Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Metadata for Podcasts

Dave Winer and Marc Canter are talking about metadata for podcasts. I'd like to turn the discussion on its head and look at how to including the podcast metadata into the standard Dublin Core HTML metadata. Work done for GEM (Gateway to Educational Materials) is probably useful because they deal with duration. This is espcially important for podcast because why they now audio, there is no reason why many other file types won't be in future podcasts. My work involves reading an HTML page and its metadata to make an RSS item.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Wal-Mart Unions in China

How about this? Wal-Mart is allowing unions in their stores in China because of competition according to a radio report I heard. This is big news. Other articles indicate Wal-Mart acted because of pressure from the press or authorities.

Another indication that China is superpower. Maybe the next superpower. Or maybe the economic superpower. (Note: oil price rise was first indicator for me.)

Cranberry Banana Nut Bread

I bake and cook so much by changing recipes and never write down the modifications. That makes it nearly impossible to repeat which is sometimes a good thing. Let's try blogging a recipe instead.

2 c whole wheat flour
2 c white flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder

2 mashed large bananas
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cups OJ
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup oil

3 cups chopped cranberries
1 1/2 cups light chopped walnuts

Bake at 350 for 55 minutes.

Variation on desert bread with many more nuts. Some holiday I'd like to make a nut bread as good as my great aunts.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Tile Community on Web with Pictures

Online communities have intrigued me since the days of Bulletin Board Systems (BBSs) in 1978. I'm certain that they thrive because of both a critical mass and the "art of the moderator." The former is interesting science to analysis while the later is beauty to behold.

John Bridge Ceramic Tile is a surprisingly strong community. "Tile and marble veterans from around the country and around the world (U.S., Canada, Australia, U.K.) " On Saturday morning I asked a question about a taping greenboard and cement backer board (CBB) and got a reply within an hour. I had spent the previous hour using Goggle trying to find an answer because no DYI book gave me an answer.

What startled me about this community is pictures. So many topics have pictures of people building showers, bathrooms and other projects. Not professional photographers, but real life pictures. This community is so much stronger because of digital cameras.

People ask why I want a camera in my new phone. Same people use to ask why I would ever want a color monitor. John Bridge Forum is just one reason why I'll get a camera in my phone.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Feeling Blue State

With only 49.2% of my union's vote, I'm feeling blue. If just 3 people had changed their vote, I would have been Treasurer. Its a volunteer position, so I'm actually glad to have the free time and hopeful that the new President will carry out some reforms. So while I feel like blue states, I'm not feeling blue.

And thanks to all that helped on my campaign.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Lessons from Viet Nam

This was too upsetting to read in one sitting, so I just finished coverage of Seymour Hersh at UC Berkeley from October 2004.  "Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh spills the secrets of the Iraq quagmire and the war on terror."

Remember the hawks and doves during Viet Nam? If you do, I think Seymour Hersh's accounts will chill you to the bone. If not, ask some one who remembers how this country was torn apart as the public slowly realized that our Viet Nam policy was wrong. (Are we similarly torn apart now into Red and Blue?)

So there is a lesson about Iraq and Viet Nam, but there is also a bigger lesson that I believe we have learned as a nation. You don't have to support the policy or the policy makers, but you should always support the troops.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Moral Values is a Brand Name

A caller to Chris Core's talk radio show said the other night that the reason it is so hard to come together after this election is religion. I don't think he meant that one side or the other was more religious or was more responsible, but rather that religion was even part of it. We seemed to have reversed nearly 50 years of effort. When John Kennedy was elected, everyone was arguing that religion, in this case Catholicism, should not be important.

Now we have so called "moral values." The word coiners are using these words to advance their agenda. Moral values is as accurate as the Patriot Act, No Child Left Behind or death tax. This rebranding of issue is emotionally pushing issues, not advancing the debate. The brand name is not the same as good morals.

Words do matter. So maybe we can come together if we agree upon the words to frame the debate instead of brand names. We'll see if the Republicans, conservative commentators and right radio can do that.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Red Map

This is a polarizing map. I think we're more purple than this. Probably reddish purple.

Convergence and acleareye

Found an interesting new blog by Tom Asacker called acleareye for people interesting in brands and marketing. I also like the format. Each item's title is SoAndSo on Subject. For example, Al Ries on convergence. Since Ries is one of my favorite authors, I left this comment.

The telephone answering machine is my example [of convergence]. It is almost impossible to find a stand alone version anymore. Most people now have a telephone in their house with an answering machine.

However, I tend to agree that convergence is an organic process in terms of product life cycle. As a product becomes a commodity (e.g., more of a published good) it tends to become a value add for other products. Answering machines are so cheap that they are a simple value add for telephones. Or it may simply be when two products become published goods, convergence looks like a value add.

Future Note: Above would be interesting Tetrad.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004