It’s BarCamp Day!

8:51am – Well BarCamp is here. I decided to start a little “live blog” to document my day. We are just getting started and voting for presentations will start. I don’t know if I will get to present yet, but we will see.

9:05am – Voting using is MUCH better than paper. Now I get to wait to see if I made the cut.

9:43am – In a session titled “Using Behavioral Psychology to Improve Your Website & Business.” with David Williams. Interesting listening to how we “trick” ourselves into doing things we would not ordinarily do. We also apply patterns where none exist. We feel we have “control” of the situation and we do not recognize change as it occur. Interesting presentation. As soon as I have the slide share links, I will post them. By the way, if you are online now, check out this Ustream link

10:26am – In Dick Pepper’s session on Building a Mobile App in 30 Minutes. I didn’t know hybrid apps were so easy to develop. I am thinking about getting into app development now. I need to get a bit better with java, but it doesn’t seem that hard. Look out world, more junk apps on the way

11:00am – OH NO, I am up next. I’ll post how it goes later. Wish me luck.

12:15pm – Eating a great lunch. I am pleased with my presentation. I had a good fro up with lots of great interactions. They may rate me horribly, but I think it went really well. I will post a full post with the content, but if you’d like to see the slides, go over to and search for AndyG1128 and the presentation, How Social Media Has Changed the Way We Buy and Sell. Now to finish this great catfish and hushpuppies.

12:45pm – We got to see a mini version of IgniteMemphis. Also listening to ConnectMemphis discuss the push to help all Memphis bloggers connect. Also seeing a presentation to EmergeMemphis. A proclamation from the Governor proclaiming next week as international entrepreneurship week. Also hearing how the state is looking to expand entrepreneurship and small business in Tennessee. It sounds like Tennessee is serious about promoting business.

2:50pm – Sitting around in the hallway between sessions talking about geek stuff, and getting ready for the last presentation of the day. We are going to give our talk on location based services. You may still be able to see the ustream at the link above.

4:04pm – Just got through with the 3pm session with Aaron and Rachel. I think we had a slow start, but the crowd interacted well and we went forward. Lots of good ideas and a possible business idea was hatched. More about that another time. I hope to have a post detailing the session we did later. Now they are giving away door prizes. Maybe I’ll get one, but probably not.

4:22pm – Well, that’s a wrap. I ended up with no door prizes, but that ok. It was a fun and educational day and there aren’t many places you can go and leave saying that. I will have several follow up posts from this, but for now, I am signing off.

Blackbird Pie, Tasty!

It seems the “Powers That Be” at have decided to grant us the ability to use Twitter’s Blackbird Pie feature in our blogs.  It’s a pretty simple process, you simply put the URL to the Tweet you want to display on a separate line and then POOF! the tweet just magically appears, formatted the same way you see it on the Twitter site.  it even grabs the background.

Here is an example!/wordpressdotcom/status/600049276948480

One tip you WON”T see unless you dig into the comments on that WordPress post:  YOu MUST make sure the link is plain text.  Wordpress and your Browser may try to “help” you by making the pasted http a link to the page.  If that happens, you have to remove the link so sees it as a Twitter link to make into pie…Mmmm…Pie…….

Sorry,I was lost in thought for a second 🙂

I wonder what OTHER goodies the “PTB” have for us down the road?

When the Internet Attacks!

Control copyright icon

Image via Wikipedia

Let’s say that you are the publisher of a free cooking magazine with recipes and pictures.  Let’s also suppose that you’re looking for fresh new talent or articles, for you magazine.

Do you:
A)  Scan the blogosphere for young writers that fit your style and offer them placement in your magazine?
B)  Scan published magazines and websites looking for new articles and then ask for permission to republish?
C)  License content from reputable sources? OR
D)  Simply copy articles and information from published, copy-write protected web sites and reprint them without permission?

If you are Cooks Source Magazine, (don’t bother with that link, it’s currently toasted, try the Facebook page here until it too is gone.) you obviously choose D, but take care, for in that way direction you only find pain and destruction, as you will see in a moment.

