My Chumby Just Arrived

Posted by bryanzug - 2008/01/07

My Chumby just arrived — here it is (except mine is black) — and yes, this is a realtime reflection of what it is showing —



Way cool physics engine for the iPhone

Posted by bryanzug - 2007/12/06

A physics engine for the iPhone — just play the vid —



DevLearn 2007 Session

Posted by bryanzug - 2007/11/07

Here’s my presentation files from my session at DevLearn 2007 in San Jose today as .PDF (1.3mb) or .PPT (1.7mb) — Dave Wilkins of Knowledge Planet and I did a session called “Team-based Authoring: It’s About Time”.



Forget the Flex Schlock and the Silverlight Boutiques

Posted by bryanzug - 2007/10/02

Saw something interesting at the Seattle Drupal User’s Group meeting last week. (Background — Drupal is one of the leading open source content management systems.)

Of the 10-12 people there, three of the group’s mainstays had just returned from Drupalcon — the big Drupal developer’s conference in Barcelona.

As they ran down the list of the cool stuff they saw, they mentioned the new Flex Showcase that Adobe revealed at the conference — built on top of Drupal with Flex as the presentation layer.

Folks brought it up on their laptops and seems genuinely impressed — A few piped up with the question, “This is cool but what is Flex?”

And that’s the point in the evening when I saw Adobe’s strategy of engaging this particular developer community begin to pay dividends.

I chimed in and gave a summary of Flex — that it’s a developer friendly way to build Flash applications — to which many of the folks said, “Ahhh, that’s why I haven’t heard of it, Flash, it’s closed source, right?”

I got to detail that while the Flash Player is not open source, the Flex framework is and that there is a free SDK that can be used to build Flex apps. Also mentioned the Tamarin project and how the high performance Javascript engine from Flash had been open sourced and would provide the Javascript functionality for the next version of Firefox.

The picture this particular Drupal community got is that not only does Adobe share some of their ‘open’ ethos — it’s also actively making it easier to do cool stuff (like the Flex Showcase) in their native environments (text editors, not timelines).

And with that, Flex made an inroad into one of the most vibrant developer networks I’ve gotten to know over the last couple of years.

Drupal has a great community of folks like this around the Northwest — and it was cool to see Adobe turn a corner with them, not through marketing ‘schlock’ or shilling for ’boutique’ sites, but through honoring diverse business models and solving people’s dev problems.

This is the same kind of strength that Microsoft’s Silverlight plays to in the ginormous .NET developer community. With the CLR coming in Silverlight 1.1, Microsoft is tapping into the shared ethos and “how can you solve my problem” of theis massive developer group that will likely make or break its Silverlight play.

No matter who you think wears the black hats or the white hats in this discussion, RIA developers everywhere would rather spend their time building cool and robust tools for their users than fighting cross browser CSS rendering and multiple javascript runtimes.



Helping Produce O’Reilly Ignite at Adobe Max

Posted by bryanzug - 2007/10/01

I am in Chicago this week to help produce the O’Reilly Ignite event at Adobe’s MAX conference.

What a blast.

It’s great to see something that started as a grassroots geek gathering in Seattle begin to flow out to national conferences like this. And, I’m working in a new role — slide producer instead of video.

The folks and sessions here at MAX are amazing — some highlights so far —

  1. Brazillian BBQ with guys from Aviary and hearing about the online app suite that seems like it will be the gateway toolset for the Threadless generation.

  2. Meeting someone from Microsoft’s developer tools team who is here to learn what Adobe is doing well in the developer space. Seemed genuinely interested and I continue to think that this ongoing listening that both Adobe and Microsoft seem to be doing with one another is good for the Rich Internet Application industry as a whole.

  3. Laughing out loud with John Wilker at the keynote today as Kevin Lynch mentioned he wanted to show a pretty cool site he’d come across that is using Flash video. He then brings up [this site]((http://halo3.com/believe/shell.html) promoting Microsoft’s Halo 3 — a tongue in cheek dig at Microsoft not dogfooding it’s own Silverlight multimedia plugin on its high profile sites.

photo.jpg

(thanks to flickr user prayyanks for use of this photo)


Marching toward release of an open learning system…

Posted by bryanzug - 2007/09/05

I’ve been marching busily during recent months toward release of a 200+ lesson web based training system for the new phase of a clinical information system at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.

Hope to release details soon on the site so those of you in the elearning space can take a look.

The architecture of the thing should be very interesting to those of you who lament with me how learning management systems (LMS’s) too often function as walled gardens — and cut off discoverability and content re-use as a result.

Stay tuned for the hard launch.



