Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Beautiful Red

I am hooked and waiting on new episodes for Beautiful Red podcast by Darusha Wehm, hosted at podiobooks. I started listening and before I knew it I had listened to all 6 episodes which have been released so far, and am anxiously waiting for more episodes to be released. The story is set in a near future Technical Utopia, where technology has made crime mostly irrelevant. But then you start to be immersed in this technological utopia, and start to see some of the cracks where everything is not so nice and utopian.

Great science fiction podcast!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Nathen Lowell Golden Age of the Solar Clipper series

Recently I've been listening to several books posted on Podiobooks. This week I'll tell you a bit about Nathen Lowell's series Quarter Share, Half Share, and Full Share. Which is a series of Trader's Tales from the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper. His website at http://durandus.org/golden/ provides even more tidbits and supporting information about the stories. The first book Quarter Share, you are introduced to Ishmael who through an unfortunate accident finds himself in need of a way off the planet and in need of work. He finds it in the form of a job on a solar trading clipper ship the "Lois McKendrick" as a mess attendant, in the galley. I found myself drawn in by Nathen Lowell's writing style which just draws you in and holds you transfixed while you feel like you are actually there sitting at the pub listening to the story unfolding. I don't think I'm alone after hearing that Quarter share was nominated for a Parsec Award in Best Speculative Fiction Story (Novel Form).

I would have to say these stories have been of the type that you can't put down. I have listened through all three of his podiobooks multiple times now, and am waiting for the final episode of Full-share to be released. Then I will truly be in withdraw till the spring of 2008 when he expects the next book in the series to approach completion and release on podiobooks.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Mapping for the masses

Open Street Map project is an interesting open source project. Where the community is building a collection of mapping data, which is licensed CC by SA . The project which has a large following in Europe is just starting to expand in the USA with the start of integrating the freely available TIGER data sets, which promise to provide a good base coverage for the whole USA. Supporting the project many innovative tools have been built and function, including a google style map browser known as Slippy Map, an web based editor Potlatch, and a very capable java based editor JOSM . Go check out their maps at either http://openstreemap.org or http://informationfreeway.org

Monday, June 18, 2007

Good Story and Science Fiction/Fantasy Podcasts

The top list of good podcasts that I currently follow are:

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

ITEC 2007 at Detroit

Today I visited ITEC at Detroit's Cobo Hall. I managed to get there for most of the Keynote presentation "Technology is Broken: How to Fix IT For Your Business" given by James Gaskin. It was an interesting presentation and he brought up many good points and seemed to push open source and Mac a lot.

I also got to listen to "Social Media and Web 2.0: How blogging, podcasting, YouTube, Flickr, Digg, LinkedIn, MySpace and more are going to affect your business." given by Kelsey Ruger of Webxites, Inc. Where he talked about current trends and how Social Media and Web 2.0 is and will continue to change the ways in which businesses advertise.

One of the interesting things he mentioned is that if a business embraces some of these new technologies and the social networking tools available, that they have the possibility to reach a much larger advertising audience. If they ignore them that it will not stop the content and discussion from happening, all that will happen is that the business will lose all influence on the discussion about them or their product.

social networking, wikis and folksonomies are some of the new buzzwords.

Blogs are a place where industry and technology news, ideas thoughts and other topics of interest can be added to. Also allows for reputation management.

At the end he recommended that if you want to get more involved:

* embrace social media
* read and consume social media
* start a blog (blogger or wordpress)
* start a podcast of a video cast
* build a mashup (openkapow or Yahoo pipes)
* integrate these into your daily work life

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

OLPC Human Interface

Last night I just watched a couple of videos [here] and [here] about the new OLPC Human Interface - Sugar. While reading the article from the Washington post "Low-Cost Laptop Could Transform Learning" I couldn't stop thinking about Ender's Game and the computers that the kids all used, which was refereed to as their "desk". The laptop they are proposing is very interesting, and I would actually be tempted to purchase one for myself at some point in the future. I think this new design of the human interface, which they are calling sugar, is very interesting and does seem to be intuitive and understandable. It will be interesting to see how it actually performs and is regarded by kids who are the primary user of it. This will be one topic that I'll be keeping an eye on.