Thursday, March 31, 2011

But I Thought the iPad was Only for Content Consumption ...

... or a toy?

Adobe demos Photoshop for iPad with real layer support

Adobe at the Photoshop World conference this morning showed off a version of Photoshop for the iPad that could give the tablet real Photoshop image editing. Unlike the mostly filter-based Photoshop Express, the unnamed version would let users add, switch to, and edit layers with an isometric view to show the different layers at a glance. Other additions should bring image objects that can be dragged and rotated as well as a color mixer that allows blending "like a painter."

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Fixing Education: Learning from Kids

Adora Svitak: What adults can learn from kids:
Child prodigy Adora Svitak says the world needs "childish" thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism. Kids' big dreams deserve high expectations, she says, starting with grownups' willingness to learn from children as much as to teach.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Web Video and Crowd Accelerated Innovation

Chris Anderson: How web video powers global innovation:
TED's Chris Anderson says the rise of web video is driving a worldwide phenomenon he calls Crowd Accelerated Innovation -- a self-fueling cycle of learning that could be as significant as the invention of print. But to tap into its power, organizations will need to embrace radical openness. And for TED, it means the dawn of a whole new chapter ...


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Innovation: Control Versus Collaboration

Great slide from Saneel Radia's Slideshare presentation Innovation & Collaboration. Where does your organization fit on the spectrum? Probably skewed toward control - organizations like control!

What Can We Learn About Education and Innovation From the 3rd World?

Charles Leadbeater: Education innovation in the slums:
Charles Leadbeater went looking for radical new forms of education -- and found them in the slums of Rio and Kibera, where some of the world's poorest kids are finding transformative new ways to learn. And this informal, disruptive new kind of school, he says, is what all schools need to become.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Designing for Mobile

Great presentation detailing best practices for creating mobile apps - both web-based and native. Designing for Mobile

Adobe Flash on Non-Apple Devices - Not, Um, Ideal

The Xoom Gets Flash. But Don’t Get Too Excited:

Great line from Harry McCracken (yes, that's his real name).

the First Law of Mobile Flash–the version you want is always not quite here yet

I had a spirited discussion with some colleagues Friday regarding Apple's stance on Adobe Flash on iOS devices (iPhones, iPads, iPod touches). The general consensus seems to be that technically it can be done, but that Apple is banning Flash so that users will have to pay for apps from their app store - simply said, greed!

I debunked those arguments on a number of fronts - or at least I tried to.

#1 - The iPhone has existed since June of 2007. Show me the mobile devices that run Flash well and do not kill battery life. They don't exist! Four years later and Flash on mobile devices is still buggy and kills battery life. Adobe's best strategy to force Apple to change their stance on Flash was to get Flash working well on every competitors mobile device, thereby proving Apple wrong! Had that happened, Apple would no longer be able to make the technical and performance case against Flash.

#2 - When I noted that I keep Flash disabled on my MacBook Air, because it kills battery life. A colleague - with a MacBook Pro - opined that he never had a problem, but then admitted that he always kept his laptop plugged it.

#3 - I asked what applications/sites were missing on iOS due to the lack of Flash. Someone mentioned the web-based version of AIM (AOL Instant Messenger). A quick search found about a half dozen iPhone and iPad apps that support AIM. Anyway, who still uses AIM? All joking aside, I'm sure there are plenty of sites with Flash that can't be viewed on an iPad or iPhone, but I rarely encounter a site mobile Safari can't render.

Among McCracken's observations:

A few notes:
  • I watched Best of Show on Amazon Video on Demand in hopes of performing an informal battery test. It drained the battery from 44% full to 15% full in one hour and 20 minutes. But during that time, the audio got out of sync, and then the picture froze–and I couldn’t get Flash to work properly again without rebooting the Xoom. At that point, I gave up with the battery test.
  • Some other standard-definition video I tried, such as that at, worked reasonably well.
  • I watched Glee in HD, again on Amazon, and it would play smoothly in full-screen mode for a few seconds, then sputter, then play smoothly, then sputter…
  • I tried Bejeweled on Facebook; it was playable, but the animation was herky-jerky.
  • Hulu, as I expected, blocks Flash Player on the Xoom.
  • Google’s Picnik photo editor sort of works–I could load photos and apply effects. But the sliders that are everywhere in the interface don’t function properly; I don’t think they really understand touch input.

All in all, it seems to be a version of Flash that works some of the time but not always, and not always well. That’s not, um, ideal.


Gaming, Learning and Boys

Ali Carr-Chellman: Gaming to re-engage boys in learning:

At TEDxPSU, Ali Carr-Chellman pinpoints three reasons boys are tuning out of school in droves, and lays out her bold plan to re-engage them: bringing their culture into the classroom, with new rules that let boys be boys, and video games that teach as well as entertain.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Microsoft and SPAM

Maybe this is where MS can innovate?

Microsoft Claims Rustock Botnet Takedown

Microsoft is claiming responsibility for the takedown of the massive Rustock botnet, which stopped sending out spam midmorning March 16.

Estimates of Rustock’s size varied between 1.1 million and 1.7 million infected computers, and the botnet may have been responsible for 47.5 percent of all spam sent worldwide by the end of 2010.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Jim Dalrymple's Take on RIM PlayBook Strategy

they don’t have one:
I have been waiting for RIM to show the world that one big last thing that would drive the masses to by the PlayBook. That one thing that nobody else has, that will drive everyone crazy. Yesterday, they did it. RIM announced an emulator to run Android apps.

An emulator. That is the big thing for RIM. This is what makes the PlayBook better than an other tablets on the market. An emulator.

So, let me see if I have this right. The PlayBook hardware copies the iPad; the PlayBook operating system copies Apple’s iOS and Palm’s WebOS; and because it has no apps of its own, RIM makes an emulator so its users can load another platform’s apps on its device.

