Showing posts with label education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label education. Show all posts

The Imprints Of Prince: Musician Inspired Massive Code-Teaching Initiative

The world lost a musical icon this week with the passing of Prince, but until his demise, few of his fans knew of the inspiration he'd offered, bringing about more adeptness and awareness for the future via technology.  No, not the song about partying like it was 1999 (although that was tremendously pertinent at the time.)  After an inspiring discussion with a proactive friend, Prince used his influence to support a nonprofit means of teaching kids how to write computer code.

He wants kids to rock hacks as well as he rocks an axe.
Which is to say, crazy good.
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R.I.P. To A Young A.I.: Microsoft's Savage "Teen Girl" Twitter-Bot Lobotomized Within One Day

It's one thing to have society be taken over by industrious's another thing when the machines are "smart" enough to form opinions after assessing popular input.  While it's a fascinating and fun future that holds promise of a robot that outsmarts experts at one of our most difficult board games, or knows massive amounts of trivia, when artificial intelligence is outsourced to the internet, the supposed "intelligence" comes across as...well, something less than that.

We keep learning the hard way that the digital natives are a vicious tribe.
(Image courtesy @geraldmellor.)

Learning Is Earning: 8 Online Courses That Improve The Richness Of Your Life (And Maybe Your Wallet)

Do you like learning things, but don't want to spend thousands at college?  Do you have an insatiable lust (or even mild affinity) for knowledge, but you dislike the classroom or tutor dynamic, and you don't like even just waking up in time to stuff stuff into your head?  Now, you can use the Udemy website to become more intelligent on a variety of topics so vast, you'll be smarter just knowing that it's possible to study these things.  Here are just a few of the new things we recently learned we could learn online...

If you're reading this, you may have already taken the first step towards
getting really good at a new skill.  How exciting!
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Smack That (Sunlight Into Solar Panels): Akon To Open School For Solar Energy

Pop stars spend their cash and fame in a lot of interesting ways, but only a small percentage of them do so for a world-changing greater cause.  Now, the artist Akon has announced that he will be using his influence to help an entire continent, by building a school for solar energy in Africa.

Using star power to literally harness star power!
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Notes From The Posterior: New Butt-Bot Helps Med Students Hit Prostates Like Pros

Let's face it, there are many doctors who, despite serving as capable medical professionals, leave a lot to be desired in their bedside manner.  This can be particularly vexing when the issue (or treatment thereof) necessitates above-average intimacy.  One new innovation will now be able to put both doctors and patients a little bit more at ease:  Patrick, the robotic butt.

And all the tech isn't for twerking...
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Who The {Redacted} Thinks This Is A Good Idea? New App Censors "Inappropriate" Literature

It may have fallen somewhat by the wayside as the smut-and-gore smorgasbord of the internet has risen to prominence for entertainment, but those who read enough literature know the truth:  books get fucking dirty.  We're not talking the suburban-submission swill of the "Fifty Shades..." fuddy-duddies, oh no.  There is stuff out there - published from antiquity to this afternoon - that is straight-up scorch-smut, enough to make you drop your jaws, books, and pants all at the same time.

So of course, some special snowflake wants to take that away from you.

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The Truth Is Out There, Maybe Inside The New "Unbiased" App

Do you want answers, but can't trust your family/friends/fellow barflies to be objective?  Don't want to get trolled too much by asking on a major website?  No worries, now there's an app that serves the purpose of telling you (different versions of) the cold, hard truth.

The new "Unbiased" app, currently in beta testing, is simple and possibly very effective (depending on what kind of answers you are looking for.)  Simply type in a question and within 24 hours, a real person will respond with an unbiased answer regarding your predicament.  Bad at making choices?  Let an unbiased stranger handle it for you!

The answers might be blowing in the wind...but they're also somewhere in cyberspace.
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Questions can concern any type of issue, and are submitted anonymously.  One can choose from pre-set categories (Sex, Parenting, Family, Health & Fitness, Romance, or Career/Education) or simply designate the topic as "Other."  Then, straight to your inbox, a solution!

Look for Unbiased to arrive soon at the App Store and Google Play, and ponder a problem no more!

But can you handle the truth?
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Can't Do Math? With This App, Your Problem Is Solved

Even some of the world's most intelligent minds balk when it comes to making numbers work.  Math equations filled with letters and strange symbols just don't add up for some people.  Now, for the numerically-challenged, a new app has been invented to be your own personal number-cruncher.

According to, the PhotoMath app works by analyzing a picture that you take of a printed equation.  It then shows you step-by-step how the equation should be properly dealt with, demystifying the mathematical process so that the user eventually may be able to apply the same principles sans smartphone.

For those without "A Beautiful Mind", now you can fake it.  Russell Crowe not included.
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The process PhotoMath uses is called Optical Character Recognition.  First, it scans the desired text.  Then, it filters and enhances the equation's text, removing anything not required for the solution by extracting the equation's features.  Finally, the characters will be recognized by the app, and solved as you follow along.

The app works on a variety of math problems, including regular arithmetic, fractals, decimals, exponents, roots, and simple linear equations.  It cannot currently solve equations that are hand-written, but is able to deduce text coherently from standard printed pages.

PhotoMath works on Windows and iOS phones, with an Android version launching in 2015.  Ironically, the PhotoApp's amazingly useful features were created by MicroBlink, who were otherwise involved in developing photo recognition software that many malign as invasive and creepy when used for surveillance.  At least one good thing has come out of this cyber-scrutiny:  the ability to teach a useful life skill in simple steps.  If only all of technology's evil plans had such a good side.

It's basically this, except inside your phone.
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Hey Teacher, Leave Those Kids Alone: Schools Roll Out Massive Student Data Mine

Reuters reports on:
a $100 million database built to chart the academic paths of public school students from kindergarten through high school. In operation just three months, the database already holds files on millions of children identified by name, address and sometimes social security number. Learning disabilities are documented, test scores recorded, attendance noted. In some cases, the database tracks student hobbies, career goals, attitudes toward school - even homework completion.  Local education officials retain legal control over their students' information. But federal law allows them to share files in their portion of the database with private companies selling educational products and services.
A number of states have already joined in the datamining operation.  Yeah, nothing could ever go wrong with this.