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Seamus Reynolds
All of the Lights
All of the Lights

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This is... pretty cool.
Egypt Elections - Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Observer
Credit: Thomas Hartwell/AP - Wednesday 24 May 2012

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This. The last thing we need to do is lock in our education, especially to a closed-source proprietor, when we have the opportunity and every reason to be open.
Textbooks on mobile = good, textbooks on iPad = bad

Do we really need our schools to start issuing text books on a proprietary platform? No, we don't need that. We don't want that. It makes no sense at all.

You want non-paper books? Great. You want multimedia integrated into your textbooks? Fantastic. You want to tie your school to iOS and force your students to purchase an iPad in order to take advantage of the new features and benefits in your textbooks? No way.

Instead, what we need is an open, potentially even web based system. My friend +Philip Berne suggested that just a short while ago on Twitter. It makes sense. HTML5 can do a lot of great things, including multimedia. It also has the benefit of working on many devices. I can see issues with managing subscriptions and purchases, though, since anything on the web is up for grabs. Even without web-based solutions, there are other formats, like EPUB and PDF/A, that could be used safely on many different platforms.

If a child has access to but a single device on most any computing platform (PC, Mac, tablet, smartphone, etc) then he or she would have access to the books needed. With all the fancy additional features not found on paper.

And it would still work on an iPad.

The last thing we want to do is latch onto a single hardware platform for our school books, especially when that platform is far from the most affordable. Android powered tablets and simple netbook computers can be had for far less than an Apple iPad.

Access is what's important, not riding the wave of Apple's amazing success with the iPad.


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For everyone watching and participating in the "Forgive Student Loan Debt" movement, this is the place to make your mark. We The People is a program directly on the site, and enough signatures will (supposedly) net an official response.

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If you're new to Google Plus, these are some great tips! (If you're not on Google Plus yet, well, take a look at Facebook's new layout...)
Welcome new Google+ users!

Experienced +ers, please share this to help out the newbies!

■ A wonderful Startup Guide to Google+ by +Saidur Hossain that has already been translated into 31 languages. This consists of 49 photos/slides that describe how to use the service. It has been shared more than 10,000 times on Google+. **

Google Plus 101: How to Get Started (good blog post for beginngers by Rana Shahbaz): **

The Google+ Guide created collaboratively by users in Google Docs: **

Millions of new users will be joining Google+ in the coming days. The doors are finally open. Google's home page invites everyone (over age 18) to try this service out. But for a new user, whether you have a "best thing since sliced bread" experience or a "ghost town" experience, depends on learning a few simple things and applying them.

Early Google+ users remember how fun it was to discover new features, shortcuts, and tips, and share them with each other. At one point, 120 users collaborated and compiled a Google doc that contained the best tips. There is a link to it below.

Here are some additional resources that about getting started on Google+. Some of them may be slightly out of date because Google+ is evolving and improving so quickly, but I've just reviewed them all to make sure they are still valuable - and they are. Hope they are helpful to you and all your new friends here.

■ The Complete Google+ Cheat Sheet:

■ Smaller Cheatsheet for navigation and editing:

■ Mashable's Complete Guide to Google+ (July 16):

+Craig Kanalley's 15 Tips for Newbies (July 13):

+Keith Barrett 10 Tips for Public Hangouts (Sept. 3):

And finally, here is a run-down by of the major updates that Google+ made to its hangouts yesterday:

More links to additional resources are provided by +Johnathan Chung at

Finally, if you try Google+ and feel skeptical at first, please follow +Tom Anderson who has the best posts nearly every day here on Google+, and also read this excellent article that he wrote for TheNextWeb entitled "How Google+ will succeed and why you'll use it whether you want to or not." (Tom founded MySpace and as guru +Robert Scoble says, "he gets social at a level even I can't approach.")

Google+ is here to stay. It will be a permanent social layer on top of Google's other web properties which are already used by one billion people each month.

By investing a little time and effort to set up and organize your circles and to install Google+ apps on your smart phone, you will soon find that Google+ empowers you to personalize your stream and your sharing like never before.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Please add a comment below if I'm missing a very helpful resource for beginners.

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Hey folks! My cousin Lexis posted her first article on, check it out! It has some great drink ideas for the upcoming season.

