Yes, I said iPod, not iPhone -- why? Because Yumi doesn't have an iPhone. You can get most everything out of an iPod that you can out of an iPhone without the monthly contracts. OK, so it's not a phone and you need a Wi-Fi hotspot in order to connect. Beyond phone and the photo and microphone recording qualities that come with it, they are basically the same system. The new iPod touch even has built-in speakers, so if you're watching a YouTube video you don't need to take your headphones with you. An iPhone is just an iPod on steroids. As long as you have the upgrade to use Apple's applications, you can do a lot with your iPod. You don't even have to use Apple's iTunes, but it helps if you want to fill it up with applications.
This is a great time for the Gates Foundation to embrace Linux, bringing the value of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) to people who might otherwise not hear its value. For the past 10 years the Gates Foundation has expanded access to technology by delivering Windows computers to public libraries. Wouldn't it be cool for the next 10 years for the Gates Foundation to deliver new Ubuntu systems for public access use at these same libraries?
Seeing is believing, and the more people see Linux, the more they will believe in it. Some might claim that by embracing Linux the Gates Foundation might be hurting sales of Windows. The Gates Foundation's mission is not to protect or expand Windows' franchise, though. It's mission is to expand access to education and health. I can think of no better tool for that than Linux.
Imagine free Linux workshops at public libraries where members of the public learn and see how to convert old Windows 98 computers to very usable Puppy Linux systems. Puppy Linux runs well on old computers with 64 megabytes of memory. It includes a Mozilla browser and AbiWord, a word processor that can load and save Microsoft Word files.
I recently did an article about security issues and the Xbox 360. The dangers of using a credit card with your Xbox 360 Live account and Microsoft's current predatory business model. Today we have a chance to have a talk with a victim of Xbox Live's scrupulous business habits who got overcharged on his Xbox Live account for 3 years. Devon George is a 23 year old active gamer from New York City. Welcome Devon and thank you for sharing your story with us today.
Devon, can you tell us a little bit about how Microsoft overcharged you for 3 years?
Well when I first got my X-box I didn't know a thing about dial up and broadband. I had Unreal Tournament and I never played it because while it was fun offline it wasn't very challenging so I looked into finally setting up my X-box online. At first I was told I could use dial up but of course that didn't work. Thing is a Microsoft representative told me this. So after hours of trying to connect with dial up and even having another rep walk me through they told me I needed a faster connection. Once I got that set up I was online ready I went through the set up and at the end of it I hit a brick wall because I had to give a credit card number. At the time I didn't have a credit card so I had to borrow my sisters. Everything was cool at first. I got more online able games, had my fun, made some friends and eventually the one year payment came to an end. I got a message from Microsoft telling me my time would be up in a month and had I not renewed it my account with x-box live would be suspended.
I recently received a fundraising appeal email from the Creative Commons. I'm a big fan of the Creative Commons and have been blessed with great richness in my life. The richness in my life is not material, though. It's centered more on creativity and community. So I got to thinking about ways that creative types can support the Creative Commons by donating some of their creative works -- for sale by the Creative Commons.
So maybe we need a new category of creative works called, "Creative Commons Aloft." This category of creative works is donated to the Creative Commons organization to keep the organization aloft.
And in the spirit of the Creative Commons, different people can build on each other's creative works to create something bigger and better than any single mind could create. In this spirit, I've composed the chorus of a new song and offer this song as a Creative Commons Aloft. Others Creative Commons supporters around the world can pitch in to contribute verses of this song. Musicians more talented than myself can record the song and offer their own talent to support the Creative Commons. The Creative Commons can then sell this song via the iTunes Music Store and other music distribution channels.
I think this "day of service" is asking too much of people. It would be much better to ask people to give an hour of service, or maybe even a minute of service.
Even a minute of service is too much to ask. We should just ask people to utter one sentence that is not rude and mean-spirited. I'm calling upon people nationwide to utter one sentence that is not rude and mean-spirited.
After uttering that one sentence they can then resume their fist-fighting including unrestrained biting, spitting, and scratching and the holding of press conferences to deny impeachable offenses, as well as bilking the public out of $1.5 billion.
Helene Blowers is the Digital Initiatives Librarian for the Columbus Metropolitan Library in Columbus, Ohio. I follow her Library Bytes blog because of the vibrancy of her thinking and ideas. She recently gave a talk at the Boulder Public Library, in Boulder, Colorado. Scroll down on her blog to view the slideshare of her Dec. 5, 2008 talk. (Click onto the slideshare to activate it and then move forward and backwards thru the slideshare using the left and right arrow keys on your keyboard.)
She's talking about playfulness and creativity and public libraries. Her talk got me thinking a lot about this and related topics. And in my wondering I asked myself these questions: What is the connection between creativity and playfulness? And then what is the connection between creativity and ingenuity? And then what is the connection between ingenuity and public libraries?
Public libraries are about books, right? Yes, books. And something other than books, too. Public libraries are physical homes for the human imagination. The human imagination is represented physically in books, but also in the things we build and make. The media we make. The contraptions we devise. The songs we compose. The art we make.
In case you might not have noticed, some of the most inspiring and entertaining music videos on YouTube are played on the humble four-stringed ukulele. Ever since Jake Shimabukuro introduced me to the possibilities of the ukulele, I've kept my eye out for the ever growing number of very talented ukulele players on YouTube.
I've written here before about some of my favorite ukulele players. To that list, add in Victoria Vox who is redefining music with her ukulele renditions. I dare you to not be astounded at her performances. And then there is the anual Bushman Ukulele Video Contest. Last year's winner, Julia Nunes, has huge talent, both as a performer and a composer. You can easily see why she was the winner of the 2007 Bushman Ukulele Video Contest. My pick for this year's winner is Germany's WS64. His rendition of I Believe in Father Christmas is as perfect as they get. Here is my breakdown of his grade: Video production value: A+ Singing: A+ Ukelele playing: A+