Two Factor Authentication

Two Factor Authentication

Using cloud based services (Dropbox, Evernote, GMail)? Then you should know about two factor authentication.

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Messin’ ’round – Ashokan Farewell

Just messin’ ’round on a Friday morning.

Where Opportunity Lives

Where Opportunity Lives

Apple Watch Hero Sport

This week, the inescapable technology tsunami that breached was the announcement of several new Apple products; most notably the Apple Watch.

And, just as predictably (and in synchronous temporal parallel), the inevitable backlash.

This brand holy war is not new, or even unique, to technology brands.

As someone who has developed products for many different technology platforms over the last thirty years, I am amazed – but never surprised – at the vitriol, and energy, wasted in promoting brand chauvinism.

But honestly, neither do I care.

For while others are arguing the merits of technology that they carry about their person – and what it says about themselves and their personal life choices – I’m thinking about one thing: Opportunity.

I’m not jazzed about learning that the Apple App Store now has 1.3 million apps.

What gets me excited is knowing that a new technology platform is opening up, that currently has zero applications in the space.

Because that’s where Opportunity lives.

And that’s where the future will be made – in those green field landscapes currently unlittered with watch-sized Flappy Birds, Virtual Farts, and Fat Booths.

Wayne Gretzky famously said, “…skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” The trick, of course, is to know where the puck is going to be.

This week, we all got a huge freakin’ clue.

And so, you won’t find me arguing the merits of who innovates better, who executes better, or who has “won” in any particular product category.

Instead, I will be seeking Opportunity.

And taking up residence there.

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Apple Announces Watch, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus

Apple just announced their much anticipated Watch, plus two new iPhone models (the 6 and the 6 Plus). What do you think about the new offerings?

Flashback – Maker Spaces

Flashback – Maker Spaces

Studio D

Last January, I had the chance to sit down with Mur Muchane (CIO of Davidson College) to discuss their new Maker Space, Studio M. A fun and engaging hour, and good insight on how Maker Spaces can fit into Liberal Arts campuses.

Creative Blocks

Creative Blocks

We all get creatively blocked from time to time.

Sometimes, one must simply push through. Here are some things I do to jump start my creative juices, when my flow isn’t what it needs to be.

Driving Consortial Change – It Takes More Than Missionaries

Driving Consortial Change – It Takes More Than Missionaries

Missionaries

Selective residential colleges and universities usually have several things in common – they are usually small, usually survive upon tuition, room, and board for their operating budgets, and are usually very, very expensive to attend.

And in case you haven’t been on the web or read a newspaper for the last few years, their business model is under more scrutiny – and attack – than any time in recent memory.

An idea, with no small amount of currency, is that small colleges can survive and thrive by leveraging their academic consortial partners, to take advantage of commonalities in their Enterprise Resource Planning and Learning Management Systems, as well as consolidating purchasing power for software, equipment, and subscriptions.

In theory, this is a great idea. Power in Numbers. Stronger than the sum of our parts. E Pluribus Unum.

In practice – not so much. At least, not how matters stand today.

The practical considerations of working with one or more consortial partners are many – how to build relationship and trust across institutions, how to maintain continuity and consistency of communications for long running programming, how to fund initiatives, how to assess and communicate fairly – and honestly – the success and / or failures of programs oft championed by College Presidents, but largely invisible to faculty and staff.

But the biggest chink in the armor in getting consortium-wide initiatives on their feet, is that they are totally dependent upon missionaries, individuals with a self-sustaining and self-motivated desire to see any one program succeed, in order to work.

For a time, these programs can – and do – work. That is, until the missionaries retire, die, or move on to the next mission field.

Consortial initiatives ultimately fail, because they do not deal systemically with supporting programming, in order to insure sustainable success.

There are clear models of where consolidation, collaboration, and aggregation do work in Higher Education. They are called state systems and community college systems, and they have well-proven models of multisite governance, oversight and accountability.

Selective, residential colleges can’t seemingly make this quantum leap to pool their resources in this fashion. Tradition, trustees, pride, alumni, and just – well – plain ‘ol stubbornness won’t allow it to happen.

Unless and until there is no other way to survive.

Without introducing sweeping governance changes, honest accountability, and real incentives to promote consortial activities systematically – the idea that consortial collaboration will ever drive sustainable programming and revenue (or, dare to dream, tuition savings) is a mission field too far.

You’re Doing It Wrong. Obviously.

You’re Doing It Wrong. Obviously.

I depend upon my work computer for my livelihood. I work at home. On the road. In Starbucks. In motel rooms. Waiting for the kids in pickup line.

Which means I am constantly wrapping and unwrapping my power cord, all the live-long day.

Now, being a savvy latte-swilling, elitist dbag MacBook Pro power user, I of course wrap my power cable, this way:

That is to say, until this happened:

You're Doing It Wrong

No problem, I think. I’ll just order a replacement.

HOLY COW. These bad boys are 79 US DOLLARS. What are they made of? Printer Ink?

Well. Let’s check Amazon.

Amazon Screen Shot

It seems that I can save a whopping 1% through Amazon. Yay me. And, “free” shipping (yay, Prime).

Oy. 

Apparently, Apple is more than aware of this little design flaw in their MagSafe adapters.

It’s cold comfort at this point.

For now, I’ll just have to live with stuffing my MagSafe adapter into my travel bag like a “normal.”

That, or invest in adapter futures.

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Seven superstitions to know before you go to college

Hendrix College was mentioned today on the Headline News Website:

Hendrix College cafeteria apparently has a glittery tray from the 60’s that they sometimes dole out lunches on. If you get it, luck is on your side (wearing your polyester jumpsuit to the cafeteria, we hear, does not up your chances).

Cooler still, they used a video from our first Raspberry Pi Bake-Off, featuring John Steward’s second-place winning Disco Tray.

My only regret? Portrait video. Ugh. What was I thinking?

 

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Conway Geek Breakfast – Save the Date

Thursday, September 25, 2014, 7:00 AM – Bob’s Grill, Oak Street, Conway.

A Conway Tradition, since before the Christmas Tree.