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Apple Pay Competitor CurrentC Breached

high_rolla Re:He's dead Jim (265 comments)

My guess is that they will get some ads put together with catchy jingles and get some media attention with *experts* praising how great it is and how it frees you from those *evil* Google and Apple folk (who we already know are intent on farming your information) and also will lead to cheaper prices. Then they will get their partners to run a heap of specials in store for using CurrentC for the first few months. A large chunk of Joe averages will sign up to get the specials and after a while the habit is formed.

Yes, most people in the tech community are concerned and understand why they should be but the majority of people aren't in the tech community and unfortunately probably don't care about security because that *expert* on TV told them it was very safe and, more importantly, they got to save a few dollars.

It will be interesting to see how Google and Apple retaliate (and I really hope they do in some way).

about 2 months ago
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Chicago Mayor Praises Google For Buying Kids Microsoft Surfaces

high_rolla Re:If Google paid their taxes ;) (137 comments)

Indeed. It also potentially starts setting a dangerous precedent. Once other corporations see the benefits of "donating" like this they will want to do more of it. It wouldn't surprise me to see the government happily oblige and also reduce the funding it provides, as incentive. This continues and the corporations will soon be making quite meaningful "donations". With that will come some very strong influence over how things are run and I'm sure it will be to their benefit as opposed to ours.

Soon enough it won't be the corporations not paying their taxes to the government but the government not paying it's rent to the corporations.

about 4 months ago
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Chromebooks Are Outselling iPads In Schools

high_rolla Re:Teachers perspective... (225 comments)

That's interesting as we are actually having the opposite to your experience in the school I work at.

The teachers (mostly) think they are great

Before students had these devices they had pen and paper. Now they have a device that does word processing, spreadsheets, basic multimedia, communication (email, video chat etc), has access to a wealth of information through the internet for research, access to our online learning environment and more. A lot of activities that are great for education across every subject and that they couldn't do prior with pen and paper. And it does all these activities rather well and because it is low powered it easily lasts a whole day without recharging (with the model we have). This last point is really important as it alleviates the problem of a mess of cables for people to trip over etc but it also allows people to move around a lot easier than when they are tethered which is good for collaboration exercises.

Of course it doesn't do cad and multimedia and all that other fancy stuff. That is what our labs are for and in our opinion a desktop with a 20 something inch screen and a mouse and that is plugged into power permanently is much better for doing those tasks than even a high end laptop.

Actually you can do cad and multimedia and a lot of that other stuff on these devices. There are web based options for many of these things. Sure they aren't as powerful but for teaching the theory and concepts you shouldn't need the full blown tools (unless you are a poor teacher who doesn't understand the theory and concepts well enough and can only teach a product which you yourselves were taught on.) For instance we teach students cad with Tinkercad.com and they easily transfer those skills over to AutoCad in later years.

From a management point of view they are awesome. Way fewer breakdowns than with traditional laptops and when they do, a lot of the time a Power Wash and the student is back up and running in a matter of minutes. If it's hardware we loan them another device, they log in and are off and running again in a few minutes, and again when they get their repaired device (or a replacement) back.

I really hate this argument that a device that is easy to manage and offers many things they didn't have before (with just pen and paper) which are of value and which this device does really well, and is actually quite well priced, is useless because it doesn't do some other things which are specialised and for which we already have better devices doing those tasks anyways.

about 5 months ago
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How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

high_rolla Re:meh. (285 comments)

I know it's fun to hate on Apple but in this particular situation I actually believe they made the right choice going with Apple. Just to give my background, I'm an educator at university level but help manage the IT for a local high school so I appreciate the educational effects of the technology but also the management behind the scenes.

First off, students (and teachers) don't look after technology. Especially when it is not theirs personally (ie bought with their own cash). Our experience has shown the Apple products hold up much better to abuse over time than the $150 Android tablets you mention. There is also a larger (and in our opinion, better) selection of rugged cases available to further protect them. After a few years of abuse the iPad is still working (though covered in scratches), the Androids are largely broken messes.

