Google is phasing out the internal use of Microsoft’s Windows operating system because of security concerns, according to several Google employees. The Financial Times reports that since early January, new hires were still being allowed to install Windows on their laptops, but it was not an option for their desktop computers. Google would not comment on its current policy.
Windows is known for being more vulnerable to attacks by hackers and more susceptible to computer viruses than other operating systems. The greater number of attacks on Windows has much to do with its prevalence, which has made it a bigger target for attackers.
Employees wanting to stay on Windows required clearance from “quite senior levels”, one employee said. “Getting a new Windows machine now requires CIO approval,” said another employee.
New hires are now given the option of using Apple’s Mac computers or PCs running the Linux operating system. “Linux is open source and we feel good about it,” said one employee. “Microsoft we don’t feel so good about.”
A recent study by Leeds University has found evidence of a link between excessive internet use and depression. The information was collated from a questionnaire-based study of 1,319 young people and adults, used data compiled from respondents to links placed on UK-based social networking sites.
The respondents answered questions about how much time they spent on the internet and what they used it for; they also completed the Beck Depression Inventory – a series of questions designed to measure the severity of depression. The report, by the university’s Institute of Psychological Sciences, said 18 of the people who completed the questionnaire – 1.4% of the total – were internet addicts.
“Our research indicates that excessive internet use is associated with depression, but what we don’t know is which comes first – are depressed people drawn to the internet or does the internet cause depression?” the article’s lead author, Dr Catriona Morrison, said, “What is clear is that, for a small subset of people, excessive use of the internet could be a warning signal for depressive tendencies.”
This is the first in depth study of its kind in the west and now leaves us to consider what the wider societal implications are. Today in the Guardian there are reports of a couple in Korea who allowed their three-month-old daughter to starve to death while they devoted hours to playing a computer game that involved raising a virtual character of a young girl.
I got my key 3 days after pre-ordering and have been very impressed with it so far.
What are you waiting for soldier?
Click on the image to order and get your free beta key.
In the UK there is a new grant scheme available for low-income families with children aged 3-9, to get access to a computer and the internet to get online at home.
If you are a low income family in receipt of certain benefits you could qualify for a grant to buy a computer and/or a minimum of one years’ internet access. The programme is aimed at those that need it most and targets families that do not have access to a computer or the internet at home.
Depending on what you need, the grant allows eligible applicants to buy one of the following packages:
1. Full package (a computer, one year’s internet access, service and support)
2. A computer with service and support only
3. One year’s internet access only
I am pleased to see that parents will be allowed to purchase their own choice of pc and software, and that there is telephone support for those who are not familiar with using the internet. I think that this type of investment in children is so important, and will help to reduce inequalities in the education system and motivate children to learn.
What does this mean? Some say its all about white guys that BBQ cows and drink beer all day in the sun with their mates while others call it the celebration of a day when representatives of the British Government and Monarchy claiming the entire continent of Australia as their own.
I didn’t have much on so I googled “Australia Day Brisbane” and saw that there was a raising of the flag ceremony at South Bank 11am so I grabbed my camera and off I went.
This ceremony will have all of Brisbane looking skyward, with a spectacularly loud flyover of the F-111 jet, matched with a 21 gun salute.
From 11am see the Australian Defence Force Triservice Honour Guard and hear the Royal Australian Artillery Band – Brisbane playing. Be there for the raising of the Australian, Queensland, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags.
It was all very formal and you had to be there to hear all the speakers. I put together a gallery of Images that shows how my day progressed. You can View Australia/Invasion Day Gallery.
As the flags were going up the invasion day protesters came over the Victoria bridge in the distance. It was as if the confusion in my head was being played out visually in front of my eyes. I’ve learnt many things about indigenous Australian culture before and met some of the local Murri people. Some people have said to me oh yeah the people from the Murry river or think Im mis-pronouncing the word Maori but in any case make sure to read the Murri people Wikipedia article if you dont know what Murri people means.
Bored of being stuck behind a barrier while some media and privileged people prance around in front of me, I decided to join this march and see what it was all about.
In a way I felt like my innocence/ignorance of who a lot of these people are helped have a neutral point of view. In terms of education its a fail but usually people on the internet help me fill in the gaps, that hasnt happened with this story yet, Im not sure why. For example I described this photo as “Important Lady finishes her talk, canons in background at Raising of the flag ceremony. Australia Day” and this photo as “Powerful speaker man, Indigenous Australian protesters marching pt4″. I would say that you should have heard some of the strong things they were saying/chanting but I can show you. I made this video that you can watch on youtube. You can also watch it below.
Its a shame I was so slow with my camera, at 4:13 you see them dancing, behind me were roughly 15 police, some on motorbikes and some standing there in a way blocking entry to South Bank, just before that he was making more strong statements then in my memory he says “Corroboree!!” and the guys break into music and dance, I thought that was amazing. The march finished at Musgrave park where a rage against racism concert was held.
Its a confusing issue to me, you have many non-indigenous people supporting invasion day protests and you have many indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people celebrating Australia day. I also think many individuals are just happy to have the day off work to relax and enjoy a day with friends and family. I hope all of us can come together and celebrate life, I don’t know the answer but I hope we can have a holiday for this purpose maybe something like independence day.
As usual I was reading planet TALO aka superuser network and read the post “Top Tools for Learning 2009” by Kerrie Smith.
It’s interesting to see that “educators” on the web are doing most of their computing using “Linux” and an “open source” web browser.
