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Hammer Jammer brings a percussive twist to playing guitar | GizMag.com

Hammer Jammer brings a percussive twist to playing guitar | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

With what's got to be one of the shortest campaign pitches on Kickstarter, Ken McCaw is putting second production run hopes for his Hammer Jammer percussive guitar attachment in the hands of players. Described as essentially turning the guitar into a new instrument, the fretting hand is still used to form chord shapes or single-note runs. But players tap, stroke or bash the big raised "buttons" at the picking end, causing soft or hard hammers to sound the strings.


The idea for a key-hammering mechanism for guitar first came to McCaw in 1985. He formed the Guitammer company to further develop his idea in 1990, helped along with input from folks like Chris Martin (Martin Guitars) and Ricky Skaggs. The first product debuted in the early 90s, but problems with manufacturing partners (not related to the product) and a change of focus (the development and release of the ButtKicker) led to the hammering project being shelved.


McCaw bought the remaining units from the manufacturer and has since sold them all to players in 60 countries around the globe. The video used for the Kickstarter campaign pitch was originally posted on YouTube back in January of this year and attracted over 400,000 views, encouraging McCaw to try for the mainstream market.


"Young, up-and-comers who are looking for a new way to enter the music world," McCaw told us when asked who he thought would appreciate the Hammer Jammer most. "And handicapped (including older players with arthritis) and disabled Vets, because it does enable them to still play guitar, with the chord hammering techniques at least."


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Existence of two potential Earth-like exoplanets disproven | GizMag.com

Existence of two potential Earth-like exoplanets disproven | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Those packing their bags for a trip to the two potentially habitable exoplanets previously claimed to be orbiting the red dwarf star Gliese 581 had better rethink their travel plans. Astronomers at Pennsylvania State University say the planets, Gliese 581 d and Gliese 581 g, don't actually exist.


In 2007, Gliese 581 d was being touted as first exoplanet discovered to sit in the habitable – or "Goldilocks" – zone, where water could exist on the planet's surface in liquid form. This was followed in 2010 with the purported discovery of Gliese 581 g, which was thought to lay right in the middle of the habitable zone. I say "purported" because astronomers weren't able to confirm its existence.


Both of the planets were detected indirectly using the radial velocity method. This is where the gravitational pull of an orbiting exoplanet causes variations in the velocity of its parent star, which can be detected using Doppler spectroscopy.


Now a team at Penn State led by Paul Robertson claims that the signals previously thought to indicate the existence of Gliese 581 d and g weren't due to the gravitational pull of these exoplanets, but were in fact signals that resulted from magnetic activity of the star, similar to the sunspots our Sun experiences.


The team arrived at this conclusion after making two observations.


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Teaching Visual Digital Literacy with Infographics | Cyberpop! Blog

Teaching Visual Digital Literacy with Infographics | Cyberpop! Blog | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Together with fellow instructor Jaigris Hodson, I published a new paper in The Journal of Pedagogic Development: “Teaching with Infographics: Practicing New Digital Competencies and Visual Literacies” (summer 2014 volume 4 issue 2). You can view the whole open access, online issue here or download the PDF.


Abstract: This position paper examines the use of infographics as a teaching assignment in the online college classroom. It argues for the benefits of adopting this type of creative assignment for teaching and learning, and considers the pedagogic and technical challenges that may arise in doing so. Data and insights are drawn from two case studies, both from the communications field, one online class and a blended one, taught at two different institutions. The paper demonstrates how incorporating a research-based graphic design assignment into coursework challenges and encourages students’ visual digital literacies. The paper includes practical insights and identifies best practices emerging from the authors’ classroom experience with the infographic assignment, and from student feedback. The paper suggests that this kind of creative assignment requires students to practice exactly those digital competencies required to participate in an increasingly visual digital culture.


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E-Rate Modernization: It’s About Time | Blair Levin Blog | Benton Foundation

E-Rate Modernization: It’s About Time | Blair Levin Blog | Benton Foundation | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Over the last decade, a diversity of groups, from the State Education Technology Directors Association to the LEAD Commission to the Department of Education, among many others, have advocated that the FCC modernize the E-Rate program. Now that the FCC is finally set to act, how do the prospects for improvement appear? We put that question to Blair Levin (1), who was the Chief of Staff at the FCC when the program was initially conceived and implemented, and also was the principal architect of the National Broadband Plan, which proposed a number of E-Rate related changes now being considered by the FCC. Here is his response.


