Knowledge Handler

Information Sources & Information Sifting Techniques

My Photo
Name:
Location: Independence, Ohio, United States

Librarian at Indiana Wesleyan University's Cleveland Education Center.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Redundancy Required With Cloud Computing

John Grady notes that cloud failures will happen . He recommends that before an individual or company places vital digital assets in an Internet cloud, they should:

  • Ensure backups are on a local server;
  • Encypt data sent to the cloud;
  • Remember to backup streaming media;
  • Purchase business interruption insurance which covers website outages.

-DD

Labels: , ,

Employment Advice

Rich Hein provides tips for career success . The article is targeted to those in information technology, but the general information applies to any knowledge handler.

Related posts include Bob Violino's "Nine Signs You Should Jump Ship," and Sharon Florentine's "Three Ways to Spot a Bad Boss Before You Take the Job."

-DD

 

Labels: , ,

The Confidence Gap

Theresa MacPhail calls attention to a confidence gap in the writing of women scholars

. -DD

Labels: ,

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Moving Databases to the Cloud

John Moore records early adopters of cloud databases . A concern I have with moving vital financial data to the cloud is the possibility of communication disruption by terrorists or natural disasters. In-house data warehousing offers the opportunity of creative workarounds in data distribution, but if off-site data is completely inaccessible....

-DD

Labels:

Rubrics and Exemplars

David Gooblar comments that his students do not understand rubrics unless he provides at least one example of the completed project.

-DD

Labels: ,

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tablet Use By Faculty

Jason B. Jones raises the question: whether faculty find tablets are a useful productivity tool . The majority of respondents said "yes," but others found tablets of minimal utility in the classroom.

-DD

Labels:

Wikipedia In The Classroom

Dariusz Jemielniak utilzes Wikipedia in his courses. In the comments about his article there is a lot of pushback to endorsement of Wikipedia.

-DD

Labels:

Recycling a Hard Drive

Marco Chiappetta demonstrates how to recycle an old hard drive into service as a portable drive .

-DD

Labels: ,

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Copyright and Developing Curriculum

Stacey Patton has written about the case of Karen McArthur and her stolen course . McArthur created a course shell or template which she used in her own teaching. She was appalled to find that other professors copied her work and taught her course without telling her, even including experiences from her journey to Europe.

-DD

 

Labels: ,

Mobile Phone Use By Drivers

According to Jim Duffy's research, only fourteen states ban cell phone use by drivers. Consumer Reports has tested apps that can block out most calls and texts when the phone detects your vehicle is in motion, but the reviews of these products is decidely mixed.

-DD

 

Labels: ,

Lithium Battery Breakthrough

Chen Xiaodong reports that his Singaporian team at Nanyang Technological University has developed a titanium-dioxide nanotube jell which allows lithium batteries to charge to 70% of capacity in two minutes . Such rapid charging times, combined with an extended life of 10,000 charge cycles, should allow the development of new information processing devices and improve the viability of electric vehicles and green technologies.

-DD

Labels: ,

Monday, October 27, 2014

Wearable Cameras

Toni Fuhrman discusses the possibilities of wearable cameras in academic work. I have some privacy concerns about having my environment snapped every thirty seconds, but with proper protocols there are some applications in psychology and sociology.

-DD

 

Narrative from Narrative on Vimeo.

Labels:

Reasonable Accomodation

Rebecca Koenig examines the proposed bill requiring that the disabled have access to online teaching materials .

-DD

 

Labels: , ,

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Heartbeat Detection with a Web Camera

Nick Barber reports that new Fujitsu technology can take a stationary person's pulse rate with a web camera . The measurement is only accurate if the person is silent and immobile, so at this time it would only be of utility in a clinical setting.

-DD

 

Labels: ,

Saturday, October 25, 2014

MOOC Adoption By Universities

Reeve Hamilton reports on the slow adoption of MOOCs by universities, despite efforts by groups like the Texas legislature to fund initial course offerings. My concern is that student course completion rate for a typical MOOC varies from 1% to 15% according to the linked New York Times article.

If the goal is simply to make content available, MOOCs (and TED.COM) do this; to ensure people are listening to the presentations, some measurement of learning attainment needs to be integral to the program evaluation.

