This Google Notebook junky is looking for greener pastures

With Google’s announcement that there would be no further development on Notebook, a huge chunk of my personal info management world came crashing down. Reluctant to leave what I held dear, but knowing Notebook would gradually wither away, I began the search for a new notetaking/info management tool. An article at, 17 Noteworthy Alternatives to Google Notebook did a bunch of the research for me. Currently I’m thinking of making the jump to Evernote if the iPhone app is as good as they say it is. Mobile notetaking, mmmm.

Portrait: A Multimedia Web Workshop

This is the course Stephanie Zorn and I will be teaching Winter quarter 2009.

Course description:
This intensive class is designed for entry-level students to build media literacy skills and gain basic proficiency with media production and web technologies. Students will learn to critically analyze content by completing readings and conducting individual research via a personal blog space. Students will apply their research to the creation of a multimedia project using the theme of portraiture to frame their work. Full credit will be awarded for the completion of a blog site and multimedia project as well as participation in all class activities. Technology workshops will include: Photoshop, iMovie, audio field recording and multitracking, WordPress, and media compression. Faculty signature is required.

Ferrofluid dynamic scultpures

Sachiko Kodama, Yasushi Miyajima
“Morpho Towers — Two Standing Spirals” (2006-2007)

“Morpho Towers–Two Standing Spirals” is an installation that consists of two ferrofluid sculptures that moves synthetically to music. The two spiral towers stand on a large plate that hold ferrofluid. When the music starts, the magnetic field around the tower is strengthened. Spikes of ferrofluid are born from the bottom plate and move up, trembling and rotating around the edge of the iron spiral… In this work, we are trying to activate analogue physical phenomena (= fluid) precisely by utilizing digital music metadata. To control the synchronization of the ferrofluid with the music playback in real time, time series metadata are added to the music beforehand. The metadata consist of musical information, such as beat position, chord progression, and melody block information, and ferrofluid control information such as DC bias voltage and AC pattern. Each data record has a time stamp that indicates the timing of presentation. All data are stored in time-series order.”

Skill Tagging

How do we find the people we need to get help or to create a project group with right skill sets? In organizations with a distributed IT support model this can be a challenge. I like the idea of encouraging folks to keep up to date personal profiles and “tagging” themselves with what they know how to do. I, for example, migh be tagged with {css, html, Photoshop, instruction, technical writing} This is something that could be done using simple tools such as a Wiki. I know there’s other folks trying to solve this same problem, see: Thoughts on Skills Tracking in a Consulting Company