Microsoft’s AI Push Imperils Climate Goal as Carbon Emissions Jump 30%

ai power usage

Microsoft’s ambitious climate goal is at risk due to its focus on artificial intelligence. The company’s carbon emissions have increased by 30%, making it harder to reach its carbon-negative target by 2030. Microsoft plans to invest in green technologies to balance the environmental impact of its AI expansion.

Read more from Bloomberg News

Google unveils Veo, a high-definition AI video generator that may rival Sora

Google Veo generated images

Google introduced Veo, an AI video generator, at Google I/O 2024, capable of creating HD videos from text prompts like OpenAI’s Sora. Veo can edit videos from written instructions and generate cinematic effects, but it’s not widely available yet. Google plans to integrate Veo’s features into YouTube Shorts and other products, emphasizing responsible content creation with watermarking and safety filters.

Google says that Veo builds upon the company’s previous video-generation models, including Generative Query Network (GQN), DVD-GAN, Imagen-VideoPhenaki, WALT, VideoPoet, and Lumiere. To enhance quality and efficiency, Veo’s training data includes more detailed video captions, and it utilizes compressed “latent” video representations. To improve Veo’s video-generation quality, Google included more detailed captions for the videos used to train Veo, allowing the AI to interpret prompts more accurately.

Veo also seems notable in that it supports filmmaking commands: “When given both an input video and editing command, like adding kayaks to an aerial shot of a coastline, Veo can apply this command to the initial video and create a new, edited video,” the company says.


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Flying the Kite High Against Digital Colonialism: FOSS in the Era of EdTech

internet technology computer display
Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

In 2001, the Kerala government launched an EdTech project, IT@School, that was successfully pressured to resist digital colonialism. Recognizing how Microsoft, the tech super-giant of the day, threatened to undermine digital self-determination, activists and teacher’s unions pushed the Kerala government to make Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) mandatory in public schools. While IT@School and its successor, KITE, are scarcely known outside of India, their success over the past two decades presents an important model for resistance to Big Tech.

Michael Kwet

In this thought-provoking article by Michael Kwet, the author highlights the importance of avoiding digital colonialism and emphasizes the role of free and open-source software (FOSS) in promoting global digital justice. The article specifically focuses on the context of educational technology (EdTech) and its potential implications for marginalized communities.

Kwet defines “digital colonialism” as a phenomenon where powerful technology companies from developed countries dominate and control the digital infrastructure and services of less-developed nations. This leads to a dependence on foreign corporations, resulting in a loss of control over data, infrastructure, and decision-making processes. Kwet argues that this creates a new form of colonization where power and influence are exerted through digital means.

One solution proposed by Kwet is the promotion and adoption of free and open-source software (FOSS). FOSS refers to software that is freely available for anyone to use, modify, and distribute. It operates under a transparent and collaborative model, allowing communities to take ownership and control over their digital tools. Kwet believes that by embracing FOSS, countries can regain autonomy over their technological systems, reducing their reliance on foreign entities and fostering local innovation.

The article also highlights the global digital justice movement, which seeks to address the power imbalances and inequalities created by digital colonialism. This movement advocates for the rights of marginalized communities to access and control their own digital infrastructure, ensuring that technology is used to empower rather than exploit. The global digital justice movement emphasizes the need for fair and inclusive digital policies that prioritize the interests and well-being of all individuals, particularly those who have historically been marginalized or excluded.

Kwet warns against the pitfalls of relying solely on proprietary software and foreign corporations for EdTech solutions. He argues that this approach perpetuates the dominance of global technology giants, perpetuating digital colonialism and hindering local development. Instead, he encourages governments, educators, and technologists to explore and implement FOSS alternatives that empower communities, promote knowledge-sharing, and foster digital sovereignty.

In conclusion, the article emphasizes the importance of avoiding digital colonialism in the realm of EdTech. It encourages the adoption of FOSS as a means to promote global digital justice, empower marginalized communities, and regain control over digital infrastructure. By embracing these principles, societies can strive toward a more equitable and inclusive digital future.


