Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I'm Forever Stuupid

Two minutes have passed since my last post. Forget diamonds, cyberspace is forever. The syntax and general grammar of my last post was all messed up, but due to either the HTML or flash embed that I put into the editor, Blogger won't let me go back and change it. Instead, I click on the 'Edit Post' button only to have the content disappear. I feel like I just spelled P-O-T-A-T-O-E.

Somewhere, an English teacher is crying...


SJSU's Hollywood Scene

Like most of you reading this blog, I couldn't sleep last night and decided to searching meta tags online for anything cool or quirky in my area. One link lead to another and finally, I ended up on this video of from FPS, The Film Production Society here at SJSU.

Film Production Society Promo

Add to My Profile | More Videos

The funny thing is that I know some of the students that founded this organization, and yet had no idea the organization even existed until I stumbled upon it in a Google Calendar search.

On a side note, Google Calendar is the bomb-diggity.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sam Donaldson's Got His Mojo Working

Sam Donaldson was just here this past month for the 50th Anniversary of the Broadcast sequence at SJSU.

I wish I knew then that he was partying like a rock star in D.C. ". That would have made the night even more intriguing.

And yes, Donaldson is married.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Ze Frank is back online... Hard Chargers beware.

In other happenings, I saw a drug ad today with Sally Field that really got me thinking. In forty years, which actors are HMO's and drug companies going to be using to sell me drugs that I probably won't need? Maybe LeVar Burton from Reading Rainbow?

I mean, there's not a drug on Earth I wouldn't buy from that guy.

Actually, that goes for Captain Picard too.

I watched The Matrix today on my laptop. Has anyone else noticed that the movie is just about THE SINGLE WORST DAY OF ONE MAN'S LIFE. I mean, wake up, find out your life was a dream, have a raving lunatic tell you that you're the messiah, and then die before being resurrected by a woman that could easily snap and kill you in bed.

But I digress...


Saturday, November 10, 2007

I'm Hooking Up with Random People ALL the Time

You've caught me, red-handed, blissfully self-indulgent and unabashedly non-discrete about it. Call me whatever you will, just don't say that you're not doing the same.

I'm a pimp. Pusher. A user and a fiend. I'm the new brand of neo-crack-head. I'm a social networking whore. Myspace, Facebook, Hi5, Blogger, Wordpress, Flickr, Twitter, Pownce, Technorati: start a site and add your widget to my desktop.

Just in case you like math, that's 9 DIFFERENT alphanumeric passwords and login names, each unique like everyone else's. My brain hurts.

And here's another one for the list-likers out there. Linked-In. Megan Hamilton gave me this week's fix, and I'm again, hopelessly addicted. How many degrees is that perfect job from my network? Let me see.

Import my Google contacts. Check.
Import from Outlook. Check.
Look for my classmates. Done.
Damn, nothing yet.

Oh well. I'll settle for a hip recommendation and some URL track-back links. Then I can Twitter this blog link to Technorati while dreams of Google-rank dance in my head. Maybe then someone BIG will notice. And we all want to be noticed.

Isn't that why we all love these sites so much?


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Headline Writing Burnout

ACCESS Magazine is going along well. Yesterday we went over ideas for headlines.
This is what happens when you stick 30 people in a room and tell them to be creative: racist, campy, tripe, or totally cliche.

My personal favorites:
"Jocks N' Cocks"
"Border Hopping"
"The World and You"
"Politics 2.0"
"The Misadventures of Cancerpants"

Wow. Awkward.


To My Starving, Magazine Writing, Slacker Friends

I'm not lazy, and I'm no idiot with regards to new technology. But jeez, it is hard to get noticed. Valleywag's Paul Boutin had this kick-butt article this morning that you've got to read if you're struggling to make a name for yourself. It almost made me want to write something original (blogosphere joke)...


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

An Apple a Day Keeps my Paychecks at Bay

I was just hired at the Apple store in Stanford as a Mac Specialist. Looks like it's going to be fun; there's a lot of great people that work there. The only real thing that I'm concerned about is that my paycheck will go right back to Apple. I have no willpower.

Sidenote: I've already started having friends ask me when the second gen iPhone will be coming out. This is Drew's BLANK STARE.

