Building Blocks

Being the head of an organization sounds like a cool position to most people, especially when you barely graduated from college, nabbed your first position and are faced with a mountain of debt.  The best decisions the boss makes is to let qualified people develop their plans, carry them out and make the decisions.  They won’t always be right but then even the best golfer puts a few of them in the rough.  When you’re the boss you get the luxury of making the tough decisions and hope in  the pit of your stomach they’re the right ones.  When they are few people congratulate you.  When they’re wrong everyone tells you what you did wrong.  The proverb is true, “It’s Lonely at the Top.”  [Read more…]

Online Learning

“Our mission is to help anyone learn anything.”

With the explosion in Edtech over the past few years, millions of people are now learning online, and many of the early adopters are techies. Some are looking to get into new careers while others are just fueling their curious side.

At the SPAUG General Meeting on March 9, 2016 Matthew O’Dell, Technical Category Expert at Udemy, will present an overview of the online edtech world and the skills one can learn.

As reported in Bloomberg Businessweek, a recent survey by Udemy, a leading online education company, finds that while 61 percent agree that there’s a “skills gap” in the U.S. workforce, 95 percent think they personally are qualified or overqualified for their own jobs. Fifty-three percent of millennials believe they already know everything they need to know to do their jobs, against only 43 percent of boomers, the survey found. When it comes to the skills gap, Americans clearly believe “it’s not me – it’s you.”

udemy-logo-greenFounded in 2010, Udemy is an online education marketplace with over 10 million students. Their course content and instructor community are constantly growing, with more than 40,000 courses taught by 16,000 instructors. They offer students the ability to learn as they go and succeed on their own terms, while instructors have a way to share their knowledge with the world.  Udemy recently received another round of financing worth $65 million,

Online learning is nothing new, but interest in it exploded a few years ago when it became clear that it could be the solution to bringing knowledge and education, even from esteemed Harvard and Stanford professors, to the masses. Udemy and others like Udacity, Pluralsight, Coursera, and have been racing to provide more courses, in more topics, to more people.

But unlike Udacity and others, Udemy isn’t too focused on providing alternatives to traditional degrees. While it does provide certificates for completing certain courses, it’s steering clear from diving into the education degree pool and having to deal with accreditation bodies and other regulations. According to CEO Dennis Yang,  “We find that the value of formal degrees is going down.”

Childs Play

IoT is going to be big…huge even.  It’s important that you prepare your kids for the world they’ll inherit, be connected into.  You might as well start them out in a small, innocent way by getting them toys that connect and do more than just sit there waiting for him/her to play with them.  Sounds too good to be true?  Well it is because these are the formative years and they’re pretty open with what they share.  Of course the toy manufacturers are glad for that because it gives them more information to work with.  Oh yeah they use good enough security so they can keep the information for themselves but unfortunately it turns out good enough isn’t good enough protection when it’s your kid(s).  [Read more…]

Deadly Silence

The toughest thing for people to do today is to have a conversation.  You know meaningful conversation.  Sure you talk to people but every minute you glance at your smartphone.  Or you say uh huh, yes, yep and text someone.  You see people walking down the street with their head down reading emails, texts or wondering why someone hasn’t gotten back to you.  Or go out to dinner and watch the couple at the next table busy with their phones doing something, anything but acknowledging the person across the table.  We miss a lot by not putting the phone down and talking.  Too busy I guess. [Read more…]


Automatic Windows 10 Installations

Microsoft’s latest operating system will begin to automatically install on many home Windows 7 and 8.1 machines from now on but questions remain over how easily it can be blocked.

From Monday this week Windows 10 will automatically begin installing on many home machines running Windows 7 and 8.1. Windows users will be able to stop the installation, as they will need to confirm they want the free upgrade to Windows 10 to continue. But while it can be refused, the upgrade may repeatedly try to install itself on Windows 7 and 8.1 machines.

This marks the start of a new phase in the rollout of Windows 10: Microsoft has changed the status of the upgrade to that of a “recommended” update, which consumer Windows 7 and 8.1 machines typically attempt to install automatically on a regular basis.

[Read more…]

Tech Republic, by | February 2, 2016, 6:40 AM PST