Odradeks: Kosher Cafe in Flatbush

I stopped at Odradeks Coffe and Fare on Avenue J and East 16th Street on my way home tonight.

The atmosphere is fantastic and Joe, the owner who served me, is friendly and knowledgable.

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Building an App To Save Lives

I had the idea for a Hatzalah app on a Friday morning while I was standing in
the back of the Bialystoker Synagogue on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

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Just Coffee

Some days you just need a coffee the size of Manhattan, or Montana, or Texas, or Brazil, or the entire Soviet bloc.

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iOS 8 Upgrade Tips: Free Apple Advice of the Day

If you’re updating your iPhone or iPad to iOS when it becomes available today, you’ll get better results if you connect to iTunes instead of doing it over the air.

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Analysis: The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Many of my friends have stopped me over the last 12 hours and asked me what my “thoughts” are on the iPhone 6. I’ve been keenly observing Facebook conversations, media reactions, and eavesdropping on conversations, and I’d like to weigh in.

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Brooklyn College’s Visual Identity System

The New York Post reported one year ago that the Brooklyn College spent over $100,000 to replace the logo because of what it looked like.

“After the new, text-only logo was created,” the Post reported, “the college also published a 29-page ‘Visual Identity System’ with exacting standards on how it should be used.” A year later, I’ve had some opportunities to actually use the new visual identity system. I think it’s pretty awesome, and I’d like to explain why.

A visual identity system is a collection of rules that describe the correct way to use a brand’s colors and logos. Visual identity is a core part marketing, and ultimately defines how people perceive your marketing materials. It’s definitely worth $107,000 if you’re a large company or a university.

These guidelines often say things like “keep a margin of x inches around our logo” or use this color when writing our name. Although these rules seem restrictive, they actually make it easier for designers to with logos and brand marks, because they take the guesswork out of including those graphics in your marketing materials.

Generally speaking, this ensures that whatever employees produce for a company looks and feels like it comes from that company. Third parties that run events in conjunction with a business, for example, can correctly identify co-sponsors on flyers and t-shirts being distributed.

Brooklyn College isn’t the first to publish guidelines on how to correctly use its branding. Many companies do it. Apple has guidelines for how to use their product images in app marketing. There’s a separate page for App Store badges. Github explains the correct way to use their logo on websites that may link back to them.

Brooklyn College isn’t even the first university to develop a visual identity system either. Searching Google for “university visual identity” returns over ten million results. Georgetown, Wisconsin, Indiana, Rutgers, and the list goes on.

Several reports available online quote the post and pick on the fact that the President Gould is said to have thought the old logo looked phallic. Those reports totally miss the point. Sure, the school administration may have decided to change the logo on a whim, but what they got out of the process was something much more useful.

The guide is available on Brooklyn College’s website.

Guest Post: “Three Brothers and the ‘Three Weeks'”

The following article discusses the recent events in Israel, and comes from my cousin who lives there. He wishes to remain anonymous, but I think this is worth sharing, and I do so with his permission. Beyond this sentence are his words:

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Profile: David J Rosenberg

I originally wrote this profile back in April 2014 for a journalism class. When I first shared it online, I received some backlash because of the nature of the story. Although I quickly removed all traces of the article, I asked David if he was really ok with me sharing it. He reassured me that he was, and that if he was uncomfortable with the story that follows, wouldn’t have agreed to interview for my paper in the first place. With that disclaimer, I present this profile:

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Codename Walnut

I wrote a program to pull out class listings from CUNYFirst last semester. I worked on it with some great people at Brooklyn College, and today I’m releasing that code to the public.

Walnut was my independent study project for a course I took for my major. I also had to write several reports, and the final report is available here.

You can find Walnut on GitHub, along with instructions on using it.

Although I didn’t finish all of the features I wanted to, the concept works and it’s pretty cool.