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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Share Your Story with the Library of Congress Using Your Smart Phone

Posted By on Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 2:01 PM

Everybody has a story to tell. For the modern day storyteller, media like podcasts and anonymous blogs give the opportunity to share those heartwarming and embarrassing human experiences with ease. From The Moth to Post Secret, Americans have fed the growing cultural obsession with recording those events—ranging from the mundane to the extraordinary—that captivate audiences of strangers worldwide. Never one to take the stage myself, I am filled with admiration for the comedians, poets, and storytellers who bravely divulge their personal stories to become part of the shared brain that is our cultural consciousness. 

The first time I experienced the vicarious thrills and heartaches of another person's spoken narrative was in the backseat of my family's station wagon 12 years ago. We were listening to the loathsome local public radio affiliate, which is the bane of any family road trip for pre-teens everywhere. My perma-angst was dissipated, however, when a new short radio program was aired. The segment, known as "StoryCorps," was the brainchild of radio producer Dave Isay who envisioned his program as a way to give voice to everyday people with meaningful stories to tell, "particularly those who'd been told that their stories didn't matter."

For those who've never heard StoryCorps, the program—whose mission is to record, preserve, and share the stories of Americans from all backgrounds and beliefs—records the oral histories of diverse folks in their mobile and permanent StoryBooths around the country, usually in an interview-style format with a friend or family member. The recordings are then stored for perpetuity in the United States Library off Congress; some of the most compelling stories are broadcast by NPR in segments like the one I heard over a decade ago.

It was announced last night at the annual TED Talk Conference opening that StoryCorps, with the aid of a $1 million prize from TED, has developed a smartphone app that will allow anybody to record their story to be archived at the Library of Congress. This tool, which gives anyone with access to a smart device the ability to be heard for generations to come, has huge implications. The ignorance and hatred that arises from the inability of some people to relate with others whose experiences and identities differ from their own will be mitigated. The recurring mistakes that have plagued mankind—from the minor to the Earth-shattering—could be avoided with the wisdom imparted by those who have lived and learned.

And best of all, I will be falling asleep to the bedtime stories of strangers for conceivably the rest of my life.
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Friday, May 30, 2014

Why #YesAllWomen is One of the Best #Hashtag Movements Yet

Posted By on Fri, May 30, 2014 at 10:25 AM

#Hashtag movements have come and gone in Twitter’s history exciting social media activists everywhere. But #YesAllWomen, sparked by the violent sexism of Elliot Rodger the UCSB shooter, brings something new to the Twitter sphere that campaigns like #Kony2012 and #BringBackOurGirls couldn’t quite capture. #YesAllWomen gives the victims and activists of the movement a voice and places their personal stories front and center. Unlike other movements they become the key actors in spreading messages about feminism, rape-culture, misogyny and violence. These discussions are not being imported to Twitter from foreign countries but are instead being delivered directly from the victims to the perpetrators.


Continue reading »

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Panic at Apple?

Posted By on Tue, Jun 11, 2013 at 9:23 AM


Apple has worn the badge of innovation proudly ever since Steve Jobs retook the company over in 1997. Under Jobs Apple could do no wrong, creating and dominating new markets in Tech like no other company before it.

Now, two years since his death Apple is on the ropes. Their stock price is down 35%+ over the last year. Samsung is showing signs of taking over the innovation badge and Android has the greater market share in the mobile OS battle.


So, what will reverse the Apple slide? A new iOS packed full of new and innovative features no other device has? One would think, but instead Apple rolled out it's major overhaul of iOS, iOS 7, leading the presentation with an in-depth overview of the new color pallet and redesigned icons! Seriously?

Apple haters are going to have a field day with this one...

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Download This App: Find My iPhone

Posted By on Thu, Jun 6, 2013 at 4:16 PM

  • lost!

"Find My iPhone" will save your ass one day. Once downloaded (both on your iPhone and home iOS system—iPad, MacBook, etc.) Mac owners can use one to find the other. Last night, my clumsy buddy found out just how well the free app works. During a mid-ride break and after checking a message, he thought he slipped the phone back into his jersey pocket. Turns out he dropped it on the trail.

Short story: Dude loses iPhone on local trails at some point during his three hour mountain bike ride; dude uses my MacBook (he's a PC owner) to activate his phone's "Lost Mode,"; dude recognizes blinking blue light, representing his phone's location on a map, is on COD, near Century Dr.; dude tromps around woods, using my iPhone's map as a guide, and soon finds his phone laying in the trail—in tact and working fine.