I'm in RETAIL! Come on people. And even if I knew, which I don't, why would I jeopardize my job.
Anyways, this will be my last post about my life as a Mac Specialist. For the record though, I don't know anything, I've never met Steve Jobs, and black turtlenecks are just comfortable.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

At Least the Madmen Care if I Live or Die

(Note:Some adult content)

"Madmen" being an allusion to advertising guys. In this case, online spammers. God bless them. Yours truly was sitting at home, nose pressed to the grindstone on an assignment, when a 5.5 magnitude earthquake rocked my socks off.

With walls shaking and glass flying out of cupboards, I scrambled out of my apartment only to return a half hour later to the most clever email I've ever gotten. If the Viagra guys were as smooth as this guy was, I'd be harder than a lead pipe till Christmas.

The email was as follows:

Even an earthquake can't shake book prices down, but you can.

Save this number so that you can call it and check for the best prices on your books instantly!
The number is (845)839-8333 It's a NY number, so as long as your cell phone has free long distance, it'll be free to call. Please forgive and report if you encounter errors, as this is very experimental service.

Make sure you update your cell phone's info on the pazap.com website so that when you call in, we'll know who you are. Not only can you shop for the best prices, but you can also sell your books through this number too! We'll be on campus promoting tomorrow. If you see us, you're going to find out why book prices are so high!

Anything else, let me know.

Dominic Son
cell: 408.569.9617

I replied to Son, telling him that I thought the email was funny. He responded:

lol thanks. nice to know you're ok

It's good to know the madmen care.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Boobs, and the Search for Catchy Headlines

The worst posts are the ones that talk about blogging (literally: see previous post for reference). I apologize in advance. I'm trying to attract readers. I've tried changing content, scribbling about gadgets and conferences that people are interested in with mixed results.

People's eyes only seem drawn to four things, in my estimation. The first being the content of writers they already know (friends and famous writers), the second being posts that personally talk about them. Third, people seem drawn to those few posts with catchy titles. I'll let you guess what the last thing is that people are likely to read.

I'm not so famous (cricket, cricket); okay, no one knows me. I can't link to every blog in the world either. So, this post is my ode to Dean Singleton. Boobs.

Let's see if that gets any attention on Technorati.

Literally Metaphorically Speaking

My life continues without a phone - it was blown up by the monsoon of last week. That little Razor was literally dropped from a three story building, run over by a truck, and soldered back together. None of that phased it. In the end, H20 was its downfall.

How embarrassing. That's the equivalent of Bad Pitt being taken down by the pansy arrow in Troy. Like that could really happen.

That man went through the Jen breakup, he can literally handle anything.

And that brings me to the title of this post. I've been pondering the relationship between my colloquialisms and my writing. I literally say, "literally" about four billion times a day (hyperbolizing). So much so, that I can't help the itch to type it into every nook and cranny of my journal entries and blogs (literally).

It's like crack, but less socially accepted (maybe literally, it depends if you're friends are like mine...).

How depressing. The real world is ruining my cyber-prose. For shame. Literally.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Andrew Venegas is, "The Running Man"

I'm hooked on my new ipod nano.

Small screen size aside, there's been such an advance in the interface and customizability since I got my first ipod five years ago (it was a 2nd generation), that even a normal PC user like myself was humbled a little.

The latest add-on to my ipod, a Nike+Ipod. I bought a pair of Nike Plus shoes today, got the microchip that Apple sells, linked it to my nano, and went for my first run today. I also set the goal of running a measly 16 times over the next four weeks. Piece of cake... of course, now that it's online for everyone to read, I guess I really have to do it. Damn.

And that's the real genius of the new ipod. If Apple can get lazy tech geeks like myself to drool over the possibility of running, well, they may just rule the world one day (and that's coming from a PC guy).

Monday, October 15, 2007

Will Not Sleep for Plane Tickets

The RTVJ 50th Anniversary Reunion is over, and it's time for me to move onto my new projects. I'll be updating the Journalism's website at SJSU now, creating a feed page for every type of media in every major/minor.

But first things first, I'm putting all my efforts into recruiting for the Multimedia Bootcamp trip that SJSU is taking to Mexico. Way cool.

And now that I've started the posters for the next set of trips that SJSU will be sending me on, I guess I can tell the world.

Over the next three years, unless I royally mess a bunch of things up, I'll be visiting 11-13 different countries with SJSU, National Geographic photographers, and San Jose Mercury news photographers.

Which countries? Here's just a few: Mexico, South Africa, Ghana, China, Vietnam, South Korea, The Philippines, Dubai, and many others. All the countries are tentative, meaning that insurance, among other things, will play a large factor in whether or not we go to each of them.

What will we be doing while there?

