ICT and book news

Laptops a scandalous waste of money?

Sydney Grammar School has banned students from bringing laptops to school. Principal John Vallance stated “We find that having laptops or iPads in the classroom inhibit conversation — it’s distracting”. He believes in the benefits of a good teacher and a motivating group of classmates. Students will still have access to computers in labs and can use laptops for homework. Students must handwrite assignments until Year 10.

http://www.crn.com.au/News/417477,sydney-school-bans-laptops-labels-them-scandalous-waste-of-money.aspx#ixzz44XjzXPSb

 

Minecraft: the video game that builds kids’ brain cells

With 100 million users, Minecraft helps kids learn in an open-ended, game-based environment – programming, science, maths, architecture, engineering, art, languages and history. It fosters skills of creativity, curiosity, exploration and teamwork. Common Sense Media gives Minecraft a top “learning” score. WesterosCraft, built by hundreds of contributors over 3 years, could be the most elaborate Minecraft mod so far, recreating the Game of Thrones realm. The future? Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality headset can overlay Minecraft blocks in real-world surroundings.

Good article with videos: http://www.cnet.com/special-reports/minecraft/mindcraft-helping-students-learn

 

Cognitive computing and IBM’s supercomputer Watson

Last year IBM made 19 of Watson’s cognitive services available to the public, including natural language processing. The first Australian Watson Client Experience Centre was opened in Melbourne in October 2015. Australian firm MediaConnect is now using Watson to analyse the writing interests of Australian journalists by entering up to 50 000 stories a day from online news sources into the supercomputer. Watson then analyses the data and presents a taxonomy of journalists and the topics that interest them. This will help automate the delivery of media releases to journalists – bots will select information to be sent to each journalist based on their interests.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/life/personal-technology/mediaconnect-tech-conference-nbn-stem-and-watts-what/news-story/583436bba2a6822eb7f3f0e6f38aaddd

https://developer.ibm.com/watson/

 

Google and Facebook – should they pay old media for content?

Google and Facebook have made fortunes from advertising by not paying for content, accelerating the decline of old media, who cannot make enough money from advertising and sales to be profitable. Google and Facebook will make $4 to $5 billion from ads this year in Australia (35-40% of the total pool of ad revenue). Even popular digital publishers such as Buzzfeed and Daily Mail Online are concerned about how to raise enough revenue. The European Union is examining whether services such as Google News should pay to display article snippets. Why should newspaper publishers have to provide content for free?

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/opinion/google-facebook-need-to-pay-old-media-for-content/news-story/1c39a0dac14b816a4b5c5ef88ca8340d

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/digital/google-news-rejects-paying-publishers-for-content/news-story/68c6cfd511b265f65eff494416e0d95f

 

Music streaming tops revenue charts in US

For the first time, streaming is the top money-maker for the recorded music business in the US. Paid subscriptions to streaming services (eg. Spotify) narrowly beat revenue from digital downloads (eg.iTunes). CD sales and digital download revenue decreased. Sales of vinyl increased by nearly a third, reaching 1988 levels before CDs emerged. Japan and Germany (world’s 2nd and 3rd largest music markets) are CD strongholds. Spotify has 30 million paying subscribers across 58 countries.

http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2016/3/23/technology/streaming-tops-revenue-charts

 

Google Android most popular

Google’s Android operating system was used by roughly 54 percent of mobile devices sold in Australia in December, placing it ahead of Apple iOS at 38 percent. Rumours also persist that Google will merge Chrome and Android operating systems in 2017.
http://www.crn.com.au/News/414388,bonza-google-adds-aussie-twang-to-voice-search.aspx

http://www.crn.com.au/News/411273,google-to-merge-chrome-and-android-say-reports.aspx

 

The Book Depository now in Australia

Amazon’s The Book Depository is entering the Australian market. 25 000 Australian titles will be added and delivery time will reduce to a few hours, via a delivery partner in Melbourne.  However, Tony Nash, CEO of Aust’s biggest online book retailer Booktopia, is not fazed and expects Booktopia sales to rise from $52 million a year ago to $80 million in 2016 after the acquisition of Bookworld in 2015. Australian online book sales have risen 15.5% a year. The number of print book sales is rising; ebooks have 20% of the market.

http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/amazon-steps-up-australian-book-sales-through-the-book-depository-20160201-gmitij.html

http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/amazons-book-depository-stocking-up-on-australian-books-20160202-gmjlfl.html

 

Thriving societies produce great books: can Australia keep up?

