Tuesday, July 31, 2007


What's really got me excited…
While Sumocat's (http://www.sumocat.blogspot.com/) Build 52v.2 (http://www.markandtanya.us/scribbles/Build52v2.html) has got me
excited about blogging (only those who have
plunged into the depths of ink can understand
the euphoria I'm feeling writing in my own
handwriting and knowing it is going to be
published as such with hyperlinks on the
web), I am really excited and overwhelmed
with anticipation at the advent of
two revolutionary technologies. The first
one is Livescribe (http://www.livescribe.com/index.html), a smart-pen from the
Guy who invented the leapfrog learning tool
for children. Livescribe (http://video.allthingsd.com/?bcpid=716692140&bclid=909803988&bctid=932887791) sounds absolutely
crucial. Basically, with the pen and special
digitized paper you will be able to write as you
normally would with pen and paper, but your Notes
would be transferable to a computer. That's
nothing new the Logitech Io (http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/mice_pointers/digital_pen/devices/408&cl=us,en)can do that, but
this pen has a mic and a special camera that
captures and coordinates sound recording with
your handwriting. So, if I am taking notes I
can record my voice or the voice of a lecturer,
professor and go back later and tap the text
and it will play back exactly what was being
said when I wrote that particular word. Isn't
that awesome?" This gadget would be a must
have for any college student. I gotta have one.
The second technology I'm feeling and
can't wait to get my hands on is Inkseine (http://research.microsoft.com/users/kenh/).
Inkseine (http://www.patrickbaudisch.com/projects/inkseine/index.html) is a new inking application for
tablet pc's from Microsoft. It looks like it will
substantially enhance the inking experience
across the gamut of tablet pc note taking
and inking applications. Watch videos of Livescribe (http://www.livescribe.com/sneakpeek/index.html) and Inkseine (http://research.microsoft.com/users/kenh/papers/InkSeine-release.wmv)

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What's the Big Idea?
I subscribe to the podcast of the American Public Media produced program called Word for Word (http://wordforword.publicradio.org/). They produce the show every Friday, and I anxiously anticipate the new episode's release every Friday. The last few Friday's they have been podcasting the highlights from the Aspen Ideas Festival (http://www.aifestival.org/). Last Friday's show was from the opening ceremony of the festival where they gave 10 speakers five minutes to share their big ideas. Some of the brightest minds of our time talked about what they were thinking, people like Rev. Calvin Butts (http://www.abyssinian.org/index.php?l=101), opera virtuoso Jessye Norman (http://www.kennedy-center.org/calendar/index.cfm?fuseaction=showIndividual&entitY_id=3781&source_type=A), and Senator Arlen Specter. While they were all thought-provoking, I found what Fred Kent, founder of the Project for Public Spaces (http://www.pps.org/info/aboutpps/staff/fkent), particularly, interesting. He made reference to a Recipe for an American Renaissance (actually something he saw on a t-shirt):
*eating diners
*ride on train
*put a porch on your house
*shop on Main St.
*live in a walkable community

I wholeheartedly concur. I have included Fired Kent's speech below, you can hear the rest at Word for Word's website (http://wordforword.publicradio.org/).

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Build 52 v.2 upon further review




This is the UI (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_interface) for Build 52v.2 (http://www.markandtanya.us/scribbles/Build52v2.html)

So I tried v.2 and
ran into a kink. So I emailed
my good buddy Sumocat (I call
him good buddy, because he got
back to me in like an hour), and
he sent me a couple of lines of
code that immediately fixed my
problem. Below I have pasted.
my email to him. Yes I wrote
the email in ink in MS Outlook,
I didn't I know Outlook's ink worked
in OneNote (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/onenote/default.aspx). That's too cool. Way to go
Microsoft that's pretty good integration.

"In my test of Build 52v.2 I had mixed results some sucesses and some issues. First the successes
the links now work in IE, yeah! And this didn't impact their ability to work in firefox (http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/), in fact,
the ink links now cooperate with the Snapshots (http://www.snap.com/about/shots.php), link previews, in firefox , now that's
awesome! The UI (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_interface) is a litttle better, the way the adding of text code is now done was tricky
At first glance, but I just guessed that it combined the both codes when I saw
the "img src"ref in the frst line of the code. This combination of the two codes is
Actually very convenient , I think add a lot to the usability (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usability) of the application. l also like
how you can easily add the hyperlinks to the text from the hyperlink you already entered,
great work there. Finally the glitches, only one I noticed was that I can no longer show/ hide
Text in either IE or firefox. I believe I added the prereqs correctly, but I am not sure. Maybe
its just h glitch in my template's code, because it obviously works on your page.
Anyway, I really appreciate you taking up the time to write this app, and then for generously
sharing it. I have made up my mind that Iam going to post 99% in ink using Build 52 or
Some variation thereof, and vlog through my stickam (http://www.stickam.com/) player at the top of my page, keep up the good work."

