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David Dickens
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David Dickens

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You might find this an odd security post.
There's no trojan payload, no zero day vulnerability here; no password crack or Facebook hack; in fact there's nothing here at all about the tech at the end of our fingertips. This is about the tech of our minds and in our hearts.

There is no security that can be built into our tools that can prevent a crisis arising from the absence of virtue in the people operating them. Educating users (especially kids) in ethical computing is of greater importance than how to remove malware from your laptop, or forcing them to turn on 2-factor authentication.

Honesty, integrity and truthfulness are curiously missing from the list of fundamental British values schools are now obliged to promote, but these surely should form part of any ethical approach to computing education. We should stress to children that they should be truthful when they write online. When pupils work in digital media, they should show the world as it is: they should learn how photos, audio and video can be edited to show things more positively (or negatively) than they are, but should also recognise the harm that should misrepresentation can do, and become more adept at spotting this when it happens. If pupils sign up for online services, they shouldn’t lie about their age or identity, and should stick to the conditions they (or their parents or teachers) agree to.
We need to pay more attention to ethics when we teach computing. You'd be forgiven for thinking computing in the national curriculum is all about coding. It's not. There should be a balance between computer science, information technology and digital literacy, or the theoretical foundations, ...
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Honesty, integrity and truthfulness are curiously missing from the list of fundamental British values schools are now obliged to promote, but these surely should form part of any ethical approach to computing education.  Quoting from the article. 
My 45-year-old son values external appearance.  His world is about what he can get and how he appears.  He will not give unless he can expect to receive.  I was unable to guide him to live with integrity. 
These days remind me of a science fiction book I read long ago, in which each person lived alone in a cubicle with a computer screen, from which all their daily activities were regulated.  Personal interactions were limited and regulated by the government.
Right now, I am sitting alone in my cubicle typing on my computer.  It occupies a good deal of my time, and is an invaluable resource, but I wish I could just go out and play.  That was my desire as a child.  Indoor activities, games, had no appeal.  This new world is impersonal.  That is scary.
We can do our best to incorporate values in the young.  We can lead by example, but we cannot necessarily expect to be followed.
Your posts are truly thought-provoking.
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David Dickens

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Dividing the world by Zero.
What a fascinating piece by +Doc Searls on the distances which have kept us apart and what is, or at least maybe, happening as they disappear. We lack much of framework to properly talk about this; we don't even have the words and some of our words are dangerously misleading.

Not all wishes the Giant Zero grants are good ones. Some are very bad. What matters is that we need to make the most of the good ones and the least of the bad. And we can’t do either until we understand this new world, and start making the best of it on its own terms.

The main problem is that we don’t have those terms yet. Worse, our rhetorical toolbox is almost entirely native to the physical world and misleading in the virtual one. Let me explain.
The world of distance Fort Lee is the New Jersey town where my father grew up. It’s at the west end of the George Washington Bridge, which he also helped build. At the other end is Manhattan. Even …
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You forget how disruptive the Internet is, until an article like this is read. I would separate telecommunications (i.e. mobile phones, digital telephony) from the Internet, though. They both have made profound impacts on the Giant Zero, but until recently (and probably still today), were run on very separate networks with very different paradigms (underlying technologies, reliability, scale, etc). Big Data, warehouse scale computing, analytics, nano-technology ... they also are game changers. The author should probably look at the Internet as a subset of the technological revolution.

The introduction reads like my explanations to my nieces and nephews about what it was like to plan a Friday night out with friends, as a teenager, without cell phones. ::mind blown::
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Possible nerd insight.
Or maybe under #WhyDidTomBradyCheat?

As a life long nerd, I have spent endless hours playing all manner of competitive and cooperative games (board, role-playing, computer, etc) and of all the people I knew who definitively cheated (I never busted them, but I witnessed the act first hand) each one was the best or perhaps the second best gamer in the group.

Other measures of their personal integrity were irrelevant. In other words, these people are almost neurotically honest in any other situation. We're talking about people of virtue who you'd otherwise trust without question.