What is Australia doing to protect its publishing industry? Should we allow parallel imports? Will cheaper books increase the amount of reading?

http://theconversation.com/friday-essay-thriving-societies-produce-great-books-can-australia-keep-up-54473

ICT news

Digital Australia Report 2016 (DA16)

The video game industry in Australia is worth over $1 billion a year and sales exceed movie box office receipts. The Australian games industry is growing and video games are being used widely in education, health and ageing. Bond University and IGEA (Interactive Games & Entertainment Assoc.) surveyed 3398 Australians of all ages. 68% of the population plays video games – mostly on PCs but phones and tablets have seen increased use for adults. Children play on all devices. Average age of video gamers is 33 years. 47% of video game players are female. 98% of homes with children have video games. 35% of children have played games for the school curriculum. 24% have used video games at work for training. 89% say video gaming can improve thinking skills. 61% think video games could fight dementia. 49% of people over 50 play – the fastest growing segment.

http://www.igea.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Digital-Australia-2016-DA16-Final.pdf

 

PlayStation Virtual Reality headset

PlayStation VR, Sony’s virtual reality headset  for the PlayStation 4, will arrive in October 2016 for $AU550. Attached to a comfortable padded headset, special curved lenses stretch and magnify a 5.7 inch screen across your field of vision. It will come with 50 games, immersing you in a 3D world of virtual reality. You will also need a PlayStation camera and motion controllers (wands). It will be cheaper than the other 2 VR headsets coming this year – Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

http://www.cnet.com/products/sony-playstation-vr/?ftag=CAD1acfa04&bhid=23787909704659446143753669728655

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality were huge this year at TED in Vancouver and the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, with VR headsets now available with the latest mobile phones. Mark Zuckerberg: “VR is the next platform, where anyone can experience and share anything they want”.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/ted-virtual-augmented-reality-1.3453884

http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/mwc-2016-virtual-reality-steals-the-show-in-barcelona-20160224-gn24fq.html

 

Minecraft Education Edition

Minecraft (owned by Microsoft) is used in over 7000 classrooms in more than 40 countries. Microsoft recently acquired learning game MinecraftEdu from Finland, which has lessons for teachers using Minecraft with STEM, history, language and art. The new Minecraft Education Edition will be rolled out mid 2016 – free at first, then $5 pa per child.

http://education.minecraft.net/

 

Do games boost learning?

A 2013 French study of 27 000 Year 9 students found very little correlation between playing video games and cognitive/school tests. However, a new study from the Uni of Bristol found that progressive scoring systems in games deactivate the brain’s Default Mode Network and quieten down parts of the brain associated with unfocused mind-wandering. Students given a gamified quiz showed higher engagement and more goal-directed behaviour.

http://readwrite.com/2016/01/27/video-games-education-default-attention-mode/

 

Problem: Australia’s internet/broadband speed

In 2015, our download speed was ranked 49th in the world . By 2025, our broadband speed will be 75% of the world average, ranking 100th. The government’s Fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) network will struggle to accommodate all devices and their download requirements in the future (eg. 4K ultra HD video streaming).

http://theconversation.com/infographic-how-fast-is-the-nbn-54392

 

Social media and sleep

No surprise really…recent Uni of Pittsburgh studies of 19-32 yr olds found heavy use of social media was linked to sleep problems and a significantly greater risk of depression. A 2015 study of 11-17 yr olds found social media use was linked to diminished sleep quality, lower self-esteem and elevated levels of anxiety and depression.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sleep-newzzz/201601/tweeting-not-sleeping-balancing-sleep-and-social-media

National Library now collecting everything

National Library makes digital history

On 17 Feb Thomas Keneally’s latest novel Napoleon’s last island became the first ebook to be collected by the NLA under Australia’s new legal deposit legislation. The novel tells the story of Napoleon’s exile on St Helena through the eyes of 13 year old Betsy.

