• Providing quality teaching resources for the 'computer subjects' (CAT and IT) since 1995.
  • We believe that all learners should be comfortable with computers as part of their lives.
  • Content is presented through real-life examples and scenarios, so that learners may identify with the material more easily and make it relevant to their lives / experiences.
  • We provide videos, PowerPoint presentations, solutions to exercises and data files for exercises - all to make life easier for teachers and learners.
Stacks Image 58588

This Week in Tech

Looking in the Black Mirror

I have been a fan of the Black Mirror series since its debut. I have wondered whether to post about it on this blog - its musings and insights into possible technologically dystopian futures are disturbing but thought and conversation provoking. I can see how watching an episode can be very useful in the classroom - for debate and follow up exercises around which current technologies will develop to make the depicted future possible. Seeing a review of Black Mirror in The Daily Maverick prompted me to include it in this post.

I would highly recommend that if you have not seen Black Mirror you take the time and effort to do so. Even if you don’t include it in your classroom it will arm you with ammunition to pull out when you need to talk about possible future trends and social implications of the technology that you are teaching...

Hardware:


Programming

Malware, hacks, Etc...

AR & VR

Robots

Fake News

Teaching:

Social & privacy

That’s it for this week - really do try to watch Black Mirror (Netflix). Ciao


Comments

Extra Lessons - For GAMING!

It seems like the days of parents and teachers telling kids to stop wasting their time playing computer games might really be at an end. If you've been reading along with previous blog entries you will have noted that e-sports tournaments have huge money prizes and are being considered for the olympics. Not only that, people are earning incomes from sponsorship as top gamers (just like top sportsmen do) - and from streaming their gameplay on services such as Twitch (where they earn money from advertising). The inevitable has finally happened. Parents are paying for their kids to get extra lessons - for Fortnite! Expect to see more of this....

Readable Rants

3D Printing

Fake News

Hacking, Scamming, Phishing

Operating Systems

Programming & Resources

Networking

Social impact

That's it for this week. Enjoy!

Comments

Internet Censorship in SA

The FPB (Film and Publications Board) which so recently and unreasonably overreached itself by giving the film Inxeba: The Wound a pornographic "X" rating, is one step close to trying to censor the internet.

MyBroadband has the details here and here. This gives you a great opportunity to discuss and debate the issue of censorship in general, its dangers and, more importantly, the practical feasibility of enforcing this law.

The Human Error dept.

On 7 March all Occulus Rift VR headsets worldwide stopped working. Not because of a bug or a software problem, but because a security certificate was not renewed. MyBroadband has the details.

Cryptocurrency Heater

This Motherboard writer found himself stuck without a heater in the latest cold blitz in the USA. His solution? Fire up his cryptocurrency mining rig. His article explains how effective it was - and the upshot in terms of cost. A short but entertaining read.

Alexa's Creepy Laugh.

Just read the BuzzFeed article. If it happened to me I'd probably also be creeped out.

The Yellow Pages finally bends the knee

The Yellow Pages. Remember them? That fat book of (obviously) yellow pages containing business listings and advertising for the landline, pre-internet area. Well, it still exists and is going digital. MyBroadband has the details.

What to do when your ISP over-promises and under-delivers

Your ISP sells you a 20 mbps line. You never get to experience that speed. In fact, you are lucky when you get 10 mbps. What to do? In SA, unfortunately, not much. The UK govt has seen the light and has passed a bill which will allow users to simply tear up their contract and move on without penalties. Cool. Engadget has the details.

Deepfakes. AI generated face-transposing videos.

There has been a lot of buzz about the problem of DeepFakes - a technology which has been used to create fake pornographic videos of celebrities by putting their faces on the bodies of porn stars in porn videos. This New York Times article takes a deeper look at the tech and how it works - and foresees the fake news problem becoming worse with a looming increase of fake videos.

More on the fake people in video scene...

If you saw the original Blade Runner movie and the new sequel then you would have noticed the appearance in the new movie of a character from the old - completely unchanged. Boing Boing has an article showing how this was done.

Two articles on News, Fake News and reading from the New York Times.

Both are worth reading.

The Guardian has an article in a similar vein detailing MIT research on why fake spreads faster than true on Twitter.

