My Week Ending September 30, 2018

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

Readings (You can follow my daily readings as they happen here.  Here are a selected few from the past week.)

  • Last week in my “Whatever happened to …” post, I talked about chestnuts, of all things.  It inspired some great discussion and I found this recipe from Martha Stewart about how to roast them!
  • This is a pretty serious Top 10 list.  This time it’s the top 10 tornados in Canada.
  • Great news for Ontario Colleges in the area of IT education.
  • Most definitely in this time and place an important, no, the most important conversation you can have with your kids.
  • I don’t think that this can be said too often.  Jaimie and I see it every morning.
  • Definitely you should do this.
  • There’s always room for improvement but at least we’re trying.
  • Beyond the wording in the title (think about it), it’s a good question to ask.
  • Happy Birthday, Google.
  • I really like this concept.  I don’t know why it’s not replicated more by businesses on behalf of the wellness of their employees.
  • Darwin had a theory.  Thank goodness we have solutions to protect us from the stupidity of others.
  • Confession time.  I’ve tried out all of these alternatives.
  • The title is about Linux applications for education.  Often, open source solutions like this exist for Windows and Macintosh as well.  The list is worth checking out.  They’re worth installing on your own computer and also recommending for parents too.

Blog Posts on doug … off the record

Blog Post on

BRING IT, TOGETHER 2018 – The complete schedule is now live.  Have you registered?  It’s also a reminder of the “Bring IT, Together” concept.  Why not bring a group from your school?

Reminder about Early Bird Closing for #BIT18 – For those going to the Bring IT, Together conference, a reminder that early bird pricing ends on October 1.

voicEd Radio

My on demand radio page can be found here.  The latest edition features blog posts from:

Technology Trouble Shooting 

Macintosh OS Mojave wasn’t forced on me but I’d been reading about it and, in particular, about the dark mode.

So, I went to the App Store and did the manual installation.  It’s a bit scary since this computer is at the low end of those machines that Apple supports in the upgrade.  I can’t believe that it’s six years old.  Except for the trackpad, I haven’t had too many issues.  I replaced the physical hard drive with an SSD drive last year and it was a great move.

I blogged about it earlier this week and decided to go nuclear on the trackpad and deleted the plist before installing the new OS.  A new one was created for me and things seem to be going well.  I’d cross my fingers but it’s tough to use a trackpad with crossed fingers.

So, OS Mojave started out noticeably slower than the previous OS.  I was almost going to look to see how to roll it back but being lazy appeared to pay off.  Either I’ve stopped noticing or the operating system is adjusting but it seems to be back to being normal to use again.

I’m happy.

Video of the Week

Unless it rains, I’ll be watching the Leamington version of this later today.  Actually, given that I’m writing this on Sunday morning, I’ll have already seen the race by the time you read this.

My Favourite Photo of the Week

Jaimie and I sneaked in a quick walk before the big storm that hit last week.  The oncoming headlights lets you know how dark it actually was.  My phone did a nice job of brightening things up.  The clouds told a story of what was on the way.


Thanks for reading.


Whatever happened to …

… open wifi? Thanks, Alfred Thompson for this suggestion…
Lately I have been wondering what happened to open wi fi access points. It used to be that you could find and connect to open access points all over the place. These days there are more access points but fewer of them are open.
It’s an interesting question. I took a little mental walk through my town thinking about access points that I know of.
  • Ford Dealership
  • High School
  • Elementary School
  • McDonalds
  • Caffeine and Co.
  • Tim Horton’s (two of them)
  • All of the restaurants on Dalhousie Street
  • Doctor’s Office
  • Both supermarkets
  • Three pharmacies
  • Public library
  • The Peterson’s
  • Our neighbour
At times, I feel like the smartphone in my pocket is like a divining rod.  It’s not uncommon to get notifications that there are networks “within range”.  The implication is that you can use them for faster speeds and an alternative to the data plan that comes with a phone. DSC_1407 The common thread to all of these above is that they are all free.  But, they’re not necessarily “open” as in I see the access point but can’t connect until I enter a password or agree to their terms of service.  In order to get that password, typically you have to go into the business and ask or read the signs posted. It’s an interesting ponder when you think of the concept of internet access other than at home.  I can recall a time when you’d go to a hotel and there would be internet access but it typically came with a fee.  I remember debating whether or not to add $10.95 or $11.95 to my bill. As internet access became ubiquitous, the costs went away.  It’s now typically a selling point and you see the signs on these buildings “free internet”.  But typically not open – you need to sign in with your room number or name, etc. So, to answer Alfred’s question, I don’t really know.  I have my suspicions though.
  • in the beginning, it was seen as a source of income but now it’s value added to either separate your business or become competitive with others
  • the first networks were installed to be a convenience for their customers but the bandwidth was taken up by people sitting or standing outside the building
  • owners of locations want to know how much their network is being used
  • internet retailers use the analytics to determine just how much bandwidth they need to sell
  • the first networks were installed by hobbyists who really didn’t understand how to secure the network
  • the network shared with other devices crucial to the operation of the business like portable debit/credit machines or printers so there needs to be a certain amount left “for business”
  • nobody anywhere wants to have their network hacked or spammed so by identifying whose logged on, they can point fingers at miscreants
Thanks, Alfred, for the question.  As should be clear from the above, I don’t know the answer but have some guesses. How about your thoughts for a Sunday morning.
  • have you noticed the lack of open wifi networks?  Do you have any theories or knowledge why?
  • where can you connect in your town when you’re out and about?
  • is Internet access a universal right?
  • do you secure your home network with a password?
  • if you do, do you give it out freely to guests?
  • if you do, how frequently do you change the password?
  • have you ever turned off your wifi or used a utility to limit it and control screen time?
  • what channels do you use at home?  2.4GHz or 5GHz?  Why?
  • what security protocol do you use?
  • is internet access so easily available that you don’t buy a data plan for your smartphone and just plan on attaching to someone else’s network?
  • given a choice between two coffee shops or two restaurants one with free wifi and the other without, are you likely to choose one over the other?
That was a fun wondering, Alfred.  I don’t know the answers and really hadn’t thought about the topic.  Thanks.  Please let Alfred know your thoughts in the comments below. This is part of a regular Sunday series.  They can all be visited here.  I really appreciate and look forward to your comments on the posts.  Please don’t disappoint and, if you’re interested, share the link on Social Media to get more involved. And, if you have an idea for a post, please let me know.  Like Alfred’s suggestion, it’s always fun to dig into questions that puzzle the masses.

OTR Links 09/30/2018

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