems to have survived, though.
The rest of the garden has to be rabbit-proof plants. You will notice, though, that all the pansies have been pruned by nibbling teeth, even the ones high up on the wall.
Whether you are looking out for your small business or personal computing needs, the open source community delivers robust applications that are completely free. Not only can you typically use these applications on Linux, the open source operating system, but many are also available to run on Windows and Mac OS X. Using these software programs can save you loads of money. You'll soon be on your way to a free and open computing experience.
In other words, we’ve officially become “app-noxious.”...
Oh dear, have I become like these people?
“My girlfriend has like eight (screen) pages of apps at this point,” says Clark Manning, a 34-year-old architect from Brooklyn who lists "Pocket Guitar," as well as a mustache app and apps for yoga, Spanish, a light saber and a decibel level meter among her many applications.
“Her iPhone is the last thing that touches her hand before bed and it’s the first thing there in the morning. When the app store first opened, I didn’t talk to her for two weeks without the iPhone between us.”
Manning says he thinks part of the allure is that as a graphic designer, his girlfriend is “enamored with all things Mac.” But he’s starting to think of her downloads as a bit, well, app-hazard.
“She’s got an app that estimates the size of something based on a credit card,” he says. (It’s called “No Ruler.”) “She’s like, ‘This is so cool, it’s like eight credit cards long.’ I’m like, why don’t you just get a tape measure and measure it? It’s this fascination with the technology without thinking, ‘Is this really helping me?’ ”
And why? Well, that's more complex. It can be a terrific time waster. Or it can be a way to develop relationships. Only you can say if it is worth the time to you. But, what if editors and publishers were on there (which they are) and you could read about their thoughts? I have yet to see one announce a nice new book ready for an indexer, but it is one way into communication that is easier than cold calling.
Watching people interact with this helpless robot gives me hope for the world.
The Cult of Done Manifesto
* There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
* Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
* There is no editing stage.
* Pretending you know what you're doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you're doing even if you don't and do it.
* Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
* The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
* Once you're done you can throw it away.
* Laugh at perfection. It's boring and keeps you from being done.
* People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
* Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
* Destruction is a variant of done.
* If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
* Done is the engine of more.
I just present this here for fun - I don't think I'm a member. For one thing, there is always an editing stage for me...
But if it appeals to you, there's supposedly a facebook group.
I'm actively blogging at Indexers Network, but I will try to post duplicate entries here on indexing topics.