BREAKING: Amazon Kindle Hijacked — Now a Spam Factory Based in Pakistan and India

Robert David STEELE Vivas

Robert David STEELE Vivas

For the past several months I have been spammed by a variety of authors who have been at best indiscriminate and at worst offensive spam. Most of them are using lists of top Amazon reviewers that are being indiscriminately and probably illegally circulated by book clubs as well as spammer networks.

On further investigation I have found that an spam and variation of the Nigerian fraud industry has been built up within Amazon, especially Kindle but less so and also CreateSpace.

AMAZON DOES NOT CARE.

Repeated reports to Amazon have failed to elicit a response. What is happening is that a legion of spam authors, many based in Pakistan and India, are creating Kindle titles with hot words like “make money” or “weight loss” and then they are spamming the world to try to sell the book via kindle, starting with the unfortunately top reviewers. My examination of several of these titles show ingenious crap. Cleverly package, not worth the time to order and certainly not worth any money.

AMAZON DOES NOT CARE.

There appears to be zero interst at Amazon about the abuse of its top reviewers. There appears to be zero interest about Amazon about Kindle now being a variation of a Nigerian fraud factory. Indeed, Amazon, for all its vaunted cloud and other technical expertise, does not appear to have the brains to use data mining and filtering to rapidly identify and block spam products from being loaded and then marketed with spam reviews.

I am offering this story to WIRED but urge one and all to mobilize eyeballs. I believe that the basic cultural problem is that Bezos does not actually value knowledge — he is in the business of selling “packages” and his lack of focus on quality control on the easiest packages to “fake” is now creating a very ugly underbelly for the Amazon enterprise.

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Apr 16

Howard Rheingold: 30 Apr – 12 Jun Webinar “Toward a Literacy of Cooperation: Introduction to Cooperation Studies”

Howard Rheingold

Howard Rheingold

Esteemed co-learners –

We’re convening “Toward a Literacy of Cooperation: Introduction to Cooperation Studies,” April 30June 12.

A detailed syllabus: http://bit.ly/cooperationcourse

Cost: $300; $250 if you’ve taken a Rheingold U course before; $500 if your company reimburses you.

In addition to the monetary cost, a commitment to participate is required. The real magic is in learning the meta-skill of forming a learning community with strangers around the world in just a few weeks. To get the most out of this experience, you will need to devote 2-3 hours a week to reading, writing, mindmapping. It’s the equivalent of a graduate-level seminar.

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Mar 28

Danielle Villegas: The Future of Mobile Learning

Danielle Villegas

Danielle Villegas

29 Slides Online: The Future of Mobile Learning – Empowering Human Memory and Literacy

Highlights: “Mobile First” when designing any curriculum; e-learning (electronic) differs from s-learning (speech) and p-learning (paper); knowledge needs to be meta-datad into mobile-usable chunks; m-learning (mobile) is a far advance and distinct from e-learning; applicability and ease of access rule; important reference The Mobile Proposition for Education Report 2012; m-learning is a design challenge, a mind-set challenge.

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Mar 28

Yoda: Master of Tri-Sector Collaboration (Singapore Management University)

Got Crowd? BE the Force!

Got Crowd? BE the Force!

Good step, this is.

Master of Tri-Sector Collaboration (MTSC)

The innovative Master of Tri-Sector Collaboration provides rigorous interdisciplinary training in effective problem solving for the 21st century’s complex environment. It is applicable to business, government, and civil society organisations, and to the interactions among them. It will:

  • Develop leaders able to flourish in a complex, tri-sector world
  • Enable students to master a toolkit of innovative skills for tackling global challenges together
  • Create cross-sector networks in the region
  • Provide students with deep understanding of key conceptual frameworks
  • Ensure that students can make sense of the plethora of megatrends affecting business-government-society interactions, from environment to demography to technology

Learn more.

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Mar 19

JZ: The Most Important Film on Education You May Ever See…

Jason "JZ" Liszkiewicz

Jason “JZ” Liszkiewicz

This is a movie that has been in development for years and is still not finished partially due to lack of funds. It could turn out to be the most important movie on American education ever made.

http://www.nicolefilms.com/work/4thpurpose.html

I’ve emailed them twice in the last few years telling them to use Kickstarter.com or IndieGoGo.com but I think they have completely ignored this.

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Mar 3

SchwartzReport: Mississippi “Adult” Idiocy Increases Sexual Activity & Preganancies Among Youth

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

Here is more data for several trends, the Red value Blue value schism, and a demonstration of the wrongness of the sexual politics of the Theocratic Right. Click through to see the charts which make the reality very clear.

The Failures Of Abstinence-Only Education Illustrated In 2 Charts
TARA CULP-RESSLER – Think Progress

Even though teens have been shielded from what might be deemed ‘inappropriate” sex ed content, SIECUS found that kids in the Magnolia State are actually having sex earlier and more frequently than the national average. Predictably, they’re also much less likely to know how to avoid unintended pregnancies:

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Feb 23

Robin Good: Crowd-Sourced Cutation of Educational Tool Options

Robin Good

Robin Good

A Crowdsourced Curated Database of the Best Educational Tools and Learning Apps: GEDB

GEDB, the Global Education Database, is a great and extremely useful curated collection of the best apps, web tools, gadgets and moocs now available online for educational purposes.

