jmiller's blog

Google's First Impressions

A recent Google search for a company in my area yielded some surprising results. I saw a former coworker's employer on LinkedIn.com and decided to check out the company. Well, it turned out to be an information technology consulting company. The first few hits were all from third-party job posting sites. Note: all of the postings were for mainframe positions--Yuck!

Anyway, I kept looking for the company's home page to show up. It didn't--well, not at first. It wasn't until page 2 of the Google results. Here's the kicker: the first page to show up for the company in my Google search was not the home page--it was the company's online exit survey!

The first presentation I receive from the company is an automated exit survey! How much turnover do they really have that they would need an online exit survey? At least they're somewhat organized about how they process exiting employees.

Google's First Impressions

A recent Google search for a company in my area yielded some surprising results. I saw a former coworker's employer on LinkedIn.com and decided to checkout the company. Well, it turned out to be an information technology consulting company. The first few hits were all from third-party job posting sites. Note: all of the postings were for mainframe positions--Yuck!

Anyway, I kept looking for the company's home page to show up. It didn't--well, not at first. It wasn't until page 2 of the Google results. Here's the kicker: the first page to show up for the company in my Google search was not the home page--it was the company's online exit survey!

The first presentation I receive from the company is an automated exit survey! How much turnover do they really have that they would need an online exit survey? At least they're somewhat organized about how they process exiting employees.

Don't like "Podcast?" How about "Syndicast?"

Some people are confused about what the term "podcast" really means. While it originally involved a reference to Apple's iPod, the term has expanded to mean much, much more. I heard somewhere that Microsoft was trying to find a way to refer to a "podcast" without calling it a "Pod-cast." "Blogcast" was the substitute I heard offered. However, that was only a rumor.

I think there's a better word, still: syndicast. Syndication and broadcast combined. Jason Dunn of PocketPC Thoughts describes several alternative names for podcasts in his article on Microsoft's site.

The problem with coining a new term and supplanting the old term is difficult. "Podcast" is already a powerful meme. I don't suspect that it will make much difference proposing it, but I couldn't keep a clever idea to myself.

And for another perspective, Chris Pirillo says some people think it's "not important": "This is Simply Smarter Broadcasting."

It's nothing more than Internet radio at its core, folks. It's audio, on-demand, that's easily synchronized with your computer system / portable media device...

Podcasting, or syndicated downloadable content, by whatever name, is definitely here to stay.

Welcome

This is my first post using Wordpress.  I'm debating about using it as the default system for my home website: http://www.outpost516.com/.  In fact if you are reading this now, you are probably looking at outpost516.com.

Anyway, I plan on converting all of my Xagronaut blog entries (http://www.xagronaut.com/) to either Wordpress or Drupal.

Welcome to my new Drupal website

Well, here it is. I'm experimenting with Drupal to make it meet my informational needs. I'm trying to capture a mix of structured and unstructured content in one place with the ability to relate it to other items.

The ability to index, search, and organize is essential. I hope I can find a suitable way to do this. Some of these modules may help:

  • Wiki
  • freelinking
  • flexinode
  • I'm hoping to use Drupal to capture knowledge and information in a major way. Let's see what happens.

    Palm Zire 72 camera review

    Here's a picture from the camera on my new Palm Zire 72.

    What I like about the camera:

  • I can capture pictures when I need to (sort of).
  • I can moblog (sort of).
  • I can take short videos (sort of).
  • I say "sort of" on the above items because the quality is not so great.

    What I don't like about the camera:

  • Taking pictures is slow. You have to be very steady with the camera and wait several seconds for a shot to "take." If your hand isn't totally steady, your pictures blur easily
  • Low light situations cause poor picture quality. The camera doesn't have a light or a flash, so taking a picture inside can be difficult.
  • Sunlight washes out pictures taken outside. Yeah, that cuts down on your optimal picture taking conditions, doesn't it?
  • It's a feature I was convinced I had to have. It was either the Palm Zire 72 with a camera and no WiFi or a HP RX3115 Mobile Media Companion with WiFi and no camera. Now, I think I might have opted for the WiFi instead with all other things being equal (which they never are).

    With WiFi, you can sync wirelessly over the network, surf the Web, and check email. The Palm Zire 72 only has Bluetooth. You can sync over Bluetooth, but I haven't tried it yet because my desktop doesn't have it. The problem that I see is the physical range that is required with Bluetooth. I don't have the specs, but Bluetooth is definitely more localized than 802.11b. My computer is in the basement, and I like the idea of charging and syncing without ever going down there. Oh well, that's opportunity cost, right?

    Apprehensive? Not exactly

    I've been reading Douglas Bass's blog, Apprehension, initially because his blogroll link to my blog showed up on my Technorati list.

    It's been a pleasant surprise. Douglas is "assistant professor in the Graduate Programs in Software at the University of St. Thomas." I checked out the Certificate programs with some interest, and I found one that I would enjoy having, given the time. A task like that is indeed daunting, especially with my current full-time job and other life responsibilities. Plus, St. Paul is geographically distant (I didn't check on the distance learning option).

    Douglas covers a range of topics, including computing (like the sudoku puzzle - neat!), Christianity, higher education, and combinations of the same. But, above all, the title and theme is "Apprehension," not the negative emotion, but that kind mentioned by Paul in Philippians 3:12-13:

    12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

    13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

    I will definitely be visiting again. You can check out Douglas's smooth-sounding voice in his podcast, "Belief Seeking Understanding." You can subscribe to his podcast here. You can subscribe to Apprehension here.

    Podcasting Peeves

    Michael Lehman's BuzzCast kept the music loop for the running for an entire ten minutes while talking to Jeremy Mazner about Microsoft's PDC 2005! Dude, kill the music! It's sooo distracting!

    Even worse than that, MSMobiles.com released an hour-and-a-half podcast rambling about cellphone news, with opera-style music playing in the background almost the whole time! Dude, the music has to go, and I'm not going to listen for an hour and a half. Sorry.

    NPR's RSS feed

    NPR has a "Digital Culture" RSS feed:
    http://www.npr.org/rss/rss.php?id=1049

    Free TUX Magazine electronic subscription

    Nobody is paying me to do this, so don't think I'm biased. TUX Magazine is a sister publication to Linux Journal. I like what I have seen so far.

    (pasted from email)

    TUX Issue No. 3 Now Available: http://www.tuxmagazine.com/node/1000135 --
    This issue is packed with how-to articles.

    Articles in this issue include:

  • Does Linux Play Well with Others
  • Linux Does Windows
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Q&A with Mango Parfait
  • Tux Paint for Kids
  • iPod and Linux
  • TUX Explains
  • How to Install MEPIS 3.3 Simply
  • K3b and Feel the Burn
  • GIMP Chrome and Metal Effects
  • Review: Quasar Accounting
  • Gadget Guy - CES 2005 Edition
  • Review: In Praise of MEPIS Linux
  • Review: Autopackage to the Software Installation Rescue
  • If you've not yet subscribed to TUX make sure to do so today.

    Remember, subscriptions are absolutely free: http://www.tuxmagazine.com/subscribe.

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