METRO light rail bicycle survey

METRO light rail wants your input on bicycle accessibility and integration on its trains and stations. Take this two-minute survey.

Increasing bike integration with the METRO light rail system will serve to expand the catchment areas in the first and last miles of travel. This will help to accommodate the growing demand of bicyclists and pedestrians, and will effectively grow METRO into a more complete and accessible system.

METRO light rail is looking for your feedback. If your commute involves biking and riding METRO light rail, please take this quick two-minute survey.

Click this link or the picture to get started.

Apple closing iWork.com public beta

Apple is ending the iWork.com public beta service and rolling that into iCloud. Here’s what Apple has to say about that.

We at Downtown Technology Company and edwardjensen.net have used the iWork.com public beta for sharing our documents with our clients, friends, family, and those with whom we want to share our work. This morning, we received this email from Apple that the iWork.com service will close at the end of July, being replaced with the iCloud documents sync.

Here’s the email from Apple:

Dear iWork.com user,

Thanks for participating in the iWork.com public beta.

Last year, we launched iCloud, a service that stores your music, photos, documents, and more and wirelessly pushes them to all your devices. Today, there are already over 40 million documents stored on iCloud by millions of iWork customers. Learn more about iCloud.

With a new way to share iWork documents between your devices using iCloud, the iWork.com public beta service will no longer be available. As of July 31, 2012, you will no longer be able to access your documents on the iWork.com site or view them on the web.

We recommend that you sign in to iWork.com before July 31, 2012, and download all your documents to your computer. For detailed instructions on how to save a copy of your documents on your computer, read this support article at Apple.com.

Sincerely,
The iWork team

Keep that in mind when creating and sharing content. We’ll report when we fully test the iCloud documents sync.

How to De-Google Your Life

Much has been made about Google’s new privacy policy and terms of use lately, including how they are overly broad.

Much has been made about Google’s new privacy policy and terms of use lately, including how they are overly broad. Some people have contemplated jumping ship from Google but it’s difficult when so much of our information is entangled in Google’s services.

I’m a complete Google addict: I use Gmail both through Gmail and for Google Apps for Domains, Google Calendar, Google Contacts, Google Reader, Google Search, AdSense, Webmaster Tools, Google Chrome, App Engine, Google Docs, Google Drive, YouTube, and so on. (I think you get the picture. An intervention might be appreciated!)

In a series of posts to follow, I’ll try to find my way through alternate services that provide a decent feature set compared to Google’s. And it has to be free or very inexpensive. For email, it has to be domain friendly (meaning I can use that email at my domain, e.g. edwardjensen.net). And it all has to be mobile-friendly, meaning native or near-native integration with my mobile devices.

If you have any suggestions for service replacements, let me know in the comments beneath!

Rendering the word “sustainable” useless

The webcomic xkcd has this interesting diagram showing that the word “sustainable” is unsustainable.

That is not a sustainable strategy because sustainable sustainable sustainable sustainable.

For what it’s worth: the webcomic xkcd has created a diagram rendering the term “sustainable” as unsustainable. It’s an interesting chart but one that I’m sure merits little attention.

Unfortunately, there’s a bill in the Arizona state legislature (SB 1507) that would make sustainability illegal in the state of Arizona, including its cities. My friend Stacey Champion has been leading the fight to stop this very bad bill from making its way through the Capitol. At her blog (phxosophical.blogspot.com; guidance: language), you can find information on this bill, including a petition signed by many of us to stop it.

We’ll see what happens…

Failure to Launch: Downtown Phoenix edition

Downtown Phoenix still isn’t ready to take off. Parking lots for cars — the enemy of density — is still a priority. Grr.

