Living in Austin, Texas is great for a number of reasons. One of them is access to things like the Austin Forum on Science and Technology, a set of presentations sponsored by the University of Texas in Austin covering... well.. science and technology.
Of course, even when you live right here you still get busy. While I'm encouraged to attend this sort of thing there are usually a ton of things that make it difficult to take a day away. Technology to the rescue! It appears that they are starting to put these on YouTube, so if you miss them live you can catch up. How cool is that. Here's an example of the latest one (as of this writing). The subject is design, a topic on which we can probably always use new information.
|I was going to embed the playlist here but the community tools require me to use the old-school embedding approach rather than iframes. That doesn't seem to be supported for playlists, so you'll find it one click away. Sorry for the inconvenience.|
Uh... I'm really studying HTML5
When Windows emerged they included Minesweeper and Solitaire. The justification was to help train people on the mouse and I know a number of people who spent a great deal of time in intensive mouse training.
I'm going to apply the same logic to HTML5. Here's a fun game called Torus which has been written using HTML5.
Backing open source with dollars
There is a constant criticism that open source enthusiasts just want free stuff after everyone else does the work. I don't think that's a fair assessment. I think it's more fair to say that open source enthusiasts don't want to pay over and over for work that's already been done. As open-source is applied to more things like hardware such as Arduino and even civilization through Open Source Ecology, it is evident to me that this open-source concept runs much more deeply than simply trying to get discounts. It's based on the idea that knowledge and discovery can belong to everyone who is willing to make the effort to understand it.
So, when someone wants to do the work to create and make that creation generally available, but they need some help to make it happen, I see myself as an investor in the future of openness. (Did you read that part about me not representing IBM? This is one of those points when it's probably important that you know I'm speaking as an idividual.)
I found an interesting project where people are trying to create an open-source, pressure sensitve stylus for use with tablets. Essentially, it will let you use your tablet computer like a piece of paper to draw on with the same tactile experience you would have with a pencil. That's a big deal for making this sort of technology more intuitive and easier to use. The project has a Kickstart page where they are trying to raise funds to bring this into commercial production. This will become something you can buy, or build, depending on your own resources. I'm incredibly excited about the opportunity to invest in the future of things like this. I kicked up some dollars for this because I want to see it happen.
I'm not trying to coerce you into investing, but I want all of you to see that it is possible to make something happen with community support. This particular project may not make their goal. They have a steep ramp at this point. However, other projects will. Ultimately it is possible to have work done for the good of all that is sponsored by the people who want it to happen, regardless of whether it has corporate support. To me that's a big deal. It helps carry us over the threshold into a more open world for everything. In my opinion, that world is what will drive us into the future.