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Toolbelt for the Tech Savvy Teacher

Help! I need a toolbelt-like sling or sash that I can wear in my classroom, to hold a tablet, pens and pencils, and a remote or two. Preferably something that doesn't look ridiculous. [more inside]
posted by thelastpolarbear on Aug 21, 2014 - 9 answers

Employment, past salary, and credit checks in the information age

At what point in the process can a prospective employer get my actual salary amount from my soon-to-be-previous employer? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 21, 2014 - 11 answers

What are some good pieces of new technology for a preschool classroom?

I'm looking to bring the preschool my children attend up to date on the technology side of things. Does anyone have any suggestions, mostly hardware-wise, on what to go with? Does the preschool your child attends make use of any technology? Or their Kindergarten class for that matter? What works? What doesn't? I'm willing to hear software suggestions too, but again, mostly looking for hardware ideas. [more inside]
posted by mrzer0 on Aug 18, 2014 - 17 answers

What is a good standard set of IT Infrastructure Project Milestones?

I've been tasked with developing a set of standard IT Infrastructure Project Milestones and I'm kind of at a loss on coming up with a standard. Basically we have weekly status slides (PPTs) that we fill out for EVERY project that's in flight at our company. I'm the PM for Infrastructure. I was using something pretty generic like: 1. Project Kick-Off 2. Requirements Review/Sign Off 3. Design 4. Development or Set Up/Configuration 5. Test Unit & UAT (Regression & System If Applicable) 6. Deploy (Pilot * Deploy Where Applicable) 7. Warranty All you IT gurus out there (and PMs!) can you help me develop something better that can be used as a standard?
posted by PetiePal on Aug 11, 2014 - 6 answers

community orgs for arts and technology?

Which organisations, companies, community groups, etc support and encourage embracing both arts/humanities AND STEM (especially technology)? [more inside]
posted by divabat on Aug 1, 2014 - 12 answers

Wireless Internet Radio Player with the best menu and recall system?

I love world music! I'm looking for a stand-alone (no computer) wireless internet-radio music player, but get exasperated with wonky interface/station recall/ menu systems on the ones I've seen. Any suggestions? I need two: one for a gift in the US, one for me (european outlet). Also, speaker recommendations for streaming from a laptop welcome! [more inside]
posted by iiniisfree on Aug 1, 2014 - 4 answers

Best, Cheap Technology for a Science Classroom

Hey MeFites, I'm really trying to expand the use of digital technology in my classroom. Unfortunately, the resources at my school are fairly limited. However, I do have access to $1200 in grant money, assuming I can write a compelling enough proposal. Help me find some affordable tech for my classroom! Needs of class inside. [more inside]
posted by thelastpolarbear on Jul 30, 2014 - 5 answers

What's the next big thing in web, app, etc. development?

I run a small web development consultancy, but we're being commoditized and priced out of business. What should we morph into? [more inside]
posted by signal on Jul 29, 2014 - 9 answers

Creating a Great Art Gallery Archive in a Mediocre CMS

I am looking for a good solution for publicly archiving a large collection of pictures within a somewhat limiting CMS. [more inside]
posted by coreywilliam on Jul 15, 2014 - 3 answers

Who needs the Enterprise when you can beam yourself to Klingon?

I need examples of technologies that have "advanced" over time, (where "advanced" means looks better, and maybe runs faster, but is basically the same ol' same ol',) and then a counter example of a totally different thing that solved the problem in a different way than the original tech did. I'm doing a talk where I'm trying to point out that sometimes the solution isn't a faster starship Enterprise, it's a better transporter, except I'm not exactly happy with that example.
posted by nushustu on Jun 26, 2014 - 22 answers

Help me ID a Sci-Fi Story about computation and evolution

A few years ago I went into my school's SciFi library and I was given a book of short stories which I read several of sitting on the floor of the library. And then I put down the book and I don't remember what it was called. One short story was about a world in which computation speeds get faster and faster until someone, eventually makes computers capable of running models on the order of complexity of a world's worth of physics very very quickly. I think the computers may have been the shape of small cubes. [more inside]
posted by ch3cooh on Jun 25, 2014 - 2 answers

Can I use Dragon Dictate for Mac to transcribe MP3's of my dictation?

