Category Archives: Web Sites

Warren Buffett: The Rich Need to Pay More Taxes

Billionaire Tells Congress the Tax Code Is Unfair to Lower-Income Americans
ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=3869458&page=1

An honest rich man! On national news, no less! Jesus talked about these kinds of people as being extremely rare in Matthew 19:23-26:

23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. (KJV)

Do you think you’ll ever hear about someone like this again? And regardless of your political persuasion this IS a commentary on the current political situation. It seems to me that the American people, particularly those of faith, have a very difficult decision this election.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” – attributed to Edward Burke

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Name Tags in Picasa

Alvin Trusty posted about Picasa Name Tags on his blog called Alvin’s Educational Technology Blog. Well, I was in a position to take a look having just gotten some photos of my daughter uploaded and organized in Picasa as a Web Album.

Now, you have to turn this feature on in your Settings. After this, a button will appear on the right-hand side of the page. Click it to start processing your photos for faces. It took about 3-4 minutes to process about 175 photos I had uploaded. I’ve got to say my results were mixed. Different lighting situations that the photos were taken under seems to throw off the face matching. But that’s OK! It did match most of the faces correctly and I found that the first suggestion of a face it wasn’t sure about was always correct.

My biggest complaint had to do with the face of my daughter. She’s about 2 months old and the program didn’t match her face that well, but what can you expect from a brand new technology and photos of a newborn going back to her birth? It also matched a pacifier she happened to have in her mouth as a face!

Clearly the technology isn’t perfected, but it’s still one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen and it worked well enough for me to identify the faces it couldn’t very quickly. (A quick word of advice: when adding people to pictures remember to position the frame over the person’s face BEFORE selecting the person’s name. If you need to delete the outline click the X in the People section on the right-hand side of the screen. You have to click X once to remove the name and a second time to remove the frame.) Google continues to push the limits of what’s possible. I am quite impressed with this new feat. It’s definitely a feature I plan to leave on.

[Update!] The Picasa 3 Beta is out! They’ve probably included this new technology in the new version!

YouTube Video: Picasa Web Albums: Introducing name tags

Celtx

“Celtx is the world’s first fully integrated software for Pre-Production and collaboration of film, theatre, radio and AV. It has all the tools media creators need to bring their stories to life – combining intelligent writing and planning tools, storyboarding, and scheduling with internet-friendly technologies. Open source and free to download, Celtx is the most complete media pre-production software program.” – http://wiki.celtx.com/index.php?title=Introduction

Celtx is available under a free license and useful for authoring:

  • Screenplays
  • AV scripts, including Documentaries, Advertisements and Music Videos
  • Audio Plays, including Radio Plays and Podcasts
  • Theatre Plays (International and US standard)
  • Plain Text
  • Storyboards

Google Trends

Google has so many neat little tools available. A colleague showed me this one last night. You can use Google Trends to compare search keywords on up to 5 topics over a period of time. Google Trends graphs it for you automatically.

Separate your search terms with commas. So, a search for “clinton, obama, mccain, huckabee, romney” would result in http://www.google.com/trends?q=clinton%2C+obama%2C+mccain%2C+huckabee%2C+romney and in typical Google fashion the graph is mapped to articles – generally at peaks. It’s a VERY good tool to research current events as students can research the reasons for spikes in the searches. For example, why does a search on “Bush” spike in the latter part of 2004? Try searching for “violence, grand theft auto”. The resulting graph is actually highly INVERSE proportional. Who knew?