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Friday, July 27, 2007


So the word is out (http://www.gottabemobile.com/SumocatContinuesWorkingOnHisInkBloggingTool.aspx)that Sumocat (http://sumocat.blogspot.com/) is working on improving his program Build 52 (http://sumocat.blogspot.com/2007/07/build-52-v2-beta-is-online.html)for blogging in ink. In fact, I have been in touch with Sumo cat and he sent me this initial public offering of Build 52v2 (http://www.markandtanya.us/scribbles/Build52v2.html). This is my first post using it. What do you think ? Can't tell the difference, ay? Of course, it's not really going to effect how the posts look to you, but the hope was that it would the ease of use, and make my ink blogging experience betters. Did it accomplish this feat? Well, let me say in my communications with Sumocat I told him my issues with Build 52 were that I had trouble getting my ink hyperlinks to work in IE and the limit of nine hyperlinks were prohibitive. He has appeared to fix the IE issue, But I am still limited to 9 links Ultimately, I can live with this limitation but Sumocat has said that he will work on developing the ability to go beyond 9. And I will just patiently await the results of his superior coding, thanks Sumocat keep up the good work.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

The site redesign is pretty much complete. You like?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Under Construction

video

Monday, July 16, 2007





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Ok, so I believe my first attempt at ink blogging in the style of Sumocat's Scribbles was pretty much a success. I used the code he wrote to create the style and effects that make his blog so slick, and I like how things basically turned out with a few exceptions. First, the ink hyperlinks do not display properly in Internet Explorer, they show up fine in Firefox, put for some reason they show up, but do not work in IE. Second, snapshots, the link previewer, does not load next to the ink hyperlinks, therefore there is no visual preview of the destination site as it should be. Overall these are small hiccups that I am willing to live with. I believe there is something mentioned in Sumocat 's documentation that points to how to correct the display of the links in IE.
My real intention for writing this post was to point others interested in ink bogging to resources that I have found helpful. I guess there are two ways to display ink in your blog in a style similar to the way this post is displayed, that is with hyperlinks and text conversion. The first way which is the way that I use is by utilizing a little app Sumocat created called Build 52. The second way is explained by Hugh Sung of Hughsung.com in a how to video. The video is approximately 15 minutes long and is a very thorough explanation. My problem with Hugh's method is that it requires too many steps in my opinion, Sumocat's way is much shorter. Anyway, if you have an ink blog or you are goings to try to create one please send me a link to your page: makmak@emailtreo. com or paste a link in the comments to this post. Oh yeah, thats Hugh Sung's video embedded below.Ok, so I believe my first attempt at ink blogging in the style of Sumocat's Scribbles was pretty much a success. I used the code he wrote to create the style and effects that make his blog so slick, and I like how things basically turned out with a few exceptions. First, the ink hyperlinks do not display properly in Internet Explorer, they show up fine in Firefox, put for some reason they show up, but do not work in IE. Second, snapshots, the link previewer, does not load next to the ink hyperlinks, therefore there is no visual preview of the destination site as it should be. Overall these are small hiccups that I am willing to live with. I believe there is something mentioned in Sumocat 's documentation that points to how to correct the display of the links in IE.
My real intention for writing this post was to point others interested in ink bogging to resources that I have found helpful. I guess there are two ways to display ink in your blog in a style similar to the way this post is displayed, that is with hyperlinks and text conversion. The first way which is the way that I use is by utilizing a little app Sumocat created called Build 52. The second way is explained by Hugh Sung of Hughsung.com in a how to video. The video is approximately 15 minutes long and is a very thorough explanation. My problem with Hugh's method is that it requires too many steps in my opinion, Sumocat's way is much shorter. Anyway, if you have an ink blog or you are goings to try to create one please send me a link to your page: makmak@emailtreo. com or paste a link in the comments to this post. Oh yeah, thats Hugh Sung's video embedded below.
video

Sunday, July 15, 2007


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I ran across this post on Gottabemobile about this guy who has been ink blogging for two years. Being the curious type I had to go over to his site and check him out. So, I went over to Sumocat's Scribbles and was completely blown away. This cat has the slickest, cleanest blog I have seen ink or text-based. I was amazed at how he was able to hyperlink his ink, make it searchable and look smooth instead of like chickenscratch; and finally at the bottom of every post you click a button and a text conversion of the ink is displayed. I made up my mind right then and there that I was going to add those features to my blog and here is my first foray into a slicker ink interface.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

My First Vlog- A Preview of What's to Come

video

Should You Stickam or Ustream?