Creating photo, audio, print, and video packages for the web, and print inserts for the Spartan Daily when each group returns. The University will be giving 3 units of graduate/undergraduate credit/hours for each trip, which means that by the time all the trips are complete, I'll be done with my Masters Degree. Way cool.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Cocaine and Starbucks

Make all the stimulant jokes you want, but I need to get some sugar in my bloodstream - FAST!

It's currently 4:46 AM on a beautiful Friday morning (it's raining pretty hard outside), and I have been up for over 24 hours straight (48 hours?). What gives with the late night/early morning writing?

Sam Donaldson is coming to SJSU today, and the videos that will be playing at the Reunion Dinner he is speaking at aren't done. In fact, I didn't have an open computer to edit till 3:45 am because of students in Update News that didn't make their deadline. Perfect.

Then I found several of the discs that were given to me for editing were not data discs at all, but dvds. Awesome. That means that I'm stuck converting six to eight hours of video into avi form for editing. Hence the writing in-between conversions. No biggy.

But I do have raccoon eyes now, and apparently I'll be showing the Update News room I am in to alums that have flown into San Jose from all over the world. Super.

Let's hope they have a sense of humor, or at least remember the good ol' days before they all had dedicated machines at their disposal, 24-7.

Or maybe they'll just think I'm taking drugs... man I need some caffeine. Does Yum-Yum doughnuts deliver?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

An Incident at Dwight Bentel Hall

Image by Vanina Mutchnik:
Published in Spartan Daily 10/4/07

After the Spartan Daily decided not to run this story on Monday, I decided to run it online this week. Here it is.

On Sunday Morning, Dr. Michael Cheers, a photojournalism professor, and I, were quite surprised to have found a fire extinguisher lying on the ground on the second floor of Dwight Bentel Hall. The whole second floor of the building had been covered in a light, nauseating dust from the tampered device.

Further, the old darkroom on the first floor of DBH had been trashed by an unknown person or persons, with string tied to walls, computers, and chairs. Potato chips had been crumpled and thrown about, and the rooms thermostat had been smashed.

Dr. Cheers calls University Police, who arrived within ten minutes. No charges have been filed (to my knowledge) against any individuals, and DBH was cleaned before students arrived Monday morning.

Speculating as to the motive of the person or persons responsible soon followed. Was it drunk hooligans from homecoming week that decided to trespass over the weekend, or was it possibly related to the Daily's coverage of statue defacing? Or was it possibly related to their coverage of the incident at Hillel House last week, or the student who's car was keyed? Again, this was all speculation, but it made me wonder.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Life in the FAST Lane

So what have I been up to? Where have I been? In what far corners of the internet have I been lurking?

First, I've been doing design like none other. I'm working on an upcoming project involving a international publication that tends to prefer yellow borders and photography. If that doesn't give it away, I can't help you out.

Other projects that I'm working on include the website design for the RTVJ reunion. I can't really take credit for the actual layout either, as it was originally created by another student that was released from his contract at the end of July: enter me and my interaction with it. My job for the last three months has been to keep it updated and keep in touch with alumni from SJSU's broadcast journalism program.

Which brings me to my current project this week, producing a video "newscast" mockup to be presented during the RTVJ (Radio Television Video Journalism) 50th anniversary dinner this Friday. The special guest speaker will be legendary journalist/anchor, Sam Donaldson.

So that's keeping me busy...

Plus I've been doing poster design, and talking up a storm for the upcoming photojournalism trip to Mexico. (Btw, go Blogger for letting me get info up online in a day. The hardest thing was simply unlocking my domain name and switching my DNS address to a Google server. But I digress...)

This past week I just the chance to meet Vanity Fair's David Friend, a man responsible for much change in society's perception of the war in Iraq. A very smart, and friendly man, Friend was on SJSU campus last week to promote his new book and meet with members of the SJSU magazine community.

Oh, and here's a teaser for upcoming events. After traveling to Mexico this spring break with the journalism department here, I'll be traveling to South Africa and Ghana to help produce two more multimedia packages for SJSU and certain newspaper and magazine publications.

AND after that... there's a whole lot more stuff coming down the turnpike for me. I'm starting to get as busy as Kyle Hansen. Ha!

Lastly, I did CampusMovieFest last week, and got jipped if you ask me. Not to brag, but our movie was the Cat's ME-OW (pardon the flash quality).


