Preview: Upcoming tech events summer 2012

VidCon, a huge annual video conference featuring YouTube stars like Phillip DeFranco, will take place in Anaheim, CA from June 28-30. Photo credit: VidCon

As the semester wraps up here at Purdue, it’s a good time to preview all of the awesome tech events that will be taking place over the summer.

There are likely to be more events added to the summer schedule at Purdue, so be sure to check the Purdue Newsroom for updates.

A great site to check for events on the national/international level is tech enthusiast site CNET.

Here are some of the events that are happening around the Purdue/Lafayette area:

  • April 28: 3rd Annual Purdue electronic vehicle Grand Prix takes place at 1 p.m. at the Purdue Grand Prix track (Free and open to the public)
  • May 12: 2nd Purdue Collegiate evGrandPrix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

If you’re not around the Lafayette area, here are some of the large-scale events to look out for this summer:

  • April 26 – 27: TheNextWeb Conference will be taking place in Amsterdam. Events include a hack battle, speakers from prominent companies like YouTube and Reddit, and info about new tech start-ups.
  • June 28-30: 3rd Annual VidCon 2012 in the Anaheim, Calif. Convention Center. Huge video conference to meet and greet with YouTube stars like LiveLavaLive, MeekaKitty and Nanalew. Full list of guests on VidCon website.

What tech events are you looking forward to the most?

Preview: Purdue’s College of Tech to host Aviation Technology career fair Mar. 29

Photo credit: Purdue Aviation Technology website

Purdue’s College of Technology will host its annual Aviation Technology (AT) career fair this Thursday, March 29.

It looks to be a busy career fair, so be sure to plan ahead for it if you’re going to attend!

Some quick information about the career fair:

Some of the companies that will be in attendance at this year’s career fair are:

These are only a few of the companies that will be in attendance. A full list of the companies that will be in attendance can be found on the department of AT website.

There will also be representatives from the U.S. Marine Corps Officer programs, and the U.S. Navy Officer programs in attendance.

The department of Aviation Technology is urging students to register through Purdue’s Center for Career Opportunities Express website.

From the department of AT website:

First-year students through graduating seniors should register NOW to receive important information relating to internship and permanent job opportunities.

Here is a link to a PDF of the registration form, which can also be found on the department of AT website.

After you’ve filled it out, you’ll want to send it via fax, e-mail, or postal service to:

Email atsec@purdue.edu
Fax (765) 494-2305
Postal Address Aviation Technology
1401 Aviation Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2015

For any additional information, contact Suzanne Coolbaugh-Walker at (765) 494-9967, or scwalker@purdue.edu

It looks like it will be a beautiful day weather wise, but you might want to check the radar and forecast for Lafayette before you head out to the airport in your formal attire!

Good luck to everyone at the career fair!

Tech events to watch for over the next few weeks (including the new iPad)

Apple's latest generation iPad (unveiled today) will be available on March 16. Photo credit: The Wall Street Journal

There are a lot of exciting things going on in tech world over the next few weeks to be on the lookout for!

Purdue will be on spring break next week, so I will not be blogging, but I want to give everyone a heads up about some of those events.

Upcoming events hosted by Purdue, according to their newsroom:

  • March 22: Executives from Google and Twitter will speak about social media and democracy in Loeb Playhouse. The forum is called, “Is Social Media Changing the 2012 Election?”
  • April 16: Purdue will host an event for high school students to explore computer science. The event is targeted for high school aged girls, but ANY high school student is welcome.

Some upcoming events in the wider world of technology:

  • March 9-13: The 19th Annual SXSW Interactive festival – a giant tech festival where some of the brightest minds show off their ideas, takes place in Austin, Texas.
  • March 16: Apple’s new version of the iPad goes on sale. It has 4G LTE data speeds and a retina display. The iPad 2 will still remain on sale, with a starting price of $399.

Will this be a revolutionary change to how many iPads Apple will sell? They already sold more iPads than HP sold PCs last quarter.

Will they sell even more now?

Here’s an audio clip of Purdue professor Dr. Sorin Matei, who is a communication technology scholar, giving his opinion about the features of the new iPad.

Continue reading

Purdue professor discusses how social media could be affecting us

Social media may be changing us in ways that we won't be able to explain for years, according to Dr. Sorin Matei, a Purdue University professor of communication. Photo credit: Socialmaximizer blog

Do you ever wonder how social media might be affecting our society?

I sure do.

It fascinates me every day.

To find out some answers, I recently interviewed Purdue communication professor Dr. Sorin Matei, who is a communication technology scholar, to discuss social media with me.

Dr. Matei says on his biography website that he studies, “… the motivations for and technological means by which people connect with other people, communities or institutions.”

I was interested to hear his perspectives about social media, and what effects he thinks they might be having on the way we communicate.

We’ve all heard examples of the horror stories that can occur online, but there are also benefits of connecting online that can sometimes be overshadowed by them.

