Saturday, December 26, 2015

Toronto schools back BYOD (to class) with $14M Wi-Fi network

Toronto schools back BYOD (to class) with $14M Wi-Fi network

The largest school district in Canada is rolling out a $14 million Wi-Fi network that embraces a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) approach for students.

The Wi-Fi rollout to 562 schools and other buildings in metropolitan Toronto, based primarily on Cisco gear and software, is expected to be complete next year and serve all 246,000 students, plus staff. Many arrive each day with at least two different computing devices each.
Hardware of various shapes and sides -- and running different OSes -- including older Windows laptops as well as newer AndroidiOS and Windowstablets and smartphones, routinely comes through school doors,
"Technology plays a very critical role in meeting the needs of today's learners, and BYOD is taking off," Peter Singh, CTO for the Toronto District School Board, said in an interview.
On any given day, the 802.11 b and 802.11 n Wi-Fi network, now 80% complete, will handle 100,000 connected users simultaneously, with the biggest load coming from iOS, he said. The district places no limits on connections to streaming video services like Youtube, although it does run software made by Palo Alto Networks to catch pornography

Toronto's attitude is that allowing students to use their own devices as they want will enhance learning outside the classroom and improve student engagement with lessons. "Today's kindergartner is going to graduate in 2029 and will compete globally and needs to develop 21st Century competencies," Singh said. "Modern pedagogy is interwoven with technology and technology has a huge impact."
When the district leased 18,000 netbooks for student use three years ago, researchers determined that student engagement with the curriculum increased. "We believe when kids are allowed to use their personal devices that their engagement will grow even as the volume of traffic explodes," Singh said.
The district worked with long-time partner Cisco to find cost savings in designing and building the network. Over several years, Toronto expects to save about $400,000 on the $14.4 million project by relying on new Cisco ONE Foundation for Wireless Software. It combines all of the software licenses needed for the project under a single bill, instead of the older approach of buying elements a la carte.

Cisco Wi-Fi access points, Cisco's Prime management software and its Identity Services Engine (ISE) are all part of the district rollout. Enterprise mobility management software from AirWatch is also being used in partnership with Cisco.

On top of the $14 million Wi-Fi project, the district is halfway finished connecting its buildings with 1Gbps fiber optic cable, a $60 million undertaking.
In moving forward with the project, the district faced a couple of obstacles, Singh said. One was needing to limit the amount of network traffic devoted to the Acceptable User Policy (AUP) required each time a user logged in. Initially, that AUP was overloading the network.
Working with Cisco, the district developed a way to limit the number of times the AUP was flashed on a user's screen by recognizing a repeat user. In addition, the district decided to create a monthly cycle for the AUP, so it wasn't hitting users in the face every time.
Cisco has also been working with the district on the other problem, which sometimes requires users to authenticate themselves when they open a different app. The problem of multiple log-ins is faced by many organizations, and became more pronounced when the district's students started usingChromebooks, he said.
"The experience in the classroom has to be really smooth," he said.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Are iPads in schools a waste of money? OECD report says yes

Are iPads in schools a waste of money? OECD report says yes


Timna Jacks, Education Reporter

The Age, News, picture by Justin Year 7 students at Keysborough College using iPads.
The Age, News, picture by Justin Year 7 students at Keysborough College using iPads. Photo: Justin McManus
Investment in computers and iPads in schools does not improve numeracy and literacy skills, a new OECD report has warned.

In fact, the report, just released by the organisation which is considered the definitive authority on global academic performance, found frequent use of computers in schools is often associated with lower results.

Are Australian schools wasting their money on laptops and iPads for students?
Are Australian schools wasting their money on laptops and iPads for students? Photo: iStock
The first global study on students' digital skills shows Australia is one of the highest users of technology in schools.

Yet the country's reading and maths performance has declined over 2000 to 2012, based on data from 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment.

