Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tech Tidings for April 17


Back in My (Not so) Little Town
When I was growing up in Chandler, Arizona back in the 60's, it was fairly small.  No longer - Intel, PayPal, and General Motors IT Innovation are just three of technology related employers there and it is continuing to grow in the technology area.  Now, StrongMind,  a company specializing in digital curriculum for secondary education, is adding to its workforce there.  ..."and the times they are a changin'"

While We are Discussing Digital/Online Learning
Moodle, the open source online learning platform, has a new Education Manager, Tom Murdock.  For more on him and on the platform...

And One More...
Fake ideas can hit online learning news also.  Here are some myths debunked.

Milanote - Evernote for Creatives 
Milanote, which calls itself the "notes app for creative work, has gotten funding that will be used to expand its feature set. 

Google Earth Adds Features
Google Earth has added new features including guided tours and a 3-D button.

Where in the World Is Carman SanDiego? 
For those who remember the computer games, Carman Sandiego will be coming to Netflix in a new animated series. 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Tech Tidings for April 9

What Is a Zero-Day Attack?
Ars Technica is reporting on a new Zero Day (or 0 day) attack.  This one exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft Word. 
So, what is a Zero Day attack? It is, according to Symantec, basically a hole in software unknown to the vendor, creating a vulnerability.
Keep ALL your software up to date, but especially keep your security software up to day. 

A Bit of History on the Tomahawk Missile
In early April, the US  fired Tomahawk missles at a Syrian military base in response to a gas attack on civilians. 
Here is some history on those missiles, first used in 1991.

Fact-Checking Google Style: responding to the fake news problem
Google, following beta testing, has now released Fact Check.  Fact Check tags appear in Google results for news stories that contact information that has been checked. 

What Is Bitcoin?
By definition,  Bitcoin is "a type of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank."
For more on this: 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Tech Tidings for March 2


Google Introduces Tool to Improve Online Conversation
... because, apparently, expecting people to choose courtesy on their own isn't working.

On a Related Theme: tools for parenting digital kiddos
A root content blocker may help keep porn away from your children (not a bad idea for others either)
A tool to help limit screen time

A Tool to Protect Us While Using Tech Tools
Or you could just log off and pay attention while you commute (by foot or car)

Proving That the Internet Can be Informative as Well as Contentious 
Here are some links with interesting, useful, and even educational content.

So, here's to being more courteous AND more informed! 

The Problem with Sharing


Now, sharing can be a good thing.  We encourage children to learn to share and the Bible speaks of sharing with those in need.  However there is a place where sharing may not be caring -- social media.

Social media makes it easy to share; one click and its done.  However, in these fake news - and other unpleasantness - days, some caution before clicking is in order.   Take a few precautions before you share that story, such as:
  • Read the entire post. On Facebook, only the first bit may show. Click on that Read More to get the whole item.  Tweets may include links; check out the links as well as the tweet.
  • Use extra caution on items that are biased.  Just because it agrees with your "side" does not make it true. 
  • Avoid sharing items that are just plain insulting, nasty, vulgar, or such.  This goes for supposed jokes too.  These items just show discourtesy.
  • Do not share in anger, revenge, hurt, whatever.   Negative emotions and reasoned thought often do not mix well.
The number one element, the key element, however, is 
  • Check with other sources to see if the item is true.  Make sure those sources are reliable media outlets.
So,  before sharing on social media, this library media specialist says: check it out!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Tech Tidings for February 9


Beware: Mac Version
While not at the level of attacks on Windows, there are problems for Mac users also.

Headphones and Hearing Problems 
Now how about those folks that play their car radios at deafening volumes?

Android Wear 2.0 
Google introduces its smart watch.

VR and Roller Coasters
As if roller coasters were not scary enough...

The Magic School Bus Returns
Ms. Frizzle, Liz, and the students are coming to Netflix.
And also coming to Netflix...

Flipboard Gets a Redesign
Personalization features are improved.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Tech Tidings for February 2

And in tech news tonight...

From Facebook
A tool to protect from hacking using email
Changes to Feed to avoid fake, sensationalized, or scam stories
Discover People helps you make friends - at least on Facebook
AI helps with word pictures for blind

From Google
Google Earth goes to open source
An advanced recipe search - for those of you who actually cook
Dropbox Paper out of beta to take on Google Docs\

Other News
Lego Life, a new social network for kids, includes Lego emoji
European Southern Observatory releases images
Also on satellite photos
Smarter e-books coming
AccessMaps helps find routes for limited mobiity folks

Friday, January 27, 2017

Tech Tidings for January 27

It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity. - Albert Einstein (Scientist)

A look at social media in recent days seems to show the truth of this quote.  Reasoned, thoughtful responses and kind, polite disagreements are too often lessened in these days of instant communication.  People often comment without thinking -- or checking out all the facts -- first.  I hope that all of us - and I am starting with myself - will take the time to think first and respond courteously. 

NOW, getting off my soapbox and on to technology news:

...Or have a designated driver or watch it at home or just do not drink alcohol...
Not a alcohol drinker myself, but since I would like streets to be safe on Super Bowl Sunday - and all the rest of the time also ...

Cloudsight Offer for Universities and Schools
Cloudsight is offering free use of its computer vision AP  to educators.  More info and a signup link available in article.
And for educators of younger folks
And finally, for STEM folks

Hoping No Pyrotechnics on This Samsung
A new phone is coming from Samsung at the end of March

Tech Leaders Included in Trump's Manufacturing Council
A wide range of industries seem included in this council.

Google Pixel - Next Try
Google is retooling its Pixel handset to be less expensive

Tracking Trump Website 
A new website is keeping track of President Trump's rhetoric verses performance.

Is Net Neutrality Doomed?
It depends who you ask according to Forbes article.

Keyboard Goes Retro - Sort Of
The keys are old school typewriter round, but the colors are candy bright.

Thoughts on Cybersecurity
Tech Crunch has a few thoughts on cybersecurity for the new administration.

With Security Now Tightened
Presidential Twitter account 

Now if we could get other sources to do the same...
Facebook is working on the fake news problem.

Another Reason to Watch Out 
Snapchat is set to use ad targeting method.

Redesign for LinkIn 
LinkedIn is getting a new Facebook like interface.

YouTube Messenger?
YouTube is reportedly tesing an in-app instant messenger(because we don't have enough to distract us already).

And ending with a little fun...l
Geeks toys!