mfioretti: smartphone*

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  1. La strada che il Miur ha scelto di imboccare va nella direzione opposta rispetto alla Francia, dove da pochi giorni il ministro dell’Istruzione Jean-Michel Blanquer ha introdotto il divieto di usare gli smartphone a scuola. Due risposte alternative al medesimo fenomeno: in Italia l’89,3% dei giovani usa i 'telefoni intelligenti', col primo apparecchio posseduto già a 8-9 anni. L’Italia punta sull’educazione a partire dalla convinzione che «proibire l’uso dei dispositivi a scuola non è la soluzione » (n.2). Chi avrà ragione?
    Il decalogo

    1 Ogni novità comporta cambiamenti. Ogni cambiamento deve servire per migliorare l’apprendimento e il benessere delle studentesse e degli studenti e più in generale dell’intera comunità scolastica.

    2 I cambiamenti non vanno rifiutati, ma compresi e utilizzati per il raggiungimento dei propri scopi. Bisogna insegnare a usare bene e integrare nella didattica quotidiana i dispositivi, anche attraverso una loro regolamentazione. Proibire l’uso dei dispositivi a scuola non è la soluzione. A questo proposito ogni scuola adotta una Politica di Uso Accettabile (PUA) delle tecnologie digitali.

    3 La scuola promuove le condizioni strutturali per l’uso delle tecnologie digitali. Fornisce, per quanto possibile, i necessari servizi e l’indispensabile connettività, favorendo un uso responsabile dei dispositivi personali (BYOD). Le tecnologie digitali sono uno dei modi per sostenere il rinnovamento della scuola.

    4 La scuola accoglie e promuove lo sviluppo del digitale nella didattica. La presenza delle tecnologie digitali costituisce una sfida e un’opportunità per la didattica e per la cultura scolastica. Dirigenti e insegnanti attivi in questi campi sono il motore dell’innovazione. Occorre coinvolgere l’intera comunità scolastica anche attraverso la formazione e lo sviluppo professionale.

    5 I dispositivi devono essere un mezzo, non un fine. È la didattica che guida l’uso competente e responsabile dei dispositivi. Non basta sviluppare le abilità tecniche, ma occorre sostenere lo sviluppo di una capacità critica e creativa.

    6 L’uso dei dispositivi promuove l’autonomia delle studentesse e degli studenti. È in atto una graduale transizione verso situazioni di apprendimento che valorizzano lo spirito d’iniziativa e la responsabilità di studentesse e gli studenti. Bisogna sostenere un approccio consapevole al digitale nonché la capacità d’uso critico delle fonti di informazione, anche in vista di un apprendimento lungo tutto l’arco della vita.

    7 Il digitale nella didattica è una scelta: sta ai docenti introdurla e condurla in classe. L’uso dei dispositivi in aula, siano essi analogici o digitali, è promosso dai docenti, nei modi e nei tempi che ritengono più opportuni.

    8 Il digitale trasforma gli ambienti di apprendimento. Le possibilità di apprendere sono ampliate, sia per la frequentazione di ambienti digitali e condivisi, sia per l’accesso alle informazioni, e grazie alla connessione continua con la classe. Occorre regolamentare le modalità e i tempi dell’uso e del non uso, anche per imparare a riconoscere e a mantenere separate le dimensioni del privato e del pubblico.

    9 Rafforzare la comunità scolastica e l’alleanza educativa con le famiglie. È necessario che l’alleanza educativa tra scuola e famiglia si estenda alle questioni relative all’uso dei dispositivi personali. Le tecnologie digitali devono essere funzionali a questa collaborazione. Lo scopo condiviso è promuovere la crescita di cittadini autonomi e responsabili.

    10 Educare alla cittadinanza digitale è un dovere per la scuola. Formare i futuri cittadini della società della conoscenza significa educare alla partecipazione responsabile, all’uso critico delle tecnologie, alla consapevolezza e alla costruzione delle proprie competenze in un mondo sempre più connesso.
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  2. After several weeks of development, eelo is running as a beta.

    The real challenge isn't building a new front-end. It's removing Google Play Store, Google Play Services, and Google Services. That's not easy. While Android developers don't have to use any of them, they are very useful.

    For installing programs, Duval is turning to the alternative Android program repositories F-Droid and APKPure. Ideally, he wants an an "eelo store," which would deliver both official free applications like APKPure and open-source applications such as offered in F-Droid.

    To replace Google Services, Duval plans on using MicroG. This is an open-source implementation of Google's proprietary Android user space apps and libraries. To deal with programs that use Google's SafetyNet Attestation Application Programming Interface (API) -- an API that checks to make sure the application runs in a Google Android compliant environment -- Duval thinks eelo will probably use Magisk Manager. This is a program that enables Android applications to run on smartphones, such as rooted systems, that would normally block them.

