Replacing Notifo with Pushover

Two years ago I compared Notifo and Prowl as tools for sending custom push notifications to your mobile devices.  I ended up relying on Notifo quite a bit to send me mobile alerts about certain kinds of events that I might not otherwise notice right away - email messages from certain people, some kinds of calls or voicemails at my office, certain messages meant for me in the office chat room, etc.

(You might think all that alerting would get obnoxious, but having these notifications sent to me according to my preferences has meant I'm less likely to obsessively check email or other digital inboxes for something important I might be missing.  The good/important stuff gets to me fast, the rest waits for me to view it at my convenience.)

In September 2011, the creator of Notifo announced that he would be shutting down the service.  It's continued to mostly work since then without his intervention (a testament to the self-sufficient nature of what he created), but in the last few weeks I've seen increasing errors or delays in getting messages through, so I went in search of alternatives to Notifo.

Today I found Pushover, a really simple but elegantly done service that offers all the features I want.

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Preventing war, preparing for war

Civil War Reenactment - School ChildrenOne of the benefits of education is that it can provide people with the tools, perspective and knowledge they can use to meet their needs without resorting to intimidation, theft or violence.

In school buildings and on college campuses, we learn about our history, how the world works and how to coexist with each others` diverse ideas, experiences and backgrounds so that we don't have to use threats, force and domination to maintain a life together.

Some are saying that the educational experience now needs to be conducted against the backdrop of a heavily armed security presence. Moving past just having metal detectors and "zero tolerance" policies, that our children should wear bullet-proof vests in classrooms and that educators should be trained to take down intruders with deadly force.

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Blogging about economic development in Wayne County

I'm excited to see that Valerie Shaffer, the new President of the Economic Development Corporation of Wayne County, has started a blog about her activities in that role.  The blog is complemented by a "frequently asked questions" section on the EDC website, which tries to address some of the common questions (and misperceptions) about the organization.

Whatever your take on the EDIT Tax, the EDC and their role in economic development efforts, this is a new and welcome level of transparency.

Shaffer's posts so far are authentic and to the point, bypassing some of the marketing spin that it might be tempting for an organization of the EDC's prominence to engage in when they know site selectors are looking.  She links to related resources, encourages questions and feedback, and makes repeated commitments to opening the lines of communication between her office and other voices in the community.

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The Richmond News Review

This blog post is serving as a bookmark for the recently deactivated podcast and website at RichmondNewsReview.com, which I used to produce and maintain.

In 2006 I created a podcast called The Richmond News Review.  It consisted of 15-30 minute shows where I commented on news and events in and around Richmond, Indiana, sometimes interviewing newsmakers, politicians and members of the local media.  The show ran weekly at first, and then less frequently, until the last episode in 2008. After leaving the website dormant for a couple of years, in the fall of 2012 I decided to take it down.

Producing the show was an incredible amount of fun for me.  I got to blend my writing and blogging about news and politics with my interest in audio and video production.  I gained a new appreciation of the time and effort that goes into creating a podcast that people would actually want to listen to (let alone content that is compelling).  I added a new voice and perspective to some interesting community discussions.  And based on the feedback I got from listeners around the community, I provoked some useful dialog.

I still have the final published MP3 files from the podcast, if there's an episode you're interested in hearing.

Ishmael and IshCon

This blog post is serving as a bookmark for the recently deactivated website IshCon.org, which I used to maintain.

After reading Ishmael and some of Daniel Quinn's other books and finding them moving and challenging, I ended up being involved in creating and hosting several conferences for other people who wanted to discuss the ideas in the books. Those happened in Richmond, Pennsylvania, Texas, Illinois, etc in the late 90s and early 2000s, and were usually called "IshCon" or some variant of that name.

I also created an online news and discussion community for fans and frenemies of the books (IshCon.org) that was quite active up until it was deactivated in 2005.

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