So I'm trying to decide whether I'd prefer to send MP3s I dictate into a digital voice recorder to an overseas personal assistant to be transcribed or if there's some way to do so with technology. Even if it wasn't 100% exact I could still clean up the files later. So the question is: is there a way to do this? I have the latest version of Dragon Dictate for Mac and the files are digital. Is this possible?
posted by rileyray3000 on Jun 25, 2014 - 6 answers

Browser extension security -- ad injections, malware

I get conflicted information about the browser extensions/add-ons Awesome Screenshot and Hover-Zoom. My university community uses browser extensions/add-ons extensively, in particular, Awesome Screenshot across Firefox, Chrome and Safari. Concerns? [more inside]
posted by jadepearl on Jun 20, 2014 - 2 answers

A tinder issue

This feels like a very strange question to ask as I can't figure out if the issue is technical or personal. I will try to explain, however. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 17, 2014 - 12 answers

Wireless Monitor

Is there an adapter that would let Mac and PC laptops connect wirelessly to an external monitor? I don't own a TV, but I watch a lot of Netflix/Xfinity on my laptop. I have a large flatscreen monitor that sits unused on my desk. I'm thinking of positioning this monitor like a tv in my living room, but I don't want to haggle with cords every time I watch a show. [more inside]
posted by helloimjohnnycash on Jun 15, 2014 - 9 answers

How to respond to Mars exploration vs feed the hungry?

Today, I was enthusing about a photograph from the surface of Mars, and a friend responded along the following lines: "I find it hard to get excited about it when there are so many starving people here on Earth. We should fix our own problems before exploring other planets." How could I have responded? [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jun 13, 2014 - 39 answers

Are any computer or IT certifications worth pursing?

I'm in the weird position of being halfway through a psych/programming/IT degree meant to train me as a user interface expert. I'm taking a year off to work. I want to learn more about networks, networking, and network security. I want to learn more about computer security in general, best practices to follow. I want to eventually get a non-glamorous job in tech support or similar to pay the bills until I work my way up. Are any of the current computer/tech/IT certifications worth pursuing? [more inside]
posted by quiet earth on Jun 10, 2014 - 9 answers

The Tech Tree from Civilization is just not detailed enough

I'm looking for a technology tree for the early early history of human technology. I want one that is detailed but it doesn't need to go any further than the Classical age. Do you know of any resources on-line or have any book recommendations that would give me a good part of what I need? [more inside]
posted by Jane the Brown on Jun 8, 2014 - 3 answers

Why can't I rent out high-value goods to people in the UK?

So this may sound dumb, and obvious.... I'm just thrashing out a question that I've been discussing with a couple of friends recently. Let's say I legally purchase a batch of high-value, trendy goods. It doesn't really matter what they are -- let's say the latest iPhone, for the sake of argument. Can I set up a store (online or in the high-street) renting them out to anyone who wants to agree to a contract with me? So let's pretend an iPhone 6 will retail at £500. If I purchase a batch of 100 at £400 each, and rent them out at £25/month for a 2 year contract, I make a good profit. Assume the iPhones are genuine, and that purchasers/renters are happy to arrange their own SIM cards, telecomms contracts, etc. These are working items. What are the reasons I couldn't do this? Is there any legal reason, or trading standards reason, that would prevent me from setting up a business doing this? [more inside]
posted by ajp on Jun 7, 2014 - 21 answers

Easy Peasy iPhone and Android App Creation. For Dummies.

