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Notes from An Event Apart Boston 2012 I had a great time at An Event Apart Boston, 2012. Ill post some photos soon. The conference avoided deep dives into code in favor of showing WHY you would do reactive design. As Eric Meyer said "My...

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Judging the CT Student Innovation Exposition (E-Commerce)... Want to know what the next 10 years will look like? Ask a high school student. Their creativity isnt limited by their knowledge of what we currently call technological limitations. They have a vision of...

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The Value of Feeling Appreciated as an Employee in... Whether you’re a new employee or the vice president of the company, everyone wants to feel valued, even appreciated, in the workplace. Not only does it improve morale and make the workplace a more pleasant...

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The difference between classic and motion tweens in... Here it is: If you're used to doing things "the cs3 way" then you can continue to do so with the classic tween tool. It works the same way as you remember, using key frames as normal, but you cannot...

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PHP: If (equal to AND not equal) - eliminate form spam... Just learned a great function of PHP thats already made my forms a lot better. A while back I wrote an article about eliminating form spam without captchas by using css to hide a text input box for bots...

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Launched TheHOTSpace.com

Category : Around The Office, Around West Hartford, Technology, Web Launches

The HOTSpace.com is the temporary name and home for The Hartford Open Technology Space, a Hartford Hacker and Maker Space.This site will be the best way to get a view of whats going on within the space as it will warehouse all the links, documents, and discussions we have had about the space.

Key resources at this point are the Mailing List, Blog, and Forum.
Eventually I would like to see meetup and class schedules, list of equipment / wishlist, member or project bios and other fun content, but first I suppose we should finish setting up the space.

The beginning of The hotSpace (Hartford Open Technology Space)

Category : Around The Office, Around West Hartford, Social, Technology

After a great Open Studio weekend I’ve decided that I want to look into making a Hartford Hackerspace.

The tech & entrepreneurial communities within Hartford have grown considerably in the last few years and I think a Critical Mass has been struck. Now, we need a space.

The goal of this venture will be to create an “open” technology working space for the downtown area of Hartford. This space will rent out private work stations and offer many of the amenities of working within a larger community such as office resources and hardware, meeting spaces and technical support, receptive community members, classes and events, and of course, gourmet coffee.

A facebook group has been created:  http://www.facebook.com/groups/429751137090798/
Other documents will be made available as they are ready for public consumption.

Save the Date: TEDxBushnellPark is 6/22/2013

Category : Around The Office, General Web Info, Social, Technology

Mark your calendars for June 22nd, 2013.
The topic is: Improving the Community.

The rest is still in the works as the speaker list is still developing and the location is TBA. However, I’ve been meeting potential speakers and am in talks with several venues. I’d like this event to showcase the innovative work that Hartford is doing to improve not only itself, but also the world as a whole.

There will be more announcements in the future and work has already started on the website and social media pages.
Anyone interested in contributing to this effort is welcome to contact me. Please include your reason for taking interest, what you think you can help with, and your favorite TED video.

Currently looking for:

A/V Tech(s)
Event Coordinator
Grant writer
Interns

Open for Open Studio 2013

Category : Around The Office, Around West Hartford, Art & Design, Art Event, Social

My studio will be open on November 10th and 11th for Hartford Open Studio 2013.
Please come up to the 4th floor of ArtSpace Hartford and visit me in studio #413.

I’ll be showing pieces from my newest series “Primal Colors” and expect to have between 15 – 20 pieces for sale.

Notes from TEDxLitchfieldED

Category : Around The Office, What I Read

I was able to attend TEDxLitchfieldED on June 28 at the IBM conference center in Southbury, Conn. Overall the event discussed the future of education and smarter cities. I was also curious to see their setup as I’m beginning the planning phase of my own TEDx event, TEDxBushnellPark.

The opening segment was a group activity to build a tower from marshmallows, pasta, tape and string. This was an awesome idea. It immediately woke people up and forced them to start interacting with one another.

The conference room lighting was dark, but with cool red flood lighting on either side of the stage.
There were 2 Camera people and 4 Cameras

Digital Learning for All Now: Jonathan Costa at TEDxLitchfieldED
Are there differences between college and workforce ready?
How are they different?

“If you ask the wrong question, you will get the wrong answer”

Quote from Deming:
Common causes (Systemic, predictable, controllable)
Special causes (Random and unpredictable and beyond control)

As you prepare for special causes, we inevitably do it at the expense of the commons

To get kids ready for a digital future, we need to show them how to use new technology.

We used to think that kids using technology would lead them to sit in a room by themselves. Now, teachers are finding that most of what these kids do with technology is communicate with one another.

What happens to learning when everyone can get anything from anywhere? IE: Wikipedia.
Its impossible for teachers to teach 21 century skills if they dont possess them themselves.
If we limit access, we limit ability.

