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10 posts from September 2, 2012 - September 8, 2012

September 08, 2012

My iPod Touch Wishlist

Recording the Sunday NewsBernie Goldbach in Cashel | My iPT outside  

I HOPE APPLE updates the iPod Touch but not with the latest and greatest technology.

Our iTouch is a perfect piece of consumer electronics for users from Kindergarten to post-doctoral students. It fits easily in the hands of a four-year-old and its battery life easily stretches across a work day (providing we avoid intense sessions with Moshi Monsters). I use the little iTouch primarily for recording and listening to audio so I'd like to see its memory boosted to 128 GB before its processor is upgraded. I think the fourth generation iPod Touch camera sucks and I hope Apple agrees by inserting better optics into the camera on the fifth generation iPod Touch. I'd prefer all the connection dock ports to remain the same on the iPT 5G because I really don't want to buy adapters or new connectors.

I don't want things like power-using vibration alert or LED flash capability. And I don't need Oleophobic coating on the screen.

Just more memory and a better camera and I'll spring for a new iPod Touch.


Bernie Goldbach is not a lover of white things.

September 07, 2012

The Erosion of Distributed Development

Moleskine, Kindle and coffeeBernie Goldbach in Clonmel | Photo of morning reads  

ON THE TABLE in front of me sits tools I use to actively gather information presented to me through a system of distributed development

In several academic modules at the Limerick Insitute of Technology, I show how things have changed since I first taught adult learners in the pre-Y2K era in Ireland. Back then, you needed to leverage computer programming and communications technologies. It was clunky and most of the experience was not portable.

The dotcom boom at the turn of the century was great for copywriters who produced web pages and downloadable files to promote things. When I first started teaching multimedia at third level in 2002, we talked about reformatting and republishing "rich data into packets that fit the capabilities of readers, viewers and listeners". We promoted the smart use of ICT [1] for syndicating multimedia content. "A smart producer ensures the content passes through the production process once, while exporting many different format types", we advised. That maxim holds true today.

Continue reading "The Erosion of Distributed Development" »

September 06, 2012

LOCC in the sun

The AbsoluteBernie Goldbach in Limerick | Photo on Limerick's boardwalk  

ONE OF IRELAND'S most dynamic social networking events happens on the first Thursday every month in Limerick's Absolute Hotel. In many ways, the free two-hour meet-up works as smoothly as mature online social networking.

I attend 80% of Limerick Open Coffee (LOCC) meet-ups because at least one conversation during every LOCC session leads to one of our creative multimedia students getting a job offer--not necessarily from the conversant but from a direct line of introduction for the student or graduate. LOCC has become the most efficient word of mouth messaging for me in Ireland.

Talking with David Quaid, a search specialist, I realised the unique meeting dynamic of LOCC does not work for people who only play the numbers game with their business cards, their Twitter follower count or their web page impressions. The LOCC dynamic involves conversation with an meaningful engagement with three or four people at a time. It's rare to use a meeting room with a string of presentations at LOCC because most of the regulars--the men and women who have been at LOCC meetups since 2007--simply won't sit down and listen. They get more out of standing and conversing. And so that's the way the dynamic works.

I recorded four conversations during the September LOCC. If you're subscribed to my blog, the 28-minute MP3 file should download automatically. It's also on Audioboo and will play directly from the blog post and from the newsfeed.

Four Voices from Limerick Open Coffee

Continue reading "LOCC in the sun" »

September 05, 2012

Outside the Castle while Royalty Converse

In Saunders CountryBernie Goldbach in Cahir | Photo of Cahir Castle  

MORNING NEWS IN IRELAND occasionally covers the savings government agencies expect to achieve through enhanced operations and consolidation. From what I often see, however, limited consultation with troops on the ground occurs before the grand plans start making their rounds in the media.

It's as though the masters of the castle fail to check with the foot soldiers or armorers before reinforcing defences before battle. Something like that happened at Cahir Castle (in the photo) before it fell to larger than expected ordnance and technology-leaping catapults.

My current focus lies with the amalgamation of county structures in north and south Tipperary. On paper, it looks like there will may be excess staff in some functional areas. Based on managers meeting to flesh out job descriptions and historical workloads, some people may be erased from organisational wiring diagrams. This gives the Minister for Public Expenditure the joy of an efficient public purse.

Continue reading "Outside the Castle while Royalty Converse" »

September 04, 2012

Pensioners without Data Anxiety

USB File System

Bernie Goldbach in Clonmel | Photo of USB connectivity

I HELP PENSIONERS avoid bill shock with their mobile phones and it often means keeping them off mobile data plans.

This runs counter to the Irish Minister for Communications' plan to move all of Ireland online. As utopian as a totally connected lifestyle seems, it always involves costs that cut into the fixed income of a pensioner.

I am trying to show the pensioners in our family circle ways of ruthlessly controlling data services. The process is made easier with Symbian, the operating system used by the grandparents. Nokia's venerable OS can force data connections only through wifi, so we are testing an old Nokia E7 in local hotspots.

