The Gray Lady has taken a long time to figure out it's place in the world of electronic journalism. She has decided to morph into a virtual Times that gets distributed through many channels. On an iPhone alone I have at least 6 ways to get her news. None of them is quite right for me.

The New York Times is now the New York Times Cloud that comes down in many forms.

The New York Times is now the New York Times Cloud that comes down in many forms.

The Times is stuck on the concept of publishing everything at once. The idea of printing a daily newspaper is very much still with them. Their assumption seems to be the reader will check in maybe once or twice a day. The problem is events happen all the time and even the Times does not freeze the published edition. Stories are generated or updated frequently. 

As a reader, the Times ignores the two things I value: 1. What I want to know and 2. When I want to know it. 

Because I have a subscription to the New York Times I have a choice of ways to view it.

I don't want to have to go to their NYT Now app which seems to list stories by a concept of importance rather than time. So if I check in 3 or 4 times a day, the sequence is roughly the same and where new articles are added is a mystery. The same is true for the NYTimes website, their Newsstand offering, and how things are sequenced in Flipboard. This concept of organization makes sense for a physical paper which is printed only once a day and cannot mysteriously rearrange itself. It does not work in the digital world.

I want news to come to me where I want it at the time it is first reported. I would like it in my Twitter feed. The @nytimes feed comes close but has too much. @nytimes does deliver articles mostly as they happen and can be useful for breaking news. As a feed, it is stuffed with duplication of insignificant articles, articles I don't care about (how do I subtract sports? or home? or photography? or travel?...), and retweets of whatever strikes their fancy. @nytimes is a superset of what I want. The Times has several Twitter feeds. I wish they had one that was front page, as it happens news without repeats.

Part of the challenge is that I'm apparently an unusual Twitter follower. Apparently, I'm what is known as a completionist. I subscribe to about 170 feeds. Most of them only post when they have something to say. I read them all, in order using Tweetbot. Apparently most people dip in and out of their Twitter feed so repetition may not bother them. Many people on Twitter retweet items assuming repetition is fine. Feeds that do that get dropped by me.

I value the editorial judgment of the New York Times to tell me what is important. Breaking news about who won a tennis tournament is not on the list of things I want to know about.  They also retweet many articles - usually the ones I'm least interested in. This is especially true of feature articles I never want to read. 

It would be wonderful if there was a New York Times Twitter feed that just had new news. I'd follow that.

Meanwhile, I've dropped @nytimes from my feeds.

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AuthorMichael Slade
Orignial Tamagotchi

Orignial Tamagotchi

Apple Watch Activity App

Apple Watch Activity App

Tamagotchi is the electronic pet kids keep alive by responding to data about the creature.
Now we are starting to get data to help keep us alive. I hope this goes better than Tamagotchi - many of those died.

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AuthorMichael Slade

In the MacBreak Weekly podcast of 11/25/14, Leo Laporte mentions a great website for evaluating how charities use their money. Charity Navigator provides a lot of information that can help you decide if a charity you're thinking of contributing to uses donations effectively.

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AuthorMichael Slade

About 30 years ago I was in a meeting with a customer (I don't remember who) reviewing options for branching in interactive video. The customer asked if we could shock the user if he or she got the answer wrong. We were taken aback by the idea. Well, now you can with the Pavlock.

Of course, Colbert is already on it here.

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AuthorMichael Slade

This 19 minute Planet Money audio podcast tells the story of a bet between a biologist and an economist about the future of humanity. The sad lesson seems to be that charisma and media reach often trumps quality of argument. The Stanford biologist was smooth and charismatic while the economist was a bit awkward. Guess who won public opinion?

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AuthorMichael Slade

I've spent a wonderful week in San Diego with educators from around the world. We went on adventures in nature and this is my favorite photo from the week.

This photo has a great story about how woodpeckers get food.

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AuthorMichael Slade

Ben Foxall gave a very clever presentation in London in June about using multiple devices. Although it was given at a Meteor event it was mostly not about Meteor. I would not have seen this except for a tweet from Paul Dowman.

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AuthorMichael Slade

The nice folks at Common Craft just released this short explanation of programming.

At 2 minutes 41 seconds it is one of the shorter explanations .

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AuthorMichael Slade

Formula 1 car steering wheels have more buttons and knobs than most. Cool Wired article here.

Powered by Allianz: Get Street Smart Football and motor sport -- Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton master both. But what does their job have to do with precise ball skills? The answer is given in the sixth episode of Grand Prix Insights!
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AuthorMichael Slade

Adobe has created a new presentation app for the iPad that creates 'videos' that can be viewed on an iPad or on the web. David Pogue explains here.

Creation is local to the iPad app. The app downloads needed media (icons and images) from the web. Playback on Chrome is in Flash. It also plays on a iPad in a browser so it does not always use Flash. It appears to be creating videos for display in non-Flash HTML5 browsers.

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AuthorMichael Slade

An underlying theme of some of my work these days is making things that are unseen  more visible and obvious. Invisible things (like how well someone else hears you on a video conference) is helped when they are made more visible - maybe have a mic to pass around. This goes along with keeping things simple and therefore understandable.

This Penn & Teller video contrasts the seen and the unseen. Magic is meant to entertain but systems are meant to be understood and controlled easily. The first version of the trick is entertaining while the second takes away the mystery and is less entertaining except to marvel at how Teller moves. 

If you are designing a system (video conference or web UI) you want it to be clearly and easily understood by those who run it and look like magic to those who observe it.

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AuthorMichael Slade

Lovely interview. She programmed the Mark 1 at Harvard.

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AuthorMichael Slade

A Google Glass user gets electrocuted while making a video of a thunder storm through Glass while the charging cable is plugged in... (Caution: As one might expect there is profanity.)

Don't try this at home...

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AuthorMichael Slade

After 69 years, the Tar Drop experiment at Trinity College Dublin's School of Physics finally had observed results on July 11, 2013. This 10 to 12 year event has been recorded and is available on YouTube:

 

Search Google for "tar drop" for more articles about this momentous event.

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AuthorMichael Slade

TED Talks Education, hosted by John Legend, premiered May 7, 2013 at 10/9 c on PBS. The website link with the entire 55:30 is here.

Public television and TED, the non-profit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, share a deep commitment to addressing the high school dropout crisis. The TED Talks Education one-hour program brings together a diverse group of teachers and education advocates delivering short, high-impact talks on the theme of teaching and learning. These original TED Talks are given by thought leaders including Geoffrey CanadaBill GatesRita F. PiersonDr. Angela Lee Duckworth and Sir Ken Robinson. TED Talks Education is part of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s American Graduate initiative

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AuthorMichael Slade

Nancy Duarte of Silicon Valley presentation fame has a video here discussing how to effectively present webinars. 

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AuthorMichael Slade

IBM has made a stop motion animation by moving individual molecules. Ars Technica has an article about it here.

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AuthorMichael Slade