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A flippant comment

Some people are full of classical gas
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A new course & the untimely demise of the MAODE — The Ed Techie

First of all, some good news. On June 8th we launch a new microcredential course – 15pts at postgrad level so not _that_ micro I grant – on FutureLearn. 681 more words

A new course & the untimely demise of the MAODE — The Ed Techie

Ah yes, the axing of the programs

I once worked in an EdTech center at the Uni where I worked. We had a help desk, student staff, generous hours and plenty of computers with “some” but not of overly specialized equipment. And it was by and large successful (not in an enrollment/profit kind of way, but was well used and atteneded). But priorities changed and the space that place occupied was coveted by the building owners (where we were a tenant), and we by degrees took out the computer/lab space.

This eventually led to staff being re-assigned to other orgs and eventually all operations were shutdown. Whither the instuctors? Indeed that seemed like the first thing that would suffer. And all complaints, requests for assistance would go through our then new director when they fell into the EdTech category. I had left by then for another part of the Uni. But after a year, they posted a job description that was almost 100% my previous job. So I applied for it and got it. And now I’m back to assisting people, but without the “center”, the staff and equipment.

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My Favorite Urbanist Experiences — The Urban Phoenix

My top 5 favorite urban experiences

My Favorite Urbanist Experiences — The Urban Phoenix

This is to celebrate one of those community bloggers that no doubt exist all over the U.S. if not the world. They’re not trying to just grow their “brand” but drop knowledge and “science” about their local community and the networks that physically connect them. My fave posting was the Roch-cha-cha to Chicago overnight trip with 12 hour day in Chi-town before hopping the overnight train back to Lake Ontario and Rochester, NY. Truly that is an interesting discovery and adventure. One I would love to try out.

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ABC turns to Apple for help producing ‘American Idol’ from home during COVID-19 — 9to5Mac

The entertainment industry continues to rely on Apple products and services to continue production amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A new report from Deadline today details how ABC is working closely with Apple to continue production of American Idol from home. more… The post ABC turns to Apple for help producing ‘American Idol’ from home during…

ABC turns to Apple for help producing ‘American Idol’ from home during COVID-19 — 9to5Mac

“People ask me or sometimes muse to themselves, “What’s the best camera?” And the answer is always, “The one you have”

I’ve said it time again in a long back-and-forth email with a friend of mine who teaches photography and art in Higher Education. We both come from a background of making do with limited resources. But at the same time there’s this overwhelming desire in Higher Ed to always give student access to “tools” they couldn’t or wouldn’t ever buy for themselves. But in fact, it’s really a desire to make purchases using capital equipment budget that provide the largest number of “units” for a set number of enrollees for a class that’s capped typically at 20-25 students. You get 25 students, you buy 25 cameras and they use them for their class work. You collect up 25 cameras at the end of the semester. And people get to use a digital SLR that they could never justify buying themselves. But some percent may 1-2 students out of the class will later budget buy the same camera they used. Others, maybe 1-2 will already own a camera equal to or BETTER than the cam you bought. The remaining 20 or so students will turn in the camera and NEVER buy a digital SLR. They’re not hardcore photographers. They wanted to “learn” photography, but they aren’t going to pursue it in a concerted lifelong kind of way. Or they take the class because it’s a pre-requisite, a requirement for another class in their major, their minor, or cluster for graduations. So there is that “market” for digital SRL’s. And that will never change, it’s status quo kind of thing.

But whither the casual user who has budgeted and saved for a current or even factory refurbished top of the line iPhone? Given all these little “slips” of info about shows, commercials, film producers adopting iPhones in same way. Maybe as a one-time “joke” or trick to see if it could work, but you hear these things. And then you see things. And you realize it’s not a joke or a trick. iPhones with 128GB of storage, 3 cameras built-in, lidar time-of-flight sensors for “AR” style functions. These devices are an untapped magical treasure box just dying to be used for making art. And literally ARE the camera you have. You have it, it’s already there, it’s yours, it’s paid for. You’re using it as a smartphone or an entertainment device. But it’s a tool, every bit as much as a digital SLR. So what it doesn’t have a glass prism view finder, interchangeable lenses, all the doodads, gimcrack and gewgaws. That’s immaterial. You can still take a picture, compose and capture an image. What are you waiting for. You already have the best camera in the world, Right Now.

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Taiwan’s CDC knows all about handling pandemics

Lastnight (Apr.1), I was watching the PBS NewsHour, and saw this segment by Nick Shifrin about Taiwan’s response to Covid-19. After the SARs outbreak in 2003, Taiwan became very sensitive/aggressive to infections migrating from Mainland China. Further, World Health Organization (WHO) doesn’t recognize Taiwan (because of Mainland China’s lobbying to keep them in a state of “future” statehood with the mainland, but that’s off topic). The single biggest “tell” of the segment, was an interview done with former Taiwan CDC head, Steve Kuo. He tells the story of January, 2020 when hints/whispers started to come across from the Mainland about Wuhan. Taiwan CDC sent two officials to investigate:

Steve Kuo:

We pick up the signal that there is some strange outbreak in the Wuhan areas at the end of the last year from social media networks.

We decided, and we did send two medical doctors to Wuhan from Taiwan CDC to get a better understanding of what happened there, OK? And then five days later, on January 20, the government decided immediately to set up and activate the central command centers.

Nick Schifrin:

That centralized command center launched border restrictions before almost anyone else, set local quarantine rules, and turned to technology.

One phone app allows Taiwan residents to find stores with masks in stock. Another app provides information on all of those who are COVID-19 positive, where they have been, and their case history. And the government made sure it had enough medical equipment.