    For search, the plan is to offer privacy-enabled DuckDuckGo and the new privacy oriented search engine Qwant. You'll also be able to pick your own search engine, since as Duval admits, "in some cases, it Google » is still offering the best results."

    Then, there are all the invisible internet services most people never think about, such as Domain Name System (DNS), which can also be used to track you. To deal with this, by default, eelo will use the Quad 9 DNS. The Global Cyber Alliance (GCA)'s Quad 9 both preserves privacy while blocking access to known malicious sites.

    Low-level proprietary smartphone hardware drivers remain a problem -- but, short of building an eelo phone from the circuits up, that's beyond eelo's current scope.

    It's still early days for eelo, and Duval is welcoming support both on eelo's KickStarter page, where the current goal is to raise $120,000, and by talking directly to him via e-mail at or by following him on Twitter or Mastodon.

    Can it work? While alternatives to Android and iOS have failed more often than not, Android forks have had more success. With people increasingly desiring more privacy, I think eelo has an excellent chance of becoming a viable niche operating system
    Tags: , , , , by M. Fioretti (2018-01-03)
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  3. Android is a mostly free operating system developed mainly by Google. Unfortunately, the drivers for most devices and most applications from the "market" are not free (as in free speech, not free beer). They frequently work against the interest of the users, spy on them, and sometimes cannot even be removed.

    This campaign can help you to regain control of your Android device and your data. We collect information about running an Android system as free as possible and try to coordinate the efforts in this area.

    You want a mobile device that is really yours when you bought it? You want a mobile device that does not spy on you and hands over your data to big corporations? Then read on!
    Tags: , , by M. Fioretti (2017-12-15)
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  4. It has been ten years since a turtle-necked Steve Jobs first held up a now ubiquitous white object exclaiming that it was a music player, a cell phone, and an internet communicator all in one. Charmingly — and uncharacteristically — shortsighted about his hopes for the device, Jobs was most effusive about how easily the iPhone would allow people to talk to one another.

    Flash forward to the present, 2017. When people say they’ve talked to someone, they rarely mean in person. And they almost never mean on the phone. An anecdote derived from having “spoken” with somebody is usually accompanied by a fluttering of fingers to indicate that the conversation was carried out over text. Or Facebook messenger. Or Instagram. Or Snapchat. When is the last time you saw someone extend their pinky toward their chin and their thumb to the right eardrum in the ancient sign for “phone?”

    We can’t get much more cell-phone addicted than we are now. With few exceptions, we use our cell phones to tell us what to eat, whether or not our bodies need more sleep or exercise (yes, both), how to get where we are going…we even trust the secret guru buried inside of our SMS cards to tell us who to date. And with the progress being made in virtual reality, we can use our phones to have sex.

    The tenth anniversary of the iPhone’s unveiling came flanked with frantic articles about what could possibly come next — what could be around the corner when our smartphones already accomplish so damn much? Google Glass was superfluous and smartwatches a bit desperate, and as for everyone signing up for nanobot implants to be permanently connected to the Internet, thankfully, we’re not there yet.

    In a new book I have coming out, called Touch, a noted trend forecaster is tasked with answering just this question for a major tech company: what’s up next, in tech? Her answer is a disappointing one in respect to her employer’s bottom line. She’s convinced the world is on the threshold of a resurgence in face-to-face interactions that don’t require any technology at all.

    This premise is one that’s near and dear to my Luddite heart, but it’s also one that the former trend forecaster in me firmly believes. You see, when I was in my twenties and thirties, I worked as a consultant for boutique trend forecasting agencies, most of them in France. In an industry that prizes intuition, no one sits you down and tells you how to spot trends, but it only takes scrutinizing the past year’s “Best-Of” listicles to learn that trend forecasting, on a basic level, is a game of opposites and apexes. Take literature, for example: If 2015 was big in bleak dystopians, you can probably count on seeing the return of epic family sagas that pack a lot of hope. If the seven figure advances were going to the doorstoppers last year, next year, they’ll go to the novels that end at forty-thousand words.

    This see-saw pattern can hold true in tech, too. The key is to look for peaks and saturation points. Sophisticated entertainment systems and MP3 players paved the way for the return of the vinyl record. The seeming futility of smartphones (which were so instrumental in electing Obama) to prevent a nation from needling toward The Orange One led many of the disillusioned to leave the echo chambers of social media for the brick and mortar streets.

