Internet Travels

Of bits and bytes is my weekly round up of interesting links and ideas I discovered on the internet. It is published on Mondays for the previous week


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Apps

Good news on the inclusiveness front, Google is adding a more inclusive emoji picker in Gmail. A great way to create a sense of belonging.

This past week I learned about PressReader. It is a subscription based service to give you access to tons of publications. While that in itself is pretty cool, what’s really cool is that they have sponsored access available at several locations to let you read the publications for free. Unfortunately, the nearest one to me is over an hour away, so I don’t know what the process is to gain access. If you try it out, let me know!

MIT has released OctoStudio, an iOS and Android app geared toward making interactive multimedia. It looks a lot like Scratch, but mobilized.

Pedagogy

How’s your emotional intelligence? In another example of how much Taylor Swift rules, she was caught helping clean up a luxury box at an NFL game, a clear example of a high emotional intelligence. Another way to gauge emotional intelligence is the shopping cart theory.

At first I learned that names can be feminine or masculine, and that the name of a person can affect their chosen career path. This week I learned that natural numbers can be happy, sad, or even narcissistic h/t – Happy and sad – All this.

My drawing skills are limited, but this look into how Adobe Express can make drawing attainable has me intrigued.

Technology

If you thought staying safe online was hard before, well, the AI chatbots will make it even harder. These bots can figure out a lot about you form your responses.

Tips

Finally, Microsoft is giving users the ability to change how Excel does automatic data conversions. So if you’re tired of entries that aren’t dates being formatted as dates, then this update will make you happy!

Researchers analyzing AI are looking at what happens WHEN YOU YELL IN ALL CAPS TO THE AI. And here I am saying please and thank you to the it.

Pop Culture

Well, it seems like America’s youth are going through a bit of a mental health rollercoaster whose cause is a bit of a mystery. The numbers show that more high school students’ mental health isn’t the best, and emergency room visits for self-harm are on the rise. It’s not just something from COVID-19, though – this crisis was brewing even before the pandemic hit. Social media gets a bad rap, but it turns out its role in this mess is a bit fuzzy. And to top it all off, teens are saying no to cigarettes and booze but are juggling a whole new set of problems. Along with this mystery, 41 states are suing Meta, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram, for allegedly addicting kids to those products.

Can people be that selfish? Research is showing that 40% of people will choose ignorance for Selfish Gains.

What is the future of social media? I’m a big fan of running my own site and sharing that on whatever the current social media apps there are at the time. This week I learned about POSSE: Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Everywhere, and how this could be a model for the future. Unfortunately just setting up a domain name is more difficult than it should be. Let me rephrase that, it’s more expensive then people are willing to pay just to publish on the internet. Companies such as WordPress will help you get going with a domain name and a website, but some balk at the $4/month to get started.

Potpourri

Robert Sapolsky says that humans have no free will. I refuse to believe that because then it makes it too easy to blame destiny for whenever something bad happens.

Extra Credit

Here are extra links that I found interesting that may or may not be education related or interesting to you and I didn’t want to lose them.


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