The prospects for improvement soon are good. My reaction is that it’s about time, which I mean in two different ways. Before explaining the double meaning, let me review where we are.


If one reads press accounts, the narrative is controversy over how the FCC is proceeding, with some of the program’s major recipients expressing dissatisfaction. Dig a little deeper, however, and one can see in the FCC effort one of the few places in D.C. where there is a broad, bi-partisan consensus and the government is acting in a thoughtful and decisive manner to improve an important program.


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The Elephant in the Language Classroom | Peter Smith Blog | Edutopia.org

The Elephant in the Language Classroom | Peter Smith Blog | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

At an impressionable age, I was sent to a boarding school run by ex-servicemen on strict Victorian principles and the rules of cricket. Corporal punishment and bullying were rife, but the cane was a lesser threat if you were a good cricketer and got good exam grades. You could also reduce the bullying hazard by conforming to accepted behaviours such as Elvis Presley impersonations and participation in the swapping of James Bond literature.


It was a success. I picked up cricket, guitar, and a good number of the banned Ian Fleming books. The cricket instructor, Mr. M, was also the French teacher. He would write vocabulary on the walls as "targets for fielding practice." Teamwork was encouraged, and he would compete against us. Ammunition was coloured blackboard chalk which we threw from a measured distance. Chalk marks were carefully measured and counted. Our French grades were high, and a lifelong love of languages was born.


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A Global View: The Adventure of Kid-Friendly Foreign Films | Homa Tavanger Blog | Edutopia.org

A Global View: The Adventure of Kid-Friendly Foreign Films | Homa Tavanger Blog | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

For many of us, Oscar week can serve as the annual reminder of how many great grown-up films we have yet to see, and how many kids' movies we've already seen -- over and over and over.


Next time you're faced with indoor recess or a snow day, movie night or a free period before a holiday, resist the temptation to pop in Finding Nemo or Shrek (though I love these, too), and use the opportunity to take a journey around the world. Of all the great global learning tools out there, films from diverse countries are among of my very favorites.


First and foremost, a good movie draws us in, and we simply enjoy the experience. Beyond that, watching a film can go from a passive experience to an active, engaged, curious exploration of big life themes and various academic disciplines.


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The journal that published Facebook’s psychological study is raising a red flag about it | WashPost.com

The journal that published Facebook’s psychological study is raising a red flag about it | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Facebook's newsfeed study isn't just controversial among Internet users and academics, it turns out. Now, even the journal that published Facebook's research says it has reservations about having done so.


The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ( PNAS), one of the top scientific journals in the country, said Thursday it was publishing an editorial expression of concern regarding Facebook's study.


Although Facebook didn't technically break any rules on human-subject research, the journal said, Facebook's research "may have involved practices that were not fully consistent with the principles of obtaining informed consent and allowing participants to opt out."


Expressions of concern are a way for scholarly journals to notify readers of potential problems in published research, though PNAS said it did not believe Facebook needed to comply with the paper's human-subject research policies.


PNAS added in a statement to the Washington Post that the announcement was aimed at acknowledging concerns about the research and that it does not intend to investigate the study further.


Facebook has come under sustained criticism in recent days for the study. In the experiment, researchers tweaked the newsfeed for a random group of nearly 700,000 users in an attempt to determine whether different emotional tones in the newsfeed would drive users away from the service.


"When someone signs up for Facebook, we've always asked permission to use their information to provide and enhance the services we offer," said Facebook spokeswoman Jodi Seth. "To suggest we conducted any corporate research without permission is complete fiction ... We are taking a very hard look at our review process to make improvements."


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Urban libraries say they’re getting shortchanged in a battle for WiFi funding | WashPost.com

Urban libraries say they’re getting shortchanged in a battle for WiFi funding | WashPost.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

As far too many of us have learned as a result of the recession, the public library is often the only place where out-of-work Americans can go to apply for jobs and unemployment benefits online.


In many cases, the only way libraries can afford to offer those services is with help from the federal government. Through a public program known as E-Rate, Washington gives institutions a bit of money each year to defray the costs of buying Internet service and equipment. That initiative got a big boost recently, with the Federal Communications Commission announcing plans to spend $1 billion a year for the next two years on better WiFi, amid a broader push to modernize the E-Rate program.


