Thursday, November 11, 2010

Apple IOS 4.2 GM and but a caveat

Do you have an iPad or iPhone and want to print to any shared printer on your desktop Mac? Once you upgrade to MacOS 10.6.5, you'll find it really really works!

I happen to have an iPad and an iPhone 4 both running the iOS 4.2 GM. I've been pressing hard with testing these updates mainly because printing is a sorely lacking feature in the iPhone and particularly the iPad.

I know we're shying away from hard copies these days. We really are saving forests by avoiding print jobs. But it desperately needed for many situations, and is a show stopper for many people looking to use the iPad as a business tool. I have to be able to hand out a sheet of information to someone once in a while, and shooting off a print from my iPad, even if I am at home is critical.

So the good news? If you follow these directions, it will work. Don't forget to BACKUP the files you are replacing. That said if you break anything, it's also not my fault. Feel free to hire me to fix things if you wind your way down the rabbit hole too far.

How to Enable iOS AirPrint Support in OS X Right Now

Doubtless if you are a novice user this isn't a feature you need to worry about just yet. Apple has yanked the feature from the current version of OS X, which is why it must be "added" back.

That said I'm very impressed with the results. HTML formatted test print jobs came out perfect.

Now let's see what Canon, HP, and the rest do for out-of-the-box air printing in the coming months.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Social media can and does bite...

I sometimes advise business on the nature of Social Media (as I call it, S&M), and what kinds of risks and benefits there are to engaging customers through social means. It's often we see the infinite benefits pointed out. What about the downside? I saw an excellent example via The Toronto Star's "My Name is URL" segment that appears every sunday in the print and online versions. I find this segment one of my favourite items to read. I think it's funny to say I get my random internet news from the paper.

It's the last item: "And in case you missed it..."

My Name Is Url - Sunday Nov 7, 2010

I enjoy working though a fine postmortem on the pitfalls of mixing bad behaviour with the Internet, especially when social media tools are put into use. So what happened?

A random person edits and writes a random printed and online magazine, into which go at least one, possibly many, many attributed but unpaid-for-articles and photos judging by what I'm seeing and reading. This may have been going on for who know how long. Obviously it appears to have gone on for some time - maybe a few years now?

One young woman finds her very interesting article on the evolution of mediaeval apple pies lifted, edited, and posted for print and web. However, the magazine has a FaceBook presence, and much fun ensues, but I'll get to that in a bit.

The young woman contacted the editor and eventually got a response. She was looking for a token public apology, and a donation to her preferred Journalism School in the amount of $130.00. Get a load of the response she received:

Copyright Infringement and Me

"Yes Monica, I have been doing this for 3 decades, having been an editor at The Voice, Housitonic Home and Connecticut Woman Magazine. I do know about copyright laws. It was "my bad" indeed, and, as the magazine is put together in long sessions, tired eyes and minds somethings forget to do these things.

But honestly Monica, the web is considered "public domain" and you should be happy we just didn't "lift" your whole article and put someone else's name on it! ... I never charge young writers for advice or rewriting poorly written pieces, and have many who write for me... ALWAYS for free!"

Don't you love being schooled on how not to behave?

So once that had been let loose, she blogged about it, and told a few friends, who then told a few friends, and so on, and so on. The Cook's Source magazine happened to have a decent FaceBook presence, which has been leveraged to bring them attention of course! However now that they've been caught red-handed reusing other people's hard work, there was no chance this would play out quietly. I enjoy the fact that the defacing of this magazine's FaceBook page has happened with some humour and grace. It's a good thing the readers of Gode Gookery and the infringed author's fans are more Monty Python aficionados than followers of Tom Green or Jackass.

So, as it stands now, the FaceBook page, and the Mag's reputation, have been sullied - maybe permanently. Lots of fun was had after a rude rebuttal to a request for a compensatory 130.00 (!) donation. And a writer's faith in fairness and community has been hopefully renewed judging by the responses she has received to her web site's post on the matter.

The lessons?

1) Social Media can turn the smallest project into a smouldering wreck overnight. Best to treat your sources and contributors well, even if mistakes happen. I say "project" and not "business" as I do see many small operations working with limited resources, and that often leads to cut corners that can haunt them later. Notice how the Cook's Source editor blamed the "mistake" on "long sessions, tired eyes and minds" right before they launched into the you-should-thank-me missive? Had they left it at "tired eyes", the mess likely would have been avoided.

2) Fess up! But if you can't or don't need to, good grief, don't insult the source of the request. If you are working hard to make a name for yourself, no matter how bad, ignore the advice. The web can be a forceful and poetic leveller of fortunes.

3) Learn from other people's mistakes. They're on the internet after all. And they *never* go away.

4) God forbid your punishment becomes a meme ("But honestly Monica" - Google it)...which seems to be there case here.

Update 1:

1) The FaceBook page is hilarious
2) The Author's friend has some great comments posted his blog on the matter.
3) The Author's blog post has some great comments...tons!
4) The perp has been Hitler'd on YouTube!

Update 2:

And it's a meme...I'm even 4 days late.

Cooks Source Recipe Plagiarism Scandal (2010)

Update 3:

And finally the best journalistic synopsis to date. This one is showing updates dated Nov 5th.

This situation is evolving at a harried pace. The topic is now officially in the international press, has become a proper meme (!) in all of two to three days, and there are thousands of people whose hobby has become to help track down more victims of copyright theft, at least the victims who were affected by this particular publisher.

Fascinating, and a great example of how poor ethical behaviour can destroy your internet presence overnight.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Please sponsor me

I'm doing a CN Tower stair climb for the WWF on April 15.

The event is few weeks away and I wanted to thank everyone for pitching in a few dollars here and there to help meet my fundraising goal.

One of the reasons I choose the WWF has to do with kinds of research that they fund, and the impact that the resulting research has on understanding how humanity and nature can reasonably coexist ecologically. I saw this video some time ago (TED, among others, has replaced TV for my daily viewing) that I thought was very interesting and encouraging.

A 20-year tale of hope: How we re-grew a rainforest: Willie Smits on

Read all about Willie Smits' 20-year tale of hope

So if you're interesting in what the donated money does, check out the links.

If you idealize a world where we/NGOs help people help themselves, while respecting cultural sensitivities and norms, the above example tracing Willie Smits' work is right up there with Micro finance, Green Energy, and carbon footprint/Global warming work.

Take a peek and let me know what you think.

Truly outstanding work.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Speaking of grains...

Clean energy adoption won't be about any single big idea. It will be the cumulative effect of major technological advances being utilized in simple, small ways. Bloom Energy has developed a type of fuel cell that is cheap to produce (silica sand is a major ingredient), runs with little maintenance, and can utilize a range of available fuel options. It is scalable, and stackable!

Seeing the simplicity of this device and its potential make me sad it is not being touted more widely nor loudly, but I like what they've done with their product development and the clear marketing plan - sell it by using it!

Take careful note of how they not only demo'd the device, but outed the many (!) commercial customers who are already using the devices. It seems eBay is getting 15% of their LA campus' energy needs from a small farm of these Bloom Boxes. Ditto a range of top tier corporate clients.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Grain #1 redux

Dropping in!

Funny I posted this thought in 2007 just because I felt I *had* to write it down. I was setting up my google profile and up popped this page - I was sure it was someone else's. Thinking it wasn't mine I thought it was a neat piece and tried to comment...I logged in and there I was. So weird.

So given this is my only blog post on my only true blog. I must inherit my orphaned self.

Continuing the meme I like the idea that my thoughts from several years ago are foreign to me. Is that a good thing or merely an indication that I'm divorced from myself? Ah well. I'll find that out if I write more.