Blog, Education, Podcasts

Podcast: Owls and Ornithology with Emma

I made this as part of my graduate course in adult education, around the concepts of how we construct our own learning by creating artifacts and sharing them. I’ll continue to publish bits like these as they come up.

This is a podcast (an audio recording) I created with my ten year old daughter Emma about her fascination with owls, how she got interested in them, and what she’s learned about them (the image you see above is a quick sketch of Emma’s “logo” owl drawing). She’a a very bright girl (if I do say so myself), and as my wife and I have taken charge of our kids’ education through homeschooling, it has been a joy to help our kids find topics they’re interested in, and encourage them to explore. We try to let our kids, the learners. lead the way with what they want to learn, rather than focusing on “depositing” knowledge into them from a set curriculum. We feel like we have a lot in common with the “hackschooling” approach described by 13 year old Logan LaPlante in his popular TEDx talk (though we’re nowhere near as cool as his parents seem to be :-).

I made this podcast using the SoundCloud app on my phone, but there are lots of other tools and services that make recording and publishing a podcast easy (like Chirbit or Audioboo). We recorded the interview in my car (which can make a great impromptu sound booth), and it automatically uploaded to the SoundCloud service. From there, it was simple to grab the embed code and insert it into this page.

I can see us using a podcasts a lot more as we explore different ways of learning with our kids. There’s something easy and natural about just having a conversation about a topic, and it’s easy to hear the excitement and enthusiasm in their voices as you talk about things they have learned. Web and device based tools make it easy to make a podcast, and I’ll likely be asking our kids to make more podcasts about things they’re learning. Creating podcast as a digital artifact of learning is a a great way to construct and share knowledge.

Blog, Podcasts

Audio: Cory Doctorow “For The Win” Reading and Q&A (Powell’s Books, Beaverton OR)

Cory Doctorow is my favorite author, and besides writing great sci-fi, he’s also written a ton on copyright, creativity, and other timely nerd topics. He’s shaped my views on these topics more than just about anyone else, and I was chuffed when he came to my hometown to do a reading/signing of his latest novel, For The Win, and spend some time visiting and answering questions at Powell’s Books in Beaverton, OR.

Cory Doctorow reading For The Win at Powell's in Beaverton, OR

Download the 34MB MP3 file directly.

This recording is about 1 hour 10 minutes long, and begin’s with Cory’s reading. It was recorded on my iPad (irony) using Griffin’s iTalk app and the built in mic. I did some basic editing and then ran it through Levelator to get the sound levels even. During the Q&A section, I asked what he’s learned from giving his books away for free under a Creative Commons license, and he gave a terrific 4 minute answer (that part starts at about the 29 minute mark).

Thanks to Cory and the staff at Powell’s for giving me permission to publish this recording. I release it under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike Non-Commercial license. You can edit it, share it, and do just about anything but sell it, as long as you give me attribution, as as long as what you publish also carries a Creative Commons license.

Enjoy, and don’t forget to check out more of Cory’s work (and download free electronic versions of his books – they’re awesome!) at his website,

Podcasts, Video

Video: Hacking Intel and Web Services, presented in Second Life

Click To Play

This video is about 40 minutes long, and weighs about 56MB. Quicktime format, 640×480. You can click to watch it, or right-click, save as this link to download it directly.

Intel Software Network web coding guru Kevin Pirkl goes by the name ZombieBob Zenovka in Second Life, and he recently gave a seminar/how-to on some web programming techniques – AJAX, JSON, etc. He also showed off the free sample web services that Intel makes available for you to include and use in your own site, like Comments, Voting, Email a Friend, and a Video Bar. Here’s a sample page with the code – view source to check it out.

I bet you didn’t know Intel offered those – pretty cool, huh?

There is audio from Kevin, and the people in the session participated via in world chat. Kevin shares lots of code samples and useful links, so this isn’t just a guy talking. Lots of web code goodies.

We think this was the best Second Life event that we’ve done so far, and we look forward to doing lots more like it. Check out the video, go play with the code and web services that Kevin covers, and let us know what you think! πŸ™‚

Podcasts, Video

Video: Intel Software Network launch in Second Life – Elliot Garbus

Here’s some quick video and audio of Elliot Garbus of Intel’s Developer Relations Division (my boss’s boss’s boss πŸ˜‰ doing a “keynote” at the beginning of our Intel Software Nework launch day in Second Life. The video is about 13 minutes long, weighs 22MB, and can be downloaded directly at this link (right-click, save as).

