Permanently accessible? to whom?

Photo of the Bush House


Bush house: the BBC World Service is leaving its home after 71 years
Photo: Paul Grover via The Telegraph

There has recently been some discussion on the about the BBC selling its production facilities and moving from the Bush House to somewhere else. The BBC world service has been a major player in radio and oral culture in Great Britain and around the world for 71 years. A lot of history has been reported by the service. And the BBC's records (including its archive) have oral histories of a variety of world events for the last 71 years in a variety of languages (Wikipedia has a brief description of the collections at the BBC.). Continue reading

New Computer Set Up

Today I was looking at a new way to set up some monitors for my work computer. After we move to Eugene, Oregon my job should change a little. It looks like I will be doing some business consulting and some UX designing based on the outcomes of this business consulting. Then for “fun” I will also be working with an archive digitizing some linguistics texts and publishing a few items which have been sitting on my “To – Do” shelf. As I was considering this, I was thinking about my computer use habits and how much do I want to be in Eugene and indoors on my computer. Continue reading

Reflections on CRASSH

In July I presented a paper at CRASSH in Cambridge. It was a small conference, but being in Europe it was good to see many of the various kinds of projects which are going on in Digital Humanities and Linguists, or also Cloud Computing and Linguistics. One particular project, TypeCraft, stands out as being rather well done and promising was presented by Dorothee Beermann Hellan. I think the ideas presented in this project are well thought out and seem to be well implemented. It would be nice to see this product integrated with some other linguistics and language documentation cloud offerings. i.e. Project Lego from the Linguist’s List or the Max Planck Institute’s LEXUS project. While TypeCraft does allow for round tripping of data with XML, what I am talking about is a consolidated User Experience for both professional linguists and for Minority language users.

A note on foundational technologies:

  • It appears that Lexus is is built on BaseX with Cocoon and XML.
  • The front page of TypeCraft has a very Wikipedia like feel, but this might not be the true foundational technology.
  • Linguist’s List often does their work in ColdFusion and the LEGO project definitely has this feel about it.

Moving Day

Thursday was Moving Day. Well, Packing Day. We had over 200 boxes inventoried and labeled. Many of our friends from church and work came to help us load up the truck. Unfortunately, even with all of that preparatory packing, there were still about 20 boxes and two chests of my stuff that needed to be packed. I need to take a lesson from my bother Jon – purge often and purge a lot – but then he is not the one interested in archiving and content management, I am.

Moving Van via Josh Wagner

A picture of our Moving Van.
Photo Credit: Josh Wagner.

The Bulkhead

The Bulkhead – The use of halogen lights at night in a metal lined room make for some nice shadows.

So on Friday, my friend Jeremy and I finished and put the bulkhead in place. 900 cu. feet – though not completely solid. God is gracious. We originally wanted make Tuesday our pack and leave day, but we were delayed by having to spend an extra two nights in Philly. So, Thursday became the new Tuesday. And God knew what he was doing – it has been cooler temperatures these last few days. I do not feel like our stuff will bake in the truck.

In Browser “Spyware”

I found for some of my blog posts I need a screens shot plug-ins for my browser. So I first downloaded and installed, Awesome Screenshot Capture. However, after a recent update my browser was running slowly. So I investigated and found each page load was being referenced to superfish.com. I knew that I had not installed a plug-in which should be contacting superfish.com. So I had to look around I did some Googleing and discovered that superfish.com has a package which can be used by plug-in developers to monetize their Open Source software. Basically the developer gives away their product for free, while superfish.com gets their user browsing data and pays the developer some sort of fee for helping them collect the data. (The best review I can find explaining how this works.)

While I have nothing against the business model and the plug-in works well, I feel a bit undercut. See, when I installed the plug-in it did not contain the superfish.com addition. My update program told me I needed to update so I did. I trust Firefox, and I trusted the developer. So, I feel that this was a bit of a switch-and bait tactic used by the developer, or certainly a “change in business direction”. While the plug-in is technically Open Source, unless one is code savvy, the code is not going to change. While one could say that I should have read the reviews, the reviews were not necessarily there when I installed the plug-in.

In my case superfish.com was still being contacted when the plug-in was was told not to activate that part of the plug-in. So I went and found another plug-in in the FireFox extensions repository.

superfish.com and screen shot FF extension.

superfish.com and screen shot FF extension.

This is the lesson:

Not all Open Source software is good for you, and sleazy things can happen with updates. So read the update notes and the reviews when updating.

Lightning in East Texas

Becky and I were flying standby and coming back from our trip in Europe. We had been bumped from a couple of flights and were desperate to get home. So we took a flight which ended in Little Rock, AR rather than Dallas, TX. On the drive to Dallas there was quite the electrical storm. Since I shot my first picture of lightning in Germany, I have wanted to give it another go. This was the perfect opportunity. I pulled off the highway onto a secondary road and drove about a mile before pulling off to the side. Because we were flying standby our checked baggage, including my tripod, were already in Dallas waiting for us – not good when you want to use it before you get to Dallas. So, I improvised. I used the trunk of the rental car and my camera strap for leveling. Here is what I was able to shoot.

Image 9325 possibly the best un-edited photo of the event.

I took about thirty photos playing around with a variety shutter speeds (time lapse), ISO and apertures. All images used my 50mm lens with a UV filter. This one is probably the best one unedited.

Continue reading