Lets look a bit closer at the top 10 software tools:
- Twitter – Linux
- del.icio.us – FreeBSD
- youtube – Linux
- google docs – Linux
- google reader – Linux
- wordpress – Linux
- slideshare – Linux
- google search – Linux
- Audacity – Free and Open Source
- Firefox – Free and Open Source
I know a secondary school student is more than capable of learning to build and run a web server but the way its taught in schools using IIS is really pathetic. The student doesn’t learn much and does it really empower them? No not all, it cripples them. I remember chatting to a young friend of mine about his early days in high school, he likes computers and studied ICT thinking it would be different in high school but it was the microsoft word training again, he told me he’d previously gone through the word training twice already in primary school. They are taught that pressing the “export as web-page” button is Web development so people should think about how much they can learn about word processing and word processor software on Ubuntu using open source software and compare it to what they learn and do now because obviously they aren’t learning anything useful about web development.
I don’t understand why there isn’t a government policy to have a preference for free and open source software yet or at least equity for students wanting to learn and use GNU/Linux. Imagine you work in a school as a computer/library assistant and there’s 40 or so pentium 3 computers in the store room and you want to use one to add a diskless web kiosk to the library, the computers are in the store room because they were replaced by newer computers with even bigger hard disks (the most expensive component?) and you wonder why they didn’t buy smaller cheaper hard disks if only 5gb of the 80Gb will ever be used, it would probably be worse these days.
Meanwhile the teachers are fighting for disk space on the server. Imagine asking a simple question; “May I use one of the computers in storage to add another computer to the library?”, obviously the first thing is the fact that those computers don’t work with the current version of windows, to cut a long story short if they’ve never heard of GNU/Linux then its likely they will reject the idea and sometimes give ridiculous reasons.
Its also a power issue, proprietary software users know all to well that you can gain power over people using software, its common in things like LMS’s and if you’re the guy who setup the school website then you can give people access to publish. There’s a lot of social politics involved in these things, whoever gets the better computer is not always the person who needs it.
Will the student wanting to use FOSS and GNU/Linux to learn about technology and software be allowed to do that in Australian schools? Choosing an operating system and software is part of the Information Technology Systems Syllabus, read the Sample assessment task 1. I wonder if the students have any rights or choice, perhaps it falls back to teacher preference.
If the general public knew about Ubuntu and the fact that unlimited copies are available for free, would they want a fair share of the systems running ubuntu in state funded education. Learning about technology shouldn’t be reduced to training kids to use proprietary products.
Most teachers Ive met say they’ve used “Linux” with their students but usually its just for a single day in the year.
So hows your favorite operating system do on the list of the top 500 supercomputers.
I’ve talked about Tux Paint on this blog over the years and produced an informative and slightly humorous Tux Paint demonstration video back in 2006. The video has been downloaded 1,066 times from internet archive.org and viewed 31500 times not including the 14000 views from the version with low quality audio which Ive deleted.
The most common question I get asked is “how do I get the stamps?“. All of the people who have asked are on the windows platform, I believe this is probably because on Debian/Ubuntu systems the stamp packages are installed with Tux Paint. So rather than continue to reply to all the email and comments I decided to write this howto and perhaps someone will do the screencast version.
Getting Tux Paint stamps for windows and mac osx
The steps are the same, visit the Tux Paint website, chose your operating system then download and install the optional stamps package.
Some of the people that asked me about the stamps must have been too excited at the time they downloaded Tux Paint and didn’t notice the optional stamps package or perhaps they didn’t install Tux Paint. If you’re having trouble you might need to ask an adult for help, if that fails just go colour.
Tux Paint stamps on Ubuntu
On Ubuntu we have advanced packaging tools, software management programs and remote software package repositories. Pretty much all the software on my system has been installed this way, its easier and more user friendly then installing software on other systems and the amount of top quality software you can install is amazing. Using search its easy to find cool new programs, for example if you’re a social media guru you might search for twitter, facebook or blog software, if you need a web server running a wiki you might simply install mediawiki and enjoy watching all the system dependencies get met. The two programs I’ll mention are the Ubuntu Software Center and Synaptic.
Ubuntu Software Center
The Ubuntu Software Center is new in Ubuntu 9.10, some people may not have upgraded so we will also look at Synaptic. Synaptic is usually installed on most versions of Ubuntu.
The Ubuntu Software Center is available from the Applications menu.
Simply use search, type tuxpaint and click the arrow and your done.
Synaptic is available through System Administration menu.
Again simply use Quick Search and type tuxpaint, Synaptic gives us more information about the packages, to install/uninstall software you tick the box and hit apply.
Tux Paint still reigns as the best educational paint software. Usually people are having too much fun with Tux Paint to think of it as an intelligent tutoring system within a highly interactive learning environment.
Tux Paint is available for free and as free software and you can also purchase the CD. It makes a great gift.
Don’t Worry About Validation
Being afraid to ask questions to your online community will only hinder your progress. Get your validation from offline sources of your life, like work, sport or hobbies.
Have a Vested Interest
Like a website with a clear commercial nature. If you don’t know what you’re trying to sell and to whom, you will flounder about in mediocrity.
Plan Your Tests
Before you start them. If you’re starting a PPC campaign for example, take the time to read up on different testing methods and the steps involved.
Keep It Simple
It’s easy to become overwhelmed. Take everything one step at a time and don’t be too fancy – you have enough on your plate.