Thanks for taking the time to read this post. If you’ve enjoyed the insights and stories, consider showing your support by subscribing to my weekly newsletter. It’s a great way to stay updated and dive deeper into my content. Alternatively, if you love audiobooks or want to try them, click here to start your free trial with Audible. Your support in any form means the world to me and helps keep this blog thriving. Looking forward to connecting with you more!

Essential Chromebook Tips and Tricks: A Comprehensive Guide

acer chromebook on the white desk
Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

Chromebooks have taken the market by storm with their simplicity and affordability. Not only that, their integration with Google services and other apps, as well as their high customization potential, make them ideal devices for users of all experience levels. In this guide, we’ll explore a variety of key Chromebook tips and tricks aimed at helping you optimize your use and increase your productivity.

Accessing Microsoft Office on Chromebook

A common question among new Chromebook users, particularly those switching from Windows, revolves around accessing Microsoft Office on their Chromebook. While Chromebooks, designed by Google, don’t natively support Microsoft Office due to the competition with Google’s own suite (Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides), users can still access Microsoft 365 online. This solution offers the familiarity of Microsoft Suite via the web browser on your Chromebook.

Customizing Your Chromebook

One of Chromebook’s key advantages is its high customizability. You can personalize your wallpaper with pre-built options or images downloaded from the internet. Screen savers and various other aspects of the Chromebook interface can also be modified to your liking.

Connecting Your Android Phone to Your Chromebook

Thanks to Google’s tight integration between Android and Chrome, you can effortlessly connect your Android phone to your Chromebook. This connection allows you to view recent photos, browser tabs, and app notifications on your Chromebook. It also enables features like locating your phone, turning on your mobile hotspot, and sharing your phone’s internet with your Chromebook.

Accessing Linux on Your Chromebook

Chromebooks have supported Linux since 2017, meaning you can bring full desktop applications based on Linux to your Chromebook. This includes applications like Visual Studio, VLC, Libre Office, and Firefox, among others. To enable Linux, navigate to Settings, then to Advanced, and finally to Developers.

Running Android Apps on Your Chromebook

Accessing over a million Android apps from the Google Play Store on your Chromebook offers a wealth of possibilities. While not all apps scale perfectly to the larger Chromebook screen, having the option to use your favorite Android apps like WhatsApp, Spotify, and Twitter can greatly enhance your productivity and entertainment.

Utilizing Google Assistant on Your Chromebook

The Google Assistant, an AI-driven smart assistant by Google, is also integrated into Chromebooks. By clicking on the launcher icon or the search button on your keyboard, you can send emails, open files, control your smart home, and much more.

Exploring Dark Mode on Chromebook

Just like smartphones and PCs, Chromebooks also support dark mode. This mode is particularly useful at nighttime as it’s easier on the eyes. To enable it, right-click on your desktop, go to ‘Set wallpaper and style’, and select ‘Dark’ or ‘Auto’ under themes.

Using VPN on Chromebook

While Chromebooks do offer built-in VPN support, users often find it easier to download Android app versions of their preferred VPN providers from the Google Play Store, such as ExpressVPN or Surfshark.

Maximizing Productivity with Split Screen and Virtual Desks

Chromebook supports split screen functionality, perfect for multitasking with two applications side by side. For a more organized workspace, consider using virtual desks to segment your tasks, such as work or entertainment.

Casting Your Chromebook Screen to Your TV

Want to watch a movie on a bigger screen or share a presentation with others? You can cast your Chromebook screen to your smart TV with ease.

Google Chromecast with Google TV (4K)- Streaming Stick Entertainment with Voice Search – Watch Movies, Shows, and Live TV in 4K HDR – Snow
  • Get fast streaming and enjoy a crystal clear picture up to 4K and brighter colors with HDR. **
  • Ask to search for specific shows, or by mood, genre, actress, and more. Talk to Google and say, “What should I watch?” And use the remote to control the volume switch inputs, play music, and get answers on-screen.
  • Get personal suggestions based on your subscriptions, viewing habits and content you own.
  • Because Chromecast breathes life into existing TVs and is designed with recycled materials, it helps keep waste out of landfills.
  • Create a kids profile to set up an area for your children to access a fun collection of family-friendly movies and shows. Pick from a selection of playful themes, and set parental controls to restrict what content can be seen, limit watching time, and set a bedtime.