You almost have to wonder when the Commodore 64 emulator will come to the PlayBook. Really, if you’re going to screw your customers, why not go all the way.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Focus on Students: Hottest IT Skills for 2011

Hottest IT job skills for 2011
Tech jobs in highest demand this year, according Janco's annual IT Salary Survey, published in early January of this year:

  1. Project Management – especially large projects with short time frame for delivery
  2. Security – focus on mandated compliance issues
  3. Network Administration – wireless and cloud administration
  4. Virtualization (Cloud) – new applications and management of the IT infrastructure
  5. Business and Operational Analysis – focus on business change
  6. Productivity Improvement Analysis – metrics and operational analysis
  7. Web 2 – interactive applications that add value
  8. Database Management – applications that leverage enterprise assets
  9. System Administration – Windows and UNIX management
  10. Desktop Support – standardization and change management
Hardest skills to hire, according to RHI:
  1. Security
  2. Networking
  3. Applications development
  4. Help desk/technical support
Skills in greatest demand, according to RHI
  1. Network administration
  2. Windows administration
  3. Desktop support
  4. Database management
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

It's All About What You Can Do

Hutch co-founder Chris Dixon on his co-founder Tom Pinckney's path to higher ed. Interesting - getting into college based on what you can do, not your GPA, SAT scores, and extracurricular activities. As institutions - colleges, universities, and business - increasingly look at competency-based evaluation of candidates, I think this will become a more common trend.

MIT is a national treasure - cdixon's posterous:<
My friend and business partner Tom started two companies with me and one company before. He invented many non-trivial patented inventions and raised many millions of dollars in venture capital, and returned capital to those investors many times over.

He got his Bachelors and Master degrees from MIT. He's the nicest, smartest, and most decent guy you'll ever meet.

But my favorite thing about Tom is he never got he never got a high school degree.  High school students today optimize their grades and SATs and after school activities. They speak French and Chinese, play piano and paint abstract art.  They dance around and play hockey and act like they help homeless people.

Tom grew up in rural South Carolina and mostly stayed at home writing video games on his Apple II.  There was no place nearby to go to high school. He took a few community college classes but none of those places could give him a high school degree. It didn't really matter - all he wanted to do was program computers.  So when it came time to apply to college, Tom just printed out a pile of code he wrote and sent it to colleges.

Stanford, Berkeley and everyone else summarily dismissed his application on technical grounds - he didn't have a high school diploma.

MIT looked at his code and said, "we like it" - we accept you.

For his Masters the best four CS schools - Stanford, Berkeley, Carniegie Mellon, and MIT -- all recruited Tom  He stayed at MIT, the school that gave him a chance without a high school degree.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Education in 2020 - What's Obsolete?

Great list from Shelley Blake-Plock. Click the link - 21 Things That Will Become Obsolete in Education by 2020 - to read a more detailed explanation of each. My favorites? Computers, Desks, Homework, Fear of Wikipedia, and IT Departments.
1. Desks
2. Language Labs
3. Computers
4. Homework
5. The Role of Standardized Tests in College Admissions
6. Differentiated Instruction as the Sign of a Distinguished Teacher
7. Fear of Wikipedia
8. Paperbacks
9. Attendance Offices
10. Lockers
11. IT Departments
12. Centralized Institutions13. Organization of Educational Services by Grade
14. Education School Classes that Fail to Integrate Social Technology
15. Paid/Outsourced Professional Development
16. Current Curricular Norms
17. Parent-Teacher Conference Night
18. Typical Cafeteria Food
19. Outsourced Graphic Design and Webmastering
20. High School Algebra I
21. Paper

How Ink is Made

I love the show How It's Made. This reminds me of the episode on the making of oil paint.

via courosa

Monday, March 21, 2011

SketchUp in Higher Ed

We use SketchUp in our CADD and Architecture courses. Very quick, intuitive and easy to use 3D modeling. Definitely worth downloading.

SMS of Death Attacks

How to slay a cellphone with a single text:
Attacks that crash most older cellphones are frequently compounded by carrier networks that send booby-trapped text messages to the target handset over and over. In other cases, they're aided by a “watchdog” feature embedded in the phone, which takes it offline after receiving just three of the malformed messages.

The so-called SMS of death attacks were unveiled late last year at a hacker conference in Berlin. They use special binary characters and overflowed headers to temporarily crash most older models made by manufacturers including Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG, Motorola, and Micromax. Carrier networks often aggravate the attacks by bombarding the target with the same malicious message, making them an inexpensive way to take a phone completely offline. < “With this bug, you can basically shut down a phone with one SMS and let the network do the retransmission all the time,” Collin Mulliner, a Ph.D. candidate at the Berlin Institute of Technology, told The Reg recently. “For very cheap, you can have the network attack the phone for you.”
The result?
Even in cases when the messages aren't resent, Nokia phones come equipped with a feature dubbed the Watchdog, which is designed to protect a phone by shutting it down after receiving three malformed messages. The SMS causes the Nokia screen to go white and then reboots the phone, causing it to disconnect from the network. Sending the message while a call is in progress will terminate the conversation.

Sending the message three times in close succession invokes the Watchdog to shut down the device. The bug affects virtually all feature phones shipped by Nokia prior to 2010, said Mulliner, who presented updated findings earlier this month at the CanSecWest security conference along with Nico Golde, a Berlin Institute of Technology student who worked on the project for his Master's thesis.
Everyone has Androids, iPhones and Blackberrys right, so this is no big deal? Think again!
Feature phones may have lost much of their cache to smartphones over the past few years, but they are still relied upon by almost 80 percent of the world's mobile phone users, the researchers said.
via sambowne

Google Analytics 101

If you own or manage any kind of website, you need to be using Google Analytics.

Learning Math with a Video Game

The experience - a few years ago - of watching my daughter persist in mastering a snowboarding video game, while struggling with her math homework convinced me that video games could have a huge impact in education. We haven't seen it yet, but somebody is going to figure it out and make a fortune in the process.

Learning Math with a Video Game:
According to 2008 figures from the Pew Research Center, 97% of today's K-12 students spend many hours each week playing video games. By the time they graduate from high school they will have spent some 10,000 hours doing so. During the course of that game play, they will acquire a vast amount of knowledge about the imaginary worlds portrayed in the games, they will often practice a skill many times until they are fluent in it, and they will attempt to solve a particular challenge many times in order to advance in a game. Would that they devoted some of that time and effort to their schoolwork!

