links for 2008-04-20

links for 2008-04-19

The Cup: The Cool Boulder Geek Hangout

I spent most of today working and socializing at The Cup in downtown Boulder. It’s known locally as the cool hangout place for local geeks. It also specializes in fair trade coffee (which is cool, even though I don’t drink coffee, I’m a tea fan).

Today several of my friends stopped by, so I grabbed video clips of a few of them for the hell of it. Here they are: Joe Pezzillo , Ari Newman , and Dave Taylor.

Not appearing in this video are:

  • My brand-new friend Patrick Sandoval of Primal Future. He’s a local artist and online entrepreneur who creates and sells t-shirts with original images based on ancient symbols. Very cool stuff.
  • My dear old friend Max Chadwick dropped by too. We used to work together about 12 years ago when I was still a wage slave, and now he’s an exec at People Productions — which hasn’t stopped him from being cool.

I’m bummed that I didn’t think to grab video clips of Max and Patrick. But anyway, hope you enjoy the rest.

Beth Kanter digs further into the Nokia N95 firmware quandary

eschipul, via Flickr (CC license)
My friend Beth Kanter is keeping a close eye on Nokia, hoping to keep her new N95 from turning into a brick, like mine did.

Recently I bought, fell madly in love with, and then sadly had to return a near-perfect moblogging tool — the Nokia N95 — after the very first firmware upgrade turned it into a brick within days of my getting the phone.

My friend and fellow blogger Beth Kanter also bought an N95 around the same time, from the same vendor (Amazon.com). So far her N95 has been working pretty well for her (with some frustrations), and she’s detailing her learning experiences with this device in a special blog. She has not yet updated her firmware. Frankly, it seems like my experience scared her about taking that step — which is entirely appropriate, given what happened to me.

Amazon sold me an unlocked N95, which was presented as a US version. I soon found out it had arrived with vastly outdated firmware — version 10.2.006. (The current US version is apparently 11.2.009 — which is far behind the latest version, not available to US users yet.) When I couldn’t make Nokia’s own moblogging service, Share on Ovi (formerly Twango) work with my phone, I suspected it might be because of the outdated firmware. So I updated my firmware using Nokia’s own tools and process. That’s whate turned my expensive moblogging tool into an expensive, unresponsive brick.

Nokia wouldn’t guarantee that they’d fix or replace the phone for free, and they’d take weeks to get it back to me in any case. Since Amazon only allows 30 days to return a phone for a refund, and I was understandably wary of trusting Nokia not to leave me holding the bag on this, I decided to give up and just returned the phone. Which totally sucked. I was devastated. I really loved this device.

Hoping to avoid a similar fate, Beth registered her phone warranty and called Nokia customer support. The rep told her, “Yes, we’ve heard of the unresponsive brick problem. The problem occurs if you have a phone that isn’t a ‘US’ phone, but try to install the US version of the firmware update.”

Beth and the rep then verified that, indeed, the phone in her hand which she bought from Amazon was a US version. And the rep confirmed that “All unresponsive brick problems were due to a mix in the firmware versions.” Meaning that it should be safe for Beth to go ahead with her firmware update.

Here’s a subsequent call Beth made to Nokia customer service to reconfirm all this information. (Beth, I love you for this!)

Note that in this case, unlike the first Nokia rep Beth spoke to, this rep specifically told Beth that they advise N95 users NOT to update their firmware unless they’re experiencing “functionality problems” — which could include incompatibility with desired services.

Despite Nokia’s assurances, Beth’s still leery of the firmware update, and I don’t blame her…

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links for 2008-04-17

Overhauling J-School Completely

Sscornelius, via Flickr (CC license)
Maybe what journalism education really needs is to start over from a new foundation.

Well, there’s been a ton of great discussion lately on the theme of what kind of education and preparation today’s journalists really need, given the changing landscape of opportunities they’re facing. (Thanks to Mindy McAdams, James Ball, Paul Canning, Andy Dickinson, eGrommet, the Ethical Martini, Innovate This, Monitorando, and José Renato Salatiel for their contributions, to the many commenters on all these posts, and to Elana Centor who started it all. Here are my recent posts on this theme.)

I’ve heard from some journalism educators that the kind of preparation I’ve proposed is far beyond what most existing j-schools could offer. I understand that.

Really, I think what may be needed is to completely re-envision and rebuild j-school with today’s realities and tomorrow’s likelihoods in mind.

Here’s what that might look like…

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links for 2008-04-16

Serious motivational music!

In need of some extra ooomph to get you going? This should do the trick: The Helian’ Man, sung by Matt McGinn, a ballad about Scottish raids about a thousand years ago that led Roman emperor Hadrian to build a 73-mile wall across Britain.

I heard this song on the radio about 15 years ago, when I still lived in Pennsylvania. Ever since then, when I’ve found myself in need of motivation or facing a serious challenge, I’ve sometimes found myself bellowing “Grigalie! Grigaloo! Come up and fight, you cowardly crew! I’ll have you for my pot of stew! You fear to fight with me!”

It works pretty well. Sometimes as well as a kickboxing workout 🙂

Here are the lyrics…

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