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Verizon Foundation App Challenge | BDPA Foundation

Verizon Foundation App Challenge | BDPA Foundation | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The Verizon Innovative App Challenge provides the opportunity for middle school and high school students, working with a faculty advisor, to use their STEM concept that incorporates STEM and addresses a need or problem in their school or community. The challenge deadline is January 18, 2013.

 

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Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks
Digital Media Creation Learning, Production & Distribution Centers are coming online around the World to fill the Need for Content
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Vermont school union goes Gig-E thanks to Sovernet | Sharon Combes-Farr | VTDigger

Sovernet Communications and the Windsor Southeast Supervisory Union (“WSESU”) jointly announced today that the geographically-dispersed K-12 school system in southeastern Vermont has upgraded its data network to one Gig of broadband over fiber. Also called “Gig-E,” the connection delivers 1,000 Megabits of Internet bandwidth to the four village and town school districts that comprise the union.

“We’ve been part of Sovernet’s fiber network since 2013, when we immediately noticed a jump in speed and reliability that enabled us to create a wireless network to support our students’ one-to-one computers,” said Larry Dougher, Chief Information Officer at WSESU. “As the number of one-to-one devices jumped by 1,000% in just two years, our partners at Sovernet helped us to future-proof our network by seamlessly scaling us to one Gig.”

The supervisory union includes schools in more urban areas, such as downtown Windsor, and some in rural locations, including the Albert Bridge School and Hartland Elementary. School officials jumped at the chance for its schools and administrative offices to become community anchor institutions served by the state-of-the-art fiber network that was partially funded by a federal broadband stimulus grant, and more than $12 million dollars from a Sovernet investment. Sovernet will also expand the WSESU network to the central office in Windsor’s downtown area later this year.

“One of the most important considerations for us was equity across the many schools under our care,” said Dougher. “It was imperative early on that all of our students be served equally by a rigorous fiber connection, regardless of whether those schools were in an urban or rural setting.”

In addition to supporting the exponential expansion of WSESU’s one-to-one computer initiative, the high-capacity bandwidth from Sovernet supports expanded use of video conferencing in the classroom and resulted in a very successful trial of the new statewide online school testing platform.


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The 'Netflix for Libraries' App is Getting a Major Makeover | Roberto Baldwin | The Next Web

The 'Netflix for Libraries' App is Getting a Major Makeover | Roberto Baldwin | The Next Web | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

If you have library card, having the Hoopla app and its access to your local library’s breadth of content is a bit of a no-brainer. But like all new apps, the first iteration has been a learning experience. Now it’s taking the feedback it received from users and libraries to update its app.

Hoopla will be updating its app for iOS and Android on February 28 with what it calls its “LightSpeed” interface and architecture. The app will have a brand new Home Screen that surfaces quicker access to your browser history and a new recommendation engine based on your recent activity. It also features deeper search with less tapping around and a higher resolution, brighter interface.

The Hoopla app lets you borrow digital copies of movies, TV shows, music and audiobooks directly from the app without having to worry about library late fees. The app takes care of everything; all you have to do is link it to your local library. Of course, you need a library card.

Owner and CEO Jeff Jankowski told TNW that over 90 percent of the changes it made to the app are based on user feedback. “We look at every review, every info box, every tweet, every Facebook comment. We look at them and log them.”


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Evolution of the World Map | MSC Cruises

Evolution of the World Map | MSC Cruises | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Use our interactive In Charted Waters tool which shows information & visuals on how our knowledge of the world map has evolved.


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LEONARDO WILD's curator insight, February 25, 8:02 AM

As our view of the world evolves—or devolves—our maps evolve or devolve, and viceversa.

Luis Cesar Nunes's curator insight, February 26, 7:14 AM

History of maps

tom cockburn's curator insight, Today, 5:11 AM

Can generate some useful observations,discussions and debates in class

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TN: Chattanooga’s fast Internet service racks up another win | Doug Cooley | Smart Cities Council

TN: Chattanooga’s fast Internet service racks up another win | Doug Cooley | Smart Cities Council | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Chattanooga’s high-speed fiber optic network continues to pay dividends.

It already offers residents of the Tennessee city the fastest Internet service in the U.S. Now it enables them to test drive and help develop next-generation smart city solutions.

