The HuffingtonPost Provides Open Source API For Public Polls |

The initial release is big. It includes more than 215,000 responses to questions from more than 13,000 polls, which the HuffPost Pollster team has organized by subject and geography into more than 200 charts. Per their announcement, “the data feeds operate in real time, so shortly after we add a new poll to our database, itll appear in the HuffPost Pollster APIs responses and calculations.”Adding to the coolness is that the effort relies heavily on open source tools. The HuffPost Pollster team is publishing the data as an HTTP-based application programming interface, or API, with JSON and XML responses. They are releasing the data under a creative commons license.

via The HuffingtonPost releases Pollster, open source API for public polls |

This lets developers get access to a large body of polling data from over 13,000 polls. The API provides JSON and XML responses to queries sent over HTTP allowing developers to parse and display the information in their applications. This represents a major open source resource in the political field.

Twitter Updates for 2012-07-28

  • @elizabethf Law profs can use to do same as iTunesU, including getting stuff in iTunes store but with zero lockin. #
  • @elizabethf yes, there are a range of privacy options and there is support for embedding flash. Not sure on html5, need to look into it. #
  • @elizabethf For more on #Classcaster see, especially the FAQ and Webinars tabs. #
  • @johnpmayer Medicine has med schools and CME, engineers have CE requirements in 30+ states. CE from non-edu not unusual for professions. #
  • @johnpmayer RIGHT!!! We could jam all 1Ls into a single MOOC!! Oh, the humanity!!! #

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U of Minnesota Releases “Cultivating Change in the Academy”, Highlights Future of the Book

This collection of 50+ chapters showcases a sampling of academic technology projects underway across the University of Minnesota, projects that we hope inspire other faculty and staff to consider, utilize, or perhaps even develop new solutions that have the potential to make their efforts more responsive, nimble, efficient, effective, and far-reaching. Our hope is to stimulate discussion about what’s possible as well as generate new vision and academic technology direction. The work underway is most certainly innovative, imaginative, creative, collaborative, and dynamic. This collection of innovative stories is a reminder that we are a collection of living people whose Land Grant values and ideas shape who we serve, what we do, and how we do it. Many of these projects engage others in discourse with the academy: obtaining opinion or feedback, taking the community pulse, allowing for an extended discourse, and engaging citizens in important issues. What better time to share 50+ stories about cultivating change than in 2012 – the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Land Grant Mission!

via University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy: Cultivating Change in the Academy: 50+ Stories from the Digital Frontlines at the University of Minnesota in 2012.

Produced in just 10 weeks, this book is a snapshot of academic technology projects and research underway at the University of Minnesota. Of more interest to me than the speed with which it was produced or the subject matter are the formats in which the book was released. First, it is a blog and a website. Each chapter is a post with the text of the chapter embedded as a PDF file. The blog has commenting enabled, RSS feeds and its own Twitter hashtag, #CC50, so that readers may engage the authors in ongoing discussion.  Second, the work is available in EPUB, .mobi, and PDF formats so you can read it on the platform of your choice. The work carries a Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial- ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

As I’ve stated in a prior post I think the future of books, especially textbooks and other educational materials lies on the web, not locked into some closed or crippled format. This book serves as an excellent example of the future of the book.

Tips and Tricks to Optimize MySQL

Google releases framework for creating interactive physical spaces

Interactive Spaces is implemented primarily in Java, but it has a scripting bridge that supports JavaScript and Python. The framework provides a high-level architecture for building “activities” that respond to events in a room.

In the announcement, Google described a sample Interactive Spaces installation where ceiling-mounted cameras tracked the position of individuals in a room so that the software could display colored lights on the floor where they are standing.

via Google opens code for building interactive experiences in physical spaces | Ars Technica.

Download the code at

Twitter Updates for 2012-07-24

  • @sglassmeyer @johnpmayer Excellent. I've been doing that with Drupal for years. #
  • Contemplating a filter that blocks discussion of printing on teknoids list, though that would probably kill the list. #
  • @LiHuMa Sure, in 1999. Won't discuss ebooks, open ed, etc. Certainly 1100 subs have more to talk about than printing. #
  • Do law libraries collect ebooks? If yes how? If no why not? Free books to experiment on from eLangdell, Free Law Reporter, Fastcase #AALL12 #
  • For easy to follow article on creating your very own ebooks see @sglassmeyer 's article at #AALL12 @caliorg #

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