Because we don't use cloud services like Snapfish, it has become more difficult to extract photos from the phone for printing in kiosks. Most phones don't have removable storage media. Fortunately Symbian recognizes file systems so when I plug a standard USB key into the phone's adapter cable, the grandparents can save their photos onto a key for printing.

We will test this "transfer to USB thumb drive" routine during a practical session next weekend. I haven't been able to sort put a similar solution with Windows Phone or iOS.


Posted via Typepad's iOS app using O2 Hotshot service.

September 03, 2012

The Hunt Report Revisited

LSADBernie Goldbach in Limerick | Photo by my iTouch  

I SPENT THE MORNING listening to an ambitious plan for the Limerick Institute of Technology and later heard it summarised on RTE Six One News. Although the Hunt Report did not feature in either presentation, its effects run through the Master Plan that guides LIT towards 2030.

Although details on how the Master Plan affects our department's work in Clonmel are still coming into focus, a dynamic synergy between traditional artists in the Limerick School of Art and Design (LSAD) and new media creatives in LIT-Clonmel has appeared on the roadmap. This is the kind of dynamic the authors of the Hunt Report would've hoped.

I'm not an official scribe for LIT, nor am I censured (or censored) for my occasional meanderings about the institution. I save a lot of meanderings in my journal, personal thoughts that are not necessarily those of my employer. So please consider my disclaimer before quoting my blog out of context. I'm still mulling over several specific initiatives designed to move the needle for LIT during the next 18 years. I'll be retired before then but plan to take an active role in helping to predict where the ball will land for students who trust their CAO Level 8 option in our flavour of creative multimedia.

Continue reading "The Hunt Report Revisited" »

Epubs for Empowered Citizens

Library eBooksBernie Goldbach in Cashel | Snap from Business Post  

WHEN ADRIAN WECKLER gives double truck coverage to a technology, trend or business, it normally means it will become part of the fabric of life. He's done that with e-books in the Business Post.

Personally, I hope he's right, because I've seen the result of high production values in an e-publishing module we teach at the Limerick Institute of Technology. I wish I could get portions of the Business Post in some form of iBook or mobi file. Regular content like the Reality Bytes column, the Tech Week paragraphs, "Gadgets of the Week" and even the advertisements that frame the tech section (this week they're from the National Ploughing Championships and MobileReady.ie) could play well on my iPad or Kindle. It doesn't take much to make a content management system export the .epub and .mobi file types. We have qualified students who could spend a fortnight inside any newspaper and show how they make easy work of e-publishing. Amazon has shown that a timely e-publication has a commercial value (say 93 cents per collection of 20 items cited above).

But I'm more interested in the public touchpoints of e-publications--things you might see in traditional libraries.

Continue reading "Epubs for Empowered Citizens" »

September 02, 2012

Inspiring Creatives through their Noses

BreadmakerBernie Goldbach in LIT-Clonmel | Image from Tania on Amazon

I BELIEVE YOU INSPIRE creativity through sight and smell. And there's nothing more riveting to a starving artist than the smell of freshly-baked bread.

I've strong research backing up this claim, extending back to the mid-90s when I worked in Dublin's Arthouse (RIP). All our creatives would shuffle upstairs to the training rooms, pausing in the cafe for a croissant or panini. And timed tasks would get done on time because the smell of freshly baked sandwiches would keep people on the premises.

I want to get a Kenwood BM 450 for 100 euro from Amazon, DoneDeal or eBay. I can work with a used Breadmaker because there are few moving parts inside.

I put the Kenwood BM450 on my wishlist after learning that its mixer paddle rarely gets stuck in the loaf when you remove the bread from the tin. I've messed up my heavenly creations before with that little snag. Plus, reviewers say the mixer paddle does not make a large gaping hole in the bread and that's perfect.

If you've a BM450 for sale with the round tin, please let me know.


Bernie Goldbach likes to create.

Summer September Sunday News

Labor Day NewsBernie Goldbach in Cashel | Photo and video with Sony Xperia  

I SPENT 10 MINUTES looking at Irish Sunday news from an American perspective. And my #newsround focus is through the pages of the Financial Times, admittedly not a genuine Irish publication.

The FT Weekend Magazine gives its cover to Black Eyed Peas' front man Will.I.Am and I discover he considers himself a popthropologist. Ok then.

Tobias Buck reports on Israel's vast reserved of natural gas in the Mediterranean--enough to cover Israel's domestic demand for gas for at least the next 25 years.

Labor Day News from Ireland

Continue reading "Summer September Sunday News" »

Summer September Sunday News

Labor Day NewsBernie Goldbach in Cashel | Photo and video with Sony Xperia  

I SPENT 10 MINUTES looking at Irish Sunday news from an American perspective. And my #newsround focus is through the pages of the Financial Times, admittedly not a genuine Irish publication.

The FT Weekend Magazine gives its cover to Black Eyed Peas' frontal Will.I.Am and I discover he considers himself a popthropologist. Ok then.

Tobias Buck reports on Israel's vast reserved of natural gas in the Mediterranean--enough to cover Israel's domestic demand for gas for at least the next 25 years.

Labor Day News from Ireland

Continue reading "Summer September Sunday News" »