Thursday, August 10, 2017

Tech Tidings - August 10

Rethinking P@55w0rd5

Do good passwords need all those characters, letter cases, and numbers?  Maybe not says a new report.

Also on Passwords

Watch, Share, Chat, Repeat - YouTube Mobile Adds Chat Feature

A new feature in the YouTube app allows users to share a video with a contact and chat about it without leaving the app.

As School Starts- Some EdTech Help

Six free guides are available for download.

Better Emotions Through Technology? 

The LiveaMoment app encourages people to reflect on their emotions, then share them, seeing who else is feeling the same.

Bye-Bye, Flash

Adobe says it will stop supporting its Flash Player by 2020.

Girl Scouts - Girl Technologists

Girl Scouts add patches for robotics and other STEM subjects.

Are Your Contacts Trustworthy? Your Contacts App, that is.

Google Trusted Contacts comes to iOS.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tech Tidings - July 24

Get Interactive More Easily

Playbuzz, an online authoring platform, has a new storytelling platform that improves adding interactive elements.

Get Ready for School - Part 1

Recommended Reading for Transformational Educators

Get a View on Aerospace

NASA is uploading videos to YouTube from its aerospace program years.

Get Your News Feed from Google

Google continues to improve its news feed, allowing users to follow topics of choice.

Get a View of the World with Google VR

Google has introduced an Expeditions app that opens its virtual tours to the public.

Get Ready for School - Part 2

What tech companies are popular with educators?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

... And You Want Me to Take You Seriously?

You have an opinion you want to express on social media, eh?  Well, it is a popular thing to do these days.  Now, there are a couple of reasons for posting  that opinion that I want to discuss here. 

1.  You may just be venting.  I guess the venting could be celebration, relief, or some other positive emotion, but it is usually negative.  Frankly, folks, there are other, better ways to vent your frustration than taking it to the social media world.  You are likely just to start an argument, tick people off, or make them turn off your posts.  With apologies for the language in the name, here is one way to better vent your frustrations:

2.  You may want to convince people to accept your opinion.  As an information professional (librarian-technologist), I have some suggested DOs and DON'Ts here.
  • DO use facts.  Back up your view with vetted (checked and confirmed) facts
  • DO let those facts, in general, speak for themselves.  
  • DO use solid sources.  These are ones that at least try to be objective and check their facts.
  • DO use courtesy.  Nothing turns me off faster than insults and I suspect I am not the only one
  • DO consider all sides of an issue, if only to be able to intelligently respond to objections
  • DO bow out of arguments.  State your opinion and then tell them you are exiting the conversation
  • DON'T use a source just because it fits your bias. There are nuts on the internet, folks.
  • DON'T use a source without double-checking it for accuracy and complete reporting of facts
  • DON'T use curse words.  Your lack of a decent vocabulary will not convince me.
  • DON'T try to tell me what you think certain facts mean.  I choose to think for myself.
  • DON'T get into an argument in the comments.  Few, if any, folks are convinced this way
Other social media tips can be found here:

Action Alert: What DOs or DON'Ts would you add?  Post them in the comments section, please.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Tech Tidings - July 16

Ed Tech Trends and Predictions
What's coming up next for educational technology?  Here is one view.  
Now, if we can stop worrying about high stakes test long enough to use it effectively...

Speaking of How to Use Ed Tech Effectively
Here are some thoughts on how to bring innovation to the classroom...
And the challenges teachers face.

For the Hard-Core Star Wars Fans 
Disney is developing a Star Wars themed entertainment experience.

A(nother) Way to Message?
Amazon may be working on its own instant messaging app.

Long to Travel, But have to Work?
You may soon be able to do both.

California Takes Up Internet Privacy Issues
Internet Privacy issues seem headed for the state legislature. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Attention All: Posted Online Content is Available to Searchers

Now this should be common sense, but just in case you have not realized it: WHAT YOU POST ONLINE IS AVAILABLE ONLINE. 

Raise your hand if you have actually read those Terms of Service and Privacy Policies from social media, websites, etc.?  No, I did not either until a recent writing job required me to do so.  It was a bit scary to see how available personal information was, but not as scary as it might have been for me since I am generally aware of the truth expressed in bold print above.

Not all are and too often this includes the digital generation.  Teens and young adults, I am afraid, too often do not think about the availability and enduring nature of what they post online.  Information technology saavy folks - like many of today's librarians - have long warned about such things as:

  • Not posting personal information online
  • Not replying to strangers online
  • Realizing that internet posted content may never really be completely deleted
  • Understanding that what you post might be found by others later when you wish it wouldn't
  • Using caution in posting pictures
The list of cautions has only continued to grow: 
  1. The government has gotten more tech-saavy and may go on a data search.  This can include material posted from smart phone videos and photos, survellience cameras,  and ,perhaps, the favorite place for posting content without thinking it through - social media.   While companies may fight in-depth searches, they can only do so much since the content is available online, after all.  Recent cases with Apple and Facebook show this. 
  2.  To those who say, oh but I can delete it, see the third point in the list above.  Storage and preservation of information are covered in those privacy and terms policies.  Also, people can take screenshots, save websites (Internet Archive, anyone?), and generally find other ways to preserve items so they can come back to haunt you.  Hiring managers are becoming more likely to check out job candidates online.
  3. The improvement in global positioning systems means your location is often available.  Though understanding and setting privacy options can help, it may not hide you completely.  The recent Snapchat  - an app favored by many youth - location sharing news is an example.  
So, what is a person to do?  
  • Know how to find privacy settings on a particular device or application
  • Set those privacy settings to maximum effect
  • Use caution in what personal information you share online
  • Actually read through at least one set of those Terms of Conditions and Privacy Policies.  
  • Think before posting; courtesy and common sense are still good ideas
And finally, 
  • Try to avoid doing anything illegal, immoral, or generally stupid in the first place. 

Tech Tidings for July 4

Self-Driving Cars: Not Ready For Driver Nap Time 
Caution: kangaroos ahead. Human drivers still need to pay attention to the road in their self-driving cars.  

Or They Could Read a Book Instead
BBC is working to provide children's content aimed at luring them away from Netfix and YouTube.

If You Post Online...
Now Hear This:  if you post something online, people might search for it. This includes the government. 

What We Need is Wisdom
We have knowledge, but information literacy (as well as common sense and common courtesy) are still needed.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Tech Tidings (Returns) for June 24

Getting back to the subject at hand - which is technology stories...

Latest Privacy Threat - Snap Maps
A new opt-in feature on Snapchat could broadcast your location more than you wish.

Google Ads Change
Google says it will stop scanning contents of individual gmail users to send targeted ads.  You will still see ads, however.

For the iPhone Enthusiasts
Tips and tricks in case you would rather read instructions than just play around until you find out.

In the Tire Tracks of Self-Driving Cars 
MIT is working on self-driving wheelchairs,

Tablets For Prisoners
Finally,  this no comment from me story.