Saturday, September 01, 2007

Inconsistencies at the Spartan Daily

This article atop the Spartan Daily's website rubbed me the wrong way, so I sent the following comment into the paper. I'd like other people's takes on it, and see if they thought any of the same things I did, or if I was way off base.

Dear Spartan Daily,

A few parts of this article concerned me, so I thought I'd list my concerns here.

First, that there is no confirmation of Holsworth's statement that he COMPLETED his registration during the summer orientation program, which, if untrue, would make the rest of his story invalid. And because of the weight Holsworth's statement are given by the prominence of this article on the top of the website and paper, I believe the Daily NEEDS the University's side on this, no matter how much hounding is needed.

Second, while it is true that there are seven residence halls, one is specifically set aside for teachers and faculty only, an important fact to note.

Third, Holsworth is quoted as saying that, "[the University] didn't offer anything in the meantime until something opened up." I am fairly certain that it has NEVER been University policy to house students off-campus if space is unavailable. The cost to do so for a long waiting list of students would be astronomical. Besides, Holsworth's statement is somewhat contradicted two paragraphs below when you write, "Residents were given the option to sign up for temporary housing at reduced rates until a more permanent residence became available." So which was it? Were students given the option to sign up for temporary housing and Holsworth didn't sign up, or did the University just tell him to wait by the phone without giving any explanation?

Fourth, if you were unable to contact the University for a statement, what University source was used to make the statement, "According to university housing there are approximately 10 students depending on the building in need of residence." If it was the University Housing website, that should be cited. The same problem arises from the uncited statement, "Residents were given the option to sign up for temporary housing at reduced rates until a more permanent residence became available." Was this fact gathered from students, the website, or another University staff member?

Fifth, you write, "The addendum states that each window has a rolling metal shutter that automatically drops when a trouble alarm is sounded on the lower floors or when there is a power outage. These shutters can only be raised by a maintenance request from university housing facilities, which may not be done immediately."

But is this not also true of the entire first floor as well, not just the temporary rooms?

Sixth, after writing of the temporary housing that was made available to students, you write, "Holsworth said that because housing did not offer any alternate options or draw his attention to their availability he was left with no other choice but to live out of his car." These two apparent contradictions at the very least draw doubt on Holsworth's credibility, leaving me wondering again why he was featured at all if his statements may be inaccurate.

Seventh, because a question of Holsworth's credibility can be made, his age is also relevant to the piece, but not written. Here's why: if he had a place to stay at his parent's place, and they could be legally obligated to house him (if he's underage), then it was purely a personal choice that he slept out of his car, and not the University's responsibility at all. Personally, I know several businessmen that commute from Sacramento to San Francisco and San Jose everyday, so it is not completely impossible to do, as the article made it seem.

Eighth, because Holsworth adds that he did not tell his parents about the situation, it may have been appropriate to contact his parents about it, especially if, after contacting Housing, you found that his parents helped pay for his housing. No mention of any of this leads me to suspect that Holsworth possibly did not complete his application, and did not want his parents to know about it.

Lastly, the word "finally" in the line, "After a week of checking in with the housing office for no-shows and move-outs, Holsworth finally received a phone call late Tuesday afternoon...," assumes that the University had not attempted to contact him previously in any way, that Holsworth's statement of what the University told him was true, and that the University was at fault for his predicament.

While everything that Holsworth said may very well be true, the weight his words are given are not acceptable given the one sidedness of the story.

I am interested in seeing a follow up to this article.

Sincerely and Respectfully,
Andrew Venegas
Print Journalism Major

Friday, July 13, 2007

My Life, Unplugged

As the name suggests, I've been living unplugged and in the dark for the last two days. A virus infected my main computer, wiped it out completely, and quickly spread to my laptop, connected on the same network.

The outcome - I've lost everything. I don't even have a working copy of Windows XP to repair the system files that were damaged by the virus. Not only that, but the virus wiped out most of my drivers on both computers, meaning that I don't have internet access or the ability to download them back onto my systems.

It couldn't have happened at a more inopportune time either; I just started working the 3:30am-8:30am shift at UPS this week! I never thought I'd be saying this, but it looks like I need a sign to hang around my neck, reading, "Will work for Vista." Sheesh.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Aphro's 1st Bath

Geek's record everything. This is my girlfriend's cat's (Aphrodites, Aphro for short) first bath.

Smile gato. 

Geeks and Their Burgers (Another Summerish Vlog)

When my friend's girlfriend came to California for the first time from Nebraska, we made her go to In-N-Out, which has this geek's seal of approval.

