Code is Poetry… and Warm!

The WordPress swag store added a couple of products yesterday. A Wapuu Christmas ornament and, my personal favorite, the “WordPress Ugly Holiday Sweatshirt“, which I don’t think is ugly at all.

This is not an ugly Christmas sweater. It's a sweatshirt.

This is not an ugly Christmas sweater. It’s a sweatshirt.

I’ve been eager to see this in production since Nick Hamze first teased it on his site in October and it is finally available to the masses. It is an amazing piece of clothing and the reaction on Twitter has been intense.

If you don’t follow Nick’s site and appreciate, on any level, swag, WordPress swag, Wapuu, Wapuu swag, then you’re just missing out on a thought leader.

Nick also runs the Unofficial Wapuu Fan Site and just published a great post on the origins of Wapuu.

Austin Catholic New Media now live!

The website for Austin Catholic New Media went live a few hours ago. I have an introductory blog post online on the site soon, but it will be a great tool for exploring the intersection of the Catholic world with today’s new media. Add the feed to your reader, follow them on Twitter, like them on Facebook and keep an eye out for fantastic content.

my next killer app

A “killer app” is an application that becomes a must-have and literally changes the socio-technical landscape. Going very old school, writing, literacy and currency all were killer apps in their own time. More recently, e-mail is a killer app. Without it, you’re way behind and only get further and further behind.
Facebook and/or MySpace are both quickly approaching killer apps for the social world. The business world hasn’t had a real killer app since e-mail, or perhaps the online store.
Today, I found a site I can’t believe I didn’t know about soon—SlideShare.
SlideShare is “the YouTube for Powerpoint” allowing you to post your PowerPoint (or OpenOffice or Keynote) presentation files and allow others to view them.

Now, that is cool and all. I’d post about it if that was the only thing it did. You can also merge a MP3 online with your SlideShare presentation and create a complete audio-integrated presentation. The web app allows you to set transition points in the audio so the slide only advances with the audio requires it.

I have a few presentations I’ll be giving during this next semester and I’m eager to try this out. If nothing else, the UCC Town Hall meeting would be a great time to try this out.
P.S. The presentation that includes the “Inbox Zero” slideshow was given at a Google Tech Talk. It is a great talk.

new desk

new-desk.jpgToday, I bought a new desk from IKEA.
I had been a big fan of IKEA. I’ve never gone crazy, but my twin bookshelves are from their Houston and Round Rock stores. If a new person to Austin needs furniture, among others, I suggest IKEA. Today’s shopping experience left me disenchanted with IKEA. I’ll save the details for another day but it was the longest evening I’ve experienced in quite some time.
After a few hours, I was able to assemble both the desk and the matching drawer unit and all in all, I’m glad I made the purchase. The old desk I was using was simply too small for my requirements. My laptop fit onto it and not too much more.
I was wanting to add some matching features to the desk, but alas, IKEA’s idea of availability leaves my heart still wanting.
The new apartment is one step closer to being a home.

google maps + transit for austin

After being a bit jealous of NYC and other big cities when I found Google Maps’ new “Street View” and mentioning the incredible uses possible after integration with Google Transit, Google added a little something for Austin that made me smile.

The progress toward an integrated Google Transit and Google Maps had made a step forward.

Check out the bus stop at Congress and 4th Street in Downtown Austin. That’s right, Google Maps now displays bus stops in Austin.
But wait, there’s more. When you click on the stop, it displays all of the bus routes that serve that stop.
If you visit in the next five minutes (or anytime thereafter), you can click on “View Upcoming Departures” and the info box expands to display the Capital Metro time table that is applicable for that stop, listing the next four departures for all of the routes serving that location plus the last time today a bus will depart.
All this for the low low price of free! This is an extremely useful feature that will become a part of the daily life of anyone using public transit. The new setup won’t tell you how to travel between two stops using the buses yet, that is still contained within the Google Labs’ Transit application.

Read More

google maps adds “street view”

Google Maps added a new feature allowing a “street view” of a few of the larger cities in the U.S. This view is literally what you would see if you were standing in the middle of the street that is completely navigable.
For example, you can start at the Paulist Residence on 59th Street in New York City. From the above link, turn right (by using the mouse or the right arrow- you may have to click once within the street view image) and follow 59th Street (clicking the white arrow in the windows or the up arrow). After a few clicks forward, you’ll run into Columbus Ave, aka as 9th Ave. As you step into the middle of the street, you’ll see a superimposed line for Columbus. You can turn left and follow that.
Right before you reach 60th Street, you can look left at see the steps into St. Paul the Apostle, the mother church, or the “home” church, of the Paulist Fathers.
So far, the feature is only in NYC- most of The City is up, some of the outer boroughs- Denver, Las Vegas, Miami and San Francisco. After this feature is a bit more mature, imagine integration with Google Transit (which, sadly, does not serve any of the cities featured by “Street View”), where you can track a bus/subway route and see exactly where the stop is located. Have driving directions and want to literally see where you are going? You could either “drive the route” or just look at your destination.
Very cool.