Now the FCC has to decide how to divide up that $2 billion — and libraries are smack in the center of a brewing fight about it. Library directors from five cities, including Seattle, Memphis and Hartford, Conn., have sent letters to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler this week saying that they stand to be shortchanged if the commission moves forward with a plan to tie the money to the square footage of their facilities. Under the proposal, the FCC would give libraries a budget for WiFi funding at a rate of $1 per square foot — which some say isn't nearly enough.


"WiFi costs are not merely a function of the square footage of a room with wireless connectivity," wrote Matthew Poland, chief executive of the public library system in Hartford, Conn. "WiFi performance is a function of users."


Poland argued that other libraries — such as those serving wealthy suburbanites — tend to be bigger. Not only would the proposed formula give more funding to suburban facilities, but those libraries would be taking in money that might be put to better use elsewhere. Inner-city libraries, Poland wrote, serve more users in a tighter space; their patrons tend to be less wealthy and disproportionately unemployed or under-employed. The upshot: It isn't fair for large, rich libraries to get even more money when small, needy libraries might get less.


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Don’t call him the Walt Disney of Japan: How animator Hayao Miyazaki became a cultural icon by doing everything Pixar doesn’t | Salon.com

Don’t call him the Walt Disney of Japan: How animator Hayao Miyazaki became a cultural icon by doing everything Pixar doesn’t | Salon.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Traditional animation is on its way out. In the age of Pixar, Dreamworks and other big-budget production companies that specialize in children’s entertainment, technology trumps tradition.


There’s something exemplary about 3-D animation, something that fits in with contemporary culture in our desire to render magic real. We want to feel like we’re inside the same room as the characters we watch on the screen, even, oddly, when it comes to representational entertainment, like cartoons. In the age of hyperrealism, fantasy worlds must blend with our own, and imagination takes a back seat to spectacle.


So animation studios on the technological forefront release features that do away with traditional photo film. With digital production techniques at the ready, movies can now be counted on to remain unblemished throughout time. And why shouldn’t they be? What better way to fend off ennui than to develop newer, cleaner ways to melt the eyes? That which does not evolve fades from relevance, yes?


Well … perhaps not entirely. There is one famous animator who rebukes modern technology in favor of hand-drawn, 2-D conventions. His grumpiness knows no bounds, and he seems to be interested more sometimes in what will perish than what will live on. But in many ways, even at Pixar where the future of the industry is being assembled brick by brick, he is looked to as a constant source of authenticity and inspiration.


It is not easy to write about Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, founder of the creative powerhouse Studio Ghibli, without relying on intense speculation. Those who have met the man, such as Roger Ebert, for instance, who was able to secure a rare interview, have found themselves wading through a morass of eccentricities.


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Albert Einstein's Reply to a Female Fan's Confession Should Be in Every Science Textbook | Identies.MIC.com

Albert Einstein's Reply to a Female Fan's Confession Should Be in Every Science Textbook | Identies.MIC.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

"I hope you will not think any the less of me for being a girl!"


This plea was sent to Albert Einstein by a young South African in the 1940s, and was recently unearthed as part of Alice Caprice's Dear Professor Einstein: Albert Einstein's Letters to and from Children. Although brief, Tyfanny's words capture the self-consciousness and self-doubt that have for so long plagued women who aspire to careers in science and technology.


In the letter, dated Sept. 19, 1946, a seemingly agonized Tyfanny admits to Einstein that she has left out a potentially damaging detail about herself. "I forgot to tell you, in my last letter, that I was a girl. I mean I am a girl," the young scientist writes. "I have always regretted this a great deal, but by now I have become more or less resigned to the fact."


The physicist's pithy response is a timeless lesson that bears repeating, all these decades later. "I do not mind that you are a girl, but the main thing is that you yourself do not mind," the Nobel Prize winner replied. "There is no reason for it."


There really is no reason why girls should doubt their abilities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). But for years, popular culture has fostered an environment that, purposefully or not, sends women and girls the message that boys should handle the power tools, lest the girls' dresses get a little dusty.


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Charter schools get mixed results on Louisiana tests

Charter schools get mixed results on Louisiana tests | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Like many Louisiana schools, the most recent LEAP and iLEAP test results were a mixed bag for schools run by the two charter companies that will become a presence in Lafayette next month.


National Heritage Academies will open Willow Charter Academy in August. Its only other Louisiana school last year was Inspire Charter Academy in Baton Rouge.


According to the Louisiana Department of Education, most Inspire students scored either basic or approaching basic on the spring standardized tests, which measure student proficiency in English Language Arts, math, science and social studies. That aligns with overall state results.


