Archive for April, 2007

April 9th class (tech)

April 23, 2007

A private, personal Internet with its own protocol; hidden and accessible solely by a selected crowd of paying customers. Sounds far fetched? Not really: Google seems to have plans to build its own private Internet backbone using “dark” fiber optic cables. These cable were laid fown during the Internet boom in 1990 and later on abandoned during the downfall in 2000. Will this be a bona fide attempt to provide users with a superior Internet experience, only time can tell. In the menatime the plot thickens when Google announces the $100 PC appliance they are going to build. This appliance will work only when “hooked up” to Google and push advertisement to the end-user.

Read the articles at:


April 16th class (tech)

April 23, 2007

Starting from the initial idea that we are using a blog to build our Chicago Activism Catalog I started to be curious about what software could be available out there and I found one in particular that is very interesting.

I used Ruby before and this looks very promising; it provides an example to create a weblog in 15 minutes. Another example guides you through creating a web search page for Yahoo Flickr. I am going to read more into this and figure out its potential.

April 9th class

April 23, 2007

Second class; we are getting more acquainted with the electronic media and tools we will be using in class. It is very interesting to go in and get accounts created to these sites – this one included – and set up a collaborative framework to start building our little-big Electronic Catalog for Chicago Activism.

It never cease to amaze how much stuff is available for free and allows everyone to be part of the media; it is interesting also to see how some of these medium could be actually used to make money based on the amount of traffic they receive. This kind of activity is no longer usable solely by the big companies who purchase data from the stores who gave you their preferred card.

Now you can tell you write something interesting because people want to read what you are saying and like to interact with you and offer their responses.

Sometimes these responses can be harsh; Tom (prof. Tresser) told us someone received death threats because they were advocating their rights to delete a post on their blog if they demeed it offensive. Wow, we do need more nice people on this Earth.

Perhaps in a period of sustainable development we should start to think about being friendly with the environment and being friendly with each other; it seems the world lately is all about going around to get even. The answer to our problems is not longer the solution; it is who we can blame for them.

April 2nd class

April 23, 2007

Entered three weeks after the starting class, this blog entry is the proof itself I have learned something. Now I have my personal Blog page, I have posted to it and browsed the functionality of this blogging engine.

The class was a surprise in many ways: I had not taken a class in the CNA building before; so the first challenge was to find where the building was. Then the class looks like a computer lab – that’s why we paid that fee 🙂 –

The professor started with what is now known as his standard greeting: “Good evening ladies and germs;” we started learning about what was his vision for the Chicago Activism Catalog. He gave us a brief introduction on his biography and passed along a little flyer about a theatre production he is involved with. I believe the company is named “Collaboraction” and the play was “The intelligent design of Jenny Chow.” Quite an interesting play: I hope I will have the time to go see it.

April 23rd class

April 23, 2007

After struggling with WordPress neat user interface – but awful formatting engine – I came up with an idea to automate the creation of a blog entry for the Catalog. So “CataBlog” was created: a program in java swing able to accept all the elements we need for a blog entry in the Chicago Activism Blog and ouput a document that can be cut and pasted in WordPress without formatting surprises.

I tested the program and it worked very well; now if I can only get the site working fine it will be great. Of course any program written by you becomes your little puppy and it comes without saying I am proud of this little thingie that helps me with my assignment. I think it might be also a great tool for everyone to use to speed things up: I asked Tom (prof. Tresser) if we could do that.

Last class I started to be curious about blogging engines and that spawned curiousity towards what was available in the open source arena and I found a couple of great technical resources: I reported them in my tech blog posting. 

Another point made was a little discusison about the free internet; should it be privatized? I had to confess I never thought about it; I guess I always took the internet for granted. As a professional of software development I started to pay a little more attention to the subject and decided to propose to write a paper on it.

Seriously I use the internet for everything in my professional life and personal; I realized I put in discussion connectivity issues and security and integration challenges while I am in “work mode,” but somehow I take all the rest of the stuff that clearly someone else developed as just there.

