Archive for November, 2008

Upcoming panel on Geek Parenting – LCA 2009

I’ve just posted the details of an event we’re planning for Linux.conf.au (LCA) 2009 which I’m pretty excited about – a community panel on Geek Parenting. We are looking for some experienced geek parents as well as an expert or two (educator, counsellor or other professional who is experienced in matters parental) who would like to share some ideas, tips and discussion on the challenges that being a parent can present. Read the full details over at my other blog, The Open Source Report. 🙂

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On Geek Parenting – call for panelists

I’m co-convening the Linux Chix miniconf at Linux.conf.au (LCA) in Hobart in January. I’ll be able to post the lineup of speakers for the day soon, but in the meantime an overview of the day can be found here. But one of the cool things we’re planning is a panel session on Geek Parenting, which will be open to all LCA attendees.

We are now looking for some experienced geek parents as well as an expert or two (educator, counsellor or other professional who is experienced in matters parental) who would like to share some ideas, tips and discussion on the challenges that being a parent can present.

Read on for details including how to nominate yourself for a spot on the panel.

» Continue reading “On Geek Parenting – call for panelists”

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Olbermann on Prop 8: This is a question of love

Olbermann has weighed in on Prop 8 – the vote in California to repeal the right to gay marriage in that state which was only granted in June this year. I only wish he’d broadcast it before the vote, instead of afterwards. 🙁

“You are asked now by your country, perhaps by your creator, to stand on one side or another – not on a question of politics. Not on a question of religion. Not on a question of gay or straight. You are asked now to stand on a question of love.

All you need to do is stand and let the tiny ember of love meet its own fate. You don’t have to help it. You don’t have to applaud it. You don’t have to fight for it.

Just don’t put it out. Just don’t extinguish it. Because while it may at first look like that love is between two people you don’t know and you don’t understand, and maybe you don’t even want to know, that love is in fact the ember of your love for your fellow person. Just because this is the only world we have, and the other guy counts too.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVUecPhQPqY[/youtube]

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Jobs go at Wired, Six Apart

So Wired just culled 25% of their staff (ouch) – mostly techies. Staff writers haven’t been touched apparently – they’ll just have to hold their website together with duct tape.
Meanwhile, SixApart – which sold blogging network LiveJournal earlier this year –  has cut 8% of staff (16 people) and its management have taken a 15% pay cut.
I know that a lot more media and new media jobs will go… but there are ways to do it. And the way you treat your staff in a downturn says a lot. My hat’s off to the SA management for taking the pay cut.

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xkcd's dark flow

One of the slightly annoying things about being an xkcd fan is that whenever a really good one comes out, you can count on it appearing on your blogroll two or three (or four , or five!) times as your friends spot it and post it to *their* blog.

I don’t care, I’m posting this one anyway. It made me cry! (Oh to be the person who inspires this kind of love in Randall). 🙂

Then reading the comment thread about the comic over at LiveJournal, I got teary again. No, not in the ‘YouTube readers are so dumb it sucks my will to live’ way. But in the… xkcd and its fans give me hope for humanity kind of way.

Yep, sappy and I don’t care. If you don’t go ‘aww’ at Angular Momentum, I think there’s something wrong with your heart. 🙂

AAAND, I just noticed that xkcd also has a reader forum. With topics like maths, science, linguistic and religious wars. Excuse me, I have to leave now to spend time combing the xkcd forums to find my new boyfriend. 🙂

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LOL President meme, World of Warcraft style

Probably only hilarious if you play World of Warcraft, but I certainly LOLed. 🙂

Achievement Unlocked: President of the United States (and i loved the name of the album: “dps the skull ffs”, which again, you’ll only laugh at if you’re a dirty warcraft player like me).

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An anthropological introduction to YouTube

It’s not often that I watch a longform video on YouTube (the first exception I made was for Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture, which if you haven’t seen it is really worth it).

But this gave me a whole new appreciation of the YouTube community, and made me want to run away to Kansas to meet Michael Wesch and study Digital Ethnography.

[youtube]http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=TPAO-lZ4_hU[/youtube]

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The US election 2008 – what worked on the web

Of course now that the US election’s over we’re in post mortem mode. As an online journalist, I was pretty blown away by the depth of news, analysis and polling information available online, and the increasingly sophisticated ways people are pushing and sharing election news online.

Here’s a brief look at what tools worked best for me as I followed the election, as the web editor looking after Crikey’s US election coverage. I wrote it in response to one of Fairfax’s tech journos who was arguing that people still rely on “mainstream media” as their first point of call for political coverage of things like the US election.

I can only assume that you didn’t just spend the last x number of months knee deep in the incredibly awesome political blogs covering the US election, as I had the good fortune to do.

While Australian political blogs tend to be analysis rather than newsbreaking, there are a number of US blogs with the resources to actually have reporters on the ground. Politico is just the first one that springs to mind.

Blogs plus aggregators like Real Clear Politics and lately Daily Beast were my first port of call for US election news. They would always point to any “MSM” stories I needed to see.

On election day I found Oliver Burkeman’s live blog at the Guardian more useful than CNN. The only time I went looking for a newspaper site specifically was when I went to LA Times because I figured they’d have the most up to date polling figures on the Prop 8 vote.

Blogs and aggregators aren’t just about analysis, they’re also becoming increasingly important in pointing people towards the news they want, fast.

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Going to election 2.0? Don't forget to take your parents.

The other day I sent my parents an email with links to Barack Obama’s speech accepting the presidency of the USA, as well as John McCain’s concession speech.

I did this because I asked if they’d seen Obama’s speech, and they’d only seen a very brief clip on the TV news. I thought the whole 17 minutes was worth watching.

Later my dad called me to ask why the YouTube clips would start playing, then stop. I explained that the video needs time to download before you can watch it without it pausing. So I suggested he start it playing, then pause it until he could see that the “loading” bar was almost finished. It’s a simple thing, but one I wouldn’t have thought to explain until he asked. Just another example that you shouldn’t assume knowledge when you’re teaching people tech stuff.

(For fun, I also included Don’t Vote, a Steven Spielberg YouTube ad encouraging people to vote, which I adored because it stars Harrison Ford being all righteous and refusing to say “Don’t vote”.”I can’t do it. It’s not true, I don’t believe it. 537 people decided the 2000 election and you want me to tell people that one vote doesn’t count?”)

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Fox Force Five is go!

Welcome to my new net home, foxforcefive.com. My name is Sarah Stokely, I’m a tech writer, editor and nerd. This blog will talk about Australian politics and culture (digital and otherwise) and probably a smattering of commentary on US politics as well.

You may know me through my personal blog (blithespirit over at LiveJournal) or from my open source blog, The Open Source Report. But this is going to be my main home now.

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