Intel’s Museum of Me

Intel has released “The Museum of Me“, a website that connects to your Facebook account, pulls out relevant data, and produces a virtual gallery/archive of your social (network) life. I am not sure it did a great job of capturing my social ‘essence’, partly because I don’t pay much attention to Facebook (I don’t feed it much these days), but the resulting virtual gallery is really quite impressive.

If you’d like, give it a try here. Remember that it is accessing your data and the shared data of your Facebook friends (as the majority of Facebook apps often do). For those who would rather just see a demo of what it does (rather than trying it yourself), I’ve captured the rendered video using Snapz Pro X, a higher-end Mac-only screencasting tool.

By the way, if you want to experience something similar, be sure to check out Arcade Fire’s “The Wilderness Downtown”.


CBC Radio Interview: False Amber Alert

I was interviewed by CBC Radio today regarding a false Amber Alert message that was being forwarded via SMS throughout Saskatchewan, especially in the Estevan area.

From the Leader Post:

REGINA — Saskatchewan RCMP are advising the public that a text message Amber Alert circulating around the province relating to a missing child is a fake.

RCMP detachments and various municipal police services have fielded a number of queries since Tuesday night from concerned citizens throughout Saskatchewan in response to an Amber Alert text message they received on their cellphones.

The text message read: “Amber Alert 3 year old girl taken by a man driving a new silver truck plate 72B831. Keep it going so they can find her.”

It looks like other versions of this false Amber Alert have been going around since last February and have been reported in several other States.

The piece from CBC Radio (Blue Sky) is included below. My interview starts about 7 minutes in.

Media Literacy Presentation

Tonight I presented “Popular Issues in (Digital) Media Literacy” to my EC&I 831 students. The presentation covered various topics such as: offensive content (bad taste, sexuality), viral videos & memes, misinformation (satire, hoaxes, scams, phishing), safety & cyberbullying, hate (racism & violence), social networks & privacy. It was very much a survey approach to the topic in hopes that my students will understand the broad scope of related issues.

The slide deck is available below:

The Elluminate recording is also available for viewing.

Sue Waters on Al Upton/Mini Legends Closure

We were very fortunate to have Sue Waters as a guest for EC&I 831 last Wednesday (March 19/08). Sue had previously written a post related to the order for closure for Al Upton’s MiniLegends classroom blog. EC&I 831 was very interested in hearing more.

We used Skype to mediate the conversation, and the result was streamed via Ustream. I noticed over 30 participants at one point, and it is clear from many related blog posts that the issue has generated much interest over several continents.

Sue did an amazing job recording the details and summarizing this conversation, including many of the the major points brought up by course participants and other Ustream guests. Check out her post here.

Also, the mp3 version of the conversation is available here. There may be a couple of anomalies with the audio due to the way it had to be lifted from Ustream. Sorry, it was mostly unavoidable.

I would also like to take this opportunity to comment on a few ‘aha’ moments I had regarding this experience, not directly related to the issues discussed, but related to the networked affordances made available through this course. This a short list of things I really like about this particular experience in terms of pedagogy.

1) The idea of the session came from Cindy, one of the course participants. After it was suggested, there were several other classmates that were excited about the idea. It is great to have students bring direction to the course, and I wish I had made this more of a common thread throughout.

2) Through Twitter and the edublogosphere, I was able to quickly contact Sue. Sue and I had already been connected through various tools, but had never had the chance to collaborate. This goes to show the importance of the network, and highlights yet another example of the generosity apparent in so many people I have connected to. This is not only apparent in Sue’s participation on the conversation, but additionally in her thorough, voluntary summary of the session.

3) This issue, although global, has great relevance to the course content and to the practice of many of the participants in their roles as teachers and administrators.

4) The issue was timely. We were able to have this conversation within a week of its occurrence.

5) The conversation was global. The Ustream conversation included participants from 4 countries, and 3 continents.