I'm not looking to create the next Flappy Bird and make $50k a month, I'm just looking to create apps that go with my published books, and man, is there a lot of choices out there. Help me suss them out! [more inside]
posted by John Kennedy Toole Box on Jun 6, 2014 - 3 answers

Need ideas on how to represent "computer" in tattoo

I have an idea for a half-and-half forearm tattoo (like this) where one half will be filled in such a way to represent computation, computers, electronics, artificial intelligence, something like that. Trouble is, I can't think of something appropriate that would work in a tattoo. Need ideas for this fill! Requirements and current ideas: [more inside]
posted by supercres on Jun 5, 2014 - 18 answers

Spurious correlations in big data

So, "big data" is all the rage among technologists and venture capitalists. Intuition suggests that as the amount of data analyzed increases, so too does the amount of spurious correlations. Have there been any good studies (academic or otherwise) that try to resolve this problem? Or feel free to tell me why my intuition is wrong. Thanks.
posted by dfriedman on Jun 1, 2014 - 11 answers

What are the most exciting programming jobs out there?

I'm not thrilled by my corporate consulting job and someday want to work for or with organizations that contribute to the world in some way or that develop bleeding edge technology. What are they? [more inside]
posted by wansac on May 22, 2014 - 8 answers

Tried to torrent a show, ended up with malware. Help!

Specifically, it's a mplayer virus. It has infected Google Chrome and Firefox, and is showing infuriating pop-up ads and frequently redirecting the browser to ad-like pages. Who knows what else it's doing/stealing/collecting. This may be what I deserve for trying to download some TV, but I need to get rid of it. Running Mac OSX 10.8.5. [more inside]
posted by toomuchkatherine on May 18, 2014 - 5 answers

iPad and iTunes Question (Seperate Computers)

How do I set up/configure an iPad on a computer that won't be used as the main/regular computer? [more inside]
posted by dbirchum on May 15, 2014 - 13 answers

Help me Meta Kenobi.

Can you reassure me that majoring in computer science and trying to find a job in technology and software as a woman isn't going to be terrible? [more inside]
posted by trogdole on May 13, 2014 - 44 answers

Tech for Travel

I am very very fortunate to have the opportunity to add some new technology to my collegiate life, now or in the future! Should I get an iPad now, or put that resource towards new tech in years to come? [more inside]
posted by femmegrrr on May 11, 2014 - 11 answers

The rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air

What are some subtle or lesser-known examples of current-day real-world USA being a dystopia? [more inside]
posted by divabat on May 5, 2014 - 52 answers

Using ICT in primary (elementary) schools - what shall I say?

I'm a career changer and coming to the end of training to be a teacher. There's a job going in my current school, including responsibility for ICT and I'd love to apply for it. The problem is, I'm too new to be fully qualified for it as it stands - but it's a fantastic school and I'd really love to teach there. I plan to have a conversation with the Head to ask them to let me at least apply, so that I'd be considered alongside the other, more experienced, candidates. Then they can decide whether to interview me and whether my potential outweighs my lack (so far) of experience as a teacher. I'm putting together some proposals to show to them, as part of my planned 'pitch'. My line will be 'I'm new but I have loads of great ideas' - and that's where I need your help. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 3, 2014 - 4 answers

How do you set a targets for user growth for a new website?

My friend's startup company is developing a new technology platform and they are trying to set 5 year targets for the number of potential users it could have. How do tech companies traditionally project user growth for a new web service? Obviously they would establish a potential target market, but then how do you determine the rate of growth from zero into that market? Are they any resources or websites online that help with this? More details- the website is an edtech platform providing online education and resources. The potential market is 18+ lower- middle class Americans, and college students. Thanks for your help!
posted by tessalations999 on Apr 30, 2014 - 4 answers

How do I create an awesome user manual and training series?

As part of my job, I've been tasked with developing a user guide for an open source software package that my company developed, as well as future webinar (and possibly in-person) training materials. Is there a good source for finding industry best practices for user manuals and tutorials? I'd like to see what the most innovative organizations are doing when it comes to training materials. [more inside]
posted by JuliaKM on Apr 26, 2014 - 6 answers

Hardware downsides to a touchscreen?

