My new scanner

If you’re like me, you probably have a printer/scanner combination sitting on your desk. If you’re like me, it may be buried under stuff because you’re too cheap to buy printer cartridges. Since I seldom print anything, the cartridges dry up so I’ve just given up trying to stay even.

Yet, there are times when I need to scan things. Usually, it’s old photos that someone I know wants one of.

I no longer go through the ritual of decluttering my scanner to get at it. Instead, I just use Google PhotoScan instead.

It’s actually pretty slick. I had a little reservation at first because it turns the camera light on pretty brightly when it’s taking pictures. But the results are nice!

I just happened to have an envelope of old photos from the Yearbook group sitting on my desk for some reason and decided to “scan” one with the application. Loved that tie. I had a brown one for every other day.

The process is pretty slick; you take the first image and then the applicaton places dots around the screen to zero in for details. Move the camera to the dots until you’re done and then you are. The resulting scan ends up in the Photo Gallery.

There is an adjustment tool if you’re concerned about the flash and glare. Overall, it’s pretty slick and I’m happy that I don’t have to unbury my scanner for future scans!

Pummelvision for Month Two

It’s been two months now since I committed to the Daily Shoot project.  I did it to try to force me to take more photos and hopefully become better at doing it.  I post them to my blog on Tumblr and I suspect that I’m like most people.  Some days, I feel like I’ve nailed it and other days not so much.  Some days, I have a goodly collection of shots on a theme and other days, I know that I’m stretching to find something that’s appropriate for the day.

Every now and again, I’ll head over to the blog and just take a look at some of the photos to relive the photography moments.  It can be a little time consuming and a little boring at times but I get the image and I also get my thoughts about the image.  At times, I do wish that I could get a little more pizzaz into the display.

Then, I discovered Pummelvision!  It does an amazing job presenting images.  First, you need to grant access to your Daily Booth, Dropbox, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, or Tumblr account.  At that time, Pummelvision gets access to your photos.  Next thing, it runs away and does some magic only to have it reappear as a YouTube or Vimeo Video, posted to your account!  It doesn’t happen immediately but an email is sent to you to let you know when it’s done.

So, here’s my YouTube video of the images that I’ve taken so far.

I enjoy the way that we get a little audio going on in the background.

So, this is a cool way for me to quickly and easily play back the images from this project.  Imagine how you could turn your web site, wiki, or blog into a multimedia experience.  Just create an account at one of the above services and pummel it to your website.  Ideas are just exploding with me for school use.  Virtual tours, field trips, sports teams, graduations, scanned artwork, student portfolios – any time that you have a substantial number of images on a theme and you’re interested in posting them as a multimedia display makes them perfect for this utility.  Of course, there are the logistics about student pictures, etc., but you’ll take care of that, right?  For my CIESC friends, you’ve got to see that this would be a vintage activity for a meeting!

If you’re looking for a way to create such a project, you’ve got to check Pummelvision out.

When Everyone Has A Voice

I’m watching the CW11 Morning News this morning and just saw two stories back to back.

In the first one, a mother pleaded for the return of her child.

In the second one, a man threatened to place poison in 5000 jars of baby food.

There were two things in common with these stories.  First, they were, as I noted above, on the morning news in back to back segments.

Secondly, these were not news stories professionally shot by video journalists.  They were shot by amateurs and posted on YouTube.  It’s a sign of the times that in these days of citizen journalism that anyone can create their own news.  Then, a television show can use it as news footage.  If you’re interesting or sensational enough, you too could be producing such content.

Of all of the things posted on blogs or video sharing or picture sharing sites, how do you know what to believe and what not to believe?  How do you assign a credibility factor to these things?  Does the fact that a “legitimate” news source like a television station broadcast it give it truth?  How do the producers of these shows know?

Reportedly, one of these stories is true and the other a hoax.  I’ve elected to not perpetuate hoaxes by including the video or links to them in this post.

But, if you have answers to any or all of the above, it would be good to know.  If you don’t, should you?

If we don’t have the answers, how can we expect our students to know?  Does filtering websites at schools solve the problem?  Does this not just push the onus on students and possibly parents to learn at home?  How do they know?

What impact does this have on a whole generation of people that are living this as you read this post?

What does it mean when everyone has a voice?

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