There was "no appreciable improvements in student achievement in reading, mathematics or science in the countries that had invested heavily in (information technology) for education," said the Students, Computers and Learning: Making the Connection report.
And where the technology is used in the classroom, the impact on student performance is "mixed, at best".

"Put simply, ensuring that every child attains a baseline level of proficiency in reading and mathematics seems to do more to create equal opportunities in a digital world than can be achieved by expanding or subsidising access to high-tech devices and services," the report said.

Schools adopting technology in the classroom would fail to improve results, if teachers were stuck in "20th century teaching practices".

Between 2003 and 2012, students' performance in mathematics deteriorated in most countries - including Australia - where there were more computers in schools.
Students in countries using fewer computers for schoolwork improved more rapidly in reading.

"If students use smartphones to copy and paste prefabricated answers to questions, it is unlikely to help them to become smarter," the report said. "If we want students to become smarter than a smartphone, we need to think harder about the pedagogies we are using to teach them. Technology can amplify great teaching but great technology cannot replace poor teaching. "

Australian students spend nearly an hour on the internet when they are at school, which is more than any other country and twice the amount of the OECD average.

Australian classrooms also have the highest proportion of students using computers at school.

This will be a sobering report for Australian policymakers, as the goal of a computer for every student is often sold as the solution to low grades and disadvantage.

"In the past 15 years, schools and families around the world spent a substantial amount of money on computers, internet connections, and software for educational use. Yet the benefits of these investments for children's learning are not clear," the report said.

"Students who use computers moderately at school [once or twice a week] tend to have somewhat better learning outcomes than students who use computers rarely. But students who use computers very frequently at school do a lot worse in most learning outcomes."
Technology can be a useful tool in class, the report found, as it enables teachers to tap into specialised materials beyond the standard textbooks and to run innovative learning projects in class.  

Keysborough College principal John Baston said there was no point using  technology in schools if teachers were not taught how to use the devices effectively in class.

He said every student at the school used an iPad or computer in class. Educational computer programs were used to help target the students' work, so that it catered to the students' academic ability.

"The computers are there to enable you to help improve teaching, but it can't create by  itself quality teaching," he said.

Read more: 

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Thursday, December 24, 2015

APS partners with insurer for power-line protection

APS partners with insurer for power-line protection

Heads up! It looks like APS is running an insurance scam now. 

Check out the Arizona Republic article below. Note this part especially:

HomeServe has an A rating with the Better Business Bureau, but has also faced 227 complaints from customers in the past three years, mostly for advertising tactics and service issues. Of 20 customer reviews of HomeServe service, 17 are negative.

Perhaps I am overly suspicious but, in addition to this being another profit source for APS, I can't help but see this as also a possible response to the "smart" meter fire issue. Could APS be offering this as a way to limit its liability? "Well, we sent you a letter offering you insurance for something that was really your problem anyway since it was on your side of the meter. What more were we supposed to do?" -- that type of thing.

In any case, I find it unbelievable that APS is allowed to branch out into the insurance business and exploit its existing customer base in this way. I'm sure there are many trusting souls who think if APS is pushing this then it's something they need. Indeed, the article says 500 people so far have bought this policy. The article says the policy is covering "repairs that can cost hundred of dollars." Is that possibility worth paying $60 per year? I don't think so. It reminds of the cashier at Home Depot asking me if want to buy an extended warranty on an electric drill. Uh, probably not!

Warren Woodward

APS partners with insurer for power-line protection

 Ryan Randazzo, The Republic | 5:58 p.m. MST December 23, 2015
(Photo: Mailer)

Story Highlights

  • APS customers are receiving an offer for insurance for exterior power lines
Arizona Public Service Co. customers are receiving a business pitch offering them insurance to cover the short power-line connections between their homes and the APS grid, and the state’s biggest utility is getting a portion of the profit.

The offer is from a company that is independent of APS called HomeServe Repair Management Corp. of Connecticut, which has run into trouble in the past for offering coverage and confusing customers as to its affiliation with municipalities.