Since video games first began to appear, many educators have expressed the opinion that they offer huge potential for education. The most obvious feature of video games driving this conclusion is the degree to which games engage their players. Any parent who has watched a child spend hours deeply engrossed in a video game, often repeating a particular action many times, will at some time have thought, "Gee, I wish my child would put just one tenth of the same time and effort into their math homework." That sentiment was certainly what first got me thinking about educational uses of video games 25 years ago. "Why not make the challenges the player faces in the game mathematical ones?" I wondered at the time.
One problem with the majority of math ed video games on the market today that will quickly strike anyone who takes a look, is that they are little more than a forced marriage of video game technology and traditional mathematics pedagogy.
if you want to get a good background into the educational potential of video games, I highly recommend the book What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy by Prof James Paul Gee of Arizona State University. And if you want to experience a video game that will really challenge your (logical, not mathematical) problem solving ability, try the free demo version of Portal. If you are like me, you will willingly pay the $14.99 price to convert your free demo into the full version. (BTW, the little animation you see on the demo website is not the game; rather it is an "instructional video within the game". The game itself has high production values.)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

WiFi Hacking Is Now Legal ...

... in The Netherlands!

Dutch Court Rules WiFi Hacking Is Now Legal:
Breaking in to an encrypted router and using the WiFi connection is not an criminal offence, a Dutch court ruled. WiFi hackers can not be prosecuted for breaching router security.

A court in The Hague ruled earlier this month that it is legal to break WiFi security to use the internet connection. The court also decided that piggybacking on open WiFi networks in bars and hotels can not be prosecuted. In many countries both actions are illegal and often can be fined.

The ruling is linked to a case of a student who threatened to shoot down everyone at the Maerlant College in The Hague, a high school. He posted a threat on the internet message board using a WiFi connection that he broke into. The student was convicted for posting the message and sentenced to 20 hours of community service, but he was acquitted of the WiFi hacking charges.

The Judge reasoned that the student didn't gain access to the computer connected to the router, but only used the routers internet connection. Under Dutch law breaking in to a computer is forbidden.

Friday, March 18, 2011

iPad2 and iMovie

Hmm ... yet another reason to get an iPad2 ... sigh

A Touch of Video

For better or worse I have never been a huge “video guy” — always into photography and never that much interested in motion photography. I have though over there years tried piecing together crappy video clips I have taken with various versions of iMovie. Even screencasts that I recorded resulted in a frustrating video editing experience.


What I learned is this: editing video on the iPad is the only way to go. I can’t see a need for ever wanting to edit on my Mac again. iMovie for the iPad really hits a sweet spot and that sweet spot is called user experience. It offers a grand user experience. I think the iPad is really starting to find its spot in my life.

Gaming in Education

Great presentation on gaming from last week's South by Southwest conference!

Video Recording Tips

Although these are Camtasia specific, these tips from TechSmith provide some great basic guidelines for recording video.

Recording Tips for Camtasia for Mac:
Tutorial: Recording Tips
  • Practice, Practice, Practice
  • Be Patient
  • Clean-Up
  • No Pop-Ups!
  • Make Multiple Short Clips
  • Watch the Mouse
Audio Recording Tips
  • Practice using a microphone
  • Record in a quiet location
  • Block the computer’s humming sound
  • Use a script
  • Project and enunciate
SmartFocus Recording Tips
  • Slow down.
  • Record clips longer than 30 seconds.
  • Hover the cursor where you want the viewer to look.
  • Do not “talk” with the cursor.
  • Keep the cursor close when entering text.
  • Use the mouse scroll wheel (if applicable).

Microsoft Windows Phone 7

Microsoft sells 877,000 Windows Phones in February

... 3.38 million devices since launch.

Are these sales to end users or distribution to stores? Someone in the comments points out that, in the Netherlands, these phones - for the hardware they offer - are the cheapest  on the market.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

More on Windows Phone 7

Earlier, I discussed Danny Tuppeny's frustrations with Microsoft's Windows Phone 7. His post has gone viral and gotten the attention of Microsoft. In calls from Microsoft, Tuppeny received promising responses to most of his issues - except the slow pace of OS updates. Trying to clamp down on bad PR from a loyal user/developer is one - actually delivering on these promises is another.

Windows Phone 7 Part Deux

It's been a funny week. My blog usually receives a few hundred visitors per day. This weekend, I published a post titled "Why I'm Close to Giving Up on Windows Phone 7, as a User and a Developer", sharing my frustrations with Windows Phone 7. I hoped that someone from Microsoft might read and respond to it. I wasn't really expecting the attention the post got during the last 24 hours.

The post had over 40,000 visitors in a 12-hour period yesterday (which cost me exactly £0.00 in hosting - go App Engine!) and was republished by BusinessInsider. Today, I had a call with Brandon Watson, Director, Dev Platform & Ecosystem and Ben Lower, Senior Product Manager, Dev Platform & Ecosystem.

This was somewhat unexpected.

Given they'd taken time to call me, I thought it was fair I take time to post some of the things we discussed (I hope I understood them right - the line was pretty bad). It sounds like they're taking the feedback seriously and didn't seem too annoyed with the bad PR I might have created.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

The State of WebOS Development

The Curiously Sad Case of webOS 2.0 App Development

When HP announced that they were going to be buying Palm early last year, we were all eagerly awaiting to see what changes would come to the brand. As those changes were found out by the public through numerous leaks and announcements, the webOS community began to get really excited. I received dozens of phone calls from developers looking to build new applications using advanced webOS 2.0 API's and integrating features like Just Type and Exhibition Mode. People were genuinely happy with the future that HP was showing us.

Fast-forward to today, just after the February 9th announcements and release of webOS 2.1 on the Pre 2, and you may notice something peculiar. The development community has slowed down dramatically, and it's starting to look like some have jumped ship just as things are starting to get exciting again. HP has delivered on the goods that they promised, and no we find ourselves with a lack of new apps to play with that are build for webOS 2.x devices.

To see what I mean, open up your webOS 2.x App Catalog (or find someone who can do it for you) and look for apps that tie into the new API's. While two dozen is twice as many apps than were released on the original launch day Pre, that's a far cry from what was expected from us a few months ago. And considering how many apps don't work in 2.0 because the developers haven't updated them yet (from 1.4.5), we may actually have fewer apps available for the Pre 2 (and the many hacked devices out there with 2.1) than on a device with webOS 1.4.5 installed.

That's just sad... really, really sad....