    It would seem we’ve reached an apex in mobile phones as well, which is an exciting place to be. 2016 was the first time that Apple’s sales for cell phones waned. The iPhone 7 Plus doesn’t have much more to offer, in terms of versioning, than the iPhone 7, or, for that matter, the 6S or the SE. Plus, in the wake of an unforeseen election helmed by a hatemonger who’s physically incapable of putting down his phone, it’s really not that cool to be addicted to your cell. So yes. Indeed, the question begs. What in the world is next?

    I haven’t donned my trend forecaster fascinator in years now — its feathers are ragged, the beads have fallen off. A mother to a three year-old, I mostly use my intuition to divine whether or not my toddler is going to pee her pants. But I haven’t been out of the game so long that I can’t spot something around the corner: I think we’re about to see the rise of slow communication, heralded by the return of the dumb phone.

    I think we’re about to see the rise of slow communication, heralded by the return of the dumb phone.

    Because, let’s face it — sure, maybe the aesthete literary critic who roasts his own espresso beans has the time and willpower to flat out cancel his cell phone contract, but most of us do not have such bravura. What many of us do have, however, is the desire to maintain a healthier balance with our cell phones, which, weirdly, I think is going to be accomplished by the trend setters purchasing a secondary phone — a dumb phone — that only calls or texts.

    Just as smokers sometimes suck on straws or alcoholics survive cocktail parties with a death-grip on their seltzer, cell phone addicts need a replacement habit, too. But in order to top the fathomless bright connectivity of our touch-screens, it’s gonna have to be something super cool. And as hipsters on one-speeds the world over have proven, what’s cooler than something kind of ugly that doesn’t really work?

    Sure, Jasper Morrison has had a very sleek and overpriced dumb phone on the market, sitting stagnantly, for years, but I’m nevertheless convinced that secondary cell phones are about to trend. New-to-the-market The Light Phone is out to make the telecommunications downgrade easier with slim-as-hotel-card companion phones that let you keep your own phone number. Light Phones necessitate that their early-adopters go cold turkey on digital communication. At the time of writing, they can take calls, but they can’t text. The idea of changing our communication patterns so drastically is both overwhelming, and immensely appealing. With it becoming all too easy to know what others are thinking and doing at all times, (and eating, and wearing, and even evacuating in the case of certain over-sharers), it could become the height of sophistication to be unfindable again. Aspirational, even, to literally get lost because your dumb phone doesn’t have a GPS.

    It will also be a status symbol, a way to instantly communicate to others that you’re digitally detoxing. Likewise, secondary dumb phones can be used to accord a certain hierarchy to relationships: imagine what it signals to a potential partner if you show up with a dumb phone on a first date. Leaving your smartphone behind tells the people you’re engaging with that they’re worth being fully present for.
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  5. notification technology also enabled a hundred unsolicited interruptions into millions of lives, accelerating the arms race for people’s attention. Santamaria, 36, who now runs a startup after a stint as the head of mobile at Airbnb, says the technology he developed at Apple was not “inherently good or bad”. “This is a larger discussion for society,” he says. “Is it OK to shut off my phone when I leave work? Is it OK if I don’t get right back to you? Is it OK that I’m not ‘liking’ everything that goes through my Instagram screen?”

    His then colleague, Marcellino, agrees. “Honestly, at no point was I sitting there thinking: let’s hook people,” he says. “It was all about the positives: these apps connect people, they have all these uses – ESPN telling you the game has ended, or WhatsApp giving you a message for free from your family member in Iran who doesn’t have a message plan.”

    A few years ago Marcellino, 33, left the Bay Area, and is now in the final stages of retraining to be a neurosurgeon. He stresses he is no expert on addiction, but says he has picked up enough in his medical training to know that technologies can affect the same neurological pathways as gambling and drug use. “These are the same circuits that make people seek out food, comfort, heat, sex,” he says.

    All of it, he says, is reward-based behaviour that activates the brain’s dopamine pathways. He sometimes finds himself clicking on the red icons beside his apps “to make them go away”, but is conflicted about the ethics of exploiting people’s psychological vulnerabilities. “It is not inherently evil to bring people back to your product,” he says. “It’s capitalism.”

    That, perhaps, is the problem. Roger McNamee, a venture capitalist who benefited from hugely profitable investments in Google and Facebook, has grown disenchanted with both companies, arguing that their early missions have been distorted by the fortunes they have been able to earn through advertising.

    It’s changing our democracy, and it's changing our ability to have the conversations and relationships we want
    Tristan Harris, former design ethicist at Google

    He identifies the advent of the smartphone as a turning point, raising the stakes in an arms race for people’s attention. “Facebook and Google assert with merit that they are giving users what they want,” McNamee says. “The same can be said about tobacco companies and drug dealers.”

