Sprint WiMax in Baltimore

After I moved, I decided to set myself up with Sprint’s new WiMax service (Xohm or Clear, depending on which marketing materials you see — shortly after they rolled it out there was a name change). There’s not much out there about the service beyond some random tech blog entries from around the launch, so I thought I’d post on my experiences. (Long story short, it didn’t work out for me.)

Anyway, here’s how it went for me. I decided to go with the WiMax for several reasons: There’s no installation appointment necessary, which is always a good thing. The price was in the range of what I’m willing to pay, and on top of that they have a promotional rate for your first six months. There’s also no contract, so you can cancel at any time. All very good things.

I checked out their coverage map and my new apartment was several blocks within the coverage zone. So far, so good. On to the hardware options, where there was a bit of a disappointment. Currently, only three options are given: a standalone modem, a USB dongle, and an express card (which comes with an adapter for PC card slots). And currently, only one of those is listed as officially being Mac compatible – the standalone modem. I wasn’t really interested in the modem, because I wasn’t sure if my wireless router would work with it (it’s something like three years old at this point, so who knows). In addition the standalone modem is $20 more expensive than the other two options. Continue reading

Holiday pics

After thinking some more about the question of whether or not to make fewer photos on Flickr public (Privacy on the Internet . . . and Me), I’ve decided that I’m going to make more of them friends & family only, especially those featuring people*. That means you’ll have to make a (free) Flickr account (they’re owned by Yahoo!, so you can use an existing Yahoo! account) and be friended by me in order to see them. And in order to be friended I need to know you in real life. Them’s the breaks.

There are ways that I can share the photos out to people without accounts, so I will probably do that with big events and parties. But for random occasional/incidental photos you’ll need a login. I am toying with the idea of making a guest account — something that folks who don’t have a Flickr accunt and aren’t interested in having one could use to get access to my photos — so let me know if you are intersted in this.

All that’s to say that I started this new system with the family holiday photos I just uploaded. I’m still debating on whether or not I want to go back and change the permissions on photos I’ve already uploaded. (I suspect this will happen some weekend when I’m bored. We’ll see.) So, consider this your warning that at some point, certain of my photo archives will disappear if you are not already a Flickr friend.

*Contributing to this decision was the fact that within a couple of days of writing that post I noticed that a photo of mine had been favorited by someone who was going around making a collection of photos where ladies’ pants were riding a bit on the low side. Luckily the gal in the photo in question was a stranger, but still. It appeared that at some point Flickr had deleted their original account, but they had created a new one and were going back and re-finding all their favorites. Ew.

Privacy on the Internet . . . and me

As I was writing the previous post (Privacy on the Internet) it got me thinking about how I approach posting things online. I have a ton of stuff online about myself and am easily findable with a quick Google search. (At the moment 6/10 (without middle initial) and 8/10 (with) of the first page of results are about me.

Even though I’m all over the place, I’m still taking advantage of privacy controls, and I’m trying not to post things that I think could cause me trouble down the line. (There was an exception to that rule for several months.) But I’m finding it increasingly difficult to balance the desire to be out there,  making myself findable and accessible, with the desire to control who can see the details. Continue reading

Privacy on the internet

Hand-in-hand with my interest in social software and social networking technologies is an interest in privacy on the internet. Slowly but surely, the landscape is changing.

We’ve all seen the news stories about people who have lost their jobs because of a blog post or something on a profile on MySpace or Facebook. But here’s a new twist: earlier this month, Read Write Web reported on a college student who not only lost a student teaching job because of a photo & caption on her MySpace profile, but as a result her college converted some credits to change her degree in education to one in English. I haven’t looked up anything else on this story, but as RWW reports, the situation is a little more complex than a simple matter of the woman in question not using her privacy settings (which she obviously hadn’t been). It sounds like there were some disagreements between her and her supervising teacher, and the article hints at the possibility that the woman either wasn’t cut out for high school teaching, or she didn’t receive the kind of mentoring one would expect while in a student teaching position. Anyway, I can’t really comment on this case much more than that, but Abby and I got to talking about it. Continue reading

Google Reader

A couple of days ago, I switched from Bloglines to Google Reader. I had started thinking about it a few weeks ago, when Bloglines was having some weird problems. Then they cleared up, and I stopped thinking about it. And then, of course, late last week there were more weird problems – every feed in my inbox was updating, in some cases showing me hundreds of old posts. This is not the point of an RSS aggregator. I gave up and exported my subscriptions from Bloglines and dumped them into a Google Reader account, and I’ve been using that since I think Thursday.

So far I like it. I like that you can toggle so easily between list view (headlines) and expanded view (stories). I prefer to go through my subscriptions feed by feed, so I tend to skip the homepage, where Reader mixes together all the updates from all your feeds. (I also feel like there is too much stuff on that page. There are three columns — the regular panel on the left with your updated feeds & navigation for Google Reader, the middle column with the stories themselves, and then a right column that has a box recommending new feeds and another box of ‘tips and tricks.’ It seems like I can’t get rid of the right panel. It’s not really busy, per se, but it still feels cramped.) The only ‘save’ feature I was using within Bloglines was the ‘keep new’ checkbox, which Google Reader also has.

I can’t see any reason to go back to Bloglines (except to bookmark the few things marked ‘keep new’), which is a shame. It feels like the end of an era, especially since I taught so many of my GSLIS classmates about RSS by getting them started with Bloglines. I hope they haven’t been too frustrated with it, or if they have they’ve given another reader a try.

UPDATE 11/19: Jon points out the Better GReader Firefox addon, which is pretty slick. You can get rid of the nav at the top and also bypass the “add to iGoogle or Reader?” page when you add a new feed. Thanks!

ASIS&T 2008: Plenary

Earlier this afternoon, I arrived in Columbus, OH for ASIS&T 2008. I am staying in the conference hotel (a Hyatt Regency) and feeling totally spoiled as I lean up against a huge stack of pillows on the bed. My flight was fine (love those 1 hour-ish flights) but I spent a lot of time at BWI before takeoff. As in, I arrived at BWI at 7:40am for a 10:25 flight. Not only did Super Shuttle insist on picking me up between 7:25 and 7:40 for the 30 minute drive to BWI (which I think was much quicker on a Sunday morning) but then they showed up 15 minutes early. I was not quite ready yet, but I don’t think I forgot anything too important. I did feel exceedingly vain putting on my makup in the airport ladies’ room, though.

Anyway, I’m going to try some conference blogging since Dr Bunsen Honeydew has much better battery life than Kermit the Gateway Laptop could ever dream of. That said, I didn’t have my computer with me for the plenary, so I’m working off of my notes for this post. And since I didn’t have a notebook and was taking notes on the back of some of the conference materials, that means these notes & thoughts are not necessarily in the order in which they were presented in the session. Anyway, my thoughts & comments are in brackets.

Plenary Session
Genevieve Bell on Transforming the Internet
Respondents: Howard Rheingold and Andrew Keen

Continue reading