Sesame Street youtube channel hacked

Sesame Streets Youtube channel and hundereds of partners that aggregated videos from the Sesame street Youtube channel today published indecent images and potentially extremely indecent video to children.

The pornographic videos uploaded by a hacker spread quickly around the internet, way too quick for Google who took 20 minutes to respond to the e-safety issue.

This is the first major instance where a major channel partner has been hacked and the target audience has been children. We can only assume that thousands of children have been affected.

It is not yet clear how the hacker managed to gain access to the Youtube channel that is currently suspended and not available.  Today’s incident will lave Youtube and Google embarrassed especially after only 5 days ago Youtube released a “Youtube Channel for Teachers” and only a few months ago were promoting the sesame street brand on the Google Search home page.

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Sounds like Glow is on the right path #EduScotICT

Sounds like Glow and Primary Technology share a similar vision about open technologies.  It would be really sad if they say “Yes we want to use open technologies” then adopt Google Docs, let’s hope that doesn’t happen!  Please people, try to remember than Open is not the same as Free, open means you have the freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want with that piece of software.

I find it strange that so many Scottish schools that have access to the Glow blogs service still use PrimaryBlogger?  I assume it’s because PrimaryBlogger has a slightly more open feel and ability to be more creative.  I guess as Glow is part of a bigger service the government feel they need to attach certain policies and restrictions to it.  I don’t know the answer but it would be an interesting discussion to have if you are a Glow user and you use PrimaryBlogger.

If I was to be skeptical about one thing it would be about RM’s ability to manage glow.  In my experience RM tend not to consult with other small business’ about best practice when implementing new technology and I haven’t seen much of a commitment from RM to open source.  Do you know of any?  If so, please prove me wrong!

So I’m interested to see what Glow do, I wont be contributing to the date unless my presence is requested but I will be listening in and looking to see what exciting open-technologies are proposed!

Just finally, I want to give credit to some of the people working in and around Glow from a teaching and learning perspective.  Ollie Bray, Derek Robertson, Margaret Vass, John Johnston to name but a few.  Keep up the good work one and all and kudos to you!

What Microsoft’s purchase of Skype means for Primary Schools

Microsoft’s $8.5bn purchase of Skype has raised a few eyebrows, but we don’t care about most peoples, what we care about is how this purchase will affect Primary Schools.  In this post I am going to try to summarize the real life impacts of such a purchase and how you should consider using Skype in the classroom.

Things we can expect:

  • Skype will come bundled with Windows 8.
  • Open source & tech folks will stop using Skype and begin looking at alternatives.
  • Google will be panicking.
  • Windows Mobile 8 will have a big emphasis on VOIP connectivity
  • Microsoft will attempt to play a bigger part in mobile data connectivity
  • Skype and the VOIP stuff used for Xbox Live will be integrated
  • You will be able to Sign into Skype using your XBLA or account

Microsoft will use Skypes deep telco contracts to leverage cheaper mobile communications.  With all these new connections and contracts it is conceivable Microsoft will partner with a manufacturer to provide a data connected laptop/netbook using the Amazon Kindle model of data.  The kindle model of data is basically a pay once, use forever but it has recently been announced this is likely to be subsidized by adverts appearing on your device.   You should seriously think about where you stand on Ads in the Primary School Classroom.  I think the potential use of these “light internet use netbook devices” could be perfect but basic net browsing however they won’t be suitable for 5+ pupils in the same classroom browsing “rich-content”, whatever that is in 3-10 years time.

If you are interested in e-Safety then I would say that now is a great time to have a really good think about the e-safety risks that Skype poses, especially if it is going to be installed natively on Microsoft Windows devices.  Skype has the same e-safety challenges of Facebook, it just gets less attention because it currently isn’t as widely adopted.

You may be wondering if you should sign up for the Skype in the Classroom and I would say go ahead, it’s unlikely Microsoft will lose this battle in the same way they lost[/committed suicide] the MSN battle.  Skype was running at a loss and Microsoft has basically “bailed it out” and given it a long future.  At Primary Technology we use Skype as our main source of voice communication and we have no plan to leave it as it provides great value.  We will leave Skype is a good, open source source, distributed telco connected solution appears, I doubt that though.

So to summarize..  We are one step closer to getting 4G connected Windows devices, we have an elevated e-safety issue to address, Microsoft own yet another part of your life.

How to install and use skipfish

Skipfish is a tool that can test your websites for exploits. Do not use skipfish to be evil.

# Note: Not using a package manager so the docs are cross OS.
# Note: Check for the latest version before doing the "Grab" parts.
Grab <a href=""></a>
tar -zxvf libidn-1.18.tar.gz
cd libidn-1.18
make install
cd ..

