Learning Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies (2018)

A ground-up rewrite of my highly successful 2014 course, Learning Bitcoin. Available on LinkedIn Learning and by subscription through Lynda.com. (Watch it for free.)

The new version includes information about Ethereum, Ripple, IOTA, and ICOs. Description by Lynda.com:

“Bitcoin is a form of money that only exists online. While it’s making headlines around the world, many people don’t really understand how bitcoin works or the underlying concepts of cryptocurrency.

In this course, Tom Geller demystifies bitcoin, revealing the promise and perils of the new crypto economy. Tom begins by explaining what bitcoin is, how it originated, and how it compares with other cryptocurrencies. Next, he explains how to get started by creating a bitcoin wallet, buying and selling bitcoin, and protecting your transactions.

He discusses other top cryptocurrencies—Ripple, Ethereum, and IOTA—and explains how “initial coin offerings” (ICOs) have changed the investment landscape. Finally, he covers bitcoin mining, threats to the bitcoin economy, and how to connect with others in cryptocurrency communities.”

Traveling for Business

Travel is expensive, so you need to be sure your time “on the road” justifies the investment. In this course, Tom Geller outlines what you need to do before, during, and after your business trip to keep yourself comfortable, meet your client’s or employer’s objectives, and take care of your home while you’re away. Learn the tools you need to stay in touch with the office, and find out how to pack a “go bag” that prepares you for business. Tom also provides guidance on managing transportation and staying safe in your new city, and outlines tips for reporting back what you’ve learned when you return home, so each trip is easier and more productive than the last.

Topics include:

  • Setting up a mobile office
  • Planning travel
  • Securing your home and office before you leave
  • Getting work done on the road
  • Getting comfortable in a new location
  • Planning your next trip

Writing Formal Business Letters and Emails

Learn how to write formal business letters and emails that are short, clear, and to the point. This course teaches you how to get results and build better relationships with clients, colleagues, and customers. Writer and journalist Tom Geller helps you clarify your goals, research your topic and intended audience, and structure your correspondence. Plus, get tips about writing for accessibility—making your writing comprehensible, concise, and appropriate for all readers—and following up on communication.

Topics include:

  • Defining your goals
  • Conducting research
  • Setting the tone
  • Writing for accessibility
  • Sending reminders
  • Continuing the conversation

Public relations services

Logo of the Grey Group

After four years in technology journalism, I “jumped the fence” to become a Senior Account Executive at GCI Group (now part of Grey Global Group). I specialized in high-tech clients, including Sun, Qualcomm, Globalstar, and Penguin Computing. Later founded Silicon Valley P.R. (sold in 2002).

Commerce Guys rebranding project

This online-commerce software company hired me to help re-tool their product line’s branding and marketing during a one-week onsite summit at their Paris offices. This involved group brainstorming, production of new content, and iteration, leading to a highly successful launch. They later hired me to return for other on-site projects, in both their Paris and Ann Arbor offices, and I provided ongoing services remotely.

No, THIS is what bitcoin is, really…

Blog post as it appeared online

A rebuttal to a misleading critique of bitcoin’s economy. Full title is “No, THIS is what bitcoin is, really: Four ways Greg Leffler is wrong, wrong, wrong”. (Personal post; not commissioned by LinkedIn.) It was a viral hit, garnering over 2,600 Likes within a week.

Video for “Model Learning”

Screenshot of the video as it appears on Vimeo

An interview with Frits Vaandrager of Radboud University (The Netherlands), on a system that probes unknown systems to figure out their inner logic.

Video for “The 2016 Heidelberg Laureate Forum”

Screenshot of the video as it appears on Vimeo

A promotional video about the Heidelberg Laureate Forum, a week-long meeting of 200 advanced young researchers in math and computer science, together with about two dozen “laureates” who have won the world’s top prizes in those topics (Turing Award, Abel Prize, Fields Medal, and Nevanlinna Prize). Commissioned by the Association for Computing Machinery, which sponsors the Turing Award.

Farm Automation Gets Smarter

Screenshot of the article as it appears online

An interview-based news report about how automation is coming to large farm machinery (such as tractors) worldwide.

Computer Science, Math Laureates Convene in Heidelberg

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An online report on the Heidelberg Laureate Forum, which gathers recipients of the world’s most prestigious math and computer science awards (Turing, Fields, Abel, Nevanlinna) with 200 advanced young researchers. Includes two original photos.

