The Obama campaign just sent me an email with a link to this video about Barack’s position on New Orleans. It is compelling to watch. But here’s my thought: why doesn’t Barack pledge to contribute 10% of all his fundraising dollars to help New Orleans directly? That could be anywhere from $50mm to $100mm — not chump change. Wouldn’t that be a great way to do avoding wasting more money on tv ads and to prove his resolve to fix this tragic national blight?
On a different project, I wanted to have a simple sales web site. My web host, BlueHost.com, seems to have a nice suite of available tools that you can install with a single click. The top three that I have been experimenting with are: Joomla, Drupal and WordPress. I also wanted some simple form processing, and the ability to integrate some strange vbscripts that I found.
What a mess! Joomla and Drupal are *very* complicated. They are essentially frameworks, which means that they supposedly can do lots of things but none of them easily. I really wonder if it wouldn’t just be easier to start from scratch with the elegant Ruby On Rails or even a hacked PHP solution. WordPress is probably ok, for example, it powers this web site.
But my friend David, a real developer, suggested radiantcms. It looks like the right level of complexity for my needs, so I’m going to give it a go. Again, I’ll post an update with my experiences…
Recently, I conducted a search to find a web designer to redesign our Voter Guide Toolkit web application. My ideal situation was to find a free-lance designer who had experience making sleek “web 2.o” apps, preferably civic-minded, possibly local. It was a frustration process, but I think it has a happy ending now.
I had a three-pronged attack. My first instinct was to place this uninspired posting on craigslist. Second, I sent it to three developers I know to send on to any designers they might now. Third, I conducted a web search.
So, here’s what happened. The craigslist posting was a waste of $75; I only received generic responses from recruiters, design shops, people seeking full-time rather contract work, etc. Word of mouth at first yielded no results. In my web search, I came across this great resource that is a central listing of designer portfolios worldwide called coroflot.
Before things got better, things got worse. By looking at hundreds of portfolios, I figured out that the real core competency I wanted was icon design. (We have a pretty good handle on the user interface design.) I found this interesting site, and as a bonus the designer lived in San Francisco. He responded with a nice email, and I hired him. But after a week or so without any real progress, he begged out of the project because his dog died. So back to square one.
Finally, I got a response from a neat shop called TurboMilk based in Samara, Russia. I liked their sensibilities and process, all of which is documented in their blog. They use basecamp to manage interactions. It is necessary to have something like that, because we are 12 time zones apart and essentially never available at the same time.
I’ll post a follow up when the project is completed so you can see the results for yourself!
Right now, everyone knows that pictures may not tell the truth because they can be “photoshopped.” But the ease, speed and accuracy of this technique is stunning. Can you imagine all the creative, practical and nefarious uses of this technology? Via techcrunch with useful other links.
UpdateYou can process your own images here. Works well with natural scenes, although it was somewhat less impressive than the video demo when I tried it. Now, I want the people removing technology!
As I wrote as a comment to this article on e-thepeople.org, we are lucky to have country full of such men and women ready to defend us, and a few such souls who can express the reasons why so well. Enjoy this video:
Here is an interesting tool that ranks the candidates based your issue preferences and issue priorities. Apparently, I agree with Kucinich on something like 28/30 issues. Among the major candidates, I am closest to Obama and then Clinton.