Apple devices also have a good history of recieving OS updates. Sure they slow down over time but you don't have to apply the updates if you don't want. We find that applying updates for the first 2 years after purchase is beneficial but after that we test before deciding to update or not. With Android you have no idea how long (if at all) the vendor will support with updates.

So from a monetary point of view the total cost of owership (and experience) is actually better (for us in our opinion and situation) over many abused devices over a 3 year lifespan. We are keeping an eye on things though and Android/ Android vendors are definitely improving and closing the gap. If our opinion changes down the track we'll happily switch over.

In terms of software/ apps. Couldn't care less which has the largest app store etc. Only care which has the most useful apps/ software for our purposes and again Apple wins here (in our opinion).

In terms of educational value, again I believe this is a big picture, long term proposition. Like any technology, the value is not in it itself, it's in how it's used. And like any other technology, it's going to take a while for our understanding of it's best use to evolve and mature. Of course it's not going to have immediate and obvious benefits straight away but you have to go through this learning stage to get there. You can't just magically jump straight to the benefits stage. The normal teachers are just using them as glorified text books right now but they are also getting used to them and how they work and how to manage a class with them. The innovative teachers (and students) are experimenting and learning and doing fantastic things with them. Over time that will filter down to the rest.

Also, I hate it when people judge the value of something based on if it improves exam marks of not. Exam marks are worth didly squat once you get out into the real world and we're focusing way too much on them as opposed to the the skills you really need out in the real world. Technology, applied thoughtfully, can help students develop many skills such as problem solving and creativity and team work and understanding how and why to be socially responsible etc and these are skills which are hard to measure and we largely ignore as a result.

about 5 months ago
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The Bursting Social Media Advertising Bubble

high_rolla Re:Get real (254 comments)

Or the more worse alternative where websites become sponsored by interested parties. (With said sponsorship maybe or maybe not being disclosed)

X Hardware Review Website : Sponsored by Microsoft - In our latest article we discuss how the SP3 totally trumps every other tablet out there and why people are buying them by the truckload.

Much of it may also become paywalled, which is fine when it's a small amount of the content out there but if it becomes more mainstream we end up with issues of equality where a lot of information is really only accessible to the wealthy.

about 6 months ago
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NSF Researcher Suspended For Mining Bitcoin

high_rolla And then used it for Piracy (220 comments)

And then imagine if he used that $8000 to buy a computer and an internet connection and downloaded a few pirated songs doing literally $trillions in damage.

My estimates are that he could easily have downloaded enough pirated content with that much internet to cause enough damage to bankrupt the entire world.

about 6 months ago
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Copyright Drama Reaches 3D Printing World

high_rolla Quality and Price (258 comments)

I think this is only going to get worse as things improve. When all you can make are low quality, tiny objects, of 1 (maybe 2 or 3) colours then nobody really cares too much if you copy their designs as you can't do anything terribly useful with them. But as the price comes down meaning they become more widely accessible, and the quality and size of output improves I believe companies and individuals will quickly become very interested in lobbying for IP laws against these printers.

Not that I want those laws mind you but given the way they are behaving with things such as movies and music I think it's inevitable.

about a year ago
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Jail Time For Price-Fixing Car Parts

high_rolla Music and Movie industry (116 comments)

Now if they could so similar for the Studios we may be onto a winner.

(Note: I realise the studios haven't been found to be doing this but why should we let something like that stop us? Little things like facts don't seem to stop the studios pulling similar stunts.)

about a year and a half ago
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Microsoft's Surface RT Was Doomed From Day One

high_rolla Competition (442 comments)

I think this presents an exciting opportunity for MS.

What they need to do is create a competition where entrants have to propose the best idea for what could be done with all these unsold devices. The catch is thought that your idea must use all the devices.

That way they can get a lot of publicity and also get rid of all that stock in one go.