On average, fewer than 10 percent of Inspire students scored in the top two categories — advanced and mastery. About 43 percent of students scored basic, with some relatively high figures. For example, about 60 percent of fifth-grade Inspire students scored basic in math, and more than half of all seventh- and eighth-grade students scored basic in all four subjects.


Overall, about 23 percent of Inspire students received unsatisfactory scores, representing the lowest marks.


"As Inspire students took a more difficult assessment in the 2013-14 school year, we were not surprised by our student assessment results," National Heritage Academies spokeswoman Jennifer Hoff said via email. "We are proud that our students in the highest grades that Inspire serves are showing measurable progress and even outperformed our local district. ... This shows the impact that our educational program has had on the students that have been with us the longest."


Hoff added that National Heritage Academies officials noted that students in lower grades had somewhat lower scores.


"We are continuing to analyze our programming, staffing and interventions to ensure that all students achieve at high levels and receive the high-quality instruction they deserve," Hoff said.


Charter Schools USA will open two schools in the parish next month — Acadiana Renaissance Charter Academy in Youngsville, and Lafayette Renaissance Charter Academy off of Pont des Mouton Road in Lafayette.


Overall, most Charter Schools USA students in Louisiana scored in the basic or approaching basic categories, with fewer students on the higher end (advanced) and lowest end (unsatisfactory).


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U.S. Senate candidate Tom Cotton blocked federal loan support he once used | Education Votes | NEA.org

U.S. Senate candidate Tom Cotton blocked federal loan support he once used | Education Votes | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In many ways, U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton’s biography is the embodiment of the American Dream: A young man grows up on a cattle farm in rural Arkansas, works hard in school, makes it all the way through Harvard Law, and goes on to win a seat in the House of Representatives.


Cotton, who is now running for a U.S. Senate seat, acknowledges that higher education was the key to all of his later success in life, and that his education was financed in part with a federal student loan.


“My family saved for years and I worked throughout school to pay my way; like many students, it also took a combination of private and Stafford loans,” Cotton has said.


So why doesn’t he use his vote to support other students relying on those same loans today?


Cotton voted against the Smarter Solutions for Students Act in 2013, a bipartisan plan to lower the interest rate on federal student loans.


That same year, he voted to eliminate subsidies for undergraduate student loans and voted to cut Pell Grants, which helped 77,500 students attend public colleges and universities in Arkansas in 2011-12 alone.


He even said that the federal government should “get out of the student loan business” altogether, leaving students subject to the ups and downs of the private market.


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Two documentaries reveal shadowy Koch-funded network threatening democracy, public education | Education Votes | NEA.org

Two documentaries reveal shadowy Koch-funded network threatening democracy, public education | Education Votes | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Just how much political influence can money buy?


How much money can the rich pour into politics before democracy is compromised?


These questions, and many more, are raised by the documentaries ‘Citizen Koch” and “Koch Bros. Exposed,” which both use as their starting point the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision that opened the door for corporations to spend freely and anonymously in political campaigns, giving the nation’s wealthiest an outsized voice in politics.


Both films set out to unravel the very tangled web of rich donors, corporate interests, foundations and “think tanks” woven across the decades-long efforts of billionaire industrialists David and Charles Koch to rig the entire political system for the nation’s wealthiest.


“I am a Republican. But what I voted for is not what I got,” said Wisconsin school librarian Mari Jo Kabat, one of three Republican Wisconsinites Citizen Koch follows in the lead up to the recall election of Gov. Scott Walker.


The Koch Brothers, who were the single largest donors to Gov. Walker’s campaign, also exerted influence over the state legislature through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) that connects corporations directly with state lawmakers, making Wisconsin a testing ground for the Kochs’ takeover agenda.


And that’s why Walker’s job one was to dismantle public sector unions, one of few entities that defends the interests of everyday Americans in the fight for an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy.


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ESA's Dropship quadcopter concept may offer precise, safe landings for Mars rovers | GizMag.com

ESA's Dropship quadcopter concept may offer precise, safe landings for Mars rovers | GizMag.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The European Space Agency (ESA) has tested a novel system that may allow the agency to safely land rovers on Mars using a quadcopter-like dropship. A fully automated, proof of concept Skycrane prototype was created over the course of eight months under the ESA's StarTiger program, with the system's hardware largely derived from commercially available quadcopter components.


The primary challenge for the Dropter project development team revolved around creating a system that could successfully detect and navigate hazardous terrain without the aide of real-time human input. This is a vital feature for any potential rover delivery system, as it is impossible to create a directly controllable sky crane due to the distance between the operator and the vehicle that creates a time lag between command and execution.


Therefore the new rover delivery method had to be designed around an autonomous navigation system. Initially the dropship navigates to the pre determined deployment zone using GPS and inertia control. Once in the vicinity of the target zone, the lander switches to vision-based navigation, utilizing laser ranging and barometers to allow it to detect a safe, flat area upon which to set down its precious cargo.


Once such a site is identified, the lander drops to a height of 10 m (33 ft) above the surface and lowers the rover with the use of a bridle, gradually descending until the rover gently touches down on the planet's surface.


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Are you tired of passwords? | Martha Irvine | DurangoHerald.com

Are you tired of passwords? | Martha Irvine | DurangoHerald.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Good thing she doesn’t need a password to get into heaven. That’s what Donna Spinner often mutters when she tries to remember the growing list of letter-number-and-symbol codes she’s had to create to access her various online accounts.


“At my age, it just gets too confusing,” says the 72-year-old grandmother who lives outside Decatur, Illinois.


But this is far from just a senior moment. Frustration about passwords is as common across the age brackets as the little reminder notes on which people often write them.


“We are in the midst of an era I call the ‘tyranny of the password,”’ says Thomas Way, a computer science professor at Villanova University. “We’re due for a revolution.”


One could argue that the revolution is already well underway, with passwords destined to go the way of the floppy disc and dial-up Internet. Already, there are multiple services that generate and store your passwords, so you don’t have to remember them. Beyond that, biometric technology is emerging, using thumbprints and face recognition to help us get into our accounts and our devices. Some new iPhones use the technology, for instance, as do a few retailers, whose employees log into work computers with a touch of the hand.


Still, many people cling to the password, the devil we know – even though the passwords we end up creating, the ones we can remember, often aren’t very secure at all. Look at any list of the most common passwords making the rounds on the Internet, and you’ll find anything from “abc123,” “letmein” and “iloveyou” to – you guessed it – use of the word “password” as a password.


Bill Lidinsky, director of security and forensics at the School of Applied Technology at the Illinois Institute of Technology, has seen it all – and often demonstrates in his college classes just how easy it is to use readily available software to figure out many passwords.


“I crack my students’ passwords all the time,” Lidinsky says, “sometimes in seconds.”


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At Sea in a Deluge of Data | Chronicle of Higher Education

At Sea in a Deluge of Data | Chronicle of Higher Education | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

This spring, more college students than ever received baccalaureate degrees, and their career prospects are brighter than they were for last year’s graduates.


Employers responding to this year’s National Association of Colleges and Employers’ "Job Outlook 2014 Survey" said they planned to increase entry-level hiring by almost 8 percent. But what they may not realize is that these seemingly techno-savvy new hires could be missing some basic yet vital research skills.


It’s a problem that we found after interviewing 23 people in charge of hiring at leading employers like Microsoft, KPMG, Nationwide Insurance, the Smithsonian, and the FBI. This research was part of a federally funded study for Project Information Literacy, a national study about how today’s college students find and use information.


Nearly all of the employers said they expected candidates, whatever their field, to be able to search online, a given for a generation born into the Internet world. But they also expected job candidates to be patient and persistent researchers and to be able to retrieve information in a variety of formats, identify patterns within an array of sources, and dive deeply into source material.


Most important, though, employers said they need workers who can collaborate with colleagues to solve problems and who can engage in thoughtful analysis and integrate contextual organizational details rarely found online.


Many employers said their fresh-from-college hires frequently lack deeper and more traditional skills in research and analysis. Instead, the new workers default to quick answers plucked from the Internet. That method might be fine for looking up a definition or updating a fact, but for many tasks, it proved superficial and incomplete.


It turns out that students are poorly trained in college to effectively navigate the Internet’s indiscriminate glut of information.


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The Beach Pneumatic Transit Co. : Manhattan's tube network at the turn of the last century | Columbia.edu

The Beach Pneumatic Transit Co. : Manhattan's tube network at the turn of the last century | Columbia.edu | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Alfred E Beach died on January 1, 1896. 