A little camera shy, she obliged her boyfriend's geeky friends, and shared the moment with the entire internet. Lol.

Sorry Ashley.

Under the Boardwalk

Summer is here, and it's time once again, to visit my old haunts - the ones that made childhood memorable and that keep me grounded.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Today's Space Revolution

If you, like me, read Ars Technica's article about microholography this morning, you may have been blown away like I was. I'm still taking it in.

Ars reported that a group of German scientists have discovered a way of storing up to 500GB of data on DVD-sized discs. Not only that, they plan on doubling that figure by 2010!

The implications of this are mind-blowing, to say the least. Databases with huge amounts of image data can be several terabytes in size, and discs of this size would drastically increase not only their mobility, but decrease their cost.

Translation: information would be even more permeable than it is now, with greater functionality than you could ever imagine.

What's some of the cool stuff you can do with databases when size is not longer an issue?

How about using composite technologies like those Adobe has created for Photoshop Extended to take all the street pictures that Google took for Google Streetview and turn them into a user-manipulatable virtual world. Forget looking at single snapshots of any street corner; now you can walk down the street from your computer.

Or how about doing the same thing for education, drastically reducing the price of classes by providing photo-realistic, interactive courses online, where a school's only real cost would be the price of bandwidth?

Digital historians today could rest at ease, finally, knowing that priceless works of art and digitized records could be stored in multiple locations, in case of thief, natural disaster, or terrorist attacks.

I won't even go into the military implications of this technological breakthrough.

My point: this is another revolution in disguise, and it repercussions are earth shattering.

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Live Earth and the Power of Viral Video

Live Earth was hosted in over a hundred different countries yesterday, and not surprising, viral marketing played a huge part in getting the word out about the concerts.

Also not surprising, Al Gore and the other supporters of this event used cultural icons to imprint the message they wanted on viewers minds.

Finally, corporate America and philanthropists are all beginning to use the tools available to them to push social activism. Power elites beware, your days are numbered.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Don't Be Evil, Google

Every once in a while, I find a conspiracy theory online that I've got to share. Given, this video is accurate on much of what Google does, but still... stealing our genetic code. If it is true, I've got just one thing to tell Google, "Please don't be evil."

Google Masterplan - For more funny movies, click here

Blogger's B-B-Q (Brewsky's Included)

I'm sitting here with Burke Shartsis, having just finished an ice cold beer and B-B-Q'ing at my apartment, talking tech. Question posed: where's the best place to be on Earth - RIGHT NOW?

Answer: right here, in the heart of Silicon Valley. Why? Well, hardware and software are just about to burst out into a second Renaissance. And here's some of the cool stuff being developed just down the road from my apartment.

1. AI - check out what Google's doing in this arena.

2. Multi-touch sensing - first reintroduced by Jeff Han at TED, several companies right here are building upon this technology. Just look at what Microsoft's done... and yes, I've seen the iPhone before.

3.Easy and Cheap Production - anyone can create anything they can imagine now, with relative ease at low cost. If IBM and some other corps have their way, these programs will even be open-sourced. Ergo, free production software with a global brain to make things more exciting. (And yes, to any Apple employees that may be reading, Final Cut is easy to use to... here's your link.)

4. The death of physical space - check out what SJSU is doing in virtual space. The cost to operate in the real world has serious economic consequences - education, business, and everyday communication are being digitalized to make way for much efficient purposes to fill real space.

5. The Advertising Renaissance - If you've been in a hole for the last decade, then you might have missed the quiet revolution being waged by Google. And if you don't keep an eye on it, you might miss the changes headed this way by Blip.tv and Metacafe.

6. History is Alive Here - Besides being home to the Internet Archive, it's also the home of Creative Commons, which is allowing more and more people to share the world WITH the world.

7. Wi-Fi Hotspots are EVERYWHERE! - and that's going to become increasing important, as T-Mobile and other VOIP services expand their Wi-Fi plans.

7.1.0. It's always cool here (approx. 80 degrees, F, currently). I know that's not geeky, but it sure beats the hell out of anywhere else.

8. Bay Area News - the word "aggregation" comes to mind. Want to find out ANYTHING about ANYTHING in that Long Tail of an internet, there's plenty of Silicon Valley companies will to find it for you. Search, interface, databases, and so much more are connecting and supercharging everything.

9. The Birth of Oversight - tired of corporations going unchecked with unlimited power? For the first time in the history of man, the same corporations based in Silicon Valley that are empowering people to change the world... are being reemed by the same people that they've empowered. Poetic cyber justice, or just another day in the Valley?

