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The other day I ran across a post detailing 46 brilliant life hacks. Since then I’ve been mulling over a few of my own life hacks and wanted to share them here. The following are a few tips that have worked for me. They are totally random, covering “life” in general, but I’ll share them here in case someone finds them beneficial. (Sorry that I’m too lazy to be more visual.)
1. To avoid carrying a bulky wallet in your pocket, get an iPhone c (more)
Last week’s explosive failure of a Falcon 9R test rocket was due to a sensor failure in one of the engines. The test vehicle didn’t contain the multiple sensor voting system used in the commercial Falcon 9 rocket.
SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said in a statement Tuesday that the cause of the prototype rocket’s demise was a “blocked sensor port.”
Garrett Reisman, who heads SpaceX’s effort to develop a private space taxi for NASA astronauts, said Wednesday th (more)
Our devices are getting smarter. Shouldn't our documentation do the same?
One of the greatest problems manufacturers face is teaching consumers how to use their products. As I mentioned in a previous post, 95 percent of devices returned to stores actually work. That's a serious pain point and expense for manufacturers.
Smart phones, tablets, and other computer-like devices are naturally moving in the direction of simple, digital instructions (more)
The situation in Iceland is getting worrisome. There are signs that magma is moving from the Bárðarbunga volcano to the Askja volcano. This means that both volcanoes could erupt. More information, and even more speculation, in the comments section.
Fear is a powerful motivator. But it can be downright dangerous when it deters consumers from understanding how to use technology in a safe manner. Plato said it best...
"We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light."
This is as true in technical communication as it is in philosophy; there are dangers to not understanding things that can be understood if we make (more)
This week an analytics ninja showed me how to use Google Analytics to track the values entered into a text field. It comes down to sending a dummy page name to Google Analytics, containing the value entered into the field. Google Analytics faithfully records a “page view” for that value, which you can then see in the analytics reports in the same way that you can see any other page view. Magic.
For example, let’s say you have a search box on a documentation page, allowing readers to search a subset of the documentation. It would be nice to track the most popul (more)
The complete Feynman lectures on physics are now online in a multi-device friendly HTML5 format. The three volumes cover the core of physics and although some topics, like quantum physics, have advanced quite a bit since Feynman gave the original lectures in the 1960s, they are still a landmark publication. Fair warning: to really understand these, you’ll need to know some calculus and algebra – first year university level should (more)
Yesterday I was privileged and delighted to speak at a meeting of the STC Silicon Valley Chapter in Santa Clara. Thanks so much to Tom Johnson and David Hovey for organising the meeting, and thank you too to all the attendees. It was a lovely experience, with a warm, enthusiastic and inspiring audience. This post includes some links for people who’d like to continue playing with the APIs we saw last night and delving deeper into the w (more)
Seems like more and more I’m writing everywhere but here! I wanted to do a round-up of some of my writing around the web.
On the Rackspace Developer Blog: Austin Ladies Hackathon
This weekend was a blast, hacking with all women at Rackspace, and wow were the projects impressive. Here’s how it went.
Friday night we gathered at a restaurant, the Flying Saucer, to meet each other and start to form teams. I’d guessimate that 20 of the 30 participants showed up. I helped (more)
We have a full schedule of stellar conferences coming up this fall. We hope to see you at one or more of these events. Let’s start with the big news. You should be able to recognize us at these events, as we … Continue reading →
Although Wikipedia may not be a perfectly authoritative source for research, it is still an incredibly useful resource if you’re aware of its limitations. It’s also a very deep resource with many features that most people never touch. Gizmodo has published 10 tips that will help you master Wikipedia. For example, I didn’t know you could do this:1. Create ebooks and PDFs for offline reading
Wikipedia has a built-in Book Creator tool that you can take advantage of (more)
It seems that one of Iceland’s major volcanoes may be getting ready to erupt. There’s been a lot of seismic activity under Bardardunga, indicating that magma is on the move. This could mean an eruption is imminent, though the scale of such an eruption is difficult to predict. A worst-case scenario isn’t likely but (more)
If you’ve been following my posts lately, you’ve seen me explore the tools question numerous times. In this post, I’ll explore combining structured authoring with web publishing on WordPress.
In a nutshell, here’s the main idea: structured authoring tools are great for authoring content. Web platforms are great for publishing content. My plan is to leverage the best of both worlds by creating content using an XML editor like OxygenXML, and then publish it to a platform like WordPress.Tech comm is great at authoring
Unquestionably, authoring content with a tool like O (more)