Bookmarked Google tracks your movements, like it or not by Ryan Nakashima (Associated Press)
An Associated Press investigation found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even if you've used a privacy setting that says it will prevent Google from doing so.
In this expose, Associated Press uncover some of the different ways Google surreptitiously tracks users and how difficult it is to get out of. I remember reading Dylan Curran’s breakdown of the data Google have on us thinking that there is surely more. Clearly there is. This reminds me of Facebook’s shadow profiles. What intrigues me with all this is how the data is then analysed and used. That is the ledger right?

via Ian O’Byrne

Bookmarked We’re in a new age of obesity. How did it happen? You’d be surprised | George Monbiot by George Monbiot (the Guardian)
It’s not that we’re eating more, that we exercise less, or that we lack willpower. The shaming of overweight people has to stop, says Guardian columnist George Monbiot
George Monbiot explains that the reasons given for our current increase in obesity are often wrong. Rather than issues over portions or exercise, the real issue are the increase of diary and sugary foods in our diet:

So what has happened? The light begins to dawn when you look at the nutrition figures in more detail. Yes, we ate more in 1976, but differently. Today, we buy half as much fresh milk per person, but five times more yoghurt, three times more ice cream and – wait for it – 39 times as many dairy desserts. We buy half as many eggs as in 1976, but a third more breakfast cereals and twice the cereal snacks; half the total potatoes, but three times the crisps. While our direct purchases of sugar have sharply declined, the sugar we consume in drinks and confectionery is likely to have rocketed

This reminds me of Bill Ferriter’s classroom blog #SugarKills, a careful look at the not-so sweet side of tastes we love.

One of the things I like about George Monbiot’s work is the focus on systems and society. Although we could stop eating fast food or get off Facebook, but these decisions are often decided for us. This is captured in his closing remarks.

Just as jobless people are blamed for structural unemployment, and indebted people are blamed for impossible housing costs, fat people are blamed for a societal problem. But yes, willpower needs to be exercised – by governments. Yes, we need personal responsibility – on the part of policymakers. And yes, control needs to be exerted – over those who have discovered our weaknesses and ruthlessly exploit them.

Bookmarked The Schizoanalytic Critique of Althusser on Ideology (Nomad Scholarship)
Yet schizoanalysis never denies that the nuclear family contributes to the constitution of subjectivity. What schizoanalysis does deny is that the nuclear family is the only or even the most important factor in the formation of subjectivity: rather, the family operates along with other institutions; indeed, it serves to relay determinations from these other institutions to emergent subjectivity in its earliest stages of formation (infancy-childhood). And it also denies, perhaps even more importantly, the Oedipal precept that the relation to the Father or the name-of-the-Father is ultimately the most important axis of intersubjectivity within the nuclear family.
An interesting post in reply to Althusser’s notion of ideology.
Bookmarked Disengaged boys: just make it a competition, right? by Adam Boxer (A Chemical Orthodoxy)
When students are involved in a competition, the thing they are focused on is the competition. Their mental energies are dedicated to finding the quickest, easiest and most effortless way of winning the competition. Thinking hard or learning plays second fiddle. The mind has a remarkable capacity to shirk the hard labour of learning, don’t give it another opportunity to do so.
Adam Boxer questions the benefits of competition and urgency on learning. This reminds me of a post from Natasha Singer on Kahoot!:

Kahoot seems like a bit of a throwback to a more old-fashioned pedagogical approach: behaviorism. This is the idea of educators shaping student behavior by handing out gold stars, stickers, points and the like.

To me it comes back to fun or hard fun. The most useful activity I did with quizzes in class was to get my students to create their own and upload them for their peers.

Bookmarked The Photo Book That Captured How the Soviet Regime Made the Truth Disappear by Masha Gessen (The New Yorker)
Sometimes we don’t know who is missing from a photo or why—only that someone has been elided. We are lucky even to know that there is something we don’t know.
This is an insightful look into the past:

Compared to the intentional, crude, and pervasive altering of the Soviet record, the lying currently prevalent in American politics is amateur hour, if not exactly child’s play. President Donald Trump’s routine alterations of the historical narrative, which seem to stem in equal measure from ignorance and ill intent, are ridiculed by the media even as the media reproduces them. Photographs often serve as the corrective to his distortions—as, for example, with his insistence that he had the biggest Inauguration crowd in history. Still, there can be no doubt that Trump is waging an all-out war on the media, the historical record, and the truth in general.

