Where to Find Internships – InternshipPrograms

InternshipProgramsThe means of gaining employment aren’t always glamorous. Like fraternity hazing rituals out of Animal House, internship programs are seen either as ordeals in excessive humiliation or opportunities knocking. To the mid-level office manager with a moderate amount of power, hurling abuse at the new intern is a fulfilling way to let off steam before reporting to his boss two floors up and explaining why his department’s numbers are down this quarter. The intern, while plotting his revenge over the coffee machine and dreaming up a number of colorful things that he can slip into that mid-level office manager’s mug when no one’s looking, is getting some valuable, on-the-job training that a mere college education simply can’t provide.

Thank you, sir. May I have another?

Internship programs are a great way to get real world experience in the field of work that you desire. Interns are typically made fun of as being the lowest class on the corporate totem pole, but you know what? Experience matters. Those of you who think an internship will work best for you should point your Web browser to InternshipPrograms.

The cool thing about this Web site is that it focuses exclusively on internships. The employers browsing through this site will be looking for people just like you. You can start out by registering with the site so you can post your resume for all to see. Companies with intern openings can also use this site to advertise their programs. If you’d rather just see what opportunities are out there, go to the search page and select your location and the field in which you’re interested. You just never know what you may find: intern today, executive tomorrow. One thing’s for sure, though: be prepared to be the Starbucks monkey that will have to go out and get coffee for everyone. The time spent on these long walks with hot hands is excellent for plotting post-internship revenge.

Teachers Get Help with Lesson Planning from LearnBoost

Teachers Get Help with Lesson Planning from LearnBoostEducation and technology have always had an interesting relationship. School district representatives want their students to develop good technology skills, but even with the abundance of educational technology tools that are on the market, it seems like there’s a disconnect between wanting the advancement to happen and making it happen. Maybe it’s due to budget constraints (where desperately creative accounting might consider tables and chairs “technology”), or maybe it’s due to the educators themselves not being up to snuff on the quick pace of technology’s development sufficiently to supply the demand for knowledge. Certain schools do make good use of the teaching tools available to them, but others are still stuck in DOS. Even the savviest teachers have to fight hard to get the latest technology tools in their classrooms for their students, but in the meantime they can make use of LearnBoost on their end to help with the formidable task before them.

LearnBoost is a free, online service for teachers and it’s designed to help them with management of their classroom and even their curriculum. Not only is a comprehensive gradebook feature included, but teachers can also use LearnBoost to track attendance, create lesson plans, and manage schedules and calendars. Teachers have a lot to deal with, and some would say it’s a thankless task with minimal rewards, so at least LearnBoost is there for them whenever they need it. Maybe it will help them to forget about the fact that they and their students are still being forced to use Windows 95.

That is, if their decades-old computers can even run Windows 95. They might be counted among the lucky when you get down to district comparisons. I have a friend whose high school was barely able to afford Speak & Spells when a funding referendum fell through, so count your blessings wherever you can find ’em! LearnBoost seems to be one of those blessings.

Travel Social Networking with IMGuest

Travel Social Networking -- IMGuestWhen you think of social networks for business, you probably think of LinkedIn almost immediately. It’s certainly one of the most familiar ones out there, but a lot of the focus on LinkedIn involves connecting with people who you might not ever get a chance to meet in person. It’s nice to have those people in your network, but when you have the chance to meet people face to face, it can mean a lot more. If you travel for business, then you probably stay in a lot of hotels, and sure enough, many of the other people in those hotels are also traveling for business. A new town can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be — why not network with your fellow business travelers in person through IMGuest?

It works like this. By using this service (which can be accessed by signing in from your LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter account if you don’t feel like creating a whole new IMGuest account), you can check in to the hotel where you’re staying and specify who you would like to meet. You’ll see who else is currently at the hotel, and if your interests align, you can send them a message to see if they want to meet face to face. Maybe they know the town well and can take you on a first-hand tour of the best local places to mix sushi with karaoke. Perhaps you’ve been there before and want to share some of the more outlandish sights and sounds of the city with a real person instead of just telling tall tales to jealous colleagues back at the home office who think you’re just making it all up, anyway.