In the midst of re-doing my blog, I’ve gone through and looked at some old posts of mine. (Unfortunately, I’ve lost almost everything I’ve written before 2011, which happens to be a lot of content. But that’s okay, I guess.) Anyway, one of those posts was my year-end retrospective post I wrote before the New Year 2011, in which I said:

We’ve learned that downtown Phoenix just isn’t ready to take off…yet. We’ve seen steps forward and backward with CityScape. Even with light rail access, parking spaces are still important to downtown Phoenix planners, as evident with the demolition of the Sahara/Ramada Inn for a parking lot (even with better alternatives) and an extension of a parking lot’s life in the heart of the urban core. [from here, written 27 December 2010]

Keep in mind that this building at 2200 N Central Avenue is less than a block away from the Encanto / Heard Museum METRO light rail station. But no, we have to consider car parking. If we have to consider that “abundant parking” is a key feature for anything in central Phoenix, then what we have here is a failure to launch.

Unfortunately.

Changes, changes, changes

Welcome to the next version of edwardjensen.net: Technology for a Digital Generation!

Screen Capture of "Technology for a Digital Generation" homepageThings change. And like everything that’s good on the Internet, this blog has changed. No longer is it a collection point for random ramblings of mine (although that will still happen, I promise!): there’s a purpose to this blog.

Of the bigger things that you’ll notice is the title of this blog. No longer is the title “Life as Edward Jensen” as that’s been moved into the subtitle. I am pleased to introduce you all to Technology for a Digital Generation: Technology Research, Digital Citizenship, and Bicycling.

This blog really will start to focus on four things. Of course, there will be news, information, and commentary on all that is downtown Phoenix. That won’t change. And of course there will be stories about my adventures in bicycle commuting in the urban desert. That, too, won’t change. But there are two more things that I will focus on: technology research and digital citizenship.

The emphasis and integration of the latter two thematic areas — technology research and digital citizenship — is really me integrating my technology consulting firm, Downtown Technology Company, to a broader audience. Downtown Technology is a technology consulting firm but it’s more than that. Through Downtown Technology, I look at technology as a force for capacity building. How can startups, nonprofits, education, and others leverage technology more effectively to build their capacity and do what they do better?

The research there is definitely a rush. I hope you will join me.

Doctrina Urbi Serviat?

…in which we read into a building plaque at ASU Downtown more than we probably should.

One of the things that I do is take pictures of building plaques. They’re the little things that are inside city/state/federal buildings that gives a snapshot of the relevant legislative bodies and executive officers at the time of the building’s construction.

Much has been made about the recent decision by the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus to close off the buildings to the public. There’s a lot of confusion over ASU’s justification to do that considering that the buildings aren’t ASU buildings but are, in fact, City of Phoenix buildings. It will be interesting to see how that conversation plays out and I am very curious what ASU has to say about this.

But back to building plaques: One of the more subtle ironies in this whole discussion is this plaque that’s inside the Cronkite School building. It has the usual cast of characters on it: the Mayor, the City Council, other city leaders, and the requisite names from the Arizona Department of Education and the Arizona Board of Regents. There are, however, two other inscriptions that accentuate the irony just that much more:

“Dedicated to the people of the City of Phoenix whose vision, trust and commitment made this campus possible.”

and

DOCTRINA URBI SERVIAT
Let Knowledge Serve the City

I couldn’t help but notice this as we all considered the repercussions and impact of a newly closed campus at ASU Downtown.

Thoughts on #PHXUDW day 3

…in which the Grady Gammage Jr/Andrew Ross debate for Phoenix Urban Design Week is reviewed.

Great conversation tonight at day 3 of Phoenix Urban Design Week.

I, and many, expected the conversation between Andrew Ross and Grady Gammage Jr. to be more spirited than it was but was pleased with the content of the conversation. I appreciate that Andrew Ross has really tackled the social justice/social equity piece and made that as much of an issue of sustainability than just “going green” — something with which I agree wholeheartedly. It was interesting how most of the evening was spent talking about water, with nary a mention of transportation and air quality.

Surprisingly, the best line of the night came from Grady Gammage Jr., who said, “You can’t have a city if you have a parking spot for everything.” I absolutely agree. Parking lots are the enemy of density.

Back at it at 8am tomorrow morning at PURL!