-DD

Labels: ,

Contextual Advertising and Filter Bubbles

Mike Elgan comments on how we have exchanged our privacy for poorly executed contextual advertising .

-DD

 

Labels: , ,

Friday, October 24, 2014

Email Privacy

Lucian Constantin reports that an addition to the protocol underlying email has been developed to verify that a specific address has been registered to the same entity since a specific date. This protocol revision has been submitted to the Internet Engineering Task Force, and is being undertaken because some email services are recycling email addresses. This is a source of confusion when some Web services use email addresses as usernames, and some agencies send confidential information to email addresses.

-DD

Labels: ,

Persistence

Nathan Barber recounts how his school taught the character quality of persistence or "grit ."

-DD

Labels: ,

Internet Security

Anastasia Salter offers online security tools of use to any knowledge handler.

-DD

Labels: ,

Communicating with Students

Martin L. Kollman presents to other instructors the key concepts of student expectations in a Blackboard online classroom . His key takeaway is that well-done two-way communication is foundational, but he also discusses what successful instructors communicate to their students.

-DD

 

Labels: ,

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Replace The Internet?

Ben Warthen interviewed scholar Ben Lazowska, the computer scientist who says that "The Sky Really Is Falling " as he describes Internet security in the United States. Ed Lazowska says of the Internet:

Patches and updates won't solve this problem. "Many of the protocols that we use are inherently insecure," Lazowska says. "They can't be made more secure by evolution. They need to be rethought."
Unfortunately, the only solution is replacing the Internet with something new, just like CIOs have to replace old Cobol systems that wear out.
The entire Internet was actually replaced once before in the early 1980s when the whole Internet switched over to TCP/IP on one prearranged day. Back then there were only about 1,000 computers connected to the network, however. Today, says Lazowska, "It will be a big, expensive, worldwide job. The United States does not currently have a plan for switching to a more secure and more reliable Internet, but it needs to have one," he says, "because the cost of not doing it is too great."

-DD

 :

Note that Lazowska is a big believer in the positive future which technology may bring:

Labels:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Password Managers

Lucian Constantin offers recommendations about password management for the non-technical administrator or end-user.

-DD

Labels: ,

Passive Voice

Geoffery Pullum has written an article titled "Fear and Loathing of the English Passive ." Pullum's article abstract notes "I provide an informal but comprehensive syntactic description of passive clauses in English, and then exhibit numerous published examples of incompetent criticism in which critics reveal that they cannot tell passives from actives. Some seem to confuse the grammatical concept with a rhetorical one involving inadequate attribution of agency or responsibility, but not all examples are thus explained. The specific stylistic charges leveled against the passive are entirely baseless."

I confess I need to read this article in full: however, from just glancing at a few examples this appears to be a vigorous essay.

-DD

Labels: , ,

Expectations and Success

Jordan Moeny comments on a study of teacher expectations which shows that successful students faced higher expectations from their educators. Moeny notes that expectations may have a causative role in success, but that teacher observations of which students have grit and intellect may cause the expectations.

-DD

 

 

Labels: ,

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

US Government Shutting Down Commercial Spy Apps

Colin Nigel warns about creepy mobile spy apps , some of which are being pursued by US Federal regulators for violating privacy laws.

-DD

 

Labels: , , ,

Browser Privacy Plug-Ins

Rick Broida lists Web browser privacy plug-ins , some of which are free or shareware, and some of which are commercial products. These tools prevent malicious people from tracking a user's journey around the Web. The downside of these plug-ins is that they may prevent useful applications from functioning, if their function requires tracking user behavior.

-DD

Labels: ,

Monday, October 20, 2014

Taxpayers and Pay for Success

Megan Golden comments on "Pay for Success " programs, and considers the applicability of such programs to higher education.

The comments on this opinion piece were not positive about taxpayers funding "Pay for Success" programs, suggesting that any criteria for evaluating success may be easy to game.

-DD

Labels: ,

Demand for Computer Literacy

Ed Patrick muses on whether employers really want employees with Computer Literacy . For many fields, the ability to locate and utilize information is vital, but there are some occupations where the position does not involve handling knowledge.

