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Josh Braun’s Blog // I have it written down somewhere . . .

Monthly Archives: April 2011

Reincarnating a Dell Inspiron 8200 Apr 30, 2011

For inexplicable reasons, I ended up with an old Dell Inspiron 8200 from 2002 with a busted trackpad.  Its age basically precluded any fancy graphical desktop (though were it not for the broken mouse, Lubuntu would’ve made a fairly strong … Continue reading

Posted in Technology | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Natty's Up and Running Apr 30, 2011

It took 13 hours, including download and installation, for the upgrade to Ubuntu 11.04 (a.k.a. “Natty Narwhal”) to complete.  That’s way longer than usual and evoked memories of the early ’90s, when I’d leave the modem on overnight to grab … Continue reading

Posted in Technology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

"Imagine trying to just jam the engine from a Toyota in a Chevy and you get some idea how hard it is to take a show from one network to another. These things are custom jobs and what looks simple on the surface requires an incredible amount of engineering underneath." Apr 29, 2011

—Kyle Killen, “Lone Star Loves You, Even From The Grave”

Posted in Clipped | Tagged , | Leave a comment

"Nature stealthily shapes the human-built." Apr 29, 2011

I adore this example of material agency, which comes from Thomas Hughes’ book, The Human-Built World. Moreover, when we construct something new, our efforts are iteratively influenced not just by nature, but by the infrastructures we’ve already superimposed on it. … Continue reading

Posted in Journalism, New Media & Digital Culture | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

"We don't know which cable company will be the first to market Internet video programming to non-subscribers outside their territories, but Roku CEO Anthony Wood said it is inevitable that pay-TV providers will expand into OTT video: 'Within 12 to 24 months we will see a traditional cable company go over the top.'" Apr 27, 2011

—Steve Donohue, quoting Roku CEO Anthony Wood

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Toward Minimalism in Interface Design Apr 27, 2011

This past year I’ve gone back and forth between Web development tasks and writing and have begun to notice a very different ambiance between the two work environments—and I don’t mean simply the obvious difference that the mental tasks are … Continue reading

Posted in Journalism, New Media & Digital Culture | Tagged , | 2 Comments

A Voluntary Standard for High Quality Scans Apr 27, 2011

Contemporary academics do a lot of scanning when they visit the enormous dead-tree libraries on college campuses. Yesterday I wrote my extended screed on why good document scanning matters.  The short version is that as we keep more and more … Continue reading

Posted in Reviews, Opinion & Commentary | Leave a comment

"Facebook Comments is basically Facebook writ small: while it's maddeningly mediocre lowest-common-denominator crap, it's not quite bad enough not to use." Apr 26, 2011

—Jon Evans, “Facebook Comments Epitomizes Everything I Hate About Facebook”

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A Guide to Book Scanning Hygiene Apr 26, 2011

As an academic, I live in an information universe populated in large part by PDFs—PDFs of journal articles, PDFs of book chapters, PDFs of entire books, and so on. Journals tend to create digital versions of their own articles, but … Continue reading

Posted in Surviving (in) Academia | Tagged | 4 Comments

"In the first quarter, Netflix added 3.6 million subscribers, ending the period with more than 23.6 million subscribers in total. … To put that into context: Comcast ended 2010 with 22.8 million pay TV subscribers." Apr 26, 2011

—Ryan Lawler, “Netflix Now Officially Bigger Than Comcast” Comcast is likely to report lost subscribers this quarter, incidentally, making Netflix officially the bigger of the two in subscription terms.  In related news, 30% of American households now own a TV … Continue reading

Posted in digital television, Journalism, New Media & Digital Culture | Tagged , , | Leave a comment