funny, funny Bb take on SL

Ever feel like you came to the party late? Me, too. Anyway, I missed this video when it debuted last summer before BbWorld Boston. Probably because I was busy settling in here at UK.  A “shameless plug” for the conference, it will make you smile – or laugh out loud – if you’ve spent any time at all in SL. Watch Adventures in First Life Redux.

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University of KY Island

University of KY Island in Second Life

University of KY Island in Second Life. Not much there, but it’s ours. If you are UK faculty and would like access to the “sandbox” area, let me know.

how audacious

Audacity is a very useful free tool for recording, whether you are creating podcasts by recording directly to your computer or, as I am this evening, providing tech support to a child’s research project presentation. I know professional producers, professors and everyday folk who use it. Here’s where to download it: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

Some support resources for using Audacity:

How to …

Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday, whenever it begins for you this week. technology180 will take a break this week, but I’ll leave you with some video from University of Kentucky’s TASC AV: http://www.youtube.com/user/ukyav

On that YouTube page you will find, so far, the following clips: Marantz digital audio recorder demo, UK “Smart Cart” demo, and DVD recorder demo. Learn how; TASC AV shows you.

a viral video and its aftermath

This is fun for Friday. Ze Frank rose to fame with a viral video on how to dance properly. Here’s his blog: http://www.zefrank.com/. Here’s his presentation for TED in 2004: if you can make it through his opening and the “dance” video clip, his “What’s So Funny About the Web” presentation has moments of greatness.

questions of copyright

Copyright and fair-use doctrine questions and doubts tend to plague the conscientious educator. What to use when and in what format can sometimes be too much to think about. Enter distance learning and the added weight of unintentionally sharing copyrighted materials in inappropriate ways with unintended audiences … well, you get the picture. A recent article in the Chronicle shares a new report that investigates that lack of understanding and its consequences.

your digital future

Remember rabbit ears? On the television I mean. Actually, I’m sitting here looking at a pair right now. I’m sure there are others of you who have one or more sets that depend upon over-the-air broadcast signals. If so, then you need to understand the significance of this date: Feb. 17, 2009. That is the last day that broadcasters may air programming via an analog signal. On Feb. 18, 2009, all broadcasts must be in digital format. Ah, you think, but they are already airing digital programming. Yes, that’s right, they are. The date to provide a digital signal has come and gone with little fanfare among anyone but those in the television industry. But until 2/17/09, those stations must also provide an analog signal to ensure they are providing a usable signal to the largest possible audience. On 2/18/09, the analog television signals are going away.

What does that mean to you on a personal level? It means as of February 2009 if you are getting your television over the air, you’ll need either a television with a built-in digital tuner or you’ll need a digital converter box for your older analog TV. If you get your TV via cable, you will likely not notice a change … there may be a few quirks or changed channels, but cable will probably absorb the impact for you. It’s likely the cable company will convert digital signals for their customers with analog televisions. For how long? Who knows. My recommendation is that if you could use a new TV, look for a digital TV. Within the digital TV category, you can then go for standard definition or high definition. Be aware that not every HDTV (high definition television) has a built-in digital tuner (which you need only if you want to get the over-the-air signals; you don’t necessarily need it for cable).

What does this mean for you at University of Kentucky? If you have a cable connection that you use in your building, classroom or office, you will continue to receive UK’s cable television channels.

If you are in the market for a television right now, avoid those sets that have signs that say “attention: this television receives only analog transmissions” or some such. Instead, look for these initials: ATSC (digital tuner), ATSC/NTSC (digital tuner plus analog tuner – the best of both worlds … for now), QAM (pronounced “quam,” will pick up unscrambled free cable programming); ATSC/NTSC/QAM (gets it all, baby). Also, keep in mind that digital does not equal high-def. But, trust me, over-the-air digital looks great even on a standard def TV.

 More info: