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Interesting article about Moocs and Higher Ed

Master's Degree Is New Frontier of Study Online -

Next January, the Georgia Institute of Technology plans to offer a master's degree in computer science through massive open online courses for a fraction of the on-campus cost, a first for an elite institution. If it even approaches its goal of drawing thousands of students, it could signal a change to the landscape of higher education.

[GEEKY] List of Siri Commands

How to Use Siri - Full list of Siri Commands for iPhone, iPad, Video:

Below is a comprehensive Siri Commands List (updated for iOS6) for the new Siri Personal Assistant, optimized for mobile Safari browsers. These cool and useful Siri Commands can be used on your iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, iPad, iPad mini, and the iPod Touch. If you find this list helpful, or if you would like to add to our list of top Siri Commands, please use the comments section below.

Anonymity online: What good is it?

Seth Godin is said to have said that anonymous commenting is not a good thing:

"…Mathew, the forces for anonymous are running out of time. For almost two decades, the internet has been anonymous friendly, and what has come of it?…" (from GigaOm, via @davewiner)

Here's what Rosie O'Donnel said about Twitter, which gets to a similar point:

"…Correct, and that's what it is. It's like standing on a stage in a darkened comedy club and people throwing shit at you and you still trying to do your act…" (from transcript of Here's the Thing interview)

Looked at the right way, this could be good news!

I came across this article a few days ago. The Ticktock of the Death Clock - Yes a depressing topic. The author muses on the wonderful internet resource which purports to tell you, to the second, when you will die. Hah Hah funny.

Oddly though the article turns this topic into a positive and constructive messasge. Once the author sees that according to he only has 18 years to go, he ups and quits his job:

Yes, just like that. Call me crazy. I worked as an editor and, ironically, my soon-to-be-former boss had once given me a copy of Malcolm Gladwell's "Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking," suggesting I needed to act more on impulse than rationality. I had previously underlined this particular section: "Decisions made very quickly can be every bit as good as decisions made cautiously and deliberately.

I skipped by the article online, came back the next day, read it again. Still I didn't have the 'nerve' to visit

Realizing that 90% of what you find on the web is created by a pimply brazillian teenager working in the middle of the night (nothing against pimples) you know that you can't take something like seriously. Still it took me a few more days to visit And you know it didn't depress me at all, it instead served as a kick in the pants to do more of the things that I love to do, and, as it says in the bible (?) "Don't put off to tomorrow what you can do today!"

That's my message to you, too.

Whats reasonable to ask for before you invest $10K-$20K

A couple of entrepreneurs asked me whether I'd be interested in investing in their project at a very early stage. The question arose, what kind of information would I need (and by extension would any other potential angel need) to see before even considering this?

  1. Most obviously, what would the investor get for their funds. What are the legal/financial terms. Exactly what would the 'paperwork' look like.
  2. What is the total amount they want to raise this time around? What they plan to do with the money and what do they think they will need to accomplish before needing to go back to angels for more.
  3. Any references, recommendations, early validation from experts in the field, or potential or actual customers.
  4. What their immediate next steps are, what assumptions are they trying to validate, what do they think they know already about the product, market, manufacturing, pricing, customer needs, competitors and so on.
  5. I know they that have potentially patentable IP. What are their plans around patenting, how soon will they tackle this and in what way.
  6. What individuals are working with them, are they planning to bring on board, are eager to join, and their backgrounds.

Hmm. Am I asking too many questions for a 'mere' $10,000?

Trees talk to each other at night and other facts

Cory Doctorow: Lies I've Told My 3 Year Old Recently Trees talk…:

"Lies I 've Told My 3 Year Old Recently

Trees talk to each other at night.
All fish are named either Lorna or Jack.
Before your eyeballs fall out from watching too much TV, they get very loose.
Tiny bears live in drain pipes.
If you are very very quiet you can hear the clouds rub against the sky.
The moon and the sun had a fight a long time ago.
Everyone knows at least one secret language.
When nobody is looking, I can fly.
We are all held together by invisible threads.
Books get lonely too.
Sadness can be eaten.
I will always be there."

-- Raul Gutierrez, "Lives I've Told My 3 Year Old Recently" (via words-in- lines)

(via thatbooksmell)

Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence

We were on vacation in Greece and Turkey a few weeks ago and I noticed many TripAdvisor Certificate of this or that, hanging in windows of random shops on remote islands (and big cities) and I got to thinking, are these for real? Is there a simple way to get a counterfiet certificate? It's just a piece of paper and I somehow doubt that TripAdvisor in Massachusetts USA is aware that "The Citadel" shop on Santanelli is sporting a fake certificate.

[p.s: Searching for "get me tripadvisor certificate of excellence" produced these high res images ready for editing and printing at your neighborhood color print shop. ]

All about Rolling Stone magazine

About a year ago I started reading Rolling Stone magazine. It's true what Taibbi says, it's definitely not People or EW magazine. Yes it does have good 'cultural' coverage about music and art and so on, but the writing is good and interesting and very often has nothing to do with music. All the uproar about the Tsarnaev cover (I haven't received the issue yet but I almost feel like I have) is so over the top.

I mean get over it people, it's just a magazine cover. Anyway, Mike Taibbi below has a far more reasoned reaction to the outrage than mine, and it's a good article.

Matt Taibbi Explains the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Cover | Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone:

It's impossible to become too self-righteous in the defense of something like a magazine when the bottom line of this story is, has been, and always will be that people were cruelly murdered or mutilated through Tsarnaev's horrible act. That truth supercedes all others and always will. So this is a defense of Rolling Stone that I'm not shouting at the top of my voice. What happens to the magazine and its reputation is really of little consequence in the grand scheme of things. But I do think this has mainly been a misunderstanding, one that hopefully will be cleared up in time.

Love/Hate Gmail

I've been using Gmail like forever now and have converted many friends and family members to using it. It's great and it's ridiculously cheap. Coupled with a good ad-suppressor plug-in for Safari (Mac) it works well for me. I do access it, almost always, via the desktop Mail app on Mac OSX, so I don't experience it's UI all the time.

But the Gmail UI is quite bizarre, with multiple different ways to do similar things, weird drop down menus and weird functionality in places. So it's a little annoying, but, it does scale, it is cheap, and it is up almost all the time.

I only briefly considered the idea of moving from Gmail to something else when reading this article, but within seconds knew I would stay with Gmail. So all I got out of reading the article is an idea for a lousy blog post 🙂

Switching from Gmail to FastMail / Max Masnick:

I switched from Gmail to FastMail a few months ago and I've been meaning to write a post about how I did it. I saw a tweet about ads in Gmail that look like normal email this morning and thought, "Ads that look like email??? This is the last straw. I want to help people get out."

GPS Free car tracking

Very clever!

An Automated GPS-Free Location System For Cars | IdeaFeed | Big Think:

It works through the use of two simple cameras, which collect video data that is then compared to an OpenStreetMap area map. Through a process of elimination that takes place within an average of 20 seconds of driving, the system is able to figure out exactly where the car is. During tests conducted in Germany, it located cars to within 3 meters of their actual positions.