Knowledge Handler

Information Sources & Information Sifting Techniques

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Location: Independence, Ohio, United States

Librarian at Indiana Wesleyan University's Cleveland Education Center.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Millennial Employees

Michael Cooney summarizes the IBM report on Millennial workers . The research study highlights the strengths of millennial workers, and disputes some of the stereotypes associated with this cohort.

-DD

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Friday, February 27, 2015

FERPA Revision Contemplated

Benjamin Herold notes that a call is being raised to update FERPA , the U.S. legislation designed to protect student privacy. Various flaws exist in the current law. For example, under the existing legislation, penalties are levied on a school or university, even if data is released by 3rd party vendors.

-DD

 

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Loss Aversion

Loss aversion is usually studied as a motivator for illogical or even illegal behavior. However, Steven Feldman observes that loss aversion may motivate patient compliance with physician directives.

Likewise, I have observed that students are more motivated after they discover they may fail a class than they are at the beginning of a course. When a course starts, all students are starting with a blank slate and could strive to achieve an "A" -- but some are not motivated to strive for the exemplary.

-DD

 

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Machine Learning

Mary Branscombe shares that Microsoft has become a leader in machine learning . Microsoft is putting its artificial intelligence algorithms into many of its offerings, from Skype language translation to Azure Machine Learning.

-DD

 

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Resume Writing

Amos Tayts suggests how to improve a resume .

-DD

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Kill Switch Reduces Phone Theft

Martyn Williams celebrates the 20-40% drop in cellphone thefts that occurred as a result of the manufacturer's installing kill-switches. The kill-switch deactivates or "bricks" a phone when it is reported stolen, thus eliminated the street value of stolen phones.

-DD

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Optimum Workplace Size

Bob Sutton argues that four team members is optimal for working teams.

In a similar vein, W. L. Gore and Associates limits the size of its installations to 200 or less employees in order to cultivate employee loyalty to their co-workers and company.

-DD

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Quality Smartphone Photos

Smartphones are replacing pocket cameras for snapshots.   There are simple techniques to improve the quality of the photos taken with a phone.

-DD

 

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Chinese Cyberspace Security Song

Bob Brown, Sisi Wei and Yue Qiu share an anthem of the Chinese Cyberspace Administration both in translation, and in a linked YouTube of the song being performed by Administration workers.

-DD

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Friday, February 20, 2015

Microsoft Offers A Free Year of OneDrive Storage To Dropbox Customers

Gregg Keiser observes that Microsoft is offering 100 gigabytes of free OndDrive storage for a year to current Dropbox users. The presumed goal is to have users migrate to Microsoft's cloud, where they will pay fees after the free year expires.

-DD

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Google Takeout

Google Takeout is a service for archiving data stored on Google servers.

-DD

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Successful Meetings

Bob Sutton shares a tip from Patty McCord for bringing meetings to a productive conclusion . Ask these two questions before adjourning: “Have we made any decisions in the room today, and (if we have) how are we going to communicate them?”

-DD

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Technological Innovation

Yoni Heisler presents ten obscure technologies that could change the world.

-DD

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Department of Defense "Memex" Project

Memex is projected by DARPA as the next generation in search technology . DARPA envisions four benefits from this project:

  1. Development of next-generation of search technologies to revolutionize the discovery, organization and presentation of domain-specific content Creation of a new domain-specific search paradigm to discover relevant content and organize it in ways that are more immediately useful to specific tasks Extension of current search capabilities to the deep web and nontraditional content Improved interfaces for military, government and commercial enterprises to find and organize publically available information on the Internet.

Richi Jennings has collected comments about the ongoing development of MEMEX.

-DD

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tutoring Service Under-Utilized

Google is shuttering its HelpOuts service, which served as a marketplace for tutors.   According to reporter Zack Miners, the service was under-utilized and Google has determined to close it down April 20.

I have observed that only highly motivated students avail themselves of tutoring options, even if personal tutoring is provided without cost.   In my opinion, students who are identified as being at risk of failure should be assigned a mentor or coach whose main role would be to encourage these students to succeed.

-DD

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Workplace Cohesion

Matt Palmquist reports on research conducted by Sean Wise which shows that there can be productivity problems when there are high levels of workplace socialization .

