Jeff McNeill’s Blog

Retarded Markdown

Markdown qua Markdown has been retarded since birth (or slightly thereafter). In that sense it is kind of a dwarf or a little person. That is, it can do some things, but not the kind of workload required of the fully grown. People make a big deal out of Markdown not being broken, and it certainly isn’t, when taken at face value and measured at the level of a dwarf. But we need more grown up and developed markup in the modern world, and all the grafted-on appendages will not due. Hence the proliferation of Markdown extensions. People call these
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Categories: Uncategorized.

Note on Multidisciplinarity

When I was in a PhD program, and before that an MS, the academic researchers and the administration all talked about how important advances in science and scholarship will come from interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research. Disciplinary boundaries had been mined through the decades and ages, and it is cross-disciplinary research where the findings will be made. This is still the predominant understanding. During my MS degree in Information Management and Systems, itself multidisciplinary (law, information science, business, engineering, human factors) (now merely called an MS in Information), I heard a talk from Lewis Lancaster, the founder of ECAI, the Electronic
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Categories: Innovation, Internet, Psychology, Social Media, Software, and Work.

Fonts, Typefaces, Typography

Fonts, Typefaces and Typography, what a mess. Not only does one have to repeat, essentially, the history of typography and letterpress printing to understand all this, but most fonts, like software, are protected and licensed in strange ways, which can increase risk. And so, we turn to Open Source and Open Content licensing as well as interesting, beautiful and most of all useful typefaces to use these days… Note that this page is updated on occasion. Font Editors There are two interesting open source font projects, the venerable FontForge and the relatively new and modern Birdfont. Glyphs and Glyph Mapping
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Categories: Uncategorized.

Apple Wins and Losses – 16 Oct 2014

Well, a mixed bag for Apple. Not only was the performance overbearing and tedious, but many disappointments. The Bad Things No update on iPod iPad Mini 3 gets a TouchID for an extra $100 vs. iPad Mini 2, really? No update on AppleTV No mention of the problems with iOS 8 adoption (not enough storage space) Keep erroring/timing out on trying to install OSX Yosemite Whoever redesigned the iTunes interface should be fired, everything gets moved around for what reason? the interface is now bigger, so harder to use? It took 10 minutes to figure out how to get the
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Categories: Apple.

Criteria for Cloud Service Selection

I received an email about Paymo v.3 which was recently released. Paymo is a time-tracking, project management and invoicing cloud-based app (with native applications for desktop and mobile). Paymo has been around a while (hence being on their mailing list), and they have an impressive feature set and really thought through usability. I would recommend using their app. However.
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Categories: Apple and Cloud.

Entrepreneur vs. Businessperson

The entrepreneur is a creator. The businessperson is a destroyer. Enough said. This kind of dichotomy is annoying at best and completely fictional at worst. The reality is that the entrepreneur is to the businessperson as public relations is to propaganda. That is, they are the same, just better pr/propaganda. At the same time, there is a point to distinguish between mere business operations and entrepreneurship. Drucker does it best when he points out that entrepreneur has a kind of strategic or tactical approach which is akin to either competitor positioning, or the exploitation of an innovation of some kind
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Categories: Business Plan and Entrepreneurship.

Apple Software Updates 20-Sep-2014

In the past three days I’ve had iOS, AppleTV and OSX updates (though the OSX is not the anticipated Yosemite, rather a 10.9.5 + Safari 7.1 + Xcode 6.0.1 + (10 days ago) iTunes 11.4. I’m actually excited about these updates, whereas with previous Microsoft updates, all was fear. And even with WordPress, too many versions have broken too many things. That said, a previous AppleTV broke Bloomberg for 4 days, so no one is perfect. Looking forward to Yosemite along with my iPhone 5 + iOS 8…
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Categories: Apple and OSX.

Advances in Education, Professional Development

I’ve been engaged in thinking about education and professional development since encountering the fantastic difficulties (most vividly displayed as a university lecturer and student advocate in an advanced graduate program in the mid-2000s). Since then, I have developed a fairly good idea of the exact, largely intractable nature of the difficulties specifically in higher education and professional development. These problems are largely institutional, economic, and political, and as such largely resistant to any actual change in terms of what needs to be changed (the nature of teaching and learning activities and how they are managed and funded). Open Schools And
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Categories: Education, Effectiveness, and Organizations.

Advances in Payments, Publishing, Gifting

There have been several interesting, somewhat loosely related items in the news recently, which we can tie together as signals of progress. Bitcoin Block-Chain Public Record While bitcoin has taken a bit of a hit in forex markets the past few weeks (down from 625 USD to 475 USD), there has been an interesting innovation around the blockchain. Public transactions with verified identities can mark an exchange in a way that can be verified at any point in the future. This is the novel approach of the University of Nicosia, which not only accepts bitcoin for tuition payment, but offers
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Categories: Crowdsourcing, Ecommerce, Micropayments, and Publishing.