OR

Welcome to the future. Remember all those futuristic movies where the people made video calls and telecommunicated with some kind of monitor or screen where each party could see the other. Well, with the advance in computer speed and memory, the advent and spread of high speed internet access like cable and dsl, and the growth of digital optics we can know enjoy face to face interaction with people halfway around the world. The basic ingredients you need for this taste of the future is a computer, a webcam, fast internet access and finally video chat client like yahoo messenger, windows live messenger(formerly msn messenger), Apple ichat, or ooVoo, or a web-based video services like stickam or ustream. I have tried just about all the client-based solutions(client-based meaning you have to download software and install it on your computer), but I have found them all to be pretty taxing on my computer's resources. Unless, you have a really fast, memory heavy machine I would avoid the client-based software. On the other hand, they are attractive because many of your friends and family are probably already using one the client-based solutions just not utilizing it's videoconferencing capabilities. Right now, I am testing out stickam and ustream, both web-based services and really both more interested in social networking(i.e. facebook, myspace, virb) than just allowing people to video chat. I really like stickam and have been back several times to video conference with a few colleagues I have introduced to it. Let me list a few things I like about stickam, first it has pretty good pipes; and by that I mean it streams video content very well. You see video is very bandwith hungry, no matter how fast your computer and internet connection the high bandwith required to send and receive video on your computer can make the video choppy stopping and pausing constantly as the video is sent back and forth across the internet. I experienced this on a lot of the client-based applications, but very little on stickam. I also like the fact that you can video conference with up to 12 people at a time, more than any other solution I have seen web-based or client-based. Finally, I 'm feeling stickam becasue you can broadcast yourself live and anybody can "tune in," that means for like my church, I could live stream a church service or bible study and anybody could watch it over the internet; members could "watch my Bible study via the internet and even participate through chat or even video conference. That's neat, huh?

I guess some people might consider this all initially a barrier because of not have a webcam, but webcams are pretty inexpensive on the whole, you might shell out some bucks for a really good one, but your run of mill webcam will set you back less than $40. See for yourself.

$9.99 right here, but remember you get what you pay for

$19.99 for this puppy

$29.99 for this one$79.99 for this one, this one is really nice though

I saw all the above webcams at an online store called Tigerdirect, it is where I often shop for computers and electronics. They have an even wider selection of webcams the above are just a few I picked out, check them out under their digital camera area, there you will find a subcategory of webcams to choose from.

So come on and join me in the future, get yourself a webcam and let's interface.

Oh yeah, I would e remiss if I did not also mention the growing popularity of video emailing. You know about text-based email gmail, hotmail, outlook, etc., but now people are sending one another messages in video format. Once again I have run across soltutions like sightspeed and ooVoo that are client-based and eyejot and springdoo that are web-based. Right now, I have not settled in on one particular one, I like ooVoo for the slickness of its videos, I like eyejot because it has a slick interface and an easy way to reply and springdoo is cool because you can blog your videos and you can add text to your vemails(short for video email). By lookin around my blog you can see how I have intergrated many of these services in this site in an attempt to interact with those who visit here.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

CampusProgress.org | Know Your Right-Wing Speakers: Rush Limbaugh



You think you know that guy on AM radio you listen to all the time don't you? You know who I am talking about the sharp-witted intellectual, albeit conservative one. You know the chubby, balding guy; the one that tried to buy the painkillers from you that you had left over from your root canal last year. Yeah, that's right, that Rush guy. Well. CampusProgress.org has a section called KnowYourRight-Wing Speaker and they tell the sometimes embarrassing true stories about our favorite right-wing pundits, check it out and quiz your bestest conservative friend the next time they try to quote or reference on of these cats. See if they really know their right-wing speaker

...Rush Hudson Limbaugh III began his radio career as a teenager in Southeastern Missouri, debuting as Rusty Sharpe on a radio station once owned by his father. He attended Southeastern Missouri State University for one year, dropping out to pursue a career booming and bellowing against “liberal bias” in the media to add the voice of yet another angry white man to the overwhelmingly conservative domain of talk radio. After leaving college in 1972, Rush took to the airwaves as a Top 40 music disc jockey for Pittsburgh’s WIXZ and later for KQV under the name Jeff Christie...

