Daily Archives: July 8, 2009

Gmail is no longer beta

Have you ever noticed that many google servies, like most or all of the google apps including Gmail and Google Docs, are “Beta”?

Well, not any more:

Like many software products, Google’s Gmail service was first released with a “beta” label on it. In the software industry, a product that is in beta is still in its testing phase. Beta versions, which are sandwiched between internal “alpha” versions and final “release” versions, typically have a lifespan of weeks or perhaps months. But Gmail was different. Released on April 1, 2004, it was still in beta five years and tens of millions of users later.

That is changing Tuesday. Gmail is finally shedding the beta label, signaling that Google considers the product to be fully baked. Google is also taking three other applications — Calendar, Docs and Talk — out of beta.


Raytheon develops STEM tool

Whatever you may think about the Military Industrial Complex, you’ve got to admit that Raytheon does like to give money to edumication and stuff. Or at least, those of you who live in the Greater Boston Area have seen their name on a bunch of projects.

I’ve just received notice of a new modeling tool that allows education researchers to play out proposed education scenarios and policies in simulated form to test for those programs with favorable/positive outcomes.

Here’s the press release:
Continue reading Raytheon develops STEM tool

What a Difference a Century Can Make

At the beginning of the 20th century, a traveler in Central Africa made mention of some strange people that he had come across. He was traveling among regular, run-of-the-mill natives…probably Bantu-speaking people living in scattered villages and farming for their food. But along the way, strange people came out of the forest. These strange people had sloping foreheads; they were short of stature, bow-legged and otherwise misshapen. They also clearly were, in the eyes of the traveler, of subhuman intelligence. The traveler described these people as a separate, subhuman race that lived in the forest. As I read this, I began to think that perhaps he was speaking of so-called “Pygmies” who live in this region, and as I began to think that, I started to get mad at this writer because so-called “Pygmies” do not look or act as he described. …

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