At the time of his death, the tunnel and cars of Beach's pneumatic railway tube were still in place under Broadway, and some relics of the the station may have remained in the basement of the former Devlin’s clothing store at 260 Broadway.  The matter of a rapid transit railway under Broadway was yet again in the courts, the new 1894 Board of Rapid Transit Railroad Commissioners having to petition the Supreme Court because the property owners yet again objected to the loss of their vaults and the disruption during construction.


In the works of his life, in his inventions— many made at so early a date as to be some decades ahead of the proper time for their development— in his services in the world of science as one of the proprietors and virtually a co-founder of the scientific publications of his firm, in the work represented by the thousands of patents procured by his firm for the inventors of America during the last fifty years— in these, his life’s work is of perennial character, and his services to humanity will not soon be forgotten, while the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN will endure as a monument of the life’s work of his firm.


The obituary in Scientific American offers the most information ever printed about Alfred E Beach the man: 


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Librarians Concerned Digital Content Licences Overriding Exceptions, Limitations | Intellectual Property Watch

Librarians Concerned Digital Content Licences Overriding Exceptions, Limitations | Intellectual Property Watch | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

While exceptions and limitations for librarians and archives are under negotiation at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) this week, librarians and archivists called on WIPO delegates to address an issue of contract licences for digital content, which they say often override such exceptions and limitations.


The 28th session of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) is taking place from 30 June to 4 July.


A side event was held on 30 June by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) entitled, “Keeping Copyright Relevant in the digital environment: libraries, archives and licences.” It questioned the impact of digital content licence terms and conditions on the mission of libraries and archives.


“We are moving from owning physical content to licensing digital ones,” said Simonetta Vezzoso, copyright consultant at the Associazione Italiana Biblioteche (Italy). This is an ongoing and increasingly important transition, she said.


Libraries are spending billions of dollars each year on licensed digital content, but amounts spent on content differ dramatically, said Ellen Broad, manager of digital projects at IFLA. There is little transparency in costs across suppliers, Vezzoso added.


The core mission of libraries include: long-term preservation, archival availability, lending, collection development, digital resources availability for research, education, teaching and library sharing. These are hampered by some licence terms and conditions, said Vezzoso. She gave an example of a licence that does not permit long-term preservation, lending, archive availability, collection development and research.


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MN: St. Paul cable network teaches the power of documentary film | StarTribune.com

MN: St. Paul cable network teaches the power of documentary film | StarTribune.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

After serving 18 years in prison, James Whitfield struggled to find anyone willing to hire him. He also found few willing to listen to why he and others who served time deserved a second chance.


So he made a movie.


Whitfield, with the help of an innovative St. Paul cable access program that teaches low-income adults to make documentaries, created a 10-minute film. In the ­process, he not only got his story out, but he developed the tools to start his own nonprofit to assist other ex-cons in finding work.


“It’s very helpful,” Whitfield said of the program. “It would enable people to help get word out about meaningful issues — issues that people overlook or fail to take into consideration. I think the media program they have over there is one of the best.”


The program, called Doc U, is one of several efforts through which St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN) works to increase community access to television production and get more voices involved in community issues. SPNN just closed the applications for Doc U’s third year and, starting this month, will choose 12 filmmakers-in-training for the 16-week program. Their films will premiere with screenings in December.


Each filmmaker gets a $400 stipend, thanks to grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the McKnight Foundation. They also get training from SPNN staff and the use of SPNN equipment. In the process, they create a documentary on a topic of their choosing.


At a time when cable access organizations around the country are struggling to maintain financial support, a fully funded Doc U is just one example of SPNN’s ability to continue attracting support — and keep reaching new audiences, said Chad Johnston, SPNN executive director.


SPNN programming is on five Comcast cable channels in St. Paul and reaches 52,000 homes.


SPNN’s role providing training and access has been a constant through the years.


“We have been contracting with the city since 1984,” Johnston said. “What we’re doing here is actually creating ­community.”


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Why you can no longer expect that the news will find you | GigaOM Tech News

Why you can no longer expect that the news will find you | GigaOM Tech News | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

One of the more frustrating things about turning into a cranky old editor (although to be honest I was That Guy when I was 25) has been watching a generation of young people embrace the notion that they don’t have to be savvy news consumers: that any news that is truly important will be circulated by their inner circles through social media.


But after digesting the various takes on the Facebook emotional-manipulation experiment this week, which was arguably the biggest story of a slow week in a tech world, the unacknowledged reality that people who expect to discover the true world through search or their social feeds are subject to the whims of opaque corporations is really starting to trouble me.