  • found!

Continue reading »

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Protect Those Ears: Revisit our acoustic earplug review

Posted By on Thu, May 30, 2013 at 10:59 PM

I chose blue.
  • I chose blue.
Last year I was fortunate enough to get a pair of custom acoustic earplugs from Central Oregon Audiology. I wrote a review of them and the response from readers was pretty good.

There's a reason for that. They work brilliantly.

Since summertime outdoor (and loud) concerts are upon us, I thought it would be a good time to revisit the benefits of these earplugs. As I stated in my review, they not only protect your ears from the harmful sounds at a concert, they make the music sound richer; more full.

This year I was able to take my pair of earplugs to the Sasquatch! Music Festival at the Gorge Amphitheater. Since I'm often in the photo pit and on top of the action, I knew that this bit of technology would be a good idea to have with me. The result? Every show sounded great! I noticed people in the front row and other photogs cringing at the high pitched guitar or overstated bass, but not me. My ears were as happy as a clam. I also slept soundly each night in the campground since my ears weren't ringing at all.

At $160 bucks, they can be a bit spendy, but if you're someone who attends a lot of concerts, during the summer or otherwise; they're a great tool that you'll have forever. Provided you don't lose them of course.

Check out a rudimentary video of the outfitting process below.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Nintendo Game on Google Homepage - Right Now

Posted By on Wed, Jan 16, 2013 at 2:58 PM

If you're super fried at work and looking to waste five minutes of your life, play this game on Google's homepage. Old school.

You can probably beat my score of 22.
  • You can probably beat my score of 22.

Yeah, it's not really a Nintendo game, but it looks kinda like a version of this:

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Death Star Petition Is a No-Go...Bummer!

Posted By on Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 4:46 PM

A colorado man decided last November to use our government's "We the People" website to en"force" a jedi-inspired petition. The website lets anyone start a petition of their choosing and if it gets 25,000 signatures in 30 days, the White House has pledged to respond.
So, some guy who goes by John D petitioned the Obama administration with this "empirical" idea:
"Those who sign here petition the United States government to secure funding and resources, and begin construction on a Death Star by 2016.
By focusing our defense resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defense."
After getting an astounding 34,435 signatures in the allotted time period, a response was awarded.
So, last friday, Paul Shawcross, chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House's Office of Management and Budget wrote a very detailed answer to the petition and titled it, "This Isn't the Petition Response You're Looking For." Here is a piece of his response:

The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn't on the horizon. Here are a few reasons:
- The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We're working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
- The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
- Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?


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Thursday, December 15, 2011

We Are the Future

We can plug it anywhere.

Posted By on Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 12:05 AM

This is how tech we are at the Source, USB ports on our outlets. 

Can you believe how ahead of the times we are? Yes, the same folks who employ Scoop Lewis, Ace Reporter.

Actually, our publisher just bought one. But we might move to it, someday. Sure seems handy, eliminating the need for conversion plugs and what not.


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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bend Craigslist Item of the Day

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 10:41 PM

The best thing about craigslist, may be the freedom to add in all kinds of tangential and often unwittingly amusing information that was once precluded by traditional classifieds, whose per line rate precluded such ramblings. Case in point, this listing for a fully loaded tournament bass boat previously owned by none other than Clyde "Balls" Brown and the additional note that the seller is also unloading his '86 'vette. 

It's sort of like eBay's see sellers other items function. Just more random and perhaps evidence that Bend's eastside needs its own craigslist.


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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

For the Technologically Inclined: Ruby on Ales Conference Comes to Bend March 24 & 25

The Ruby on Ales conference brings leading Ruby developers to McMenamins in Bend, Oregon.

Posted By on Tue, Mar 15, 2011 at 8:55 PM

When I first heard about the Ruby on Ales conference at McMenamins, I instantly thought it had something to so with the brewery's tasty brew Ruby Ale. On the contrary, Ruby on Ales is a single-track conference focused on the Ruby programming language and hosted by Northwest Ruby, Inc. For those of us who aren't that tech savvy, Ruby is an open source programming language known for it's simplicity and productivity.