Grab <a href=""></a>
tar -zxvf skipfish-1.84b.tgz
cd skipfish-1.84b

# Refer to README if you want to not run a "heavy" test
cp dictionaries/complete.wl skipfish.wl

mkdir /tmp/skipfish
./skipfish -o /tmp/skipfish

Chrome OS notebooks. What you need to know

Want a 30 second summary?  Scroll to the bottom!

Google released a new Operating System (Chrome OS) and to go with it a new laptop.  Did you wake up this morning thinking how you need a new operating system or yet another supplier of notebook?  If so, this post isn’t’ for you.

I’m getting really tired of blogging about Google’s latest this and that, to the point where I wish they would just STFU for a few months and let us absorb the latest technology.  If I feel like this and I work full time in tech then I can imagine how tired teachers are getting of new technology landing on their desk that claims to make their life easier but really ends up consuming more time.

I’m not bored of tech as a whole, the industry is still great and Google is still a big player so that sort of forces me into a position of having to give a crap.  It was cool when I got of my own ass to give a crap, now I feel like the crap is flicked in my face in a predictable timely fashion.  This poop barrage would be okay if it was targeted specifically at my face but Google are so big that educators jump on every possible bandwagon and we have to develop something new to accommodate their growing needs.  A lot of this development time is wasted as we are simply re-creating something for a new platform in a new language.

It’s not all doom and gloom.    I love the depth perceptive abilities of Microsft Kinect and I think that is exciting new tech.  It gives us a tool to solve problems unsolvable before without expensive equipment.  It’s a strange world when Microsoft are giving us the breath of fresh air and the technology that really captures my imagination..

It does what?

The Chrome OS netbook boots as fast as Windows XP. BFD.

Your settings/documents etc are stored on the internet. This has been available for years and it isn’t great.

You are always connected to the internet.  Constant signal with Verizon, are you kidding me?  Does Google actually read any consumer reviews?  I’m in the UK and I know Verizon sucks so bad.  PS I’m already already constantly connected to the internet. Actually this is pretty cool but contention is going to be a huge problem if you try this in your classroom.  More than a few devices and the 3G will fall over.  From a business perspective this shows that schools should preparing their wireless infrastructure.

Security built in & auto updates. I get that with any other OS I use.

Web apps. Yea, erm, websites put into some sort of market place..  How is this healthy for the internet as a whole?  Can anyone say sourceforge, tucows,, itunes(spit)?  I’m probably missing something here..  I assume the experience is like Google TV where one creates some web objects specifically with Chrome OS in mind.  An example would be something like Satpin where you would be able to cache a lot of the data locally, but erm, wait, there is no disk.  I’m also expecting the Chrome Web store is open for anyone to publish to assuming you don’t care for your Oprah(spit), IE and Firefox users.

The device will probably be free on contract in late 2011 and enter an already saturated market.

A warning to grand parents

Don’t end up being the one that has this conversation…

Grandparent: “Grandson I got you one of these netbooks”.

Grandson: Oooh sweet now I can play Diablo 3.

Grandparent:  It’s one of those Google ones, I saw Google on your screen the other day so I knew you would like it….

You talk a lot of crap John..

So here’s the thing, from now on I’m only going to talk about problems that Google actually solve that need solving.  When it comes to operating systems they are few and far between.

I think that Google Chrome OS is basically Google’s first troll product.  Troll in the sense that it doesn’t fix any required problem but upsets a crap load of other players in the industry.  Safe to say you wont be able to play Diablo 3 on it so I won’t be buying one to replace my main laptop/notebook.

On the topic of me talking a lot of crap it is kinda needed once in a while.  I know a few Google staff members and we have a lot of open and frank discussions about different technology.  While I am an expert in no specific technology I try to get across the needs of a child in a classroom and at home.  Google is a big company but if you kick it hard enough it does react.

And what the deuce is with 3G only.  Wasn’t it about 4 years ago we figured out 3G wont scale to modern demands, did they go and re-create 3G without telling anyone?

Brief summary

  1. It’s a pay monthly device through your mobile phone provider.
  2. It does nothing new for you that your current computer doesn’t do(probably).
  3. The 3G will be useless in a lot of classroom scenarios.  Your school will need a good Wifi system.
  4. It will make accessing facebook easier and more reliable.
  5. Parents will probably end up buying kids one of these.
  6. It will make your life difficult initially if you are a power user.  Let’s face it if you are a power user and loathe MS/Apple then go Ubuntu.
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