July 25, 2009
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
Arthur C. Clarke
July 21, 2009
“Consulting the rules of composition before taking a photograph is like consulting the laws of gravity before going for a walk.”
July 16, 2009
A former UR student called me the other day to touch base and “talk tech”. At one point in our conversation, he asked me if I had heard of this awesome Adobe competitor called “Aviary“. I told him, inquisitively, “No”, but as we continued to talk, I accessed the site and became instantly intrigued. Mind you, the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology has recommended many web 2.0 image/media applications like Picnik, Photoshop Express and SplashUp to faculty, staff and students who need to do basic image manipulation procedures. These apps surely serve their purpose, however after using the Aviary suite… I think I’m hooked (although I haven’t gotten a hang of the file/save/open-old-file workflow, yet)
As you peruse the gallery of Tweety’s cousins, you’ll notice that Photoshop is to Pheonix as Illustrator is to Raven. There’s no need to go to different web sites if you want switch from a bitmap editor to a vector editor - its all in one place!
If you’re looking for a basic, FREE set of web-based image applications (did I say FREE?), then Aviary just might fancy your tail-feather! It has great relevance for art classes, journalism projects and students of new media. Give it a try, and do it soon… I’d hate for the Aviary to wind up with an unexpected case of Birdflu 2.0 (ie. being purchased by a larger company or barraging it’s users with random advertisements to sustain itself). And yes, the puns were intended.
Take a look at the “Attack of the Show” review:
July 7, 2009
That’s right, instead of purchasing $600 of textbooks each semester, students can rent textbooks, often at 60-80% less than the original purchase prices. Inspired by Netflix, sites like chegg.com (shorthand for “chicken and egg”) and other services that have been popping up to help students save money on one of their largest college-related expenses. The New York Times has the full scoop here:
Here’s a list of book-rental sites I’ve found:
And while I’m on the topic of books, I’ve been using a book search engine called FetchBook.info for years — since I was in college! FetchBook searches Amazon, Half.com, eBay, and other booksellers to find the best prices on used and new books.
Update: I rented a book from Chegg for my News Writing class this semester. I was going to write about the experience and notable facets of the site, but someone on the site factoidz has already done a great job. I picked Chegg because they had the best price for my textbook for the semester (around $35 for an $80 textbook — $40ish with shipping and tax), they had a generous definition of a “semester” — I wouldn’t need to return the book until 12/24 (long after our semester has actually ended), and they plant a tree for each book you rent.
If you click the above image, you can see exactly how much I saved by renting instead of buying “Reporting for the Media.”
I also got a 30-day free trial, which started the day I ordered the book. If I decided to drop the class (don’t worry, professor, I won’t!) I can return the book and not have to pay anything. That’s a great guarantee for a student who may be uncommitted to a course, or students enrolled in a course threatened to be cancelled.
Here’s another Chegg review from CampusGrotto.
July 7, 2009
In addition to offering an extraordinary teaching and learning conference this year the folks at NMC offered an even more extraordinary immersive preconference event: an all day photo workshop on legendary Point Lobos (near Monterey, CA) with Bill Frakes from Sports Illustrated, National Geographic,… and Don Henderson from Apple, Inc.
Quite simply one of the best days ever!