In this audio clip, Dr. Matei talks about the advantages and disadvantages of living in an always connected world:

Continue reading

Preview: C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb to speak on campus Feb. 28

Purdue Alum and C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb during his interview of Ind. Gov. Mitch Daniels on Sept. 29. Photo credit: Purdue Exponent

Purdue Alumnus and C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb will be leading a discussion that is free and open to the public next Tuesday, Feb. 28, according to a Purdue news release.

At the forum, Lamb will be speaking about the media, politics and the presidential election that is coming up later this year.

There will be two Purdue classes at the event that Lamb will be leading in discussion – a communication class, and a political science class.

Quick facts about the event:

  • FREE and open to the public (on a first come, first serve basis)
  • Will be held in Lawson Computer Science Building, Room 1142
  • 9 – 10:15 a.m.
  • A continental breakfast will be available
  • The event will be live streamed on ITaP’s website

Live streaming the event is a great idea. I’m really pleased to see ITaP doing that.

I wish ITaP would live stream more events like this. I realize that it is expensive to do so, but it would be very helpful for those who cannot attend.

The event is being called “Master Class With Brian Lamb”, which seems fitting because Lamb will be the guest speaker for the two College of Liberal Arts classes at the event.

More in-depth information about Lamb and the event itself can be found in this article on Purdue’s University News Service website.

I really wish I could attend this event! But sadly, I have class during the whole duration.

I strongly encourage anyone who is interested to go to this event!

Are you going to attend this event? If so, please leave me a comment letting me know what your thoughts are about it!

Purdue Students: Blackboard will be fully upgraded by 2013

Attention Purdue students!

Blackboard Vista, the system that you currently log-in to for your lecture slides, readings, grades, and everything else, will slowly be replaced by a new system, called Blackboard Learn.

Faculty and staff are beginning training to learn how to use the new Blackboard Learn system, according to a news release on ITaP’s website.

So what’s the difference between Blackboard Vista and Blackboard Learn?

Some of the most notable changes are:

  • a new user interface (the physical look of Blackboard – it still looks pretty clunky though, if you ask me)
  • messages sent from within the new Blackboard system will now go directly to a student’s e-mail (FINALLY!)
  • new feature called content collection, which is a virtual hard drive to store content on
  • blogs, wikis and journals can be added directly to site
  • new tools to create more types of questions for tests/quizzes

There are currently 48 courses that are trying out the new system.

A schedule of the transition, found on ITaP’s website, shows that Blackboard Learn will completely replace the current system by the end of 2013.

Blackboard Vista/WebCT has been used for courses at Purdue since 2004.

I can’t tell if the update to the user interface is much of an improvement, but the video below should give you an idea of what the new Blackboard looks like.

 

What are your thoughts about the look of the new Blackboard?

Are there any changes that you would like them make?

Let me know what you think in the comments or poll!

PAL 3.0 boosts Wi-Fi performance on Purdue’s campus. Finally!

Student made meme expressing frustration with PAL 2.0. Credit: Purdue University Memes' Facebook fan page. Note: Edited for explicit language.

Have you ever had trouble connecting to Purdue Air Link (PAL) 2.0 on Purdue’s campus?

Let’s be honest.

I’m sure at one point or another, most of Purdue’s students have wanted to pull their hair out because of the dropped signals, slow performance and general inconsistency of PAL 2.0.

Those “dead” spots on campus, where you are in the middle of a building, but you can’t get a PAL Wi-Fi signal sure can be annoying.

But don’t worry yourself too much, because ITaP has been rolling out its newest generation of Wi-Fi across campus in the form of PAL 3.0!

Some students, (including myself) have been seeing a big improvement in wireless speeds on PAL 3.0:

But, it seems others don’t know about the new wireless technology at their disposal:

So what’s the difference between PAL 2.0 and PAL 3.0?

PAL 3.0 uses newer technology based on the 802.11 n wireless standard.

Huh?

What that means (translated from nerd language) is PAL 3.0 will be:

  • faster
  • more reliable
  • more secure
  • available at longer ranges than PAL 2.0
  • easier to connect to from mobile devices like smartphones and tablet computers

A news release from ITaP’s website reported that around 50 percent of Purdue’s on campus buildings have been converted to the new wireless technology.

The rest of campus buildings are expected to be converted by the end of 2012.

A list of buildings that already offer PAL 3.0 can be found in this Purdue Gold Answers article.

[Update: If you get the log-in credentials page on either of these links, you should be able to bypass it by clicking log in as guest!]

There is another article on Gold Answers that should answer many questions that many of you might have about PAL 3.0.

In an interesting move, the ITaP article also said that PAL 2.0 will continue to operate alongside PAL 3.0 during and after the upgrade.

What are your thoughts about the new wireless coverage?

Have you used PAL 3.0 and seen a significant difference?

Do you think the University is moving fast enough to roll out the new technology?