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

iPads in the Classroom

A mostly negative account of putting iPads into the hands of students and faculty. Unfortunately, I don't think they're actually "integrating" the iPads into teaching and learning. Instead, it seems like they're treating iPads as laptop replacements. Bringing iPads (or any other mobile device) into the classroom requires greater institutional, faculty, staff, and student commitment. Assignments, activities, faculty-student interaction have to all be built around the device. This may require creating new assignments, modifying existing assignments, creating custom applications, and customizing your infrastructure for these devices. An iPad initiative should take advantage of the special capabilities of the devices, but also account for the limitations.

iPads Could Hinder Teaching, Professors Say

When Paul Steinhaus, chief information officer at Chatham University, met with his colleagues last summer to discus getting iPads for incoming students, they knew the move could raise the profile of the small institution in Pittsburgh. Across the country, institutions had grabbed headlines for adopting Apple's tablet computing device.

But Mr. Steinhaus and other administrators soon realized that the iPad, with the slow finger-typing it requires, actually makes written course work more difficult, and that the devices wouldn't run all of the university's applications. "I'd hate to charge students and have them only be able to use it for e-mail and Facebook," says Mr. Steinhaus. Chatham charges a $700 annual technology fee, which now pays for standard laptops.

Still, he adds wistfully, "it would have been nice to get the publicity out of it."

Despite the iPad's popularity—Apple has sold nearly 15 million of them and just came out with the iPad2; and there are dozens of competitors, like the Samsung Galaxy—early studies indicate that these finger-based tablets are passive devices that have limited use in higher education. They are great for viewing media and allow students to share readings. But professors cannot use them to mark up material on the fly and show changes to students in response to their questions, a type of interactivity that has been a major thrust in pedagogy.

Even students have issues. When the University of Notre Dame tested iPads in a management class, students said the finger-based interface on its glassy surface was not good for taking class notes and didn't allow them to mark up readings. For their online final exam, 39 of the 40 students put away their iPads in favor a laptop, because of concerns that the Apple tablet might not save their material.

"When they're working on something important, it kind of freaks them out," says Corey M. Angst, the assistant professor of management who tested the tablets.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Inflight Wi-Fi Causing Interference?

Boeing confirms Wi-Fi interference with Honeywell avionics:
Honeywell Phase 3 Display Units (DUs) have shown themselves susceptible to "blanking" during airline electro magnetic interference (EMI) certification testing of wireless broadband systems (Wi-Fi) on various Boeing 737NG airplanes, prompting Boeing to cease linefit installs of in-flight connectivity systems across its portfolio, including widebody aircraft.

Multiple sources tell ATI and Flightgloal that the blanking occurred during EMI testing for Aircell's Gogo in-flight Internet supplemental type certificate on 737NG aircraft. Aircell has declined comment, saying "this topic is not Aircell specific and, as such, we do not have any comment on the matter".

Boeing says it has deferred the activation of wireless systems that interface with passenger devices that could potentially interfere with the DU 3 displays. "Boeing has not delivered any installations that would have this issue. Honeywell has assured us that they are working to address the problem and we are satisfied that they are taking the necessary steps to do so," says Bret Jensen with BCA Engineering Communications.

Adobe Flash on Tablets

Ken Tindell gives a great explanation of The Real Reason Why Flash On Tablets Hasn't Happened Yet:

So why aren’t we seeing Flash-enabled browsers on tablets? Plenty of manufacturers have announced Flash capability but we’ve seen little evidence of it running well. Unfortunately, it turns out that Flash Wars is more than just a bit of industry politicking: there are some very tricky technical problems to implementing Flash on an embedded processor – and it’s not going to be solved by locking programmers into a room and yelling “fix it!” at them.

Flash was designed in the mid-90s for PCs and the new Internet era to display multimedia content in a web browser. It decodes video in software, combines the video and graphics in software, synchronizes the video and audio in software, handles Internet dropouts in software, and copies the results as fast as possible into the web browser. It relies on the CPU being fast and handling RAM accesses very quickly.

Getting Flash to run on a tablet efficiently means that the video must be handled by a hardware video decoder, like the digital TV set-top box does. And indeed, Apple’s iPad can do 720p HD video decode without breaking a sweat (as anyone who has used an iPad to watch movies knows – it hardly dents the battery at all).

Unfortunately, we are only just now seeing embedded processors with this kind of video handling hardware coming to market and Flash needs to be adapted to use this hardware.

I can’t see how we are going to see tablets that can do a good job of showing HD video from Flash web sites until we get tablets with embedded processors that are up to the job and the system software developed to use that hardware properly. If anyone tells you they have a tablet that does Flash video really well, arch your eyebrow in a Spock-like skeptical manner and ask to see it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

The Future of Windows Phone 7

Long article from Danny Tuppeny, but worth the time. He details his frustrations with Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 and his doubts regarding the future of the platform. Not good news following the death of the Zune.

Why I'm Close to Giving Up on Windows Phone 7, as a User and a Developer

This is a pretty long post, but it's the only way to get across why I'm suddenly so disappointed in Windows Phone 7 - a platform I've been so excited about for so long. I really hope someone on the WP7 team takes the time to read it to the end. I'm probably not unique in having these feelings.

Hopefully if you've read this far, you now know why I'm starting to have serious doubts about Windows Phone 7. If Microsoft can't turn around bugfixes in a timely fashion, what's going to happen when people start finding exploits (and they will find exploits)?

Of course, if I'm not confident in the platform as a user, I can't be as a developer. I've put my Windows Phone 7 development on hold. I can't commit to spending more time on a platform that Microsoft seems to be sending the way of previous versions. I still believe the OS is excellent, but sadly, that's only half the battle.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What Will Mobile Look Like in 10 Years?

Consider Martin Sauter's mobile's from 10 years age and how far we've come.
Sauter mobile
Photo via Martin Sauter

I imagine that in 10 years our devices, their interfaces, and the speed of our networks will seem antiquated.

We'll wonder how we ever managed with 1-2 Mbps on our 3G networks or 25 Mbps on our home networks. Where will the speeds be in 10 years? Consider that in mid-2007, when the 1st iPhone was launched, Apple did not consider 3G coverage sufficient or the chips mature enough to support in their breakthrough device - instead opting for AT&T's slower Edge network. That wasn't even 4 years ago! Today 3G is nearly ubiquitous (expect- sadly - on AT&T's network) and many phones and carriers are selling 4G devices and services. Apple is again waiting for coverage and chip maturity, but don't be surprised if we see 4G-capable iOS devices as early as this summer. So back to the question - what will our networks look like in 10 years? I think we'll continue to see the exponential growth of speeds on our data networks, as well as "micro-cell" technology that provides better coverage and requires less power from our mobile devices.