So ideas could be for instance:
- laying them all down in a big grid to make the worlds largest disco floor, then breaking the record for largest number of hipsters dancing on it in one go.
- Getting them all to run a SETI program
- Developing a plot for a movie that involves saving the world from an invading army of highly efficient worker class aliens by clicking the keyboard onto millions of Surfaces at exactly the same time.
- I'm sure you can come up with better ones...

about a year and a half ago
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$200 Intel Android Laptops Are Coming

high_rolla Andoid and not Chrome (319 comments)

Interesting. I would have thought Chrome would have been a better fit for the laptop but I guess Intel is keen to push Touch and Android is much better suited to that end.

I wonder too if this is a ploy to encourage MS to lower its prices too?

To me it looks like Intel is pushing touch as a must have feature to try and get everyone to upgrade but I see it mostly as a fad myself (kinda like 3D TV). It's kinda interesting but ultimately not upgrade worthy.

Though if someone implemented it in such a way that it really did add value then I would be happy to change my mind.

about a year and a half ago
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Automated System Developed To Grade Student Essays

high_rolla Re:Grades grammar not content. A.I. not ready yet. (253 comments)

Get ready to see SEO (Submission Engine Optimisation) specialists cropping up and making a fortune off lazy students.

Or should that be ESO (Essay Submission Optimisation)

And new websites such as LOLEssays where you can see examples of the most ridiculous essays people actually got top marks for.

about a year and a half ago
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Nokia Receives $1.35B Grant To Develop Graphene Tech

high_rolla Patents (79 comments)

I assume that anything they learn from this research will be openly available to anyone and not encumbered with patents?

about 2 years ago
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A Wish List For Tablets In 2013

high_rolla Re:Slightly Different Approach (453 comments)

Obvious solutions aren't always the best. But better solutions often seem obvious in hindsight.

If all we ever did was just the most obvious solution I don't think we would have progressed anywhere as far as we have.

about 2 years ago
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A Wish List For Tablets In 2013

high_rolla Re:Any solution...as long as its from Apple (453 comments)

Well I didn't say AppleTV specifically. I just said that I used it and liked it so "A" wireless solution (but not specifically an Apple one) may be worth investigating and those others you suggest such as DNLA are perfectly fine examples.

Personally I like a wireless solution as I don't need to have a cable (either on my person or hanging off the TV) and I can easily have the device with me on the couch (or wherever) to control it. What I personally prefer could very well be different to what you personally prefer. Doesn't mean either is wrong or better or whatnot, just that we have different values.

about 2 years ago
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A Wish List For Tablets In 2013

high_rolla Slightly Different Approach (453 comments)

I often like to think about these things in terms of activities or outcomes rather than features. The problem with thinking in terms of features is that you lock yourself into a specific implementation (which is often sub optimal).

So instead of saying "I need HDMI" I would instead say "I need a dead simple way to have my screen show up on any external screen."
Now HDMI may in fact be the answer but maybe there is a better way. For instance AppleTV works very nicely for me with all my devices to the TV. I'm not saying we should all install AppleTV's just observing that a wireless solution could be very convenient too. We should explore alternatives rather than just diving into the immediately obvious solution.

about 2 years ago
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Google Loses Santa To Bing

high_rolla Re:More appropriate? (153 comments)

All so it can be viewed by Bings non existent users.

about 2 years ago
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Is Technology Eroding Employment?

high_rolla Re:Modern Luddites (544 comments)

With the way the environment is going I think it is entirely possible for us to find many jobs for them that may indeed become essential to our survival. They would become Mass Urban Environment Curators as such and be responsible for the planting and maintaining of plants everywhere. Not just plain planting them though but managing them in useful and interesting ways to give us much more than just aesthetic and clean air advantages.

And I'm sure we could find many more interesting jobs for people that involve creating surroundings that are both more sustainable and contributing to our overall happiness.

We just have to start thinking creatively.

about 2 years ago
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Islamic Hacker Group Resumes Attacks On Banks

high_rolla Re:Someone tell me (306 comments)

My guess is that they feel if they can disrupt the services of banks it will in turn disrupt the functioning of many organisations that rely on those banks for financial services. This would have a negative effect on the economy as a whole (which is already in bad shape) and possibly get the attention of the government to do something to stop it.