These previous points are attributes shared with many online educational experiences. Al Upton’s Mini Legends initiative demonstrated some of these and other valuable characteristics. Thus, I believe it is important for all of us to share the positive attributes of online interactions and collaborations that cannot be duplicated using more traditional approaches to teaching and learning. The contrast of great advantages over limited risks is likely the best justification we have for emerging, digital pedagogies.

Drug Deal? – Google Maps Streetview

This is almost too crazy to be real, but the link to Google Maps is authentic. points to this very focused view in Google streetview in Chicago.

The zoom/street view on Google Maps is crazy, here’s another great find – in Chicago of a car break in . Yes, this is real.

Google Streetview theft

Now I can’t tell exactly what this individual is doing. NotCot reports a car theft, but I do not see verification of that anywhere else. For all I can tell, it could be two people trading baseball cards.

Google Maps, amazing, but still more than a bit scary. See also “Top 15 Google Street View Sightings“.

Digital Advertising Right To Your Grocery Cart

It looks like Microsoft has plans to test a new technology known as “Mediacart” in some grocery stores in the US.

Customers with a ShopRite loyalty card will be able to log into a Web site at home and type in their grocery lists; when they get to the store and swipe their card on the MediaCart console, the list will appear. As shoppers scan their items and place them in their cart, the console gives a running price tally and checks items off the shopping list.

The system also uses radio-frequency identification to sense where the shopper’s cart is in the store. The RFID data can help ShopRite and food makers understand shopping patterns, and the technology can also be used to send certain advertisements to people at certain points – an ad for 50 cents off Oreos, for example, when a shopper enters the cookie aisle. Microsoft said it is still working on how it will present commercials and coupons.

If this is successful, grocery shopping as we know it may be very different in the years ahead.

Digital Footprint: Where Do You Fit In?

The PEW/Internet report Digital Footprints: Online identity management and search in the age of transparency was recently released. In the summary of findings, they divide online adults into four distinct categories based on their online privacy (footprint) concerns.

1) Confident Creatives are the smallest of the four groups, comprising 17% of online adults. They say they do not worry about the availability of their online data, and actively upload content, but still take steps to limit their personal information.

2) The Concerned and Careful fret about the personal information available about them online and take steps to proactively limit their own online data. One in five online adults (21%) fall into this category.

3) Despite being anxious about how much information is available about them, members of the Worried by the Wayside group do not actively limit their online information. This group contains 18% of online adults.

4) The Unfazed and Inactive group is the largest of the four groups—43% of online adults fall into this category. They neither worry about their personal information nor take steps to limit the amount of information that can be found out about them online.

So, where do you fit in?

How To Opt Out Of Facebook Beacon

In case you’ve been sleeping, and don’t know what Facebook Beacon is:

Beacon is a part of Facebook’s Ads system that sends data from external websites to Facebook, ostensibly for the purpose of allowing targeted advertisements, and allowing users to share their activities with their friends. Beacon was launched on November 6, 2007 with forty-four partner websites.

Here’s a very short Jingcast of how Facebook may let you opt out of this service.

Note: “It is as yet unclear whether or not opting out of the Beacon program stops third party websites from collecting information from Facebook entirely.” (Source)

Value Openness: Twitter On CSI

There’s a video clip of Twitter on CSI that has been making its rounds. I don’t watch the show (I watch very little television), but the scene features the dialogue between two detectives as they search the Twitter account of a homicide victim.

From the Clip:
Detective 1 – “Some people just don’t value privacy.”
Detective 2 – “They don’t expect privacy. They value openness.”

As I’m preparing for a digital citizenship/media literacy presentation with Dean Shareski tomorrow, I’ve been thinking about how differently youth may view privacy vs. openness. With social networks, blogging and services like Twitter, we are certainly seeing a distinct change. There is not much to the transaction above, but in some ways, it may help people glimpse differing views on issues of personal privacy and openness.