This latest benefit comes via the arrival of a “GENI rack” at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC). Part of a National Science Foundation initiative called Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI). GENI racks are components in a new, nationwide infrastructure scheme that supports advanced research in networking, distributed systems, security and gigabit-enabled applications.

What exactly does a GENI rack do? By itself, a GENI rack is more or less a set of high-performance servers coupled with advanced network capabilities. However, Chattanooga's rack is linked with GENI racks at 60 other universities across the U.S. and overseas. Collectively, these connected racks create “a programmable nervous system for researching and deploying the next generation of the Internet and cloud computing,” explains the UTC in a statement announcing its GENI rack’s arrival.

This system essentially serves as a powerful virtual laboratory for experimenting with future Internet technologies and fostering innovations in network science and services.


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Gigabit Internet for MN Schools & Libraries | Northwest MN Special Access

Gigabit Internet for MN Schools & Libraries | Northwest MN Special Access | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Over 120 schools and libraries in northwestern Minnesota have access to up to 10 Gigabit fiber-optic connections through a renewed contract between Northwest Minnesota Special Access (www.nwmnsa.com) and NWLINKS www.region1.k12.mn.us/NWLINKS).


It’s all due to a partnership of 18 independent telecom companies that have come together to create Northwest Minnesota Special Access (NMSA), designed specifically to serve the bandwidth needs of schools and libraries in the region. The result is a world-class network.

George Fish, NMSA Board President, said “Northwest Minnesota Special Access and its members are heavily invested in the local communities they serve. This network is a perfect example. Learning can take place effortlessly because we can handle any of their data needs—now and long into the future.”

NMSA was formed to serve the consortium of schools and libraries called NWLINKS. NWLINKS members enjoy private network connectivity across the state, centralized support, and buying power to ensure appropriate bandwidth for their needs. NWLINKS members also benefit from the assistance of Region 1 in Moorhead when applying for grant funding, preparing E-rate applications, and more—saving each district time and money.


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MIT scientists analyze harmful electron-producing solar shockwave | Chris Wood | GizMag.com

MIT scientists analyze harmful electron-producing solar shockwave | Chris Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Back in October 2013, two NASA probes were in the perfect position to observe a solar wave as it hit Earth’s magnetic field, gathering data on the event. That data has now been analyzed by teams of scientists at MIT’s Haystack Observatory and the University of Colorado, revealing the process by which harmful, high-speed particles are generated in Earth’s radiation belts.

The data was collected by NASA’s Van Allen Probes – a pair of spacecraft that orbit within the radiation belts located inside the Earth’s magnetic field, known as the Van Allen radiation belts. A primary goal of the probes’ mission is to answer the question of exactly how the belts give rise to high-speed particles that move around the Earth at 1,000 km/h (6,214 mph), causing damage to satellite and spacecraft electronics.

The two probes, which maintain the same orbit around the Earth, were in the perfect position to record the effects of the shockwave when it struck on October 8, 2013. The first probe was facing the sun at the time of the solar wave, observing the radiation belts just before the shockwave encountered Earth’s magnetic field, while the second, which follows behind by one hour, recorded the aftermath of the event.


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ESA releases images of Rosetta's comet close encounter | David Szondy | GizMag.com

ESA releases images of Rosetta's comet close encounter | David Szondy | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In a space-age game of chicken, the European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta probe made its closest approach to comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko last weekend. The spacecraft, which has ceased orbiting the comet due to 67P's increased activity as it approaches the Sun, came within 6 km (3.7 mi) of the surface over the Imhotep region of the larger of the comet’s two lobes, with the up close and personal maneuver taking place, appropriately enough, on Valentine's Day.

The flyby took place at 12:41 GMT on February 14, and as Rosetta carried out the maneuver it returned a series of images of the comet's layered and fractured surface. The images revealed a complicated, broken landscape mixed with smooth, dust-covered areas, boulders measuring up to tens of meters, and outlines of near-circular objects about which little is clearly understood. In addition, the close pass allowed the spacecraft's instruments to take samples of the inner regions of 67P's coma.

Rosetta has been studying 67P since it first went into orbit around the comet in August of last year. For much of that time, it was mapping the surface in anticipation of the Philae probe making the first soft landing on a comet in history. Since then, the spacecraft has been making a detailed study of the comet and its coma in hopes of gaining a better understanding of the mechanisms that shape comets as they approach the Sun.