New amendments to the Copyright Act allow the NLA to collect everything – ebooks, blogs, websites, social media etc The digital record will be protected in the same way as print. Publishers and authors can now upload ebooks, journals, magazines and newsletters through the NLA’s website. The collection of digital publications will be available later this year.

https://www.nla.gov.au/media-releases/2016/02/17/nla-make-digital-history-today

https://www.nla.gov.au/media-releases/2015/07/02/library-captures-the-internet

 

National Library Digital Classroom

Important cultural items from the Treasures Gallery are brought into the classroom, with teacher resources aligned to the Australian Curriculum. Through an inquiry approach, students analyse sources, develop historical skills and draw their own conclusions. Currently resources are available for Years 3 to 6 – more will be added. Resources include: Edward Koiki Mabo, First peoples, Communication, Designing the Sydney Opera House, A national identity.

https://www.nla.gov.au/digital-classroom

 

Wayback Machine, AI, YouTube Red and emojis

The Wayback Machine gets an update

An important part of the world’s cultural heritage now resides only on the web. The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine is used by millions to access 19 years of the web’s history – offering access to over 439 billion web captures including old web pages, video and images (1 billion pages captured each week). The Wayback Machine will soon be updated. When completed in 2017, it will have more higher quality webpages that are easier to find. “Taking the Wayback Machine to the next level will make the entire web more reliable, transparent and accessible for everyone.”

Update features: http://blog.archive.org/2015/10/21/grant-to-develop-the-next-generation-wayback-machine/

 

Google is letting Artificial Intelligence run search

Artificial intelligence (AI) is developing a prominent role in search. For the past few months, a “very large fraction” of the millions of search queries per second typed into Google have been interpreted by an artificial intelligence system, nicknamed RankBrain. RankBrain uses AI to embed vast amounts of written language into vectors that the the computer can understand. If RankBrain sees a word or phrase it isn’t familiar with, the machine can make a guess as to what words have similar meanings and filter the result accordingly. This helps Google deal with the 15% of queries a day which it has never seen before. Google aims to embed AI into every aspect of its business. Facebook uses AI to filter our newsfeeds and Microsoft is using AI to increase the capabilities of Bing.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-26/google-turning-its-lucrative-web-search-over-to-ai-machines

 

YouTube Red

YouTube Red is a new $10 per month subscription service, starting in the US this week before going international. All ads are removed from all videos, everywhere you watch (however, this does not apply to paid content, such as paid channels or movie purchases). YouTube Red will be available for YouTube, YouTube Gaming apps, Chromecast, Android TV, Apple TV, gaming consoles. You can download YouTube videos to your phone or tablet and watch them for up to 30 days without a connection. You can also isten to videos on your phone when your screen is off (good for music). Subscribers will also get a free monthly Google Play Music subscription and access to members-only original shows and movies from top YouTubers. The YouTube Music app will start soon as a dedicated place to listen to music on YouTube.

http://www.cnet.com/how-to/youtube-red-details/?ftag=CAD3c77551&bhid=23787909704659446143753669728655

 

Will you heart Facebook’s new emojis?

Facebook is adding 6 more symbols to help 1.5 billion Facebook users express themselves. Along with the Like button, we will be getting Yay, Angry, Haha, Wow, Sad and Love. Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook did not want to add the negativity of a Dislike button. The new emojis are currently being tested in Ireland and Spain. Emojis originated in ancient Japan and Japanese cell phone makers were using them in texting apps in the 1990s. “e” means picture and “moji” means character.

http://www.cnet.com/news/will-you-heart-facebooks-new-emojis/?ftag=CAD1c318f6&bhid=23787909704659446143753669728655

ICT and media news

Some ICT and media news – entertainment, social media, drones, Facebook and driverless cars…..

 

Media Consumer Survey 2015: Australian media and digital preferences

A snapshot of how Australians aged 14 to 68 years+ are consuming different media and entertainment, using technology and devices, interacting with social networks and responding to advertising. In 2015, using the internet has joined watching TV as our preferred source of entertainment. Low-cost monthly subscription services are increasingly popular (videos, music). And of course, our smartphones are our fave device.

 

Includes the renaissance of books, magazines and news! Preferred sources of entertainment: 60% watch TV on any device; 60% use the internet; 36% listen to music; 33% read books; 25% go to the movies; 24% play video games; 23% attend live performances; 17% read newspapers; 15% listen to the radio; 8% read magazines. 85% multitask while watching TV.

 

Our social selves – 80% have at least one social media account; 59% use social media daily; 51% say time spent interacting through social media is as valuable as time spent together; 9% use social media as the most frequent source of news (we are not willing to pay for online news).

Good short video: http://www2.deloitte.com/au/en/pages/technology-media-and-telecommunications/articles/media-consumer-survey-2015.html

https://www.radioinfo.com.au/news/deloittes-media-consumer-survey-report-2015

 

Social media or face to face: is one better than the other?