I am soon to be in the market for a new laptop. I don't like touchscreens and won't use one, but I want to know if that means I should avoid a touchscreen laptop, or merely ignore the touchscreen if I end up with one. That is: do touchscreens tend to come with drawbacks in terms of durability, longevity, battery usage, sharpness, viewing angles, color reproduction, and what have you? Obviously some panels are better than others, but I'm interested in a general overview. Questions of touchscreens tend to focus on "gorilla arm" and the like, but I'm only interested in how they affect the monitor's ability to let me look at stuff.
posted by rogue haggis landing on Apr 10, 2014 - 7 answers

Recommend "how I made/fixed this software" podcasts by women

I love programming/sysadmin case studies, I love women's perspectives, and I'm swinging back into listening to podcasts. Help me find more of what I love? [more inside]
posted by brainwane on Apr 8, 2014 - 4 answers

To patent or not to patent, and if so when?

I am a research student who may have inadvertently invented something commercializable. What do I do now? [more inside]
posted by cestlavie on Apr 7, 2014 - 13 answers

40th birthday ideas for IT co-worker

IT-manager friend turns 40 later this year. How can we show our appreciation? [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas on Apr 2, 2014 - 7 answers

Help me sell my computer!

I'd like to sell my desktop computer. I built it in 2011, with intermittent upgrades. It was fairly powerful at the time, as I used it as an engineering student. Specs are below. I have a few questions, never having done this before. I need help setting a price, setting up the OS for sale, and safely deleting my data [more inside]
posted by nickhb on Mar 22, 2014 - 15 answers

Should I buy a non-touch-screen laptop?

I've found a brand-new, well reviewed Dell laptop that I am confident will do the basic family things I need done (email, web browsing, streaming video, photo stuff, tracking finances, etc.). With my credit card points, I can get it for $268. My husband is worried that non-touch-screen laptops will be obsolete really soon, and thinks maybe we should pay more for a touch screen. I am seeing articles saying things like "in 2 years, 1/4 of all laptops will have touch screens," which makes me think mouse/touchpad and keyboard will still be viable even 5 years from now. What do you guys think?
posted by staggering termagant on Mar 12, 2014 - 26 answers

Getting my work and personal schedules in sync, with technology.

How can I better organize my schedule through better use of my work and personal calendars across platforms? My primary calendar at work is through Outlook/Exchange, but for personal correspondence I use gmail/google calendar, mostly accessed through my iphone or a browser on my mac. Right now I am just inviting Work Email Address Me and Personal Email Address Me to events (like meeting invitees) but perhaps there is a better way. Suggestions of articles/resources to help me figure this out also welcome! [more inside]
posted by NikitaNikita on Mar 3, 2014 - 4 answers

Future Shock 2014 Edition

As an over 50 being, I am feeling daunted by the pace of change. In this weeks encounters with the future were my android which is smarter than I am, the cloning of the wooly mammoth, three parent birth families, and a friend said "that very soon the entire world will be eating gluten free, to which I replied "only when you pry the pasta out of my cold dead hands." I don't want to become a Luddite but the rapidity of change feels like too much. I need suggestions for coping and adjusting to change as I age.
posted by Xurando on Mar 2, 2014 - 28 answers

What were people paranoid about before modern technology?

Due to some personal motivations, I've been reading a lot about paranoia lately and most of the delusions I hear about involve modern technology, ie. wire taps, hidden cameras, etc. What are some examples of paranoid delusions before that technology existed?
posted by shesdeadimalive on Mar 1, 2014 - 34 answers

In search of a screen protector with a paperlike texture

Which tablet screen protector(s) have a matte, sandy texture? [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on Feb 24, 2014 - 1 answer

Turn me into your dream webmaster

I'm in a position where I manage a local non-profit's website. As I take an opportunity to transition out of the role, I am sad to see my track record. Can I become a better webmaster, undertake a fantastic transition AND learn something all in the next few months? [more inside]
posted by nondescript on Feb 20, 2014 - 6 answers

Mac Mini to travel as desktop between two countries? How feasible?

