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Scott Hetherington
Works at Wild Rose School Division
Attended Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
Lives in Rocky Mountain House
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Scott Hetherington

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Hangouts now supports any Google Apps customer account
We've heard from educators that multi-way video calling would be a useful tool for learning. It would help students connect with experts and with each other, and would help educators teach remotely and collaborate with their peers. So starting today, Hangouts video meetings support any Google Apps customer account (http://goo.gl/L5xha4), including those without a Google+ profile. Google Apps customers can start or join a high-definition video meeting that connects 15 participants from their computer (and coming soon for mobile and tablet). Multi-way calling will also be available if you’re using Google Talk. 

To help you get started, we’ve put together 10 ways to use multi-way video calling in class: http://goo.gl/93b1c4. We can’t wait to see how you’ll use this new feature. 
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More teaching, less tech-ing. 

We’ve worked closely with teachers to build new tools made for the classroom. Google Play for Edu is now available to US K-12 Chromebook schools. Check out the details here: www.google.com/edu/play #GoogleEDU #IO14
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Well that's unexpected...
 
Amazon announcing a new product on June 18th, possibly a 3D smartphone http://goo.gl/7dTPMN
Amazon announcing a new product on June 18th, possibly a 3D smartphone
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After deploying Google Apps for Education last year, Brazilian School Colégio Mater Dei was inspired to take tech in the classroom to the next level. They’ve now created a space built from the ground up as a technology-powered learning center for K-12. Behold their “Google Learning Space”: goo.gl/YKgGsP
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Wow, impressive.
 
Researchers Teach A Robot To Catch Flying Objects
When the robot uprising begins, don’t try to take on our new overlords by throwing assorted household items at them. It won't work!
-+Greg Kumparak

http://goo.gl/phl6jy

It's not just the catching part what's interesting here, it's the way hand learns how to do it.
More and more parts of autonomous human-like robots are getting figured out across the globe. They are getting faster, lighter, and use artificial intelligence to learn the desired behaviour.

I'm creating a simple artificial life simulation for my thesis, and this interests me deeply.

A couple of years ago, I've seen first drones coming to life. They were home/lab built and required extensive knowledge to come by.
Today you can get them online for as low as couple hundred $. They get bigger, are used to carry stuff like cameras, in aerial photography, and companies like Amazon talk about using them as autonomous delivery systems.

We're at the phase where most of the needed technology exists, scattered around the world in different labs, developed by different teams. Collecting all that into one product, providing SDK with "smart stuff" built in, and packaging it into an affordable packet, will take some more time.

Whoever does it first, will start a revolution bigger than the smartphone, and I want in!



Quote in the subtitle and image: http://techcrunch.com/2014/05/12/researchers-teach-a-robot-to-catch-flying-objects-like-yogi-berra .
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No problem! Thought it was pretty cool.
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Attention K-12 Teachers and Summer Enrichment Program Leaders!

Are you interested in learning more about Computer Science but don’t know where to start? Try the Search Engine for K-12 Computer Science Education (http://goo.gl/KQ6IYQ) on +Google for Education

To discover resources for introducing your students to the world of coding, search for ‘code tutorials’ and explore the range of materials, such as the +Code.org  (http://goo.gl/TMmJWn) and +Processing (http://goo.gl/mU9WI8) Tutorials. Your students can use these to learn the basics of computer science through web-based tutorials. If you’re interested in learning how to integrate computer science into your language arts, mathematics, or science classroom, search for ‘computational thinking’ and browse the Exploring Computational Thinking (http://goo.gl/YemCuj) site for activities and projects you can use with your students.