Most people know that Facebook manipulates their News Feed, and a lot of that manipulation is not at all noteworthy (do you really need to see the 892nd picture of the toddler born to the girl who sat next to you in 10th grade biology?). Go ahead, wander over to Facebook and refresh your news feed eight or ten times in a row: you’ll get a different series of updates at the top of that feed nearly every time.


But when Facebook starts altering the content of your feed based on an emotional social graph it wishes to feed you, that makes a lot of people sit up and take notice. And in an era in which Facebook is one of the largest sources of referral traffic to traffic-starved online publishers struggling to break even in an era of digital pennies, the ramifications of those alterations have a clear impact on how you get your news and the type of news you get.


It’s like this guy doesn’t even know what his company is doing to a generation of digital news publishers.


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10 Words and Phrases Every Girl Should Learn | AlterNet.org

10 Words and Phrases Every Girl Should Learn | AlterNet.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

"Stop interrupting me." 


"I just said that."


"No explanation needed."


In fifth grade, I won the school courtesy prize. In other words, I won an award for being polite. My brother, on the other hand, was considered the class comedian. We were very typically socialized as a "young lady" and a "boy being a boy." Globally, childhood politeness lessons are gender asymmetrical. We socialize girls to take turns, listen more carefully, not curse and resist interrupting in ways  we do not expect boys to. Put another way, we generally teach girls subservient habits and boys to exercise dominance.


I routinely find myself in mixed-gender environments (life) where men interrupt me. Now that I've decided to try and keep track, just out of curiosity, it's quite amazing how often it happens. It's particularly pronounced when other men are around.


This irksome reality goes along with another -- men who make no eye contact. For example, a waiter who only directs information and questions to men at a table, or the man last week who simply pretended I wasn't part of a circle of five people (I was the only woman). We'd never met before and barely exchanged 10 words, so it couldn't have been my not-so-shrinking-violet opinions.


These two ways of establishing dominance in conversation, frequently based on gender, go hand-in-hand with this last one: A woman, speaking clearly and out loud, can say something that no one appears to hear, only to have a man repeat it minutes, maybe seconds later, to accolades and group discussion.


After I wrote about the  gender confidence gap recently, of the 10 items on a list, the one that resonated the most was the issue of whose speech is considered important. In sympathetic response to what I wrote, a person on Twitter sent me a  cartoon in which one woman and five men sit around a conference table. The caption reads, "That's an excellent suggestion, Miss Triggs. Perhaps one of the men here would like to make it." I don't think there is a woman alive who has not had this happen.


The cartoon may seem funny, until you realize exactly how often it  seriously happens. And -- as in the cases of  Elizabeth Warren or say,  Brooksley Born -- how broadly consequential the impact can be. When you add  race and class to the equation the incidence of this marginalization is even higher.


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Truthout Interviews Bill Ayers on the Erosion of Teacher Tenure | Truth-Out.com

Truthout Interviews Bill Ayers on the Erosion of Teacher Tenure | Truth-Out.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

If you flip through your yearbook from school, there's a chance you'll happen upon a picture of a teacher who was, in your estimation, a lousy educator. We've all had bad teachers who failed in some form or fashion to connect with you or the entire class and teach in a way that you truly learned about the subject. However, if you take that same yearbook, you will most likely find far more teachers who were effective educators.


If you attended a public school (and some private schools) many of the teachers you had were tenured. That doesn't mean they couldn't get fired for ineffective teaching. It means they are afforded due process to explore claims made against them by students, parents, administrators, or interest groups who have a complaint.


Tenure means fair procedures are in place, bound by laws, policies, or agreements that protect teachers from arbitrary reasons for termination. For anyone who has served on a jury or even sat through a court proceeding, you know the process is slow, technical, and guided by laws that frame the case.


If you were arrested on an arbitrary charge, the legal system (though flawed, and certainly rife with examples of miscarriages of justice) has protections built in through the 5th and 14th Amendments the Constitution that guarantee due process. If polled, do you think a majority of people would say they want to give up their right to due process? Yet, that's exactly what people want to see happen if teaching tenure is abolished. Spurred by misinformation, jealousy, or resentment, many people assume that tenure for teachers is tantamount to a lifetime job.


However, tenure for teachers is not designed to insure a lifetime job without any kind of repercussion for ineffective teaching, violations of law, policy, or agreements. Like the kind of due process one gets in the legal system, tenure is about due process; due process that's built into the contracts between teachers and school districts they work in.


