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Google is bringing its Search Central Unconference virtual event back for another year on June 21. Registrations are open from now until June 14.
Google held its inaugural Unconference last August, which was the first ever virtual event in the company’s history.
As companies were forced to do during the pandemic, Google pivoted toward virtual events in lieu of the in-person conferences it would ordinarily hold throughout the year.
With travel restrictions still in place in many countries, it looks like Google intends to keep its events virtual for at least another year.
If the success of a virtual event can be measured on attendance alone, then Google’s first Unconference was a home run. Attendance slots filled up almost immediately, and the feedback was largely positive.
Here’s a look at what Google has in store for the second annual event.What is a Google Unconference?
Google calls this particular event an Unconference to make it clear that it’s different from typical Google events or other online conferences.
“This event isn’t just for you – it’s your event. In particular, the word “unconference” means that you get to choose which sessions you want to attend and actively participate in. You will shape the event by taking part in discussions, feedback sessions, and similar formats that need your input.”
Google strongly emphasizes the participation aspect of this event. It’s not an event to attend if you wish to sit back and passively listen to speakers’ presentations.
The Google Search Central Unconference encourages attendees to actively participate in each session.
With that being the case, Google aims to diversify the attendee list with individuals from different backgrounds.
“It’s your chance to collaborate with other site owners, SEOs, developers, digital marketers, publishers, and Google product teams, such as Search Console and Google Search, which helps us deliver more value to you and the community.”
The idea is that a diverse group of attendees can help everyone learn more from each other and their unique perspectives.
“As we have limited spots, we might have to select attendees based on background and demographics to get a good mix of perspectives in the event.”
Unfortunately, that also means not everyone who wants to attend the event will get a chance to.
To add to the exclusivity of the Unconference, sessions will not be recorded. A blog post will be published after the event but, for the most part, what happens at Unconference stays at Unconference.How to Register For the Google Search Central Unconference
Those who are interested in attending the Unconference are asked to fill out an application.
The application asks registrants to vote on two sessions they’re interested in attending. Sessions will then be added to the event based on the amount of votes they receive.
Possible sessions include:
Publisher policy videos
Search Console chit chat
Video SEO Q&A
Core Web Vitals & Ecommerce Q&A
Core Web Vitals & RUM
Core Web Vitals – Diagnosing and solving common issues
Website quality in 2023
Ecommerce SEO challenges & best practices
Improving Search Central support
Log file analysis
The future of feeds on the open web
SEO for podcasts
SEO scripts – making SEO easier with automation
Google will notify registrants between June 14th and 16th if their application to attend the event was accepted.
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Google Scholar is Now Open to All Libraries
Today, the “small” Google Scholar pilot that went live in February — allowing about 30 libraries and institutions to provide direct links to articles found in the Google Scholar database — is being expanded. Now, ANY library or institution that has the proper link resolving software can hook into Google Scholar and provide direct links to articles found via a GS search. This is a service the library community has been asking for since Google Scholar launched last November. You can find all of the details here. Google also is releasing a help page for the service.
Additionally, Google Scholar has increased the number of journals and books to which it can link directly. Previously, only articles with DOIs (digital object identifiers) or PMIDs (PubMed unique identifier) would work. Now, after collaboration with many link resolver vendors, Google is able to gain access and crawl local holdings information for a specific institution or library, to help provide direct links to articles. In other words, DOIs are not required.
Google Scholar remains in beta. Here’s the official announcement from the Google Blog.
Google has also unveiled an FAQ page for publishers.
Google deserves kudos for opening up this service to all libraries. However, even as the Google Scholar database continues to grow, we still don’t know precisely when or how often it’s updated, the lag time (if any) for material to get into the database, and other important facts like what will or will not be included in the database. It would also be great if Google could provide a list of sources to which they are providing access.
Of course, many of the impressive features found at CiteSeer and SmealSearch (two EXCELLENT databases for discipline-specific scholarly material on the web) would also be welcome. If you’ve never used these databases, they are well worth your attention.
What we find an interesting coincidence is that while Google builds this monster database containing “scholarly” info from many disciplines, specialized search tools (what the search industry calls “verticals”) are growing very rapidly in both exposure and usage. True, Google Scholar is in many ways a vertical. However, it still doesn’t offer the searchability that a specialized database (which libraries have always offered) can provide — e.g., versus a massive database with little control.
