Saturday, August 11, 2007

Mark Cuban has forgotten how to write

I suspect more people have this problem than let on. If my work were not so portable -- meaning that I end up writing on printouts on the bus and in waiting rooms -- I could easily see this happening to me. Cuban reacts in shame: "Should I take a class with 5 year olds to relearn ???" But I'm more interested in how this will affect today's five-year-olds, so-called "digital natives," who will be writing more with electronic devices and less with pens and paper.

I Forgot How to Write ! - Blog Maverick

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

2008 voting will probably begin in 2007

We saw speculation about this in the last two presidential election cycles, but it might actually happen this time. South Carolina Republicans have moved their primary to January 17, 2008, and this move looks to cause "a chain reaction among other early primary states," whose primaries are scheduled in relationship to other primaries by state laws. For instance, New Hampshire's state law dictates that it must have the first primary in the nation, a law that benefits NH immensely and selfishly. Similarly, the Iowa caucus is the first contest in the nation by state law. In theory, if another state were to legislate that their primaries had to precede New Hampshire's, we would have a legislated infinite loop on our hands. I'm not sure how to press Control-C in that eventuality.

On a side note, when I lived in Iowa, it was commonplace to see presidential candidates as the caucuses and the Iowa Straw Poll approached. Meeting a candidate was a good way to get a free pancake breakfast. But the casual access did tend to spoil people. I remember one woman's letter to the editor in the Des Moines Register, complaining that GW Bush had not visited the state enough; how could she decide whether to vote for him if she hadn't even met him? Ah, Iowa.

The Texas Blue | The Primary Primary

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Monday, August 06, 2007

Move to Austin

I tell people that anyway, but now there's a more concrete reason than features such as the Alamo Drafthouse and El Sol y La Luna:

Austin tops the nation for business - Austin Business Journal:

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Associations Mean Endorsements

People have been jumping all over the story that Rudy Giuliani's daughter apparently "endorsed" Barak Obama by joining his Facebook group. We heard similar things about George P. Bush in 2000, but that was from the mainstream media, not screen grabs on TechCrunch.

Facebook Embarrassment For Rudy Giuliani

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Call for Papers: Ninth Biennial 2008 International Writing Across the Curriculum Conference

Ninth Biennial 2008 International Writing Across the Curriculum Conference
Wednesday, May 28 through Saturday, May 31, 2008
The University of Texas at Austin

Call for Papers:
Translating and Collaborating, Across Disciplinary, Educational and Geographic Borders

The very nature of WAC scholarship has led practitioners across disciplinary, educational and geographic borders. In doing the process of collaborating across these borders, we have learned as much as we have given: How has translating our work for those outside our field helped us reconceptualize WAC’s mission, theories, pedagogy? How has our presence in an institution, school system or country effected a cross-translation, a hybrid, an evolution of each? How does our movement across disciplinary and geographical spaces translate into effective pedagogies that prepare future generations—and how do we know they are effective?

This year’s conference will focus on how working with other disciplines has influenced our theories of composing and communicating; how communicating across local (e.g. K-16), national and international borders is changing our definitions of writing as well as our teaching and collaborative practices; how we translate what we do so that students, academic staff, administration, and those outside our institutions support the scholarship and curricular reform we promote. We invite proposals that investigate how our border crossings have affected the shape of our field, our institutions and our global WAC conversations. For example, participants might explore

* How multiple forms of communication make up a discipline, particularly those that may not often be discussed (e.g., the genre and eventually employment of field notes within a discipline): How are these communicated to students? How do they shape (a) discipline(s) and our work with faculty? How does all of this compare across borders or educational levels? What are the implications of this cross-comparison?

* How do current technologies change, foster or pose challenges to writing and learning in the disciplines? How does technology complicate our WAC practices (e.g., issues of plagiarism, technological equity through pedagogy)? How might technology open or complicate disciplinary research collaborations across educational or geographical borders?

* How have new knowledge and/or technology changed our evaluation of writing in and across disciplines? What practices of assessment differ across disciplines and/or across educational or geographic borders? How does that affect how we teach our students to communicate to audiences within (and outside of) disciplines?

* What new forms of faculty development have proven successful and how are we measuring their success? How do our cultural ideas about learning and education contain or foster particular practices and programs and what have we learned from others about improving each? How do we translate what we do; ;what forms do we use to successfully communicate our work to others (e.g., text, report forms, images, graphs); what constitutes the rhetoric that speaks to academic staff and administration?

* What applications of language theories successfully translate across disciplinary, educational or geographic borders,? How can these “crossings” promote teaching and learning and/or build mutual partnerships that help our students understand and respect the international conversations in which they will engage?

These questions and areas are meant to stimulate ideas for proposals not prevent other questions from shaping proposals.

We strongly encourage participants to propose thoughtful sessions or individual presentations that demonstrate or would be interactive, and that allow for questions. We suggest innovative and experiential presentations: for example, participants may want to “teach” a class during their session, recreating for participants a mock student or faculty experience. We encourage participants to submit a poster, inviting participation by scientist, engineers and others who excel in and can teach us about this form of presentation. We invite forum sessions: collaboratively-run sessions during which participants and leaders explore a similar problem and work on solutions together.
For more information or to download the IWACC 08 Call For Papers, please visit

Proposal deadline is Friday, September 28, 2007.

Email proposals as MS Word attachments to George Schorn at Please include in your email your full name, institutional affiliation, contact information, and whether you are proposing a single submission, panel, round table, or poster session.

Also please use " WAC 2008 Proposal" in your subject line.

Questions or information should be directed to George Schorn ( or Joan Mullin (

Emergent task timer

This flash application allows you to keep an eye on what you're spending your time on.

Productivity: Keep track of your time with the Emergent Task Tracker, online edition - Lifehacker

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Multiverse, a direct competitor to SecondLife

Multiverse is "a platform for creating games and other 3D experiences with the company’s development tools, which are then run on its servers." But the revenue model looks a lot like a flat tax:
The system and revenue model is markedly different from SL, however: instead of fostering user-created content in a single world, Multiverse is a network of worlds accessible by the client software. It comes with e-commerce tools built into the system, so developer’s can earn an income, while Multiverse makes money by taking a 10% cut of that revenue.
GigaOM Second Life (finally) gets a direct competitor: Multiverse «

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You will use ChaCha

That's the message of Michael McRobbie, Indiana University president and former member of ChaCha's board. ChaCha is

a search engine that uses experts as "guides" to help users find what they need on the Internet. To avoid a conflict of interest, [McRobbie] resigned before taking over as Indiana University's president.
Have a great time using ChaCha, IU!

IU getting in step with ChaCha |

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