Dept. Of Education Fail: Teachers Lose Grants, Forced To Repay Thousands In Loans : NPR Ed : NPR

The TEACH grant helps future teachers pay for college or a master’s. Many say that when they started teaching, they were forced to pay it back. A study obtained by NPR suggests thousands are affected.
— Read on www.npr.org/sections/ed/2018/03/28/596162853/dept-of-education-fail-teachers-lose-grants-forced-to-repay-thousands-in-loans

This is just crazy. I hate to say it, but I think we’re witnessing the start of Ideaocracy. How? By limiting quality education to the wealthy-ier parts of the population. This is partially achieved by — as the article alludes to — squeezing out quality teachers dedicated to low-income areas. Oh, they’ll still be getting an education… But will it be from people who care about their students and those children’s futures or people who are simply working to collect a check?

Which would you want for your children?

Dept. Of Education Fail: Teachers Lose Grants, Forced To Repay Thousands In Loans : NPR Ed : NPR

Be careful what you “do” on social media…

Here’s an interesting Times article that boils down to what was done with the data obtained via a Facebook quiz app. Note that Facebook did not create this app, but a third party consultant. The intent? To distill enough information about a given voting segment to create political messaging designed to influence those voters.

Although the title is quite misleading, it does capture the fact that people willingly gave clues regarding their political-psychological leanings while “taking the quiz”. Seems harmless, right?

Yeah.

However, they didn’t know that the author was also scraping their profile to gather more information about them and that of their friends. The app author was paid more than $800,000 to create the app… so I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that they weren’t simply trying to figure out your hair color.

Unfortunately, this article is behind the Times pay wall so you’ll have to use one of your 5 monthly free reads if you don’t have a subscription.

How Trump Consultants Exploited the Facebook Data of Millions

Full Article: nyti.ms/2GB9dK4

Be careful what you “do” on social media…

Orlando Code Camp 2018

So… a LOT has happened/come out since the last time I stood in front of a group of people. And that’s a good thing. Long story short, you can now create/develop/do for/with Cortana in ways that previous weren’t possible or easily manageable. Now? All that is out the window and you can do pretty much whatever you want — in terms of grabbing and processing data to be displayed via the Cortana Canvas. Which is doggone near the holy grail, neh?

Thanks to the folks who decided to eschew John Papa’s talk and hung out with me and my other favorite girl (after My Queen!) in the early-ish hours of 3/17. Here’s the slide deck… not that there’s a whole lot there for the folks who chose not to attend.

UPDATE:
I ran into a myriad of issues with connectivity throughout the presentation. So what should have been easy, bite-sized demos became a tedium of tap-dancing while waiting on connections to be re-established. What it means for the people who were there (and you as well, by the way) is that I felt honor-bound to append more slides to the deck which provide examples of what we couldn’t get to. I also included the source code of my external dll (that is called from within the Azure Function) as well as an offline copy of the Function Bot itself. I recommend that you DO NOT simply try to deploy this bot; if you do, things will not link/sync up correctly and you will get some very frustrating issues. Instead, simply copy and paste the entire BasicLuisDialog.csx file into an Azure Functions Bot that you generate in Azure via the Create Resource workflow. Check the top level read.me file in the archive for more information. Also, don’t forget to get your own Toggl.com account so that you can add your Toggl API key to the External Libray Source\Integrations\Constants.cs file.

Anyway, here’s the stuff; it’s nearly 14MB in size.

Happy Coding!

Orlando Code Camp 2018

Cortana: “Hey” is no longer necessary (kinda)

apple.news/Ay7R0K7ofR7SNumgHF-k93Q

Cortana: “Hey” is no longer necessary (kinda)

Cortana can command your smart home devices on Windows 10

If you’re using a Windows 10 computer, just type “Cortana Notebook” into the Start menu. You should see a new item called Connected Home. After you enable this, Cortana can connect to smart home services like Hue, SmartThings, Nest, Insteon and Wink.

Source: Cortana can command your smart home devices on Windows 10

One other thing; to get it to work (after you’ve linked a service to Cortana), the “formula” is to say one of the following:

  • Ask {Invocation Name} {Utterance}
  • Tell {Invocation Name} {Utterance}
  • Use {Invocation Name} {Utterance}
  • Get {Invocation Name} {Utterance}
  • Have {Invocation Name} {Utterance}

In my case it was “use Insteon to turn on the TV backlighting”.

More technical information here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/cortana/design-guides/guide-invocation

Cortana can command your smart home devices on Windows 10

Atlanta Code Camp 2017

I had a great time today at Kennesaw State University with a very cool crew of folks who wanted to learn more about one of my favorite topics: Cortana Skills. (“Does this guy ever talk about anything else?” LOL!)

There have been several changes to the slide deck since the last time presented it due to a few exciting, real-world developments have occurred.

Anyway, slides: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AqKcjfYvOvTcm_dRSgfP2HtIpZSuJQ

Happy Coding!

Atlanta Code Camp 2017

The “unproductive” parts of your work day

I read an article found on Lifehacker (http://lifehacker.com/5932586/make-work-feel-less-like-work-with-the-8020-rule) that resonates with me.

The funny thing is, most of us are already doing this anyway, albeit not in the way we think. The majority of the american workforce steals time for themselves every day. In fact, certain working methodologies allow for this and assume that the “ideal” workday is somewhere between 75% and 81%. True indeed, some of that “extra” time is given to meetings and what not, but on average at least a full hour is viewed as non-productive, every day.

The “unproductive” parts of your work day