Now, I don't feel this is actually going to work like that but that is my best guess at what they were attempting.

Or maybe they figured a lot of banks higher ups are friends with politicians whom they could go crying to to make it stop.

about 2 years ago
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Windows Blue: Microsoft's Plan To Release a New Version of Windows Every Year

high_rolla Re:Apt name... (712 comments)

No, no, no. Blue is the basic version. Screen is the new name for Pro.
If you just have Blue then you get a plain blue screen with nothing on it. If you upgrade to Blue Screen then you get a nice border around the blue panel and if you also buy Word then you may get some words representing the error message on that Blue Screen.

about 2 years ago
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Windows Blue: Microsoft's Plan To Release a New Version of Windows Every Year

high_rolla All part of Project Fruitpicker (712 comments)

Have you noticed that lately MS's broad strategy seems to be 'Do whatever Apple does'?

It wouldn't surprise me if MS's yearly releases are timed to be a few months behind OSX releases to give them time to copy whatever Apple releases.

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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How would an Email Me don't Snail Mail Me list work for you?

high_rolla high_rolla writes  |  more than 2 years ago

high_rolla writes "Whenever there's an election on, or some other good enough reason, I'm inundated with political advertising literature. I imagine everyone is. What a waste of paper. What if we could instigate a list and if you were on it politicians were not allowed to post you advertising literature but had to send it by email? We could save a lot of paper being wasted and do our bit for the environment. If you didn't want to receive the messages it would also be trivial for you to create a filter for it as well. So what do you think? Politicians would no doubt hate it but if enough people got behind it could we get it going?"
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Will 3D Printing be legislated out of existence?

high_rolla high_rolla writes  |  more than 2 years ago

high_rolla writes "3D printing is starting to pick up pace. There's no doubt that once it improves to a certain level and reaches a certain price point it has the potential to change the world and impact on many different market segments. Just as the entertainment industry is fighting heavily to protect their outdated business model through legislation, do you reckon that manufacturers and many others that could be in danger from 3d printing will start to push for legislation to heavily restrict and control their usage? We've already seen the potential to print weapons such as guns. Will events like this really just play right into their hands? Or do you foresee a different future?"
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A Game of Phones

high_rolla high_rolla writes  |  more than 2 years ago

high_rolla writes "Lately the fun and games in the smartphone market have been hitting new levels of silly. Perfect material for a spoof:
A Game of Phones
Instead of kings we have Apple, Google, HTC, Samsung etc. They each command armies of lawyers and have stockpiles of patents to defend with. The throne is ultimate market share and the destruction of other players. There also seems to be just as much treason, incest and adultery going on as in the books.
It seems that we can draw plenty of parallels here so I thought I'd ask Slashdot:
If you were tasked with creating this spoof, what material would you add? Who would you cast as which characters? What major events would play out? etc. Have fun and I look forward to reading what you come up with."

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The Underlying Principle of Programming

high_rolla high_rolla writes  |  more than 3 years ago

high_rolla writes "I was recently asked, by someone wanting to get into programming, what they could do to help prepare themselves. I figured that working out what the underlying principle of programming is and then attacking that would be a good place to start. My initial thoughts are that it is problem solving. Pretty much everything you write will have the aim of solving a problem. So if you want to become a better programmer, start by becoming a better problem solver. Would be keen to get your opinions on this. Is there a flaw in my thinking or is there a better foundation that I'm missing?"
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Could US Default increase Linux certification need

high_rolla high_rolla writes  |  more than 3 years ago

high_rolla writes "Let's say that the US fails to reach an agreement and they default. This will obviously have a potentially huge impact on the economy globally. I'm wondering if this will push companies to evaluate cloud computing more aggressively as a means to cut costs. Given this could mean that there will be fewer jobs (as cloud computing allows resources to be centralized and a lot of work automated), and that those jobs will require higher skill sets, is Linux certification going to be more important in the future? Only 4% of job listings are seeking some form of Linux certification at the moment, is this an area that will see a dramatic change? If so, what Linux certifications do you think would be the most important to have?"
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How would we react to the discovery of true magic?

high_rolla high_rolla writes  |  more than 3 years ago

high_rolla (1068540) writes "Science seems able to explain just about everything nowadays. What if someone discovered true magic however. They could fly or shoot fireballs out the fingers or levitate items or the like. And science had absolutely no explanation for how they were doing it. In medieval times it wouldn't have gone down too well.

