Wednesday, January 31, 2007

"Daily Blues"

A little news on the present circumstances, and future of the Spartan Daily.

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Sparta Squad

Last night, members of the Sparta Squad gathered outside of Campus Village for hot chocolate, raffles, and a good time.

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First Episode!

Hiking near IBM, off 101South. This is the first episode for my new blog, which I will continue to cross-post here. The video-blogs name is Port 80, and it can be found here.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Google and the Video Bug

Sean Gilpin blogged about the inaccessibility of video in Google Reader with relation to external devices, the other day. Google must be listening to users like him more and more, as a post today by Google Operating System shows. The new Reader allows users to embed vids directly into feeds, something not previously possible. While it doesn't have the direct upload feature that Sean is craving, it is a step in the right direction.

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Segregation at SJSU

Bob Rucker brought up an interesting point today in MCOM105. Students in the Student Union seem to self segregate. Asians, blacks, whites - cliques form from table to table.

Ergo, I want to shoot a video for this blog about diversity, segregation, racism on campus, and of course, the media. If anyone has relevant stories to this end, be it an enlightened opinion about why it happens (or maybe the opinion that segregation doesn't happen, for that matter), let me know.

I can set up an interview time with you at your convenience, so don't worry about busy schedules.

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Google Blows My Mind

Here's a great article from The New Yorker about the massive Google Books undertaking. Talk about a monstrous about of data: Google's decided to scan every book ever written and make them all searchable like web sites.

Good thing Hitachi Global Storage Technologies is coming out with the terabyte drive. I think Google might need a few.

Sidenote: This could be great news for journalists! With all books going electronic, it will force government agencies to do the same, and integrate their systems with Google's. While it may be scary for some, pretty soon, all research may be done on the web.

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Scoble's Technorati Favorites

Another reason I love Technorati: getting to essentially read your favorite blogger's newspaper.
While browsing through Scoble's Technorati profile, I found one of his "favorite blogs" that didn't have any links to it yet.

Here's its first.

Microsoft's Technet, which gives a huge amount of technical support to users on everything Microsoft related, is pretty cool. Either the site is new, or it just hasn't gotten any press yet. Interested in Microsoft tech? Check it out here.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Where in the World are BBC's Viewers?

Chris Doidge had this interesting post today about a lecture made by BBC's Huw Edwards. Huw talked about why BBC ratings have dropped, and what must be done to the news to turn it around.
Hint: It has something to do with great story-telling.

"BBC needs to be presenting a face and a voice that says, 'we are representative of the United Kingdom. Okay. We're not just a certain group of people, broadcasting from a certain area.'"

"[the news] has got to be diverse and it has got to be credible. People have got to see elements of society reflected back at them. "

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And the Story Found Me

With the semester reeving back up, I know I'll soon be back in story-telling mode. Looking back on the notes from one of my classes, I was struck by a quote I scribbled in one of my binders last semester.

"Good stories write themselves," a teacher told me.

Sure, but it takes a keen eye to sort the mundane from the extraordinary, and great writers are great writers for their expertise in this arena.

I often reread this article from Rocky Mountain News journalist, Jim Sheeler, when trying to understand how good journalists can highlight the best features of a story. The piece earned Mr. Sheeler the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing. Some of you have already read it.

It still gives me goosebumps.

(Notice how the multimedia compliments the story without being intrusive. Genius.)

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Let's Communicate!

Hello Soapbox Prophet world! Andrew invited me to participate a while ago, and I am finally doing it. I also posted this on my own blog, and even though Andrew said, "Enough babbling about the site and club," I am going to do it anyway:

I just got out of my Theater Arts 141 class. Yes a journalism student in a theater class. But not really. For some reason, the radio, TV, video & film department has a class on web-design (Internet Production and Performance is the official title) and the journalism and mass communications school does not. In fact, the old-fashioned paper journalism design class being offered right now is not even part of the regular curriculum. Don't worry, I haven't figured it out yet either.

As we went around the room and introduced ourselves, our introductions turned into a conversation of how these types of classes are not offered in other departments. Most of the people in the class are not from the RTVF department. There were TV people there, but also a ton of graphic design majors, as well as journalism, photography and art majors.

It was pointed out that there is a lot of duplication and lack of communication in the university. Apparently, the art department does not ever do anything with the photography department. And what about the photojournalism students? There are TV and radio facilities in the RTVF department and the same thing in the journalism school. Do we really need both? Why don't we work together?

The professor said that they radio station is starving for content. So why don't we journalists help provide it? Our building is only a couple yards away.

I think this should be one of our goals as we build a club for those of us that are interested in technology. We need a place that students can get together and talk about what they are doing, whatever department they may be in. Wouldn't it be great if the graphic designers can come tell the journalists what classes and professors they should take, and visa versa? The university is certainly not doing it.

Instead of penalizing students for taking classes in other areas, the university should be encouraging it. The TV major sitting next to me tonight said that this class on Internet production is not part of his "Communications in the Information Age" minor, even though it is in the same department.

The university needs to take a good look at what is being done. We need collaboration and modernization. The only way it is going to get done is if students will work together to make it happen.

Picasso at SJSU Theater

Whoever is big on theater, don't forget, Picasso runs through Saturday at the SJSU theater. Check it out. Doors open at 8pm tonight. Admission is $10. Come out, support your local starving artists, and have some fun!

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Tennis Mania and the New Face of JMC163

Enough babbling about the site and club - look who's online now.

Chris Duarte, of the SJSU Tennis Club, has been going crazy on the new club website. He said he hopes to get video and a lot of other content up soon enough.