Monica Gaudio published a story last evening that came to me through several news sites today, almost all at once. (A few are linked at the bottom of this post)  The story, to quickly summarize, starts with a post Monica did on a web site in 2005 on old English tart recipes.  It was written, posted and she moved on from there.  Although her post doesn’t state it, I dare say she may even have forgotten the post over time.  Imagine her surprise then, when a friend called her to congratulate her being published in Cooks Source Magazine.  When Monica researched it, sure enough, it was her article published without her permission.  Doing a little “Google-fu”, Monica found the contact information for the magazine, contacted them, and informed them of the obvious mistake.  When asked what she “wanted”, Monica states that she requested

I wanted an apology on Facebook, a printed apology in the magazine and $130 donation (which turns out to be about $0.10 per word of the original article) to be given to the Columbia School of Journalism.

To a novice like myself, I would say that was almost like giving them a slap on the wrist, but, I am evidently not as forgiving as Monica.  If the publisher, Judith Griggs, had done as requested, I doubt any of us would even be hearing about this whole escapade.  However, Ms. Griggs responded in a most peculiar way.  Below is a quote from the email.

“Yes Monica, I have been doing this for 3 decades, having been an editor at The Voice, Housitonic Home and Connecticut Woman Magazine. I do know about copyright laws. It was “my bad” indeed, and, as the magazine is put together in long sessions, tired eyes and minds somethings forget to do these things.
But honestly Monica, the web is considered “public domain” and you should be happy we just didn’t “lift” your whole article and put someone else’s name on it! It happens a lot, clearly more than you are aware of, especially on college campuses, and the workplace. If you took offence and are unhappy, I am sorry, but you as a professional should know that the article we used written by you was in very bad need of editing, and is much better now than was originally. Now it will work well for your portfolio. For that reason, I have a bit of a difficult time with your requests for monetary gain, albeit for such a fine (and very wealthy!) institution. We put some time into rewrites, you should compensate me! I never charge young writers for advice or rewriting poorly written pieces, and have many who write for me… ALWAYS for free!”

Well…There just aren’t words…

The idea that anything on the internet is “public domain” is silly at best, more likely criminal at worst.  While copy-write law is clear that a list of ingredients is not protected, that is not what happened here.  This “magazine” lifted the whole article and had the audacity to claim that the editor should have been compensated for her “advice” and providing an article that would look good in a portfolio.

I am not going to rant on about this,even though there is a mountain of stupidity in Ms Griggs thought pattern, because that is not the most interesting part of the story.

Monica did what anyone engaged in blogging or social media would do – She posted about it Then a few others saw and passed the story on to their friends, who posted links on Twitter to the Facebook page where thousand of people are venting their “dislike” of the magazine.  This item has become a trending topic on Twitter. The Facebook page is getting updates so fast you have to go back several pages to find anything older than an hour ago.  Authors such as Neil Gaiman!/neilhimself/status/29694195618

and John Scalzi!/scalzi/status/29672448399

have tweeted their disgust with the magazine, and of course, someone setup the fake twitter account CooksSource just to keep the meme alive (It has since vanished).  This has even made the “main stream” news sites such as the Guardian and the Washington Post (see the block of links below)  It seems this has become that proverbial “Tempest in a Teapot” that threatens to spill out even further.  According to posts on the Cooks Source Facebook page, people have found that the magazine has even lifted articles and information from Paula Dean and the Food Network, Martha Stewart, and even more are being uncovered as the   situation develops.  Check out this Twitter Search for more “goodies” as the story continues to develop.

***Update:  For an in depth look at this story as well as evidence of other alleged acts of plagiarism, go to Edward Champion’s post here.***

Needless to say, this has turned into quite a mess for Cooks Source Magazine and its now famous editor.  Some advertisers who have been contacted have even called the magazine to cancel their relationship.  It has definitely been a long day for Ms Griggs at this point and I dare say that $130 donation sounds much better in hindsight.