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MLK Jr. – The Uncomfortable Truths History Books Won’t Touch | Abby Martin | Media Roots

MLK Jr. – The Uncomfortable Truths History Books Won’t Touch | Abby Martin | Media Roots | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

For many, the words “I have a dream” are the only thing they associate with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. King’s legacy is mostly depicted in the context of civil rights, with history books lauding his noble achievements of the Civil and Voting Rights Acts being passed.

But Dr. King gave hundreds of unpopular and controversial speeches ranging from the dangers of the Vietnam War to mass commercialization. During his life, he was attacked and marginalized from the white and black community alike.

The US government coined Dr. King the most “dangerous Negro leader in the country”, routinely spied on him and even went as far as writing him a letter in 1964 urging him to commit suicide. Having been arrested thirty times, Dr. King routinely threw his body upon the gears of the machine to show that change doesn’t roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but through continuous struggle against institutionalized injustice.

Dr. King spent the last year of his life fighting what he called the triple evils of the word: racism, militarism, and economic exploitation, focusing on America as the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.


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A Natural Fix for A.D.H.D. | Richard Friedman Opinion | NYTimes.com

A Natural Fix for A.D.H.D. | Richard Friedman Opinion | NYTimes.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (A.D.H.D.) is now the most prevalent psychiatric illness of young people in America, affecting 11 percent of them at some point between the ages of 4 and 17. The rates of both diagnosis and treatment have increased so much in the past decade that you may wonder whether something that affects so many people can really be a disease.

And for a good reason. Recent neuroscience research shows that people with A.D.H.D. are actually hard-wired for novelty-seeking — a trait that had, until relatively recently, a distinct evolutionary advantage. Compared with the rest of us, they have sluggish and underfed brain reward circuits, so much of everyday life feels routine and understimulating.

To compensate, they are drawn to new and exciting experiences and get famously impatient and restless with the regimented structure that characterizes our modern world. In short, people with A.D.H.D. may not have a disease, so much as a set of behavioral traits that don’t match the expectations of our contemporary culture.

From the standpoint of teachers, parents and the world at large, the problem with people with A.D.H.D. looks like a lack of focus and attention and impulsive behavior. But if you have the “illness,” the real problem is that, to your brain, the world that you live in essentially feels not very interesting.

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Mars One reduces colonist pool to 100 | David Szondy | GizMag.com

Mars One reduces colonist pool to 100 | David Szondy | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The Mars One project aimed at starting the first permanent human settlement on the Red Planet has reduced its pool of prospective colonists to 100 candidates. According to the non-profit company, the selection was winnowed down from the original pool of 202,586 applicants of people from all walks of life from all over the world. However, questions remain about the viability of the project.

The third-round selection was from 660 second-round candidates and includes 50 men and 50 women, consisting of 39 from the Americas, 31 from Europe, 16 from Asia, 7 from Africa, and 7 from Oceania. It was based on online interviews with Mars One Chief Medical Officer, Norbert Kraft, that were intended to determine their understanding of the risks of the mission, team spirit, and motivation.

Announced in 2012, the Mars One project aims at landing four colonists on Mars in 2025, where they would remain for the rest of their lives with additional colonists sent as Earth and Mars come back into the right launch position every 18 months or so. Living in habitats set up previously by unmanned rovers, the colonists would live off the land for their raw materials while being the focus of a reality television show beamed back to Earth.


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The 25th anniversary of Voyager 1's pale blue dot | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com

The 25th anniversary of Voyager 1's pale blue dot | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

25 years ago Voyager 1 turned back towards our planet, and captured one of the most profound images ever taken – the pale blue dot. On the face of it, the little blue dot to screen-right appears insignificant. Yet, in its scope, it captured every human being that has ever lived and ever died, every wonder and every labor that mankind had then achieved in the relatively short history of our race.

At the time of taking the images, Voyager 1 was 40 Astronomical Units away from the Sun (1 AU being the distance between the Sun and Earth), sitting just beyond the orbit of Neptune. Twenty-five years later, the enduring explorer has traveled an impressive 130 AU from our parent star, representing humanity's most distant man-made object.

It was this distance that provided the profound beauty and meaning to the image, granting mankind a gentle reminder of the insignificance of our actions on the galaxy, and indeed the universe at large. The images themselves were not planned, rather a member of the spacecraft's imaging team, the venerated Carl Sagan, suggested using Voyager 1's camera to take a distant portrait of our solar system, before she headed out into the depths of space.