On March 24 and 25 some of the best Ruby developers visit Bend to deliver world-class talks in an intimate setting. The conference expects to draw 140 attendees and will take place in the theater at McMenamins Old St. Francis School. Featured speakers include leading Ruby experts Aaron Patterson, Jim Weirich, Jim Remsik and Rein Henrichs and more.


Attendees can expect to receive in-depth training on Ruby programming, plenty of bandwidth, and there's no doubt McMenamins' Ruby Ale will be flowing (and Hammerhead, Terminator, etc.).

Conference tickets are $149, and can be purchased at Be sure to follow @rbonales for up to date Twitter updates about the event.

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Geekology: iPad part deux

Portlanders line up for their new iPads.

Posted By on Mon, Mar 14, 2011 at 5:08 PM

The intended goal of our Portland-area trip this past Friday was to bring two local 12-year old fashionistas face-to-face with the wares at the recently opened outlet for Swedish retailer H & M. That location just happens to be in that most American of American places, The Washington Square Mall in that that oh-so-suburban community known as Beaverton. Just being in Beaverburg makes you think Bend is more than paradise, but that’s another story.

Onward we marched into the disco-pumping sounds that surround every purchase at H and M and other outlets like Aeropostale, Forever 21, Hollister, etc.

As we trolled from one brand location to the next, we kept passing pods of people sitting in camp chairs emblazoned with “Dick’s Sporting Goods” logos all arranged in cordoned off areas. To a person, everyone in each of the three pods we passed were on laptops, smart phones or iPads. Some were on two devices at once, all looked like fresh air wasn’t something they were used to and, to be honest, their average weight-per-stature seemed a bit high.


We could not figure what was going on until we passed a pod directly across from the Mac store (Mecca for sure) and were told that the people in the pods were there to buy the new iPad-2, which would be released at 5 p.m. Friday evening.

How long had they been there?

“Some since last night,” said a helpful Apple employee.

Wow, we’d heard about it but never seen it – the mad rush to be among the first to get the latest Apple product. On one hand, it was at once a small moment in geek history and on the other hand totally absurd.

By the way, the girls rated the H and M shopping a 9 on a zero (yuk) to 10 (fashion fabulous) scale. And there are no waiting pods to get into the store.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Enough Already: Tuning out and turning off in the electronic age

Thoughts on Facebook, e-mail, cell phones and our over-connected world.

Posted By on Thu, Jan 20, 2011 at 10:10 PM

A modern day social outcast has to be anyone who doesn’t text, doesn’t own a smart phone, doesn’t Tweet and more than likely finds, like Betty White, Facebook a colossal waste of time.

So excuse me while I post that last paragraph on the “walls” of my 5,000 Facebook friends. That and I’ll ask them to “like” this blog, which I’m sure at least 3,500 of them will.

What I won’t tell them is how I went totally old school last week and read two magazines. Magazine reading is so tedious.

One magazine was the October 25 issue of The New Yorker, which I hear was once pretty big with the sophisticated crowd. I’m not sophisticated, but I read it anyway.

In an article entitled, “E-Mail Auto-Response” author Martin Marks stated: “ I would like to say that the Internet has become a veritable buzzing, stinging hornet’s nest of pings and pongs and klings and klangs, so please do not e-mail, text message, instant-message, direct-message, Facebook-message (if you’re still on MySpace or Friendster, that’s just plain creepy), Facebook-chat, iChat, tweet, retweet (don’t even mention Twister mentions), StumbleUpon, LinkIn with, zoom into, Goggle Buzz, Plaxify, Jigsaw, Digg, Skype, Spoke, poke, flick or tag me. Don’t boxball, squareball, jingl. Jangl, mingl, mangl, FairShare, Foursquare, twosquare, do-si-do, or swing your laptop round and round. I just want to be left alone.”

Wow, is Marks some sort of crazy person? I mean, I like to share every moment of my existence with, like, everyone.

The other magazine I made the mistake of reading was the October issue “Smithsonian.” It was super boring, especially the column about cell phones by some dinosaur writer named Ted Gup.

Gup said: “IMO (In My Opinion), we’ve gone too far. Not everything has to be shared the moment it is conceived. (We cover our mouths when we cough, why not when we think?) I say that any thought that doesn’t have a shelf life beyond five seconds is best left unarticulated.”

On further review (OFR), both writers make a great deal of sense. But how and where does one get away from all the clatter and chatter?

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