Finally, info pros do recognize the importance of Google Scholar and other online databases (often fee-based) that go beyond a simple open web search. However, just “us” knowing about these tools is not enough. We need to let people know they’re out there and can potentially save them time and effort. We’ve said it before: People can’t use what they don’t know about. Yes, some of the information in specialized databases can also be found on the web and accessed via a Google, Yahoo, MSN, or Ask Jeeves search. However, just because material is “in” a database, doesn’t mean that it will surface in a web search where the searcher uses a couple of terms and only looks at the first few results. Which is also why dynamic clustering is a valuable tool and can help the typical searcher deal with the “long tail.” Clustering company Vivisimo says its technology offers “selective ignorance.”
Gary Price is a Washington DC librarian, Director of the Search Engine Watch Blog, and the Editor of ResourceShelf
CFA Fringe Festival Returns with Seven Deadly Sins Weill-Brecht collaboration a swift, wild ride
The annual CFA Fall Fringe Festival kicks off with Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins. The production has a dual cast and Alexandra Rodrick (CFA’16) (left) and Emily Spencer (CFA’17) alternate playing the two Annas, one (the “bad Anna”) the alter ego of the other. Photos by Oshin Gregorian
The prolific and influential composer Kurt Weill and writer and lyricist Bertolt Brecht teamed up in their native Germany in the 1920s, producing their best-known work, the classic and often-staged Threepenny Opera, with its signature tune, “Mack the Knife,” in 1928. By the time they created The Seven Deadly Sins in 1933, prewar Europe was on the verge of upheaval and each had fled a Germany under growing Nazi oppression. The darkly satirical performance piece, originally conceived as a ballet chanté (a sung ballet), which kicks off the College of Fine Arts 19th Fall Fringe Festival, marked their last collaboration.
The Seven Deadly Sins, with stage direction by Jim Petosa, a CFA professor and director of the School of Theatre, and musical direction by William Lumpkin, a CFA associate professor of music and artistic director of CFA’s Opera Institute, runs tonight, Friday, October 2, through Sunday, October 4, at the BU Theatre’s Lane-Comley Studio 210.
“It’s got a lot of humor and a lot of fun, and the whole thing is 50 minutes,” says Petosa. “The audience takes a wild but brief ride, and many will leave saying, ‘I didn’t know opera could do that.’”
While Sins has been staged with a full orchestra by ballet companies, including the New York City Ballet in 2011, the Fringe Festival production will be foremost an opera, offering an intimate, fourth-wall-breaking experience set to the scaled-down and reimagined instrumentation of two grand pianos and a percussionist. Set in seven American cities, each assigned its own sin (Boston’s is lust, Philadelphia’s gluttony), over a seven year period, the work chronicles the odyssey of Anna, originally portrayed by Weill’s wife, Lotte Lenya, who leaves her native Louisiana to earn money to build a house for her family. But the bitingly satirical story, unfolding with the help of a four-part male chorus representing Anna’s family (the mother is sung by a bass) follows Anna and her “bad Anna” alter-ego as the pair wrestle with the dark side, from sloth to envy, until the play’s resolution. From waltzes to marches to barbershop quartets, Weill’s music reflects a kind of playful, if pointed, romp powered by Brecht’s fierce anticapitalism.
“These guys thought theater was a place where big ideas could be put forth, big ideas about what theater was capable of doing, so you’ve got this real cry for the proletarian working people to rise up from the shackles of oppression,” says Petosa, who compares the character to those “in the medieval rubric of the wandering character, an everywoman, who’s wandering the United States.” She leaves “the Louisiana of her mind so she can build their dream house, and is utterly degraded. Every time she exhibits a human emotion that’s virtuous, she’s excoriated.” Self-respect, for example, is the sin of pride, standing up to injustice, the sin of anger. “At the end of the piece there’s not much left of her,” he says. “It’s a stunning social critique that takes on gender struggles, the whole thing.”
For the music, Lumpkin commissioned composer John Greer, who with the blessing of the Kurt Weill Foundation, created an arrangement for dual grand pianos and a percussionist. “This will be the first time that’s being done through permission of the publisher,” Lumpkin says. The grand pianos, played by Lumpkin and Matthew Larsen, an Opera Institute lecturer in music, provide “a different color and sonority” than an orchestra would, he says.
This year’s Fringe Festival marks the first year of CFA’s musical theater concentration, created with an endowment from multiple Tony Award–winning Broadway producers Stewart Lane (CFA’73) and Bonnie Comley. The new collaboration has enriched both the School of Music and the School of Theatre, according to Petosa. “We’ve found a way to celebrate our collaborative relationship, and for me it’s one of the most rewarding things,” he says. “And with this production, though it’s still called an opera, we hope members of the BU community will see what we mean when we say musical theater—that it’s not rarified, not elite.”
