Thursday, October 23, 2014

But we want all the answers instantly! In that world, you often talk before you have all the facts.
Germany’s foreign intelligence agency has concluded that pro-Russian separatists shot down Malaysia Airline flight 17 using a BUK air defense missile system that the rebels stole from a Ukraine military base (Der Spiegel reports). This conclusion, if correct, would contradict statements by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry earlier this year.
… Mr. Kerry stated in multiple television interviews that Russia was likely responsible [Perhaps the traditional weasel words used by politicians need to be upgraded? Bob]

“Stupid is as stupid does!” That applies to both sides of any argument. This sounds like politicians trying to protect their god given right to obfuscate, prevaricate, sometimes outright lie.
Five things to know about 'Truthy'
Members of the House Science Committee are ramping up scrutiny of a university project that studies trends on Twitter.
Criticism of the government-funded “Truthy” project at Indiana University grew over the weekend, after Ajit Pai, a Republican member of the Federal Communications Commission, sounded the alarm.
"A government-funded initiative is going to 'assist in the preservation of open debate' by monitoring social media for 'subversive propaganda' and combating what it considers to be 'the diffusion of false and misleading ideas?' " he wrote in an op-ed. "The concept seems to have come straight out of a George Orwell novel."
House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) on Tuesday said his panel is investigating why the government's National Science Foundation (NSF) funded the project and accused the agency of using taxpayer money to limit free speech.

Is this be best model for inexpensive tech toys? It beats advertising, I guess.
This new wearable fitness tracker is free — with a $12 yearly subscription
Do a Google search for “wearable fitness trackers” and you’ll find an endless list of wristbands that largely accomplish the same task: record steps, count calories burned, monitor sleep activity, and track other health-related statistics.
A new Seattle startup called Pivotal Living this week unveiled its first health device, which is yet another wrist tracker. But unlike most of what other companies have released, this particular product is a little different — it’s free.
In an attempt to position itself in a crowded wearable fitness space, Pivotal Living is taking a unique angle by offering a yearly $12 subscription plan for full access to its mobile app. Included with every membership is a wristband that tracks calories burned, steps, distance, percentage of step goals, and also tells you the time.

How important is China? Probably not as important as the in-laws.
Zuckerberg Uses Chinese to Tell Chinese He’s Hiring
Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg told students at one of China’s top universities -- in Mandarin -- that the company is looking to employ the country’s best engineers.

Raw data for my next Statistics or Data Science class.
OVERNIGHT TECH: FCC releases new batch of net neutrality comments
The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday released a bulk file of more than 2.5 million public comments regarding its proposed net neutrality rules — its second and final batch.
The commission is encouraging outside analysts and journalists to build visualizations of the raw data to help "the FCC and the public" more fully understand the content of replies, it said. The Sunlight Foundation told The Hill it already plans on analyzing the new data, similar to a massive undertaking conducted after the first round of comments were released in August.

(Related) Smaller datasets, but more of them.
Knoema World Data Atlas - Reference Data Visualizations and More
Knoema's World Data Atlas offers a huge collection of data sets, maps, and charts for almost every country in the world. There are dozens of data categories to pick from. Some of the data categories that you will find include GPD Per Capita, Government Debt, Migration, Housing, Energy Consumption, and Agricultural Production.
You can find a maps, charts, and data sets on Knoema's World Data Atlas by selecting a country then choosing a data sets. Alternatively, you can choose a data set then see a list of countries represented in your chosen data set.
Each data set, map, and chart can be exported, downloaded, or embedded into a blog post or webpage. Registered Knoema users can use the data sets to create their own data visualizations.

Interesting. May be a source of “what's new?”
How to Search Twitter for Educational Content
"Perform a Twitter search" is one of the suggestions that I often make to teachers who ask me how they can find more resources for the subjects that they teach. A Twitter search can often reveal resources and ideas that you might not find through your typical Google searches. You don't have to have a Twitter account in order to search on Twitter. In the video below I provide a short demonstration of how to search for educational content on Twitter.
Sites mentioned in the video above:

I have got to try this! My students will love it.
PhotoMath App Does your Math Homework For You
… PhotoMath allows users to take pictures of their math equations and then receive the working out and answer.
It is officially the worlds first, “camera calculator” stated the creators, MicroBlink who also founded the text recognition startup, PhotoPay.
… With PhotoMath, you can have a math teacher in your pocket,” stated the creators.
PhotoMath currently helps to solve basic arithmetic, fractions, decimals, linear equations, logarithms and more features are expected to be added with future updates.
PhotoMath is currently available for iOS only and is free from the App store.

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