Posts Categorized: tidbits

Sunday TidBits: Delete, A Class of her Own, Farming, and love letters to Nokia


Sun 09.15.13 – Various and sundry bits from around the internet that are worth your time:
1) She Makes War has a spot on layered vocals-only song & video (above) called “Delete” about one’s life online. After nearly 20 years online, I would like to delete bits of myself.
2) More Intelligent Life on Humaira Bachal’s fight for her own education and then schools for many others in her community of Moach Goth on the edge of Karachi, Pakistan. This is both a tear-jerker and absolutely inspiring story, go read it:

“Humaira was 13 when a crazy idea struck her. “My mother used to get us ready every day, tie two ponytails for us, put 2-kilo schoolbags on our backs and send us off. We would walk for 20 minutes–but on the way not one other child in this settlement would join us. One, they did not have money, and two, nobody considered girls to be anything. Those who didn’t mind sending girls to school couldn’t afford to, because of fees, and the cost of books and uniforms. By then I was in sixth standard [the equivalent of year eight in Britain]. I thought, I’m a big star, I know everything, so I will teach them myself!”
What would become the Dream Model Street School began in 2001, with one blackboard, at home. Humaira taught ten friends of her age, seven of them girls. She started with the alphabet, in Urdu and English, and proceeded to the names of things. She supplied blank pages from her own notebooks, until it got her into trouble with her teachers. Then the friends went round asking people to donate paper, or bought scrap.
Soon, Tahira, who was 11, and three other girls were teaching alongside Humaira. “We were militant about time. Time for study, time for play, time to eat–and time to go out and recruit. We didn’t have the sense to realise we didn’t have space, books, teachers, money. We went around to houses, telling people, ‘We’ve opened a school, send your children, you must send your children!'””

3) Mother Jones’ reports on how Ohio farmer David Brandt is having great success with the old trick of crop rotation with legumes as well as not tilling the soil between crops, sounds dull but it isn’t. The future of our food and topsoil depends on experienced farmers speaking out.
4) Jay Montano says Thank you to Nokia in “Kiitos, Nokia, and Nokia fans. Love, MyNokiaBlog.com“, which is a love letter to the last 6 plus years of Nokia’s mobile history.
5) C. Enrique Ortiz bets that Nokia’s future will be bright because they will be able to focus on the upcoming mobile lifestyle use case in “Betting on Nokia“.
Happy Sunday and may your upcoming week be delightful.

Sunday Tidbits: Scythians to Starbucks, the Dame of Dictionaries

Mutations : From a Scythian goddess to a Starbucks logo
The Dame of Dictionaries:

“Once, during a trip to London in those early days, she came across a tattered copy of The Ladies Dictionary at a bookshop. Printed in 1694 in Gothic script, it was the first dictionary that dealt solely with women’s concerns, she explains, with rules about dancing (it’s okay, but not wantonly) and clothing (low-cut gowns are fine, but not in church) as well as an essay on hair.
“I was so charmed when I opened the book and saw how to treat split ends,” she says. “I knew I had to have that book.” But she only had enough money for train fare to get to Nice, France, where she was visiting a friend before flying back to New York. Faced with this dilemma, she went ahead and blew her last penny on the book and hitchhiked to Nice. “That’s really dedication to a book,” she says.” – Madeline Kripke

Charlie Stross on Snowden leaks: the real take-home

“Are we ready? All together, now:
The big government/civil service agencies are old. They’re products of the 20th century, and they are used to running their human resources and internal security processes as if they’re still living in the days of the “job for life” culture; potential spooks-to-be were tapped early (often while at school or university), vetted, then given a safe sinecure along with regular monitoring to ensure they stayed on the straight-and-narrow all the way to the gold watch and pension. Because that’s how we all used to work, at least if we were civil servants or white collar paper pushers back in the 1950s.
But things don’t work that way any more. … Here’s the problem: they’re now running into outside contractors who grew up in Generation X or Generation Y.” – Charlie Stross

Read and enjoy having your brain tickled. Happy Sunday to you!

