On Pearson and the [un]usability of a textbook as an eBook

It’s difficult to start this post without spiraling into a incoherent rant. 

This semester, I opted to purchase one of my college text books as an eBook, possibly justifying my iPad purchase and saving me a few dollars off the printed version - not to mention the printed copies were not in stock and were scheduled to arrive 2 weeks after the start of my class. The class was being taught as a distance-learning online class anyway, so it seemingly makes sense to do all of the work for it digitally (including, in this case, the reading). 

The book was being offered from Pearson, and cost approximately $55 over the $70 printed version. 

You’ll [probably not] want to read more…

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The case of extremely long URLs and the simple reasons why they frustrate me.

I was working on some social media initiatives today for the office that I work in, and was trying to link the facebook photo albums I was making to the office website in a more meaningful way than facebook provides right out of the box. 

Now, I haven’t kept close watch over what’s changed each time facebook redesigns itself, or what functionality is reserved solely for proper “profiles” over “fan pages” - but I remember a day when there was a little link at the bottom of each photo that said something along the lines of “if you want to share this photo publicly, use this link.” It provided you with a link that was approximately 60 characters long. I am now appreciating that simplicity, and even though 60 characters isn’t exactly twitter friendly, it was a straight forward link that contained (what I can assume) facebook.com/youruserID/thealbumID.

Now, jump forward to today (because I was working on being a S-M-GuRu today) and that link is no where to be found. The “share” button doesn’t help much - the only two functions it actually provides are posting it to your profile or sending it as a facebook message to a friend. So, like any smart internet user, I turned to the address bar to find the address of my 100% public photo album, only to find a 168 character URL.  That’s longer than a standard SMS - and definitely NOT twitter friendly. Not to mention the thing was littered with obscene characters (f#?%). The URL length has basically doubled in a year - and with that rate of growth, within the next few years we’re going to have URLs the size of short paragraphs.

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Taking Control Of My Continuing Education

A week away from commencement, I’ve been hit with a slight panic - the main focus in my life is about to be shifted away from the institution of learning. I am about to graduate, into the world, with a degree and an expectation to succeed. I know that by no means am I done learning (everyone knows there is plenty more to be learned outside of school), but it is now expected to happen as a subsidiary to life responsibilities and some type of money-making career.

I’m sure graduations bring out a bit of anxiety in everyone. Some feel unprepared with what they’ve learned, some feel uncertain on where they want to go, some just don’t want to leave the cradle of academia. But instead of looking back and wishing for more time in school or complain about the shortcomings of college educations, I’ve been inspired by Andrew Maier’s "State of Design Education" to take control of my education after graduation and have made a concrete promise to myself that I will continue to seek out education after I continue past academia. 

(Please click through and read more)

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