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The latest news

Victorian schools to ban mobile phones from 2020

Tags: australia, tech
Image: The Age / Joe Armao

The Victorian government has adopted one of the world’s toughest stances on mobile phone use in schools and from the start of next year, students must switch off their devices and store them in lockers during school hours.

When I was at high school I was literally the only student there with a mobile phone. Things were obviously a little different back then of course and at the age of 16 I was running a side business that afforded me the luxury of having one, but I can’t imagine the nightmare it must be to pry kids away from phone screens in the classroom today.

With that said, today I use my mobile phone to keep me alive, as it monitors and adjusts my insulin levels for Diabetes. Of course I assume there’d be exemptions for kids in similar boats but the argument from some parent groups seems to be around emergencies and immediate contact with their children and vice versa.

I’m pretty sure we all survived without that before hand and with phones in lockers they’re hardly out of kids reach, so I’m sure they’ll all survive again.

What are your thoughts? Is this a good move and a win for a better education or the medieval thinking of an outdated education system?

Source: Mobile phones to be banned in state primary and secondary schools

The new Raspberry Pi 4 has up to 4GB of RAM & dual 4K support

Tags: tech

I have three Raspberry Pis in my home. One runs the amazing ad blocking software Pi-hole, another serves as smarthome hub running and the last (and oldest) I got to build a smart mirror that’s going nowhere fast.

None of those make use of the true power the Raspberry Pi now affords. Today’s announcement of the Raspberry Pi 4 (Model B) shows just how far the tiny US$35 (A$59.95) computer has come.

Available in three configurations with either 1GB, 2GB or 4GB of RAM the new RPi4 now also includes Gigabit Ethernet, WiFi, BLE 5.0, 2 x USB2, 2x USB3 and dual mini HDMI ports that both push 4K!

For under US$40 you’re getting quite the little pocket-rocket. Sure it’s not going to replace your video editing suite anytime soon but for an everyday word processing & web browsing terminal an RPi could very well replace a lot of people’s ageing desktops.

Both the 1GB and 2GB models are available immediately with the 4GB shipping on July 1st.

Australian orders can be placed through RPi’s local resellers: Core Electronics & PiAustralia.

Source: Raspberry Pi 4 Model B – Raspberry Pi

A harrowing look inside Facebook’s content moderating centres

Tags: tech

“A sweatshop in America”

Facebook contractor Cognizant is tasked with moderating the deluge of inappropriate content posted to Facebook at 98% accuracy.

The company has never risen above 92% and in fear of losing its lucrative US$200m contract pushes work conditions and employees beyond their limits.

Bodily fluids & pubic hair on desks, a worker death whilst at his desk, sexual harassment cases, bathrooms covered in faecal matter and menstrual blood. The list goes on.

Facebook have committed to investigating their contractor sites as well as an increase to the end worker wage, but the psychological and emotional trauma afflicted to many employees sees the move come all too late.

This is a fascinating long-form read that paints a truly bleak picture of today’s social-media driven world.

Source: Facebook moderators break their NDAs to expose desperate working conditions – The Verge