You never know who you could meet, and some lifelong business relationships (or karaoke buddies) could develop from these introductions. Because, even though sitting in front of a computer for hours every day is something most of us can relate to, it’s always nice to step away and experience the world — and its people — in person.

How Did You Know You Were a Computer Person?

How Did You Know You Were a Computer Person?Many of you wrote in to tell me the story of how you discovered that computing was destined to be a part of your life. As promised, I’m going to feature a selection of comments that I received. Sit down, grab yourself a cup of coffee or Mountain Dew, and enjoy reading about how your fellow computer users realized they had The Geek Gene.

Cheryl Verde goes cuckoo for cuckoo clocks: “What was that one specific occasion that you can remember when you realized that you were born to be a techie? Funny you should ask because I actually do remember it. At the age of 11, our family owned an old-fashioned German cuckoo clock. You know, the type where the doors open each hour and music plays? I was always curious about it, and finally got permission to dismantle it so I could peer inside and see what made it tick. I wasn’t disappointed as I found it quite fascinating and mysterious. I was amazed at the numerous integral mechanisms that all contribute to producing a viable clock. I am certain that day was the precursor of my love for computers and technology. Today, I enjoy being a freelance computer consultant.”

Jerry Berg tells it like it is: “I probably got into the computer world in 1964. Back then no one knew what I was talking about and were scared about what they had heard. We were completely unique and tended to stay together because we talked a common language, even though it may be a different computer language. My wife is also in the business, and when we first met we spent hours talking about the things we did at work. I then went into the management end and lost a degree of the techiness, but still considered myself tech-oriented. PCs came along in the early ’80s and I started all over discovering what we could do, and started to scare some and greatly encourage others. I am absolutely amazed at how they have developed and the uses they have. We haven’t started to scratch the surface.”

Betty Law-Morgan shows the professors up: “My realization of the geek gene came before knowledge of the meaning of the word geek. In 1983, I was working for Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. The university came along and dropped an IBM PC with 8088 processor, 52K of RAM, and dual 5.25” floppies on my desk, along with a monitor that displayed in fluorescent green and a daisy wheel printer. Along with it came DOS, WordStar, 1*2*3, and dBase. We were instructed to simply leave them alone and someone from the Computer Science Department would be along in a few weeks to set them up. Then there would be training classes. That’s a dumb thing to do to the daughter of an engineer who has never owned anything automated which she didn’t take apart and put back together [grin].

I read the manuals, set up the machine, and began using it. Around three months later, we were told to shop up in the CompuSci department for classes. The instructors kept trying to perform functions in the three available apps, which failed, and I continually had to show them the correct way to do it. One of these CompuSci professors got tired of my corrections and finally said, “If you know so much, why don’t you teach the class?” My response was, “Certainly.” I used his outline and taught the rest of the class, including the explanation of the hardware and operating systems.

I realized I had the “geek gene” when it became apparent that, while I had spent less time and certainly did not have their education, I knew more about the PC than the CompuSci professors. I’ve been a confirmed geek ever since. As a matter of fact, I’m still teaching others to be computer geeks.”

Sean Watts (Hey, nice last name!) remembers what started up The Geek Gene: “I was in high school and the Apple II had made its way to the science lab. This was an invention that I wanted to know more about. From the moment I saw the cursor flashing hypnotically on the small amber screen… I guess that was when I embraced geekism as a norm. Especially when my parents would lend me out to the friends and neighbors to program their VCRs. I then begged for a Commodore 64K, which was the top in its day, for my next birthday!!! From then on, I was immersed in all things technology can offer. Bring it on.”

Randy Zich‘s story is no doubt very much like yours: “I knew I was a geek the minute I sat down at the computer and realized that, with a little more knowledge, I could make this thing do what I wanted. It was set in stone the minute the computer being down was more of a disaster than if the TV died.”

Jeff Curtin tells the truth: “I used to be the one yelling at the people at parties who were on the computer instead of socializing. Now I’m the one being yelled at. When I got my first computer (Compaq laptop) six years ago, I knew I was a goner. I think that if I didn’t do what I do now, (VP with national Brokerage Firm), I’d be devoting my life to the computer and all the gadgets associated with it.”