Related articles

BarCamp Memphis

Well folks, it’s almost here!  BarCamp Memphis is happening this November 13th at Emerge Memphis

If you’ve never attended a BarCamp, let me first tell you that it has nothing to do with going to bars or making drinks, although by its nature it could go there.  a “BarCamp” is a gathering of both tech and non-tech people who are interested in gaining and sharing knowledge in a different and exciting way.  The focus is on gathering and sharing information with each other.  Before you say it, I want to kill another stereotype.  While some call these kinds of gatherings conferences (shudder), a BarCamp is nothing of the sort; it is an “Un”conference.

“What in the world is an “un”conference?” you may unconference is a gathering where the topics of the day are not settled until the day of the conference.  This means that anyone, and I mean ANYONE, can show up the day of the conference with an idea, a keynote or Powerpoint presentation, and a killer title, prepared to speak to the masses…but there’s a catch…You KNEW there had to be one.  As people arrive, the topics are placed where everyone can see and vote for the presentations they would most like to see.  The topics with the most votes fill out the schedule for the day and then you’re off to listen and share.  Now before you get cranky and wonder why you should prepare a presentation you may not give, here are some things to consider.  In almost every unconference I have attended, few, in any, topics are completely shut out.  Usually, there are enough rooms and attendees that most everyone gets a chance to present.  HOWEVER, if you don’t actually get to present, you have at least done your homework on a topic to the point you were READY to go.  That is a major step for most people and will simply make you more prepared to speak in the future.

You may NOW be wondering if there will be any topics you will be interested in if the topics are set until the morning of BarCamp.  Well, you’re in luck.  On the BarCamp Memphis site there is a list of possible topics which the organizers already know will be available that day for your vote.  That list will be growing by a couple as I will be joining two VERY smart people, Aaron Prather and Rachel Smith for a panel discussion on location based social networks.  I am even considering getting a couple of solo presentation ready, one on the iPad -“How do you use a Magical device?” and “The Impact of Online Social Interaction on Business”, but I am still in the air on that.

In case you are still on the fence, thinking that you aren’t “techie” enough to attend, consider this a fun, low impact, low risk way of learning something new about topics that you find interesting and if, by chance, you’re in a session you don’t really like, “rule of two feet”; you have two feet, use them to walk to a different session, or even better, stand in the hall and chat with someone you just met. Now GO, don’t wait, GO NOW! Register now, you know you want too!

See you there!

iPad Case Reviews

It’s been a bit since my last post, but it has not been uneventful.  I even have a trio of iPad cases to review for you, so let’s get to it.