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WI: Computer training for Madison seniors gets national recognition | Madison.com

WI: Computer training for Madison seniors gets national recognition | Madison.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The Madison Senior Center has been honored by a national organization for its efforts to help senior citizens use computers.

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) awarded an honorable mention in education to the local senior center, for the peer-to-peer computer training program, a course taken by professionals and volunteers so they can help computer lab visitors work their way through the internet.

"We congratulate the Madison Senior Center for its outstanding efforts to improve the lives of Madison-area seniors, and hope peer-to-peer computer training can serve as a model for senior centers nationwide," said James Firman, president of the NCOA, in a news release.

The honor comes from NCOA's National Institute of Senior Centers' 2014 Programs of Excellence.


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UK: Digital literacy as important as English and maths, Parliament warns | TES News

UK: Digital literacy as important as English and maths, Parliament warns | TES News | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Schools should teach “digital literacy” alongside reading, writing and maths if the country is to address the urgent digital skills shortage, a Lords report has warned today.

The House of Lords Digital Skills Committee has called on any future government to address the growing shortage of young people capable of filling jobs in the technology sector by making digital literacy the third core subject alongside literacy and numeracy.

The cross-party committee said that although the introduction of the computing curriculum in September last year was “welcome”, doubts remained over the workforce’s ability to teach it.

Too many teachers are “not confident or equipped” to provide their pupils with the relevant skills, and fewer than half of secondary ICT teachers have a relevant qualification beyond A-level, the report says.

The report adds that the country is reaching a “tipping point” in the digital skills gap and warns that not enough is being done to meet the needs of industry.

Baroness Sally Morgan, chair of the committee, said the report should act as a “wake-up call” and that, as a country, “we’re not learning the right skills to meet our future needs”.

“The report makes it clear that our approach to educating people of all ages needs a radical rethink,” Baroness Morgan said. “From an early age we need to give digital literacy as much importance as numeracy and literacy.


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victoria Howe's curator insight, February 24, 8:31 AM

A government opinion on the new for digital literacy for young people and the justification to support the message.

 

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What if I Hadn’t Read Books as a Kid? | Stephanie Rice | Human Parts | Medium

What if I Hadn't Read Books as a Kid? - Human Parts - Medium

What if social media had existed when I was a kid?

Would I have ever learned to write anything longer than 140 characters?

What if all those after-school hours spent scribbling out childish stories of gullible dogs and wisecracking cats had been spent tapping and swiping at angry birds? What if I had fallen asleep with an iPad mini on my chest instead of Island of the Blue Dolphins?

Probably the best thing my parents ever did for me was immersing me in a world of books at an early age and then providing just the right amount of dysfunction at home to turn me into a writer myself.

The first time my parents tried to get me a library card, when I was four years old, the librarian peered down at me and said, “Well, she needs to learn to write her name first.” So we went home, they taught me how to write my name, and we went back for the card.

Of course, then they had to teach me how to read, which took a bit longer. Lest you think I was some sort of child genius, you should know I spent much of my free time on the back patio “teaching ants to swim” in Tupperware containers of water. Also, I enjoyed trying to convince the family cat to wear my socks, and my mom has a cassette tape recording of me confidently explaining how “the clouds go down” when you’re in an airplane.

But my parents persisted, and somehow by age six I was devouring the young adult section at our library. Every summer of elementary school, I dutifully committed to reading 100 books for our library’s annual competition. (All you had to do to “win” was the read the number of books to which you had committed. So I just as easily could have signed up for ten. It’s possible I was bad at math.)

Sometimes I still wander into the youth section of a bookstore and scan the shelves for old favorites. Charlotte’s Web. Little Women. The Ramona series. Nancy Drew. The Chronicles of Narnia. Little House on the Prairie. The Indian in the Cupboard. The Bunnicula books. The Girl With the Silver Eyes. Anything by Scott O’Dell. My parents imposed few restrictions, so I also read an age-inappropriate Patsy Cline biography and lots of Fear Street and Sweet Valley High.

