Category Archives: Righteous Indignation

Wanted: Friends; Requirements: Be Friendly

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After my last post asking for a way to contact you, I thought about what friendship is.  Recently my friends have been moving away, and I’m left looking to add to my core set of friends.  It got me thinking about what I want in a friendship.

To be honest, there isn’t a checklist to be my friend, but rather a mantra:  ’Just Be Friendly!”  All I want is someone who understands what friendship is, and acts friendly.  If someone calls, return their calls in a timely matter.  If they ask for your opinion, give it to them.  If they want to hang out, hang out with them.  I understand we are all busy, or have other obligations, but a good friend will explain to them, rather than hide behind the dreaded “I’m busy.”

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Give Me a Way to Contact You: A Rant

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The image says it all, albeit in the exact opposite context that I want.  There are eight ways I can contact you, but you choose to ignore all of them.

I’m upset that all these ways of contacting someone, leads to another full, or ignored inbox that still doesn’t get a response.

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A Rant About Sharing Circles

I love Google+, but I’m sure you know that already.  However it does have its issues, just like any other social network.  In trying to find people to communicate with the issue of sharing circles has really bothered me.  The only other idea like sharing circles that I can think of is #FollowFriday and Retweeting or Share.  But if you want to find a group of people, Google created a share circle feature.  The technical implementation is very good, but the problem is the human element.

So in trying to be more friendly, I’ve accepted circles on topics I am interested in, such as Android people, Nexus people, and fitness people but each time I am disappointed.

It seems like people are just aggregating people to put in their list.  Does that 500 person circle really have 500 people who are passionate about Android?

Here are the people I see:
30 – 50 active people who I’m thankful for finding.
30 – 50 people who don’t post EVER in my language
20 – 30 Pages (not people)
250 people who have posted once.
100 people who posted once about said topic, and then have never posted about said topic ever again.

What I end up doing is putting them in a “test folder” then moving them away into proper circles.  Generally, I look at someone’s profile after they have circled me back, and make my decision.  Unpopular as it is, but I want people with my interests.  I also want people who have spent the time to follow me back.

Since I’ve accepted circles, most of them I have just deleted because they are filled with too much dead weight.  I want the people who comment, engage, and are a positive asset to the community.  I sure hope that I am setting the engagement example.

All I ask is that if you post a circle, please curate it so all of us get the best people to follow.

</rant>

A Teacher’s Take on iBooks 2.0

Warning: Long article is long.

Ever since the announcement of iBooks 2.0 I was livid on how people thinks that apple is causing the paradigm shift in education.  Maybe what was getting to me more, is how people know so little about the process of learning, and how to teach.  Since they are a luddite when it comes to technology, they (people, parents, educators) see that any technology brought into the classroom is beneficial (believe me, it isn’t).

Let’s start off with the idea of “what is teaching?”  Let’s follow that up with “what does it mean to teach kindergarten vs elementary school vs high school vs college?”  When you really think about it, the definition changes, based on age, but the purpose stays the same.  You are some expert in a field where you have to impart knowledge to the people who pay money (albeit tax dollars) to hear what you have to say.  The way you do it makes you valuable.  If you can socialize it, then you take the greatness out, and reduce it to an algorithm.  Reducing it to certain characteristics or methods, isn’t inherently bad (just like socialism), but who becomes that writer of the “best education has to offer?”

Remember the teacher teachers, nothing else.  A good teacher can teach without a book (I’ve done that enough times).  A book, a computer, calculators, projectors, ipads, etc… are just teaching tools.  If they were better than the teacher, than teachers would have been replaced with a book.  The fact is, if students could just read a book, then schools would be obsolete.  I teach computer programming.  A course that is inherently a holding tank requiring you to practice.  Do you think I can do a better job than any O’Reilly book.  The reason I have a job is because you need someone to explain and force you to produce.  I teach comprehension and adaptability more than anything else.  A teenager won’t bother to read the drivers test manual, then complain that they failed it.  The most important test in a teenager’s life (to them) and they can’t pass it.  All they have to do is read the manual.

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A Rant Against ‘Podcast Creep’

**As a point of reference, podcast is a trademarked/copywritten term by apple, so I should use netcast, or prerecorded audio/video show, but I’m using the colloquially accepted version of podcast**

Podcasts was one of the greatest advances in content in the last few years.  It gave people more than the very few syndicated options on the radio.  Couple that with iTunes, RSS, and podcast catchers, you have yet another way to curate content exactly to what you want to listen to.    It also gave people who couldn’t break into the the radio/tv industry an outlet to ‘do it their way.’  While podcasts really don’t have the market penetration one would like, the marketing and viable business opportunities are there.  The production costs are so low, that it takes much less audience to turn a significant product.  This all sounds so good, so why am I mad, (because I need a reason to complain).

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Please Sell Me Something…Please

Sales people have one goal.  To sell you something.  In two separate instances today, the sales person have failed to convey a single morsel of knowledge.  In fact, I felt, that the salesperson has given more information by trying to look smart rather than taking a ‘mea culpa’ and say they don’t know.  I figure that sales people sell to the knowledgable consumer, that understands the basics, but needs that last 10% of explanation to sell them.

When I buy something, I know all the pertinent information.  I know all the features.  I know all the controversies.  When I ask a question, I’m not asking because I’m too lazy to look, but rather, I can’t find the answer.  I get that I’m not the normal consumer, but I should not be the only one who is asking this question.

Here are my two stories:

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Problems with Useless Censorship

As a school teacher I am very conservative, I have to be.  As a private citizen I am very open to ideas.  That makes me think hard about various things such as lyrics in songs.  What gets to me is the method of censorship.  Mainly useless censorship.  We censor the wrong things for the wrong reasons.

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The Bang Head Against Wall Attempt at Borrowing Ebooks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ebooks have now surpassed Hardcovers in sales:  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/20/technology/20kindle.html

Back in September I had to make a decision on whether I should buy a Kindle, Nook, or Sony.  There were the standard checkbox features, which were consistent across the board, but there were some stand out features.  Kindle had the document management and sending features, Nook had the lend and borrow features (and the nook color just came out), and sony was just expensive.

With all things being equal the lending features became the hot topic.  I wanted that feature, especially when publishers were being greedy and increasing the price of ebooks.

I obviously went for the kindle, mainly because I trusted Amazon more than Sony or Barnes and Nobel.  That isn’t the point, however the lend and borrow features have been gimped beyond its usefulness. Continue reading

Economics of Ebook Prices

A Background story first:

Until July 2010, I never read books.  Something had to be so compelling that I had no choice but to read it.  That isn’t to say that I’m uninformed, but as the 1% goes, I didn’t want to waste my time.  I would read blog sites and news aggregators almost exclusively.  All of a sudden I went on a cruise, and was disconnected from everything except my mothers sony ereader.  I put things I knew I would like, such as Harry Potter books 6 & 7 and Malcolm Gladwell’s writings.  I came back and didn’t want to put the ereader down.  I put my smart phone down and was reading more and more.  I decided I should buy a kindle. Continue reading