TED Talk: Taryn Simon

My favorite quote from Taryn is, “Photography threatens fantasy.” Disney uses intricate interior design, photography, and video to construct fantasy. Advertisements, magazines, weddings, and portraits are about showing others the ideal instead of the reality. Have you seen the Dove Evolution video? (This one has music and singing by a Baha’i musician Devon Gundry.) What about… Continue reading TED Talk: Taryn Simon

Useful User Agents

Rather than depend on end users to accurately report the browser used, I look for the user-agent in the web server logs. (Yes, I know it can be spoofed. Power users would be trying different things to resolve their own issues not coming to us.) Followers of this blog may recall I changed the Weblogic… Continue reading Useful User Agents

Name Collisions

Blackboard has a conference they call BbWorld. I noticed there are some odd tweets with the same #bbworld hashtag lately. These appear to be about a Blackberry conference to be held next month. Collisions on names are common enough. For example, here are a couple names our clients use to brand their sites which other… Continue reading Name Collisions

Weblogic Diagnostics

I noticed one the nodes in a development cluster was down. So I started it again. The second start failed, so I ended up looking at logs to figure out why. The error in the WebCTServer.000000000.log said: weblogic.diagnostics.lifecycle.DiagnosticComponentLifecycleException: weblogic.store.PersistentStoreException: java.io.IOException: [Store:280036]Missing the file store file “WLS_DIAGNOSTICS000001.DAT” in the directory “$VISTAHOME/./servers/$NODENAME/data/store/diagnostics” So I looked to see… Continue reading Weblogic Diagnostics

Turnitin.com

I’m surprised I have not blogged here about the student lawsuit against Turnitin.com? An anti-plagiarism service, Turnitin has students or faculty members upload papers into the database. By comparing new papers to the database, it gives ratings as to whether it is likely a student plagiarized. Now the search goes out for any student who… Continue reading Turnitin.com

TED Talk: Dangers of Serotonin

He’s associated damage to the temporal lobe with psychopathic killers. The epigenetic effects, brain damage, and environments appears to be an MAOA variant on the X chromosome with experiencing violence around 3 years old. Males only get the X from their mother. Men are much more likely. Girls get one X from mother and one from… Continue reading TED Talk: Dangers of Serotonin

BBworld From Afar

Staying true to tradition, Blackboard found a great speaker, Seth Godin, with a positive message. Notes people took… Scott Kodai Paty Savage Peggy Collins Laura Gekeler Scott found the best point, I think. Compliance doesn’t work to create value. Compliant work will always go to the lowest bidder. We can always find someone cheaper to… Continue reading BBworld From Afar

Stalking Students

On the BLKBRD-L email list is a discussion about proving students are cheating. Any time the topic comes up, someone says a human in a room is the only way to be sure. Naturally, someone else responds with the latest and greatest technology to detect cheating. In this case, Acxiom offers identity verification: By matching… Continue reading Stalking Students

Voting Rights Act

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 protects people from malicious actions by state and local governments to prevent people from voting. Yes, we have a president of African-American descent. Yes, the United States Supreme Court took no action. However, the majority opinion statement that, “We are a very different nation,” suggests it could be repealed.… Continue reading Voting Rights Act