My Week Ending January 21, 2018

Here’s a summary of various things I learned and published this week.


Readings (You can follow my daily readings as they happen here)

  1. I guess there may be a danger in free education after all.  Denmark has noted “Eternity Students”.  Or maybe it’s not so dangerous.  In addition to studies, throw in some time for travel and perhaps some reflection – are the graduates more rounded?
  2. If there’s any doubt that almost everyone carries around a powerful computer in their pockets, take a look at the future?   Just snap your phone into a computer case and it becomes a fully functional desktop unit.  (I want one)
  3. I don’t know about this for me, personally.  There have been enough scares about installing software that has evil tendencies from your store.  Do I really want to sideload applications from just anywhere?
  4. There doesn’t come a day when “fake news” doesn’t appear somewhere.  This is another story about a school that teaches students how to determine the level of fakeness.  Since fingers are pointed at sources like CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox, doesn’t it make you wonder where you need to go to get the absolute unbiased truth?  So many “news” shows are now panel discussions on one side or the other.
  5. My daughter called to see if we had heard the noise and seen the light.  Nope.  We would have been in the rec room watching television.  It sure got a great deal of news coverage though.
  6. I wonder about the quality of the books that are collected and repurposed in this story.  It reminds me a bit of those little libraries that you see around.  They’re great for catching up on novels but a good librarian will curate their resources so that they’re good for facts and relevancy in the traditional library.
  7. The irony of a book to teach you about using an online service is not lost on me!  This epub from David Truss makes for some personal PD with links to resources and ideas shared.  Could this be the tipping point for those who have been hesitant to join?  It’s free and that should be enough to get some folks started.  Please don’t print it.
  8. Are we paying attention?
    “Our education system will also need to evolve. Today, schools churn out graduates optimized for the type of rote, administrative work computers are already more adept at handling. Few children are encouraged to pursue creative, interdisciplinary subjects or develop empathy and interpersonal skills, yet those are the attributes we will most need in order to augment computerized decision-making.”
  9. The new Firefox is indeed fast.  I’ve been using it on the Beta channel for quite some time.  It doesn’t play nicely with Flipboard and that alone has kept me from using it full-time.  Perhaps the update next week will change things.
  10. I try to stay away from sharing stories that are blatantly political.  I thought this story was interesting though since it involved Canada and the UN.  Almost immediately, it brought out the trolls – many with accounts obviously created for the purpose of attacking stories like this.  (Random names or numbered accounts with no verifiable person attached to them).  I blocked them all and learned my lesson.


Blog Posts on doug … off the record


voicEd Radio

The January 17th show can be found here, featuring blog posts from


Technology Trouble Shooting

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner – With Linux Mint 18.3, the nVidia driver wasn’t loading leaving the monitor in a default display mode. It was functional but you do get used to 1600×900 crystal crisp resolution and not a fuzzy image at the lower resolution of 1280×768.  There is great beauty in displaying the images at the optimal display setting.  The Nouveau display driver works great.  Thank you, Open Source.

Ongoing – There’s something comforting about not being the only person with a particular problem.  My Chromebook, every now and again, goes into a bizarre state.  Instead of going to sleep with the orange throbber reminding me and then waking up nicely, it will go to sleep and the LED indicator continues to shine blue which is usually a sign that it’s in operation and not sleeping.  The screen stays black (some are calling it Chrome’s “black screen of death”) and it doesn’t wake as it should.  Holding the power button for 10 seconds gives a hard reboot.  I eagerly update when prompted thinking this is the time that it’s fixed.

Little help?


New Word LearnedIntarsia


My Favourite Photo This Week


Do you see the person Jaimie and I recognized in this roadside Rorschach test?  I sent the picture to him and he responded “Wow! that’s me!”


Thanks for reading.




Whatever happened to …

… New Year’s Resolutions?

In a computer science class a few years away, I remember a group of students coming in on the first Monday in January and ask:

Sir, you’re not going to spend the entire class going around the room asking everyone for their New Year’s resolutions like Mrs. XXXXX did, are you?

My first thought was that Mrs. XXXXX mustn’t have done any lesson planning over the break.  Anyway, I said “no” to their apparent happiness.

I remember friends having these resolutions as a kid growing up.  I never really understood why and always asked “What’s the big deal about January 1 as opposed to any other day?”  The answers were always trite – because that’s what you do – often was the most frequent response.

If you pay attention to the media, you’ll note that the first of January is heavy with advertisements for diet plans or gym memberships, attempting to cash in on resolutions.  And, like these resolutions, they tend to fade as January progresses.

This year, on Social Media, I noticed a lack of people making New Year’s resolutions.  I kind of thought that there might be some sort of viral hashtag but I didn’t notice any.

I did find a couple of things that I would consider close.

  • Sheila Stewart did write a post about her resolution – to use Twitter lists more often
  • Julie Balen blogged about and encouraged others to participate in the #OneWordONT initiative

How about your thoughts for a Sunday morning?

  • Do you believe in and make New Year’s Resolutions?
  • If so, do you want to share yours with the class?
  • Did your school, perhaps, make a resolution for the new year?
  • Do you encourage and ask students about any resolutions they might have made?
  • Other than the calendar rollover, does January 1 have any special meaning for you?
  • Without a conscious effort, is there something that you did differently in your life for 2018?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

This is part of a regular Sunday series “Whatever happened to …”  All of the posts are available at that link.

Do you have an idea that you’d like to have discussed here?  Add it to the Padlet.

OTR Links 01/21/2018

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.