The first case I want to talk about is the Eco-Vue case from Marware.  I used the case for over a month and it traveled everywhere with me. It is lightweight, and doesn’t offer much protection for the iPad itself, other than acting as a cover.  The case, advertised as “eco-leather” (read specially process leather that looks and feels a lot like soft vinyl), has a semi-rigid case and flap, the iPad is held in a mostly secure manner, more on that in a minute, and the inside of the case is a microfiber/felted material which provides some protection for the screen itself.  There is an elastic band to hold the case closed, or open and it has a low level stand to support the iPad in low landscape mode for typing.  The feature that sets this case apart is a wide elastic strap on the inside cover that provides the ability to hold the iPad with one hand without fatigue due to its weight.
Marware Eco-Vue for iPadMarware Eco-Vue for iPad
This feature is what makes this case so unusual and such a value.  I haven’t seen any other case with this type of hand hold and I think Marware is onto something with this one.  There are a few issues with the case from my month with it.  First, the felted interior started looking dirty after a couple of weeks use.  I wash my hands regularly and use more hand sanitizer than I probably should, but the case itself looked like I had used it after changing the oil in the car.  I have seen this happen with felted material before and it is just the way this fabric wears, but you need to be prepared for the look.  The flap that holds the iPad in the case started loosening after about three weeks of use.  In the beginning, the case is straight-backed and this gives the flap plenty of contact to maintain friction and keep the iPad secure.  Once the back starts to curve to match the shape of the iPad, however, the flap starts to loosen and slip.  It never came completely out, even when the iPad was held upside down, but I lost confidence in it after I felt it slide back and forth in the case. A small piece of Velcro would fix this, but I think the designers should have thought of that themselves. Another sign the case may not hold up in the long run is the wrinkling that developed on the spine of the cover, both inside and out.  The leather of the case started to develop stress lines from opening and closing, as well as being held folded over like the picture above.  Also, the internal felt started to stretch a bit and I was afraid it may wear or tear over a longer period of time.  Finally, the last issue has me the most curious at the designer’s thought process.  The small flap used to lift the iPad to a good angle for typing is held in place by a magnet.  For a Wi-Fi iPad, this raises no issues, however, for the 3G iPad with the MAGNETIC compass, this raises a few issues.  With the case closed or folded back, the compass will not work and the iPad with definitely let you know about it any time you launch an app that accesses it.  I cant figure out why the designers would over look this flaw, or if they thought that most of the iPads sold would be Wi-Fi and they decided to use something easy design to hold the flap.  Overall, this case has some solid features, but I am concerned it will not hold up over a long time.  The price of the case is quite reasonable, at $25 on Amazon at the time of writing, and for most users, this case will work well.  Just be prepared for the felt to look well used after a few weeks.
Half the price of similarly featured cases
Elastic band holds the case securely closed
Felted interior protects the screen
That strap is just an awesome way to hold the iPad
Concerns over long-term survivability
Flap holding iPad loosens over time
Felted interior looks “well used” in a short period of time
That crazy magnet (but only an issue for 3G iPads)
The next case is not as good, or even in the same league as the Marware case.  It is the Deluxe Leather Muilti-View case by Acase .  Where the Marware case was a pretty solid case, the Acase, at $14 shows you definitely get what you pay for in a case.  This case is basically two pieces of strong cardboard wrapped in leather and joined together on one side by a thin leather strip and held closed by a snap closure.  The case has a set of ridges on the outside flap where a picture frame style leg on the back of the iPad can rest in to provide several levels of viewing. The iPad slides into the case from the top and a small piece of elastic loops over a corner to hold the iPad in place. on the inside of the cover, there are a set of pockets which can hold small papers, but beyond that, I would be afraid to hold anything against the iPad screen as there is no real protection for the iPad’s screen. Apart from these “features” this is a basic flip case to cover the iPad
Acase Deluxe Leather multi-view Case/Folio with Stand for Apple iPadAcase Deluxe Leather multi-view Case/Folio with Stand for Apple iPad
Ok, I really tried to find a redeeming quality for this case and all I could come up with is that the snap works well to keep the case closed. That’s it, I can’t really see any other solid qualities which would make me want to recommend this case to anyone.  The case feels flimsy in your had, even with the iPad in it.  The top of the case is open, with only the little elastic loop holding in the iPad and that seems to be slipping most of the time.  The kick stand works ok for viewing landcape mode, but the cover is too weak to stand it in portrait mode.  The lowest angle setting for the case is still way too steep for comfortable typing and the kickstand has that crazy magnet that the Marware uses, but in this case, you CAN”T move it away as it is attached to the case behind the iPad.  Overall, I can’t bring myself to recommend this case to anyone, even the ultra-budget conscious.  I would recommend that you save your money and by another case, or use a ziplok bag as that is possibly built a little better.
Cheap (price)
The snap closure works well
Cheap (everything else)
The kickstand does not adjust well and each stage is to similar to the last
The iPad is not securely held in place.
The Magnet thing again
Just not a good case….
Well there you go.  Two cases, one not bad, one you should stay away from like a zombie.  I am currently testing another case from a social site called the Quirky Cloak.  I’ve only had it for a few hours, so I will post a review after I have some more time with it.  In any case, (sorry for the pun) I look forward to sharing more with you in the future.
(Note: All pictures are from Amazon as mine just didn’t turn out well.)