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What's the Deal with Copyright and 3D Printing? | Public Knowledge

3D printing provides an opportunity to change the way we think about the world around us. [1] It merges the physical and the digital. People on opposite sides of the globe can collaborate on designing an object and print out identical prototypes every step of the way. Instead of purchasing one of a million identical objects built in a faraway factory, users can customize pre-designed objects and print them out at home. Just as computers have allowed us to become makers of movies, writers of articles, and creators of music, 3D printers allow everyone to become creators of things.

 

3D printing also provides an opportunity to reexamine the way we think about intellectual property. The direct connection that many people make between "digital" and "copyright" is largely the result of a historical accident. The kinds of things that were easiest to create and distribute with computers – movies, music, articles, photos – also happened to be the types of things that were protected by copyright. Furthermore, it happened to be that the way computers distribute things – by copying – was exactly the behavior that copyright regulated. As a result, copyright became an easy way to (at least attempt to) control what people were doing with computers.

 

That connection between copyright and digital begins to break down as one moves away from movies, music, articles, and photos, and towards gears, cases, robots, and helicopters. As the connection frays, it serves as a reminder that not everything – not even every digital thing – is protected by copyright. In fact, most (but by no means all) physical objects are not protected by any type of intellectual property right. That means that anyone is free to copy, improve, distribute, or incorporate those objects as they see fit.

 

This freedom is not a new development, nor is it a loophole. 3D printers do not take away intellectual property rights any more than computers grant them. But they do provide an opportunity for people to reexamine old assumptions about how the system works.

 

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To Siri, With Love: How One Boy With Autism Became BFF With Apple’s Siri | Judith Newman | NYTimes.com

To Siri, With Love: How One Boy With Autism Became BFF With Apple’s Siri | Judith Newman | NYTimes.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Just how bad a mother am I? I wondered, as I watched my 13-year-old son deep in conversation with Siri. Gus has autism, and Siri, Apple’s “intelligent personal assistant” on the iPhone, is currently his BFF.


Obsessed with weather formations, Gus had spent the hour parsing the difference between isolated and scattered thunderstorms — an hour in which, thank God, I didn’t have to discuss them. After a while I heard this:

Gus: “You’re a really nice computer.”

Siri: “It’s nice to be appreciated.”

Gus: “You are always asking if you can help me. Is there anything you want?”

Siri: “Thank you, but I have very few wants.”

Gus: “O.K.! Well, good night!”

Siri: “Ah, it’s 5:06 p.m.”

Gus: “Oh sorry, I mean, goodbye.”

Siri: “See you later!”

That Siri. She doesn’t let my communications-impaired son get away with anything. Indeed, many of us wanted an imaginary friend, and now we have one. Only she’s not entirely imaginary.

This is a love letter to a machine. It’s not quite the love Joaquin Phoenix felt in “Her,” last year’s Spike Jonze film about a lonely man’s romantic relationship with his intelligent operating system (played by the voice of Scarlett Johansson). But it’s close. In a world where the commonly held wisdom is that technology isolates us, it’s worth considering another side of the story.

It all began simply enough. I’d just read one of those ubiquitous Internet lists called “21 Things You Didn’t Know Your iPhone Could Do.” One of them was this: I could ask Siri, “What planes are above me right now?” and Siri would bark back, “Checking my sources.” Almost instantly there was a list of actual flights — numbers, altitudes, angles — above my head.

I happened to be doing this when Gus was nearby. “Why would anyone need to know what planes are flying above your head?” I muttered. Gus replied without looking up: “So you know who you’re waving at, Mommy.”

Gus had never noticed Siri before, but when he discovered there was someone who would not just find information on his various obsessions (trains, planes, buses, escalators and, of course, anything related to weather) but actually semi-discuss these subjects tirelessly, he was hooked. And I was grateful. Now, when my head was about to explode if I had to have another conversation about the chance of tornadoes in Kansas City, Mo., I could reply brightly: “Hey! Why don’t you ask Siri?”

It’s not that Gus doesn’t understand Siri’s not human. He does — intellectually. But like many autistic people I know, Gus feels that inanimate objects, while maybe not possessing souls, are worthy of our consideration. I realized this when he was 8, and I got him an iPod for his birthday. He listened to it only at home, with one exception. It always came with us on our visits to the Apple Store. Finally, I asked why. “So it can visit its friends,” he said.