What about now though. Has science and our increased understanding of things made us less fearful of the unknown? Have movies and computer games made us more relaxed in terms of this sort of stuff? Do you think we would react with the fear and hatred of previous times or would we treat it differently?"

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Could Nokia become Microsofts hardware division?

high_rolla high_rolla writes  |  more than 3 years ago

high_rolla (1068540) writes "The recent developments between Nokia and MS have come as a surprise to many (and not to others considering Elop's background). What if this is part of a grand plan however for Nokia to become the exclusive manufacturer of hardware for MS phones and tablets? It is a strategy that has worked well for Apple and Nokia is big enough that MS could cut it's ties with all other manufacturers and still have a large presence. It would allow Nokia and MS to focus on one tightly integrated set of products."
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A search engine that promotes exploring

high_rolla high_rolla writes  |  about 4 years ago

high_rolla (1068540) writes "Page rank is a great idea. Unfortunately it suffers from two small problems. People consistently trying to game the system and peoples natural tendency to click on the first result (or one of the first) meaning popular results tend to get more popular over time. Which means a lot of great content and resources potentially go unnoticed. How would you go about creating a search engine that had a focus on exploring as well as quality? On the linked article one suggestion has been to randomize the results on each page as well as inject one or two results from lower pages at random. I'm sure there must be better ideas out there however."
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New Design Ideas for Smartphones

high_rolla high_rolla writes  |  more than 4 years ago

high_rolla (1068540) writes "Smartphones are all the rage right now. Yet all the innovation appears to be in software. On the hardware side of things we are stagnating. Each device is essentially a touch screen that takes up most of the front face, maybe a few buttons thrown in and possibly a slide out keyboard. There are subtle differences in the implementation but essentially the features are the same. I would like to propose my idea for the next breakthrough in smartphone design. Why not put a full touch screen on both sides of the device? It would afford many possibilities for new interaction methods. What are your ideas for new hardware designs for smartphones?"
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How much energy could killing spam save?

high_rolla high_rolla writes  |  more than 4 years ago

high_rolla (1068540) writes "There are an estimated 247 billion emails sent every day. Of that they believe about 97% are spam. Have you ever thought about the energy involved in sending and processing this vast amount of spam? Spam is leading to increasing energy requirements (though spammers would have you believe it leads to a huge increase in something else but we won't go there). Could it be that putting an end to spam is one of the best things we can do for the environment? If we were to take this challenge seriously, how would you achieve it?"
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Creativity and Technology and Education

high_rolla high_rolla writes  |  more than 4 years ago

high_rolla (1068540) writes "Creativity is an important skill. Yet it is something that is somewhat lacking in our current education systems. Sir Ken Robinson presents some rather strong opinions on the subject. Edward de Bono has also been involved in research suggesting that teaching thinking skills as a separate subject will improve performance in every other subject between 30 and 100%. Given evidence such as this, why are we not putting a greater emphasis on creative thinking in schools? To what extend do you think technology is hindering or encouraging creativity in education? Is the emergence of mobile/ touch sensitive devices having a positive impact on the ability to encourage and promote creativity?"
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Adverse affects of Renewable Energy

high_rolla high_rolla writes  |  more than 4 years ago

high_rolla (1068540) writes "Could renewable energy have adverse affects that we are not yet aware of? For instance is setting up solar panels over increasingly large areas effectively starving the land there of heat that it would normally receive and absorb? If so, how is this going to affect that surrounding environment long term?"
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Why is every browser icon essentially a circle?