There you have it — true stories from the front lines of computing. No matter what your story is, The Geek Gene is something worthy of appreciation. Isn’t this stuff great?

CC licensed Flickr photo shared by Francis Storr

Independent Music Through Different Ears – Daytrotter

If you only discover music by listening to the radio, then you’re truly missing out on some great songs and bands. The truth is that some of the best music out there isn’t popular at all, so it can take some effort to find these hidden gems. Each day, relatively unknown bands travel and play shows for small crowds, but even though the crowds are small, they’re dedicated. A site called Daytrotter helps to bring attention to these bands by inviting them to their studio, recording some of their songs, and giving visitors the tracks for free.

DaytrotterYou possibly haven’t heard of some of these amazing bands or performers (like Neutral Uke Hotel, Deep Sea Diver, Deerhoof, Jeremy Messersmith, and Zee Avi), but there are some rather popular ones who are represented at the site (such as J Mascis, Jeff Daniels [yep, the actor. He sings and plays guitar, too], Jolie Holland, Kris Kristofferson, Social Distortion, Tricky, Bob Mould, and even, as surreal as it may seem, a few familiar voices from Cartoon Network’s Aqua Teen Hunger Force). Even if you have heard some of the songs and they’re from your favorite records of all time, the Daytrotter versions are unique and raw, which makes listening to them even more enjoyable — like rediscovering some of the best music in the world all over again.

In addition to listening to the music, you’ll also be able to learn more about the bands, find out what the inspiration was for the songs, and so on. I’ve been stuck in a musical rut, so perhaps Daytrotter will break me free from it.

And now, it seems that Daytrotter’s going on tour! If you live in any of the following places (or like to drive all over creation for an earful of sweet, sweet tunes), you might want to catch Barnstormer 5, Daytrotter’s traveling hootenanny (I don’t know if the kind people at Daytrotter actually call it a hootenanny, but that’s the general idea).

  • 8/26/11 – Runnymeade Farm Barn (North Hampton, NH)
  • 8/27/11 – Sunnyview Farm Barn (Ghent, NY)
  • 8/28/11 – Old Lantern Barn (Charlotte, VT)
  • 8/29/11 – The Living Room (New York, NY)
  • 8/30/11 – Chaseland Barn (New Wilmington, PA)
  • 8/31/11 – Conrad Botzum Farmstead Barn (Akron, OH)
  • 9/01/11 – Lakeview Farms Barn (Dexter, MI)
  • 9/02/11 – Kalyx Center Barn (Monticello, IL)
  • 9/03/11 – Codfish Hollow Barn (Maquoketa, IA)

Memorials And Tributes – 1000Memories

Memorials And Tributes - 1000MemoriesI think we all hope that, when our time comes, we”ll leave behind a legacy of some sort that transcends our limited human lifespan and allows us to last beyond our days — living on in the memories of others is probably the closest anyone will come to cheating death. Aside from having a creative epitaph etched in one’s tombstone that future generations can visit and ponder long after one’s passing, the most meaningful memories and interactions will only live on as long as those who shared these experiences document them in some way, or they will, too, be lost to the ever-marching cadence of time.

Even when a death is foreseen (as in the case of a long illness), a life cut short is a tragedy. When someone dies. It’s tough for the family, but it’s also tough for all of the people who knew the individual and enjoyed their company. Funerals are held to honor and remember someone who has died, but once they’re over, the memories certainly don’t go away. Everyone who was close to someone that died has memories and stories about the individual that can live on, and 1000Memories gives people a dedicated place on the Internet to remember the life of a loved one.

Not only can family members write about the person and share pictures, stories, videos, and even audio, but the friends who knew them can comment and add what they have to share to make it a truly social and collaborative remembrance. The information is presented in a simple and respectful way, and having all of this content in one place is truly something that everyone will appreciate. Each person’s life is made up of a collection of moments, and while you may not be able to collect all of them, you’ll certainly be able to collect some of the most memorable ones.

Hail a Cab on the Internet with Cabulous

Hail a Cab on the Internet with CabulousGetting from place to place isn’t always as easy as it could be. While most people seem to drive these days, we’ve all found ourselves, at some point in our lives and for some reason or another, standing on a cold curb in an urban area shouting this magic word into the night that will rescue us and bring us home to warmth and safety:

“Taxi!”