Many say that time spent on social media is as valuable as time spent in person, but others say we need 3 to 5 significant, close relationships to stay healthy.

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/social-media-or-face-to-face-is-one-better-than-the-other-20150827-gj8uwu.html

 

Selfie drones

Forget the selfie stick – soon a selfie drone will follow you and take a photo. Great for when you are snowboarding, surfing, riding a bike, dancing…. $150+

http://www.news.com.au/technology/gadgets/internet-of-things-selfie-drone-could-be-the-next-big-thing/story-fnjwul0i-1227539297321

 

Drones build a bridge you can walk across

Watch the 3 little drones weave a bridge using spools of rope. Meanwhile, a Dutch 3D printing company will use a 3D printing robot to build a steel bridge over a canal in Amsterdam. Futurists predict these robots will one day create streets and buildings on their own, with remote programmers replacing construction workers.

http://mic.com/articles/125584/watch-these-three-drones-build-a-bridge-you-can-walk-across

 

Facebook drones will beam internet from the sky

Facebook has built a giant solar-powered drone for its Aquila program, which will be used to provide internet access to remote parts of the world. It will hover up to 27 000 metres and can stay in the air for 90 days. Lasers will be used to beam data to the drone from a land-based fibre line.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-31/facebook-drone-to-beam-internet-from-sky/6661756

 

Facebook looks beyond the “likes” button

Facebook knows that people want to show empathy with posts that they read. They don’t want to just add a “dislike” button so they are working on other buttons – what exactly is still a mystery.

http://www.computerworld.com/article/2984465/social-media/facebook-moves-beyond-the-like-button.html

Possible buttons? eg. that sucks; enough already; meh…:http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/hey-facebook-here-are-the-new-like-buttons-we-really-want-to-see-20150915-gjnke8.html

 

Green light for driverless cars in Australia

Driverless cars will be allowed on public roads under legislation to be introduced to South Australia’s parliament this week – from cars which have adaptive lane-keeping technology, to fully driverless vehicles. Google expects its first commercially available self-driving car to be ready by 2017.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/in-depth/sa-gives-green-light-for-no-driver-vehicles-on-public-roads/story-fnw66tov-1227539319303

What’s new in ICT, education and popular culture?

Here is the link to my Moderation Day presentation on 13 August to Year 11 and 12 teacher librarians in Canberra, ACT.

What’s new in ICT, education and popular culture?

http://dckclib.wikispaces.com/Technology%2C+media+%26+popular+culture+updates

ICT news

Lots of interesting developments….HoloLens, Minecraft, Google & STEM, video games, the internet….

 

HoloLens by Microsoft

At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in L.A. in June, Microsoft demonstrated its upcoming HoloLens, an Augmented Reality (AR) headset that allows players to visualise and manipulate digital images overlaid on the real world and to explore games in full 3D. Microsoft describes HoloLens as a “see-through holographic computer” that allows holograms to integrate with our world – an experience they call “mixed reality”. They believe it will unlock new ways to create, communicate, work and play.

In the demo, the player enters the world of Minecraft, playing first on a wall and then building a 3D world on a coffee table….awesome! He uses an Xbox controller and then voice commands and hand gestures. He can look around and through his creations by simply moving around in real space. HoloLens will probably be available in 2016, along with other Virtual Reality (VR) headsets – Sony’s Morpheus, Oculus Rift (owned by Facebook) and Valve.

Impressive 3 min. video – playing Minecraft with HoloLens: http://www.engadget.com/2015/06/15/microsoft-minecraft-hololens/

The possibilities of HoloLens – 2 min. video: https://www.microsoft.com/microsoft-hololens/en-us

More info: http://www.trustedreviews.com/opinions/hololens-release-date-news-and-price

 

Minecraft in education: can we change the way we learn?

The global phenomenon Minecraft, begun in 2009, has been owned by Microsoft since Sept 2014. More than 70 million copies have been sold across all platforms. Microsoft is now creating an online portal for teachers. “Minecraft in education is students visiting an ancient civilization and creating a setting for a story. It is exploring math concepts using Minecraft blocks. It is practicing collaboration, problem solving, digital citizenship and leadership skills while designing experiments and demonstrating mastery. Minecraft in education is teachers inspired by their students to explore and create, and students motivated to learn.”