10. People GIVE A DAMN - Now, I know Californians in the Valley get a bad wrap for all being liberal hippies, smoking dope and not showering - and granted, there's plenty of that - but there's also something here that is unique and insanely powerful. It's also THE reason I think that this is the best place to live on the planet, RIGHT NOW. Check out Hugg, TreeHugger, Digg, Myspace, Facebook, MoveOn, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Adobe, Oracle, Cisco, Sony, or the million other corporations and sites based out of the Valley.

You'll find the kind of people that make city life interesting. People that not only WANT to change the world, but PEOPLE with real opinions and hopes and dreams, THAT ARE CHANGING THE WORLD. It's like living in Rome at the height of its empire, except with better sewage treatment and internet access.

Who could ask for anything else?

Sony's New Baby

In case you haven't checked this little guy out - check out what Sony is doing to video. Imagine where this will intersect with multi-touch viewing and wireless tech, and you've got yourself an advertising and video revolution.

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Long time no post. I've been really busy lately, moving two blocks down from my current apartment, tutoring teachers in Flash, audio editing, and video production, and building THREE seperate websites!

Props to Bob Rucker for his work on the Diversity project, and Doc Cheers for creating a pretty impressive multimedia project for the Gordon Parks exhibition that is coming to SJSU. I'll post that piece here when it's finished.

In other news, I've finished two of eighteen scripts I am writing for another video project out shortly. I'm paying homage to the film legend George Romero and releasing (via the internet and iTunes) a six week long series about a small group of Californians trying to survive a zombie attack. Why?

CAUSE ZOMBIES ROCK! And because I wanted to put all of my skill-sets together and use the end result as a calling card/resume. The website is currently under construction, but believe me when I say that the videos will be the least community oriented part of the site. I'll keep you updated on that.

Phew. And before I forget - congrats to another student at SJSU - Colleen Henry. Check out her awesome blog here.

AFTERNOTE: Yes, I just read the wiki on George Romero, and yes, my heart sank when I found that he may currently be doing a similar project to mine. Oh well, the world could always use a couple more zombie flicks.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Burning the Candle and Loving It!

I've been taking a break from my online blogging role as of late to final the semester and the new MCOM 105 website - not to mention the new Soapbox Prophet blog.

Don't worry, I'll be back at full bore in another two weeks. I apolagize to regs (Andrew, there's regular readers?) who may be missing a cheap laugh or geeky article.

Sidenote: I've started several other side-projects for this summer, including writing, filming, directing, and broadcasting a six week, made for the internet mini-series.

Some of the highlights: a TOTALLY interactive website featuring wikis, forums, chat, blog, and several other features for users to discuss the show and have fun. Sound ambitious?

Well, after "Let's Talk About This" is done, I can't imagine this endeavor being much harder. I'll be putting my editing skills to the test, and learning lots of JAVA and Flash in the process. Wish me luck on that one.

Further, I'll be chronicling the project with behind the scenes footage and posts as show is produced, so I'll be sure to keep you posted on how its going.

And speaking of projects, my first baby- the creation of STEM - is fast winding down for the semester. This Wednesday will be last meeting of the school year, and as such, elections will take place during this meeting to decide on next year's officers. So make sure to come out, indulge your geek one last time, and be a part of American history.

As always, STEM will meet at 4:30 in the Academic Success Center (formerly Clark Library).
I hope to see everyone there!

P.S. Has anyone noticed that Ryan Sholin is addicted to Twitter?

Monday, April 30, 2007

Cyber Days are Longer then Years

I was up until 4:30 last night coding - whatever. Today I demoed the new MCOM105 site: "Let's Talk About This". I think it turned out alright. Tonight I'll be adding forums, a couple more CMS systems that integrate nicely with Joomla (the coolest CMS ever), and basically living in PHP code. Cool.
Sorry about the geek-speak. Speaking of new websites, check out the 150th anniversary site too.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Growing Up Online is Hard to Do

I've had a pretty good go of it on the free hosting service that Blogger has provided, but I think I am ready to grow up a little and host my content on my own server. So goodbye Blogger, farewell and Godspeed!

Tonight I purchased "thesoapboxprophet.com" and forwarded "andrewvenegas.com"(I already owned that one) to it. Yes, so it seems that The Soapbox Prophet shall be my calling card from now until I die - I just couldn't give up the Google juice I get using it.