I’m ashamed to say I’m not the voracious reader I was as a kid. Like much of the world, I now spend too much of my time staring at a screen. When I crawl into bed at night and debate whether to grab the Bill Bryson book on my nightstand or watch The Mindy Project on Hulu, Mindy usually wins out. But I firmly believe that the reason I can still manage to put words together in a reasonably coherent way is that I paved those neural pathways early. And I’m not totally sure that would have happened if my mom had been able to distract me with her iPhone while she grocery shopped. (Instead, she made up a story about how the carrots danced when I wasn’t looking. When I was skeptical, she got a store employee to corroborate.)

It’s true that I have always loved words, but it’s also true that I was kind of forced to spend time with them in the absence of other distractions.


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What happens when Microsoft meets Minecraft? | Alan Buckingham | Beta News

What happens when Microsoft meets Minecraft? | Alan Buckingham | Beta News | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Microsoft and Minecraft are two of the biggest entities in their respective fields -- software and gaming. While the former captures most desktop users, the latter has become an almost obsessive fascination for kids and even many adults. Logic dictated the two should team up, and that's exactly what happened when Microsoft bought Mojang and Minecraft last year.

As a testament to the partnership, two kids -- Alec Baron and Alessio Tosolini -- are using Minecraft in a cool and geeky way. The work, according to the boys, took more than 100 hours of collaboration. When they were finished, they had recreated the Microsoft Production Studios in Minecraft.

The youths even got to show off the project as a presentation at Microsoft. The visit also included meetings with company officials. As one person put it, it's "an example of how gaming was used to bridge the corporate world with education in an innovative way".


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How the Photocopier Changed the Way We Worked—and Played | Clive Thompson | Smithsonian Magazine

How the Photocopier Changed the Way We Worked—and Played | Clive Thompson | Smithsonian Magazine | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Recently I visited Whisk, a Manhattan store that sells kitchen goods, and next to the cash register was a strange, newfangled device: a 3-D printer. The store bought the device—which creates objects by carefully and slowly extruding layers of hot plastic—to print cookie cutters. Any shape you can think of, it can produce from a digital blueprint. There was a cutter in the shape of a thunderbolt, a coat of arms, a racing car.

“Send it in the morning and we’ll have it ready by lunch,” the store clerk told me. I wouldn’t even need to design my own cookie cutter. I could simply download one of hundreds of models that amateurs had already created and put online for anyone to use freely. In the world of 3-D printers, people are now copying and sharing not just text and pictures on paper, but physical objects.

Once, 3-D printers were expensive, elite tools wielded by high-end designers who used them to prototype products like mobile phones or airplane parts. But now they’re emerging into the mainstream: You can buy one for about $500 to $3,000, and many enthusiasts, schools and libraries already have. Sometimes they print objects they design, but you can also make copies of physical objects by “scanning” them—using your smartphone or camera to turn multiple pictures into a 3-D model, which can then be printed over and over. Do you want a copy of, say, the Auguste Rodin statue Cariatide à l’urne—or maybe just some replacement plastic game pieces for Settlers of Catan? You’re in luck. Helpful folks have already scanned these objects and put them online.

As 3-D printing gets cheaper and cheaper, how will it change society? What will it mean to be able to save and share physical objects—and make as many copies as we’d like? One way to ponder that is to consider the remarkable impact of the first technology that let everyday people duplicate things en masse: The Xerox photocopier.

For centuries, if you weren’t going to the trouble of publishing an entire book, copying a single document was a slow, arduous process, done mostly by hand. Inventors had long sought a device to automate the process, with limited success. Thomas Jefferson used a pantograph: As he wrote, a wooden device connected to his pen manipulated another pen in precisely the same movements, creating a mechanical copy. Steam-engine pioneer James Watt created an even cruder device that would take a freshly written page and mash another sheet against it, transferring some of the ink in reverse. By the early 20th century, the state of the art was the mimeograph machine, which used smelly ink to produce a small set of copies that got weaker with each duplication. It was imperfect.


Then in 1959, Xerox released the “914”—the first easy-to-use photocopier. The culmination of more than 20 years of experimentation, it was a much cleaner, “dry” process. The copier created an electrostatic image of a document on a rotating metal drum, and used it to transfer toner—ink in a powdered format—to a piece of paper, which would then be sealed in place by heat. It was fast, cranking out a copy in as little as seven seconds. When the first desk-size, 648-pound machines were rolled out to corporate customers—some of whom had to remove doors to install these behemoths—the era of copying began.