Educator, activist, and Truthout contributor Bill Ayers discusses tenure, the recent Superior Court decision, and the neoliberal movement to change education in the United States.


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Peru: Shaping a School System, From the Ground Up | ColumbusCEO.com

Peru: Shaping a School System, From the Ground Up | ColumbusCEO.com | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

In the fall of 2011, an eclectic group of people from the San Francisco Bay Area began making regular trips to Lima, Peru. Among them were architects, mechanical engineers, ethnographers, communication designers and education specialists.


They were all employees of the design company Ideo, which is perhaps best known for designing the first laptop computer and the first Apple computer mouse. But now Ideo had been hired by a Peruvian businessman, Carlos Rodriguez-Pastor, to work on a new type of project: designing a network of low-cost private schools from scratch, including the classrooms, the curriculum, the teacher-training strategies and the business model.


Rodriguez-Pastor was “trying to break the traditional school model,” he recalled in a recent interview. “We thought, ‘Why not get different perspectives rather than build on what we think we know?’”


Increasingly, design companies like Ideo are being asked to build complex systems for businesses, governments and nonprofit organizations. Ideo has re-imagined Singapore’s system for issuing work visas and the Red Cross’ process for recruiting donors. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Mayo Clinic have hired Ideo for system design work, and the company has a nonprofit branch devoted to designing solutions for social problems.


This type of design work is also finding traction in education. It’s a growing area of study at the Rhode Island School of Design, according to Pradeep Sharma, the school’s interim provost. In recent years, the school’s students have redesigned Rhode Island’s voting system and proposed new designs for aspects of hospital and car-parking systems as part of their class work.


In Peru, Rodriguez-Pastor, who is chairman of Intercorp, a financial services and retail conglomerate, wanted to address his home country’s poor academic performance. Peru routinely scores near the bottom of the global education survey of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.


Rodriguez-Pastor charged Ideo with devising a school system, called Innova Schools, that emphasized academic excellence and was affordably priced for members of Peru’s emerging middle class (with tuition of about $130 a month). He also said the system had to be financially profitable and to grow quickly to include up to 200 schools throughout Peru, and possibly in neighboring countries. A collection of three schools he had recently acquired would be part of the system.


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The Tech Detectives: Students Take Ownership of Technology | Edutopia.org

The Tech Detectives: Students Take Ownership of Technology | Edutopia.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

Editor's Note: Two Black River Middle School teachers, Laura Garrison and Kathy Vespignani, contributed to this post. Laura teaches 6-8th grade technology, and Kathy teaches 6-8th grade performing arts.


Picture it: a middle school in Anytown, U.S.A. has a teacher that is struggling to figure out why her SmartBoard is acting up. Typically she would submit a "tech request" and wait an extended period of time for it to be fixed. One issue, though -- she needs the device now for a very important math lesson. She suddenly remembers that a group of students called the "Tech Detectives" can come to the rescue and fix the problem. Within minutes, several students arrive, play around with a few wires and buttons, and the malfunction is addressed in no time.


The Tech Detectives Club was created at Black River Middle School in Chester, New Jersey as a way for students to take ownership of the technology they utilize during their various learning experiences. Based on feedback from various school stakeholders who have a passion for technology, it was deemed necessary to start a club that arms students with a strong technological skill set. On a regular basis, students create tutorials, assist teachers, learn about technology trends, collaboratively problem solve issues, and gain exposure to career readiness. The excitement generated from this program is truly remarkable.


Below, you will find guidance on how to start your very own Tech Detectives Club.


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Supreme Court sides with Koch Bros. and ALEC, undercuts public service workers | Education Votes | NEA.org

Supreme Court sides with Koch Bros. and ALEC, undercuts public service workers | Education Votes | NEA.org | Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks | Scoop.it

The U.S. Supreme Court, in its ruling today on an Illinois home health care worker case, sided with the Koch Brothers and other radical front groups, undermining the rights and protections of public service workers and creating instability for working families that are just beginning to dig themselves out of the Great Recession.


The court, in its narrow 5-4 Harris v. Quinn decision written by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, supported the argument by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (NRWLDF) that compelling eight home health care workers to pay their share of the cost of maintaining union-negotiated protections and benefits was a violation of their right to free speech. The Koch Brothers, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)  and their allies have long claimed “fair share” fees are used for political activities.


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