Read rest of the article here.

AlterNet: MediaCulture: The Right-Wing Express


I am constantly amazed at how seemingly pervasive the right wing's message. During the ramp up to the Iraq War it just amazed how the Bush regime and their point of view was on everybody's lips while the progressive view of war was hardly considered nevertheless understood. It seemed clear why Bush wanted to go to war, but it was clear about why not to go to war short of just a general aversion to all war. Instead of a "liberal bias" in the media I see a vast right wing conspiracy. Another example is how inheritance tax debate has been framed the right wing has been able to expropriate and redefine the very terms of the argument recasting the whole thing as the dreaded "death tax" like it applies to everyone that dies. This tax basically only affects those who are wealthy enough to leave their progeny a sizeable inheritance.

Well, it appears that my fears were real. The right has launched a concerted effort to control how the media presents certain issues and topics that are critical to our national dialogue at the moment. Alternet.org is talking about this guy named Rob Stein who has created this Powerpoint presentation called "The Conservative Message Machine Money Matrix," which he has taken on the road to inform the nation about this strategic move by the right wing impact the national dialogue. An excerpt from the article is below, you can check out the full article here. I am tried to find Stein's Powerpoint but I haven't had much luck so far ut if and when I find it I will definitely post about it.

Consider that the conservative political movement, which now has a hammerlock on every aspect of federal government, has a media message machine fed by more than 80 large non-profit organizations – let's call them the Big 80 – funded by a gaggle of right-wing family foundations and wealthy individuals to the tune of $400 million a year.

And the Big 80 groups are just the "non-partisan" 501(c)(3) groups. These do not include groups like the NRA, the anti-gay and anti-abortion groups, nor do they include the political action committees (PACs) or the "527" groups (so named for the section of the tax code they fall under), like the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which so effectively slammed John Kerry's campaign in 2004.

To get their message out, the conservatives have a powerful media empire, which churns out and amplifies the message of the day - or the week - through a wide network of outlets and individuals, including Fox News, talk radio, Rush Limbaugh, Oliver North, Ann Coulter, as well as religious broadcasters like Pat Robertson and his 700 Club. On the web, it starts with TownHall.com

Fueling the conservative message machine with a steady flow of cash is a large group of wealthy individuals, including many who serve on the boards of the Big 80.

AlterNet: MediaCulture: The Right-Wing Express

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Taking the Word of God Seriously

I was listening to one of the courses I found on ItunesU, The Historical Jesus, held at Stanford University Spring 2007. It is an extremely provocative course taught by Dr. Thomas Sheehan, here is an excerpt from the first class of the eleven class course he entitled "Call Me Yeshua." In this excerpt, he strongly encourages people to read the Bible as a theological story to encourage faith and a history to be taken as literal fact. I like Dr. Sheehan believe that literal interpretations of the biblical narrative such as those espoused by many fundamentalist evangelical Christians do more harm to the faith than any agnostic critique ever could. In fact, they give most of the fuel for agnostics arguements against our faith. Listen to Dr. Sheehan he expresses this much more eloquently than I ever could, the audio is approximately 3 minutes.

New Cool Edition to this Site

Introducing Snap Shots from Snap.com

I just installed a nice little tool on this site called Snap Shots that enhances links with visual previews of the destination site, interactive excerpts of Wikipedia articles, MySpace profiles, IMDb profiles and Amazon products, display inline videos, RSS, MP3s, photos, stock charts and more.

Sometimes Snap Shots bring you the information you need, without your having to leave the site, while other times it lets you "look ahead," before deciding if you want to follow a link or not.

Should you decide this is not for you, just click the Options icon in the upper right corner of the Snap Shot and opt-out.

Here's some of the reviews of Snap Shots from the tech community:

"Snap Shots is an efficiency tool – it saves time for the reader, and that's a good thing for the publisher. I like it so much I put it on TechCrunch."
--Michael Arrington, Editor, TechCrunch.com

"Snap Shots allows our readers to save time clicking, they can preview the site we're sending them to, see if it's a retailer they like, if the item is in stock, and make an informed decision before committing to a click-through."
--Michelle Madhok

Monday, July 9, 2007

PodPoint: Fast Facts

I ran across this Christian website the other day that host podcasting channels for churches. What is a podcast you say?