-DD

Labels: ,

Free Network Monitoring Tools

Paul Venezia explores free network monitoring tools that allow the technically savvy to determine when network channels are clogged, what type of traffic is on the network, and so forth. Thus, the seven software packages can be useful for eliminating network slowdowns, thwarting attacks over the network, and so forth.

In order to understand what these tools do, the user needs to be very familiar with TCP/IP and other Internet protocols. It is also valuable to record the results of such diagnostic tools before a problem exists, as this provides a baseline for identifying deviant behavior.

Contention for bandwidth will only increase as more devices are Internet-enabled. Someone will be required to master tools such as these to keep home and office networks functioning.

-DD

Labels: , ,

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Test Proctoring

Jeffery Young reports on new tech developments seen at the EDUCAUSE Conference . Key new technologies involve automated exam proctoring and open source textbooks.

-DD

Labels: , ,

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Why People Love Libraries

Brian Mathews shares survey data gathered from university students, and discovered that those who frequent the library bond with the like-minded librarians and students. Friendliness, conveying to your clientele that each individual is valued, it key to making a library a welcome place.

-DD

Labels: , ,

USB Drives Compromised

Lucian Constantin reports that tools exist for creating malicious USB drives . Each USB drive has a chip that is a very small computer, and the USB drive can be programmed to send keystrokes to the computer or to execute other behavior.

-DD

 

Labels: , ,

Friday, October 17, 2014

Graphite.org Analyses Educational Apps

Graphite.org is a website which evaluates educational apps. Bill Gates recommends the site on his blog.

-DD

Labels: ,

Privacy and Library Statistics

David Weinberg suggests that libraries develop granular usage statistics so that they can do a better job of purchasing materials. Presently most librarians have such strong privacy concerns that they delete all but the most general data.

-DD

Labels: , ,

Thursday, October 16, 2014

How Matters

Ben Yagoda comments on Dov Seidman claim to own the word "how" when used as a noun . Seidman, an author and management consultant, wrote a book entitled How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything (2011). One of his consulting clients was an advertising agency who later created an expensive ad campaign for Chobani yogurt, based around the slogan "How Matters." Seidman is claiming ownership of the concept of "how" having value.

-DD

 

Labels: , , , ,

No-Contract Mobile Phone Carriers

Rick Broida compiled a list of no-contract mobile phone carriers .

When my daughter lost or laundered two phones in three months, I realized that an inexpensive phone and a no-contract carrier was best for my teens. In my experience, coverage area is very important, as some carriers can only be accessed in densely populated urban areas.

-DD

 

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Biometic Password Based on Heartbeat

Sharon Gaudin informs us that the Nymi wrristband developed by Bionym is designed to eliminate the need to remember passwords.

-DD

Labels: ,

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Linked Data

OCLC Research has published results of a survey of implementers of linked data . Linked data is information adequately described for machine interaction/manipulation.

-DD

 

Labels:

Monday, October 13, 2014

Insights From a Library Advisory Board

Brian Mathews notes that some Virginia Tech students want to share their moment-by-moment location with the university, by having the university record swipe card transactions at doorways on campus. The students seem to believe that surrendering this bit of privacy will allow the university to provide more staffing and other resources where it is needed.

I perceive this as a refreshing bit of trust conveyed by these students.

-DD

Labels: ,

Exercise and Instruction

Mark McGraw calls attention to research indicating that twenty minutes of daily exercise can improve long-term memory.

I can believe this, because if I sit for hours the blood seems to pool in my legs. I become sleepy and unproductive. Walking around for even five minutes does more to awaken my mind than a cup of coffee.

Would it be wise for instructors to require that people get up and walk (or at least stretch) every 40 minutes to maximize information retention?

-DD

Labels: , , ,

Voice Recognition Being Pursued With Neural Networks

Sharon Gaudin reports on the work of Andrew Ng, Chief Scientist for the search engine Baidu. Ng is developing neural networks which should allow computers to interpret human spoken requests accurately . The goal is to allow people who cannot afford traditional computers data retrieval capabilities over their mobile phone.

A concern about a search engine as your primary information source is that filter bubbles can develop, either due to the algorithm being used, or due to selected presentation by the database company.

-DD

 

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Software and Hardware Beacons

Galen Gruman developed a slideshow to illustrate the use of physical beacon devices for tracking user location.