The devices will continue to get thinner and smaller - while improving the features available, but there's a limit to how small these devices can get. Compare the size of 2001's Palm III (above) to today's iPhone or any Android phone - while the devices are infinitely more powerful, the form factors have not changed as dramatically.

The interface is another area where I think we'll see significant innovation. Google and Apple (to a lesser degree) are already integrating voice-controlled operation into their interfaces. As voice-control becomes increasingly common, I think we'll also see device makers experimenting with a variety of virtual keyboards and interfaces. These will not be onscreen virtual keyboards, but instead natural user interfaces projected onto a surface or into the air - possibly using some sort of combination of motion-capture and holographic projection. Interestingly, Microsoft - with their market-leading, Guinness record-breaking Kinect has the lead here and could be the company to innovate here.

My Mobile Devices 10 Years Ago:
Have a look at the picture on the left that I recently re-discovered. It's back from 2001 and shows the mobile devices I was using at the time. A Siemens S25 GSM mobile, no GPRS yet and a Palm III. Internet connectivity for email and some very very basic black and white web browsing over and infrared link and a circuit switched data connection (9.6 or 14.4 kbit/s) to an analog fixed line modem of an internet service provider. And that was only 10 years ago! Interesting to compare that to the gigahertz powered processors we have in mobile devices now, gigabytes of Flash RAM and display resolutions equaling that of desktop PCs of the time.

E-Books, Self-publishing and Disintermediation of Publishers

It's time to dust off that great American novel that's been sitting in your closet!

Two great stories on how independent authors are making a good living by self-publishing their works directly to Amazon - at a fraction of the cost of publisher e-books. The low cost generates volume. This trend should lead to more authors (and wannabe authors) opting for self-publishing, as well as pressuring publishers to lower the cost of e-books. More authors, more variety, cheaper books - all good for the consumer.

This 26-Year-Old Is Making Millions Cutting Out Traditional Publishers With Amazon Kindle:
Welcome to disruption. 26-year old Amanda Hocking is the best-selling "indie" writer on the Kindle store, meaning she doesn't have a publishing deal, Novelr says.

And she shouldn't. She gets to keep 70% of her book sales -- and she sells around 100,000 copies per month. By comparison, it's usually thought that it takes a few tens of thousands of copies sold in the first week to be a New York Times bestselling writer.

The comparison isn't entirely fair, because Hocking sells her books for $3, and some $.99. But that's the point: by lowering the prices, she can make more on volume, especially impulse buys. Meanwhile e-books cost nothing to print, you don't have to worry about print volumes, shelf space, inventory, etc. And did we mention the writer keeps 70%?

Crime Writer Makes a Killing With 99 Cent E-Books:
Hugh Pickens writes writes
"Joe Konrath has an interesting interview with independent writer John Locke who currently holds the coveted #1 spot in the Amazon Top 100 and has sold just over 350,000 downloads on Kindle of his 99 cent books since January 1st of this year, which, with a royalty rate of 35%, is an annual income well over $500k. Locke says that 99 cents is the magic number and adds that when he lowered the price of his book The List from $2.99 to 99 cents, he started selling 20 times as many copies — about 800 a day, turning his loss lead into his biggest earner. 'These days the buying public looks at a $9.95 eBook and pauses. It's not an automatic sale,' says Locke. 'And the reason it's not is because the buyer knows when an eBook is priced ten times higher than it has to be. And so the buyer pauses. And it is in this pause—this golden, sweet-scented pause—that we independent authors gain the advantage, because we offer incredible value.' Kevin Kelly predicts that within 5 years all digital books will cost 99 cents. 'I don't think publishers are ready for how low book prices will go,' writes Kelly. 'It seems insane, dangerous, life threatening, but inevitable.'"

Monday, March 14, 2011

Automatic Lock Cracker

Automatic lock cracker makes breaking and entering a breeze - Hack a Day:
For most people, forgetting the combination on a lock means breaking out the bolt cutters and chopping off the lock. Some students at the [Olin College of Engineering] decided there was a far more elegant way to do the job, so they built an automated lock-cracking machine.

The machine consists of a clamp to hold the lock, a solenoid to pull the lock open, and a stepper motor to run through the combinations. Most of the processing is done on the attached computer, using software they created. The application will brute-force all of the possible combinations if you request it, but it also allows you to enter the first, second, or third numbers of the combination if you happen to remember them.

Once the machine is started, the motor begins spinning the lock and the solenoid yanks on the latch until the combination is discovered, which takes a maximum of about two hours to complete.

AT&T Deploying DAS (Distributed Antenna System)

Photo and description of DAS from the site:
A Distributed Antenna System, or DAS, is a network of smaller, spatially separated antenna nodes connected to the communications network.

A DAS network splits the transmitted signal among several smaller antennas to provide coverage and reliability over the same area as a single cell tower antenna. DAS networks are effective in areas with difficult topography, structural impediments (e.g. buildings, or within buildings), or in locations where, for a variety of reasons, it is not optimal to build a traditional macro sites.
Utility pole with das
How AT&T is using small antennas to fix big problems | MuniWireless:
If all goes according to AT&T’s wishes, the city of Palo Alto may soon become the premier testing spot for Ma Bell’s plan to boost its cellular network power by installing a large number of small cellular antennas around town. Ostensibly billed as a method for AT&T to overcome terrestrial and urban challenges in Palo Alto, the small-antenna plan for Silicon Valley’s cultural nexus is also part of a big nationwide push of Distributed Antenna System (DAS) technology deployment by AT&T to help Ma Bell get its overtaxed cellular network back up to speed.

Historically used to improve cellular coverage inside buildings, DAS is basically a method to deploy a series of synchronized smaller antennas instead of a larger, cellular antenna array, such as those found atop buildings or on the unsightly antenna towers that are now a common part of the urban landscape. Inside a building, a DAS can help improve cellular reception by bringing small antennas closer to users inside, who then don’t have to connect their cell phones through walls or windows. A typical DAS system might then route the internal antenna connections to a stronger antenna connection on the roof to link to the parent cellular network, improving throughput while conserving device and antenna power.