Anyone can register to GEDB and submit any valuable resource or tool by filling out the dedicated form.

Submissions are reviewed for factual accuracy and integrity and approved and published within 24 hours. Readers and contributors can in turn rate the review and share it online.

This is a great educational resource, simple to consult and well organized. A treasure trove of qualified resources for anyone wanting to teach and learn with new technologies.

Free to use.

Try it out now: http://www.gedb.org/

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Feb 18

SchwartzReport: Obesity Linked to Antibiotics?

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

Here for the first time we see a possible explanation for the explosion of Obesity, and the connection between the rampant overuse of antibiotics and our deeply sick industrial agriculture system. Once again it demonstrates the profit of the few over the wellness of the many. Our society is dying because we either cannot or will not commit to social policies that prioritize national wellness.

Obesity in the United States – Dysbiosis From Exposure to Low-dose Antibiotics?
Lee W. Riley, Eva Raphael, and Eduardo Faerstein, Division of Infectious Disease and Vaccinology, School of Public Health, University of California – Frontiers in Public Health

Phi Beta Iota: Obesity is a cultural outcome of social decay and a mix of corporate and government irresponsibility. It has many causes. What does not exist today in accessible form to the public is a true cost analysis of corrupt agriculture, corrupt energy, corrupt water, and corrupt everything these — obesity is symptom of a society that has lost its mind and soul.

See Also:

Obesity @ Phi Beta Iota

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Feb 8

Jean Lievens: FHT de Langen on Strategies for Sustainable Business Models for Open Educational Resources

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

Strategies for Sustainable Business Models for Open Educational Resources

Abstract

For several years, the importance of continuous education has been stressed by several governmental and non-governmental institutions (Janssen & Schuwer, 2012; Marshall & Casserly, 2006). Education is seen as important both for personal growth and empowerment for one’s personal wellbeing and for developing the professional capabilities needed in today’s society. In his 2011 State of the Union address President Obama put emphasis on the government’s ambitions to “out-innovate and out-educate” the rest of the world. Almost at the same time, at the Davos World Economic Forum (2011), the urgency of appropriate education was stressed, observing that the current lack of adequately educated people hinders prosperity and economic growth in the near future. The OECD is preparing a proposal to translate these intentions into a concrete policy.

Keywords: Open education resources; business model

Read full paper.

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Jan 3

Berto Jongman: The End of Factory Education

Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

How a Radical New Teaching Method Could Unleash a Generation of Geniuses

EXTRACT:

Juárez Correa didn’t know it yet, but he had happened on an emerging educational philosophy, one that applies the logic of the digital age to the classroom. That logic is inexorable: Access to a world of infinite information has changed how we communicate, process information, and think. Decentralized systems have proven to be more productive and agile than rigid, top-down ones. Innovation, creativity, and independent thinking are increasingly crucial to the global economy.

Click on Image to Enlarge

Click on Image to Enlarge

And yet the dominant model of public education is still fundamentally rooted in the industrial revolution that spawned it, when workplaces valued punctuality, regularity, attention, and silence above all else. (In 1899, William T. Harris, the US commissioner of education, celebrated the fact that US schools had developed the “appearance of a machine,” one that teaches the student “to behave in an orderly manner, to stay in his own place, and not get in the way of others.”) We don’t openly profess those values nowadays, but our educational system—which routinely tests kids on their ability to recall information and demonstrate mastery of a narrow set of skills—doubles down on the view that students are material to be processed, programmed, and quality-tested. School administrators prepare curriculum standards and “pacing guides” that tell teachers what to teach each day. Legions of managers supervise everything that happens in the classroom; in 2010 only 50 percent of public school staff members in the US were teachers.

The results speak for themselves: Hundreds of thousands of kids drop out of public high school every year. Of those who do graduate from high school, almost a third are “not prepared academically for first-year college courses,” according to a 2013 report from the testing service ACT. The World Economic Forum ranks the US just 49th out of 148 developed and developing nations in quality of math and science instruction. “The fundamental basis of the system is fatally flawed,” says Linda Darling-Hammond, a professor of education at Stanford and founding director of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future. “In 1970 the top three skills required by the Fortune 500 were the three Rs: reading, writing, and arithmetic. In 1999 the top three skills in demand were teamwork, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills. We need schools that are developing these skills.”

That’s why a new breed of educators, inspired by everything from the Internet to evolutionary psychology, neuroscience, and AI, are inventing radical new ways for children to learn, grow, and thrive. To them, knowledge isn’t a commodity that’s delivered from teacher to student but something that emerges from the students’ own curiosity-fueled exploration. Teachers provide prompts, not answers, and then they step aside so students can teach themselves and one another. They are creating ways for children to discover their passion—and uncovering a generation of geniuses in the process.

Read full article.

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Dec 30