Sunday Tidbits

A few short thoughts for a Sunday evening:
1) I like how friends and family when they lose my email or phone number they can’t seem to find it online or find how to contact me at all, but SEO and other link ‘specialists’ always seem to find my email and Google Voice number even when they are not listed. Amazing. Not.
2) Daft Punk: This summer’s big pop hit by Daft Punk “Get Lucky” illustrates why up to this point Daft Punk has been mostly instrumental electro-DJ outfit with occasional very modified robotic vocals, because even with autotune Mr. Daft Singer sings flat. So much so, that I have to turn the song off about 1/3 of the way into the lyrical verse. If you can’t sing in tune even with auto tune, just say no and go instrumental.
3) I know I have lamented about this before in a tidbit, but why do I only seem to remember to get a haircut on Sunday or Monday when the salon I go to is closed?

Hit the Road on a Sunday Evening

Listen: This American Life’s 494: Hit the Road
View and Listen: Photos and more audio from Andrew Forsthoefel’s walking trip across America on Transom.org.
View: Travel around various places with the Moon, by Leonid Tishkov.
Chew: Paul Miller takes a road trip of a very different type: He eschews the internet in all its forms for a year.
Chew and debate: Vanessa Veselka asks why there are no female road narratives in literature and popular culture. Commenters disagree with her and give examples of their own road trips or good fictional road narratives.

Tidbits from Sunday Blog Reading

Living Small on Battening Down the Hatches, while Charlotte has a freezer full of pork, I have a freezer full of lamb (from the OC Fair).
Wendell Berry’s Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front poem:

“Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.” – Wendel Berry, exerpt

Anina goes to the TechCrunch Beijing Disrupt and comes home to write Girls in TechCrunch
From a photographer living in Iraq, 5 Tips for Safely Photographing a Dangerous Event
Brian Fling has decided it is time to write Book #2:

“At the heart of all of these transitions is mobile. I’ve seen it have a transformative impact on some of the biggest and oldest companies on the planet. I’ve seen geniuses become dumbfounded. I’ve seen great intentions fail miserably.
I want to explore and share those stories. I do not talk want to talk about the virtues of native apps or HTML5 apps – or any other irrelevant discussion that revolves around the technology of today. Mobile is no more about the technology, as the printing press was about paper.
Instead this book will be as much a manifesto of 21st century experiences as it is a guide to using century old tools to solve the problems of today, even the ones we may not be able to define yet.”

@Jyri tweeted: “If I had an angel credo it’d be to invest in quirky solutions to big problems: e.g. Valkee treats depression with light http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8877185/A-bright-word-in-the-ear-for-those-with-winter-blues.html
Last but not least, Timo Arnall posts Three films on communication and networks. It is worth it to watch the videos/films.

TidBits :: The N950’s Camera, Monetization & the Mobile Web, and Hoodies in September

Three thoughts floating around my head this morning while eating breakfast and reading the weekly Seal Beach Sun:
1) For all of my gushing two days ago, after spending some time with the Nokia N950 the camera is very good but not great like the N8. The resolution, color, and clarity on the N8 is definitely superior but the N950 has a nice look to the photos that I do like.
2) At Mobile 2.0’s end of conf cocktails, I had a conversation with Mike Rowehl of Mobile Monday SV and Churn labs about wanting to develop for the mobile web or native apps. Mike said that the stop up on developing for the mobile web for many devs was monetization. I made a joke that I was satisfied as long as I wasn’t living in my car or had moved back home at 40-something. We both laughed, but I could see that monetization meant something else to him entirely.
The conversation keeps coming back to me when thinking about the mobile web: why right now devs prefer to create native apps and what in the heck does monetization really mean any way?
Does monetization mean that I can be self-supporting as an app developer and not have to be taking on clients (my definition)? Does it mean the dev can use the money to buy a house and hire a few employees? Does it mean turning the app(s) into a full blown business? A business that then gets sold to a larger business for a large sum and then you get to join the big cats in Los Gatos?
What thinkest thou?
3) Once again the Seal Beach Sun’s Crime Log has produced a pick of the litter winner this morning:
“Monday, Sept 5, 2011 – Rossmoor – Suspicious Person or Circumstances – 10:55am – Kensington Road – The caller requested a patrol check for a man wearing a hoodie who was walking on the Gertrude side of the elementary school. The caller said there has been a recent increase in crimes, including a robbery involving men in dark hoodies. The caller that it was suspicious for someone to be wearing a hoodie at all in September.”
Now before you get all upset about hooding profiling, please remember that this is September in Southern California, our hottest month of the year with temps in the 90s to 100s and higher. And the caller was right, anyone wearing a hoodie with the hood up in 90+ temps is cruising for a minor Darwin Award in the heat stroke category.