Despite all of the advancements that have been made with technology, one thing that has pretty much stayed the same until recently is the process of requesting a cab. Hailing a cab that you see is one thing, but requesting a cab when there isn’t one in the immediate area usually requires calling a phone number so that the dispatcher can send one your way, however, that’s pretty lame. These days the Internet and mobile technology have improved how we hail cabs in various ways, and the approach that Cabulous takes gives you the kind of information that an actual cab company would have.

As soon as you arrive at the site, you’ll see a real time map of San Francisco (and soon, possibly another city near you) that has a number of cab avatars moving around. What you’re seeing are actual cabs and where they are in the city. To hail a cab, you just click on the one you want and tell the driver where you are. The iPhone app makes the process especially straightforward because, with its GPS capabilities, it already knows where you are in relation to the driver. If you like a certain driver, then you’ll be able to see when he or she is nearby whenever you’re looking for a cab. As I mentioned before, the service is mainly focused on San Francisco, but it’s expanding and could be in your town before you know it.

Social Media Organization – threadsy

Social Media Organization - threadsyWith a constant bombardment of information from all fronts, 21st century life can seem pretty overwhelming. One example: we’re communicating all over the place on the Internet these days. Where generations in the not-too-distant past had the option of telephone or snail mail if they wanted to keep in touch with people remotely, many of your friends today may use a variety of online communication tools, and if you want to talk to them on the networks where they can be found, then you need to have accounts on those networks, too. As an implement designed to keep humanity communicating quickly and efficiently, the Internet can sometimes be a lot more complicated than it needs to be. I feel for the people who still use each service individually because the time wasted and the confusion that’s involved can be rather extreme.

A vast assortment of companies are working on solutions to help bring together a patchwork of all of these accounts, and they’ve had different levels of success. A service called threadsy is another attempt to keep your online communication organized and consolidated, and it offers quite a few options to the overloaded modern human who is just trying to regain some semblance of control over his or her correspondence options.

threadsy, as a free service, not only supports your social accounts like Facebook and Twitter, but it also integrates your email and instant messaging accounts, which is pretty unique. There’s definitely an advantage to seeing everything in one place, and this approach can’t help but make you more productive. If you’ve noticed that you’re complaining about information overload lately, then maybe an account on threadsy is just what the doctor ordered. And if you’ve got several doctors offering second and third opinions, now you can see all of their recommendations, prescriptions, rebuttals, and counter rebuttals all in one place. That’s progress!

How to Make Painless Automobile Purchases with CarWoo!

How to Make Painless Automobile Purchases with CarWoo!Not everyone can take the bus or train or dirigible to work, so many of us need to burden ourselves with owning vehicles that will get us there and back again every day. Aside from the high cost of the accompanying auto insurance, gasoline, parking fees, and potential for tickets should one drive a little too fast or leave one’s vehicle in the wrong zone, deciding on a car to purchase is a big financial choice that you don’t want to take (or make) lightly. It’s usually one of the largest purchases that you’ll make, second only to a house. Some people enjoy going to dealerships and haggling, but for many of us, that’s an undesirable activity. Even if you do end up being able to take some money off of the list price, you may still feel like you’re getting ripped off in one way or another. Once again, the Internet comes to the rescue with a site called CarWoo! that helps you to buy a new car.

Instead of having to go to dealerships, you just tell CarWoo! all about the car that you want and it then contacts the best local dealers for you. Once the offers come in, you can view and compare them and send feedback to see if you can get a better price. When you see an offer that you’d like to act on, you simply select it, walk into the dealership, and pay the special price without needing to do any additional negotiating. What’s not to like?

Then again, you could always move to a place where riding the bus or the train — or bicycle, if the weather’s nice — to work every day is an option, but that’s a pretty big lifestyle change for a lot of people. Some would simply settle for an easier way to find and buy a car, and that’s perfectly acceptable. Also, it’s easier to avoid the hobos from the safety of a locked (and totally tricked out) Yugo.

