Using Skype For Recorded Phone Interviews

DDN Articles – Using Skype as a Community Media Production Tool

The article doesn’t pursue this to the end I can see: podcasting. You can use Skype to record interviews and then post those to a blog, getting your own podcast going. I’m developing this sort of thing using open source tools.

ICANN adds .jobs, .travel domains

InfoWorld: ICANN adds .jobs, .travel domains: April 08, 2005: By : STANDARDS
Two new top-level domains, .jobs and .travel, will soon come to the Internet after the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved the two domains on Friday.


Grading Essays With a Computer

Teachers leave grading up to the computer | CNET
Ed Brent, professor of sociology at the Columbia, Mo., university, spent six years developing the program, which is called Qualrus, and has been testing it on his pupils for the past two. It works by scanning text for keywords, phrases and language patterns. Students load papers directly into the system via the Web and get nearly instant feedback.

How can a cold, mechanical computer comprehend the art and nuance of writing? The program is actually quite sophisticated, Brent said. It’s not enough to just throw keywords into an essay willy-nilly. The program analyzes sentence and paragraph structure and can ascertain the flow of arguments and ideas. It gives each work a numeric score based on the weight instructors place on various elements of the assignment.

I wonder if this would choke on a law school final?

Microsoft Patch Day: Critical Bulletins Expected

Microsoft Patch Day: Critical Bulletins Expected
Microsoft Corp. on Thursday announced plans to release eight security bulletins on April 12, including “critical” fixes for flaws in several widely deployed applications.

As part of its advance notice mechanism, the software giant said five high-priority patches would deal only with flaws in the Windows operating system.

Ten Mysteries of about:config

Ten Mysteries of about:config | Linux Journal
The Firefox Web browser, built by the Mozilla Foundation and friends is a complicated piece of technology-if you care to look under the hood. It’s not obvious where the hood catch is, because the surface of Firefox (its user interface) is polished up to appeal to ordinary, nontechnical end users. This article gives you a glimpse of the engine. It explains how the Mozilla about:config URL opens up a world of obscure preferences that can be used to tweak the default setup. They’re an improbable collection and therein lies the beauty of Firefox if you’re a grease monkey or otherwise technical. At the end you’ll know a little more about Firefox, but only enough to be dangerous.


Slashdot | AOL Enters the VoIP market
AOL is entering the VoIP market with its new service entitled ‘AOL Internet Phone Service’. The service will be available in 40 cities around the US and offer integrated IM presence indicator, voice/e-mail and features like Call Waiting, CallerID. As a bonus current AOL members will receive a wireless AP when signing-up for the service.

VoIP is all fine and dandy so long as you actually have the IP part. I’ve been experiencing considerable difficulty with my cable broadband over the past few weeks and it has been a good thing that i wasn’t relying on it for phone service.

This is the basic flaw in VoIP: no way to guarantee the same level of service availability that you get from a telco. When I pick up my land line, I get dial tone. I don’t get that from any other service. My cells are plagues by ‘dead spots’, dropped calls, and poor reception. My cable and broadband are not always there when I want them. If VoIP is ever going to be anything other than a novelty, VoIP and broadband providers need to work together to make sure that the service is up all the time.

Duke to Giveaway Fewer iPods

BetaNews | Duke Modifies iPod Giveaway Program
However, the faculty will be the deciding factor this year as to which students will receive the iPods.

Reaction from students has been mixed, with many claiming the program was a waste of money, as most already owned Apple’s player. Students felt that more pressing issues, such as financial aid and campus security, should have been addressed first.

More on this here and here. The original release from Duke is here, as is the Duke iPod homepage.

what’s in it for me? why would I want to start a blog?

Why indeed. I’ve been blogging since October 19, 2000, mainly as a sort of scrapbook/clipping service/notebook. I blog to note things of interest to me that I may want to quickly find again. On occasion I opine. The bonus is that I choose a public place for this and a few other folks are interested enough in what I post to follow along.

<CONTENT /> version 1 screenshot <CONTENT /> version 2 screenshot <CONTENT /> version 3 screenshot

For law faculty, I can think of 2 reasons to blog: self-publishing in areas of interest (scholarly and otherwise) and communicating with students. It is important to keep in mind that a blog and the software that powers it are just a set of tools that you use to accomplish something. While most blogs have certain off-the-cuff, spur-of-the-moment diary quality about them, that is not all that they are good for. The key thing about blogging is that it is web-publishing made easy. Blogs can do anything a ‘regular’ website can do, without the overhead.

For further reading about weblogs in education I would suggest Educational Blogging by Stephen Downes, (EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 39, no. 5 (September/October 2004): 14–26).

Why start a blog?


  • pick a topic
  • pick a schedule
  • pick an editor
  • pick an audience

Class/Course blogging

  • quickly, easily post course material
  • allow for student comment and interaction
  • not email
  • less ‘overhead’ than Blackboard, TWEN

What’s in it for me?

  • A wider audience for your work
  • Increased communication with students

Ajax Defined

You got your Ajax in my Ruby
Codified by Jesse James Garrett of Adaptive Path in “Ajax: A New Approach to Web Applications“, Ajax stands for “Asynchronous Javascript XML.” Essentially what Ajax does is move much of the smarts involving user-interaction from the web server to your web browser. This takes the form of an Ajax engine (a piece of Javascript code) embedded into a web page, downloaded to your browser, and springing into action upon arrival. Acting as an interaction broker, the engine takes care of all the whizbang interactivity you see (form input and validation, dragging-and-dropping, showing-and-hiding, etc.) while dealing with the web server (and it’s back-end database) as needed.

Well, this clears up a few things. Now it the questions is how does this help me? I did find this toolkit, Sajax, that includes a PHP backend.