Short video: http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/microsoft-launching-minecraft-program-for-teachers/0152049

http://education.minecraft.net (not fully running yet)

 

Minecon: the biggest Minecraft fan convention

10 000 players attended Minecon in London earlier in July. Whilst there are many younger players, the average age is 29. Guests included Stampy, a famous Minecraft YouTuber who now has Wonder Quest, an online animated Minecraft series, and Mindcrack, a community of online Minecraft players.

https://www.youtube.com/user/Wonderquest

http://www.engadget.com/2015/07/17/this-is-minecon-the-biggest-minecraft-fan-convention/

 

Google pledges $1 million to boost STEM in Aust.

Google will work with 3 Australian not-for-profits to inspire under-represented students to careers in science, technology, engineering and maths. Cash grants will deliver hands-on training and career programs. Aust. Indigenous Mentoring Experience will develop STEM content for Year 7 & 8 indigenous students; First Robotics Aust. will take robotics programs into 150 schools; Engineers Without Borders Aust. will give hands-on training to 5000 young people, focusing on young women.

Keep up with Google with their blog: http://google-au.blogspot.com.au/

 

Bond University Digital Australia report 2016 (DA16)

This report has been released annually since 2010 for the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association. Gaming is a massively popular activity for people of all ages and a growing industry. 68% of Australians play video games, with an average age of 33 years. 47% of gamers are female. Half of video game players are avid video game watchers as well. The International Defense of the Ancients 2 Championship (DotA2 – an online battle game) takes place next week in Seattle with many professional gamers and $22 million in prize money. Many will pay to watch the top players battle it out.

http://www.igea.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Digital-Australia-2016-DA16-Final.pdf

http://www.cnet.com/au/news/digital-australia-16-igea-pc-gaming-broadband-bottleneck/

 

Gamers on Twitch.tv and YouTube

People are more than willing to watch others play video games – and will even pay to do it. Twitch.tv (owned by Amazon) has 100 million visitors per month who watch others play video games online and “e-sports” (the big video game competitions). Sarah Pike has a full-time job as a gamer on Twitch.tv. Viewers pay $6.70 a month to watch her play games like Call of Duty – she keeps half of that. She also gets donations and tips. Fans even order home delivered meals for her when she’s playing. 9 million viewers a month watch Elliott Watkins play Team Fortress on YouTube. He gets between 60c and $1 for every 1000 views…..$108 000p.a.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/meet-the-online-gamers-making-big-money-just-by-letting-others-watch-them/story-fni0cx12-1227456740274

http://www.news.com.au/technology/home-entertainment/australians-play-video-games-for-15-hours-a-day-survey/story-e6frfrt9-1227459456488

 

Global Internet Report 2015

The second report by the Internet Society focuses on mobile networks and devices, because they “will be instrumental in bringing the next billion people online”(Brown). More than 90% of the world’s population is covered by at least one mobile network, with 3 billion internet users. The time spent using apps exceeds the time spent using browsers on mobile devices. 84% of tablets and 72% of mobile phones are Android. Tablet sales will exceed PC sales within a year. There is widespread concern about the mass sharing of personal data arising from location-sharing apps. Neutrality, copyright and low-cost access are also issues. Governments must ensure that enough spectrum is available nationally and internationally to support the growth of mobile usage. By 2019, 71% of the world’s population will be using mobile networks.

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/global-report-finds-mobile-rules-the-internet-and-android-rules-mobile-20150722-gicler.html

ICT news

What’s new at Google?

Google I/O 2015, the annual software developer-focused conference, was held last week in San Francisco (I/O = Input/Output and Innovation in the Open). Announcements include:

  • Google Photos for Android, iOS and Web – unlimited storage for photos and videos (see below)
  • Chrome and Android both have over 1 billion active users
  • Android Pay (Apple Pay competitor)
  • Brillo OS and common language Weave for the Internet of Things
  • Jump – people create and share virtual reality experiences; compatible with GoPro cameras; 16 cameras will work as one to combine images
  • Inbox – new email app
  • Cardboard Expeditions (see below)
  • Advancements in deep learning (AI) for image and speech recognition – Google’s speech recognition has just an 8% error rate (23% in 2013)
  • Launch of the Family Store in Google Play for children and parents – find apps for children by their age
  • Chromecast allows you to use mobile gadgets to play games on your TV and stream videos and photos from your laptop

http://venturebeat.com/2015/05/28/everything-google-announced-at-io-2015/

 

Google Cardboard and virtual reality platform Cardboard Expeditions

A smartphone (Android and iOS) slides into the cardboard gadget, creating a virtual reality headset. 1 million Cardboard viewers are being used with hundreds of apps in Google Play. Cardboard Expeditions brings virtual reality into classrooms – students with multiple Cardboards can see the same content as the teacher. Cardboard kits cost about $25.