An earlier usage of the term "beacon" is applied to images downloaded from (and tracked by) a Web server. Bruno Skvorc reviews software beacon technology , and Melissa Aparico demonstrates a consumer mail-tracking application which utilizes software tracking beacons.

-DD

 

Labels: , , ,

The Best UniversityExperience

Terry Pluto comments on how character formation trumps academic reputation in creating a successful academic experience. Pluto speaks of how work experience and the creation of a network of friends and mentors were the transformational heritage of his academic experience.

Pluto discovered he could not afford a top-ranked school for his undergraduate degree, but still became a successful writer. For his career in newspaper writing, working with a diverse population was probably vital to his professional development.

I have also heard that even those considering a career in education should not sacrifice to go to a top-rated school, because the highest academic degree achieved is the one which employers evaluate for academic rigor.

-DD

Labels: , ,

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Hazards of a Sedentary Lifestyle

Mansall Denton provides an infographic that depicts why sitting is harmful , as well as tips for overcoming the tendancy for a sedentary lifestyle.

It would be interesting to research whether better decisions are made sitting or standing....

-DD

Labels: , ,

Friday, October 10, 2014

Employee Behaviors Which Find Favor

Fred O'Connor suggests the best behaviors for new college graduates in an information technology position, but these qualities would be of value to any knowledge worker.

-DD

Labels: ,

Thursday, October 09, 2014

History of Telecommunications

Paul McNamara has posted a timeline of telecommunication history . It is hard for me to believe that a substantial part of the workforce was born before modems were in use.

-DD

Labels: ,

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Project Management Software

Rich Hein provides a list of "Seven Free Project Management Tools ."

I use Google Docs on a regular basis, and am amazed at the flexibility of the Google suite. Some time ago I set up a Yammer account, but discovered I really had no use for the communication functions it offered. The remainder of the tools in this article are new to me.

-DD

 

Labels: ,

Dehydration Blurs Thinking

The National Health Service provides convincing arguments for making hydration a priority.

-DD

Labels: ,

Monday, October 06, 2014

Password Technology

Serdar Yegulalp offers insights into future password technologies.

Yegulalp is a professional writer and InfoWorld editor. His name was so unusual that I checked to see if it was an encrypted "nom de plume."

-DD

Labels: ,

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Microsoft Delve

Jaun Carlos Perez explores the new Microsoft information management program, Delve .

-DD

Labels:

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Windows 9 and Wi-Fi Sense

Jared Newman notes that Windows 9 should offer better Wi-Fi connectivity. This is good news, as I have had trouble getting Wi-Fi to connect to institutional wireless networks.

-DD

Labels: ,

It's Fixed!

Paul Glen warns about two words which result in customer disappointment .

This post reminds me of the exhortation of Bob Chaffee - "Underpromise and overdeliver!" -DD

Labels: ,

Friday, October 03, 2014

Project Management

Patrick McGuinness provides "Five Tips for Keeping IT Projects on Track." McGuinness' principles for project management are:

  1. Consistent execution;
  2. Maintain milestones;
  3. Ask for help when necessary;
  4. Learn from failure;
  5. Balance appropriate governance and speedy innovation.

-DD

Labels:

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Helping Online Students

Melora Sundt offers "Ten Ways to Help Your Online Students Feel at Home With Your Institution :

  1. Be Responsive
  2. Be Accessible
  3. Be Friendly
  4. Be Inclusive
  5. Familiarize Them With Your Campus's Unique Elements
  6. Facilitate Collaboration
  7. Be Accommodating
  8. Connect Them With the Institution
  9. Make Sure They Have a Point-Person
  10. Be Welcoming.
The article concludes with a list of sources to support these recommendations.

-DD

Labels: ,

Co-investment in Training

Patrick Thibodeau observes that IBM has required that certain employees make a co-investment in training in order to retain their technology positions. This involves a 10% cut in pay until the necessary skill attainments are met. IBM will pay the entire cost of their training. Thibodeau muses whether this will become a trend in the industry.

-DD

Labels: ,

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Success Tips

Chester Elton warns of behaviors which harm motivation .
Florence Lewis shares a similar theme, presenting "Typical Excuses of Unproductive People.

-DD

Labels: ,