Apps, podcasts, (absent) fireworks and the Dora Generation on Facebook

6 Jul

This short week got full really quick! This morning, a tech column I wrote appeared this morning about what would happen if the Dora Generation (kids 5-12) begin to join Facebook en masse.

It’s a little out-there compared to the stuff I usually write for them, but with a few tweaks, they were willing to publish it as satire. I’m keeping an eye on the comments for this one because this time when people post, “This article is ridiculous and completely dumb!” I’ll be inclined to kind of agree.

Photo by me for the Digital Savant blog

I might be doing stuff more pieces like this for soon, which makes me very, very happy.

Today, I also posted Digital Savant Podcast #5, featuring GigaOm’s Stacey Higginbotham.

I always love chatting (or Tweeting) with Stacey and she proved to be a great, fun guest. I look for people who know a lot about tech but also don’t take it too deadly seriously and Stacey is a reporter with a great sense of humor. You can download it on the blog or grab it from iTunes.

Photo I shot for the Austin American-Statesman

I wrote a “Coffee With…” feature for the American-Statesman about Michael Doise, an Austin app developer who has created several Braille-education apps. Really remarkable guy.

I got to meet with him and his girlfriend and geek out a bit over the stuff he’s working on.

Also in the Statesman over the weekend was a reverse-published blog post I did about, a DJ chat room/music service that my brother and I have gotten completely hooked over the last week. We’re planning on doing a horrible songs room, perhaps on Friday, and just playing the worst stuff we can think of. You should join us! You can find the room here.

Other cool stuff: I submitted an “I Am Not a Crackpot!” audio piece to my favorite podcast, Extra Hot Great and it appeared in an All-Crackpot episode. Lots and lots of fun and a great listen with lots of great submissions. You should subscribe to the podcast. My piece is about how we keep Closed Captioning on all the time. It comes in at around the 45-minute mark. I may not have convinced the podcasters, but I feel vindicated by the commenters on the site.

We had a pretty quiet 4th of July weekend. We didn’t travel anywhere and we had some family stay over. We took Lilly and Carolina to an insane place in New Braunfels called The Jumpy Place where they have giant bounce castles, like six of them in one giant warehouse-sized building. There are also comfy sofas and chairs for parents. But did we sit in them? We did not.

Were we supposed to go in the bouncy castles with the kids and climb the giant slides and jump around even though we are adults? We were not. Did we? Shit yes.

4th of July night was oddly quiet. No fireworks, no explosions. We’ve had a drought and there’s been a big ban on fireworks that, strangely, people actually observed. For the last few years, we’ve missed the fireworks. We used to go every year, especially when we were at S. Padre Island. We’d crowd as close as we could to Louie’s Back Yard by the water and watch the explosions.

The kids go to bed so early that for the last three of four years, we’ve just resigned ourselves to missing the displays. I got a guilty bit of pleasure knowing that nobody else was going to get fireworks this year, either, but then I felt bad sitting inside Monday night, waiting for the sound of Black Cats exploding in someone’s backyard nearby. The sound never came.

Oh, one other quick note — I was supposed to be teaching a class at the University of Texas this fall as an adjunct professor, but it looks like that has fallen through. I was approached about it last year and agreed to do it. Then, it got to be July and I started wondering why nobody had contacted me; shouldn’t I be preparing or something?

Turns out it never really materialized and I just found out. So maybe that’ll happen in the future, but most certainly not for the fall semester. That’s OK. I’m sure I’ll find ways to stay busy.

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