Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Yahoo UI 2.5.0 Released Yahoo UI Blog
"Big upgrades to DataTable, new Layout Manager, Flickr-style multi-file Uploader, and more"
This blog post summarizes a major upgrade to the Yahoo user interface toolkit. Wow. Its not been a year since we wandered over to New York to learn about Ajax; its amazing how far these have come. There's still way too much choice, of course. And if you don't have the budget of a major JAVA shop, some of them may be easier said than done. Still, the choices of tools for building a rich web experience are definitely wide!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Adobe - Flex 3 -s Open Source
Oh, yeah. FLEX 3 is now open source.
Adobe's AIR rolloutCNET
Last night I was among many across the world to attend one of Adobe's Air roll-out events. Whether I should have swooned with excitement we're not sure. (Actually I swooned at the thought of all these branded apps clogging up my and my customers systems with malware and brand-ware).

Perhaps it was the monotone verbatim delivery of Adobes Powerpoint slides by their Cleveland user group rep. Maybe it was all the time I've invested in Rails.

Still, there is coolness here. With Air, apps that are too slow to run in the browser can enjoy a certificate process backed by Adobe. Air provides a local SQL service, so your app doesn't have to run to the server to register every user action. It also supports binary transfers for when XML is too slow. And of course options for customizing the UI chrome. It probably fills a gap.

Friday, February 22, 2008

This week on Battle of the JayWalk All-stars, an education major and aspiring teacher (looked over 20),
- Could not identify a picture of John McCain. Is it "Lenti?" "Palenti?" She had never heard the name John McCain.
- Thought "the Italian City famous for its canals" is Paris. Given the clue "Venetian Blind" changed to "Venezuala"
- Could not guess any war that the Invasion of Normandy might have been in. (This for probably the single most significant military event in US experience).
- Thought that Normandy might have been a made up place. Couldn't remotely guess where it was.
- Thought a portrait of Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice was of Amerosa, of The Apprentice fame.
- Knew that a picture of Al Gore was somebody who "talked about the environment". Guessed it might be "Bush".
- Couldn't guess who a picture of Nancy Pelosi was, even given a first name. (Came up with Nancy Drew, but dismissed it.)
- No clue, even given the hint "bell", who invented the telephone.
- Thought Newton discovered relativity.
- Thought Michelangelo's David was either Eve or Michelangelo's boyfriend.
- Who lives in Vatican City? "The Vaticans" No--He wears a big hat. "Abraham Lincoln?"
- Obviously, didn't know who lost at Waterloo.

The good news is, the education major won this battle of brains.

Maybe, while she was mastering spectral analysis, Schroedinger equations, organic chemistry, and/or financial accounting, she just forgot some of these basics. That can happen in really intense college programs.

Besides, why would her kindergarten students need any of that stuff?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Princeton Review Agrees to Acquire Owner of Ten Franchises Yahoo! Finance
What is the business of testing? How big are these companies? What is their interest in responding to students? Princeton Review is a quarter-billion dollar company, and it's about to get bigger. Worth remembering.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The American West PBS |American Experience
Now here is something. PBS supports its American West series (how did I get this old and educated with no idea who Kit Carson was), with web presentations and the American Frontiers Map.

Starting just down the trail from here, where the French and Indian War began with a young Major named Washington, George, at Fort Necessity; the American Frontiers map is a graphic introduction to a very wide range of resources. Click on "Northwest Territory, you'll see the 5 state area, and be taken to the interactive document page at Some introduce learners to new sites at the Library of Congress. Many links take you to the topic sites at

Its a wonderful integrative interactive--the kind I wish I'd invented.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Mind Trust: Attracting Supporting and Empowering Educational Entreprenuers in Indianapolis, Indiana
Whew. Submitted the application for the the education entrepreneur fellowship It looked rigorous, and it was!

I gotta tell you, it is so good to see organizations recognizing that help for students may just come from outside the classroom, the ivory tower, or the established approved vendors list. Its an exciting time to be involved in education!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

10 Years of Open Source
/. has a discussion on the topic. And speaking of Open Source, Firefox 3 beta 3 released yesterday.