Thanks MeFites for your assistance; now for a Mac Mini question! The Flashdrake is needs a new computer to take to Italy for around 5 months a year; he currently uses an all-in-one desktop PC in Australia running Windows 7 and a 23" screen. Has been using a 17" 2010 laptop now running Windows 8 when travelling to Italy, although doesn't like using it, finds the screen hard to see, and never got a handle on Win8. I could buy a new laptop, or a new desktop to keep overseas, but it seems that getting a Mac Mini and hitching it up to a monitor at either end. While we would still backup, it seems like an elegant solution. He is not familiar with the iOS, but loves his iPad, which he uses when he needs portability when out and about. Is there something that I'm missing here? I imagine that as long as we avoid an expensive Apple monitor (that's possible, right?) it would work well, with be relatively cost effective. Thoughts? What am I missing here?
posted by Flashduck on Feb 20, 2014 - 11 answers

Where do I find real people with quirky yet destructive obsessions?

I'm working on a project at work about "unique or unexpected obsessions" related to technology, competition, health and fitness, animals, hunting, gaming or anything that is non-sexual or substance-related. I'm especially interested in how these so-called obsessions/addictions have impacted the subjects' relationships, careers, finances, etc. Where do I find people with weird yet intense obsessions that affect their everyday lives? I feel like I could use some inspiration, so any feedback would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
posted by Lillitatiana on Feb 19, 2014 - 33 answers

Help me understand what a proper business IT system looks like.

I've only worked in a small business (15-20 employees) since I got out of school, and I've handled the technological necessities since I started because nobody else could. I've handled things on an as-needed basis: troubleshooting problems, setting up new computers, maintaining an iron grip on software installations, setting up the network and administering simple network devices, etc. However, I'm completely self-taught, and I have no idea if my hacked-together system looks anything like a properly-implemented corporate IT system. So I want to know what one looks like. Specifically, I'd like to know if there are any resources I can check out on my own that paint the picture of what I should be trying to achieve. NOTE: I'm NOT averse to hiring an outside IT firm or consultant to help with specification and implementation. However, I don't want to be at the mercy of a firm's "knowledge" and my own ignorance; you can waste a lot of money that way, regardless of scenario. [more inside]
posted by KinoAndHermes on Feb 11, 2014 - 16 answers

STEM Education and Mentoring Ideas for High School Girls?

Through work I am co-leading an effort to do STEM outreach at a local high school. There are several different groups as part of the effort. One group is focusing on mentoring and another is running an app building contest, etc. I am working with the group whose job it is to encourage women and girls to get involved in STEM course tracks, specifically IT. [more inside]
posted by seesom on Feb 6, 2014 - 5 answers

Is there a decent, cheaper alternative to Camtasia?

I'm working on a load of small projects for the education arm of a small charity. In order to make the training more interesting, I have been tasked with finding out what can be done in the realm of screencasts. As we don't have any kind of budget, I thought we might be able use something like Camtasia, which our web developer has on his machine. Problem is, I'm pretty sure we only have one licence and I'm even surer that it's going to be a struggle to get anyone to agree to pay for any new software right now. Looking at the tutorials, I was thinking of starting (relatively) simple and maybe using a mix of Powerpoint and animations to enhance an audio lecture. I therefore have multiple parts to this question: 1) Is there a free or really cheap alternative to Camtasia that I should be looking at? or 2) Is Camtasia worth fighting for? If it is, I am willing to learn how to do awesome things with it. 3) Am I even looking at the right kind of software to do this? Thanks very much!
posted by joboe on Jan 31, 2014 - 12 answers

Ideas for my new laptop?

I am in the market for a new laptop but am so far out of the loop that I'd like your tips on what's even possible these days, please! [more inside]
posted by rubbish bin night on Jan 31, 2014 - 7 answers

Teaching low-income kids in the US how to program

What resources are there in the US that enable kids to take, say, a 3-6 month training course in programming, and then help with entry-level job placement after successful completion of the program? I used to live in Argentina and became familiar with http://program.ar/ which does this (very well) there, and want to find some similar programs in the United States.
posted by carlodio on Jan 30, 2014 - 6 answers

O Roku, where art thou?

Okay, we just bought a new wireless router. Our two smartphones are wifi connected. So are two different computers plus two Nooks. The only thing that refuses to connect is our Roku box. The ONLY thing we use to watch TV. This is Not Good. Roku support was worse than useless. Hive mind, we turn to you. GO! [more inside]
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies on Jan 25, 2014 - 13 answers

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