FLOSS Foundations

April 17, 2015

Louis Suárez-Pots


J-Source is the Canadian Journalism Project, a meta-organisation examining the (more or less lamentable) state of journalism in Canada. The article on the Québec protests against the raising of post-secondary schooling fees is interesting, though narrow: there is no deep investigation of the Whys mobilising the students–nor of the logic that enables the police, particularly in Montréal, to act so brutishly and as if they had been trained in Ferguson, USA. (There’s a history of Montréal police violence against visible minorities, for one. But Montréal is hardly unique; all the big Canadian cities have shown themselves to be…. big cities.)

But to return to the issue here, the student protest and journalism on it. The Québec protests are not unique. This spring saw protests by graduate student employees and contract staff at the major Toronto universities, York University and the University of Toronto. Both these are very large, very complex (with overlapping department areas) and compromised by their embrace of a tiered faculty system that has succeeded in codifying a veritable faculty caste system.

The issues were as complex as the universities’ layered histories could make them. Yet there was little deep investigation, little analysis of the dynamics in play, of the personalities, of the actualities. Instead, there was stale narrative.

The challenges of reporting on Quebec student protests | J-Source.

Filed under: critique

by oulipax at April 17, 2015 09:59 PM

April 16, 2015

Louis Suárez-Pots


From the article, by Nathaniel Mott, staff writer, PandoDaily:

Besides, it’s not like students needed iPads in the first place. As 13-year-old Aidan Chandra explained in a guest post for Pando, students need laptops that can handle everything thrown at them, not tablets with limited functionality:

Looking ahead, I think it will be hard for iPads and their sister tablet devices to keep up with larger apps and cutting edge technologies that may enter the classroom. They likely won’t be able to handle larger files or possess enough power and storage to efficiently use a 3D printer and create 3D models. Just as soon as many schools finish spending their budget on iPads, they are likely to find these iPads to be insufficient for keeping up with newly developing educational technology trends.

Let that sink in for a moment. An eighth grader was able to see that tablets — let alone iPads, which are more expensive than their counterparts — aren’t the best investment for schools looking to offer students better access to technology. Yet an LA school district couldn’t figure this out until after the contract was signed?

via LA school district, shocked that iPad program didn’t magically fix everything, demands money back | PandoDaily.

Mott is hardly unbiased. Just as laptops have evolved and become vastly more powerful than even 5, 6 years ago and also lighter, so too will the “tablet” evolve, though probably not quite in the direction most think. The advantage over the laptop is that the “tablet” form factor makes modularity easier. You can add elements, and not just a keyboard. And these need not detract from the form’s signal advantage for the rich, its portability.

Filed under: critique

by oulipax at April 16, 2015 07:05 PM

April 14, 2015

Louis Suárez-Pots


Mexico loves Android and globally (as measured by Google Play), education apps have overtaken entertainment and now are only second to games. Keep in mind these data reflect apps downloaded for smartphones.

Why Mexico should so love Android is not that hard to figure out if you’ve ever walked into a store selling Apple wares. Good luck finding an Apple store, a technician employed by Slim’s monopoly, and so on.

Revenue Gap Between iOS And Android Apps Grows, Thanks To China | TechCrunch.

Filed under: critique

by oulipax at April 14, 2015 02:34 PM

April 13, 2015

Dries Buytaert

Skiing in France

While I love photography, I never really got into video. Because I'm not the guy to pull off flips on skis or jump out of planes, I never considered myself the target audience for a GoPro. However, I got a GoPro for Christmas and was eager to try it on a ski trip to the French Alps. Below is my first attempt at shooting and editing video. The French Alps are stunning and that alone is reason to watch the video. No doubt I have to hone my skills -- both shooting and in the editing room -- and it wouldn't hurt if I could pull off a flip on my skis either. ;-)

by Dries at April 13, 2015 12:02 PM