Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Not only did we move your email without warning, we didn't bother to debug the code before we did it.
"If you thought that Facebook's recent unannounced change of its users' email address tied with their account to Facebook ones was bad, you'll be livid if you check your mobile phone contacts and discover that the change has deleted the email addresses of many of your friends. According to Facebook, the glitch was due to a bug in its application-programming interface, and causes the last added email address to be pulled and added to the user's phone Contacts. The company says they are working hard at fixing the problem, but in the meantime, a lot of users have effectively lost some of the information stored on their devices."

Do we all agree on what constitutes a “crash?” If you rub the curb while parking will police, fire and ambulance arrive minutes later and fine you for “leaving the scene?”
arisvega writes with news that the European Parliament has pass a resolution in support of eCall, an initiative to install devices in vehicles that automatically contact emergency services in the event of a crash. The resolution calls on the European Condition to make it mandatory for all new cars starting in 2015.
"The in-vehicle eCall system uses 112 emergency call technology to alert the emergency services automatically to the location of serious road accidents. This should save lives and reduce the severity of injuries by enabling qualified and equipped paramedics to get to the scene within the first “golden hour” of the accident, says the resolution. The eCall system could save up to 2,500 lives a year and reduce injury severity by 10 to 15%, it adds."

Perspective: If Bill says it's so, it must be so!
"Bill Gates, in an interview with Charlie Rose last night, defended the move to Metro-ize Windows 8 and focus solely on the tablet experience (here's the video — tablet talk starts around 28 minutes in). When asked how traditional PC users will react, he explained that the world is moving into tablets, and a new PC needs to have both experiences integrated together. Also, he defended the move to build the Surface while charging his competitors a bundle for Windows 8. He says users have access to both experiences, whether it is a signature Microsoft one, or from an OEM. Is the a sign the desktop is dead or dying?"
Gates stopped short of saying the traditional PC is dead, but dodged direct questions about its future. This is a big change to the stance he has advocated in years past.

I think this might be the future of education...
Who Will Benefit from Badges (and Other New Forms of Credentialing)?
A number of initiatives and startups are hoping to offers ways to give people some sort of formal(ized) recognition for their informal learning – or at least for the skills they possess for which they don’t have official diplomas or degrees. Among them: Mozilla’s Open Badges project, the social endorsement site, the soon-to-launch Degreed, and the open-to-the-public-just-today LearningJar.
There seems to be a lot of buzz about these in the tech industry in particular -- due to the high demand for workers with programming skills, due to the feeling that a college degree in CS doesn't always mean someone has those necessary programming skills, and -- of course -- due to the concerns over the high cost of higher education. And even if there weren’t headlines and hand-wringing about the “higher education bubble," these efforts do make sense: a college degree isn’t necessarily the best or only indicator of a person’s skill-set.

Not sure these guys have it all figured out, but there is something here...
I've already asked this week, "who will benefit from badges?" I don't want to rehash that. But I do think we need to think about the promises of "unbundling education,” and notice what we're repackaging elsewhere -- courses, content, access, power.
That’s a pretty critical opening salvo, I realize, to introduce a startup I’ve been following for a year now, a startup that wants to help address this gap between the learning we do and the credit we get for it: LearningJar, which opened its public beta this week.
… LearningJar ... hopes to serve several purposes: track what learners learn and know; guide them down certain learning paths; help them showcase this. That is, create a portfolio (of sorts) that can track what you can do and also get recommendations to help you do more.

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