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Countdown team: The airmen behind every space launch | Brian Everstine | Air Force Times

Countdown team: The airmen behind every space launch | Brian Everstine | Air Force Times | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

About half of the attempts to send rockets into space from this slice of Florida are called off — based on information from a small group of airmen and civilians holed up in the Air Force's most advanced weather station.

Cape Canaveral has been the nation's premier spaceport since its first space launches in the late 1950s. The Air Force, along with NASA and spaceflight companies such as United Launch Alliance and SpaceX, depend on the airmen and civilians in the 45th Space Wing to get their equipment up to space. Most of the pressure is on the 26 airmen and 13 civilians of the 45th Weather Squadron to pass along their advice and readings on the weather of the country's "lightning capital."

"We are along the Eastern Range, and it's a great place to launch rockets because of the way it jets out from Florida. It allows for a safety aspect better than other areas," said Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey Hunter, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the range weather operations element and of NASA operations for the squadron. "However, it is probably one of the worst places in the CONUS to launch rockets as well because we are the lightning capital of the United States."

On Feb. 10, SpaceX was set to try for the second time to launch a Falcon 9 rocket with the Deep Space Climate Observatory weather satellite for NASA, but the launch weather officer in charge of the operation spotted high-level winds that SpaceX determined to be unsafe for its rocket, and the launch was scrubbed until it could launch successfully the next day. At 6:03 p.m. on Feb. 11, on a clear but lightly windy Florida evening, the Falcon 9 launched from the SpaceX pad on Cape Canaveral on time and successfully entered orbit.

Most launches from the Air Force station do not include Air Force payloads, but every launch has an Air Force team behind it, ranging from officers involved in the original planning for the mission to those involved in keeping the mission safe and ready until the launch day. In 2014, the airmen worked on 18 launches, 10 of which were Defense Department missions. For this year, the numbers are growing to 25 total missions, eight of which are for DoD.


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The 500 Year Old Map that Shatters the Official History of the Human Race | Buck Rogers | The Mind Unleashed

The 500 Year Old Map that Shatters the Official History of the Human Race | Buck Rogers | The Mind Unleashed | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

If conventional wisdom on the history of the human race is correct, then human civilization is not old enough, nor was it advanced enough, to account for many of the mysterious monolithic and archeological sites around the world. Places like Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, the Bosnian Pyramids, and Adam’s Calendar in South Africa, beg the same question: if human civilization is supposedly not old enough to have created all of these sites, then who, or what, had the capacity to create so many elaborate structures around the globe?

It is clear that our understanding of our own history is incomplete, and there is plenty of credible evidence pointing to the existence of intelligent and civilized cultures on Earth long before the first human cultures emerged from the Middle East around 4000BC. The Admiral Piri Reis world map of 1513 is part of the emerging more complete story of our history, one that challenges mainstream thinking in big ways.

Mapmaking is a complex and civilized task, thought to have emerged around 1000BC with the Babylonian clay tablets. Antarctica was officially first sighted by a Russian expedition in 1820 and is entirely covered in ice caps thought to have formed around 34-45 million years ago. Antarctica, therefore, should not be seen on any map prior to 1820, and all sighted maps of Antarctica should contain the polar ice caps, which are supposedly millions of years old.

A world map made by Ottoman cartographer and military admiral, Piri Reis, casts some doubt on what we think we know about ancient civilization.


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ToKTutor's curator insight, February 24, 4:10 PM

Title 3: Mapmaking & knowledge: how geographical data and theories are helping to build a common groundwork of explanation for a revised history of the human race.

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Astronomers identify binary system believed to have invaded our solar system 70,000 years ago | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com

Astronomers identify binary system believed to have invaded our solar system 70,000 years ago | Anthony Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

An international team of astronomers from the US, Europe, Chile, and South Africa have identified a star system that most likely passed through the outer edge of our solar system at a distance of 0.8 light years some 70,000 years ago. The rogue system, nicknamed Scholz's star, is comprised of a red dwarf with a mass of roughly eight percent of our parent star, while its partner, a brown dwarf, was found to be only six percent as massive as the Sun.

The discovery makes the star system the closest to have ever approached our own Sun, but the team believes it unlikely that it penetrated deep enough into the Oort cloud (a region of space outside the heliosphere thought to contain more than a trillion small icy bodies) to trigger a comet shower. However, it is possible that the system was visible at times from Earth.

