Tag Archives: internet

Saylor Art History

Saylor.org is a site which develops free online courses (mainly using materials with Creative Commons or similar copyleft licensing). The material is available to anyone and you work your way through the material by yourself.
I had given myself a time limit of death to work my way through Saylor’s Art History, but  they decided to abandon the concept of majors. That makes me a little nervous. Will the material stay? The old Art History ‘major’ is listed below. They have a another arth101, which I will list and discuss further down:
Art History:
saylor art history
electives: Two from 201-206 and two from 207-210.
300 level: 1
400 level: 3
Now for the new way: they show the list of courses here: https://eportfolio.saylor.org/course-catalog?utf8=%E2%9C%93&aos=2
with the newer art history 101a here: http://www.saylor.org/courses/arth101a. 101a has some YouTube videos as part of the learning material, so if you’re in China, you’re blocked. If you have limited computing power or very slow internet, you’re also out of luck. In that case, you may want to take the 101 (also called 101b) instead. It’s more focused on text. There are some broken links, but it’s a trivial matter to copy/paste the name of an artwork or artist into a search engine to find a current link. There are also a few typos. I forgive the typos.
Cheers to free knowledge! Take it and run with it.

AddThis tracks

AddThis is not only into tracking, it’s into super tracking that can’t be blocked. You know AddThis – very popular for adding the social networking buttons to sites.

Early this morning, I did another quick search about AddThis and saw that ProPublica says AddThis wrote code for a canvas fingerprint! I remember starting to learn Canvas, which means writing instructions for a web browser to draw images. So, they hide an image in a site, tell the browser to draw it, and because each individual computer has a slightly different assortment of fonts, settings, software, etc, each user’s computer will draw the image ever so slightly differently (really?). Then, AddThis and similar companies will be able to assign you an identifying number, if they can ever get the code accurate enough. I recommend you read every word: http://www.propublica.org/article/meet-the-online-tracking-device-that-is-virtually-impossible-to-block.
And if you have time, click the links and read them.
So, AddThis is just about adding social networking buttons to your site, so people can share your articles, huh? Are we hopelessly naive? When will we learn that using all these free (ever so helpful, aren’t they?) programs really means we’re selling our identities, the identities of our clients, friends, visitors, everyone we refer…
I won’t.

get simple tracker

I just quickly played with a test install of the Get Simple CMS (content management system). Ghostery immediately showed AddThis — fine with me — and Scorecard Research beacon — definitely not fine with me. That beacon is a traffic beacon that I don’t want. I don’t track my users. But there it was, sitting there in a pristine new install of Get Simple….and a translate plugin. And apparently, the beacon is not for my use, anyway. There’s nothing about it listed in their support forum or wiki. Apparently, it’s for the use of Get Simple devs. I’m sorry, but it’s my website. My, my, my. Do you see the word my?
I have an independent website and I (usually gratefully) use open source for a reason. I don’t want merdo shoved down my throat, excuse my language.
Get Simple, if you’re curious about the URLs of users, ASK. And tomorrow, you’ll hear about a non-user.

OOh, it’s AddThis’s fault! http://support.addthis.com/customer/portal/questions/5374575-unwanted-scorecard-beacon-cookie. What a load of horse hockey – everybody uses AddThis these days. Sorry for the bad thoughts I just sent your way, Get Simple. But get rid of AddThis, imho.

WordPressa projekto

[en] A project manager at WordPress, Samuel Sidler, wants you to contact him if you would like to rescue the Esperanto version of WordPress (we’re talking about wordpress.org, not .com). I left that project in 2011, which means it hasn’t been touched since then, and it will have to be deleted from WordPress if someone doesn’t start updating it. You’ll need a trace of knowledge of PHP, fluency in EN and EO and probably some knowledge of working with SVN. I used svn.automattic.com/wordpress-i18n/eo/. Update: GlotPress is now a working model of simplicity: turn yourself to translate.wordpress.org for instructions and for the GlotPress online translation tool. Wow.
The site for clients is at eo.wordpress.org.
After you package your WordPress, you will need to install it into a test site and test whether it functions smoothly. You may also want to use an online validation system.
This WordPress will be  a content management system used for independent websites like this one.
We’re not talking about wordpress.com (which however, could choose to incorporate your translation, if any translator there ever wants to).

[eo] Samuel Sidler, projekta administranto ĉe WordPress (.org), petis pluan esperantigon de WordPress. Mi forlasis la projekton en 2011. Ekde tiam, ĝi ne ricevis ĝisdatigon kaj Samuel diras ke li nevole devos forviŝi la esperantigon, escepte se iu prenos tiun projekton. Do, mi petas vin kontakti min por detaloj. Mia adreso ĉe Gmail estas cfmckee.

13.11.14: Mi neniam uzis la enretan tradukilon GlotPress. Sed iuj uzis!! Mi neniam sciis, sed kelkaj homoj (ekde 2012) proponis tradukojn per Glotpress!! Mi legas en la manlibro, ke iu ajn kiu regristriĝas ĉe
rajtas iri al https://translate.wordpress.org/projects/wp/dev/eo/default kaj proponi tradukfrazojn.
Do, mi aldonis komencan glosaron. Tio helpos.
Kial neniuj el tiuj personoj kontaktis la tradukan teamon???

The vehicle as a human right

Do I believe that internet access is a human right? Not directly. The right to freedom of expression is in international human rights law and includes the right to receive information regardless of frontiers.
But that right doesn’t mean that newspapers are a human right. It doesn’t mean that other people (by way of government) are obligated to pay for subscriptions to newspapers for any other person. That right means that no person should be blocked from receiving his/her chosen newspaper subscriptions.
The newspaper is a vehicle of information and ideas. The internet is another vehicle of information and expression. The vehicles themselves are not the information, just as a telephone is not the communication.
Vehicles of communication are ever-changing, evolving and diverse. They themselves should not be listed as human rights.

I believe this talk about human rights applies to Asian countries. I’ve heard the doubts that human rights are universal. There is debate about relativism and universalism. That Asian countries value the group, not the individual, making the rights of the individual relatively insignificant in Asian lands. Well, we can look to the fact that all human cultures are made up of human beings. The human is a self-contained unit. Thinking is still done inside one’s own head. Actions are carried out individually. In fact, Asian governments sentence individuals to prison for illegal acts, thus recognizing the autonomy of the individual.
Even those cultures that value the group recognize and put value on the individual.

The generation of useful objects

Facebook is family violence, isn’t it? This last little revelation, that Facebook messes with your feed from your friends in order to mess with your head and record the results, is actually not driving a lot of Facebook users away. They shrug and say isn’t that the way it is everywhere? They can’t expect any better treatment than that. It’s not important to them that they weren’t informed and didn’t give explicit consent*.
Isn’t that what happens in family abuse? The victim gradually becomes desensitized and starts accepting a little more abuse, a little more. Until finally he/she accepts much more than would have been acceptable in the beginning.
Are our kids going to become a generation of passive abused and used objects, because of social media and NSA?

*That one little mention of ‘research’ in the TOS would never make anyone think of experimental psychological studies actively performed on the users, especially since the phrase “we receive about you” is a passive construct.
That little mention: “…In addition to helping people see and find things that you do and share, we may use the information we receive about you for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research and service improvement.”

Off topic, it’s not possible for any review board to believe that users’ checkmarked OK of that TOS constituted informed consent to those experimental studies.