Good grief, is it really Friday already?! No matter how behind I am this week, I need to pull out some fluff for Friday. How about a nifty playlist? What’s that, you say? Well, in iTunes and other media sharing products, users can often share their “playlists,” or groupings of music that they’ve created. I found this playlist of great movie themes in a recent boingboing.net post. The list’s creator made it at a site called SeeqPod. It’s currently drowning out the construction going on outside my window. Enjoy.
Some time ago I posted a note about Dance Your PhD in my Friday Fluff. But I really think this wonderful little project at the crossroads of arts and sciences deserves another mention: the winners have been annouced! Check out the 2009 AAAS/Science Dance Contest (“Dance Your PhD”).
It’s Friday, so it must be time for Fluff. Yes, it’s the day of the week that I get off topic or write about something that amuses me.
Today it’s all about nerd badges. You know, like merit badges for Boy Scouts … except these are badges of recognition for your nerdy talents. You know you have them. You know you develop them.
Tech Therapy is an excellent podcast from The Chronicle of Higher Education. I don’t think I’ve ever said that and recommended it as a podcast subscription (although I have recommended individual episodes). Let me correct that: I recommend Tech Therapy – it contains a number of thought-provoking conversations and interviews. The current episode (#42) is especially timely: “How To Thrive (Not Just Survive) In Dismal Times“. It’s Part I of II.
Visit Tech Therapy at http://chronicle.com/techtherapy/. You can find the RSS feed there or use the URL above to suscribe with your favorite feedreader. You’ll also find it in iTunes (open iTunes, click on Store, and search on Tech Therapy to find the most recent podcast or to link to the “album,” or complete listing of episodes).
Today’s the big day for TV. Sort of.
February 17, 2009, was to be the day that television stations in the United States transitioned their broadcast signals from analog to digital, requiring either a set-top converter box for your old analog TV, a digital television, or cable/satellite reception (cable and satellite customers don’t have to worry with it unless they also use an antenna for picking up local signals). Although stations have been providing digital signals for some time, they’ve also been required to offer an analog signal so that consumers have time to catch up and tune in on their new digital TV sets or old converted sets. I blogged about this and its associated topics in Your Digital Future.
So why are we not totally tuning out analog today? You may recall that last month there was a flurry of articles about delaying the digital transition. That doesn’t mean that no TV stations will be transitioning today. Having to operate both an analog and a digital signal for four more months (yes, it’s expensive) is a budget buster for some and just doesn’t make good business sense for others, and they have been given the flexibility to go ahead with their plans. The FCC reports that of nearly 1800 full-power television stations in the United States, 641 stations (36 percent of all full-power stations) will have transitioned by the end of today. The rest will transition between March 14 and June 12.
What does that mean locally? It looks like all but one station will delay in Lexington (this article from Kentucky.com provides transition dates for local stations). Another good source for uncovering what signals you have available is TV Fool. There’s also an FM Fool, by the way.
If you are still confused about the analog-to-digital conversion and how that does or does not affect your television set, visit one or more of these web pages:
- If you are trying to buy a TV set right now, you might want to read my earlier post “Your Digital Future.” It discusses digital television, HDTV, ATSC vs. NTSC, and more.
- The government’s DTV Transition site has up-to-date information about the long goodbye for analog.
- KET has a nicely developed DTV page with a lot of information for the public.
- Below, watch do-it-youselfers Norm and Kevin from This Old House on PBS’s video on the switch to digital television and visit the PBS website for the digital switch.
KySTE is inviting Kentucky college students – those majoring in Education or otherwise headed to K-12 careers – and their professors to register for and create presentation proposals for the annual KySTE Technology Conference and Workshops in June.
The event is set for June 17-19, 2009, at North Bullitt High School in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. The KySTE Conference is designed around three strands: technical, instructional, and leadership technology. With a program comprising more than 125 sessions, the conference is designed to provide attendees with a wealth of resources and professional knowledge.
KySTE invites students and their professors to present sessions that promote educational excellence and support technology-based instruction.
Students are offered a special discount for attending the conference. Any student who is willing to volunteer to work can come free of charge and still participate in the conference exhibits and sessions.
For more information, visit the KySTE website at http://www.kyste.org/. You can create an account and log in, and you can also submit your conference proposal and register for the KySTE conference on the website.
And now for your Friday Fluff! Yes, here it is, the origin of the (television and arcade video game) species: video ping-pong. Believe it or not, the game, in its several versions as generic ping-pong and tennis, is more than 40 years old. It may not have been the very first, but it is one of the first, and fondly remembered. Find out about things Pong at pongmuseum.com.
If you are more of a sports-watcher, here’s video of an Atari Pong game:
Below is Ralph H. Baer (who invented the Magnavox Odyssey) playing video ping-pong with Bill Harrison in 1969. And so it begins: playing interactive games when you should really be working.