“The basis of our training is to encourage the theatrical approach to opera and acting choices and building from the inside out in terms of how you develop your characterization,” Lumpkin says.
The Fringe Festival continues October 9 to 11 with Vinkensport, or The Finch Opera, composed by David T. Little, described by The New Yorker as “one of the most imaginative young composers” on today’s music scene. Sung in English and directed by Allison Voth, a CFA associate professor and Opera Institute principal coach, the opera plays off of a Belgian folk competition focused on who owns the most melodious bird in the town. The seemingly innocent competition ultimately reveals the competitors’ struggles with deception, loneliness, and love.
Last on the festival program is Enda Walsh’s play Delirium, an inventive reinterpretation of Dostoyevsky’s classic novel The Brothers Karamazov. Directed by MFA candidate Jonathan Solari (CFA’16), the updated tale, which runs October 22 to 25, employs puppetry, karaoke, and other surprises. “From the opening moments, when chairs are flung around the family living room in slow motion, it is clear that this family are uniquely unhappy in a manner of which Tolstoy would entirely approve,” wrote a Guardian critic of a 2008 London production.
The BU Fall Fringe Festival is an annual collaboration of the College of Fine Arts School of Music, Opera Institute, and School of Theatre. The festival’s mission is to produce new or rarely performed significant works in the opera and theater repertoire, bringing performances and audiences together in unique theatrical settings.
All CFA Fringe Festival productions are performed at the BU Theatre’s Lane-Comley Studio 210, 264 Huntington Ave., Boston. Performance dates and times are as follows: The Seven Deadly Sins: Friday, October 2, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, October 3, at 2 and 7:30 p.m., Sunday, October 4, at 2 p.m. Vinkensport, or The Finch Opera: Friday, October 9, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, October 10, at 2 and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, October 11, at 2 p.m. Delirium: Thursday, October 22, at 7:30 p.m., Friday, October 23, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday October 24, at 2 and 7:30 p.m., Sunday, October 25, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $7 general admission, $3.50 with CFA membership, free with BU ID at the door on the day of the performance, subject to availability. Buy tickets here or call 617-933-8600. Take the MBTA Green Line E trolley to Symphony or the Orange Line to Mass Avenue.
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Red Hot Hockey Returns to Madison Square Garden Saturday Terriers take on historic rival Cornell in fifth matchup of 21st century
BU is 3-0-1 so far in Red Hot Hockey bouts. The team is hoping for another win against Cornell on Saturday, November 28. Photos by Scott Levy/MSG
In the fifth edition of Red Hot Hockey, the BU men’s ice hockey team is traveling to Madison Square Garden to face off against the Big Red of Cornell on November 28. The biennial event was first launched in 2007.
“With such a strong alumni base in New York City, this has kind of turned into our bowl game,” head coach David Quinn (CAS’89) said in an interview on BU Parents Program Radio last week.
The matchup between the powerhouse hockey programs, nicknamed Red Hot Hockey because the school color of both teams is red, commenced eight years ago, with the Terriers claiming a 6-3 victory. To date, BU is 3-0-1 in the event, beating Cornell in 2011 and 2013, after skating to a tie in 2009.
During their last head-to-head, in 2013, goalie Matt O’Connor (Questrom’15) recorded 37 saves to lead the Terriers to a 3-2 victory in front of a sold-out crowd.
“It’s a great weekend for current students and alumni,” says Quinn, who was an assistant coach under legendary head coach Jack Parker (SMG’68, Hon.’97) during the first Red Hot Hockey game in 2007. “It’s a great opportunity to meet alumni and get to know people that enjoy BU hockey as students and hockey fans.”
The two schools were competitors for decades as members of the Eastern College Athletic Conference. Each team won five ECAC titles and between them took five national championships from 1967 to 1978. In 1984 BU left the ECAC to join Hockey East. The Red Hot Hockey event offers a unique opportunity for student-athletes and alumni alike to relive this storied rivalry.
“We’re big, but not as big as they are,” says Quinn about this year’s Cornell rematch, his second since becoming head coach in 2013. “If we’re going to be successful, we need to use our speed and skill to keep the game at a pace.”
