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Gaming for Extra Life

Gaming for Extra Life

extra_life_2013_status-2Despite life continuing to become more hectic as I ramp up preparations for opening the new makerspace in North Boynton and preparing for Miami’s first Mini Maker Faire, a group of dedicated individuals decided to take on raising cash for a charity event. Extra Life is a charity which accepts donations on behalf of the Children’s Miracle Network of Hospitals and culminates in 24 hours of non-stop gaming. The ante was even higher this year as the event feel on a Daylight Savings shift giving us 25 hours to run. To which we laughed, and pulled off a solid 26.2 hours of straight video and tabletop games!

Not only were we successful in our stamina and discipline, but we were able to raise almost $3,500 throughout our fundraising. I just wanted to take a few minutes to send my deepest thanks out to all of the donors shared some of their hard-earned money to help some children in need. With children of my own, I couldn’t imagine what it must be like for many of these families who are up against some of the worst ailments on the planet without any resources to fight them. The Children’s Miracle Network is doing a great thing and we are happy to support them. I can only say that we are all very lucky that our own families are safe and our team is ready to go for 2014!

Huge thanks goes out to:

REM Learning Center
Nick Karpenske
Wacky Wild Science
Stonly Baptiste
Phil Almeida
Rebekah Monson
Daniel Zajic
Dan Lynch
Scott Conley
Carlos Galbadon
ALL of the anonymous donors!

…and lastly, (and certainly not least) to all who volunteered to raise cash and support our cause with their time, effort and non-financial generosity.

Thank you all again!

Freedom of Speech on the Internet

Freedom of Speech on the Internet

Over the past few months, there’s been a lot of attention on the PROTECT IP Act going through the US Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act going through Congress. I’ve been actively promoting against these bills from being passed into law across my various social networks. Most recently, I self-censored my own blog (nobulb.com) in participation with American Censorship Day and shared with my friends.

One of my buddies who shares my skepticism about random links on the internet questioned, “You don’t really believe this do you?” I took the opportunity to explain the crux of what was happening in this legislation that many average Americans have missed.

 The bill on the table will allow law makers to try to manipulate which websites are allowed to be viewable by the public. This is wrong on a number of reasons, most importantly that it circumvents our right to free speech. 

But even MORE importantly than this fact is that no matter what legalese the government can put behind whether a website can be allowed up or not, the internet will evolve around these laws and make them effectively useless in a matter of MINUTES (even SECONDS…you can bet people are building solutions to circumvent these laws today in preparation).

In effect, all this law will do is add additional red tape and raise taxpayer’s costs. Services which the government deems illegal will CERTAINLY find another way around the blocks the government can put in place and the entire ecosystem surrounding the internet (which has no intention of illegal activity such as the well-meaning business owners, internet providers, engineers who improve the internet, and millions of American internet users) will be saddled with the cost of maintaining this unenforceable mandate.

In short, yes I believe this.

Over the past years, the US Government has gradually consumed our liberties in the name of “what’s best for us”. This is another step in that direction. And what’s more painful is that these laws are circumventing legal due process which would normally protect sites that the government finds questionable and ensure they receive a fair trial and hearing. Please take some time to share your opinion with your representatives.

American Censorship Day

Votizen Open Letter: Oppose the PROTECT IP Internet Censorship Bill

Facebook Ninja: The Comment Reveal

Facebook Ninja: The Comment Reveal

This is a cheap little trick, but I like to use the Facebook Comment Reveal to add a little excitement to my online social grind. Facebook will truncate a comment to reduce the length of the page and not bombard a casual reader with more than they care to consume. You get about six lines of text (including the length of your name in the first line) before Facebook will cut your comment off with an ellipsis and “Read More” prompt. So why not use this to your advantage?

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What Google+ Does that Twitter and Facebook Doesn’t

What Google+ Does that Twitter and Facebook Doesn’t

I said I wasn’t going to jump into the buzz machine to talk about Google+, but I think the broadcast model used here is pretty interesting.

I made a comment in response to someone wondering “How do I post something on your wall”. This is the Facebook paradigm which takes a graffiti approach to sharing information publicly. While you can “tag” people within your status updates (which is a relatively recent addition for Facebook) to draw their attention to your thoughts, you could also go to their wall and share your thoughts with them and everyone else who happens by (if they’ve set the permissions to allow this).

In contrast, G+ gives you a way of organizing individuals by the “circle” you both are socially connected within. These organizations are your own and you use these circles like a control access list to direct your thoughts toward the individuals contained within them. So my initial response to them was they were attempting to replace “Broadcast” with “Subscribe”. But I had it completely wrong. It seems to be a bit of both.

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