Internet Lesson Plans, Windows 10, Google Games, More: Monday Buzz, August 29, 2016


A new set of materials made available from the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is designed to teach elementary-age students about the Internet. “Featuring Ruff Ruffman: Humble Media Genius from PBS, ‘The Internet and You’ provides interactive lesson plans about digital privacy, search engines, online advertising, and the creation of positive online experiences that can be used in schools, after-school programs, and beyond. This free resource for educators, which includes worksheets kids can do at home with their parents or other caregivers, is now available on our Digital Literacy Resource Platform (DLRP), thanks to generous support from the Digital Media and Learning (DML) Trust Challenge grant. ”


And in today’s installment of “Windows WTF,” some users are reporting that Windows 10 computers crash when Amazon Kindles are plugged in. “The issue appears to be caused by the recent Windows 10 Anniversary update. Users of Amazon’s Paperwhite and Voyage attempting to either transfer books or charge their devices via USB are seeing their various Windows 10 laptops and desktops locking up and requiring rebooting.”

Now, for some reason, you can play solitaire or tic-tac-toe from the Google search box. “Looking to waste time with a round of solitaire on your phone? You no longer need a separate app for that – Google today is rolling out a couple of simple games right into its search engine and standalone Google Search app, the company says. It’s making two of the most popular, classic games of all time – solitaire and tic-tac-toe – available both on the desktop web and in its search app.” Add Freecell and I’m so there.

TripAdvisor has purchased Citymaps. “New York-based Citymaps, a social mapping application backed by $12 million in venture funding, has been acquired by TripAdvisor, the companies have announced. The service, which serves both as a mapping and navigational tool as well as a travel guide of sorts, will continue on as a standalone business at TripAdvisor, following the deal’s close.”


Big kudos to SmugMug, which is helping rescue pictures lost when Picturelife shut down. “In all, some 200 million files were lost into the ones and zeroes of Internet history when Picturelife went under—but out of this sad tale came 200 million opportunities for SmugMug to be both altruistic, and maybe snag a customer or two for themselves. It’s important to note that it will cost you nothing to take advantage of this offer from SmugMug.”

Good stuff from Good E-Reader: Electronic paper revitalizes the museum. “As the role of the museum slowly moves from a curator-led to an audience-led experience, the simple paper information card has increasingly been found lacking, contributing to a decrease in paid attendance in museums across the world. In response, museum label-making techniques have begun to change and evolve with the times and with new technology. The ultimate goal of this evolution is simple: an editable, real-time digital label; one that is simply and clearly just a label, but can be updated remotely, in response to certain events.”

The New York Times: How Parents Harnessed the Power of Social Media to Challenge EpiPen Prices. “After Mellini Kantayya, an actress who lives in Brooklyn, chatted with her Facebook friends in July about the high cost of EpiPens, she knew she had to do something. A friend in Connecticut, the mother of a child with food allergies, was facing a $600 bill for the product, an injector that delivers a lifesaving dose of epinephrine to reverse severe allergic reactions. Ms. Kantayya had also just seen an article from the health website STAT, about ambulance crews that could not afford EpiPens because the price had surged by more than 500 percent in recent years.”

More New York Times: Inside Facebook’s (Totally Insane, Unintentionally Gigantic, Hyperpartisan) Political-Media Machine. “Maybe you’ve noticed your feed becoming bluer; maybe you’ve felt it becoming redder. Either way, in the last year, it has almost certainly become more intense. You’ve seen a lot of media sources you don’t recognize and a lot of posts bearing no memorable brand at all. You’ve seen politicians and celebrities and corporations weigh in directly; you’ve probably seen posts from the candidates themselves. You’ve seen people you’re close to and people you’re not, with increasing levels of urgency, declare it is now time to speak up, to take a stand, to set aside allegiances or hangups or political correctness or hate.” No mention of third party candidates at all. Nix. None. Wow.

Is Apple working on its own Snapchat competitor? And if so, WHY? “Bloomberg reports that Apple is building its own Snapchat rival and the focus is on ease of use and speed. The app will enable users to shoot, edit, and upload the videos in less than a minute. Users may also have the option to send the videos to their contacts or share them across social media.

Hey! WorldCat turned 45 last week. WorldCat turned 45 on National Dog Day. Isn’t that interesting? No? All right. “Ohio University’s Alden Library was the first library to use WorldCat to catalog a book online. It was August 26, 1971, the day the OCLC Online Union Catalog and Shared Cataloging System began operation. Catalogers at Ohio University cataloged 133 books online from a single terminal that day.”


Hoo boy: France Passes Copyright Law Demanding Royalties For Every Image Search Engines Index Online. “The Disruptive Competition Project is detailing yet another bad copyright law change in Europe — France, in particular, this time. Called the Freedom of Creation Act, it actually passed a few months ago, but people are just beginning to understand and comprehend the full horror of what’s happening. Basically, it will now require any site that indexes images on the internet (i.e., any image search engine) to pay royalties for each image to a collection society.” If the efforts of other governments to collect fees for publishing Google News snippets is any indication, this won’t work.


From How scientists are using digital badges . “A recent PLoS (Public Library of Science) article, Badges to Acknowledge Open Practices, discusses the use of badges on scientific articles to increase transparency. They were used in a scientific journal, and the impact of their use measured and discussed. The idea is quite simple—give authors the option to apply for badges that mark their articles as having open data or open materials. If they meet the criteria authors can mark their articles with the appropriate badges. A badge cannot guarantee that data or materials are open or available in perpetuity, but they do act as a simple signalling mechanism, and clearly identify the intent of the authors. There are a lot of other things that must be in place for this to be effective, such as data formats, standards, and curation of quality data.” Good morning, Internet…

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