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Monthly Archives: January 2014

30 Cool Open Source Software I Discovered in 2013

by  on DECEMBER 31, 2013 

These are full-featured open source software products, free as in beer and speech that I started to use recently. Vivek Gite picks his best open source software of 2013.

Read the whole article here.

Numbers mean things 🙂

The Networking Nerd

I recently had to have a technician come troubleshoot a phone issue at my home.  I still have a landline with my cable provider.  Mostly because it would be too expensive to change to a package without a phone.  The landline does come in handy on occasion, so I needed to have it fixed.  When I was speaking with the technician that came to fix things, I inquired about something the customer service people on the phone had said about upgrading my equipment.  The field tech told me, “You don’t want that.  Your old system is much better.”  When he explained how the low voltage system would be replaced by a full voice over IP (VoIP) router, I agreed with him.  My thoughts were mostly around the uptime of my phone in the event of a power outage.

Uptime is something that we have grown accustomed to in today’s world…

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Something to think about.

L.M. Sacasas

Consider the image below. It was created in 1952 by Alexander Leydenfrost for the 50th anniversary issue of Popular Mechanics.

Alexander Leydenfrost - March of Science 3WifC

I thought of this image as I read Thomas Misa’s brief discussion of the wide-spread perception that the pace of technological change is ever-quickening. “At least since Alvin Toffler’s best-selling Future Shock (1970),” Misa writes, “pundits perennially declare that the pace of technology is somehow quickening and that technology is forcing cultural changes in its wake, that our plunge into the future is driven by technology gone out of control.”

Misa, a historian of technology, is not altogether certain that the pace of technological change has in fact quickened. He is certainly opposed to the “crude technological determinism” inherent in the idea that technology is forcing cultural changes. He does, however, give merit to the experience that is often described using this language. He attributes the perception of quickening…

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Steven Bertoni Steven Bertoni, Forbes Staff

I cover technology, entrepreneurs and billionaires.

Tech
12/23/2013 @ 7:30AM |110,497 views

14 Bad Tech Habits To Break In 2014

Break these bad tech habits in 2014

Break these bad tech habits in 2014

Thanks to smartphones, cloud technology and social networks, we can take the Internet with us everywhere these days. The down side–we can take the Internet with us everywhere these days.

We are a society tethered to our devices. Apple played on this recently with a tear-jerker of a holiday commercial. But as clever as Apple marketing is–very few teenagers (or any of us for that matter) with faces glued to iPhones use the smartphone to create touching family moments. Most are only texting or surfing the Web.

So as we reflect on the life changes we hope to make in 2014, I asked my digitally astute colleagues at FORBES to share their technology New Years Resolutions. Below are bad technology habits we want (both ourselves, and others) to break in 2014–Good luck.

1) I will stop checking email before bed, right when I wake up and in bed in general.

Has this ever happened to you? Just before turning in, you check your iPhone one final time, only to have a (stressful, annoying, distressing—insert any adjective here) email keep you tossing all night. Or have you checked your phone first thing in the morning, and an email or text fills you with anxiety before you’ve even fully woken up? It happens to us too.

Tip: Keep all screens out of the bedroom. If like me, you use your iPhone as your alarm clock, swap it out for a clock radio to remove the temptation.

2) I will turn-off all email notifications.

The Microsoft Exchange email alert, the Gmail inbox counter and G-Chat indicator—few things are more distracting than these attention stealers.

Tip: Dig into your settings to switch off the distraction-inducing blips and chimes from detracting from the task at hand. Create a disciplined schedule to check your email once every hour or so–you’ll gain an incredible amount of control over your work day.

3) I will not use my iPhone or Android as a social crutch.

When did if become a requirement to bury your face in a smartphone during every minute you find yourself waiting for a friend at a bar or restaurant? Keep your phone in your pocket, take in the scene and maybe even talk to the person next to you at the bar.

4) I will talk more and text less.

No more refusing to answer calls from friends so you can text them back asking “what’s up?” Same goes for texting happy birthday, happy anniversary, happy new year. While texting is great for logistics, for big, emotional moments and milestones—reach out and touch someone. But there’s a caveat to this rule, see resolution #5.

5) If a person does not answer my call, I will not leave a voicemail—that’s what texts are for.

Pass codes, dialing “1″ for new messages, quickly scribbling down the phone numbers and addresses left in those messages–no one has the patience for that these days. As a result, now no one checks voicemail any more–at least not right away. Send a text, your friend will appreciate it, and it will actually be received.

6) I will not use my smartphone in the following places:

– in the gym

– in an elevator

– in a crosswalk

– in the checkout line

– in the drivers seat

– in the restroom

7) I will not use hashtags outside of Twitter, and when I do, it will be solely for trending topics (say no to #stopwritingstupidhashtags)

8) I will limit my Instagram posts to one photo per event/setting.

Tip: Want to post a series of pics—create a Facebook photo album. Another good tool is the InstaFrame app that lets you make a photo collage to share as a single Instagram image. A final option for not spamming your Instagram feed—use Instagram Direct to send photos to folks you know will appreciate seeing same sunset, 7 different ways–with 7 different filters.

9) I will not check Facebook more than 3 times a day.

Tip: Download Anti-Social–the program will block social networks like Facebook and Twitter but still let you access the rest of the Web.

10) I will not Google facts, dates, actors’ names, or anything else in the presence of other people.

11) I will not show people Memes in public

Memes, funny videos, cat photos should be shared via text message and email only–not by pushing smartphones under our friends’ noses.

12) I will unsynch my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts because people don’t need to see the same post on three different platforms.

13) I will delete enough email to keep my pile of unread Gmail messages below five-figures–because seeing you have 10,000 unread emails is just plain overwhelming.

14) I will stop writing click-bait, listicle-style Web stories. (But hey, it’s not 2014 yet, so I better get them in while I still can. Happy New Year everyone.

Follow me on Twitter: @Stevenbertoni

So the last few days have been spent bouncing back and forth between learning GitHub and learning Palaver.  Learning both is a mix of finding only tutorials(well, for GitHub, none for Palaver actually) and trial/error.  I finally found a GitHub one that is great for beginners as for some reason, everyone else just kinda assumes  you know what you are doing with GitHub when they wrire their tutorials…..which kinda defeats the purpose of the tutorial really.

With Palaver I’ve been updating the severely deplorable Wiki page into something more useful!  It’s a slow process as I learn more and tweak it more.  Right now, I’m trying to tweak the voice into something a little more pleasant. 

First, and a nice combination of the two things I am learning, how to get the repo from GitHub an then install it.  Did it once with Wine, need to find help repeating the process.