Taps 25: pull tap vs push tap

I received these photos from a friend who got back from Mexico:

The tap I found in a hotel at the airport at Guadalajara. You turn the top to set the temperature and then pull it out to make the water flow. I thought this was pretty weird seen as everyone is used to pushing taps to turn them on (aren't they?!). The clearly know it is unusual because, as you can see in the photo, they have to include a sign with instructions on it.

The design of the tap allows for (easy) pulling. Although the question is if it is easier to pull or push taps. Imagine a simple scenario. We have soapy hands and the water stops flowing. In order to start it again we need to pull. There are two things here: (1) it is hard to pull with slippery hands full of soap and (2) pulling the tap with soapy hands makes the tap full of soap as well (ever seen people in public bathrooms pushing a tap with a back of their hands?).


xkcd: Old Files - How do we archive documents

Today's xkcd comic is all about nesting in PIM (Personal Information Management) so many of us do over the years. The hierarchy of nested folders is build up based on e.g. buying a new computer, cleaning the Desktop, recovering a hard drive, etc. Over the years the files get buried deep down in the hierarchy and from my own experience is a great fun to discover lost memories.

The cueball is surprised he wrote poetry in the high school. This was like a deja-vu to me as I actually recently discovered in my archives that I wrote poetry as well :).


Title text: Wow, ANIMORPHS-NOVEL.RTF? Just gonna, uh, go through and delete that from all my archives real quick.

The comic is explained here. The excerpt:

"Cueball is ... digging into the depths of his filesystem. The files are in concentric layers because each directory contains files moved over from an older system [mabe even resemblink a disk of a hard drive], so his 'Documents' folder contains an 'Old Desktop' folder from an older computer, the 'Old Desktop' contains files recovered from the drive crash of the system before that, which had its own "My Documents" folder, which contained files saved from a Zip Disk in high school. The result is that files from all the way back in high school have survived to his present-day machine. He discovers several files he is embarrassed about, including a poetry file ... "

What is interesting is the naming convention that so many might find familiar. E.g.:

  • Old desktop: I have seen people creating old desktops folders when they got cluttered or when moving files from an old to a new machine. 
  • Recovered from drive crash: I did this myself when I recovered lots of files from an SD card which were all randomly named.
  • AAAFILES: naming a folder in a way so it remains on the top of the list of folders.
 Even if PIM is personal there are many similarities that many of us practice.

Trusting the cloud storage - OneDrive (for business) breaking the integrity of documents

There are three qualities that the cloud storage system should comply to: confidentiality, integrity, availability (CIA).

Most of us store documents in the cloud to have them available on different machines and assume that the service will be available for the time being. The confidentiality is usually the primary concern for a lot of us - who can access our documents when they are stored in the cloud. But we rarely think of integrity - will our documents change without out consent or knowledge.

According to Myce, this is exactly what happens to OneDrive business costumers. The authors tested the integrity of many document formats and discovered than just some of them are altered. The HTML and PHP files get an injected header. While Word, Excel and Publisher files get a uniquely identifiable code added.

As I understand OneDrive for business (or SharePoint that is behind the scene) automatically adds UUID for tracking documents and control. This is supposedly a normal behaviour of this document management system. Even so this is NOT acceptable in the cloud sync as there are many consequences and implications of such behaviour. For example users cannot have (even if required by law) verifiable records if checksums of documents change. Not to speak about the increased lack of trust of cloud storage services if the files are altered without the consent. Files' metadata should be kept in separated (hidden) files to keep the integrity of the documents intact.

App store - the lack of feedback during the installation of software

I just used the App store on OS X for the first time (I know, I know ... the early adopter 3 years after the release). I prefer the standalone software that can be downloaded from developers' web sites. But I needed Xcode and there's no other way.

However I was left puzzled after clicking the

and

as this is the screen after the buttons were clicked:

The only thing that the interface reveals is that the software is installing. No way of saying the progress of it. I left it for a few minutes hoping that it will change and show the progress. Nope. Then I started to explore the UI and finally hit the "Purchases"?!? 

And here it was the missing progress ...

I haven't purchased the software nor was I expecting to find the progress there. It would be more "natural" to find it on the page of the software itself (and in addition maybe on the purchases page - although the latter should be named differently ... maybe Downloads and purchases).

This was similarly confusing than the MS ELMS web page ...


PIM paper: Diekema and Olsen: "Teacher Personal information management (PIM) practices: Finding, keeping, and Re-Finding information"

An interesting paper by Anne R. Diekema and M. Whitney Olsen titled Teacher Personal information management (PIM) practices: Finding, keeping, and Re-Finding information

Abstract:

Primary and secondary (K–12) teachers form the essential core of children's formal learning before adulthood. Even though teaching is a mainstream, information-rich profession, teachers are understudied as information users. More specifically, not much is known about teacher personal information management (PIM). Teacher PIM is critically important, as teachers navigate a complex information space complicated by the duality of digital and physical information streams and changing demands on instruction. Our research study increases understanding of teacher PIM and informs the development of tools to support educators. Some important unknowns exist about teachers as information users: What are teachers' PIM practices? What are the perceived consequences of these practices for teaching and learning? How can PIM practices be facilitated to benefit teaching and learning? This study employed a qualitative research design, with interviews from 24 primary and secondary teachers. We observed various systems for information organization, and teachers report their systems to be effective. Important sources for teachers' information in order of importance are personal collections, close colleagues, and the Internet. Key findings reveal that inheriting and sharing information play an important part in information acquisition for teachers and that information technology supporting education creates unintentional demands on information management. The findings on the nature of teacher information, teacher information finding, keeping, and organizational practices have important implications for teachers themselves, school principals, digital library developers, school librarians, curriculum developers, educational technology developers, and educational policy makers.