Whilst the red dwarf would have been around 50 times too faint to observe with the naked eye at its closest approach to Earth, the unusual magnetic qualities of the binary system may have caused the star to flare to thousands of times its ordinary brightness. This flare may have been observed by our ancient ancestors, lasting for minutes or possibly even hours at a time.


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Rocket flown through northern lights to help unlock space weather mysteries | Tony Borroz | GizMag.com

Rocket flown through northern lights to help unlock space weather mysteries | Tony Borroz | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The northern lights are more than one of nature's most awe inspiring sights, they are an electromagnetic phenomena that can adversely affect power grids and communications and navigation systems. Researchers from the University of Oslo have flown a rocket through the phenomena to take a closer look with the aim of gathering data that will help in predicting space weather.

The northern lights are caused by solar flares from the Sun. But these same solar flares are the source of more than just the Aurora Borealis. On the Earth’s day side, sunlight strips electrons loose from the atmosphere, forming clouds of electrons that drift across the Arctic and, although they are invisible to our eyes, appear on radar screens and in super-sensitive cameras.

Within just a few hours, electron clouds that form during the day over North America can cross the Arctic and reach Scandinavia after being drawn out of the polar region by the northern lights. The University of Oslo researchers have found that it is when electron clouds coincide with the northern lights that the most serious interference to navigation and satellite systems occurs. It is these rare but disruptive events that the ICI4 rocket, which launched today from Andoya Space Center in Norway, is tasked with exploring.

"We wished to find the causes of these interferences," says Jøran Moen, Project Director. "We need this knowledge to establish a forecasting system for space weather."


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Cults Releases Top Ten List of 3D Printable Skull Designs | Michelle Matisons | 3DPrint.com

Cults Releases Top Ten List of 3D Printable Skull Designs | Michelle Matisons | 3DPrint.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

If you have ever had a Tarot card reading, the most dreaded card to receive can be, depending how you look at it, the “Death” card. Though the card — which will feature a skeleton or a human skull depending on the deck — itself does not simply mean that you will die soon. The Death card can also mean that you are undergoing a rebirth of some kind, and shedding old skin. Perhaps this message of rebirth — or to live life to the fullest — is what’s behind the ongoing popularity of the skull image. T-shirts, rock albums, car bumpers, our own skin (tattoos), and our 3D printing models are continually emblazoned with new and classic renditions of this powerful and simple image.

deathThe human skull is universally used to communicate mortality, illness, death, danger — or to even honor the dead — and people never seem to tire of this simple image. For 3D printing fans, printing a skull may seem like a bit of a rite of passage. Everyone wants their own skull to sit menacingly on their desktop to remind them to step away from the computer and enjoy life while you still have it, right?

Well, the online 3D printable file sharing platform Cults has compiled its “Top 10 of 3D Printed Skulls” list to make your search for the perfect 3D printable skull design easier and more fun. Cults is “a marketpalce that connects creators of 3D models and buyers who want to print 3D objects.” And from this list alone we can see that there are plenty of different designs to choose here, from a very simple low poly skull to a much more complex, detailed, and terrifying rendering. There’s even a monkey skull egg cup for eating your soft boiled eggs!


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VLT's SPHERE highlights a missing brown dwarf | Chris Wood | GizMag.com

VLT's SPHERE highlights a missing brown dwarf | Chris Wood | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The ESO has turned the Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet Research instrument (SPHERE) towards an unusual double star with the expectation of finding an orbiting brown dwarf. However, the observations didn’t quite go according to plan, with the instrument – which is the latest addition to the Very Large Telescope (VLT) – coming up short. The findings have led to an ongoing re-examination of the cause of the binary stars’ unusual behaviour.

The two stars in question, known as V471 Tauri, are located some 163 light-years from Earth, and form what is known as post-common-envelope binaries. The current state of the stars, which vary in mass, is the result of the larger of the two maturing into a red giant, transferring material to its partner and enveloping it in a gaseous cloud. Upon dispersal of the cloud, the two stars – one a normal star and the other a white dwarf – moved into a much closer orbit.

Observing the stars from Earth shows fluctuations in the brightness of the pair as they eclipse one another twice in each 12-hour orbit. However, observing the objects through the ESO’s ULTRACAM system on the New Technology Telescope revealed that the the timing of the eclipses were not regular.