DigitalTrends "What is" series

Finally: China's first space station due to crash back to Earth

This will happen somewhere around the end of this month. No one knows exactly where or when. Engadget has the details.

That's it for this week. Ciao.

Comments

Teaching without a computer & the problem of women in Tech

This week:

In case you missed the viral post: Richard Appiah Acute (a Ghanaian teacher) does it on the blackboard. The learners must pass a tech exam and he has no computers. You think you have it rough....


Since the post on Facebook Mr Akoto has received many offers of help, computers, software and projectors.

Wired has an interesting article that shows how even at the recruiting level the prevailing atmosphere and attitudes discourage women from entering tech.

DigitalTrends has a short but useful article describing sound cards. And another describing Thunderbolt connectivity.

MyBroadband details how SA retailers are dealing with the shortage of GPUs - because cryptocurrency miners bought more than 3 million GPUs globally last year!

Htxt.co.za has a link to a game that can teach your kids how fake news is created and spread.

Top 500 Supercomputers details how AI beats lawyers at contract reviewing.

Using Black Panther as a springboard Engadget looks at how the proliferation of CG is resulting in overwork, lower salaries and poor quality scenes.

Finally, the NASA video below shows how the older, thicker artic ice has been vanishing over the years...

That's it for this week. Ciao.

Comments

Gaming at school

Facebook never seems to stop putting its foot in its mouth. They're in the news again this week because of, amongst other things, spreading fake news videos about the victims of the recent mass school shooting in the USA. China also features with a concept sure to appeal to at least some of your learners - namely gaming schools! Then there's a whole batch of other interesting tidbits - specifically an in depth article on how it is becoming more difficult to learn to program.

E-Sports - a career option?

E-Sports are a thing. There are competitions with significant prizes and even TV stations dedicated to covering people playing games such as StarCraft against each other. The Citizen has an interesting article on China's approach to the concept of learners playing games in school. Well worth a read...

260 million people are already playing eSport games or watching competitions...

the eSport industry will be worth $906 million in global revenues in 2018

China an example of future surveillance state?

Not really an article you can use in the classroom, but an interesting view of ways that the state can use technology to surveil its citizens. Engadget has the details.

Always Connected Windows - limits exposed

Remember a few posts back I mentioned the prospect of an 'Always Connected' Windows machine using ARM processors - and feared that it would have the same kind of limitations as the failed Windows RT project. Well, DigitalTrends has an article detailing these limitations that was briefly listed (and then pulled) by Microsoft. Spoiler: if you were expecting the full Windows experience then prepare to be disappointed.

YouTube, Facebook and Fake News

Recently 17 young people were killed in a school shooting in Florida. Or were they? Right wing gun freaks claim its all a hoax - and YouTube and Facebook spread their message... Business Insider has the details. Om Malik Explains why Facebook will never change this kind of behaviour.

Good Reads:

  • DigitalTrends has the history of 3D printing.
  • 2018 Budget means smartphones will become more expensive in SA - MyBroadband has the details.
  • The New York Times has a great article titled: 'In an era of smart things, sometimes dumb stuff is better'.
  • CNN Has a great segment of biometrics and giving IDs to people without official documentation.
  • TechCentral announces that a Driverless Taxi service has been improved in the US.
  • The BBC shows us a motorbike racing robot.
  • The BBC has a segment that asks the question "What if the internet stops working?".
  • Did you know? Samsung has a TV factory in SA that can produce 5000 units a day. MyBroadband has the details.
  • Allen Downey has an excellent article on why it is becoming more difficult to learn programming.
  • Bloomberg has a great segment on the connected car. Ars Technica adds more information to scare you even more.
  • Business Insider talks about how social media lures you in and makes an addict of you.

Free Resource:

This YouTube channel has a set of lessons on how computing theory that you could find very useful.

That's it! Hope it's useful.

Comments

Show more posts

Navigation


Contact Information

E-mail:

Fax:

Tel:

Postal Address:

soemail

086 293 2702 or 012 546 5313

012 565 6469

PO Box 52654, Dorandia, 0188

Copyright Study Opportunities 2016 - 2018. All rights reserved.

Privacy Policy | Terms of use