    Williams and Harris left Google around the same time, and co-founded an advocacy group, Time Well Spent, that seeks to build public momentum for a change in the way big tech companies think about design. Williams finds it hard to comprehend why this issue is not “on the front page of every newspaper every day.

    “Eighty-seven percent of people wake up and go to sleep with their smartphones,” he says. The entire world now has a new prism through which to understand politics, and Williams worries the consequences are profound.

    The same forces that led tech firms to hook users with design tricks, he says, also encourage those companies to depict the world in a way that makes for compulsive, irresistible viewing. “The attention economy incentivises the design of technologies that grab our attention,” he says. “In so doing, it privileges our impulses over our intentions.”

    That means privileging what is sensational over what is nuanced, appealing to emotion, anger and outrage. The news media is increasingly working in service to tech companies, Williams adds, and must play by the rules of the attention economy to “sensationalise, bait and entertain in order to survive”.
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  6. Se gli fai notare la loro incapacità di staccarsi dal telefono ti guardano sciocciati, ti rispondono male. E il loro modo di farti notare che sei out perché col tuo telefono giocattolo (del quale in fondo si vergognano) non puoi postare le foto delle vacanze, perché non sei raggiungibile tramite Whatsapp è la prova che non riuscirebbero mai e poi mai a farne a meno. E al pari di un alcolizzato o un cocainomane negano la propria dipendenza.

    Così ti rimetti in strada, eroe senz’armi, continuando a osservare il mondo scorrerti davanti, in attesa di incontrare un tuo simile o qualche converso del web con cui dare vita a una pratica ormai in via di estinzione: guardarsi negli occhi e intavolare una conversazione.
    Tags: , by M. Fioretti (2017-10-14)
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  7. Not all of this made sense to me. Unity 8 was needed because Unity 7 depends on Compiz and is not well-suited for working on a variety of form factors with rotating displays and so on. But the only job Mir had was to replace X.Org and SurfaceFlinger, so Unity 8 could use a single API on PCs and mobile devices. I’m not an expert on graphics technologies and APIs, but at least from a “we are quite short on manpower” standpoint it feels like coming up with a whole new display server which noone else wants to use and doesn’t add much over the existing alternatives should have been avoided at all costs. Especially when the user never sees the difference. Ubuntu Touch had been happily using Android’s SurfaceFlinger until the end of 2013.
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  8. he same data-richness that interests police departments should also give us pause: it's never been the case that a cop busting a low-level, nonviolent offender would be allowed to probe that person's entire network of friends and relations; read all the correspondence between the arrestee and their doctors, lawyers, kids and spouse; get a neat list of all the places the person had visited; and be able to look at everything from bank balances to spending history.

    The major provider of mobile forensic tools is the Israeli firm Cellebrite, who made headlines when the FBI revealed that they'd used a Cellebrite tool to crack the San Bernadino shooters' phones, and then again when a hacker dumped 900GB worth of internal Cellebrite info, revealing that the company routinely repackaged hacking tools from the darkweb and sold them to police departments without first verifying that these weren't leaking data to third parties or otherwise creating risks for their users and their targets.
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  9. Read the map from the centre outwards: starting with the application itself, examine the list of permissions each requires, followed by what these permissions really imply, ranked by how intrusive they are. “Even with just these six apps, you are giving away pretty much all the metadata that exists on your phone,” Joler says. “They have permission to access sensitive information such as who you called, when you called them and how long the call lasted.”

    His goal is to remind you that every free app makes money by collecting your personal data and creating a profile of you that can be monetised and sold on to third parties. “Mobile phones have hugely expanded the intimacy and quality of the information they gather,” says Joler.
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  10. BAMBINI piccoli che passano troppo tempo a giocherellare sul tablet e sui dispositivi elettronici. Già dai sei mesi cliccano sulle finestre luminose dei computer, quasi ipnotizzati dai giochini colorati. A volte sono soli, senza mamma e papà a controllare. Tutto questo potrebbe creare problemi nella crescita e un ritardo del linguaggio. A sostenerlo una ricerca canadese presentata al 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting.

    L'età a rischio, secondo gli studiosi, è quella tra i sei mesi e i due anni. Maggiore è il tempo trascorso a giocherellare con i dispositivi, maggiore è il rischio di ritardi nello sviluppo del linguaggio. "Penso che sia il primo studio che si sia occupato di esaminare il rapporto fra ipad e i problemi di linguaggio nei piccoli - spiega Catherine Birken, primo autore della ricerca all'Hospital for Sick Children di Toronto, in Ontario - . E' la prima volta che si fa luce su questa questione, ma servono ulteriori verifiche per validare ulteriormente i risultati del nostro studio".
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