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Preview: Jon Udell

Jon Udell



Strategies for Internet citizens



Last Build Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2017 18:00:43 +0000

 



How annotation layers define “segments of interest” for new kinds of applicationsjonudell

Wed, 08 Feb 2017 18:38:05 +0000

Here are some analogies we use when talking about software: Construction: Programs are houses built on foundations called platforms. Ecology: Programs are organisms that depend on ecosystem services provided by platforms. Community: Programs work together in accordance with rules defined by platforms. Architecture: Programs are planned, designed, and built according to architectural plans. Economics: Programs […](image)


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Componentware Revisitedjonudell

Sun, 08 Jan 2017 22:41:00 +0000

I’m not a scholar, nor do I play one on TV, but when I search Google Scholar I find that I’m cited there a few times, most notably for a 1994 BYTE cover story, Componentware. The details there are at best of historical interest but the topic remains evergreen: How do we package software in […](image)


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A toolkit for fact checkersjonudell

Sat, 31 Dec 2016 01:13:22 +0000

Update: See this post (with screencasts!) Mike Caulfield’s Digital Polarization Initiative (DigiPo) is a template for a course that will lead students through exercises to analyze and fact-check news stories. The pedagogical approach Mike describes here is evolving; in parallel I’ve been evolving a toolkit to help students research and organize the raw materials of […](image)


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Marshalling the evidencejonudell

Mon, 31 Oct 2016 01:46:42 +0000

In Bird-dogging the web I responded to questions raised by Mike Caulfield about how annotation can help us fact-check the web. He’s now written a definition of the political technique, called bird-dogging, we discussed in those posts. It’s a method of recording candidates’ positions on issues, but it’s recently been mis-characterized as a way to […](image)


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Bird-dogging the webjonudell

Sat, 29 Oct 2016 21:46:08 +0000

In Annotating the wild west of information flow I responded to President Obama’s appeal for “some sort of curating function that people agree to” with a Hypothes.is thought experiment. What if an annotation tool could make claims about the veracity of statements on the web, and record those claims in a standard machine-readable format such […](image)


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Reading and writing for our peersjonudell

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 03:35:09 +0000

The story Jan Dawson tells in The De-Democratization of Online Publishing is familiar to me. Like him, I was thrilled to be part of the birth of personal publishing in the mid-1990s. By 2001 my RSS feedreader was delivering a healthy mix of professional and amateur sources. Through the lens of my RSS reader, stories […](image)


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From PDF to PWP: A vision for compound web documentsjonudell

Sat, 15 Oct 2016 22:21:52 +0000

I’ve been in the web publishing game since it began, and for all this time I’ve struggled to make peace with the refusal of the Portable Document Format (PDF) to wither and die. Why, in a world of born-digital documents mostly created and displayed on computers and rarely printed, would we cling to a format […](image)


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Customer service and human dignityjonudell

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 04:37:11 +0000

It’s been a decade since I interviewed Paul English on the subject of customer service and human dignity (audio). He was CTO and co-founder at kayak but in this interview we talked more about GetHuman. It had begun as a list of cheats to help you hack through the automated defenses of corporate customer service […](image)


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A chorus of IT recipesjonudell

Wed, 12 Oct 2016 04:41:12 +0000

My all-time favorite scene in The Matrix, if not in all of moviedom, is the one where Trinity needs to know how to fly a helicopter. “Tank, I need a pilot program for a B-212.” Her eyelids flutter while she downloads the skill. I always used to think there was just one definitive flight instruction […](image)


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Augmenting journalismjonudell

Sun, 02 Oct 2016 23:57:34 +0000

Silicon Valley’s enthusiasm for a universal basic income follows naturally from a techno-utopian ideology of abundance. As robots displace human workers, they’ll provide more and more of the goods and services that humans need, faster and cheaper and better than we could. We’ll just need to be paid to consume those goods and services. This […](image)


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I get to be a bloggerjonudell

Sat, 01 Oct 2016 21:05:54 +0000

To orient myself to Santa Rosa when we arrived two years ago I attended a couple of city council meetings. At one of them I heard a man introduce himself in a way that got my attention. “I’m Matt Martin,” he said, “and I get to be the executive director of Social Advocates for Youth.” […](image)


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Towards accessible annotation: a prototype and some questionsjonudell

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 23:01:14 +0000

The most basic operation in Hypothes.is — select text on a page, click the Annotate button — is not yet accessible to a visually-impaired person who is using a screenreader. I’ve done a bit of research and come up with an approach that looks like it could work, but also raises many questions. In the […](image)


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What I Learned While Building an App for the Canvas Learning Management Systemjonudell

Sun, 18 Sep 2016 21:51:02 +0000

Life takes strange turns. I’m connected to the ed-tech world by way of Gardner Campbell, Jim Groom, and Mike Caulfield. They are fierce critics of the academy’s embrace of the Learning Management System (LMS) and are among the leaders of an indie-web movement that arose in opposition to it. So it was odd to find […](image)


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Copyright can’t stop annotation of government documentsjonudell

Wed, 15 Jun 2016 03:45:54 +0000

I’ll admit that the Medium Legal team’s post AB 2880?—?Kill (this) Bill had me at hello: Fellow Californians, please join us in opposing AB 2880, which would allow and encourage California to extend copyright protection to works made by the state government. We think it’s a bad idea that would wind up limiting Californians’ ability […](image)


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Watching animalsjonudell

Sat, 04 Jun 2016 20:58:08 +0000

On a visit to the Berlin Zoo last month, I watched primates interact with a cleverly-designed game called a poke box. It’s a plexiglas enclosure with shelves. Rows of holes in the enclosure give access to the shelves. Each shelf has a single hole, offset from the holes above and below. The machine drips pellets […](image)


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