Short video: http://venturebeat.com/2015/05/28/google-announces-cardboard-expeditions-to-let-teachers-take-classes-on-field-trips/

 

Google Photos

Launched last week. All your photos and videos synced on all your devices , automatically backed up and easy to share. Find photos by content; transform still photos into movies, animations, GIFs and panoramas; automatically created photo stories; easy editing tools. Free storage for images of 16 megapixels or less and videos of 1080p or less (the most common smartphone files); larger items get compressed. App for Android and iOS; browser version for Mac and PCs.

https://www.google.com/photos/about/?page=auto-awesome

https://photos.google.com/

Good review: http://recode.net/2015/06/02/the-new-google-photos-free-at-last-and-very-smart/

 

The unrealized vision of Google Glass

The project was paused in Jan 2015 after protoypes were released in April 2013. Some people feared privacy violations and some places banned it eg. theatres and bars. Google are possibly working on a new model that is more acceptable, fashionable and user friendly – foldable, so it can easily be removed and stored, with a red light to show it is recording to alert others. Should they be banned when driving?

http://www.cnet.com/au/news/lost-explorers-the-unrealized-vision-of-google-glass/

 

Apple WWDC 2015

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is on 8-12 June in San Francisco. Some predictions: Apple TV update; new versions of Mac OS X and iOS9 (the operating system for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch); new Macs and iMacs; relaunch of iTunes Radio and music streaming to rival Spotify.

http://www.macworld.co.uk/feature/apple/wwdc-2015-ios-9-os-x-apple-tv-macs-displays-how-get-tickets-video-beats-music-3522648/

 

Emoji and other cool words added to dictionary

The free online Merriam-Webster Dictionary last week added 1700 new words, including hip internet words!: emoji; meme; net neutrality; click fraud; clickbait; photobomb; NSFW; WTF.

http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/blog/2015/05/a-growth-spurt/

 

New Scrabble words

6 500 words have just been added to the official dictionary. Updates usually happen every 5 years, based on the Collins dictionary, but this update came after only 3 years, reflecting the pace of language change. Words include: onesie; lolz; tweep; bezzy; twerking; hashtag; sexting; thanx; lotsa; ridic; facetime; obvs; grr; eew; wuz. Twitter seems to be a driving force for many of the new words. However, lol is not permitted.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-26/scrabble-new-words-bezzy-tweep-onesie-lotsa-ridic/6496944

Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report

Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report is always interesting. She is a partner at KPCB, a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley, and this year marked her 20th report. Consisting of 197 slides, it’s good to read the various summaries around….here’s a summary of their summaries J

 

* 2.8 billion internet users globally (up 8% in 2014) with 39% of the world connected. Philanthropic organisations such as Facebook’s Internet.org and Google’s Project Loon will help connect the remaining 5 billion on planet Earth.

* 2.1 billion smartphone users (up 23%) with India, Brazil and China leading growth.

* Internet and smartphone use is still growing, but more slowly than in the past. India now leads internet/smartphone growth.

* The top internet companies are platforms where third party developers and merchants bolster value: 1. Apple 2. Google 3. Alibaba (China) 4. Facebook 5. Amazon

* Top global apps in usage and sessions are messaging apps. Most used apps: Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, Line (Japan), Viber. New internet users will most likely use a messaging app when they use the internet for the first time.

* Asia’s messaging apps eg. WeChat (China) and Line (Japan) pioneered many features eg. video calls, payments, media. Messaging has become a platform not just for communications, but for commerce and computing.

* Vertical portrait video viewing is growing fast. Question: Are most selfies vertical?

* User generated content creation is exploding…even more! Pinterest creations are up 75%; video game broadcasts are up 83%; stories written on Wattpad are up 140%; Airbnb reviews are up 140%

* US youth aged 12-24 used less Facebook and Twitter and more Snapchat and Instagram – a shift from text to visual social media.

* 87% of teens say their smartphone never leaves their side.