Video for “Why Data Citation Is a Computational Problem”

Screenshot of the video as it appears on Vimeo

An interview with University of Pennsylvania Professor Susan Davidson about the need to change how source information is cited in (for example) academic papers. She and her co-authors propose a framework that allows a greater diversity of sources and more flexibility in citing them.

Can Chatbots Think Before They Talk?

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An article about recent developments in computer programs that mimic human conversation (“chatbots”), particularly the use of modern artificial intelligence techniques to improve their discourse.

Video for “A Fistful of Bitcoins”

Screenshot of the video as it appears on Vimeo

An interview with Sarah Meiklejohn, lead author of a paper that describes how she and her colleagues unmasked some bitcoin owners, despite the common belief that bitcoin is anonymous.

Drupal 8 Essentials 2: Building Out Your Website

Screenshot of the course's title card

Your Drupal site is built. Now what? Web design doesn’t stop once the website is launched. Learn how to build out your Drupal site to better fit your visitors’ needs.

In these tutorials, Tom Geller helps new Drupal designers change the layout and design elements of their sites, control visitor interactions (including comments), arrange content in user-friendly “views,” and expand the site’s capabilities beyond what’s available in core Drupal with Drupal modules. In all the steps you’ll learn best practices to ensure your sites remain streamlined, secure, and up to date.

Topics include:

  • Grouping content into categories
  • Managing comments
  • Adding discussion groups
  • Customizing fields and image styles
  • Adjusting menus and navigation to help users
  • Adding new features with Drupal modules

Drupal 8 Essentials 1: Getting Started

Screenshot of the course's title card

Drupal 8 Essentials is designed to help anyone create a simple website using Drupal, the free web design software that powers personal blogs as well as the sites of some of the world’s largest corporations.

This course is the first of the series. No prerequisites are required beyond basic computer skills! These easy-to-follow tutorials show how to install Drupal and other necessary components on a Windows or Mac computer, navigate Drupal’s web-based interface, configure the settings of a new Drupal site, create content, and move the site to a server. Every step includes best practices to ensure your website remains streamlined, secure, and up-to-date.

Topics include:

  • Comparing Drupal to other software
  • Getting help with Drupal
  • Installing Acquia Dev Desktop on Mac and Windows
  • Installing the Drupal database, modules, and themes
  • Creating basic content
  • Establishing your site’s look and feel
  • Adjusting security settings
  • Adding images and metadata
  • Adding a sidebar
  • Moving your Drupal website to a server
  • Backing up a Drupal site

Video for “Spatial Computing”

Screenshot of the video as it appears on Vimeo

An interview with Shashi Shekhar at the University of Minnesota, as he describes challenges and opportunities from computing relationships in the spaces of our real world.

Video for “What Makes Paris Look Like Paris”

Screenshot of the video as it appears on Vimeo

An interview with Carl Doersch about his paper, which shows how Google Street View images can be deconstructed to extract a city’s characteristic features. Shot at at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Video for “Information Cartography”

Screenshot of the video as it appears on Vimeo

Interviews with Carlos Guestrin and Eric Horvitz, who join Dafna Shahaf in a project to map and connect information much as a metro map visualizes a city subway. Shot in Seattle and Redmond, Washington.

Video for “Programming the Quantum Future”

Screenshot of the video as it appears on Vimeo

Interview with Benoît Valiron about programming quantum computers, in particular about his new language, “Quipper”. Shot at the University of Waterloo (Canada) during a conference on the subject.

Video for “Exascale Computing and Big Data”

Screenshot of the video as it appears on Vimeo

An interview with ACM Fellow Daniel Reed about the division between exaflop supercomputing and exabyte data management — and how each field can inform the other. With lots of B-roll, thanks to staff and faculty throughout the University of Iowa.

Video for “Sketch-Thru-Plan”

Screenshot of the video as it appears on Vimeo

A researcher and a military expert at Adapx discuss how they speed up battlefield planning with “multi-modal input” that marries speech, sketch, and writing.

Car Talk

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Article about vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, touching on vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) efforts, government involvement, and models that feature V2V technologies.

Drupal in Context column: Handrails for Everybody

Front cover of the print edition in which this article appeared

A column for Volume 4, Issue 1 of “Drupal Watchdog”, the print magazine distributed at the semi-annual DrupalCon. It discusses the importance of an “easy entry” to technology, and the struggles Drupal has experienced in that regard.