Collaboration Between Designer and Client with Recurse

There should be an image here!Any Web designer knows that clients don’t always understand the effort that goes into getting their work just right, and making big changes in the middle of a project can cause problems ranging from lost time and money (in a best case scenario) to ill will, bruised egos, and tarnished resumes in small, professional circles where word of mouth is often treated as gospel. In a perfect world, we’d all get along and be understanding when things don’t go quite as planned, and try to see things from the other person’s side (and hope they’ll have a likewise spectacular attitude). Since we all know darned well that the world’s anything but perfect, finding a way for technology to serve as a go-between seems like an ideal, 21st century way to solve the problem.

Imagine that you’re a designer and you’re about to present your latest work to your client. For some of you this may not be very hard to imagine because design work is a part of what you do each and every day. When you present the work, you want it to be presented in the best possible way. Not only do you want the client to get a good idea of what the design actually looks like, but you also want to make it easy for them to share their feedback with you. A service called Recurse will get you headed in the right direction.

Many designers just share their design as an image attachment, but Recurse enables you to make the design feel real to the client by displaying it in a way that emulates a Web site. When you create a project, you’ll develop a project index that can be shared with the client so that they can see where you’re going with different parts of the design elements for a project. Commenting is also supported, which means that you’ll be able to get into the mind of the client and react accordingly.

Online Comics – Graphicly

Comic books — in their art and storytelling — have inspired countless people across every demographic for decades. Whether the inspired are action fans who follow every exploit of their favorite costumed supervillain and the numerous ways they’re foiled by their even more favorite superhero, or bookworm types who loved every issue of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and its intellectual delvings when it was printed in the ’90s, comic books fans can be famously rabid with their obsession. Over 100,000 people make their way to San Diego annually to attend the Comic-Con there, which has expanded to include not only comic books, but virtually every aspect of sci-fi and fantasy geek culture including movies and television shows.

Do you enjoy reading comic books? I’ve never been into them, but there’s a passionate comic book community out there that still goes to local comic stores to get the latest releases and talk comics with fellow readers. It’s pretty geeky, but you have to admire their dedication. In fact, to be perfectly honest, comic books have become somewhat cool in a geeky pop culture way, and part of the reason for this is because of online availability and distribution. You don’t even have to go to your local comic book store because Graphicly connects you with the comics that you want to read.

Whether you’re looking for a desktop, mobile, or Web browser experience, Graphicly has you covered. There are over 1,000 comics to check out, and after you’ve previewed the first few pages of an issue, you can decide if you want to buy the full version. The viewer that’s used fits the comic book reading experience very well, and I like the flow mode that takes you through each panel in order. There are even social features that help to keep parts of the comic book store social experience alive online.

Online Comics - Graphicly

Map Your Foursquare, Facebook, and Gowalla Checkins at WeePlaces.com

Map Your Foursquare, Facebook, and Gowalla Checkins at WeePlaces.comHow often do you check in to Foursquare, Facebook, and/or Gowalla geolocation services when you’re out and about? Some people can be downright obsessive about it, while others can take it or leave it. But if a list of places that you’ve been between between the time you started checking in doesn’t get you excited, then a visual representation of your meanderings — a map, as it turns out — might serve to tickle your fancy. How many times do you eat at your favorite restaurant in comparison to how many times you put gas in your car? What are your most traveled routes? When you’re trying to get a perspective on this kind of data, sometimes it’s all in the presentation.

The location craze is upon us in full effect, folks. It used to be that most social networking activity involved conversation, but these days, people’s feeds are also full of location updates about where they are, where they’ve been, and where they’re going. This location craze doesn’t seem like it’s going to be slowing down any time soon, either. Foursquare in particular has been one of the leaders in this space, and it’s continuing to grow by leaps and bounds. Since we all go to a variety of places in a period of time, it can be interesting to map out your travel activity, and that’s what WeePlaces.com enables you to do.

The service connects with your Foursquare, Facebook, or Gowalla account to present you with an interactive map that retraces your steps over a period of time. It’s important to note that this isn’t just some boring map. The map, timeline, and visualizations are beautiful, and you can get a feel for this by looking at the examples on the site. If you’re an active Foursquare, Facebook, or Gowalla user, looking at your visualization will make you feel like a big traveler. And now, you can even compare your travels with your friends. Pretty neat stuff!