In Palo Alto AT&T is proposing to build out about 80 new DAS tower sites, placing them atop regular utility poles in and around Palo Alto’s leafy downtown area. If the plan wins city approval Palo Alto’s AT&T customers should see marked improvement in cellular connectivity, simply due to the increased number of available towers that can connect iPhones and other devices back to AT&T’s network. According to AT&T’s extensive Palo Alto wireless information web site, the proposal has been submitted to the city but no decision has yet been made.

Life of a CS Major

Great encapsulation of life as a CS major!

College Life of a CS Major

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Surprise? iPad 2 Totally Sold Out

I visited the line at a local mall. The lines were pretty long!
Piper Jaffray: iPad 2 totally sold out, 70% to new buyers:
Gene Munster's team at Piper Jaffray walked the iPad 2 lines in New York City and Minneapolis and interviewed 236 would-be buyers. They also called various retailers (Apple stores, Target, Best Buy, etc.) looking for product. The results of their survey were released Sunday night. Their findings:
  • Munster is sticking with his estimate of 400,000 to 500,000 iPad 2s sold, compared with 300,000 iPad 1s in its first weekend last year.
  • The difference is that nearly all those iPad 2s were sold in one day; stocks were essentially depleted by Saturday and not replenished. In its calls to retailers over the weekend, his team was unable to find a single iPad 2.
  • 70% of iPad 2 buyers were new to the iPad, compared with 23% of iPhone 4 buyers who were new to the iPhone at launch.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011

If, If and If ...

Motorola Xoom Tablet Sales 'Underwhelming':

So what if the Xoom’s sales aren’t exactly zooming right now? If Adobe Flash would work with the Xoom (a beta is coming 3/18/11, we’re told), if Google can fix the bugs in the Xoom’s Android 3 (Honeycomb) OS, and if Motorola can somehow lower its prices, in our opinion, the Xoom still has a chance. Competition is good.

Is the iPad 2 Selling Out?

iPad 2 shipping times slip to 2-3 weeks hours after launch:

Shipping times for the iPad 2 at Apple's online store have already stretched out to between two to three weeks, checks show. Orders only opened at about 1AM Pacific time, or 4AM Eastern. Over the course of the morning times were already slipping from 3 to 5 days to 5 to 7. The delays are affecting all iPad 2 models, whether white or black, or equipped with Wi-Fi or 3G

SlideShare 101

Whether you're new to Slideshare or a veteran trying to get your friends and colleagues on board, you'll love this great intro to Slideshare.

Here’s the ‘official’ SlideShare 101 | SlideShare Blog:

the SlideShare 101 quick start guide

SlideShare 101
View more presentations from Amit Ranjan.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

No to the Kno

Is it just me, or is this guy (see quoted story below) crazy? The Kno promo video looks interesting, but where are they? I haven't seen any - anywhere.

Changing Education Forever from Kno Tablet on Vimeo.

The Future of the Tablet, and It Isn’t the iPad 2:
the iPad and the majority of its competitors are focusing on a very narrow view of what the tablet can do.

As currently designed, tablets are basically expensive video game consoles used as a means to access the Internet, email, and books. But the true potential of the tablet is not in its ability to replace the video game console or the television. Rather, the tablet has the potential to improve our productivity. While the iPad 2 makes some strides in this direction compared to the original iPad (especially with the stronger processor), the focus of most of the enhancements are aimed at improving the entertainment value of the device.

But it is just stronger processing power along with a mindset towards increasing our capacity to do things--not just playing games--which represents the future of the Tablet. Recently, a tiny start-up company has built a tablet explicitly designed for students that just might give us a glimpse of the future. The tablet is called the Kno and it has all of the standard functionality of the iPad, such as a touch screen with the ability to rotate on demand, but it really emphasizes the ability to take notes and seamlessly integrate your own thought with the information that you are reading.

Macworld's Jason Snell Reviews the iPad 2 - Video

Who should upgrade? Presenters, educators, people who are going to use the video mirroring feature - hmmmmm ...

Video Review: the iPad 2:

For Apple’s competitors in the tablet market, the iPad 2 is a wake up call, says Macworld's Jason Snell. The iPad 2 raises the bar, and it gets help from clever Smart Covers, nifty HDTV features, GarageBand, and iMovie

Printing A Kidney - Not Tomorrow, But Eventually

Printing A Kidney: A Glimpse At The Future:
Dr. Atala and his team are leading the way in the burgeoning field of bioprinting, which is exactly what it sounds like -- using printers (and sometimes the actual printer cartridges you'd use in your home or office machine) to print cells and biocompatible materials. Other major players in the field, like Organovo, have printed things including blood vessels, WIRED reports.

So the field exists, yes, and the technology is improving. But the kidney-shaped mold that Atala showed at TED was exactly that -- a mold, without the vessels or internal structures of an actual, working kidney. The hope, Wake Forest says, is that one day, the same printer from the talk will be used to print actual tissues and organs, but that day is "many years from now."

Another Atala-team advance that has gotten a lot of attention, but again, still looms on the horizon is using bioprinting to create new skin directly on wounds or, Marketplace reports, burn victims. In his speech at the TED conference, Atala said that he and his team are actively designing a printer prototype that would do exactly that.

Blurring the Lines Between Our Work And Personal Lives

Interesting thought from Clay Shirky. Is it surprising that employees, students, faculty, etc spend time on Facebook, Twitter, e-mail or shopping online? I don't think so, when we've created an environment that allows "work" to invade their personal life, shouldn't we expect their personal lives to invade work? I'd love to be able to do my job without looking at e-mail at night or on the weekends, but we've created an expectation that we're always available for work.

Clay Shirky in McKinsey Quarterly on managing millennials:
A famous observation about the net generation, the millennials, is, “They’re doing Facebook at their desks on a Tuesday morning,” which is certainly true. One of the reasons for that is that they’re also being asked to use PowerPoint in their homes on a Saturday afternoon. If you went to any manager and said, “Would you offer your 25-year-olds the following bargain: no more Facebook at work, and in return for which, I won’t call you after 6 PM or on weekends or ask you to watch e-mail.” I don’t think the managers would make that deal.

I don't disagree, but it's not only them being asked to do same.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Visualizing an Attack on a VoIP Honeypot Server

Amazing to watch this attack accelerate!

