Bbworld ’08

My cameras (yeah, two of the three) have lots of pictures. Expect some this weekend. Hopefully they will be paced to last the week rather than an insane dump all at once. Watch my Flickr.

Yet again, I failed to blog at BbWorld. Probably I would had wifi been available in the sessions. Instead, I paid more attention and tookk notes. Hopefully this weekend I’ll compose some thoughts. Certainly, the repercussions of what I have learned this week will occupy my thoughts for months to come as it gets rehashed over and over in meetings. So… No rush.

Also, as a recruiting trip, it has been a dismal failure so far. I do have a couple sessings later today which might yeild something.

Nature Photography Day

June 15th is Nature Photography Day (and Father’s Day).

  • Purple ConeflowerTake your kids and grandkids on a nature trek and give them a single-use camera to use. Then print some of their photos and present them, in a mat or frame, to those young photographers.
  • Pick something in nature that you’ve never photographed before, and then make plans to photograph that subject on June 15.
  • Select a subject in nature that is small or common and thus easily overlooked. Then photograph it in a way to make the ordinary seem extraordinary.
  • Look for and photograph something that detracts from the beauty in nature – images that show how human beings sometimes adversely affect our environment.

Too bad June 14th is Free Day in the Parks for Georgia State Parks.

My photos will be tagged “Nature Photography Day” on Flickr.

(Photo is my Purple Coneflower picture hosted on Flickr.)

Shooting on the Run

Do you have a camera that you take everywhere? My Canon SD800 IS (Elph)

This digital point and click camera does well for every day use. In the winter, it fits in my coat pockets very easily. In the summer, it fits in my cargo or carpenter shorts’ pockets. I have it so often, others expect me to have and are disappointed the few times I fail to have it on my person.

I do have a great backpack for my Canon Rebel XT which also carries my work laptop. For periods, I do use it. Maybe the strap on the other backpack breaking is a sign?

Grandparent-sitting

Mom is off to do important stuff. So I am watching over her mom, my grandmother.

Instructions: 9 pages. Various appointments to help her make. Various medications to give her. Yeah, fun, fun, fun.

Entertainment of Choice: Rummikub

I’m planning on getting her to tell some stories for recording on my camera or iPod.

I didn’t want to call it baby-sitting for obvious reasons.

links for 2007-11-11

Cell Phone Madness

In case you haven’t noticed, I have have a new cell phone. Give me a call if you have my phone number. Actually, if you can find the number, then I’d even more love for you to call. 🙂 If only to congratulate your mad skillz.

Back in December I read online Amazon had fantastic deals on cell phones with purchase of a plan. So I looked. It occurred to me I ought to be at the end of my 2 year agreement. I checked and sure enough I was. However, did I really want a new phone? What features did I want? Maybe I should switch carriers? The iPhone announcement surely didn’t help.

There wasn’t a straw. There wasn’t a deal. It just dawned on me that if I didn’t take the plunge right at that moment, then I probably would still be using the same old phone until I broke it. Maybe I’d even be that guy carrying a phone from 1985. in 15 years (assuming I didn’t break it). I did realize one of my apprehensions was visiting a store. So I looked online a couple times, dithered, and finally, I went with the Samsung SYNC.

New phone, new manufacturer, new menus, new features, new cables, new problems.

Problem 1: I made the move. AT&T’s web site didn’t say what would come in the box. Probably I could have found this out with some research. At the worst, I could have gone to the store. The whole point was to avoid the store. So, I ended up ordering accessories about an hour after getting the phone out of the box. Two of the three arrive today.

Problem 2: Profile timers are “teh win”. I am lazy. A feature I enjoyed of the candybar was the profiles could be set to expire at a specific time. So every morning I could set it to silent and expire after the end of the work day or after a movie.

Problem 3: Put MicroSD card in slot, try to format card, see “Error”. No, really. Just “Error”. What does THAT mean? I thought maybe the capacity of the card was more than the phone could accept. So, I looked on the web. Eventually, I did find that my card is of the right size and made by the right company, so it should work. Then I read that one of the cons of the phone is the springs have difficulty ejecting the card. Maybe they also had trouble in seating it? So I tried reseating it a couple times, eventually choosing to use a point object to push it more than in the slot. Bingo!

All that said, I am more than happy with my new phone.

Awesomeness 1: It feels right in my hand. The buttons are not made for 10 year old kids.

Awesomeness 2: The convenience of a camera in my phone.

Awesomeness 3: The brick contributed to the potentially illegal sagging pants.

Joke: Security Via JavaScript

So, you are a teaching an online class. Students cheating naturally is a concern. How does one prevent them from stealing answers?

  • Code in the online class system? Unfortunately, the makers of the learning management systems lag behind the creativity of cheaters. Plus, they can only control their systems. How do they enforce security in the web browser, desktop / laptop, cell phone, classroom, or any other environment?
  • JavaScript? This is the most laughable solution. I’ve known how to disable JavaScript in browsers I use since 1999. I’ve never met a JS security solution I could not beat by simply turning off JavaScript. With Firefox and the Web Developer toolbar it literally takes two clicks. People like it because its cheap. I guess you get what you pay for in this case.
  • Code in the operating system? Dozens of software applications are designed to prevent cheating by controlling what can be done with the desktop or laptop. Certainly this appears to be the most comprehensive solution. However, it often means students go to a proctored environment. What’s the point of taking a class online if I have to go to a classroom?
  • Cameras? The only solution that deals with the possibility of face-to-face or cell phone type collusions. These operate by the students exhibiting suspicious behavior. Students will have to figure out how to act naturally.

The better the solution, the more expensive and less likely to be purchased. Instead, we’ll use cheesy JavaScripts because students are dumb. They’ll never figure it out. Unless by never you mean with a simple Google search.

Misty from the Demon World



Misty from the Demon World, originally uploaded by sneezypb.

Apparently mom has fluorescent lamps and not Tungsten as I assumed. So the camera setting for adjusting for Tungston light made the shot way too blue. However, I do like the effect.