Making Plans with Plancast

Making Plans with PlancastThere’s something to be said for the thrill of spontaneity, but sometimes it’s nice to have something to look forward to. Making plans may not be the most glamorous of tasks, but it at least ensures that your time — whether it be used for work or pleasure — is maximized to the limits only imposed by hours in the day and months in the year. Not making plans might leave you at home alone on a Saturday night, twiddling your thumbs and wishing you’d figured out something to fill in the space on your calendar. (Not that there’s anything wrong with staying home on a Saturday night — especially if you specifically planned to do so!) In any case, you want to keep track of your options, and usually the only way to do this is to find a way to organize your time properly in a way that’s quick and as painless as possible.

Right now, many of the popular services and applications focus on enabling people to tell others what they’re doing at any given moment. Through these creations, you can sometimes find out a lot more about someone than you would ever care to know. Living in the moment is one thing, but the process of planning something hasn’t gone away. Plancast is a service that enables you to spread the word about what you’re planning to do so that other people can possibly join you.

A lot of planning tools are overly complicated and formal, but Plancast keeps things simple. By posting some quick details about what you’re planning to do, your friends and other users can see this information and let you know if they want you to count them in. It’s easy to see who’s going to be involved, and plans can be shared on Facebook and Twitter for greater visibility. If used, Plancast could prevent you from spending so much precious time making and sharing plans. So, what are you planning?

Food and Wine Served at the Tasting Table

There should be an image here!Do you love food? No, I mean, do you really love food? Put down that Bacon Double Whopper with chicken skin and extra mayo and consider your options for a second! There are those of us who eat to live and those of us who live to eat. In my opinion, the second option is the way to go. Good food and good drinks (including wine) make life more enjoyable, and you really notice the difference when you’ve been subjected to inferior items — and life’s too short to settle for the worst when you can have the best (and the best isn’t always as expensive as you might think). There’s so much to learn about food, drinks, dining, and cooking that it can feel overwhelming to try to take it all in. Tasting Table has simplified the process by giving you a daily taste of what’s new and hot in the world of food culture.

With everything from fine dining to cooking to gastrocentric culture to weekend food travel getaways, Tasting Table serves up an appetizing assortment of tips, reviews, recipes, and more to the culinarily curious. Subscribers receive these daily tidbits via email on each weekday, though Tasting Table can also be followed on Twitter @TastingTable or liked on Facebook. People who live in select cities including New York and San Francisco can subscribe to a local edition of the email that points them to local destinations and items, but a national version exists for people who live in other cities in the United States. This is just enough information to guide you down the path to becoming an educated foodie.

So enough with the fast food, already! There’s a whole wide world of tastebud-inspiring fare out there just waiting to be savored. And if you’re the counting calories kind, shouldn’t you make every calorie count?

View Past and Present Together with Historypin

HistorypinWhen you look at places on Google Maps and get a feel for the surroundings using Street View, you’re getting a sense of what the area is like now, but what was it like many years ago? What stories are attached to those locations that can live on forever? Taking a look at the past helps us to get a good understanding of the future, and not only that, but it can also be interesting and entertaining. Historypin enables you to pin your history to the world and see what others have posted about events and stories throughout the passage of time.

Maybe the town where you grew up has a colorful history that the old timers around you are always talking about. They’ll tell you how “this old building [the one that’s now a flower shop] used to be a speakeasy during Prohibition” or “this whole bustling town square was once orange groves as far as the eye could see.”

Historypin is offered in partnership with Google, so Google’s mapping tools are used to make all of this possible. You can explore the map by searching for pictures that are pinned to specific locations and use the slider to select the period of time that you want to explore. You can also add pictures to the map and write stories about them for the benefit of the viewers. This can be a great educational experience, and schools are encouraged to give it a try.

Since there are so many photos of past and present being shared by hundreds of fellow time travelers across the whole globe, you may find that Historypin’s system loads a little slowly at first. But if you’re willing to wait a hundred years to see how your hometown’s changed through the magic of photography, you can probably afford to be a little patient, no?