TechCrunch has a great post about the impact of bandwidth caps for Internet use. The post, which links to an expensive report is available here:
Today I was at the Baltimore Tech Breakfast (11.30.2011).
The regular Baltimore Tech Breakfast took place today at the Emerging Technology Center in Canton, Baltimore. The event is growing in popularity. A strong turnout today (Nov 30, 2011)
Liz Welch at Inc. Magazine interviewed me in 2010 as part of her regular ???The Way I Work??? series. I had just moved to Seattle as part of my overall goal of (occasionally) detaching myself Silicon Valley.
In the article I talk about my erratic sleep patterns and my overall weight gain ??? some 50 pounds since I started TechCrunch in 2005.
In the year since I visited a sleep center and began focusing on getting enough sleep at regular hours. After a year of that my life has changed dramatically for the better. But the weight just kept creeping up. In the late summer 2011 I was a good 70 pounds heavier than I was when I started TechCrunch. And probably 90 pounds over my ideal weight.
Basically, I???m fat.
Being fat sucks. I???m not talking about the way I look. I???ve always been fairly comfortable in my own skin. But there are a whole bevy of health issues that fat people have to deal with. You don???t live as long as you should, and your quality of life is diminished substantially.
I???m trying to take control of this issue in my own way, and for the last several weeks I???ve been experimenting with a complete shift in lifestyle. So far, so good. And since a lot of people in our world deal are dealing with weight gain and health issues resulting from sitting in front of a computer for 16 hours a day, I thought I???d share.
The lightbulb went off in my head as I was reading Neal Stephenson???s new book Reamde (buy it here). In the book a character works at his computer from a treadmill, stationary bike or elliptical machine.
That prompted me to research ???treadmill desks??? and read about people???s experiences with them. Some people can???t stick with it, but a lot do. And the benefits are staggering. You???ll burn an extra 150 calories or so per hour. Most people say that they???re significantly more alert during the day, and they sleep much better at night.
So I jumped in. I elected not to buy a $5,000 unit (there are a couple out there), and building one myself seemed like too much trouble. Instead I bought a ???TrekDesk??? on Amazon and a cheap treadmill. I???ve been walking at 1.5 mph for 7-8 hours a day on average over the last few weeks. Some days I???m logging over 15 miles walking.
That???s not all though. I???m also using a Withings wifi scale to track my weight, and I???ve shared it with friends so they can keep an eye on it. The scale itself works great. The software is terrible but it does the job.
The final product I???m using is a Jawbone Up device. It???s a pedometer (very handy), it tracks sleep and it has a vibrating alarm feature to wake me up ??? much like the Lark device that I love so much. The only complaint I have about the Jawbone Up is that it doesn???t track steps very well on a treadmill with my hands up at a keyboard. But from what I can tell all pedometers seem to have this problem.
Things are just getting started. But the fact that I???m sleeping properly and have revamped my diet with my doctor, combined with actually walking miles and miles a day, has already had a profoundly positive effect on me.
I???ll update in a couple of months with any progress. If all goes well, in a year or two my body may have forgiven me for the TechCrunch years. We???ll see.
Inspiring post from @MikeArrington about how he has changed his lifestyle in order to be healthier and lose excess weight.
We are rooting for you Mike!
You can do some cool things with Advanced Custom Fields and Post Types in WordPress. Here is Marjorie Roswell’s presentation from Monday’s Baltimore WordPress Meetup Group.
The LRMI 0.5 spec lets publishers communicate in a page’s HTML things like the competencies taught, the competencies required, the type of educational materials and the typical age range of intended users for anything educational published online. Time required for completion, degree of interactivity and a small number of other ways of describing educational content are included in the spec.
Active participants working to figure out how to construct LRMI and how to integrate it into Schema.org include people from small non-profits like open curriculum community Curriki, corporate education technology giant Pearson, international information standards group Dublin Core and intellectual property law group Creative Commons, among others.
Participants debate on the official mailing list over new terminology, balancing concerns like coherence with Schema.org, ease of input by people who will enter metadata to go with resources being published online and specificity gained or lost by the way that metadata fields are named and framed.
While some semantic technologies are able to assert categorization from the top down, whether content publishers participate or not, it seems likely that the kind of data that will be communicated in LRMI will require informed participation by the producers of the content themselves. Requiring participation in categorization could pose a challenge to hopes the spec will gain meaningful adoption.
The LRMI effort doesn’t seem well-known yet outside its own ranks, either; the official website has almost no inbound links indexed by Google yet and none of the education technology blogs we track here at ReadWriteWeb have mentioned LRMI yet. The project was just announced last month though and in the education market, a month isn’t a very long time.
LRMI isn’t alone though, either. Nathan Angell, a Board Director at the collaborative open education software community Sakai Foundation and a Product Manager at rSmart, calls LRMI “another welcome intervention in growing list of data specifications for education.”
“These days we have access to an unbelievable number of learning resources–both open and proprietary–but it’s still hard to find the right ones, quality resources, suited to your needs, when you need them.
“For example, in the Sakai community, we have built a new platform–the Open Academic Environment–that helps people create and tag learning materials, and most importantly, share them openly by default.
“With the LRMI specification, we can help people tag their materials with exactly the right information that will make them easy for others to find and use…and even better, we can augment the suggested content widgets we already have in place to discover resources in the moment that match the very specific needs of a particular educator or student.”
Angell, who isn’t associated with LRMI in particular, sees data specifications like this as potential game changers. Those suggested content widgets are really shorthand for computation that can begin at a higher level of abstraction if the hard work of content categorization and description has already been done in a standardized way. That means education technology providers, search engines and others don’t have to invest time and energy into understanding educational resources online – they can begin with a pre-existing understanding of that content and then offer higher-level features and services on top of already-organized information.
“LRMI helps set the stage for the hive mind that will help our children’s children learn faster and better than we ever thought possible,” Angel says. “In comparison, school today will look like drawing pictures in the dirt with a stick.”
HealthCare needs to think this way too. Work with the major search engines to introduce a metadata standard for health information.
I am at the Baltimore WordPress Meetup Group. The topic is Custom Post Type and Advanced Custom Fields.