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Equil Smartmarker captures, digitizes and streams whiteboard notes | Stu Robarts | GizMag.com

Equil Smartmarker captures, digitizes and streams whiteboard notes | Stu Robarts | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The notes made on a whiteboard during a meeting or lecture might be important, but once the board is wiped they're gone. The Equil Smartmarker, however, can make sure that's not the case. It can capture whiteboard notes and stream them to computers and mobile devices.

The functionality of the Smartmarker is similar to that of the Smart Kapp whiteboard, which pairs with a nearby mobile device via Bluetooth to stream any notes made on it to the internet for remote viewing. The Smartmarker, however, does not require the use of a special whiteboard.

The Smartmarker comprises a sleeve, into which a normal dry erase pen slots, and a sensor. The sensor attaches to a magnetic strip that can be stuck to one side of the writing surface using its adhesive rear. It can be used on most surfaces, including walls painted with dry erase paint, glass and traditional whiteboards. It can sense an area of up to 16 ft (4.9 m) across and 5 ft (1.5 m) vertically.

The sleeve allows the user to write on the whiteboard surface as usual, with different electronic tips used to communicate the use of different color pens. The sleeve continually communicates its location to the sensor via ultrasonic positioning.


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Sanford Arbogast's curator insight, February 23, 7:38 AM

According to their website, it's not available yet (early 2015)

They have a pen for note taking costs $150 on Amazon

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GrandPad Senior Tablet review: This easy-to-use device can help families stay connected | John Brandon | PCWorld.com

GrandPad Senior Tablet review: This easy-to-use device can help families stay connected | John Brandon | PCWorld.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Here’s a sad fact about the growing elderly population: While the rest of us get more connected by using social media such as Facebook and Twitter, sending streams of photos to each other using services like Instagram, and using text messages to exchange bon mots, senior citizens who aren’t savvy to the latest personal technology are becoming increasingly isolated. The more millennials use text messaging, the less they communicate with people who don’t know how to use a smartphone or tablet.

That’s why the GrandPad tablet is such an interesting product. It’s just a Nexus 7 tablet at its core, but it runs a customized version of Android that’s designed specifically for older users. A wireless charging stand, a cover, and a stylus are included in the package. 4G connectivity (Verizon LTE) is also included, eliminating the need for the end user to have a router, broadband Internet access, and the skills to install and maintain the same; plus, they can take the tablet almost anywhere without the need to look for and connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot. And the tablet is insured; so if the user loses or breaks the device, the manufacturer will send a replacement at no additional cost.


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South Africa: Connectivity can bring quality education to all | Mandla Makhanya | Mail & Guardian

South Africa: Connectivity can bring quality education to all | Mandla Makhanya | Mail & Guardian | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Equitable access to educational opportunities for all South Africans, coupled with enhanced chances of academic success – will we be able to deliver on this vision of the National Development Plan (NDP) in the next 15 years?

It was with this challenge in mind that I attended the policy forum hosted by International Council for Open and Distance Education and Unesco in Bali late last year. Senior management in higher education gathered to discuss, among other things, the contribution of technology-enhanced higher education to the future education agenda and to the development of 21st-century sustainable societies. Our discussions focused on broadband connectivity and its potential to bridge education divides, transform learning and improve skills for a globalised economy.

As an educator and sociologist, I shared in the discussions of the forum with guarded enthusiasm and cautious optimism. Unisa recently learnt the hard way how crippling the lack of affordable broadband connectivity can be. It has severely hampered Unisa’s ability to turn traditional distance learning into full-scale online education on our journey towards a definitive e-learning model.

Hence the university has had to pursue a blended learning model across our academic offering. In practical terms, this means that some modules are offered through the traditional mode of printed courseware and others are available online – two entirely different learning modalities.

The dire consequences of this hybrid model were comprehensively demonstrated during the industrial action last year by post office workers. Poor access to affordable broadband and information technology services mean that a significant number of our students, who still interact with the university by post, could not submit assignments on time (not to mention receive study materials) and assessed assignments and assignment solutions did not reach them in time to help them prepare for the final exams.

It required innovative internal measures to safeguard the integrity of our academic programme and continue to provide a modicum of support for our students.


One is not unmindful of South Africa Connect, the country’s national broadband policy, which aims to provide a high-speed network with a national roll-out that will enable affordable connectivity and internet access to all citizens. The reality, though, is that major sections of the population, now and for the foreseeable future, will not benefit from this, given the lack of clarity on the roll-out of national broadband infrastructure.


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