* Consumer drones are increasingly popular globally – not just for hobbyists and videographers, but for commercial ventures, disaster response and infrastructure inspection.

 

http://thenextweb.com/insider/2015/05/27/mary-meekers-2015-internet-trends-report-internet-is-still-growing-but-slowing/

http://techcrunch.com/gallery/best-of-meeker/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/miguelhelft/2015/05/27/a-few-highlights-from-mary-meekers-internet-trends-report/

ICT news

Pyne pushes for maths or science to be compulsory for Year 11 & 12

Education Minister Pyne will call for changes at an Education Council meeting on Friday. The government estimates that up to 75% of the areas with fastest-growing jobs will require STEM skills. There is a shortage of STEM teachers, particularly in rural areas. Meanwhile Labor plans to offer free access to certain degrees and the introduction of computer coding in primary and secondary schools. The Review of the Australian Curriculum in Aug 2014 recommended that coding not be compulsory in primary years, despite other countries introducing it, such as Britain, Vietnam, Israel, South Korea and Finland. The Aust. Curriculum: Digital Technologies awaits final endorsement.

http://www.afr.com/technology/apps/education/bill-shorten-is-right-to-push-computer-coding-in-schools-20150517-gh2vc4

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/christopher-pyne-pushes-for-maths-or-science-to-be-compulsory-for-year-11-and-12-students-20150525-gh9kjv.html

 

One million Micro Bit mini-computers for UK schools

In March the BBC announced it would give away 1 million Micro Bit mini-computers to all Year 7 students, as part of the Make it Digital initiative, aimed at improving the UK’s digital skills. The tiny programmable computer (like a Raspberry Pi) is used in computer coding, which is taught from the age of 5 in UK schools. Thirty years ago, PM Thatcher put BBC Micro Computers into schools and many students learned to code using them. The Micro Bit is a small wearable device with an LED display. It can connect and communicate with other Micro Bits and other devices including Arduino and Raspberry Pi. BBC Learning lessons and other online content from partners will support teachers and students.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/mediapacks/makeitdigital/micro-bit

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schoolreport/31854427

 

4D printing

The 4th dimension is time. 3D printed objects are designed to reshape themselves or self-assemble over time eg. medical devices or a printed pipe can sense the need to expand or contract; furniture and jewellery can change shape over time. Recently scientists developed a 3D implant to help 3 babies with their breathing. It changed shape over time as they grew and eventually dissolved when their airways grew.

http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/4d-printing-is-cooler-than-3d-printing-and-why-that-means-the-end-of-ikea-flatpacks-20150421-1mp2aj.html

http://www.livescience.com/50668-4d-implant-babies-breathing-problems.html

 

3D body scanners at Westfield

The mPort Body Scanner tracks more than 200 000 points across the body in 7 seconds. The measurements create a 3D avatar of the user’s body which can be synched with online retailers to help find the correct size clothes.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/east/hi-tech-three-dimensional-body-scanner-at-westfield-doncaster-helps-shoppers-find-their-perfect-fit/story-fngnvlxu-1227278322835

 

Would you rather have an implant?

A survey by Visa found 25% of Australians were “slightly interested” in having a commerce-oriented chip implanted in their skin, so they no longer had to use cash, credit cards, smartphones or smartwatches. They would just wave their hand over the payment terminal. 32% would be interested in paying with a smartwatch; 29% with a smart ring; 26% with smart glasses. Some people already have chips implanted and have had them for more than 10 years.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/technology/implants-to-aid-payment-with-a-wave-of-the-hand/story-e6frgakx-1227368819195

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/human-microchipping-ive-got-you-under-my-skin-20140416-zqvho.html

 

Google developing new Operating System for Internet of Things (IoT)

26 billion devices are predicted to be connected to the Internet of Things by 2020 (900 million in 2009). IoT devices connect to the internet and allow users to receive data related to them on their smartphones or computers. Devices can also communicate to each other. Google hopes that device manufacturers will use their operating system – to be called Brillo, a version of Android designed for low power devices. A single operating system could be very useful – whilst you away on holidays, your rain gauge, running Brillo, could communicate with your watering system, also running Brillo. There are already other IoT operating systems around, so Google will be another competitor. And they will be very happy if they can find another way into your home to market to you. J

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/55128/20150524/hello-brillo-google-developing-new-os-internet-things.htm

http://www.eweek.com/cloud/slideshows/what-a-google-internet-of-things-os-would-mean-for-the-it-industry.html