My Week Ending 2019-07-14

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


You can follow my daily readings as they happen here.  Below are a selected few, with commentary, from the past week.

  • Every time I find a story talking about school libraries, I end up sharing them. To get rid of a library is incredibly short-sighted. Getting rid of a school librarian is even worse.
  • Even paranoids have enemies, I guess. It’s nothing these days to try to connect to a wireless access point and see a lot of them available. You need to find the one that’s appropriate for you and then consider using a VPN.
  • Unfortunately, many stories like this talk about the concept like it’s a new thing. If you’ve ever gone to school, you know that teachers have always embraced this concept.
  • This announcement came out during the CSTA Conference. Google has a number of services that it’s packaged together. My blog readers will recognize many of them because, well, I blog about them!
  • Who wouldn’t want to meet Sir Paul McCartney. This Nova Scotia teenager got the chance and it made the news – for a good reason.
  • Am I bad to not know that Vaio was still around? I bought one in 2010 and it’s still going strong running Linux.
  • Success breeds success and Netflix is the target this time around. How will the industry respond?
  • I thought that Apple had ditched the problematic butterfly keyboard but apparently not.
  • I’m guessing that people are just jealous that Canadians are too nice and searched to find some statistics to prove that is not a necessarily a good thing.
  • Maybe Google’s privacy policy should be required reading and studying in school?
  • This story begs the question – how young is too young when it comes to learning to code?
  • This is interesting. A curated list of add-ons from the leader in add-ons, Firefox. Do you have them all?
  • And you can’t remove the app. What’s a person to do?
  • If you’re in need of a rationale for reading books, here’s one.

Blog Posts on doug … off the record

My daily contributions to this blog.

#FollowFriday – July 12, 2019

voicEd Radio

My on demand radio page can be found here.  

Opening song this week:

There was no show this week and the blog post came out on Saturday.

Blog posts this week came from:

  • @mcguirp
  • @PCMalteseFalcon
  • @avivaloca
  • @MsHLye
  • @MzMollyTL x 2

Technology Troubleshooting

I learned about this the hard way.

I was a participant in a Zoom meeting. I had my ear plugs plugged into the computer and decided to go a bit laid back and use my desktop speakers.

When you plug them in, Windows 10 wants to know what kind of thing you just plugged into its port.

My cursor was at the bottom of the screen so I just chose the first one. – headset.

Apparently, it does matter. A headset has both speaker and microphone. Consequently, I had no microphone for the session.

I’m sure that people were appreciative as to how quiet I was.

Lesson learned for the future. Read the screen.

Video of the Week

Photo of the Week

Ever park your car, take the picture so you can find it again, and then wonder why you parked so far away?


This blog post was originally posted at:

If you find it anywhere else, it’s not original.

Whatever happened to …

the Official Scrabble Dictionary?

Actually, you can still buy it here.

But does anyone?

At the registration desk at the CSTA Conference, people would come in waves to check in. Between waves, there wasn’t much to do and so one of the volunteers pulled out her phone and played a game of Words with Friends. Bored, I watched what she was doing. She was playing and moving letters all around, trying this and that, until she finally played her move.

It’s far removed from playing Scrabble as a child. It wasn’t electronic then, of course, and you’d make your move and your opponent would accept it or challenge it. The definitive answer was in our Official Scrabble Dictionary that we kept in the cupboard on the way to the basement. Of course, there were penalties for trying to play a word that wasn’t a word or to challenge a word that actually was a word. The one thing that you couldn’t do, even if your partner got up to go to the bathroom was to use the dictionary to actually find words.

Today, with Words with Friends, the whole concept has gone away. The electronic game won’t let you play letters unless they actually do form a word. There are tools in the newest version that let you know where you can place tiles – although it doesn’t tell you the actual words. There are plenty of cheats online – it’s actually an interesting programming challenge to take 7 or more tiles and generate a list of all of the possible words that could be spelled. A sampling of the tools can be found here.

For a Sunday, how about unscrambling some of your thoughts?

  • Did you play the original Scrabble game as a child? How about now?
  • Do you play Words with Friends online?
  • Do you accept new games from random people on the internet or do you keep your opponents to a manageable personal list?
  • Do you use any of the online word finder tools?
  • Does Scrabble – the original one – still have a place in your classroom?
  • Did you ever play “Killer Scrabble” by removing the blank tiles?
  • If you could pick one letter other than Q or Z to be a 10 point letter, which one would it be?

It would be interesting to read your thoughts.

Please share them in the comments below.

OTR Links 07/14/2019

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