Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I'm A Person!

For about a week the "Blogger Team" has required me to verify, by word verification, that I am indeed human, each time I post an entry to this blog. They did this because, for some reason, this blog displays characteristics that aroused suspicion. The Team thought DanToday was a spam blog.

Then, today, after I sent the Team an email requesting a review, I received this kind email:
Your blog has been reviewed, verified, and cleared for regular use so that it will no longer appear as potential spam. If you sign out of Blogger and sign back in again, you should be able to post as normal. Thanks for your patience, and we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.
The Blogger Team

I bear no ill will toward the Team. They were doing their jobs, trying to keep the web safe for blogging. The fight against blog and comment spam has closed more than one blog. Many more. I thank the Team for its efforts on blogging's behalf.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Want to Change Offices?

If you're hankering to check out the new Microsoft Office, here's a link to the beta version.

A word of warning from Dr. B: before you install it, back up your macros!

How Are You?

However you may be feeling today, chances are, you are not alone.

The Myth of Multitasking

According to 43 Folders, multitasking's a myth.

powered by ODEO

Monday, May 29, 2006

OPML Audio

Tom Morris has made it insanely easy to embed a Flash mp3 player in an OPML outline with the OPML editor.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Aim Tastes Great!

Back in the '70s there was a commercial for AIM toothpaste. The ad said, "AIM tastes great!" The idea was that if the toothpaste tasted like heaven in your mouth, kids would "brush longer," which was supposed to be a good thing.

Well, I don't know if it worked for AIM, but I have found that sometimes the introduction of a fresh new writing tool (like FreeMind or Remlap Knowledgebase) is enough to motivate my students to write longer.

I love that!

Friday, May 26, 2006

RSS By Hand

Stephen Downes has a tutorial that teaches you how to edit an RSS feed manually. All you need, he says, is Notepad, a web server, and a beer . . .

You can get an RSS 2.0 template here.

Grazr Plays Audio

Grazr plays audio. Check out the sidebar, down by the archives.

Back from Camp

No doubt about it: OPML is the most exciting thing to happen to the web since the hyperlink. OPML Camp, an unconference about outline processor markup language, has me walking the OPML walk and talking the OPML talk. I might even by the shirt.

My mind is reeling with thrilling OPML tools and applications, such as (tools) the OPML Editor, iJot, Grazr, Optimal, BlogBridge, and (applications) reading lists, outlined documents, and podcast directories. Oh, man. What a weekend!

Thanks, Adam!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Meat for English Majors

In the last week of the semester we managed to squeeze in one more English majors' dinner at Dr. M's place. This time, meat was on the menu (unlike last time, when I cooked) and attendance was high.

Thanks, majors. And good luck to all you new graduates!

Coffee . . . to go!

On a sunny spring day, not much action in the old coffee house.

Up to New Tricks

The school's literary magazine, New Tricks, is out. Don't know how these got in there!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Firefox Supports SVG

It seems that, very quietly while I wasn't looking, Firefox has introduced support for SVG files. Before this, if one wanted to view SVG files in a web browser, one had to use Internet Explorer and the Adobe SVG Viewer plugin. At least that was the most popular way, as far as I know. (Today I found out the Opera browser also supports SVG. Who knew?)

This FAQ explains the nature and extent of Firefox's support of SVG.

And this is a guide for implementing SVG images in web pages.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Search for the Ultimate Writing Machine

I've been dreaming of the perfect writing platform, one that combines the spidery mind maps of FreeMind, the flexible outlining of the OPML Editor, the textual editing flexibility of Word (which also includes outlining functions, by the way) and another soon-to-be-indispensable research related feature: a contextual search tool that automatically finds information related to what one is writing about and drops it at one's feet.

My dreams are not far from reality. Contextual search is already a known quantity.

Contextual search is "a search for records or documents based upon the text contained in any part of the file as opposed to searching on a predefined key field" (source). The contextual search tool I've been playing with is called Watson. This movie shows how it works.

Perhaps contextual searching could be brought to webOutliner and the capacity for collaboration added to the mix.

Update: Pico is another contextual search tool that integrates with applications.

An Introduction to OPML

Here are a blog entry and a screencast to introduct you to OPML and its possibilities.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Web 2.0 > Guided Tour

Want a guided tour of the Web 2.0 landscape? Try this slideshow.


On a brilliant spring day the child (and a babysitting friend) ply an old fashioned kind of micropublishing.

sidewalk chalk drawing

Friday, May 05, 2006

All - School Singalong

Here's what we'll be singing at our commencement ceremony next Saturday.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Hungry Baby

A baby visited Beadle Hall today. She was hungry !


My favorite place to sit on a sunny day is just inside the entryway of Beadle Hall. There I can look out over the south lawn and watch as students and colleagues walk up the path to the building.