Need a CIO? Grow Your Own Print E-mail
Written by Joel Dehlin   
Tuesday, 04 March 2008

In this post over at CIO.COM, Susan Cramm makes the point that the average I.T. professional who feels he is ready to be a CIO isn’t ready at all. She makes a call to CIOs to inform their people that they need to get more “business experience” and to develop “senior-level relationships.”

7 Things You Should Know About FamilySearch Print E-mail
Written by Cassie McDaniel   
Friday, 11 April 2008

As most readers are aware, technology and the Internet have transformed how Church work—particularly genealogy—is done. FamilySearch, the official Church genealogy site, is currently adding features and options that will enrich your genealogy research experience. Improvements include the following:

1. FamilySearch Developer Network. This is a community where developers can learn about the FamilySearch API, which allows them to build applications that work in conjunction with FamilySearch. They can also communicate with one another and FamilySearch personnel about technical issues concerning the family history and genealogy industries.

2. The beta version of the FamilySearch Wiki. This is a place to share research techniques and tricks and to learn from experts in the field.


Tapping with a Sledge Hammer Print E-mail
Written by Joel Dehlin   
Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Last week brought a most excellent event: pinewood derby.

Oh yes. Pinewood derby.

Pinewood derby is a cub scout event where dads cub scouts take a block of pine wood, four nails, and four plastic wheels and create a car. They then race the cars along a track against all of the other dads cub scouts. Dads Cub scouts look forward to this event all year long.

Talk about a rich environment for potential blog entries!

General Conference on iTunes Print E-mail
Written by Cassie McDaniel   
Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Podcasts of the 178th Annual General Conference held earlier this month are now available. You can subscribe in a variety of ways.

General Conference

How Can Engineering Skills Help in Emergency Preparedness? Print E-mail
Written by David Hale   
Monday, 21 April 2008

I was inspired by a presentation of a small alcohol stove that was built using two paint cans and fueled with denatured alcohol at a recent preparedness fair at church. A few days later I decided to try to build it from memory with my own "custom air vents" to make sure that the fire would get enough oxygen. I placed this on top of my kitchen stove and lit it to see how long it would take to boil a small pot of water. It was working even better than I had supposed, but then it really started going! I ended up with two-feet-high flames licking the bottom of our stove vent hood! My wife rushed to get the fire extinguisher to save her kitchen cabinets, but I held her back for a moment because I thought that I could still get the flames under control. I used kitchen tongs to put the lid of the paint can back on the smaller can to limit how much air the fire could get. Luckily the flames died down quickly enough for me to carry the whole ensemble out the back door to the patio. I should probably not mention that last year I was a Boy Scout leader, teaching 11-year-old boys about Scouting basics, including fire safety. Probably not the best example, right? Rather, it was more like the bad example of young Scouts playing with fire when the Scout leaders aren’t looking!

Advantages of Open Source Print E-mail
Written by Ryan Heaton   
Wednesday, 23 April 2008

It's been five years now since I was first hired by the Church to work on the new FamilySearch Web site. It's been a thrilling ride. The project is vibrant and thriving, and its potential appears boundless. I believe that one of the reasons that this project continues to thrive is its open nature and involvement in open-source initiatives.

My specific work is associated with creating a public Web service interface that can be used to access the huge amounts of data that this project is designed to manage. The technologies we use are based on open-source libraries and development frameworks that have enabled us to focus our efforts on our own problem space rather than inefficiently spending time on reinventing the wheel. Not only do we consume open-source projects, we contribute to these initiatives. And there have even been a few open-source projects that found their roots here.

I believe that public involvement in technical communities is critical to the long-term vitality of a development project. I can think of at least four major benefits to being involved in these communities:

New International Art Competition Web Site Print E-mail
Written by Cassie McDaniel   
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
The Museum of Church History and Art hosts an International Art Competition every three years. Submissions for the 8th International Art Competition are currently being taken. All LDS artists ages 18 and older are invited to submit their works for a chance to share with the worldwide audience of the Church.


Careful What You Say Print E-mail
Written by Joel Dehlin   
Friday, 02 May 2008

Freakonomics is one of the blogs I track that I actually try to read. Recently, Fred Shapiro (Yale Book of Quotations) has been blegging to find quotes that sound outlandish and are attributed to famous people.

For example, “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home” is attributed to Kenneth Olsen, founder of DEC.

Download Multiple Church Music Files Print E-mail
Written by Cassie McDaniel   
Monday, 05 May 2008
Did you know that multiple Church music files are available to download? You can obtain them in groupings of 25 as music only or as music and voice files. Sheet music is also available. All three of these formats are available for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Hymns, Children’s Songbook, seminary music (video soundtracks from CDs), Young Women’s camp, and other selected songs. A course book and music-only files are available for the Conducting Course and the Keyboard Course.
Everybody Loves to Cha Cha Cha Print E-mail
Written by Joel Dehlin   
Tuesday, 06 May 2008

A young man I was teaching in a Sunday School class today introduced me to ChaCha.

ChaCha is a question-answering service for mobile devices. I tried it and it’s pretty cool.  You just send a text message with a question to CHACHA (242242). For fun, I typed my first question this afternoon: “How long is a marathon?” I got an answer in just a couple of minutes:

The marathon is a long-distance running event with an official distance of 42.195 kilometers (26 miles 385 yards) road race.

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