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Missouri teacher advocates for less testing, more funding in ESEA reauthorization | Colleen Flaherty | NEA.org

Missouri teacher advocates for less testing, more funding in ESEA reauthorization | Colleen Flaherty | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

David Hope, firefighting and EMT instructor at South Technical High School in St. Louis, MO, traveled to Washington D.C. this week to advocate for career and technical education, for limits on high-stakes testing, but most of all, he came for his students.

“To me, my kids are the most important. Anybody in my school will tell you, I’ll go to hell and back for my kids, period,” said Hope.

As Congress is working on reauthorization for the Elementary and Secondary Education act—also known as No Child Left Behind—educators like Hope are sharing their experiences in the classroom to inform legislators on education policy.

Properly funding career and technical education (CTE), says Hope, is absolutely crucial when it comes to filling gaps in education.

“Career and technical education can help close a learning gap. Right now, many students who graduate high school aren’t prepared to start college. On top of that, high school graduation rates are dropping,” said Hope. “Programs like ours has a 90 percent graduation rate. We’re doing something right.”

If funding falls short for these and many other crucial programs, Hope said that it hurts low-income and special needs students most. On Capitol Hill, he spoke about the importance of fully funding the Carl D Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, one of the largest sources of federal funding for high schools across the country.

“A lot of the money for CTE programs comes from Perkins, especially in rural school districts and disenfranchised, low-income areas,” said Hope.


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CA: Threatening to strike, teachers rally in downtown Los Angeles | Dakota Smith & Thomas Himes | LA Daily News

CA: Threatening to strike, teachers rally in downtown Los Angeles | Dakota Smith & Thomas Himes | LA Daily News | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Thousands of Los Angeles-area educators and their supporters rallied in a massive downtown protest Thursday, demanding smaller classroom sizes and higher wages as part of contract negotiations with the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Clad in red T-shirts and waving signs that read “Join the Movement” and “Fair Pay for the Future of Los Angeles,” the teachers were joined by education leaders in a rally intended to draw national attention.

Among those in the crowd was Watts teacher Loman Hamraj, who said he teaches 40 kids at a time at Thomas Riley High School but lacks basic classroom equipment.

“I’m a science teacher, but I don’t have a science lab,” Hamraj said. “It’s like I am teaching in the previous century.”

For United Teachers Los Angeles, Thursday’s downtown demonstration was the 35,000-member union’s greatest test of organizing strength yet in a campaign of “escalating actions” that could lead to a strike should the sides fail to reach a contract agreement.

UTLA estimated that the rally in Grand Park outside City Hall drew at least 15,000 people.

Teachers also gathered at regional rallies last year and picket lines were formed at campuses across the district earlier this month.

But UTLA made its first formal move toward striking by declaring an impasse seven months and 18 rounds into negotiations that started under former Superintendent John Deasy.

District officials estimate the sides are more than $800 million apart per year. In recent weeks, LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines raised the district’s offer to a 5 percent immediate salary hike, but the union wants 8.5 percent.


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Fossil Fuel Industry's Global Climate Science Communications Plan in Action: Polluting the Classroom | Ben Jervey | DeSmog Blog

Fossil Fuel Industry's Global Climate Science Communications Plan in Action: Polluting the Classroom | Ben Jervey | DeSmog Blog | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In 1998, representatives from a number of fossil fuel companies and industry front groups, led by the American Petroleum Institute, gathered to craft a plan to undermine the American public’s understanding of climate science, and submarine any chances of the United States ratifying the Kyoto Protocol.

Weeks after the private meeting, an eight page memo including a draft “Global Climate Science Communications Action Plan” was leaked and reported by The New York Times, exposing the group’s plan to create public doubt about climate science.

When contacted at the time, industry representatives who were in the room claimed that the plan was “very, very tentative,” and emphasized that none of the groups represented at the meeting had officially agreed to do or fund anything further.

And over the years, whenever members of the then-called “Global Climate Science Communications Team” were asked about the plan, they have repeated that the plan was long ago abandoned.

Yet, as fellow DeSmogBlog contributor Graham Readfearn explained today in a must-read article in The Guardian, practically every key element of the “Global Climate Science Communications Action Plan,” as laid out in the leaked 1998 memo, was executed in some form in the years following the meeting.