high_rolla high_rolla writes  |  more than 4 years ago

high_rolla (1068540) writes "If you look at it, every one of the 5 main browsers has an icon based around the concept of a circle. Internet Explorer is a round E, Firefox is a fox curled around a globe, Opera is an O, Chrome is a round 3 colour disc and Safari is a round compass. What is it about a circle that is synonymous with the internet? Or is it just complete coincidence that they all share this trait?"
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Innovative uses of technology

high_rolla high_rolla writes  |  more than 4 years ago

high_rolla (1068540) writes "Recently I have been helping teachers come up with creative ways to use the tools they have on Moodle (a VLE). They initially thought they would need custom tools developed for all the activities they wanted to do. We discovered that they largely didn't need to do this but could use the existing tools in creative ways. eg, we looked at holding student elections using the Choice activity and doing structured brainstorming using forums. It occurred to me that technical people do this all the time but it is not very natural for others.

I have two questions:
What tools do you use in ways they were not intended?
How do you think we can encourage others to think in this way?"

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Apple will and will not release a tablet

high_rolla high_rolla writes  |  more than 4 years ago

high_rolla (1068540) writes "It appears to me that a tablet is only part of what Apple is soon to release. I think that companies such as Toshiba were onto something when they had their tablet/ laptop hybrids such as the Portege M200. They were just clunky and didn't have an OS that could work with the tablet form factor well. Now imagine a cross between a 10" NetBook Air and a tablet with a sleek mechanism to transition between the two. This could have huge potential and be versatile enough to suit many situations."
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CAD software and the Engineering Contractor

high_rolla high_rolla writes  |  more than 4 years ago

high_rolla writes "This article talks about the issues of contracting engineers however I would be interested to hear if contract programmers face similar problems with respect to programming languages.

This article is specifically related to my experiences with Mechanical Engineering, but could equally apply to other disciplines.
When I began to write, I had a very clear goal, I wanted to highlight the current difficulties being faced by both Contractors and Employers who work in Engineering which are caused by the large number of different CAD systems which are being used."

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The next big thing on the Internet (prediction)

high_rolla high_rolla writes  |  more than 5 years ago

high_rolla (1068540) writes "This is my somewhat uninformed stab at predicting where the web is headed and what the next big thing is going to be. It appears to me that the internet is following a two step progression of innovation and organisation. I am not trying to say that this is the way it is so much as pose some thoughts and get others opinions in an attempt to understand the big picture better. I'm sure there are holes and flaws in my theory and would appreciate if you could point them out."
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Effective approaches to Technology in Education

high_rolla high_rolla writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Ryan writes "The use of technology in education can be classified in three different ways. Demonstration, composition and creation. Demonstration is a poor use of technology in many circumstances. It is often implemented in the form of fast food for the mind and has the effect of making students lazy and shallow of knowledge. However it is easy to implement and assess. Creation is a better use of technology and offers many avenues for creating students with a rich and deep understanding of the material. It is often underutilised however as exercises are hard to come up with, harder to manage and not always easy to assess. For technology to make a definite advance in education we require more of the latter and less of the former."
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Dock Vs Start Menu - a Behavioral Analysis

high_rolla high_rolla writes  |  more than 5 years ago

high_rolla writes "Here we aim to compare not the different features of the Dock and the Start Menu but the work patterns that they encourage. Aims to look at why some tasks are better suited to Windows and why others OSX. You may not agree with the arguments presented however if it acts as the catalyst for some constructive discussion then it will still have been worthwhile."
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How do you collaborate?

high_rolla high_rolla writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Ryan Chadwick writes "I'm interested in learning more about the different ways in which people collaborate. Can anyone suggest books I should read, specialists on the topic and so on? I'd also be interested to hear your experiences. Not so much the tools you use but the processes you use. How do you encourage everyone to get involved? How do you keep people on track? Do you organise your work area differently to foster collaboration? How do you avoid conflict amongst different personality types? Do you find certain times of day/ locations work better than others? One big session or many smaller ones? Are people given different roles or is it more free flow. and so on...."

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