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Just Fooling Around

Sometimes you just need to try things.

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Ubiquitizing Jenn for Flight Information

Last month, Aza RaskinintroducedUbiquity on Mozilla Labs. As stated in Aza’s post, the overall goals of Ubiquity are to explore how best to:Empower users to control the web browser with language-based instructions. (With search, users type what they want to find. With Ubiquity, they type what they want to do.) Enable on-demand, user-generated mashups with existing open Web APIs. (In other words, allowing everyone–not just Web developers–to remix the Web so it fits their needs, no matter what page they are on, or what they are doing.) Use Trust networks and social constructs to balance security with ease of extensibility. Extend the browser functionality easily. Aza included the following screenshot as an example of what could be done in an effort to inspire people to begin creating commands for Ubiquity.This got me thinking. on February 7th, 2008, Alaska Airlinesintroduced Jenn, a virtual assistant that guides and assists website visitors. One of the more interesting features of Jenn …

Being Digital Series: Blockchain

What is Blockchain? It's being described in the same game changing way as the Internet was being described in the early 90's, people aren't sure what or how it will be applied, but it is ushering in a similar tectonic shift in the way the people and things verify and exchange information and assets. Blockchain fundamentally is based on two foundational elements:Asymmetric cryptographyDistributed systems.Leveraging these two technical components gives blockchain the ability to:Create records that are immutable Create transactions for exchanging information, assets or value that update those records Automate updates to the records via things or smart contractsBlockchain eschews centralized records in favor of decentralized distributed networks that work as a cooperative. Bitcoin is perhaps the most well known implementation of blockchain concepts, although there are many other applications being explored. For a quick overview of blockchain concepts, please see the video, Und…

A National Park Roadtrip Around the Grand Canyon

The return of my blog takes a content turn. I’ll still be posting about technical topics that interest me, but I’ll also be updating this space with my Travelogue. Here is the first post pertaining to that topic.In August of 2014, we took a road trip to get a taste of the National Parks in and around Utah and Arizona. The purpose was to scout out where we would want to return and spend more time on a future trip.Flew into LAS on Alaska Airlines flight 616, Tuesday night. Stayed at the newly remodeled Tropicana. Nice rooms and really friendly hotel staff.We hotfooted it out of Vegas and had lunch in Springdale, UT, just outside of Zion NP. A great place called Oscar's Cafe. Our waitress Rachel, took care of us recommending a couple of menu items, I had the shrimp tacos, while others in our party had an Avocado Chip Burger and a Turkey Bacon Avocado wrap. Next time, I'm ordering the Avocado Chip Burger, it has Fritos on the burger!Since we would be visiting a bunch of NPs this t…