Using research from the Climate Investigations Center and DeSmogBlog, Readfearn follows up on all of the plan’s stated goals, strategies, and tactics. You can find an annotated version of the 1998 memo, with “then and now” updates on the careers of the team, on Document Cloud.

A key strategy laid out in the 1998 memo was to target teachers and students, to foment doubt in the classroom and in the minds of a younger generation. The plan stated plainly that “informing teacher/students about uncertainties in climate science will begin to erect a barrier against further efforts to impose Kyoto-like measures in the future.”

Here is an excerpt from a section titled, “National Direct Outreach and Education,” with educational elements in bold.


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The Tweeting Child, or What I Learned about Social Media from a Five Year-Old | Michael Newman | Medium.com

The Tweeting Child, or What I Learned about Social Media from a Five Year-Old | Michael Newman | Medium.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Noah, AKA @beebaaahp, is a five year-old boy. He likes playing Wii tennis (complains about line calls), having Mr. Man books read to him at bedtime, and snacking on string cheese and applesauce squeezies.


He’s a digital native; his little fingers have tapped and swiped the surfaces of iPads and iPhones practically his whole life. Once, while his parents were asleep early in the morning, he powered on the television set, toggled to the input for the Roku media player, selected a TV episode he wanted to watch on Amazon Instant, correctly guessed the password necessary to make a purchase, and started watching his show.


Noah is my son, and lately one of his favorite things is twitter. He asked several times to have his own account, and would often demand to tweet from my account (or do it without asking). He wanted to use the same media of communication that his parents use, to play with our toys. It seemed harmless enough, and I monitor his account pretty closely. Since I said ok in December, 2014, he has tweeted hundreds of times, followed more than 250 others, and collected around 50 followers. Not too shabby for a user just learning to read.


Noah goes to kindergarten all day M-F, and every afternoon he brings home the artworks he made at school, typically in the medium of marker on paper. Having a child in kindergarten really reveals the blurry line between culture and garbage. The creative work of our precious darlings must go in the trash almost all the time if we are not to suffocate under an ever-expanding oeuvre. But creativity play is about process as much as product.

I like to see Noah’s tweets as a digital analog to his art projects. He’s messing around and expressing himself and making things to give to others and exploring his imagination using the tools available. That the tweets are saved and published rather than admired insincerely and dropped in the kitchen receptacle when he isn’t looking is, in some ways, incidental. But this gives us an easy way of archiving the expressive record without amassing physical clutter, and it shares his life with others who might be interested to see a kid’s work.


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Why schools are failing our boys | Jennifer Fink | WashPost.com

Why schools are failing our boys | Jennifer Fink | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

My 8-year-old son has been struggling in school. Again.

Re-entry after winter break has not been easy for him. The rules and restrictions of school – Sit Still. Be Quiet. Do What You Are Told, Nothing More, Nothing Less. – have been grating on him, and it shows. His teacher recently emailed me; she’d noticed a change in his behavior (more belligerent, less likely to cooperate) and wanted to know if there was anything going on at home.

My guess, I said, was that he was upset about having to be back in school after break. I was right.

The lack of movement and rigid restrictions associated with modern schooling are killing my son’s soul.

Does that sound dramatic to you? Perhaps. After all, most of us go through school and somehow survive more or less intact. But if you really think about it, you might remember what you hated about school. You might remember that it took you years after school to rediscover your own soul and passions, and the courage to pursue them.

The stress of school, of trying to fit into an environment that asks him to suppress the best parts of himself, recently had my son in tears. Again.

He hasn’t been allowed outside at school all week; it’s too cold. Yet this son has spent happy hours outside at home this week, all bundled up, moving snow with the toy snowplow, creating “snowmobile trails” in our yard with his sled and shoveling both our walk and our neighbors. Because he wants to.

This morning, as always, my son was up and dressed before the rest of the household; he likes time to play Minecraft before school starts. But he also cleaned the dirty glass on the woodstove, started the fire and brought wood into the house. Because he wants to.

And it hit me this morning: He would have done great in Little House on the Prairie time.