Every time we spend an annual budget on books and analog tasks we fail to turn ourselves into a digital school system which can leverage the advances of technology and create a more productive learning environment.

If you could afford to do it, would you do it?
When the right thing to do becomes the least expensive thing to do – there are fewer barriers to doing it. We are quickly getting to that point in education.

Wrong Question: Are we getting kids ready for the workforce, or are we getting them ready for college? And is getting them ready for college different than the workforce?

By pouring complete faith into testing we are pushing a special cause (a perceived weakness in reading writing and math) onto everyone and limiting kids from learning about everything else. It’s a model that doesn’t allow for creativity… and what if we’re wrong?

Judging the CT Student Innovation Exposition (E-Commerce)

Category : Around The Office, Around West Hartford, Featured, Social

Want to know what the next 10 years will look like? Ask a high school student. Their creativity isnt limited by their knowledge of what we currently call technological limitations. They have a vision of how it should work in their world. Eventually, it will be their world.

Im glad to say that I’ll be a judge at the Connecticut Student Innovation Exposition, held this year on May 19th, 2012, at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn. This convention is the culminating event for more than 1,200 middle and high school students engaged in cutting edge science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education programs.

Good luck! I cant wait to see the projects and ideas.

Examples of Responsive Design and a plea for Device Agnostic Design

Category : Art & Design, Cool Websites, CSS, Slick Code, Technology, What I Read

Below are a few of my favorite examples of Responsive Web Design, the practice of setting media types allowing the design to scale to adapt to whatever the size of the screen that the user is using.

http://robot-or-not.com/
http://bostonglobe.com/
http://clearairchallenge.com/
http://www.smashingmagazine.com/

Device Agnostic Design
An article from Smashing Magazine talks about Device Agnostic Design which is a great future proofing advancement from responsive design. Being device agnostic means that you use your content to set break points, not the device you want the content to display on. This is important because if we spend time developing content for specific devices we are creating the next developer nightmare. There is no way to predict the size or aspect ratio of screens in the future. What happens if you design your site to perfectly fit your favorite tablet only to discover that the next generation of that same device has a slightly different sized screen.

For now, it seems as though developers are at the mercy of hardware makers. All we can do is hope they create some sort of a standard, and quick. In the meanwhile, we’ll have to make design decisions based on the content we want to show. After all, content is King.

Moving my way through Codecademy.com

Category : Around The Office, Slick Code, Social

Coming up on 500 points at Codecademy.com. So far, I’ve made: a dice game; rock, paper, scissors; a bunch of core exercises and im working on a blackjack game. You can follow my progress here. Contunue Reading

SOPA Protest tomorrow. See you on Thursday.

Category : Around The Office, General Web Info, Politics, Social

This website will be “blacked out” in solidarity with the SOPA Protest for Thursday, January 18th, 2012. The internet needs to be protected in the same way as the press, and for the same reason.

If you’re just now learning about SOPA and Protect IP – scheduled to be voted on by the senate in the near future then you might want to do your research quickly – as over 30,000 websites will be down tomorrow to protest this ineffective, business killing, nanny-state, double speaking bill.

In the name of “internet security” aka (profit protection) the MPAA, RIAA, along with the Chamber of Commerce want to change the way the internet works from the router up. They want to be able to remove ANY website’s DNS listing because someone might have posted a link to a copyrighted material SOMEWHERE on the website. No court hearing to see if the plaintiff actually controls the rights, no appeal if they are wrong, no recourse for you to claim damages… just another way to frighten and kill competition from the same people who were VERY willing to sue single moms and students for downloading music and movies instead of adapting their business models to a new medium.

In case you didn’t already know Im talking about RIAA, MPAA, Chamber of Commerce, and an evil gang of media thugs (CBS, ABC, FOX, COMCAST, DISNEY, etc). These media thugs claim that there is a culture of thievery on the internet, and that may or may not be true, but what the forget to mention is that THEY CREATED THIS CULTURE – and whats more they PROFITED FROM IT.

CBS, for example, owns C|net, which was the exclusive distributer of Kazaa and Limewire in the mid 1990s and 2000s. C|net makes money every time someone downloads an application from them from referrals and advertising, sometimes up to $5 a download. With over 500 million downloads between just these two applications it’s safe to say they might have made more than a billion dollars creating this online culture. Now that phase I is complete they want to use this online community WHICH THEY FOSTERED AND PROFITED FROM as justification to rewire the internet in a way that coincidentally will make them even more money while creating unknown security and architectural problems for the rest of us.(http://www.filmon.com/cbsyousuck/)

Open Studio Group Show Opens Tonight in the Gallery of ArtSpace.

Category : Around West Hartford, Art Event, Social

This is the first event of Open Studio Hartford. Over 160 artists are showing their work in the next two weeks and most of them will be at this event tonight. Get your first glimpse at each artist’s work and style. This is sure to be a smashing event.

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=152717564761248