Friday, August 29, 2008

geek celebrity

Well spent or not, I'm glad NVIDIA paid Adam and Jamie to do this...

Shakeycam version of the end of it...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

digital media and learning competition

The MacArthur Foundation is sponsoring a very exciting competition around digital media and learning, with a focus on participatory learning.  This is a subject I've written about -- both for MacArthur and in other contexts -- and feel is a critical element to both formal and informal education as our world continues to increase in complexity and entanglement.  With the deadline for both the Innovation and Young Innovator awards October 15th, I suspect that many readers of this blog are involved in projects that should be in the running.  This is an amazing opportunity to bring cutting edge learning to a broader audience!

Monday, August 25, 2008

can haz blog post, pleez?

Amazing how having a job can interfere with one's blogging. Cliff Note's update:

  • EMI digital engineering is now happily ensconced in our temporary SF office and hiring is going nicely. (Note to purveyors of temporary office space, if you want my business, clearly explain your pricing, allow me to close quickly, and after I take the time to come visit don't suddenly explain that you only do two month or longer leases.)
  • I have a bit of an addiction to NikeID.  Shocking, I know, that I would love user-generated clothing, but there's something amazing about completely custom shoes for a $10 premium.  Recently got a pair that was sized incorrectly and was pleased to find that Nike has a great return policy -- any reason for 30 days and free return shipping label.  Amazing the influence that Amazon, Zappos, and others have had on online shopping.
  • Made Alton Brown's deep-fried mac and cheese.  All food can now be clearly divided into two classes: perfection (ie, deep-fried mac and cheese) and not-perfection (ie, everything else).  I modified the recipe slightly -- buttermilk rather than eggs for binding the panko  -- and if you cook you should try this!
Less eclectic posts coming, I hope.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

questions about the password anti-pattern

This came up in two different conversations today, so a post rather than just sending email. For those not familiar with the concept, the password anti-pattern refers to web sites that ask you to submit a name and password in order gather your friends' email addresses. Jeremy Keith has a nice description of it on his blog. The problem is that it teaches people to cough up their password, which is a particularly bad habit online, especially in the age of phishing and pharming attacks.

It is particularly noxious because most of the major online email services have APIs for doing this in a secure manner. Google has the Contacts API. Yahoo! has the Address Book API. AIM friend lists can be grabbed via OpenAuth. The Windows Live can help you with Facebook and Bebo. MySpace

If you want to play with how these work for the end user, Flickr has a really nice implementation up for scraping Yahoo, Gmail, and Hotmail contact lists.

shout out for great customer service

My wife just bought a new car from Sonnen in San Rafael, CA. We did our research online and coordinated the test drive via their internet sales manager, Jay Vaswani (his email is jvaswani at sonnenvwaudi dot dealercrm dot com). From arrival at the dealership for the test drive to driving off the lot was under 3 hours. Not only that, but Jay drove to our house - 45 minutes away -- to pickup a check from us, since we somehow ended up a an auto dealership without a checkbook! Jay also was quick to answer email enquiries over the weekend. It is striking how great customer service really stands out from the average. Thanks, Jay!