A podcast is a digital media file, or a series of such files, that is distributed over the Internet using syndication feeds for playback on portable media players and personal computers. A podcast is a specific type of webcast which, like 'radio', can mean either the content itself or the method by which it is syndicated; the latter is also termed podcasting. The host or author of a podcast is often called a podcaster. The term "podcast" is a portmanteau of the name of Apple's portable music player, the iPod, and broadcast[1]; a "pod" refers to the iPod, and "cast" to the idea of broadcasting.

In other words, a podcast is a collection of files (usually audio and video) residing at a unique web feed address. People can "subscribe" to this feed by submitting the feed address to an aggregator (like iTunes - software that runs on the consumer's computer). When new "episodes" become available in the podcast they will be automatically downloaded to that user's computer. Unlike radio or streaming content on the web, podcasts are not real-time. The material is pre-recorded and users can check out the material at their leisure, offline.

Though podcasters' web sites may also offer direct download or streaming of their content, a podcast is distinguished from other digital media formats by its ability to be syndicated, subscribed to, and downloaded automatically, using an aggregator or feed reader capable of reading feed formats such as RSS or Atom.

Simplier terms podcasting is audio blogging (well sort of), remember when we talked about blogging? I believe podcasting is just another way for the church to diseminate its message. It is a new media form, instead of cassette tapes, and cd's, people are now getting media content directly from the world wide web and listening to it on their computer or transferring it to some portable media player like an ipod or other mp3 player (mp3 is the name of one of the most popular audio files). So, check out these facts and see if you think podcasting is a viable option for the church of today.My church is podcasting@ www.snlbchurch.podcastpeople.com
Podpoint.net says,
Our passion is to see your organization succeed outside of "the box". Podcasting and the internet have brought with it new ways to reach people. We want to see your positive messages spread by utilizing technology while making it simple for you. This is the heartbeat of the company. Simply put: we want to see you reach people.
FAST FACTS
1. 25% of adults have downloaded audio files to their computer.
2. The podcasting audience is expected to surpass 60 million by 2010
3. 7% of the American population has downloaded a podcast
4. You do not have to own an iPod or an MP3 player to listen to a podcast
5. 11% of American adults own an iPod or MP3 player
6. There are now over 50,000 podcasts
7. Publishers of the New Oxford American Dictionary recently selected "Podcast" as Word of the Year

The Gift of Discernment

Thanks to Ashish Wagray for the great pic
(click this to see more of this artists work)

"Discernment is defined as the ability to see something that is not very clear or obvious; to understand something that is not immediately obvious; or to be able to tell the difference between two or more things. It is keenly selective judgement. That’s a gift of the Spirit that is for the church to use. It is for the benefit of the church. Why? Because the church is inundated, even plagued with all kinds of spirits, some good, some bad. Even demons masquerade as angels of light, and they do this especially in the church, among her members, pastors, leaders, committees, theology and practice. Rampant! So it is important to acquire and practice this gift of discernment to tell which spirits are true and which are false, that manifest themselves finally in good or bad theology and good or bad practice.

Why is it the moment then that someone critiques what someone says or does or what the church says or does, he or she is labeled a sarcastic, depressing, critical rebel? I think the false spirits are having a free-for-all right now because criticism within the church is strongly discouraged and even penalized, and criticism from outside the church is simply ignored. Religion and the church, like any other human institution, is militantly self-interested and self-protective. Criticisms, admonishments, judgments… anything that calls into question anything a religious person, a religion or a church says or does… is met with violent repercussions.

Here’s a call for people to pray for, acquire, accept, embrace and practice the gift of discernment. Put that together with the gift of prophecy and look out! Things will get really hot then! But we need it. The church needs it. And we need it now before this foolish plague becomes epidemically impossible to reverse."

nakedpastor

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Free Podcasts of University Courses: 75 Courses and Growing | Open Culture




Want to bone up on your Psychology or Biology? Would you like to go back to school for some continuing ed courses but you don't have the time? Do you miss 8:00 AM lectures with 200 other students? Is the 6:00 PM news the closest you come to being intellectually stimulated everyday? Well, you can go back to school for FREE even, and be challenged intellectually by some of the great thinkers of our time. Go on over to the openculture blog(www.oculture.com) and download some courses. There is a wide variety of subject matter, you are sure to find something you are interested in and best of all its FREE.