More free access to online journal articles
Many more research papers are now openly available online. A recent report produced for the European Commission found that you have a 50% chance of finding papers published in 2011 for free, but some experts say it is more like 30%.
The proportion of free online papers is likely to increase in the next few years with moves towards getting government-funded research papers into the public domain. From 2014, the results of all research funded by the European Union must be open access. In February, the White House announced that government-funded research should be made free to read within 12 months of publication. A Science-Metrix study found that an average of 43% of articles published during 2008–11 were available online for free, with the results varying by country and discipline.
In Google we trust (ABC, Four Corners, 9/9/13)
Who gathers the information, what are they doing with it and what are your legal rights? Examines online privacy, digital footprints, Big Data etc. and tracks the information trail of an ordinary Australian family. Excellent program for high school – social science, media, legal studies classes, general interest.
The credit-card sized cheap programmable computer ($25 – $35) was developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation in the UK to promote the teaching of basic computer science in schools. It was launched in Feb 2012, sold over 1 million units in a year & earned many awards. It has been used to create a coffee machine, doorbell server, robot, weather information system and many other things: http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=15
It plugs into your TV and a keyboard and can be used for word-processing, spreadsheets, playing HD video and games. It runs the Linux OS and the official programming language is Python or any language which will compile for ARMv6. Tutorials are available, including video.
“Developing countries are interested in the Raspberry Pi as productivity devices in areas that simply can’t afford the power and hardware needed to run a traditional desktop PC; hospitals and museums have contacted us to find out about using the Raspberry Pi to drive display devices. Parents of severely disabled kids have talked to us about monitoring and accessibility applications; and there seem to be a million and one people out there with hot soldering irons who want to make a robot.”
Good article about using Raspberry Pi in schools for programming: http://www.dw.de/raspberry-pi-and-the-new-computer-science-kids/a-16699939
Mark Zuckerberg announces Internet.org
The Facebook CEO believes that all 7 billion people on the planet deserve to be connected to the internet. Internet.org is a new partnership with some of the world’s top tech companies including Facebook, Samsung, Nokia & Qualcomm, and it aims to make internet access available to the two-thirds of the world who are not yet connected (5 billion people).
Zuckerberg posted a paper to his Facebook page titled “Is connectivity a human right?”. Internet.org plans to develop cheaper smartphones and tools that would reduce the amount of data required to run mobile apps. Connecting the world is beneficial to Internet.org companies and they have received some flak. However, Zuckerberg has already been involved in philanthropic projects. In 2010 he donated $100 million to FB stock to New Jersey schools. He also gave $500 million to a Silicon Valley charity that funds health & education projects. Earlier this year he launched Fwd.us, a political group aimed at changing US immigration policy, boosting education and encouraging investment in scientific research.
Google: Project Loon
In June, Google launched Project Loon with the goal of getting everyone on Earth online. In New Zealand, they launched 30 giant helium balloons, 15m wide and 12m tall, with internet-beaming antennas on top. People connect to the balloon network using a special internet antenna attached to their building. The signal bounces from balloon to balloon, then back to earth. It might be possible to build a ring of balloons, flying 20 km high around the globe, providing internet access & mobile phone signals to the earth below.
Google is also involved in other projects that bring internet access to developing countries. Its Free Zone project with Bharti Airtel in India provides free access to Google, Gmail and Google+ for mobile phone users.
Interesting videos & info: http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/14/4432262/google-unveils-project-loon-ballon-powered-internet-for-the-entire
The web is dead and the app thankfully killed it – Jeff Stibel
In 2012 for the first time, time spent on the web started to contract. The web is being replaced by more functional apps. Smartphone users spend nearly double the time using apps rather than the web. “In an era of information overload, search is less valuable than filtering….and filtering is done best through apps….download the app and never search again.”
Jeff Stibel’ s 2013 book: Breakpoint: why the web will implode, search will be obsolete and everything else you need to know about technology is in your brain.
Bing has launched Bing Schools in the US, an initiative to bring ad-free, filtered search results to students. It’s currently in pilot mode.