Getting started on your search for computer science instructional materials is easy with this customized search engine. Head over to the +Google for Education  Tools & Resources page (http://goo.gl/KQ6IYQ), click on the Visit Site link for the Search Engine for K-12 Computer Science Education, and enter any keyword (such as tutorial, variables, or programming) to begin exploring the world of computer science in K-12 education.
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Scott Hetherington

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So..I was wondering how Google had solved the pairing of a non Wifi connected device and a Chromecast and had some ideas but I could never have imagined that the solution was Ultra sonic sound. They are just brilliant over at the Google complex. Experts in thinking out of the box.
Summary: Bad news for bats, good news for Chromecast fans: Google is using ultrasonic sounds to pair its streaming stick with nearby devices.
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Importing Web Data into Google Spreadsheet

Did you know you can import tables available online directly into +Google Drive? That can be done using the ImportHTML function on  Google Spreadsheets and will save you a lot of time. The image below shows how to do it (source goo.gl/19mojE).
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#NowCasting Google+ photos and videos
Transform your TV into a photo album. Starting today, you can cast +Google+ photos and videos to your TV with #Chromecast using your +Android phone or tablet, iPhone or iPad. Just look for the cast button in the Photos view of the Google+ app to view and share your favorite memories right on your TV.

Pro tip: Not seeing your photos? Switch on the Auto Backup feature in Google+ to cast all of your photos. You can find this in the settings menu.

Learn more: http://goo.gl/YhwHSB
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And sadly, the western world is trending in the same direction.
 
I think the worst part is that since #1 son's school is so good -- top 50 in the country -- there are correspondingly even more terrible schools out there to balance it out. 
The United States is being overrun by a wave of anti-science, anti-intellectual thinking. Has the most important, powerful nation on Earth lost its mind?
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Kinder Morgan Claims Oil Spills Can Have ‘Positive' Effects

Kinder Morgan's slogan is "A Different Kind of Energy Company," but its latest argument for expanding an oil pipeline is just ridiculous.

http://ecowatch.com/2014/05/04/oil-spills-effects/ ‎
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As we draw closer to possession date of our new home, I've been looking into household #robotics. And I find myself underwhelmed.

What was recently once the pinnacle of modern suburban technology has become lackluster and underachieving. Leaders in the field are resting on their laurels and making very minor incremental adjustments year over year and charging a premium for it.

I've been loosely following +iRobot and their product line, with the intent of picking one up when it came time to move. But now that the time is nigh, I hesitate. I expect more.

Current offerings are humble cleaners that keep your home relatively tidy, but require maintenance themselves. Depending on the model, you have to charge, empty, replace, refill, guide, and put away your robot. You'll also have to strategically place beacons and walls around your dwelling to help the robot out.

Did I mention the beacons and walls also require batteries? Why bother?

If I were to bring a cleaning robot to market, here's how I'd compete:

Robots would be Wi-Fi connected. Each time they clean, they also upload their memory of the physical space to the cloud. This space map would then allow you to draw virtual boundaries via an app that the robot would then adhere to during subsequent runs.

The robot would come with a smart base add-on. This base would handle charging and also double as a waste basket into which the robot would empty it's bins when they got full. The robot would let you know via push notification in it's app when the bin needed emptying.

The app would also allow remote control of the robot. If it gets into a bind, or if it is taking a path you want to change, you could manually override it and show it the right way. The manual path could then be either discarded as a one-time obstacle or committed to the space map.

All data collected by the robots would be cloud processed and data mined to help the robots iterate their own pathing logic.

The robot would also remain in a sleep state when in the base, instead of being entirely off. Shock and sound censors built into the unit would detect nearby spills and provide on-demand auto cleaning.

This same functionality would also provide home security. Motion detection sensors normally used to avoid furniture and animals can detect intruders and alert you via push notification.

The robot would learn your activity schedule, and clean when you're not home. Much like the +Nest thermostat does. No more programming.

All of the above functionality is already possible. It's been proven pretty extensively that consumers in this market are affluent and willing to shell out for a premium product. I would plunk down money tomorrow without question if it existed.

Why doesn't it? Hopefully with +Larry Page's recent interest in AI and robotics, and the recent earth-shattering hire of +Ray Kurzweil, these pie-in-the-sky ramblings of a random nerd might one day become reality.



#LateNightRant
#Robots
#Robotics


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  • Wild Rose School Division
    System Administrator II, 2008 - present
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Rocky Mountain House
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Posts about tech, sports, life and cars. Vested interest in IT and education. Opinions are my own, and do not reflect views held by my employer.
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  • Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
    Information Systems Technology (IST), 2006 - 2008
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