Visualizing a Security Attack on a VOIP Honeypot Server:

The movie shown below shows a real cyber attack on a honeypot VOIP server extension. Now, it is one thing is to look at some amazing meaningful moving imagery, it is another is to fully comprehend it. So here we go... The imagery shown is based on real data from a real attack. The 'balls' on the right represent some hacker attempting to crack a VOIP server. The balls on the left represent the server's response to the attack. The balls crash into each other and fight it out in the middle of the battlefield. The good balls do better, in this case. Although the attack is relentless and fast-paced, the volume of data from this one attack on a single IP/port (here UDP 5060 for SIP sessions) is really a drop in the ocean in terms of the wider internet. The visualization is created via a Ruby-based tool called "gltail", which is specifically designed to visualize Apache web server logs in real-time. With highly automated and blindingly fast scripting tools, crooks scan the internet looking for these VOIP servers. When found, the tool cracks the passwords on the extensions. Calls can then be made using these passwords. Victims only notice something is wrong when the next phone bill arrives, so there is a 1-2 month window in which the cracked address can be sold and used for illegitimate international calls.

Visualizing a cyber attack on a VOIP server from Ben Reardon, Dataviz Australia on Vimeo.

Through our support of the Honeynet Project, we recently attempted a new approach to visualizing attacks on their VOIP honeypots.

With the increase in popularity of VOIP telephony, attacks are becoming more prevalent. The compromise of a VOIP system can cost the victim over $100,000 in real cash. For example, an Australian based company suffered $120,000 in toll fraud as a result of a VOIP compromise - read the full story here.

The video is intended to be a high level (if not stylized) visualization of the early stages of a cyber criminal compromising a VOIP system.

Credit to gltail, a ruby based tool which we fed heavily hacked/modified logfiles. Also Johann Pachelbel for his beautiful Canon as I was so tired of hearing electronic dance music mixed to hacking videos.


Chronicle of Higher Education on the iPad

Chronicle of Higher Education app arrives for iPad:

Higher-education news is now available on the iPad, via the new The Chronicle of Higher Education iPad app. The app allows print subscribers to access issues of the magazine on the iPad at no charge, while offering in-app purchase options for single issues and special editions

Too Much of a Good Thing?

iPad 2 success will burst the bubble for competing tablet manufacturers:

Analyst Mark Moskowitz of J.P. Morgan Research predicts the success of the iPad 2 will cause oversupply problems for competing tablet manufacturers. Moskowitz claims manufacturers looking to compete with the iPad 2 have extremely ambitious build plans that will hurt them in the long run.

According to his analysis, tablet makers could build up to 65.1 million tablets in 2011, a number which greatly exceeds his estimate of 47.9 million in unit sales. This enthusiasm to duplicate the iPad's success could lead to an oversupply in tablets and components used to build these tablets. In a worst case scenario, tablet makers may have an oversupply of 51%.


The Battle for Streaming Video

Netflix has been highly successful with their $8 streaming-only plan. Unfortunately, they've got 2 800-lb Gorillas after them. February 22nd, Amazon turned on unlimited video streaming for their Amazon Prime customers ($79 per year). Now Facebook - and their 500 million users - are getting into the game.

Netflix Unfriended by Facebook TV - TheStreet:
Facebook took some air out of the Netflix(NFLX_) balloon when it announced its own movie streaming service Tuesday.

More on NFLX Computer Hackers, Currency Strategies, Informatica CEOGoogle, Netflix: Tech Winners & Losers Market Activity Inc.| AMZN DOWN Google Inc.| GOOG UP Netflix Inc.| NFLX DOWN Working with Warner Brothers Digital Distribution, Facebook is testing a video service that will let users rent movies for $3, or 30 Facebook credits. The first installment of the trial is the 2008 Batman movie The Dark Knight, and users can have access to the rental for 48 hours.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

IPv6 Tutorial with Sam Bowne - Parts 1 thru 4

Gordon's Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) Blog: IPv6 Tutorial with Sam Bowne Part 1 of 4:
In December at the Convergence Technology Center's Winter Retreat at Collin College in Frisco Texas, John had the chance to shoot an IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) workshop given by Sam Bowne, from City College of San Francisco. Here's the 35 minute and 47 second Part 1 of the 4 part series.
I've also embedded parts 2, 3, and 4.

Digital Storytelling with the iPad

Great resource to empower and engage your students.

Apps for Digital Storytelling - Digital Storytelling with the iPad:
Digital storytelling

via Free Technology for Teachers

Mobile Learning and Course Completion Rates

Interesting question - I would say yes, mobile learning does increase completion rates. I think it provides students an opportunity fill those interstitial moments - the bus ride, waiting for the bus, TV commercials, waiting in line at the store, etc - with little bursts of mobile learning.

Mobile Learning Gets Higher Course Completion Rates?:
I've seen some evidence that learners are more likely to complete mobile learning courses (like the ones created with mLearning Studio) than traditional online courses. I assume this is because it is more convenient and thereby more enjoyable, removing the tedious barrier of having to sit in one place to get it done. Also, learners can do smaller chunks when they have time: waiting in line at the grocery store, at a restaurant, and on and on (think of all of the places we now compulsively pull out our mobile device while we wait).
This reminds me of a trend I think I heard mentioned on the radio (though I can't find a link to it online): more people are reading the news because they can access it on mobile devices.
This all fits into a larger pattern. If it is easier, it's more likely to get done. 'No duh,' you might say. I agree. But it has profound implications for training. Perhaps the ease of access via mobile devices will help us become more likely to be lifelong learners in our careers and other areas of life.

Not Your Father's Camp

Very cool - nothing like this when I was a kid.
Quantum Cryptography School for Young Students:
This summer, Waterloo, Ontario's Institute for Quantum Computing is running a residential "Quantum Cryptography School for Young Students" for Canadian kids aged 16 and over. Holy awesome, does this sound cool:
This year the program will run through July 26-30, 2010. The program is run by the Institute for Quantum Computing in conjunction with the University of Waterloo. Students will be given a first-hand look into one of the most exciting topics in modern science-quantum cryptography. Not only will students have the opportunity to be exposed to cutting-edge topics like quantum physics and cryptography - they will have the opportunity to meet some of the most renowned researchers the field has to offer. In addition, students will get a tour of quantum computing and quantum cryptography experiments.
Quantum Cryptography School for Young Students

Monday, March 07, 2011

Are Kids Wired For Mobile Learning?

Jane's Pick of the Day: Are We Wired For Mobile Learning? (Infographic):
Whether or not you agree with the term “digital native” and what it stands for, this is an interesting infographic  - from the Voxy Blog (where you can find full details of how to embed it on your blog).

