June 2010

Can You Identify the Cartoon from the Hair?

by Joey deVilla on June 15, 2010

cartoon wigs museum

Take a look at the hairstyles from the Cartoon Wigs Museum poster pictured above. Can you identify the corresponding character and cartoon?

(I’ll post the answers later.)

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It’s One of the Perks of the Job

by Joey deVilla on June 15, 2010

View from the bar at Cafe Novo, looking out onto the patio and High Park

The best antidote for a day full of meetings in boardrooms in a suburban office park is to finish it in different surroundings. So when my last meeting on Friday ended with a couple of hours of business day to spare, I made a beeline for one of my favourite “field offices” – Cafe Novo, located across the street from High Park, and a very short walk from home.

The photo above was the view from my “workstation” at 4 p.m. on Friday: the bar facing the roll-up front wall which in turn faces the park. Pictured are the tools of my trade – my trusty Dell Latitude XT2 tablet with the memory maxed out at 5 GB and the so-last-century mechanical hard drive replaced with a solid state one, my favourite portable mouse and an iced mocha.

Working in settings like this is one of the perks of the job.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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Adobe Photoshop, Literally

by Joey deVilla on June 11, 2010

An adobe hut functioning as a photo development store

This article also appears in Global Nerdy.

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GovCamp’s Coming to Toronto: Thursday, June 17th

by Joey deVilla on June 11, 2010

govcamp toronto

GovCamp in Toronto!

First came GovCamp in Ottawa (May 31st – June 1st), and now GovCamp is coming to Toronto! GovCamp is an “Open Government” or “Goverment 2.0” unconference with these two goals:

  1. For governments to become more open, transparent, participatory, innovative, efficient and effective
  2. For citizens to become more connected to each other around their civic passions in the place they call home

GovCamp Toronto will take place on the evening of Thursday, June 17th and will be an evening where all sorts of people, from private citizens to government officials to representatives of publicly-funded organizations will get together to talk about the intersection of:

  • Government transformation
  • Social networking software
  • Participatory approaches to public engagement
  • Open data
  • Public service renewal

Is GovCamp the sort of thing you should attend? It is if you’re one of the following:

  • A municipal, provincial or federal public servant or a public sector agency employee with an interest in these topics
  • A thought leader looking to share and connect with this community
  • A member of the community of developers, advocates and practitioners in public engagement, government communications, technology, open data, open government or "Gov 2.0"

Who’ll Be There?

Few people know more about setting up “Government 2.0” unconferences than Toronto’s favourite high-tech policy wonk Mark Kuznicki, and we’re very fortunate to have him as GovCamp Toronto’s MC and facilitator. Mark has been behind a number of similar unconferences, including ChangeCamp, TransitCamp and Metronauts.

There will be a number of special guests including:

GovCamp Toronto will be hosted by:

  • Omar Rashid, Public Sector, Microsoft Canada
  • Julia Stowell, Interoperability Lead, Microsoft Canada

Where, When and What’s Happening

appel salon

GovCamp Toronto’s venue is nice and also quite central: the Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge Street, just north of Bloor).

Here’s the agenda:

5:00 Catered reception
6:00 Welcome
6:10 Opening remarks (David Eaves)
6:25 Discussion hosts introduce topics
7:00 Small group discussions and demonstrations
8:30 Closing wrap discussion
9:00 Catered reception

There are a number of ways to participate:

  • You can host a conversation. The conversations at GovCamp Toronto are created by you. We are looking for up to 20 hosts to help convene small group conversations on a variety of topics related to our theme. If you’ve got an idea for a conversation topic, propose one using the online form.
  • You can demo your web or mobile application. We’re looking for up to 6 web or mobile app demos that show the value of open public data, demonstrate what is possible in open government, or demonstrate real world application of social tools inside government. If you’ve built such an app, propose a demo using the online form.
  • You can join the conversation. You can either:

Find Out More About GovCamp

There’s lot of information, ideas and reportage from the recent GovCamp in Ottawa at the GovCamp site – be sure to check it out!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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Betty White, Jedi Master

by Joey deVilla on June 9, 2010

This image actually had me rolling out of my chair laughing. Click it to see it at full size:

Betty White, in a forest wielding dual lightsabers, as the spirits of Rue Mclanahan, Bea Arthur and Estelle Getty in Jedi Master garb, look on, a la "Return of the Jedi"

This article also appears in Global Nerdy.

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DIY “Mega-Stuf” Oreos

by Joey deVilla on June 6, 2010

Oreo cookie made with the creme of dozens of Oreo cookies

I think that the chocolate cookie is the best part of the Oreo, but if you’re a fan of the creme, you just might want to do it yourself and make your own Mega-Stuf Oreo like the one pictured above.

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PressHarbor Rocks!

by Joey deVilla on June 6, 2010

pressharborHere’s a quick unsolicited endorsement for PressHarbor, the WordPress hosting company where my blogs The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century and Global Nerdy live. They didn’t ask me to plug them or even know that I’m doing so.

PressHarbor rocks! Yesterday, an entry of mine from back in May – Bacon Pancakes – got 20,000 pageviews and as of 9:30 this morning it’s already up to 15,000. Another article of mine, New Programming Jargon, amassed over 80,000 pageviews in a single day. The servers at most hosting companies catering to individuals would’ve keeled over under the bandwidth stresses that my blogs put on them, but PressHarbor’s have kept on ticking though mass visits brought on by Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Twitter or any other “Dude, check this out!” kind of web service.

If you’re looking for kick-ass seven-kinds-of-awesome WordPress hosting, I highly recommend PressHarbor.

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