UM Teaching Prof, Technologist & Entrepreneur. Connect with me here:
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I have been on a bit of a podcast tear lately, and 99% of the time, I was interviewed by a host for 45 minutes to an hour, who then did a bit of editing and posted the podcast using the RSS generator of their choice (or never published, but that is another story).

But on one of the podcasts, I never met the host!

CallumConnects is a “micro-podcast” that comes out every single day. Only two to four minutes long it aims to provide “your daily dose of wholesome entrepreneurial inspiration.” …

I love this recent tweet from Viorica Marian

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And if you teach undergraduate students, then you probably love it too.

But if you can’t move your class time from 8am, then here is a little trick you can use to save the lives of your students’ distant relatives.


Here is how it works.

In my class, late assignments or make ups are not allowed. If you miss the deadline or are not present to complete an in-class quiz or assignment, a score of zero is recorded.

However, I give each student two “tokens” at the beginning of the semester. Virtually, not physical tokens of course. [Some students who miss the first class freak out that they didn’t get their tokens — tokens are tracked in our learning management system using an ungraded assignment.] …

Well, it’s that time of the quarter again, when sales reps start calling and trying to make deals so that they can close business and meet their quotas or secure their bonuses. Most are willing to give an extra 5–10% off on any deals that can get closed by the end of of the quarter. I certainly understand the perspective of the sales reps, and I would never want to be in that position. However, as a way of doing business, this has always seemed like a bad idea for several reasons:

  1. You open yourself up to being played by dealers. Let’s say that I have an order for $100K that comes in today. Rather than just place the order, I’d be smart to hold it until later in the month and then tell the sales reps for various makers involved in the project that “I might be able to close this deal, but they only have X dollars in the budget. If you can get me another 20% off, I’ll do what I can to try to close it.” Of course, if they come back with 20, 15, or 10 more off, it doesn’t really matter. I’d place the order with the maximum discount I can get, and then pocket the difference for myself. …

Hardware: Wave 3 Mic

You can have a videoconference without video, but not without audio. Audio is a critical component in all any zoom, WebEx, or Google Meet conference. It is tiring to be on a call all day, but in my opinion, the main contributor to Zoom fatigue is audio fatigue.

Since starting the fall semester, I have been trying various ways to improve my audio quality (you can read about and hear the multiple microphones I have tried in this medium article. I finally settled on the Wave 3 mic from the gaming accessory company Elgato. …

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Photo by Jonathan Farber on Unsplash

In 2020, I have been on over 30 podcasts or radio/youtube shows speaking about Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Social Media’s weaponization of AI, and the future of Higher Education.

I find being a podcast guest to be intellectually engaging, fun, and an excellent way to get a message out. Here are my notes on what I have learned in hopes it might be of help to you!

Motivations for podcasters vary greatly:

  • Some people are producing a podcast as a way to engage their clients or potential clients.
  • Some people are trying to contribute to the world or spark a conversation about an important topic. …

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Pandemic or not, the jury is an integral part of our legal system and the administration of justice.

For the last three months, I served on a grand jury for the local Circuit Court. All the cases involved crimes in my community (Boone County). The jury probably heard 140 cases, everything from murder to crimes against children. Some were very hard to hear, and two of them are hard to forget.

The grand jury members are sworn to secrecy about the cases and persons who came before us (including the witnesses-often law enforcement officers); I can tell you a few things I learned:

  • We have an excellent system of justice in the US. No system is perfect, but the US system works towards delivering justice. One of the most critical ingredients is the jurors. I now can see more clearly how biased jurors could lead to some bad outcomes. …

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You can have a video-conference without video, but you can’t have a video-conference without audio.

Let’s face it. Our zoomified existence is tiring.

For lots of reasons, but one of the main reasons that we have such a hard time with zoom call after zoom call (or any service), is audio quality. Poor audio quality means that it takes more concentration to listen and understand — leading to less comprehension and attention. And a feeling a fatigue at the end of the day.

[For more on why audio is problematic and developments on the horizon, check out Why Do We Suffer From Zoom Fatigue? It’s All About The Sound.

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Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

Robinhood and similar trading apps may not be impacting retail trading, but they have the potential for a devastating impact on individuals.

By now many of you know the story of Alex Kearns, a University of Nebraska student who committed suicide when he mistakenly believed that he had optioned himself into a $730,000 debt.

Kearns’s case is not just a story about a novice investor and an unhelpful broker. …

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Interface features for (from

Over the last three days, I have started moving all my online accounts, newsletters, and personal communications to my hey email account (

Why the sudden love?

One word: Limitations

In tech, there is a false premise that choice is good. Not always. And perhaps only in a few instances. By limiting choice, you might eliminate the 1% of cases where you needed some option, but there is a fighting chance that the other 99% will work well.

Take Medium, for example. A lot of the choices on formatting, styling, embedding content, etc., have been removed for the writer/publisher. …

Short throw projectors have a lot of advantages for classrooms and conference rooms:

  1. The short image throw allows for presenters to approach the screen without interfering with the image or having to look into the projection light.
  2. The short image throw also allows for several projectors to be placed in a small room, making it ideal for videoconferencing, or I-TV, classrooms

However, the installation of these projectors can be complicated. A small change makes a big difference in the projected image with a short-throw projector. I learned a few lessons installing a couple of Sanyo PDG-DWL100 projectors in a classroom. The problem was that with the size of the image that we were trying to project, we didn’t have enough height to project on the screen without having to tilt the projector which resulted in a keystoning effect that had to be corrected. However, when corrected, the image size was reduced: so you would have to back the projector farther from the screen, tilt it even more and reduce the image size again. I found that we were simply caught in a situation where we could not ever get the image we wanted without either lowering the screen or getting the projector higher than the current ceiling. …

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