Steve Kuo:

After the SARS outbreak, actually, we have the law to require hospitals to have a stockpile for all medical supplies for 30 days for the hospitals.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/taiwans-aggressive-efforts-are-paying-off-in-fight-against-covid-19

What I’m finding most fascinating is Taiwan CDC had taken HUGE steps in just a week’s time from the initial monitoring of info slipping through social media channels, to sending two doctors out to Wuhan to find out more. They shutdown the border once they activated their plan. Travel restriction and quarantine to the mainland (as they point out just 81 miles away). They had no qualms, no second thoughts, they just did it. Like preparing for a typhoon or earthquake, just automatic. Here’s the plan, here’s what’s happening, start sending out notices to enact the “plan”. They didn’t even wait or pay attention to WHO, because Taiwan is NOT part of WHO, they cannot depend on WHO protecting their country. I think also I saw reports (mentioned briefly in previous blog entry), that U.S. Intelligence agencies had already discovered through their monitoring of communications that there was cases of under-reporting already going on back in mid-January despite WHO applauding China’s efforts to stem the epidemic. Between U.S. Intelligence reports indicating there was an in-progress epidemic going on in China AND the Taiwan CDC investigation, you got two, count-em’ two HUGE data points that should have put every hospital administrator, County Health commissioner, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, U.S. State Dept. on alert that we needed to stop travel from Mainland China, quarantine anyone in flight from China (from any point on the globe) for minimum of 14 days. The FEMA medical supply stockpile would then put out automatic orders for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and for ventilators, incrementing up ventilator orders each week anticipating a worst case scenario. Getting those manufacturing companies to start putting on more people per shift for all the supplies. Getting hospitals ready to do field operations for non-critical beds, keeping the ICU and ED’s open and operating at max. capacity. Looking at doubling-up on existing ventilators, etc. But it’s too late now 50/50 hindsight, Monday morning quarterbacking. But now at least we know, take action early, definitively and look to Taiwan CDC for a demonstration of competent effective planning and operations when the next epidemic takes hold. This does give me some hope, that someone, somewhere worldwide had a plan and it worked (for them at least).

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Wither Lockdown? – The days the Earth stood still

This just got posted up on Slashdot:

https://science.slashdot.org/story/20/03/31/2116255/what-happens-after-the-lockdown

And it references this article on Medium.com: https://medium.com/@wpegden/a-call-to-honesty-in-pandemic-modeling-5c156686a64b

Where the writers attempt to draw a picture of the epidemiology and course of Coronavirus infections with a lockdown and without. The point they are trying to make is a lockdown prevents overload of the healthcare system. But it does NOT prevent infections. Once the lockdown is lifted the same people that “would” have been infected WILL be infected. And the outcomes are the same. Those without immunity will need to be hospitalized. Only now, they are not overloading the healthcare system at this moment. So it sounds a lot like the span that the Influenza epidemic of 1918 took. It came in waves. It left in waves and it wasn’t until 1920 that it stopped being so infectious and deadly and just became “seasonal” flu again. Not a very rosy picture, not at all.

So that leads me now to the “next” shoe that’s dropped today via Bloomberg News. China’s self-reporting of Covid-19 cases (positive tests + deaths) are all FAKE NEWS. No virologist, epidemiologist, or biostatician should use China’s numbers for anything, whatsoever. That data is garbage. And I dare say some other state actors are also further adding to the dearth of real data by engaging in misleading under-reporting of data. How do we know? The same way we know most things, that’s due to our military surveillance channels. Those state actors in China/Russia cannot hide. The truth will out, and now the truth is China is jeopardizing the health of the whole planet. Xi Jiping is responsible, ultimately, for the world right now, all for the sake of his vanity and saving face.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-01/china-concealed-extent-of-virus-outbreak-u-s-intelligence-says

I will say Andrew Cuomo’s press conference is at the very minimum is giving me some hope, a solitary bright light that other Governor’s should borrow/steal to help provide a model of leadership. Federally we have no leadership, we have a daily political rally disguised as a “Press Conference” with “ratings” as said by the man himself, POTUS.

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Windows 10 KB4554364 update released to fix internet issues — Windows Latest

Last week, Microsoft warned that a Windows 10 bug could prevent users from reaching the internet as the system displays ‘limited’ internet connection error. The bug also prevents Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Office 365, Internet Explorer, and even Microsoft Edge from reaching the internet in some configurations. Windows 10 connectivity bug has been reported at a…

Windows 10 KB4554364 update released to fix internet issues — Windows Latest

Keep your Windows UPdates flowing folks. Just cuz’ we’re suffering under COVID-19 is no excuse to suffer in silence waiting/hoping things will work eventually. This Knowledge Base fix may be just the ticket for you on Windows10 if you’re getting disconnected occasionally from the Interent.

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Booting Linux Over HTTP — The Life of Kenneth

A couple years ago, one of my friends gave me a big pile of little Dell FX160 thin clients, which are cute little computers which have low power Atom 230 processors in them with the ability to support 3GB of RAM. Being thin clients means they were originally meant to be diskless nodes that could…

Booting Linux Over HTTP — The Life of Kenneth

I listened with rapt attention when Kenneth was interviewed by, On The Metal and the folks at Oxide Computer. So I will be diving into this in my spare time and catch up with what Kenneth is doing these days, there in Fremont CA. Always interesting to see what one can do as an Internet Peer these days.

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Still 3 weeks to “apex”

I hope FEMAs national stockpile of pandemic medical supplies can hold out
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Sat. Mar. 27th – Sheltering in place, in Western NY

3 more weeks until peak, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo