My Week Ending 2020-05-03

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.

  • This is interesting. If you’re concerned about security using Zoom as a conferencing tool, how about switching to Facebook’s Messenger?
  • Since you’re probably not doing anything else these days, would you reconsider the cloud services that you’re using? If I had a do-over, I’m positive that I would do things differently.
  • Just what we need to worry about after Nova Scotia, fake OPP officers posing as coronavirus cops.
  • It’s the spring and the salmon are headed upstream. But, there’s a blockage in the river so a cannon gets them by it.
  • We’re going to hear so much more about browser fingerprinting as I suspect we’ll see this feature in all of them shortly. What will the trackers think of next?
  • Quebec is the first to blink, opening schools and daycare centres on May 11. Every other province will be watching with extreme interest.
  • What does it say about Apple users that they have to look to the mothership for a solution because facial recognition doesn’t work when you’re wearing a mask? Maybe they’ve long since forgotten their passcode?
  • I think this is one of the very best big business stories to emerge from this crisis. London Drugs helps others by selling their products in their essential service locations.
  • You had to see this coming. It makes sense to move the House of Commons online. Have you seen how close together their desks are? So, they meet virtually and problems happen. I don’t know that there’s any sympathy coming from educators!
  • I interviewed Sophia Mavridi on this blog a while back. Here she gives a presentation about virtual learning with synchronous and asynchronous classroom and the recording is available free to view.
  • This is a tremendous reminder that classrooms and schools are communities and they all start their day with “Good Morning”.
  • I don’t think we’re going to go completely cashless after all this because there are still places where that wouldn’t work. Most of what I do now is via plastic. I don’t think I’ve opened my wallet for cash since all this started.
  • What if you gave a party or a class lesson and nobody came? In New York City, the answer is to stop going live. That’s too bad because a lot is lost when you take away that personal touch.
  • I don’t like to comment too much in public about United States politics but this is so outrageous, I can’t not. Obama broke the Coronavirus test kits? Seriously? How he can remain quiet in public is beyond me. Or, maybe he just lets the comments speak for themselves.
  • On the surface, the concept of a tracking application on your phone might sound like a good idea but it needs to be held up to scrutiny.
  • Personally, I think this weapons ban is long overdue. I can’t understand why two years is needed to turn your guns in is necessary. Next Friday or we’re coming for you works for me. And, I can’t believe the baloney about the need to bear arms. a) this isn’t the United States b) if you believe you have a right to hunt, I’ve yet to see a deer armed with one to try to get you first.
  • This is a wonderful editorial about how we’re all in this together and its not a time for “every country for itself”. All leaders need to read and understand this.
  • I love articles that tell me how I can tweak my browser and mark it marginally better. I actually seldom make the recommended change but use it as a learning experience to see what’s “under the hood”.

Blog Posts on
doug … off the record

My daily contributions to this blog. If you’re looking for a week in review for doug–off the record, you came to the right place.

#FollowFriday – May 1, 2020

voicEd Radio

This week on voicEd Radio, Stephen Hurley and I chatted about identity, pivoting, mathematics, and leaping in a COVID-19 era.

This week’s show –

Intro Song:

All of the podcasts are archived here.

Blog posts this week came from:

  • Beth Lyons – @mrslyonslibrary
  • Alanna King – @banana29
  • Sue Dunlop – @Dunlop_Sue
  • Peter Cameron – @cherandpete
  • David Petro – @davidpetro314

Technology Troubleshooting

From 2009, I have a Dell Inspiron Mini 10 computer. It dates back to the era of the netbook. Remember them?

It came with Ubuntu Linux installed and I loved it in a time when people were bring huge laptops to meetings. I’d just tuck it under my arm. I know that it infuriated the Microsoft fan people because it was faster than their Windows computers and I was up and running with Open Office while they waited for this “industry standard” to load.

I eventually made it dual boot so that I now can go Ubuntu or Linux Mint. Why? Because I could.

It still has a place around here when light, easy, and portable is of the essence.

Sadly, this week, when I plugged it into charge the charging LED just went nuts flashing amber instead of charging.

I’ve tried the troubleshooting onine and it looks like I’ve got a dead battery. It won’t charge at all. So, 11 years later I have a portable that will be tethered by a power cable. With the price that Dell wants for a replacement battery, I could actually buy a brand new Chromebook.

Video of the Week

Who says football is boring?

Photo of the Week

On one of our daily walks, we saw one tulip who was getting a head start.

Thanks for reading.

Please join me daily for something new and, hopefully, interesting for you. Time willing, this summary appears every Sunday afternoon.

Be safe.


This blog post was originally posted at:

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


Whatever happened to …

… pens?

From the “Whatever happened to …” Padlet comes this suggestion.

How many of us have multiple devices, but no pen? Or even the excitement over getting fancy pens (like the Cross one)? Then there’s the fact that adults spend a lot to time not using a pen, but most kids still spend the majority of time in the classroom using a pencil or pen. What does this say about how we’re preparing kids for their current reality? Is there a good balance, and what is it?

This was posted anonymously so I can’t give credit. I can tell you that I am a pen hoarder. As a result of the cleaning around here, I have put most of the excess pens and pencils from my desk into holders.

Hmmm. If I hadn’t put them back on the shelf, I’d retake the picture without the pencils that kind of stand out. In the front, you can see a couple of wooden handcrafted pens and cases that I received as gifts from a couple of friends. On the bookshelf behind me, I have a couple more containers and my prized Shaeffer White Dot and Waterman Pen/Pencils sets. Do you see my “original” iPod making a cameo? Doug never gets rid of anything.

This is what remains after culling the herd. I had about double this until I gave them the scribble test on an old sheet of paper and got rid of the dry ones. This isn’t the only place where you’ll find a pen collection in this house. We have similar collections in my wife’s desk and on the kitchen counter where we also accumulate mail. I also have a few pens in the console of my car to use when I go to the races for handicapping purposes. Those little pencils just don’t cut it.

Oh, and a couple in my computer bag including my Livescribe Echo Smartpen.

Do I use them all?

Of course not. Like the dustbunnies that I got rid of, they just accumulate and multiply. I’m bad at getting complimentary pens at hotels and, of course, swag from exhibitors at conferences. It just seems like bad manners not to take them when offered. And, despite all this – do you know how much Shaeffer, Waterman, and Livescribe pens actually cost? – when I have to sign a cheque or a birthday card, I grab the closest BIC pen and scribble something that might not hold up as evidence in a court case. (Although I do add a little something that makes my signature unique.)

For a Sunday, care to pen – err – keyboard your thoughts?

  • look around you where you’re sitting. How many pens are within easy reach?
  • do you own an expensive pen/pencil set?
  • have you ever used a pen with gel ink for smoother writing?
  • do you use the standard blue or do you have red, black, green pens?
  • are you a collector of pens from various places? i.e. conferences, workshops, hotels
  • more and more everything that we do is done via keyboard – what regular activities do you do that absolutely requires a pen?
  • have you ever had a pen explode on you? in a purse, shirt pocket
  • have you ever ripped apart a pen to see what that little ball actually looks like? (asking for a friend)
  • how functional to you are those pens that come with a little rope to wrap around your neck so that it’s always available?

Everyone has a pen story. Please share yours in the comments below. And, if you have an idea for a future post, please add it to the Padlet.

This post originated on:

If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.

OTR Links 05/03/2020

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