I suspect the pressures to maintain one's self-image and to be seen by others as a winner are much greater once the identity has set in. Whether it is taking a little air out of the football, or slipping a few bills out of the bank when playing Monopoly the same principle applies.
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Interesting about some people didn't surprise tho 
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David Dickens

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Leadership, I don't think it means what you think it means.
"It's terrifying, and nobody is safe," said one faculty member. "It is shattering. It feels like the end of what so many of us have sacrificed for."
Folks being fired for disloyalty, faculty in tears in their offices, I wonder how long the board puts up with this. Right now they are the ones allowing this rookie error to turn into a full blown institution crippling scandal.

I don't object to proactively engaging at-risk students or even coming with them to the mutual conclusion that their academic success cannot be achieved at that institution; but the institution bears responsibility for their admissions process and moreover, dropping the students before they might scar the reputation of the institution seems callous and dishonest.

None of that matters now. Now this is about someone who will have his way no matter the cost. Pride and power masquerading as principle will domainate wht happens next.
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I don't disagree with the concept of bouncing out students and refunding their money.  Keeping them in and allowing them to accumulate debt is worse.  But the president has caused the school to be seen as a bad place to educated a high school graduate, exactly opposite of what he was hired to do.
If I had to do it over, I would not send my second son to college.  I would use $20K of the $100K we spent on college to send him to Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America.  He would have received a much better education by learning about the world, its cultures, and its peoples.  In my zeal for structured education, I ignored the fact that he was not motivated to succeed in an American college environment.  I don't think he is the only one.
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Has anyone made the recommended switch?
So I assume most of you have gotten the notice that Google Hangouts would very much appreciate it if you'd use Google Messenger for SMS instead.

I like Hangouts and have been fine with using it for texting (though sometimes it gets confused between Hangouts messages and text messages since it can handle multiple accounts).

The only added feature I can find in Messenger is saving an outgoing message as a draft. Otherwise, it seems like just another app to have on my phone. Anyone have a more insightful experience?
Stay in touch with friends and family. Messenger from Google is a communica...
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I'm pretty displeased with google's "break it up" strategy. (See:

But I have heard unconfirmed rumors it was to enable P2P voip. (See:

But I am skeptical about the relationship. 
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That's disappointing.
I was actually looking forward to this. The verdict is only a little better on Rotten Tomatoes:

I know that the Coen Brothers can sometimes outsmart themselves. Apparently twith such efforts at making inside jokes and obscure Hollywood references, they might as well have locked all the good stuff in a vault to protect the audience from getting them.
The third new offering of the weekend, Nicholas Sparks' film adaptation 'The Choice,' is also struggling; 'Kung Fu Panda 3' will beat all three to stay at No. 1.
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+Paul Mitchener
I'll wait for Pride to come on TV
When there's nowt else on
& it's raining.
Then I'll read a book instead.
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David Dickens

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At one time you could have argued Macs were more secure.
Times have changed, but when the vector of attack is a social exploit all bets are off no matter what the system. All we can do is keep our computing experience as simple as possible and dial up our BS detectors to filter out the garbage. I used to give out some rules of thumb to my users (look at the links, check for https, always navigate to the website yourself first to double check, and so on), but after seeing some of the sophisticated spear-phishing attempts lately those rules are less useful.

Mac scareware is being spread, with a little help from a legitimate Apple developer certificate. Be on your guard for bogus security warnings!
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Adobe made significant contributions to open source and open standards. Although I am sure they wanted to make money and develop markets (and they did), they were doing it in service to a larger, more abstract goal. That's good capitalism, from a distance. I don't know what I don't know, though.
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David Dickens

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Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook.
Wherein I ask you, dear readers, for a bit of wisdom. We've been running Google Apps alongside Microsoft Exchange for years. Now is the time to take the plunge into a unified platform. I've been using Gmail via the Web for years, but I am quite certain that many of my users will want to use Microsoft Outlook as they have become accustomed to over the years.

I'd love to hear from Google Apps users who either use Microsoft Outlook themselves or support others using it with GASMO. Any tips, tricks, trials, or troubles you could run past me as we prepare for this project?
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Absolutely the best article I've read on this.
This isn't a web-blurb on Buzzfeed, it is an thoughtful look at the balance of tools we have available and how to use them in symphony with one another. Paper and pen are not dead yet, nor should we let them go quietly into that good night.

