Weekly Web Harvest for 2016-04-17

The powerful hacker culture ~ Stephen Downes If you want progress, Lemire argues, “you need people who thrive when they solve hard practical problems.” Hackers thrive by getting something done. “And once it is done, academics will take the credit.” – h/t Downes Harvard. I Mean, Really. | HESA The largest ever university capital campaign was concluded in 2011 at Stanford University, which raised $6.2 billion.  Naturally, when Harvard launched its campaign in 2013, it set a target of $6.5 billion ($8.1 billion Canadian), of which it raised $2.8 billion during the “quiet” phase.  Last week the Crimson broke the story that the $6.5 billion target had been reached.  The University declined to comment, noting that it only announces updates every October, but if true this means that with two years to go, the campaign is on track to raise something on the order of $10 billion by the time it finishes in 2018. elnuevomuseo.org | MUSEUM Nuevo Museo de Arte Contempora?neo (NuMu) is the first and only contemporary art museum in Guatemala, dedicated exclusively to supporting, exhibiting, and documenting contemporary art. Founded in 2012, NuMu is an artist-run space, co- founded and directed by artists Jessica Kaire? and Stefan Benchoam.

Scraping with Google Spreadsheets Across Instagram, Flickr, YouTube etc.

I remain kind of amazed with how many little tricks can be done with Google Sheets. After seeing Alan’s post today, I wonder how much of the data I could pull (assuming we had the right user names and knew the services . . . really the harder part) just using Google Sheets. Turns out we could get a pretty good amount. The following is a mix of XPath, regex, and APIs. I started with as little real programming as possible and gradually increased sophistication. The following are just meant to get a rough idea of how much stuff you’ve got in the various spaces. Flickr The URL: http://flickr.com/photos/bionicteaching The function: =IMPORTXML(C2,”//*[@class=’photo-count’]”) This uses a basic Google Sheets function to grab the photo-count content. The function is grabbing the div class with the title photo-count. Vimeo The URL: http://vimeo.com/twwoodward The function: =INDEX(IMPORTXML(C3,”//*[@class=’stat_list_count’]”),1) Pretty similar to the example above but with the addition of INDEX. That solves the problem that there are multiple items that are all in the stat_list_count class and we only want the first matching item. Sound Cloud The URL: http://soundcloud.com/cogdog The function: =REGEXEXTRACT(IMPORTXML(C4,”//*[@name=’description’]/@content”),”([0-9]+) Tracks”) This gets a bit fancier. IMPORTXML brings in a large chunk of content from the page but it wasn’t structured in a way that I could get the exact information I wanted. REGEX […]


A Bit More on the Personal API

Keep trying to growths “personal API” stuff, but it feels like a strained replacement for “organization”. https://t.co/A6i2HUF44c — Area Man (@xwordy) April 19, 2016 The tweet above and Alan’s comment on the post (below) and figured I haven’t really made a chunk of why I’m doing this clear or even what I’m doing clear. I’m probably a mix of more-middle-of-the-road and ambitious than I’ve been able to articulate so far. I declare no holy war. This is more a journey of self-improvement but I’m hoping the destination will be far more interesting than Chicken Soup for the Soul. I like the idea of establishing some sort of importance/urgency level to your list, but to me, it’s a bit binary (reclaim or “let it burn”). I still maintain there’s a fair bit of room in the middle ground. When Boone Gorges and D’Arcy Norman did their aggressive acts of Reclaiming a few years back, my thought was “That’s impressive” as well as “That looks like a lot of work”. See, I would rather take, edit, and share my photos than maintain my own flickr wanna be in WordPress or whatever. And there is the loss of potential social interaction you give up when you do a total reclaim, as happened when people went to Trovebox. I am content to store 44,000+ […]

Personal API: Progress in Pursuit of Nirvana

I’m going to give periodic updates on the personal API journey as way to make myself accountable and document progress. As Kin Lane reminded me this is a journey and so I’ve decided there are strange parallels between my API/Reclaiming-my-content work and the path to enlightenment.1 Like a Buddhist with very low expectations, I seek an end to (platform-related) suffering and rebirths. I am attempting to extinguish the fires of- ignorance – I don’t know exactly where all my stuff is or the rules governing it/me or what I’m “paying” for the service. short-sightendness – I’ve put work/energy/content in places without enough/any thought about the future. acceptance – I’ve accepted sub-par experiences, oppressive EULAs There may be a fourth flame to extinguish around isolationism (not taking advantage of the connectedness of all things API) but I’ve probably butchered Buddhism enough for one post. Since our last installment I’ve migrated from Bluehost to Reclaim. People might claim that’s a move from a vendor to another vendor. I disagree. Reclaim is both people I know and love and a company focused on the things I care about. Their goal is not entirely profit driven. I have no problem with people making money but I do have a problem with profit being the only driving force. It was a seamless move I put […]

Thinking About Digital Literacy

I was asked to speak at the VCU School of Education’s Teaching Literacy in a Digital World Conference this past Saturday. I’ve haven’t spent much time thinking about “digital literacy” in the past few years. It’s been somewhat mashed together with other terms that overlap like- digital fluency, computational thinking, etc. – and like those terms there’s not much agreement on what it is. I glanced at a few definitions prior to making this but didn’t really stick with one. When Dr. Leila Christenbury started the conference she referenced the “find, evaluate, utilize, share, and create content using information technologies and the Internet” definition of digital literacy so I added that while I waited and it makes as good a framework as anything else. A chunk of the presentation is on GitHub here or you can fork it here. I opted to do the presentation with reveal.js and on GitHub mainly because I need to be expanding my own competencies (digital and otherwise). I struck the “differently” portion because I wanted to orient things more towards the idea of doing things and didn’t want people getting caught up in the nuances of whether it was really “different.” This was an attempt to connect with the audience. I believed they were mainly k12 teachers or faculty in the School of Ed (who […]


Weekly Web Harvest for 2016-04-10

How minimalism brought me freedom and joy / Boing Boing I have 238,795 unread emails in my inbox. Emails are a suggestion but not an obligation. Body-hackers: the people who turn themselves into cyborgs | Art and design | The Guardian Ophthalmologists strongly advise against trying this at home: they say a single application of Ce6 can cause retinal haemorrhage and central retinal vein occlusion. Image from page 758 of “A text-book of animal physiology, with introductory chapters on general biology and a full treatment of reproduction ..” (1889) | Flickr – Photo Sharing! exposition on insanity that has been issued in this country by an Amorioun alienist, and, furthermore, it is the most instructive and assimilable that can be placed at present in the hands of the student uninitiated in psychiatry. The instruction con- tained within its pages is a food thoroughly pre- pared for mental digestion; rich in the condiments that stimulate the appetite for learning, and sub- stantial in the more solid elements tiiat eular^re and strengthen the intellect.”—New Orleans Medi- cal and Surgical Journal. “ Paul Ford: What is Code? | Bloomberg Can you tell me what code is?” “No,” I said. “First of all, I’m not good at the math. I’m a programmer, yes, but I’m an East Coast programmer, not one of these serious […]

Photography – Week 120

I flew up to Boston on a plane that had enough turbulence to make people vomit on Friday night. The drive back on Sunday took 14 hours and was partially done in driving snow and high winds . . . and that’s why I forgot to post my weekly photos last week.