Perhaps you think you might encounter bugs, but you never think that the whole kit and kaboodle could go back to the CompuServe days, where you had to pay a hefty fee just to have email – and on top of that you could not even choose your own id. –

In myspace I keep getting solicitations for sexy sites or pictures; how do you know someone could be a real friend and just have as hobby that? I do have a friend who is a photographer and I imagine his page would be something like that; so sexy is not the bad part, but the fact most of these so called “new friends” are in just for the money and they use their own body (I have to confess some of them really attractive)  to lure you in and pay money based on your own hormonal activity.

Could you be friend to someone in that line of business and yet avoid to be a customer? Would these people be willing to share their experience and opinions beyond the service provider/customer relation? I feel it is really hard to answer that and for the time being – although feeling a little bad about it – I decided to deny their “friendship” offerings.

Today’s lesson started with a discussion on trusting the content on the internet; who can we trust if we do not know who is writing and checking the sources.

Blogging in the news: and his owners. They turned down 1 billion from companies like Yahoo and Google.

WBEZ radio news. How do you get your news? network news, cable, public radio, Magazine, Internet.

Politics and the internet. MySpace has quite a few personalities in there included Hillary. How many friends do they have in MySpace

Example of video on utube hacked the original macintosh ad and substitutes the logo Apple with the O as in Obama. Interview with the author: he used Final Cut Pro and Motion to “mash up” or video hack and remix.

The macaca video: ?

Beats for tonight. Change to Social Justice.

April 16th class

April 17, 2007

We are going to check “blogging in the news.”

Some people out there have been using blogs to publish dubious content. Some receive death threats for mentioning to delete comments in your own blog that are considered offensive by you. From this point of view someone started to think about a “code of conduct;” like the O’Reilly Radar site at

Clearly playing on the name of Radar O’Reilly – a character in the old TV series MASH – Mr. O’Reilly started a white paper about a code of conduct for bloggers.

We are going to have our welcome page that will list the rules of acceptable content in our own blog.

It is indeed a heated argument when it comes down to being able to exress any comments on any blog. I believe the owner of the blog should be able to delete content he/she does not like or consider offensive.

Some family sites have been used and their pictures remapped to set up very discutible sites. Is it even feasible to know when and where our blog content is being used? How can we protect the content and yet still make it available online?

Flickr is the Yahoo images database; using our login as a class we are looking at ways to re-use the pictures uploaded to flickr into our blog on wordpress. 

We will learn about the controversy that is raised by the blog phenomenon.

Sometimes I think I am getting behind and there is too much information and then everything falls into place: it is necessary too to add articles and add the link and your comment.

For the L7 the final presentation would be a powerpoint presentation of the blog for this class. This very blog.

What in the heck is “net neutrality?”

There is a movement right now to privatize the internet and is trying to raise the issue of free internet for all. Will the internet be as free if privatized?

5 beats for the night: ours is “Environment.”

I will be in a group with Ms Dawn Hodges for “Environment.”

The format for the blog page is in one of the powerpoint presentations in BlackBoard. After the page is formatted we will upload the pictures in Yahoo Flickr and reference them in our page on WordPress.

Bravo Lima Oscar Golf!

April 5, 2007

This is the start of a beautiful thing. 

When you feel like there is not enough time to do things you want to do: it is a clear signal you have been attacked, spammed, had your identity stolen by none else than…. YOU.

Try to realize and focus on perhaps one task at a time and finish it. Maybe a task can be split in quanta (parts) that can be completed. Completing things makes us go forward, it gives us the impulse to go forward and tackle better things. It makes us grow.

Many times you observe facts that unveil around you and you look at them and feel very distant; even the ones that inspire you and make you wish you were there. You need to start thinking: it is possible and find in you the drive to pursue your dreams. In spite of many people telling you – through their insecurities – that is to difficult of a task. Find people and friend that tell you: “you can do it, we are so proud of you.” This is what everybody needs, craves to be successful. Tune out the naysayers and tune in the encouragement only great friends and mentors can give.