Now the existential crisis I face, which can turn friends into cold blooded enemies - Wordpress or Blogger!?

While I know that Wordpress has been around longer, thus having a larger support and plugin base, I've been extremely happy with Blogger thus far. I'm torn, and frankly, I'm in need of some advice. Which do you think I should use, and why?

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Thursday, April 26, 2007


Image taken from Ryanishungry.com.

Last night Jay Dedman and Ryanne Hodson stopped by SJSU to talk about video-blogging. They should know a bit about it. They're pioneers in the field, working for PodTech and creating really interesting content.

Today, CEO of Adobe, Bruce Chizen, stopped by SJSU to talk about how American students (SJSU grads) can compete globally and get a job with tech companies like his. His pointers: know the technical skills that everyone else is learning (C, JAVA), and then take some internships abroad and find out how the rest of the world lives. Good advice.

Image courtesy of Axis Design Studios.

Oh ya, he also said that the browser will hopefully be taking a backseat in the future because of the work they're doing at Adobe. I asked him what he meant by this statement, and whether Adobe was hedging its bets in CS3 by integrating all the cool video goodies for vloggers like myself who traditionally use browsers to transfer content onto the web. Hedging its bets against what? Perhaps relations between Adobe and Google aren't as cozy as one might think.

Chizen replied that Adobe and Google are partners, and for now, not in direct competition. He said that he was referring to the hope that clients like Apollo will take on greater significance as they develop. Chizen jokingly described Google as Adobe's "heat shield from Microsoft".


On a side note, I had a brief encounter with Holly Campbell after Chizen's talk, who runs Adobe's Corporate PR. My suggestion to her was that STEM and Adobe team up, Adobe providing software and training to students, and in return, receiving great press and ideas from students/ future employees. We'll see how that turns out. Hopefully, we can make it a win-win situation for everybody.

Last bit. I promise.

Dr. Bob Sutor, VP of IBM's Open Source and Standards division, also came to SJSU to speak today. His message, "Things are changing." Sutor talked about how most companies use some Open Source code in just about everything, and how there is a shift in the way today's "post-Napster generation" sees copyright laws compared to the last generation.

"Open Source creates innovation," Sutor said. True dat. Check out the whole of Sutor's discussion here.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

STEMing from Last Week's Talks

Burke Shartsis from Axis Design Studios will continue his demonstration of basic Flash today at 4:30PM, in Room 116 of the Academic Success Center.
I hope to see everyone there!

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Memorializing the Dead

Barely a week since the Virginia Tech shootings, reporting on it has dropped off the front pages of most papers. Still, memorials to the students can be seen everywhere, even in Second Life.

Jeremy Kemp posted this video to YouTube from Second Life.

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Preserving the Future with Our Past

It looks like I may be taking on another side project next semester - archiving every Spartan Daily article every written in a massive, searchable online database that's open to everyone.

Before running to the press with this one, I should mention that I still have to talk to some important people before anything can be done, but the desire is there in the j-school already.

Tomorrow I'll talk to Dr. Briggs and others to greenlight the project, so cross your fingers.

Just imagine, students having a database that reaches back to 1934, when the Spartan Daily was first published. The database would share historical records dealing with WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the moon landing - the record of where we come from and how we got here - all at the fingertips of anyone with a thirst for knowledge.

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Creating Conversations from Static

I've been coding this week more than usual. Hopefully, Bob Rucker's MCOM105 class will have its new diggs up and running within a week.

Complete with video and picture galleries, forums, blogs and news, the site should be host to more than another basic PHP page - it'll be a two-way conversation about diversity, the media, and where SJSU students fit into the mix.

Last month, I made this video to promote the upcoming site. It looks like some of my work is finally paying off. Wish me luck before it launches!

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Responding to Virginia Tech

Two days after the tragic shooting, the media has begun to respond. Video from the shooting made its way to YouTube, and a flurry of responses blew across the internet.

Here's just a few links to some of the local bloggers who joined the conversation.

Shaminder Dulai: on the media.
Kyle Hansen: on the Daily's response.
Steve Sloan: on what should be done at SJSU.
Caroline Skinner: why it happened.
Richard Sim: on his concerns for the Korean community.
Mike Park: his thoughts on the shooting

Here's Wikipedia's EXCELLENT entry on the event.
and here's the Daily's article on the shooting.

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Video Editing Tutorials; Flash Tutorials

First off: yes, I've got the sniffles. I'll be fine.