Come check out our DevZone – search for Intel Software Network in Second Life. We’re all about developers, not marketing, and we know we’re not going to get this perfect on our first try, so come by, tell us what you like, what you don’t, and if you want to, help us make it better!

I’m Gadget Mandelbrot in world (the guy with blue skin and orange hair and shoes ;-). Feel free to IM or Friend me, and let me know if you have any questions! I’ll send you a landmark if you get lost (we’re kind of hard to find, we’re working on fixing that). Thanks! πŸ™‚

Podcasts, Video

Intel Quad Core Chopper

The famous "Quad Core" chopper, created by Orange County Choppers for Intel, is making a stop at Intel’s Jones Farm 3 building, in the lobby. I heard some people talking about it excitedly, and the first thing I did was grab my HD video camera and go down to shoot some video and take some pictures. Check out the video – it weighs 27MB, and is about 2:40 minutes long. Right-click here to download and save it to your hard drive.

You can read more about it in the Intel press release, and you can even "build" one for yourself in Second Life, to ride around on.

The chopper has two V-Twin motors, so it’s truly "quad core". I was kind of disappointed that the touted PC that controls the kickstand, media system, GPS, etc. wasn’t attached, but it is still a very cool ride.

Bill, now’s your chance to have one of these! ;-)Â

Blog, Podcasts, Video

I just posted an awesome HD video on Silverlight over at Intel Software Network

Last week when I was at MIX07, I got to sit down and do a Channel 9-style video interview with Tim Sneath, technical evangelist for Silverlight at Microsoft. The video turned out really well, and I just posted it up over at the Intel Software Network blog:

If you’re at all interested in what Silverlight is (Tim gives a great explanation!), what you can do with it, whether it will ever be released for Linux, how it performs, what you need to use it (hint: a text editor), and lots more, you’ll enjoy the video.

It’s about 40 minutes long, but I posted an index of the topics we talk about and their timecodes, so you can jump around. And I was super impressed at how great the video looks and how small the Quicktime file turned out. The video was shot in 1080i HD originally, and encoded at 640×360 using iMovie. The resulting file is only 93MB (I was expecting hundreds)! I credit the tripod for this – there’s not a lot of motion from frame to frame, so the H.264 compression really shines.

Anyway, please do go check it out, tell your friends, and let me know what you think! πŸ™‚

Podcasts, Video

Video: Intel Menlow UMPC prototype, hot off the camera from IDF Beijing

Some of my Intel blogger friends are attending IDF Beijing this week, and this morning, one of them sent me a heads up for this video they had just shot, showing a brand new second generation Ultra Mobile PC prototype, codenamed Menlow. This is the follow-up to the MID Linux based devices they have been showing, and is supposed to be out in 2008.

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The device that gets demoed has a Silverthorne processor (based on the 45nm Penryn chip), which runs at 0.6 or 2 watts of power consumption. At 2 watts, it delivers the performance of a Pentium M (not bad at all). It’s smaller than current gen UMPCs, and I love the slide-out keyboard. Has a touchscreen. Expected battery life is 4 to 6 hours.

I really, really want one of these, and you can bet that I’m going to be hounding the folks in the Ultra Mobile group to see when/if I can get my hands on one. For now, just check out this video demo, and drool along with me. πŸ™‚

(Update: Here’s the original post from Mark Parker, the guy with the hands on experience with Menlow, on the Intel Technology blog).


Video: Spitty Gabe

Gabriel is 7 months old now, and he’s so darn cute that we can hardly stand it. Tonight, I was playing on the floor with him, tickling him, listening to him laugh and giggle, and make the new spitty sound that he’s learned. Here’s some video from my Canon SD700 IS camera (640×480). You can download it directly at this link (5.6MB).

You have to agree, he’s pretty darn cute, no? ;-)Â

Podcasts, Video

This is what a UMPC will be able to do for you. I want!

Check out this video (by Intel) about the potential future of how an ultramobile device, like a UMPC, could work for you in your life. Sure, this is all “vision”, and future stuff, but it’s what we’re working towards, what we’re trying to make happen. At IDF Beijing next week, Intel is going to take the wraps off of the 2nd gen Ultra Mobile PCs. I haven’t seen or heard any details about it other than what’s been publicly available (I need to cultivate better friends in the Ultra Mobile group!). But it’s a step towards the kind of thing that you see in the video.

Check it out. Some parts of it are kind of hokey, and some can be done today, but I love to think about what cool new stuff I’ll be able to do with new gadgets. Sure, I love gadgets just for themselves – who doesn’t love a new toy? But there’s real, life-changing benefit to them, too.

What do you wish technology could do for you in the coming year?