Lazyweb Search Request: Easy Content Management

Dear Lazyweb:

Can you suggest open source content management software that meets these criteria:

  • Cross-platform
  • Very easy to install and configure (from the admin side) and use (from the user side) — I’m thinking as easy from both sides as vqwiki
  • Drag-and-drop to upload content — ideally, the user could drag a DOC file from desktop into a widget in the browser to upload
  • Quick searching and indexing, at least of common file-types (including DOC and PDF)
  • Ability to set up arbitrary metadata elements and values that can assist as filters to searching

Generally, content will be located by search, rather than via any particular folder hierarchy.

Does it exist? There seem to be a lot of open source CMS options, but at least at first glance they may be overkill with a significant learning curve at least on the admin side.

ISO Kids Game

Dear Lazyweb:

I’m looking for well-designed computer games that meet the following criteria:

(1) Appropriate for a bright four-year-old with low vision (but able to read large print)
(2) minimal/no advertising
(3) preferably Flash/web-based
(4) some educational value (math, reading, etc.)

A few Google searches haven’t turned up much promising. Any suggestions?

Comcast Upgrade

Not bad!

Not bad!

Liveblogging from Virgin America

I’m on my first Virgin America flight. WiFi connected instantly. It turns out that the Internet is pretty much the same at 40,000 feet.

Addendum: Apparently there is also still spam email at this altitude.
[Tags]Virgin America[/Tags]

Clay Shirky on Newspapers

Excellent summary of where we find the newspaper business today:

Round and round this goes, with the people committed to saving newspapers demanding to know “If the old model is broken, what will work in its place?” To which the answer is: Nothing. Nothing will work. There is no general model for newspapers to replace the one the internet just broke.

Oops 3/16/09. “Shirky,” not Sharky.

Aircard Dilemma

I’ve been provided the latest Verizon and Sprint EVDO cards to evaluate in the field for the past month.  I now have to decide which to keep. It’s a close call (no pun intended).

I’ve tested them both over various areas in Greater Boston and Washington DC. Key observations:

(1) Speed: The Verizon card is usually faster. I’ve clocked up to 2.5 Mbps using the Speakeasy speed test on Verizon. That’s getting to be respectable enough to use a VPN without annoyance. My top rate on the Sprint card is about 2.0 Mbps, but usually it’s more like 1Mbps down / 0.5 Mbps up.

(2) Coverage: There are more Verizon “dead” spots with no service at all. In those spots, the Sprint card invariably works fine. I’ve noticed this in some government buildings as well as on the T in Boston.

(3) Device: The Verizon card I’m testing is a USB device (UM150) with an extendable antenna and the ability to power on/off right from the device. The Sprint card is one of those newfangled half-width PCMCIA cards, which requires an adapter for my laptop.

There are pros and cons to each: the Verizon card is more compact when closed up and fits easily in my coat’s lapel pocket, but it seems quite precarious when actually plugged into the laptop. It could fall out easily or break if someone hit it with their bag walking by. The Sprint card, by contrast, is quite sturdy.

I certainly can’t throw my laptop in my case with the Verizon card still plugged in, while the Sprint PCMCIA card can stay in without trouble. A colleague warns me, though, by keeping the PC card in I’ve created an opening for my dust and whatnot to enter the laptop.

(4) Software: Finally, the (Windows) software for the Sprint card is much better than for the Verizon card. The updated Verizon software is as flaky as the last iteration.  It definitely doesn’t like it if you try to disconnect after you go out of EVDO range. It also doesn’t usually survive a sleep cycle, and sometimes requires manual intervention in the task manager or a reboot to clean things up. It also has some silly features like a control panel to launch your web browser and email client. I’m not sure anyone wants to use their dial-up client that way

The Sprint software has its own share of silliness by having nonstandard decoration (it looks like someone thought “skinning” it would be cool, so they took away any resemblance of regular window frame). But it’s stable and solid, survives suspend/resume, and I’ve yet to have to kill it even once.

So there you have it. If anyone wants to speak in favor of one or the other, please do so in the comments.

As a side note, I’m promoting broader use of the term “aircard” to make it easier to speak with nontechnical people about the difference between EVDO/WWAN and “WiFi.”

[Tags]Sprint, Verizon, EVDO, WWAN, Aircard[/Tags]

This Person Apparently Has a Different Definition of “Off the Grid” Than I Do

Facebook Status Message

Recycle Your PACER Documents

Brilliant and legal.

[Tags]PACER, PublicResource, Carl Malamud, Public Access, Law[/Tags]

Doonesbury on Pandora

A sign of cultural permeation: both Doonesbury and my father have discovered Pandora.

[Tags]Pandora, Doonesbury[/Tags]

timbl on the graph

timbl’s blog may have the highest signal-to-noise ratio on the web. Not a whole lot of signal, but zero noise.

This piece on the “graph” puts the development of social networking services in solid historical perspective. It’s not great propaganda, but covers all the key conclusions. In particular:

In the long term vision, thinking in terms of the graph rather than the web is critical to us making best use of the mobile web, the zoo of wildy differing devices which will give us access to the system. Then, when I book a flight it is the flight that interests me. Not the flight page on the travel site, or the flight page on the airline site, but the URI (issued by the airlines) of the flight itself. That’s what I will bookmark. And whichever device I use to look up the bookmark, phone or office wall, it will access a situation-appropriate view of an integration of everything I know about that flight from different sources. The task of booking and taking the flight will involve many interactions. And all throughout them, that task and the flight will be primary things in my awareness, the websites involved will be secondary things, and the network and the devices tertiary.

[tags]timbl, Tim Berners-Lee, FOAF, social networking, Facebook[/tags]