The Excited-To-Learn Edition Sunday, February 28, 2016

Do Kids Learn More When They Trade In Composition Books For iPads?, by Donna St. George, Washington Post

Darryl Joyner, who helps lead Arlington’s technology initiative, says while there’s no “direct line” between test scores and digital devices or any other tool, research shows engagement is linked to performance. “The big thing I’m seeing is students excited to learn,” he said.

Debra Mahone, who coordinates technology efforts and other interventions in high-poverty schools in Prince George’s County, says after iPads and Chromebooks arrived in select schools in 2010, educators observed students being more interested in coming to classes and teachers more excited about instruction. When it comes to teacher practice and student engagement, she says, “we think they make a huge difference.”

Agree To Disagree

Apple’s Privacy Fight Tests Relationship With White House, by Michael D. Shear and Katie Benner, New York Times

Either way, what started as a cordial two-hour discussion about combating Islamic extremism ended with the White House and Mr. Cook agreeing to disagree — foreshadowing a bitter battle between a president long enamored of Apple products and Silicon Valley and a tech titan who has spoken enthusiastically of Mr. Obama.

Although the president and Mr. Cook are not personal friends, associates say they have developed a relationship of professional admiration and mutual self-interest. At the least, the two share similar traits: discipline, a cerebral nature and impatience with office drama. Now they find themselves in roles no one ever imagined, as the central antagonists in the raging debate between personal privacy and the nation’s security.

Most Software Already Has A “Golden Key” Backdoor: The System Update, by Leif Ryge, Ars Technica

Many software projects have only begun attempting to verify the authenticity of their updates in recent years. But even among projects that have been trying to do it for decades, most still have single points of devastating failure.

While It Defies U.S. Government, Apple Abides By China's Orders — And Reaps Big Rewards, by David Pierson, Los Angeles Times

Apple, one of only a handful of U.S. tech giants that have flourished in China, said the move was necessary to improve services for its growing Chinese user base. It added that all data on the servers were encrypted and inaccessible to China Telecom.

[...] "Whatever data is on Chinese servers is susceptible to confiscation or even cryptanalysis," a sort of code cracking, said Jonathan Zdziarski, a leading expert in iPhone security.


So My iMac’s Ethernet Port Stopped Working…, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Korg Gadget Review, by Craig Grannell, Stuff

Purely as a sound box for live musicians (there’s support for external controllers), Gadget is worth the outlay. But Gadget is far more than that. You can record live, or tap the piano roll to get notes down with precision.

Three Apps To Help Cyclists Keep Pedal To Metal, by Stephanie Kanowitz, Washington Post

In D.C., the country’s fittest city, cycling studios are the Starbucks of boutique gyms: You can find one on almost every corner. Some, like Flywheel (1927 Florida Ave. NW), provide stationary bikes with monitors that track riders’ speeds, but most don’t, even though it’s a sought-after metric. Here are three apps that help you see just how fast you’re going whether you’re on a stationary bike or outdoors.


Enumerating The Ways I Love Swift, by Casey Liss

It’s stunning how powerful support for these paradigms makes enumerations.


This Is The Exclusive Apple Merchandise You Can Only Get At Its Silicon Valley Campus, by Matt Weinberger, Business Insider

But in addition to the standard selection of Apple gadgets, it’s the only place anywhere on Earth where you can buy a special selection of official Apple merchandise.

Why You Can't Trust GPS In China, by Geoff Manaugh, Travel+Leisure

To make a long story short, when used in China, Apple’s maps are subject to “a varying offset [of] 100-600m which makes annotations display incorrectly on the map.” In other words, everything there—roads, nightclubs, clothing stores—appears to be 100-600 meters away from its actual, terrestrial position. The effect of this is that, if you check the GPS coordinates of your friends, as blogger Jon Pasden writes, “you’ll likely see they’re standing in a river or some place 500 meters away even if they’re standing right next to you.”

Rumor of the Day

Apple To Debut New iPad, 4-Inch iPhone On March 21, Day Before FBI Hearing, by John Paczkowski, BuzzFeed

Sources in position to know tell BuzzFeed News Apple has settled on March 21st as the day it will show off a handful of new products — a few days after the tentative March 15 date we reported earlier. It’s worth noting that the event date is one day prior to the company’s March 22 showdown with the government over a motion that would compel Apple to help hack an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists.

Bottom of the Page

So, what did I do today? I've had mee soto for breakfast, and then spend quite a few minutes going through Twitter and RSS feeds while drinking my kopi. I went to the barber, and can now go without a comb for yet another two to three months. I've stared at my to-do list, and have no idea how to configure it to reflect my new projects. And now, I'm getting ready for dinner, and soon I'll be nodding off while getting old.

So, how's your Sunday?


Thanks for reading.