Frankly, I so much enjoyed reading a well-written article online amidst all the self-regenerating nonsense out there that this fine piece is worth celebrating on that point alone.
Learn a science-backed pen and paper productivity method to gain more focus, feel more organized, learn more deeply, and think more creatively.
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Excellent article.  I'm a luddite and find very little use for computers beyond sending emails and searching the internet for ideas, etc.  Pencil and paper, however, are with me all the time because they're intuitive to use and I can jot down a note or draw out a sketch with little effort.  
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Another publisher making the move to block blockers.
I still don't see how the end game works out for them. With recent stories about the dangers of malvertising, ad blocking isn't just about the constant race to grab the user's attention with ever more annoying popups. Some of these ad networks threaten user security, and deserve to be blocked.

Sites like WIRED make more money off of these more aggressive networks so the temptation is high to avoid some of the diligence they should be exercising over ad content. At any rate, the move to block the blockers will only end up with more sophisticated blocking methods, and likely a hit to the Google PageRank as well.
Wired is announcing it will start blocking users with ad-blocking software installed and offering a subscription instead. This seems like a death spiral move to me.
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+Ken Barber I used uBlock Origins, as well as Ghostery, and modified host file.

+Dave Volek I understand the whole concept of advertisements...  but how long until WIRED is just like Cable, where you pay to get access, but still get 'approved' ads. I don't visit WIRED anymore (grown out of their content), I avoid Forbes (they infected people with malware the second ad blockers were disabled).  This is the kind of bullshit I don't need, and WIRED, forbes and their ilk don't care about infecting people, because infection would be another excuse give you a bullshit ad "infected with malware? buy WinCleaner!"

I support websites that give me good content. I was a paid member of Fark (no longer... no time to visit), but I support several webcomics, music podcasts, as well as many other sites where I give adhoc when necessary.
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David Dickens

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Everyone is posting this, but are you doing it?
2GB more storage for free is fine, but having your Google account more secure is priceless. I hope they keep up this annual tradition. It is a good thing to think about the security of your most important accounts at least once a year.
Tomorrow is apparently "Safer Internet Day," which you most likely didn't mark on your calendar. Google remembered Safer Internet Day, though. To cele... by Ryan Whitwam in News
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Gamification is often a method I advocate to get users more secure. I wished we'd had enough time to discuss that with Patrick Heim from Dropbox on our show. Here's the article we were gonna discuss with him.
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An educational technology thought experiment.
I wonder what +Phil Hill, +Laura Gibbs, and +George Station think about this.

For my part, I have become convinced that the real answers to these sorts of questions cannot be found among those of us willing to engage in a bit of metaphysical pedagogy. Nor can it be found by surveying the faculty or the administrative policies of our institutions. It certainly won't be found among the software developers and systems vendors providing our LMS. The real answer to this question lies in the eye of the beholders, that is, the students themselves.

Quoted in full:

Suppose a faculty member decides she wants to provide some positive reinforcement to students in her class next semester. She decides that each time a student scores 80% or higher on an exam, she’ll send them an email congratulating them and encouraging them to keep up the good work. Now, she has to decide how to send these messages. After a little thought, she decides she has four options:

1. Review the gradebook each Saturday, find everyone who meets the criterion, and send them each an email.

2. Prewrite a series of appropriate emails and store them in a text document. Review the gradebook each Saturday, find everyone who meets the criterion, and send each of them one of the prewritten messages.

3. Prewrite a series of appropriate emails and store them in a text document. Write a script that parses the gradebook each Saturday and generates a list of people who meet the criterion. Send one of the prewritten messages to each person on the list generated by the script.

4. Prewrite a series of appropriate emails and store them in a text document. Write a script that parses the gradebook each Saturday, generates a list of people who meet the criterion, and sends each of them one of the prewritten messages.
As she considers these four options, our faculty member wants to ensure that students are actually receiving a message “from their teacher” and that students will interpret the messages as such.

Which method(s) of sending the messages meets this standard? Why?
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I'm just finishing up at a conference today, but glad to come back to this afterwards.
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