Frozen moments in an age of technological wonder

Posted by bryanzug - 2007/04/17

There are moments that, ages from now, you will remember exactly where you were at when you heard the news.

Like last night.

I was driving back to my hotel in Palo Alto from the Web 2.0 Expo at San Francisco’s Moscone Center West. I turned on the alternative station and heard Loveline come on with Dr. Drew.

I could tell something was different as they started the show — there was a quick note that they had rescheduled the guests for the evening (two porn actresses) and were going to take calls about the Virginia Tech shooting.

What ‘Virginia Tech Shooting?’ I asked myself.

I listened for a few minutes. Not much info. I scanned the FM stations. Nothing there but entertainment. I switched to AM and moved from news site to news site, picking up details.

What a sad moment.

This AM as I listened to CNN while getting ready to head back to the conference, I heard an account from a professor in the building where most of the murders occurred.

He described hearing gunshots and barricading himself into his office. He detailed how he went to watch video on CNN’s web site to get an idea of what was happening around him.

And I am at one of the biggest tech conferences to ever focus on how we, as an industry, create things like streaming media tools, etc. — and how they [might]((http://chris.pirillo.com/2007/04/13/live-internet-video-stream/) be used.

I honestly never imagined that one — streaming video to monitor a massacre in your immediate proximity.

Stranger still is the fact that, after the Dot Com Crash, I worked at Real Networks for a year — monitoring the live performance of those CNN feeds — rallying the troops when surges brought things to a halt — triaging the system when it all went to hell.

I was the guy who woke up the Real news chief when the space shuttle broke up on re-entry in 2003. The team I was on monitored the video readiness as the U.S. prepared to invade Iraq and the fall(?) of Bagdad.

Sigh — may you live in interesting times is both a blessing and a curse.



Have arrived at Web 2.0 Expo

Posted by bryanzug - 2007/04/15

I am at the Web 2.0 Expo at Moscone West in San Francisco this AM. Got here early to scope out the power and do a Sightspeed video call with Jen, Thomas, and Ruthie back in Seattle.

If you are here for the conference, shoot me a note or twitter me (bryanzug) and let’s hang out.

Am looking forward to Stowe Boyd’s 3 hour workshop this AM on ‘Building Social Applications‘. I hear he know his $#!7.

Also — the first Ignite session outside of Seattle is happening tonight at the Expo. Brady has put together an excellent lineup — including Justin.tv — should be interesting.

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Great Primer on Open Source Folkways

Posted by bryanzug - 2007/03/15

A couple of weeks ago I noticed that two good friends of mine here in Seattle were cross posting on their blogs about Flash/Flex momentum and how a healthy open source governance structure might be helpful in pushing momentum even further.

My natural question — have you guys met face to face? Wanna grab some food?

So last night I met Ted Leung and Ryan Stewart for dinner down at Ivar’s on the waterfront. Great time, great view, great conversation.

Though Ted and I both work in the tech industry and have been friends since Mind Camp 1.0, I had never heard him talk about his long history with open source communities and governance (Apache, et al).

All I can say is that I learned a ton about that and distributed project/team folkways in general.

Great, great evening.



Udell on ‘Video Knowledge’ and my riff on the death of the specialist

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/12/20

Father of screencasting, Jon Udell has great post on the move toward video as a knowledge/rapid-documentation repository. After a few technical points, he hits this gem that completely jives with my experience on getting into the flow of screencasting —

…you have to overcome the same natural reticence that makes dictation such an awkward process for those of us who haven’t formerly incorporated it into our work style. You also have to overcome the notion, which we unconsciously absorb from our entertainment-oriented culture, that video is a form of entertainment. It can be. Depending on the producer, a screencast documenting a disaster recovery scenario could be side-splittingly funny. And if the humor didn’t compromise the message, a funny version would be much more effective than a dry recitation. But even a dry recitation is way, way better than what’s typically available: nothing.

Just another step toward the seamlessness of media where real headway means that this will be less and less of a specialist skill — who is a ‘word processing’ specialist these days?

No one — every one.

There is a point in the future (near? mid? far?) Jon alludes to here where things like screencasting will be a natural repository for business/education/whatever knowledge — a time when this stuff will not be a specialized skillset.


Last night with the wife and kids, I brought YouTube up on the family TV and searched for my wife’s username and my daughter’s name. We all sat mesmerized for 30 minutes while we played the various clips Jen has uploaded over the past 6-8 months.

It’s content that I, as a professional multimedia producer, had little to do with — All video my wife produced on her own through mostly self developed knowledge and a digital camera (not a miniDV camcorder).

What does TV look like to my daughter and my wife? Something much less specialized than I could ever imagine — and I’ve got a good imagination.

On with the flattening of the universe…



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