Author: jem

Facebook Punked and Gut Punched the News Biz

How Facebook Punked and then Gut Punched the News Biz – Talking Points Memo:

The first should be obvious: you can’t build businesses around a company as unreliable and poorly run as Facebook. Only a year ago, when I would talk to big money players in the digital media world, there was a consistent refrain: social video on Facebook, that’s the whole game. That struck me as crazy at the time, given everything we were seeing in the industry. And it was crazy. There’s no news publisher entitlement to Facebook traffic. And Facebook is a highly unreliable company. We’ve seen this pattern repeat itself a number of times over the course of company’s history: its scale allows it to create whole industries around it depending on its latest plan or product or gambit. But again and again, with little warning it abandons and destroys those businesses.

5 Lessons From The Failure Of The Gates Foundation

5 Lessons From The Failure Of The Gates Foundation’s $575 Million Effective Teacher Initiative:

Last week, RAND issued its massive and mostly negative evaluation of the Gates Foundation’s ambitious effort to redesign teacher evaluation, compensation, and employment practices in three school districts and four charter school management organizations. The foundation’s Effective Teacher Initiative, launched with great fanfare a decade ago, was an ambitious, expensive reform.

The final verdict was harsh, with RAND concluding, “The initiative did not achieve its goals for student achievement or graduation, particularly for LIM [low income minority] students.” As the University of Arkansas’s Jay Greene noted, even that is probably too generous an assessment. Greene observed, “This summary really under-states what they found. You have to slog through the 587 pages of the report and 196 pages of the appendices to find that the results didn’t just fail to achieve goals, but generally were null to negative across a variety of outcomes.”

Eye-catching, Cinematic Look in Black and White

How to Light for an Eye-catching, Cinematic Look in Black and White | Fstoppers:

this great video talks about how lighting differs when you’re filming in black and white versus color and how to maximize its effectiveness. I personally love the look of black and white for a lot of different stories, and it’s particularly hard to imagine some of the most iconic such scenes I can remember being as effective in color.

Focus Stacking for Landscape Photographers

The Ultimate Focus Stacking Guide for Landscape Photographers:

So all of this sounds dandy but how does it actually work? Even though it’s an advanced technique, it’s actually not as difficult as you might fear. Capturing multiple images with different focus points is rather easy and if you’re already familiar with blending multiple exposures for better dynamic range this won’t be that hard.

If you’re new to Adobe Photoshop this might be confusing and even demotivating but, trust me, with some practice it won’t be long until you master the art of focus stacking (and so much more!).

Plain Text, Papers, Pandoc

Plain Text, Papers, Pandoc:

In the Engineering model, meanwhile, plain text files are at the center of your work. The most “real” thing in your project will either be those files or, more likely, the Git, Mercurial, or SVN repository that controls the project. Changes are tracked outside the files. Data analysis is managed in code that produces outputs in (ideally) a known and reproducible manner. Citation and reference management will likely also be done in plain text, as with a BibTeX .bib file. Final outputs are assembled from the plain text and turned to .tex, .html, or .pdf using some kind of typesetting or conversion tool. Very often, because of some unavoidable facts about the world, the final output of this kind of solution is also a .docx file.

Academic Markdown and Citations

Academic Markdown and Citations · Chris Krycho:

The idea of plain-text solutions to academic writing is not especially new; only the application of Markdown to it is — and that, only relatively. People have been doing this, and documenting their approaches, for quite a while. Moreover, tools for managing references and citations have existed for quite some time as well; the entire LATEX toolchain is largely driven by the concerns of academic publishing, and as such there are tools in the LATEX ecosystem which address many of these problems.2

Citations in Scholarly Markdown

Citations in Scholarly Markdown:

Citations of the scholarly literature are an essential part of scholarly texts and therefore have to be supported by scholarly markdown. Both the Pandoc and Multimarkdown flavors of markdown support citations, using a bibtex file that contains citations, placeholders for citekeys – [@smith04] for Pandoc and [#smith04] for Multimarkdown – and the Citation Style Language for citation formatting (Pandoc). A very reasonable approach would therefore be to use this functionality, with a preference for Pandoc because of the Citation Style Language support. All reference managers can export to the bibtex format, and some of them (e.g. Papers) make it very easy to copy and paste citekeys.

The Story of MACOS

The Story of MACOS: How getting curriculum development wrong cost the nation, and how we should do it better | Computing Education Research Blog:

By 1971, Dow realizes that the controversies around MACOS could easily have been avoided. They had made choices in their materials that highlighted the challenges of Eskimo life graphically, but the gory details weren’t really necessary to the learning objectives. They simply hadn’t thought enough about their users, which included the teachers, administrators, parents, and state education departments.

I believe in the IndieWeb. It needs to believe in itself

Fogknife : I believe in the IndieWeb. It needs to believe in itself.:

When Twitter announced its plans to start asphyxiating all extant third-party clients this summer, I decided I would never again let my heart get broken by a web-identity service that invites me to invest so much of myself without offering matching levels of ownership and control. I have grown utterly weary of the every-few-years trudge of picking whatever service seems most agreeable at the moment, building up my network once again, and then enjoying things for a time while waiting for the rot to set in after management shifts and shareholders start grumbling.