Bookmarked When A Student Blogger Enters The World (The Edublogger)
This is the inspiring story of college student, Myles Zhang. Myles was introduced to blogging as a high school student and since then his online portfolio has grown and flourished.
Myles Zhang shares his experience of maintaining a digital portfolio:

There’s something equally powerful (and I feel democratic) about a simple web-link that opens up a world of information to anyone in the world. I feel that the world is becoming increasingly digital. Building and managing my website (several, in fact) has hopefully helped prepare me to more actively contribute to this digital world.

Although he touches on the what associated with an authentic audience and the how linked to blogging, the most powerful message in this post is the why. What Zhang highlights is the personal nature of such a project. Although we may want to dictate to everyone to do a particular thing, the individual interests much not be forgotten.

Bookmarked Home Work (Audrey Watters)
I think Americans’ homes are designed for that – they’re designed in ways that encourage you to fill up the closets and garages and spare bedrooms with stuff. There are catalogs upon catalogs with products and websites upon websites with ideas of how to buy things and build things that transform rooms to your liking.
This is an insightful look into home spaces and the way we use it.

We have worked at home (and with great frequency, it feels, worked on the road) for about a decade now. And the typical home or apartment – no matter its size or location – isn’t really designed for that.

Bookmarked 22 PROJECTS TO CHALLENGE, INSPIRE & ENGAGE YOUR STUDENTS #AUSSIEPBL (Bianca Hewes)
These project outlines are all based on my PBL model, which is explained in my two books Are Humans Wild At Heart? and Why Do We Tell Stories? Both of these are published through Hawker Brownlow Education and are full of projects for English teachers to run with their students. Please, please if you use these projects OR if you use my model of PBL (discover, create, share), it would mean SOOO much to me if you credited my work. Many of the Praxis projects below were co-created with my very creative colleagues James Blanch and Kate Munro. Please respect our hard work by being thoughtful in your acknowledgement of your sources.
Bianca Hewes collects together a number of her project outlines that she has created with Canva. As with Kath Murdoch’s inquiry journeys, Hewes provides some great provocations. Although some of them could easily be translated, their strength lies in thinking differently. In addition, I too like Canva and use it to create the covers for my monthly newsletter.
Bookmarked Why we hate using email but love sending texts by Bryan Lufkin (bbc.com)
They both allow us to stay in touch, but while email often attracts ire, text messaging is more popular than ever. Is the way we choose to communicate saying more than we might think?
Bryan Lufkin reflects on the changes associated with our use of email overtime. Whereas it was restricted to a few users, now everyone (and every company) has your address now. The argument made is that people are now more willing to text or ‘snap’. I wonder if this is due to the lack of novelty provided by other spaces? This article provides a different perspective than Quinn Norton’s history of the technology.
Bookmarked Google’s iron grip on Android: Controlling open source by any means necessary (Ars Technica)
From the archives: Android is open—except for all the good parts.
Ron Amadeo outlines the limits to Google’s the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). The reminds me of their work with maps and the fact that other platforms and providers are seemingly locked in or working with a second-rate solution.

Marginalia

There have always been closed source Google apps. Originally, the group consisted mostly of clients for Google’s online services, like Gmail, Maps, Talk, and YouTube. When Android had no market share, Google was comfortable keeping just these apps and building the rest of Android as an open source project. Since Android has become a mobile powerhouse though, Google has decided it needs more control over the public source code.

Google’s real power in mobile comes from control of the Google apps—mainly Gmail, Maps, Google Now, Hangouts, YouTube, and the Play Store. These are Android’s killer apps, and the big (and small) manufacturers want these apps on their phones. Since these apps are not open source, they need to be licensed from Google. It is at this point that you start picturing a scene out of The Godfather, because these apps aren’t going to come without some requirements attached. While it might not be an official requirement, being granted a Google apps license will go a whole lot easier if you join the Open Handset Alliance. The OHA is a group of companies committed to Android—Google’s Android—and members are contractually prohibited from building non-Google approved devices. That’s right, joining the OHA requires a company to sign its life away and promise to not build a device that runs a competing Android fork.