The Terrier men head into Saturday’s game with a record of 7-4-2 after splitting their two-game series with Michigan at Agganis Arena over the weekend and taking down Bentley 3-0 at Agganis Tuesday. The team is looking to earn its 31st Beanpot title and a return to the NCAA National Championship game this year, after narrowly losing to Providence 4-3 in the 2023 Frozen Four final.
“It’s been a fun year so far, but I think our best hockey is ahead of us,” Quinn says.
For the players, Saturday’s game is a rare opportunity to play at the iconic Madison Square Garden. “In 2013 it was my first time at MSG, and it’s a pretty special building, so being able to go back again this year is really exciting,” says senior captain Matt Grzelcyk (COM’16). Grzelcyk is one of 11 upperclassmen making a second Red Hot Hockey appearance.
For 15 players on the team, it’s their first Red Hot Hockey game. “It’s going to be an unbelievable experience playing in an NHL rink,” says Jordan Greenway (CGS’17). “Playing in front of all of our fans in New York will be awesome.”
The many BU alumni in the greater New York area always come out strong to cheer on the Terriers. The BU Alumni Association and the Friends of BU Hockey are sponsoring a Pep Rally at Madison Square Garden before the game, at 6:30.
The BU Terriers take the ice against the Cornell Big Red this Saturday, November 28, at 8 p.m., at Madison Square Garden. Tickets range from $25 to $300 and can be purchased online through Ticketmaster. The BU Alumni Pep Rally begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Delta 360 Room at MSG. Tickets to the rally are $15 and include a food/drink voucher, and may be purchased here.
Josh Gutchess can be reached at [email protected].
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The open source community has responded to this trend with a host of new projects, including solutions that help enterprises track and manage mobile devices, mobile development tools for creating new apps and open source apps that enable greater productivity. This month, we’ve put together a list of 50 of these tools that are worth notice. While there are many good open source mobile apps for home users, this list focuses instead on those that would be most useful in the workplace.
Please note that this is not a ranking. Apps are divided into categories and arranged alphabetically within each category.
As always, if you know of additional open source tools that you think should be on our list, feel free to note them in the Comments section below.
Convertigo is a full-featured enterprise mobility platform for developing, deploying and managing apps. In addition to the free community edition (which has been installed more than 50,000 times), it comes in paid standard and extended editions. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X with clients for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry
ForgeRock offers several different access management and identity management tools, including several that support mobile devices, mobile apps and APIs. Support is available through a paid subscription that comes in several different tiers. Operating System: Linux
3. OCS Inventory NG
Many IT departments use OCS Inventory NG to track their on-site hardware, and now the tool offers agents for Android and Windows mobile devices as well. It detects active devices on the network and provides information about the type of device and installed apps. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, Android, Windows Phone
This tool includes both a mobile backend as a service that can be deployed in private clouds and a mobile enterprise application program (MEAP). Features include an enterprise sync platform, push notifications, mobile remote procedure caller (RPC) and a management console. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X (supports Android, iOS and Windows mobile devices)
5. WSO2 Enterprise Mobility Manager
This comprehensive enterprise mobility solution includes MDM, mobile app management, enterprise app store and mobile data security features. Paid support and training are available. Operating System: Windows, Linux, Solaris
Short for “Android Privacy Guard,” APG is an implementation of the OpenGPG encryption standard for Android. It offers encryption, decrption, signing and key management capabilities. Operating System: Android
Ever wonder if your Android apps are watching you? The Android Security Evaluation Framework (ASEF) attempts to answer that question by running apps through a test suite to locate malware, adware and bandwidth hogs. Operating System: Android
8. The Guardian Project
The Guardian group offers numerous security- and privacy-related apps for Android devices. In addition to Orbot (see below), this project includes Orweb private Web browser, ChatSecure private and secure messaging (formerly Gibberbot), ObscuraCam privacy camera, Pixelknot hidden message and Ostel encrypted phone calls. Operating System: Android
9. KeePassDroid, 7Pas (KeePass for Windows Phone), iKeePass
KeePass is one of the most popular open source password safes available. Developers have ported the app to all of the major mobile operating systems. Operating System: Android, iOS, Windows Phone
10. LBE Privacy Guard
LBE claims to be the “most powerful privacy protection software for Android.” It blocks malware and unwanted traffic as well as giving users more control over which data apps can access. Note that in order to use it, you’ll need a rooted phone. Operating System: Android