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'Real Name' Use on G+ Poll.

+1 your preference.

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Skype - The Big Blog - Skype 2.1 for Android enables video on majority of ...

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This a bit old, but good to read. Especially to find out that getting pulled due to a pseudonym will NOT lose you access to GMail, Docs, Calendar, etc.
Last night, +Robert Scoble shared some information based on his conversation with +Vic Gundotra. That post ( went a long way toward clearing the air, and we want to thank many of you for your feedback and support. I wanted to also more directly address some of what we’re learning and how we’re reacting to the feedback. Note that this isn’t a comprehensive “last word” on the topic that touches on every issue. On the contrary, it’s just some transparency and insight into a dialog that I expect will continue for a long time.

(It’s worth noting that in general we’ve only been discussing upcoming changes to Google+ as they are being released. In this case, we felt it would be helpful to signal to concerned parties “what’s coming.” This immediately raises the question of “When?!” And the answer is as soon as possible. We’ve already improved our process, and the changes below should arrive in a matter of weeks.)

We’ve noticed that many violations of the Google+ common name policy were in fact well-intentioned and inadvertent and for these users our process can be frustrating and disappointing. So we’re currently making a number of improvements to this process - specifically regarding how we notify these users that they’re not in compliance with Google+ policies and how we communicate the remedies available to them.

These include:

- Giving these users a warning and a chance to correct their name in advance of any suspension. (Of course whenever we review a profile, if we determine that the account is violating other policies like spam or abuse we’ll suspend the account immediately.)
- At time of this notice, a clear indication of how the user can edit their name to conform to our community standards (
- Better expectation setting as to next steps and timeframes for users that are engaged in this process.

Second, we’re looking at ways to improve the signup process to reduce the likelihood that users get themselves into a state that will later result in review.

Third, we’ve noticed that some people are using their profile name to show-off nicknames, maiden names and personal descriptions. While the profile name doesn’t accommodate this, we want to support your friends finding you by these alternate names and give you a prominent way of displaying this info in Google+. Here are two features in particular that facilitate this kind of self-expression:

- If you add nicknames, maiden names, etc. to the "Other names" portion of your G+ profile, those with permission to view those fields can search for you using that term. For example: some of my colleagues call me "elatable," a pseudonym I’ve used on many services, so I've added it to my list of other names.

- The "Employment," “Occupation” and “Education” fields in your profile can appear in your hovercard all across Google+ -- to those with permission to view them. This also helps other users find and identify you.

These and many more changes are coming. We’re flattered and appreciative of your support and interest. I assure you, teams of passionate individuals are pouring their talents and care into making this a great experience for you. Thank you again.

Finally, I wanted to debunk a few myths I’ve seen circulating.

MYTH: Google doesn’t care about ____. (businesses, teenagers, organizations, pseudonymous usage, disadvantaged populations, etc.)

We aspire to having great solutions for these (and many more) use cases. While this may appear as easy as the stroke of a policy pen (“Just let the businesses in!”), we think we can do better. We’re designing features for different use cases that we think will make a better product experience both for them and for everyone else. Please don’t misconstrue the product as it exists today (< 4 weeks since entering Field Trial) as the “end state.” We’re flattered that there’s so much passion and interest... and will continue to improve the product and innovate in ways that will hopefully surprise and delight.

MYTH: Not abiding by the Google+ common name policy can lead to wholesale suspension of one’s entire Google account.

When an account is suspended for violating the Google+ common name standards, access to Gmail or other products that don’t require a Google+ profile are not removed. Please help get the word out: if your Google+ Profile is suspended for not using a common name, you won't be able to use Google services that require a Google+ Profile, but you'll still be able to use Gmail, Docs, Calendar, Blogger, and so on. (Of course there are other Google-wide policies (e.g. egregious spamming, illegal activity, etc) that do apply to all Google products, and violations of these policies could in fact lead to a Google-wide suspension.)

We'll keep working to get better, and we appreciate the feedback-- and the passion --that Google+ has generated.

(Edited at 9:07pm PST on 7/25 to remove a reference to a screenshot I never had time to take, fix capitalization, and change "begs the question" to "raises the question" per comment below - bjh)
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