All posts by Jason B. Jones


Eight Thoughts After Trying the Samsung Chromebook

chromebookEven as a resolute Apple user, it’s hard not to be at least somewhat curious about Chromebooks, the low-cost netbooks running ChromeOS. For the past six weeks or so, I’ve had a Samsung Chromebook, and it has been an interesting experience to say the least. It’s actually a little difficult to make an outright recommendation about the device either way–so much depends on the use case and on the institutional context–but I do have some impressions.

The model I”m using is wifi-only, with an 11.6″ di…


5 First Impressions of 3D Printing

maker-botLike a lot of people, I’ve been fascinated by the rapidity with which 3D printing has become more mainstream, whether in printing widgets or human tissue or, even directly useful stuff such as pizza in space.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve gotten first-hand access to two such printers. (Neither is mine.) Later in the semester, I’ll post some more detailed reflections and how-to’s and so forth, but I thought I’d give a few first impressions.

  • The technology is becoming more and more accessib…

Weekend Reading: No Answers Edition

fireworksWe might as well go into the long weekend with a bit of comedy, and so I’ll point here to the Coursera professor email that Aaron Bady released on Twitter last night. Jonathan Rees has worked out the exact right take here: The problem isn’t anything the professor said, it’s that the e-mail concedes that the xMOOC business model depends on freezing these courses in time: develop once, then regurgitate it over and over again.

That’s not exactly surprising news, but it’s useful to see an ostensibl…


Evernote Reminders Helps You Stay Current With Your Notes

Tie a string around your finger . . .One of the best things about Evernote is its ability to store lots of different kinds of digital information. It is sometimes even praised as a digital junk drawer for its versatility. The problem with junk drawers, though, is that it’s easy to lose track of what’s in there. And there’s almost no point in storing something if it’s not easily-recalled at the right time.

Enter Reminders, a new feature (supported on Android, Windows Phone, iOS, and Mac OS X) that offers in-app and e-mailed notifica…


Weekend Reading: New Frontiers Edition

sunnyThis has been the first week of a new career, and so after a whirlwind of meeting people and learning new acronyms and so forth, I’m a little delirious. In lieu of chatty text here, then, let’s just jump right to the links.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

  • Professor Never discusses her ambivalence around the label, “professor,” in “What’s in a Title?”: It’s not just the awkwardness of phrase or the evidence of internalized shame that needs to be addressed here. By so obviously avoiding “prof…

Open Thread Wednesday: Summer Reading Edition

readingAt least in theory, summer reading is a time-honored tradition. Whether it’s a massive page-turner for beach- or poolside, or an assigned list of earnest nonfiction (or, more recently, exceptionally grim YA fiction) for school-age kids, planning to read in the summer is definitely a thing. Of course, many beachside tomes lead one ineluctably into a nap, and many’s the summer reading list that gets postponed until the week weekend night before school starts.

And, a week or so ago, the New York Ti…


Digital Distraction: Kingdom Rush Frontiers

screenshot of Kingdom Rush Frontiers
Digital Distractions is an irregular series in which various ProfHacker writers introduce a little game or other pastime to divert your attention for a couple of minutes. Maybe you’re waiting for a bus, or for an appointment, or are on hold, and you would just like a little something to do.

From that point of view, it is perhaps a bit off-topic to include Kingdom Rush Frontiers as a a “digital distraction.” The original Kingdom Rush didn’t so much divert your attention briefly to help you pass …


Safety Nets and Planning for Tenure

safety netTalking about planning for tenure seems very much like the ultimate Old Academe Stanley trait, since the vast majority of college and university faculty today are contingent. And to make matters worse, having recently given it up, I have probably ceded a certain amount of turf in talking about tenure. Still, I’ve been bugged by something for a few weeks.

Last month, on episode 43 of the CMD+Space podcast, Myke Hurley and Merlin Mann (who we love) briefly mentioned what they characterized as the…


Open Thread Wednesday: Summer Music Recommendations?

THSatArchWe may not have reached the solstice, but by the academic calendar summer has well and truly begun. And summer means music! In this week’s Open Thread Wednesday, we invite recommendations of new-ish (or just new to you) bands/songs/albums that you’re enjoying so far this summer.

A few ground rules to start us off:


Fed Up with Flickr? Considering TroveBox

oldphotosFor a long time, the photo hosting & sharing site Flickr has been instrumental to my work, both online and off. Four years ago I wrote about how we use Flickr and Creative Commons to find pictures for the blog, and just this spring I shared some tips from Brian and George about how to use Flickr to make better slides. But Yahoo! does tend to hate it’s most dedicated users, and the recent ad-driven redesign has a lot of people casting about for alternatives to Flickr.

I learned about TroveBox (fo…