And JMC163 is back this semester, taught in three courses by Cynthia McCune, Bob Rucker and Stephen Greene. Again, the classes will have blogs (I am not certain what will become of last semester's blog, although some have continued posting to it) and a wiki to mod into whatever students need it to be.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Freedom to Link?

ZDNet had this great article last week that got me to thinking. Would I be comfortable with any intervention from a government body in the daily function of the internet? While I can understand the fear that is being generated by the possibility of carriers blocking sites based on ownership issues, I am squimmish (to say the least) just pondering how US government intervention could go terribly wrong. Visions and Ted Stevens and dance in my mind - and that's not a pretty picture. Am I paranoid, or does just a classic American?

What do you think?

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Cleaning House

I've decided that a little house cleaning is a must on this site. There are several blogs that I linked to at the end of last semester that have simply been abandoned, and others from students that whom have since graduated. Those will be gone or moved to a different section of the site shortly.

Also, I'll be busy scouring Technorati over the next few days in search of new bloggers/vloggers in the SJSU community. If you know anyone out there that hasn't been linked to on this site, shoot me an email here.

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Making History!

Blogger Beta is back in business, baby!

For those of you that didn't read my post on JMC163, I've taken the first step towards forming a New Media & Tech club on campus. Kyle Hansen has already told me that he's in, and now I'm looking for more students/teachers/technologists that are interested in making some history.

I know that this first week of school is going to be busy for everyone, so I am hoping to have a meeting sometime next week to discuss: 1.) a constitution, 2.) electing officers 3.) meeting times and locations, and 4.) have the club will do throughout the year.

The has been talk of getting speakers, of teaching CSS, video and audio podcasting, and a whole host of other things, but I really would like input from other people that are interested in the club.

One last thing; does anyone know how one goes about getting permission to set up a booth on campus? I figure that would be a great way to get the word out there about the new club, for non-tech geeks. Again, any help anyone could give would be helpful.

Contact me anytime on Skype (username: andrew.venegas), call me on my cellular phone, or email me here.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Sports @ SJSU Growing?

I not a sports buff, by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I'm just a geek. But this article today from College Hotline and this one from the Merc caught my attention - strange whispers of a stadium getting built near campus with some real promise of expanding SJSU's image across the Bay and beyond.

More attention, even in sports, would mean more revenue for the school, and possibly more opportunities for students. I'm not saying the deal would necessarily be the right thing for the school, but I'd definitely like to hear more.

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Your Mac Life

Burke (from Axis.ds) and I met Shawn King from Your Mac Life after Diggnation ended at the expo. Shawn invited us to the afterparty at the Great American Music Hall last night. Lots of fun - great food (excellent chocolate) - great bar (open, of course) - and lots of interesting conversation.

Oh, and did I mention that Paul Kent, IDG's World Expo VP IN CHARGE OF MACWORLD, sang in a rock/blues/funk band. Who said that geeks can't jam?
Happy Anniversary to Shawn, again. He got married at the Your Mac Life after party last year!

I'll have all my pics from the party up on flickr later today, as well as a couple videos from the conference.

Best line of the after party from Burke: "Drew... I think I'm drunk."
Best response from me: "Yes, Burke... yes you are."

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Time Off is Over

After taking a good portion of the break off, I decided to go to MacWorld this week. WOW. If any of you missed what Jeff Han did at TED in February of last year - don't fear - Apple incorporated it into the new iPhone.

They've struck gold on this one, with a blazing 2 Mb upload speed. True, it isn't the six or nine you'd expect from your LAN, but for now, you can get directions and view video clips from friends just fine. And before anyone complains that the battery life is going to be too short to listen to your music (4 or 8 gigs worth), just know word on the grapevine says that the new (or old, if you remember them) thin, mesh batteries that used to be too slow, are now efficient enough to hold longer charges at lower heat levels then they used to be...

...that's geek talk for, "the battery life won't be much of an issue in a year or so."

Anyone at Mac wanna let me demo it for awhile?

There was plenty of other eye candy there as well, from video glasses for your ipod to iTV... I mean Apple TV, which is basically a front end media player for the masses. It's not hard to make your own Linux box to do what Apple TV does anyways, and yes, the authentication process WILL BE A TURNOFF FOR A LOT OF BUYERS who aren't interested in supporting hardware that reinforces protection for the media giants. But still, it's sleek, it's trendy, and it will at least push the markets towards complete internet based media faster.

Broadcast is soooooooooo dead.

Hey, and check out Diggnation this week. They broadcast live from the expo. Way cool. I got some pics taken with Jay, Kevin and Alex. Even Leah Culver was there; not to mention the geek architect behind it all, Daniel Burka.

And then there were the after-parties...

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Improving Spartan Daily

There has been a lot of talk about how to improve the online presence of The Spartan Daily such as here on Invisible Inkling. From my perspective, the easiest way to do that is to concentrate less on the web page and more on making the RSS feed useful. It’s great that the Spartan Daily has an RSS feed, but the full article is not included in the feed. In order to view the article, you have to click a link to the Spartan Daily website and read it from there. That defeats the purpose of using an application like Google Reader, and it makes me not want to read the feed at all.

I also don’t like the layout of the Spartan Daily webpage. Don’t get me wrong, it is impressive considering it was probably designed by some very hard working people at SJSU, but it just doesn’t fit the way I’m used to having content delivered to me. It looks like an old school static page. I think it would be better and simpler if the stories were just published on a Wordpress page. That would also allow articles to be tagged with information like the author, or the type of article. Ultimately, small changes like these could make the Spartan Daily more accessible and give more power to the readers.