Technology

Embrace Spontaneity in Your Zoom Calls

Most surprising, he said, was how much his students came to enjoy brief appearances from his pug puppy, Gus. Warner hasn’t decided yet whether Gus will continue his cameos, but the response was a good sign that spontaneity still has a place in Yale’s classes. “It acknowledges that we’re all doing this from various spaces and that we can embrace it,” Warner said. Source: A look at Yale’s classes, labs, and libraries for fall 2020 …

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“Reopen” Domain Surge

Propaganda and misinformation are easy to propagate on the web as one of my mentors, Wayne Porter, would frequently show me. Now is not the time to let our guard down. That lookup returned approximately 150 domains; in addition to those named after the individual 50 states, some of the domains refer to large American cities or counties, and others to more general concepts, such as “reopeningchurch.com” or “reopenamericanbusiness.com.” Source: Who’s Behind the “Reopen” Domain …

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5 Years of Apple Watch

Wow, seems like yesterday… can’t believe it’s been five years. Today marks the fifth anniversary of the Apple Watch launching on April 24, 2015. Source: Looking Back on Five Years of Apple Watch – MacRumors

Google Slashing Marketing Budget

Read the tea leaves, folks. Things aren’t “re-opening” anytime soon. This is a long term situation and those at the top of the food chain are very much aware of the coming choppy waters… Google is slashing its marketing budgets by as much as half for the second half of the year, according to internal materials viewed by CNBC. Source: Google to cut marketing budgets, hiring freeze expected When companies like Google start slashing marketing …

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Thoughts on AirPods Pro

I was going to pass up on the AirPods Pro. I was incredibly impressed by the first generation of AirPods. In many ways, the AirPods became the revolutionary technology that we all thought the Apple Watch might be. The integration with Siri and the ability to interface with a voice-first assistant set the devices apart, however. There simply was nothing like them before or even now. It’s like a prequel to Her. Today I received …

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Build your own website and stop using Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for your personal online persona.

There’s another option for developing an online presence that doesn’t leak any data you don’t want it to, if you’re willing to put in the effort: a personal website. Last year, a Vice reporter, Jason Koebler, made a compelling case for bringing personal websites back into style. Before Facebook, setting up your own page on sites like Xanga or LiveJournal was common, and the data controls were simple. This technology is still available to us, …

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Own Your Own Name

Very much agree… As for the future, I believe owning your domain name will become increasingly important and that experiences like mine will become more commonplace. Source: How I Finally Won My Name from Domain Squatters After 9 Years of Waiting

YouTube and “Reinforcing” Psychologies

“The new A.I., known as Reinforce, was a kind of long-term addiction machine. It was designed to maximize users’ engagement over time by predicting which recommendations would expand their tastes and get them to watch not just one more video but many more. Reinforce was a huge success. In a talk at an A.I. conference in February, Minmin Chen, a Google Brain researcher, said it was YouTube’s most successful launch in two years. Sitewide views …

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RSS and Twitter

Yep. “Here’s what’s important: RSS is very much still here. Better yet, RSS can be a healthy alternative when Twitter is making you feel like shit. In 2019, that’s, like, most of the time.” https://gizmodo.com/rss-is-better-than-twitter-1833624929

A Week Without Twitter (or Facebook)

I made the decision last week to attempt what I previously thought was relatively undoable for my business and/or personal life and pull out of the Twitter stream and Facebook world, and Instagram performance art gallery. Some of that was due to this liturgical season of Lent and some of that was my constant need to try on new “thought technologies” that helps me explore more of this life. After a week, I can say …

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The Sublime and Silicon Valley

“The sublime—whether a feature of the natural world, or of UFOs, or of religious experience—is a sense of our own vanishing smallness before something impossibly vast: a mountain range, a churning ocean, the universe, God. What we get in return for being so existentially demeaned is freedom from the tyranny of our own personalities, a sort of liberating oblivion. But data-extracting platforms don’t sublimate our personalities; they multiply and magnify them. And the Data Sublime, …

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Does Your Nonprofit or Church Need an Alexa Skill?

Anyone can create a trivia game and share it on the Alexa store. Source: Amazon opens up Alexa store for anyone to create and publish custom skills – The Verge Nifty new capability now for anyone to script out an Alexa Skill. I’ve been telling clients that they should really consider “voice first” capabilities when thinking about their messaging and marketing. It’s not a bad idea to really think about the possibilities for churches and …

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Podcasting’s Big Moment

It’s probably the biggest news in the podcast industry since it began in earnest, because it’s such a huge play from a company with an existing network outside of Apple’s. Plenty of podcast startups have come and gone, but what’s unique here is Spotify could help the format reach millions of new users overnight. Source: Spotify: podcast giant or giant distraction? – Charged

Apple Cripples Facebook’s Internal Apps

What an insane story. Good on Apple… That means Facebook isn’t able to distribute internal iOS apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger for testing purposes, and internal employee apps for purposes like food and transportation are nonfunctional. All of the apps that used the certificate “simply don’t launch on employees’ phones anymore,” and Facebook is said to be treating the issue as a critical problem internally. Via MacRumors

Putting the Days to Bed (My Paper Notebooks)

If you’ve met me IRL, you’ve probably noticed I have a notebook either in my shirt pocket or in my hand (or a stack of index cards tucked away somewhere). All of them make awkward appearances when I hear a good quote, someone has a question I need to look up, if I was trying to record a student’s robot time trials, or if the spirit moved me. I’ve long been a doodler since my …

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You’re not “addicted” to tech and why it’s dangerous to say you are

As a teacher from 2001-2006 and then from 2008-2012, I had the chance to work with dozens of young people and their parents at a time when so much we knew and thought about education and transmitting information was changing. There was a rapid cultural shift in that decade that was primarily driven by “technology” and the internet. One theme that remained constant going back to the first time we set up a class blog …

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United States of Amazon

“The company’s focus on Washington as its most lucrative customer was reflected in its decision earlier this year to choose nearby Arlington, Virginia, as one of its two new US headquarters, along with Long Island City, New York. “Amazon wants to be the interface between all government buyers and all the companies that want to sell to government, and that is an incredibly powerful and lucrative place to be,” Mitchell said.” Exclusive: Emails show how …

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The shift from blogs to email newsletters

Ironic that you’re reading this on my blog… Almost every writer or artist I know has a newsletter. One way to understand this boom is that as social media has siloed off chunks of the open web, sucking up attention, the energy that was once put into blogging has now shifted to email. — Read on www.wired.com/story/future-book-is-here-but-not-what-we-expected/

Tackling Tech Bias for People with Disabilities

Fantastic post… every organization, nonprofit, and church could gain valuable insight from the takeaways here: The best path ahead is to seek out the affected stakeholders and work with them towards a fair and equitable system. If we can identify and remove bias against people with disabilities from our technologies, we will be taking an important step towards creating a society that respects and upholds the human rights of us all. Via Venturebeat

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