Instead of saving your passwords in a vault, MasterPassword generates secure passwords on demad using an algorithm based on your name, the site and your master password. The benefits of this approach are that you never have to worry about syncing and you don’t have to trust your passwords to a cloud provider. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS, Android
Orbot allows Android devices to access the Internet via the secure, private Tor network. In order to provide truly anonymous communication, it sends encrypted messages through several servers to make the traffic impossible to trace. Operating System: OS Independent
13. Secrets for Android
Encrypt your passwords and other “secrets” in a secure database. There’s also a PC Version called PCSecrets that allows you to access the data from your computer and enables easy data transfer to a new device. Operating System: Android
Winner of a Black Duck Rookie of the Year award, XPrivacy allows users to limit the categories of data that Android apps can access. If an app requires permission to access contacts or location data in order to run, XPrivacy will feed it fake data so that the app keeps functioning while protecting the user’s privacy. Operating System: Android
15. Apache Cordova
16. Appcelerator Titanium
Used by more than 75,000 applications, the Titanium platform includes an open source SDK with over 5,000 device and mobile operating system APIs, the Studio Eclipse-based IDE and the Alloy MVC framework. A mobile backend as a service (MBaaS) is also available. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS, Android, BlackBerry
Developed by Twitter, Bootstrap claims to be “the most popular HTML, CSS, and JS framework for developing responsive, mobile first projects on the web.” Highly customizable, it allows users to check boxes to indicate which components they would like to include in their download. Operating System: OS Independent
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Learn how to open an above-ground pool for spring. Get your pool ready for the swimming season with these easy tips.
You might also like this post on easy tips for pool maintenance. Taking care of your pool is so much easier than you think!
This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing an item through an affiliate link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.Opening an Above Ground Pool
If you closed your pool properly in the fall, your pool should be crystal clear and leaf-free when you remove the cover.
Our house is surrounded by trees and due to a small gap in the cover, we have a few leaves in our pool. It’s no big deal. That’s what a pool vacuum is for! Use an extendable pole and you can use it from outside the pool.
Even if your pool is green or even black, it can still be redeemed easily. There’s nothing that chemicals and turning on the pool pump can’t fix! (Well maybe animal infestation…)Directions
Removing the tarp seems intimidating when it’s full of dirty water. It helps if there is a 2nd person to help. Pull from one side.
If the dirty water gets in the pool, it’s okay. Same with leaves. They can all be cleaned out.
Remove the left net if you use one. The leaves are probably wet and heavy. Do your best to keep them in the net to remove them from the pool cover.
Remove the pool cover. It’s okay if the green water pours into the pool.
Replace the pool pump and hook up the pipes to the pool.
Open the pipes to the skimmer and the exhaust.
Fill the pool to the correct level. For us, it’s about halfway up the skimmer box. If you need a ton of water, consider buying water from a pool water company. We have a well, so we normally just turn on the hose to a tiny trickle and let it run overnight.
Turn the pump on and let it run.
Add the chemicals from the pool opening kit.
Vacuum the pool and brush the bottom and sides of the pool.
Replace the ladder.
In spring, you will need to check the skimmer daily to make sure that it’s not filled with leaves and seedlings from trees.
If you’re out of shock and chlorine tablets, now is a good time to buy more.
I also like to replace our chlorine feeder because the ones with temperature gauges don’t last very long.
Replace floats if needed as well. They can be hard to find in the stores when it’s finally warm enough to swim.
Now is also a good time to replace your patio furniture if you removed it over the winter. Keep those seat covers handy to keep patio cushions dry from spring showers.FAQs for Opening a Pool When should I open my above-ground pool?
It’s time to open the pool when your days are above 70º consistently. When it’s this warm, algae can start growing under the cover, so it’s time to get the pump running and chemicals in the water.
If it looks like this, you need to wait a bit longer before removing the cover.
In central Maryland, this is usually in mid April.What chemicals do I need to open an above my ground pool?
For opening a pool, I recommend purchasing a pool opening kit. It’s simple and contains everything you need.
This kit contains stain, scale and rust preventer, algaecide, chlorine shock, clarifier, and a sun sorb sponge to absorb body oils from the water.How much does it cost to open an above-ground pool?
A pool opening kit starts at about $25. If you need to buy pool water, that’s an additional cost.
Other costs that you might consider are the costs to restock shock and chlorine tablets. You might also need to replace pool floats as needed.
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Emy is a vintage obsessed mama of 2 DIYer who loves sharing affordable solutions for common home problems. You don’t need a giant budget to create a lovely home. Read more…
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