Submitted by lishevita on Sun, 12/16/2012 - 17:36
Back in May I had a strange conversation with one of my former professors. She was upset that I didn't grasp the fact that distance learning and the move toward "uncollege" in all its different forms was going to devalue teachers, removing even more instructors from classrooms. I couldn't agree with her, as I believe that we desperately need to move to a more open educational framework across the board, from elementary through post-secondary education, and that the value of teachers will shine through as those jobs which truly require human interaction become more and more obvious. However, she is correct that for most people outside of teaching, the value of the teacher is being questioned to an alarming extent.
It doesn't help that the US already pays school teachers so poorly, or that people with PhDs who teach at American universities often fall below the poverty level despite working 40 hours a week or more. The value of the teacher has already been stripped to the very barest of bones. What, then, can we expect from an increase in tele-learning other than more of the same?
Submitted by lishevita on Wed, 11/28/2012 - 18:00
Yesterday I wrote about the Pips Autoplate cameras that Viss found just sitting out on the Internet for all to see. But, how can hundreds of security cameras end up installed with no Internet security at all? It’s simple. Someone at the top of the corporate or government food chain didn’t think that Internet security was that important and/or they didn’t communicate down the line how important it is. The person who actually did the installation then proceeded to set the camera up with default settings and no security enabled either out of ignorance or laziness or possibly even because they were told to do so.
Submitted by lishevita on Tue, 11/27/2012 - 23:49
According to the conversation with Viss at HAK5 (starts about 8 minutes in) there are a number of speed cameras that are constantly taking pictures of every car that passes by. This makes me wonder if a corrupt police department in need of funds couldn’t easily claim that far more drivers were speeding or running reds than was actually the case. They wouldn’t try to do that, though, would they? Nah...
But there’s something else that bothers me about what I learned from this video and some further research of my own.
Submitted by lishevita on Sun, 11/25/2012 - 16:41
Sometimes people ask me how it is, with my history and the things I've been through, I seem to be so "sane". This is funny, because there are plenty of people who think that I'm anything other than "sane" and my closest friends often say things like, "The thing about you is that your insanity is what makes you so sane." Yeah. That about sums it up.
But, really, I guess I'm pretty lucky in that despite the fact that I have some crazy struggles in my life, I do seem to make it through OK and I'm generally pretty healthy both mentally and physically. There are two secrets to this.
Submitted by lishevita on Fri, 11/09/2012 - 18:09
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In this episode I talk to Melissa Rasmussen about Aquaponics, Permaculture, and her experiences in the field. She talks about her travels, the effect of these agricultural methods on the environment and food production, and their relationship to community.
During the show, Melissa mentions a few resources which you can find here:
Aquaponic Gardening, by Sylvia Bernstein - A book of basics on aquaponics and small-scale systems. Sylvia also offers porch-sized aquaponics kits through her company, Aquabundance.
AquaponicsCommunity.com - A community forum with thousands of members, most of whom have systems up and running (with pictures!) A great networking site and place to learn from others' experience.
Submitted by lishevita on Tue, 10/30/2012 - 14:22
Even before Mothership HackerMoms launched their Kickstarter they were getting a lot of press for being the first hackerspace built by and for mothers. The disturbing thing has been the barrage of comments after each article complaining about how a hackerspace for mothers is a discriminatory thing. Even when we explain that our space is open to all, some of the commenters remain viciously angry that we would use such a mother-centric name. Non-mothers clearly feel like they are losing out on something here. What many people don't seem to understand is the pressures on mothers that brought this space to life.
Submitted by lishevita on Mon, 10/22/2012 - 13:33
I recently taught a PHP class at a hackerspace. One of the people who had been taking my classes at the space sent a message to say he'd be skipping the PHP classes because he didn't approve of PHP. I've heard the cracks about PHP before. They sound just like the cracks about whatever other technology tool is out of favor with the coolest and hippest. I wanted to find out if this guy had a real beef against PHP, or just the usual.
Submitted by lishevita on Thu, 10/18/2012 - 13:45
Submitted by lishevita on Wed, 10/10/2012 - 13:27
I spent the month of August in Seattle where I taught a series of Introduction to Web Development classes at the hackerspace Jigsaw Renaissance with help from Budi Mulyo.
I teach programming languages very much like I teach human foreign languages. After all, as Larry Wall points out in his introduction to the famous O'Reilly book Learning Perl, programming languages are human languages. So, rather than teach a lot of deep concepts about how the computer uses memory or the theory behind what the computer is doing behind the scenes, I simply get students to read and write code as quickly as possible. Once they start to feel comfortable writing bits of code, I ease into the theory about what's happening when the computer interprets that code.
With this Intro to Web Dev course, we started from scratch. The students ranged in age from 17 to fifty-something. Most people showed up with no experience in programming or scripting of any form. Only one or two people in the room had any useful code editing software on their laptop. So the first thing I needed to do was recommend a code editing app for each student based on which operating system they were on. They needed to install it, and then we were off to the races.
Submitted by lishevita on Sat, 10/06/2012 - 14:12