Because of the proliferation of new technologies, the younger generation today is outgrowing traditional forms of education – remember pencils, chalkboards, textbooks and graphing calculators? Whether we are in the car, on the train, at work, or in a classroom, mobile technology in particular is giving us the ability to learn on-the-go. See the infographic below to learn why we are wired for mobile learning, and how we can use mobile technologies to educate ourselves.

Via: Voxy Blog

Apple iPad 2 Versus Motorola Xoom

Great stuff from Andy Ihnatko - particularly given his earlier glowing review of the Xoom.

Apple iPad 2 is here and tablet rivals need to hit the drawing board:
But you kind of have to hold the iPad 2 to really get the redesign. It’s thinner by a third, plus its edges taper to a thin line of metal. It’s almost inconceivable that this thing you’re holding is a multicore tablet computer. The Xoom tablet is trim, light, and very pretty ... but when you place it next to the iPad 2, it looks as though it was designed and built by angry Soviet prison labor instead of by Motorola.

On iPad Competitors

iPad Competitors, time for another reality check!:
Isn’t it amazing that Motorola has considered that it okay not only to launch its tablet with a non-working SD-card reader but with an OS that is still full bugs?  I can understand Motorola wanting to get its product to market before the iPad 2 was announced, but they’ll only give a lot of people a bad impression of their product, for not having waited until Google had stabilized the OS.  While their brand is getting associated with tablets, it is being so in a bad context, but maybe they consider that is better that people talk about Motorola, even if it is to say bad things about its products. 

Another interesting competitor is Samsung.  Right after the iPad 2 was announced by Apple, one of the company’s VPs was caught on record saying that “Apple had made it very thin” and that they (Samsung) would have to review the “inadequate components and price”.   Most people understood this to mean that Samsung would be going back to the drawing board like HP did last year, in order to release a competitive product.  It turns out, though, that they are not.  They are going to release their “inadequate”product on schedule. 
HP is the only company to have gotten the message back in 2010, that this game isn’t about who has the camera with the highest number of megapixels. Its about the experience!  HP seems to have gotten the memo last year when they decided that their Slate product would not be competitive against the iPad and decided to acquire Palm with its webOS operating system and go back to the drawing board.  While I have not yet personally seen an HP TouchPad, it certainly seemed a lot closer to the iPad than Android is. Hopefully, at least the TouchPad will turn out to be a worthy competitor to the iPad in 2011. 

I hope that the other companies that are planning iPad competitors finally get the memo this year.  Those that don’t get it are going to continue to talk about meaningless products which will get little if any attention from those that have had the chance to try out an iPad or a TouchPad.

Friday, March 04, 2011

“Apple made it very thin”

From Jim Dalrymple

iPad 2 makes Samsung rethink ‘inadequate’ parts of Galaxy Tab:

“We will have to improve the parts that are inadequate,” Lee Don-joo, executive vice president of Samsung’s mobile division

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Push Pop Press - The Next Chapter in Digital Books

Not much of a teaser, but I'm intrigued. I wish we had a different word than book. "Book" brings with it a number of expectations that e-books don't satisfy. Additionally, when some thinks of a "book," their thinking is constrained – they don't open themselves up to the potential of what can be done on a digital device with digital content.
Push Pop Press:
Introducing Push Pop Press. Our team is bringing together great content and beautiful software to create a new breed of digital books. Books that let you explore photos, videos, music, maps, and interactive graphics, all through a new physics-based multi-touch user interface. Our first title will be available for iPad and iPhone later this year. We can't wait to share it with you.

Even Monkeys Fall From Trees

Great life advice from Garr Reynolds! Embrace failure.
Before success comes the courage to fail:
Today, while jogging up past some small farms in the mountains near our home in Nara, I passed through a familiar bamboo forest. But today something was different. I noticed one of the bamboo trees had given way and snapped during a strong wind we had recently. This caused me to take notice and slow down. We notice what is different, and if we slow down long enough a lesson may be revealed; this is a kind of "listening with the eyes." It seems that in a strong and unyielding wind, even the bend-but-don't-break adaptability of the humble bamboo will be tested to the point of failure. A subtle reminder from nature that even the strong and the courageous and the flexible fail sometimes. An old Japanese proverb says "Even monkeys fall from trees." (Saru mo ki kara ochiru — 猿も木から落ちる.) Somehow knowing this allows us to push past fear and to participate more fully as we embrace or own imperfections, even as we work to improve.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

DaisyDisk 2

An upgrade to one of my favorite Mac applications. DaisyDisk is a visually pleasing and emotionally satisfying application that spices up the often boring task of finding and removing space hogs on your Mac's hard drive. One of the critical additions? In-app file deletion! Read more at the DaisyDisk blog.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The Shifting Mobile Market

Astute observation from Martin Sauter

The Changing User Base Of Smartphones
A couple of years ago, smartphones were early adopter toys and mobile Internet practically unknown and undesired by the general public. Today, the picture is totally different. I have to admit that I am still surprised when I see people who are likely to be in their 60s with an iPhone browsing the web. But it's by far not an exception anymore. That also means that the target audience for smartphones has significantly shifted from only half a decade ago. Not a homogeneous early adopter audience anymore but anyone from student to retiree has now become a 'real' customer in this segment.

Blackboard Goes Freemium

I guess the plan is to get users 'hooked' on Blackboard, so that they'll beg their schools to move to Blackboard. Can't say I've met anyone 'hooked' on Blackboard - it's not exactly the crack of LMSes.
Blackboard Will Offer a Free Platform to Professors:
Blackboard has made its name on selling Blackboard Learn, its industry-leading learning management system (LMS), to universities. But professors will soon be able to use the platform for free even if their institutions do not have a contract with Blackboard, the company plans to announce today. Blackboard CourseSites, a cloud-based version of the company's LMS product, will allow instructors to use most of the features available through the normal learning-management system, minus those that require full integration with campus information systems. The idea is to give faculty members at non-Blackboard colleges, as well as those that have not upgraded to the latest versions “more options for experimentation” with the platform’s newest capabilities

If You Cheat In Engineering Classes…

You WILL kill people later.
At a recent Teaching and Learning roundtable, we had a discussion about students cheating and plagiarizing in our classes. This is image pretty says it all.
If You Cheat In Engineering Classes…:
Epic win photos engineering class win


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