-DD

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Facebook Vulnerability Put Photos at Risk

Tim Green reports that Laxman Muthiyah discovered a flaw in Facebook security that could allow anyone's photos to be deleted. Muthiyah reported the flaw to Facebook, which has patched the vulnerability.

-DD

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Five Aspects of Wellness

Gallup Research has re-defined wellness in a holistic way, and encourages companies to encourage all five identified aspects of wellness in employee wellness programs. These aspects are:

  1. Purpose: liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals
  2. Social: having supportive relationships and love in your life
  3. Financial: managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security
  4. Community: liking where you live, feeling safe, and having pride in your community
  5. Physical: having good health and enough energy to get things done daily.

-DD

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Unlocked Mobile Phones

Don Reisinger reports that U.S. phone carriers must now allow customers to unlock their phones if contract obligations are met.

-DD

 

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Deep Space Climate ObserVatoRy

Michael Cooney reports on the history of the Deep Space Climate ObserVatoRy (DSCOVR). The satellite will be parked in the L1 orbital position, roughly a million miles away from Earth. From this location it can provide an hour's warning of catastrophic bursts of solar radiation that could fry electronics on earth and kill unprotected astronauts.

The framework for the satellite was constructed in the 1990's for a cancelled mission, and was since re-purposed for solar surveillance. The satellite was launched for NASA/NOAA/U.S. Air Force by a SpaceX booster.

-DD

 

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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Cartoons on Technology Issues

Phil Johnson shares his best cartoons on technology themes.

-DD

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Snow Day Calculator

Paul McNamara interviews David Sukhin , creator of the Snow Day Calculator. Sukhin reports that he began developing the calculator as a middle school student, and the software has been continually upgraded so it can survive a quarter-million hits each day.

-DD

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Wirecutter and Sweethome

Ryan Cordell promotes the product comparison websites wirecutter and sweethome.

-DD

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Color Blindness

Natalie Houston reports on accomodating color blindness in graphic design.

From looking at her chart of what colors variations those with color blindness perceive, the only universally perceived colors seem to be black, blue and white.

-DD

 

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Sunday, February 08, 2015

Funding For Accountability

Madeleine Will summarizes a study on efforts to tie future funding to student success.

-DD

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Friday, February 06, 2015

Airborne Internet

Matt Weinberger muses on the promise of balloons and drones to provide internet accessto remote areas. He points to efforts funded by Google and Facebook to deploy proof-of-concept trials.

-DD

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Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Search Engines

Phil Bradley curates a list of over 100 search engines targeting various special audiences.   Bradley also offers advice for conducting advanced searches of Web resources.

-DD

 

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Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Tracking Driver Behavior

Lucas Mearian warns about auto insurance companies tracking driver behavior using cell phone technology from Agero. The sensors of a driver's smartphone will be a key component in the deployment of inexpensive usage based insurance (UBI).

Mearian reports that "Agero claims that it serves 15 of the top 20 insurance companies and that 75% of the new passenger vehicles sold in the U.S. have its telematics software in them. As a result, Agero has 'more information about cars and drivers than any other company.'"

Mearian notes that "If a driver is in an accident, his smartphone will let him know that it's about to send a notification to Agero; the driver has 30 seconds to cancel the notification." My concern is the potential liability for the costs associated with false alarms - ten seconds does not seem to be a long time to cancel a notification that could raise your insurance rates or even send an emergency squad to your location.

Mearian raises the issue of a driver's privacy, as U.S. law allows data aggregators to share the data they glean.

-DD

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The Meaning of Angled Brackets

Anne Curzan comments on the use of angled brackets to indicate bad and good.

-DD

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Monday, February 02, 2015

Ubi Voice Interface

Mark Gibbs heaps praise on Ubi , a voice interface to home equipment on the Internet of Things.

Gibbs does note that it typically takes eight seconds for an Ubi voice request to result in a local action, ascribing this to network delays between the Ubi device, the Ubi server, and the commanded server and device. &nbps; Gibbs also reports that often Ubi either cannot understand a request, or misinterprets a fragment of ambient conversation as a command.

-DD

 

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