Still need help creating videos online? The people that brought us Democracy Player have created a pretty awesome site with tutorials for Macs, PCs and Linux. Check them out and tell me if they were helpful at all.

Third: don't forget to attend STEM's meeting today. Burke Shartsis of Axis Design Studios will be going over the basics of flash - a must have tool for future journalists looking for a leg up on the competition coming out of college.

STEM will be meeting today, as every Wednesday, at the Academic Success Center (formerly Clark Hall) at 4:30 PM in Room 116.

Bring a friend. See everyone there.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Learn Flash at SJSU

Next week's STEM meeting will feature an intro into BASIC FLASH. Our guest teacher, Burke Shartsis of Axis Design Studios.

Burke is a bit of a pro at the whole flash thing, but don't worry, we've asked him to go over the basics from the perspective of someone who's never opened the program before.

WHAT: Intro into Flash
WHEN: 4:30 PM, Wednesday, April 18th, 2007
WHERE: The Academic Success Center (formerly Clark Library), Room 116

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Adobe: One Man Design, Editing, and Production Suite

I just got back from a demo of the CS3 suite at Adobe in downtown San Jose. WOW!
While I can't say much, as they had everyone sign a confidentiality agreement, let me just say that the video capabilities built right into the CS3 suite are mind-blowing, as are some of the AJAX inspired plugins for still images.

For the sake of FinalCut's employees, I hope they're sprinting towards integrating their system with everyone else's.

And for all you up and coming journalists out there that are contemplating getting an Avid, FinalCut, or other editing system, I'd advise you hold off for a week or two to check out the capabilities of this new system. The keyphrase of the demo was INTEGRATION.

HINT: If you already know that you're getting CS3 when it comes out, make sure you get the Extended edition of Photoshop. Trust me, you'll love it.

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Last week I helped film an interesting video for my friend Michael Dries-Coons, an art major here at SJSU. The premise of the film, get random people to do the can-can on film, edit the film, and post it within 90 minutes.

Wierd and quirky, it's at least good for a chuckle.

It also shows just how easy it is to create content along these days. Go Priemere Pro.

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San Jose Merc on Campus

The San Jose Mercury is on campus today in Dwight Bentel Hall, doing a piece on Prof. Bob Rucker’s Diversity in the Media class. More specifically, the piece is centered on the controversy surrounding Don Imus’ recent comments. Rucker made a call for discussion on racial issues on a talk show earlier this week, a call that the Merc apparently heard.

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Tagging, Pinging, and Website Optimization

STEM will be meeting today at its usual time of 4:30 to discuss tagging, pinging and website optimization. Anyone is invited; bring a friend!

WHO: STEM (Student Technology & Emerging Media)
WHAT: Tagging, Pinging, Web-Opt.
WHEN: 4:30 PM, today
WHERE: Room 116 of the Academic Success Center (formerly Clark Library)

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Tunnel of Oppression Controversy

For those of you who haven't yet seen it, go see the Tunnel of Oppression at the Student Union main ballroom sometime this week.

The exhibit, while pointed, stops viewers and makes them examine some civil rights issues in the world today.

That said, I agree with what Andrew Schwartz said in today's Daily about the Palestinian room being one sided. Here's my little rant on that.

The Palestine section does a disservice to the reality of the conflict, and in fact to Palestinians and Jews alike, by not presenting a more realistically complex account, with both sides represented.

While the facts and figures shown may be accurate, they fail to examine the reasoning behind such actions as suicide attacks and the building of the wall. Ergo, they fail to explain why the conflict has lasted so long or how anything can be resolved.

I do not believe it was the intention of the group, Students for Change, to demonize Israel, as some have said, though I do believe that such one-sided depictions can easy lead to inaccurate interpretations of the conflict.

That said, I also believe Students for Change has every right to present their point of view, no matter what it may be.

Why such a long post on this story? First off, it's Genocide Awareness week. Secondly, the Tunnel of Oppression has been stirring up some controversy online.

Check out these links for a behind-the-scenes look. There's some interesting emails in there as well. (1)(2)(3)

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Radical Transparency @ SJSU

In this month's issue of Wired magazine, they talk about how smart company are opening up everything they do and are to the public.

SJSU has been doing some of the same lately. The JMC crew have been posting video shorts (1)(2) for their midterms, and some not surprisingly raw content has trickled its way into my RSS reader.

In fact, one of the most powerful vids was from Cynthia McCune, a JMC teacher. This sort of honest and frankness makes people and companies tangible - and real!

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