Using Your Chromebook Offline

Although Chromebooks are designed as cloud-centric devices, they still offer offline support for certain applications, primarily Google’s productivity tools such as Docs, Slides, and Sheets.

Restarting Your Chromebook

Unlike traditional laptops, Chromebooks require less frequent reboots. They operate with a lightweight operating system and therefore consume fewer system resources. However, if you need to refresh your device, the power button or the “Ctrl + Shift + Q (twice)” keyboard shortcut will allow you to restart or log out, respectively.

Backup and Sync

To safeguard your data, Google Drive is integrated directly into the Files app on your Chromebook. This feature allows automatic synchronization of your data, meaning you can access your documents, photos, and other files across devices. If you ever need to factory reset your Chromebook or switch to a new device, your data remains safely stored in Google Drive.

Guest Browsing

If you’re sharing your Chromebook with someone or need to use a public device, the guest browsing mode allows you to use the Chromebook without leaving any personal data behind. Once you sign out of the guest account, all your browsing history, files, and other data are completely removed from the device.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Chromebook features a host of unique keyboard shortcuts that can boost your productivity significantly. By pressing “Ctrl + Alt + /”, a keyboard overlay will pop up, showing you all the shortcuts available. These can help you navigate your Chromebook more efficiently, allowing for tasks such as opening a new tab, switching between windows, taking screenshots, and more.

Screen Magnifier and High Contrast Mode

For visually impaired users, Chromebook offers a screen magnifier and high contrast mode. You can enable these in the Accessibility section of the settings. These features allow users to more comfortably navigate their device and reduce eye strain.

These are just some of the many tips and tricks that can help you get the most out of your Chromebook. By familiarizing yourself with these features and functionalities, you can truly optimize your Chromebook experience, whether for work, study, or entertainment.


Thanks for taking the time to read this post. If you’ve enjoyed the insights and stories, consider showing your support by subscribing to my weekly newsletter. It’s a great way to stay updated and dive deeper into my content. Alternatively, if you love audiobooks or want to try them, click here to start your free trial with Audible. Your support in any form means the world to me and helps keep this blog thriving. Looking forward to connecting with you more!

Pike Mall Tech: 10 May 2022

Photo by Ryland Dean on Unsplash

Today’s Links

How I would learn to code (if I could start over)

I was a computer science major back in the early part of this new millennia in another life. Somehow, I managed to leverage that into getting a job writing computer science standards for the state of Kentucky.

I still don’t know how that happened. Weird.

Anyway, the first coding language I learned was Java. It’s a beast with a very steep learning curve that intimidates most people. And it’s a horrible language to tackle when you’re first starting out.

If I had it to do all over again, I might go this route.

Service-learning isn’t just for after school clubs

I love service projects organized by students. Clothing drives, food drives, clean-up days, and many others are great ways to engage students in their communities.

But we shouldn’t just leave service projects to after-school clubs.

What if we made them part of the learning process in core content classes?

Tom Holman, board chair of the Search Institute, told me that their research shows one of the three most positive indicators (predictors) of future success among young people is their belief that “what they do makes a difference” (searchinstitute.org). He also recommends the Multiplying Good organization, which can be found at minnesota.multiplyinggood.org.

Producing More Successful Students Like Grant

Personalized certificates with The Google

It’s near the end of the school year for most places in the US and that often means certificates.

Whether you’re handing out certificates to students or teachers (hello PD), there are options for you if you’re using The Google.

How to Create and Send Personalized Certificates in Google Workspace

Linkus Randomus

Colophon

colophon example
Latine non loquor

Currently writing:

  • Volume 1: The Heretic Chronicles – a fantasy story about a girl, her sword, and extreme fundamentalist religion (WC: 15,457)
  • Untitled Sci-Fi novel – a group of students race across the stars, avoiding an evil empire (WC: 275)
  • Sci-fi short story – earth as a farm for aliens (WC: 492)

Currently reading:

Upcoming Events:


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Cory Doctorow’s work at Pluralistic inspired the layout, focus, and work displayed here. Hat tip to Cory for all his fine work.


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