We’re reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s The Long Winter, one of the books in the Little House series, aloud right now. Back then, boys (and girls) primarily learned by doing. Kids between the ages of 5 and 18 weren’t corralled into schools and kept apart from real life; out of necessity, boys worked on the farms and girls helped in the house. Entire families worked together to survive, and along the way, boys and girls learned how to function in the real world.

That’s the kind of learning my son craves.


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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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Nathanael Gregory Law's curator insight, February 27, 4:30 PM

I have already posted a similar article talking about Space Weather and its potential impacts on our own weather on Earth, but I wanted to share this with you all because this dealt with a specific aspect of Space Weather. Understanding what the Northern Lights are and how they wreak havoc on our technology is important for future forecasting of these events. This webpage discusses what was done with this experiment and what we can gain from it. Please take a look! 

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Will Congress unlock access to shelter for homeless students? | Amanda Litvinov | NEA.org

Will Congress unlock access to shelter for homeless students? | Amanda Litvinov | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

A hotel room is not a home. A friend’s couch, another family’s basement—these aren’t homes either. These are places people might stay when they’ve lost their home.

More than 1.2 million students were identified by public schools as homeless during the 2012-13 school year. But many of them are not considered such under HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) criteria.

That means the majority of kids who are actually homeless–those who live in motels or on campgrounds or who “couch surf,” either with a parent or all on their own–don’t qualify for HUD assistance. In that respect, they’d be better off living under a bridge.

“There’s a clear definition of homeless under other laws and used by other federal agencies, including the Department of Education,” said Barbara Duffield, Director of Policy and Programs at the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth.“HUD uses a strictly limited definition that is meant to prioritize the most at-risk for services, but ends up shutting out so many homeless children and youth.”

A bipartisan bill has been introduced in Congress to expand the HUD definition of “homeless person” to include many more kids. The Homeless Children and Youth Act of 2015 would make it possible for those living in a hotel or temporarily staying at someone else’s house to qualify for essential assistance.

“The bottom line is that homeless students will have greater access to shelter and other housing support, which we know will improve their stability and allow them to perform better at school,” said Duffield.

The legislation would empower educators who serve as district homeless liaisons to make referrals for homeless students without the bureaucratic hoops.


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Presidential hopefuls share anti-public education views at conservative conference | Brian Washington | NEA.org

Presidential hopefuls share anti-public education views at conservative conference | Brian Washington | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

By the end of the week, education activists should have a better understanding of how the 2016 field of presidential hopefuls on the Republican side is shaping up and what some of the threats to students, educators, and public education may look like in the future.

Thursday, February 26, kicks off the start of the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, DC. CPAC represents the largest gathering of right-wing conservatives from around the country.


The event’s agenda is filled with workshops designed to come up with new ways to undermine public education and limit opportunity for students. Without a doubt, there will be discussions about siphoning away taxpayer dollars from public education and funneling them into private and religious schools and expanding privately-run charter schools that, despite getting public funding, are not accountable or transparent to the communities they are supposed to serve.


If some of this sounds like it comes from the ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) playbook, which includes restricting the ability of educators to advocate for their students and dismantling public education, that’s because many of the faces attending this week’s CPAC meeting are also regular attendees at various ALEC events.

Also, because this year’s conference is happening at the start of the 2016 election cycle, a string of GOP presidential hopefuls are expected to attend, including Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, an ALEC acolyte who’s also a darling of billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, the Koch Brothers.

Walker has been leading the fight in Wisconsin against workers’ rights, middle-class families, students, educators, and public schools. He was instrumental in defunding higher education and robbed public schools of critical dollars through private school vouchers and huge corporate tax cuts. He also led the charge to strip educators of their voice to advocate on behalf of students.


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Astronomers find a shockingly ancient black hole the size of 12 billion suns | Rachel Feltman | WashPost.com

Astronomers find a shockingly ancient black hole the size of 12 billion suns | Rachel Feltman | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Some 12.8 billion light years away, astronomers have spotted an object of almost impossible brightness — the most luminous object ever seen in such ancient space. It's from just 900 million years after the big bang, and the old quasar — a shining object produced by a massive black hole — is 420 trillion times more luminous than our sun.

That brightness and size is surprising in a black hole from so close to the dawn of time. In a new study published Wednesday in Nature, researchers describe a cosmic light that defies convention. It was even detectable with a relatively small telescope, though researchers in China did have to ask for help from astronomers in Chile and the United States to get a higher-resolution look.

