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 "" and forwarded ""(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

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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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Spring Break 2007

Please excuse the language in this video. Twenty-four miles of hiking, mild dehydration, and the constant smell of BO were the culprits here, as my brother, Tony, his girlfriend, Andrea, and myself trekked through Henry COE state park.

Good times.

Well, I'm back now, and just starting to get back into the groove of things. Expect more content to flood your bandwidth soon.

Oh, and I know the sound isn't very good in this post, but if you listen closely, you can faintly hear a turkey gobbling back in the first bit.