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Joe Germuska
Chief Nerd, Northwestern University Knight Lab • Project Lead, • Host of Conference of the Birds on WNUR-FM • Civic Technology • Open Source
Chief Nerd, Northwestern University Knight Lab • Project Lead, • Host of Conference of the Birds on WNUR-FM • Civic Technology • Open Source

Joe's posts

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I've been kind of fascinated at the dialogue and diatribe over Morozov's hit piece on O'Reilly. Morozov cockily tweeted a link to this praise he received from TO, writing "those were the days"
Form and Fortune

Absolutely fantastic piece by Evgeny Morozov putting Apple in the historical context of industrial design, and exploring the question of Steve Jobs as a philososopher.

Here, a section on the debt to Bauhaus:

"The task of the designer, then, was not to please or to innovate. It was to uncover and to reveal—rather like scientists; for design is just a tangible, natural, and objective byproduct of history. As Michl put it, “Functional forms do not simply appeal to taste, because they are a matter of truth—and truth does not pander to taste.” It is no wonder that the functionalists loved to tout the supposed timelessness of their forms: truth, after all, has only one timeless form, or so many members of the Bauhaus believed. (That the modern epoch may eventually come to an end and be followed by an epoch with a different set of values and needs did not occur to them.) It’s no wonder that the highest compliment that Jony Ive could bestow on Dieter Rams was to call the design of his products 'inevitable.'"

The piece starts with a riff on the shallowness of Isaacson's biography, but soon goes into an amazing romp through design antecedents for Jobs' philosophy of design. A must-read for Apple enthusiasts.

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"Once, after a UX member discovered appalling security lapses in a major museum, she wrote a memo detailing them—and left it, in the middle of the night, on the desk of the security director."

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The new Chicago Magazine feature on gangs and politics cites a $300,000/day drug operation on the south side. A bust last week in Rogers Park disrupted a $1.6M/year operation

Are the scales of different operations really that different? Or is this sloppy estimating or bad number reporting?

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Lovely photo of Chicago at sunset from the air over Lake Michigan (h/t +Beth McGreevy )
Testing a Bug....or maybe user-error!

A few days ago, I gave step-by-step instructions for sharing a single photo from an album, and now I am seeing strange things... so I am testing myself with my album at .

The steps were (and I am following now):

1) Click on the Photos icon (little square with mountains at the top)
2) Click on Your Albums on the left
3) Select the photo you want to share and click the "Share" button on the bottom.

Now, I am afraid what happens... is that

a) it does work, but it also copies the photo into a new album that goes under Photos From Posts > Today's Date. That is strange... Why does it copy the photo?? It splits comments, views, and makes everything messy! Unorganized Sad Photo Panda Bear Cries a Bamboo Tear

b) Because the photo is no longer linked to the original album, people cannot surf the album! So, there is no right-left clicking to see the next or previous photo in the album. that sucks... that is half the fun of sharing a single photo from an album because it would serve as a gateway into the album

c) It strips off the description for the post... So the description is not below the photo, but it is there if you click through.

[I will edit this post as I look into it]

Since it appears the photo description is gone from below... people may want to know this is a photo of Chicago I took while hanging out of a helicopter -- a setup that was accomplished thanks to my friend +Fiona Murphy !

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I love Harper's Weekly Review:

"Government officials announced the seizure in New York’s Chinatown of 6,000 units of illegally imported pesticides, including vials of a Chinese rat poison, labeled “The cat be unemployed,” that contained the powerful anticoagulant brodifacoum in concentrations sixty times the legal limit. Some of the chemicals, according to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, smelled “like cookies or other objects that would attract the human touch.”"

"I can have a Skype therapy session with my morning coffee or before a night on the town with the girls. I can take a break from shopping for a session."

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"I love CUNY and I love public education. Blackboard is a parasite on both. Writing free software is the best way I know to disrupt the awful relationship between companies like Blackboard and vulnerable populations like CUNY undergraduates."

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CAN-CALL TV42 "The Job Connection" [223 Java Application Developer] These positions are highly technical and require testing. The Central Management Service test schedule can be found online at <MORE…>
If you have questions about the positions please contact Sudi Garcia in HRM Recruitment & Selection at 312-793-5707.

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"Some mistakes will be made along the way. That's good, because at least some decisions are being made along the way." –Steve Jobs (via +Dave Stanton)
Remember when Jobs returned to Apple? It was 1997, after the failure of the NeXT, and it was not assumed he could affect real change. Even Woz admits he wasn't sure Jobs could fix Apple. In this video Jobs is called out in front of a live audience by a guy who questions Jobs technical understanding and tells Jobs that he doesn't know "what he's talking about." Pretty interesting to watch Steve's response. Saw this from a FastCompany article:

Some thoughts on admitting when you're wrong: I'm big on taking blame and recognizing your own faults. It helps you and others to recognize what you're not good at, and where & how to improve. Sometimes it's hard to admit such things based on where you are in the power structure of a company -- admitting you are wrong can get you fired after all. As the CEO of a company, it's perhaps easier to do, though your shareholders and employees might lose faith if you admit you're wrong. Ultimately, I think you're "safe" to admit such things if you can be honest and genuine enough for people to see past your mistakes and understand you're moving in the right direction. To me, perhaps the biggest mistake a leader can make is to act like he or she is infallible. When you do that, it exponentially increases the damage caused by a weakness that may have been pretty small in the first place.
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