"How could we have this massive black hole when the universe was so young? We don't currently have a satisfactory theory to explain it," said lead author Xue-Bing Wu of Peking University and the Kavli Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics.


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Where Mud Is Archaeological Gold, Russian History Grew on Trees | David Herszenhorn | NYTimes.com

Where Mud Is Archaeological Gold, Russian History Grew on Trees | David Herszenhorn | NYTimes.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The note, from father to son, was the sort of routine shopping list that today would be dashed off on a smartphone. In 14th century Russia, it was etched into the bark of a birch tree and curled into a scroll.

“Send me a shirt, towel, trousers, reins, and, for my sister, send fabric,” the father, whose name was Onus, wrote to his son, Danilo, the block letters of Old Novgorod language, a precursor to Russian, neatly carved into the wood with a stylus. Onus ended with a bit of humor. “If I am alive,” he wrote, “I will pay for it.”

The scroll and a dozen others like it were among the finds from this year’s digging season, adding to a collection of more than 1,000 birch-bark documents uncovered here after being preserved for hundreds of years in the magical mud that makes this city one of the most extraordinary archaeological sites on earth. “Novgorod for Russia is like Pompeii for Italy,” said Pyotr G. Gaidukov, the deputy director of the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Archaeology. “Only Novgorod is still alive.


Nestled in a curve of the Volkhov River, with the crenelated brick walls of its Kremlin-fortress and the sparkling gold and silver domes of its churches, Veliky Novgorod looks like the setting of a medieval fairy tale.


In a way, it was.


The city was founded, according to legend, by Rurik, a Varangian chieftain, in 859. It is a place where democracy once flourished, where benevolent princes ruled with the consent of a parliament of local elites called the Veche, where markets hummed and international trade thrived, where women were empowered to participate in business and other aspects of public life.


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Hard to find, worth the effort: The oldest temple on earth | Sena Desai Gopal | The Boston Globe

Hard to find, worth the effort: The oldest temple on earth | Sena Desai Gopal | The Boston Globe | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

It is 8:30 a.m. and the June sun is already high in the sky, beating furiously over the brown, arid landscape of southeastern Turkey. We don’t notice the heat or the ineffective air conditioning of our rental car. We are too excited about where we are headed: Göbekli Tepe, the oldest temple on earth.

A smiling receptionist at our Sanliurfa hotel assured us Göbekli Tepe was only 18 kilometers away, “a 20-minute drive.” We have been on the road for more than an hour and still haven’t found it.

The problem, my husband helpfully points out, is that people seem to know the distance to Göbekli Tepe, but no one is sure of its direction. Wikipedia says it is northwest of Sanliurfa; other websites say north or northeast; our smiling receptionist said, “Go out of the hotel. Turn right, then right again.” Our car GPS and Google maps don’t have Göbekli Tepe. We first drove north, then northwest. Now we are driving northeast.

The minor road we are on becomes a dirt track, and I begin preparing my “we couldn’t find it” speech for family and friends back in the United States. And, suddenly, there it is — Göbekli Tepe (literally “potbellied hill”), rising above knolls dotting the landscape. When we are close, we notice a fence around the site, a security guard at the gate, and a surprising absence of tourists. (Later, we find out that June is not the best of seasons for tourism in these parts and, more importantly, most of the world has not yet heard of Göbekli Tepe.) A plaque in front reads, “Stone Age Sanctuary, 10th and 9th millennium BC.”

Archeologists came across Göbekli Tepe in the 1960s, dismissing it as a knoll or Byzantine cemetery. More than three decades later, German archeologist Klaus Schmidt, while on a foot-expedition, recognized it as a manmade knoll. “And even from this distance it was clear at once that it was not at all a natural hill,” Schmidt writes in his book, “Göbekli Tepe, A Stone Age Sanctuary in South-Eastern Anatolia.” A closer look revealed thousands of flintstones in the knoll’s topsoil, “glittering like snow in the winter sun.” When Schmidt first saw it, Göbekli Tepe was being used as farmland. Local farmers routinely removed “rocks” that were an impediment to farming, little knowing that some of the rocks were from the oldest temple built by humans.


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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, February 27, 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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