Cool Links #71: The One With Holidays, Yearbook Pages and Dreams of Snow

It’s been a long semester, but we’re finally at Christmas Break and we have sold a few more books than last year.  We also have more pages done than ever before.  And finally, last night I had a dream of more snow in Houston.  Not likely I know, so I’ll have to deliver a blizzard of links.

1 – While 2009 may not have been a wonderful year for most, it was a great year for photography.  The Boston Globe has a terrific slide show of more than 40 iconic photos of the year.

Barack Obama sworn in as US President

Barack Obama sworn in as US President

2 – Madatoms.com has a graphic that shows the past, present and future decline of journalism.  As terrible as your worst post-apocalyptic science fiction nightmare.

3 – The Digital Photography School just keeps posting photo nuggets for us to all enjoy and use, like 10 Reasons to Turn Off Your Auto Focus.

4 – The whole post is being written using Google Chrome browser for OSX, but of course you can already get it for Windows (XP/Vista).  Not sure why it is not available for Windows 7 yet?    It’s fast and I’ve had few crashes.  To me it is the best of Safari and Firefox.

5 – Next up is an 8 minute video of newspaper headlines that have appeared in The Simpsons.  Funny.

6 – My Canadian friend, author of Notes From A Teacher, has an insightful list of 10 Things that His (journalism) Students Need To Keep In Mind.  Best takeaway – 10. There are many more than 10 things that you need to keep in mind.

7 – Graphjam, always fun, but often insightful had this juicy nugget about where cable news is today.

CNN Take Note

CNN Take Note

8 – These are a cool Christmas gift (And if anyone wants to send me one I won’t complain) keyboard skins for applications.  I’d love one for Final Cut Express.

Keyboard Skins For Apps

Keyboard Skins For Apps

9 – Thank you The Economist for putting teeth into the argument against pay-walls.   I’ve been saying for the last two years that I would never buy an online news subscription or pay micropayments for news because I read TOO MANY newspapers online.  The only way I’d ever consider paying, would be if I could pay a single small monthly fee ($5-7 US a month) that would allow me to read ALL the newspapers, or if they ALL joined one service where I could pay a small fee to read.

10 – Cyberdotnet blog says there will be journalists in the future. I agree.  We just won’t work for “the man.”  Journalists will have to be freelancers who work for many news organizations, plus produce content for their own branded site.

11 – The Teacher Chronicles puts forth 20 Ways You Can Upgrade to Become a Teacher 2.0.  Best Takeaway – 16. Ask your students what they do on the web! Make a list of the websites they mention and make sure you check them out!

12 – I’ve been watching a thread on the Teachpaperless blog about the wonders of technology and what they can do to replace schools and even teachers.  But The Teacher Chronicles has a list of Six Things Technology Can’t Do For You.

13 – I recently lamented the speed and capacity of the Internet service at my school, but in other ways we’ve done a good job at keeping up with technology.  I really agree with this post from The Teacher Chronicles of 11 Ways To Upgrade Your School into School 2.0.

14 – I am a huge fan of Black and White Photography, here are 40 Beautiful Examples of why it rocks!

Big Ben from Metro

Big Ben from Metro

Hope this finds you and yours having a wonderful holiday season.  I’m still at +/- zero.

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Why Apple Rocks!

Yesterday Firefox, my favorite browser, quit unexpectedly.  This is very rare, but it does happen.  It would not relaunch.  So I deleted it and reinstalled from a fresh download.  I launched it, but it would not launch and I got a crazy error message saying Firefox was already running.  Confused?!

So, I restarted my Mac.  Still no go, same error message.  So it was time for search and destroy.  I killed every file related to Firefox.  Restart.  Relaunch.  Still no go.

OK, google to the rescue.  Apple’s website had a useful article on what happened during the crash.  Some invisible file was corrupted.  It even showed you how to find it and delete it.  I tried.  No dice.

Screaming and frustration.

So, I decided it was time to restore my software to it’s original state by erasing the hard drive and reinstall the system software.  This is no easy task.  First step – backup all data.  That took a while.  Then find the system disks.

Panic!  Can’t find them.

OK, try the system disks from the Mac Mini.  Same OS, should work.  It does fine.  Formats the drive and then installs the OS 98 percent and then hangs up.  I try it again.  Same result.

So I try it without the iLife package (where it was hanging up).  It installs.  OK, I’ll deal with it.

I start updating the Mac with software, etc. and try to run the DVD player.  No go.  Then another program won’t run.  This is now too much.  I give up.

Safari is running, so I look up the Houston Galleria Apple Store phone number.  I am now at an all new low.  The tech teacher having to call for help.

The girl on the phone is polite, helpful and even makes an appointment for me at the Genius Bar with in 90 mins. of my call.  I pack up my MacBook, get in the truck and drive.  My iPod is seriously low on power, but it helps me chill out.

I get there 10 min. early and only wait 10 min. until I am helped.  They have me up and running in 30 min. – no charge.  Nothing but helpful associates who know their product.  This is why Apple is better than Windows or Linux.  You just can’t get this kind of customer service anywhere else.

iPod: Tool for Learning

I just got an iPod about a week ago.  Of course I love it.  I bought the inexpensive 4GB iPod Nano.  When I unboxed it – after updating the software – I filled it up with about 3 GB of music and then on a whim I decided to load a copy of a podcast that I like – Tips From the Top Floor.   I actually have only watched his video podcasts up until now.  But his podcast is short, just about the right amount of time to fill my commute.

So, I dumped it into a playlist and then I listened to it on the way to work.  I love it.

And of course there are so many to choose from – FREE on iTunes.  TFTTF (about photography is there) and there are many more like Adobe Creative Suite PodcastOne Minute Tip: Photoshop WednesdayGrammar Girl and many others.

I highly recommend you get an iPod and learn something new – or just rock out to a little Queen, Avril Lavigne, Kelli Clarkson or 30 Seconds To Mars.  Sometimes you just have to chill out!