APS officials said it was similar to sewer-line insurance offered in partnerships through some Arizona cities, and that it can prevent customers from paying out of pocket for repairs that can cost hundreds of dollars.

“Over 50 utilities in the U.S. and Canada have selected HomeServe as a preferred provider of home protection plans,” APS said in a prepared statement. “Their partners include Duke Energy, (Tucson Electric Power), (American Electric Power) and AARP, to name a few.”

The mailers recently began appearing in mailboxes of the approximately 550,000 APS customers who are homeowners. The sales pitch isn’t intended for businesses or renters.

APS is responsible for its own power lines, but customers are responsible for repairs to everything except the meter that allows the APS system to connect to their home.

For about $5 a month, or $60 a year, the HomeServe coverage protects customers’ “exterior electrical system,” which includes the boxes that hold a meter to a home and the “weatherhead” piping that protects wires between the home and the APS lines.

APS officials declined to say what the company is earning in the deal, citing confidentiality with HomeServe.

Sharon Connolly, an APS senior program manager, said not all home insurance policies cover the equipment and that some customers might want additional insurance in case the repairs don’t meet the deductible for existing homeowners' insurance and they have to pay out of pocket.
“If this repair is at or less than that, (customers must consider) whether it makes sense to submit a homeowners claim on it,” Connolly said.

APS decided to partner with the company because customers have told utility officials they wanted such a service, officials said.

“I’ve had a chance to talk to customers who had questions about this,” said David Burzynski, director of marketing. “Customers did not really understand this point of demarcation where APS ends and their responsibility begins.”

For overhead power lines, those items customers are responsible for include:
  • Wire and leading from the service entrance, overhead riser structure (weatherhead), including APS wire attachment and bracing as required, and including the customer wire from the panel up through the weatherhead and extending approximately three feet beyond to the point where APS’s overhead service wire connects to the customer’s wire.
For underground lines, customers are responsible for:
  • Wire leading from the service entrance, the underground riser from the service panel down to the point where APS’ service wire located in APS’s underground conduit connects to the customer’s wire.
HomeServe has an A rating with the Better Business Bureau, but has also faced 227 complaints from customers in the past three years, mostly for advertising tactics and service issues. Of 20 customer reviews of HomeServe service, 17 are negative.

In addition, in May the company entered a deal with the Maryland attorney general to settle allegations that it was acting on behalf of municipal governments while advertising the sale of water-line protection plans, according to the BBB. The assurance that it was discontinuing the practice "should not be considered an admission of guilt or finding of violation of law, and was for settlement purposes only," according to the BBB.

The company agreed to pay the Maryland Attorney General $115,000 as part of the deal, according to the BBB.

About 500 APS customers have purchased the additional insurance so far, officials said.
APS is sending the letters on behalf of HomeServe, and did not provide the company with customer addresses or other information, spokesman Jim McDonald said.

Effect of cell phone-like electromagnetic radiation on primary human thyroid cells

Effect of cell phone-like electromagnetic radiation on primary human thyroid cells

Joel's comments: The exposures in this study were rather low as the maximum SAR was 0.170 W/kg.  The exposures in the three experimental conditions ranged from 895 to 900 Mhz, 80 to 210 μW/cm2 power density, and 0.082 to 0.170 W/kg SAR. 


Effect of cell phone-like electromagnetic radiation on primary human thyroid cells

Silva V, Hilly O, Strenov Y, Tzabari C, Hauptman Y, Feinmesser R. Effect of cell phone-like electromagnetic radiation on primary human thyroid cells. Int J Radiat Biol. 2015 Dec 21:1-9. [Epub ahead of print]


Purpose To evaluate the potential carcinogenic effects of radiofrequency energy (RFE) emitted by cell phones on human thyroid primary cells.

Materials and methods Primary thyroid cell culture was prepared from normal thyroid tissue obtained from patients who underwent surgery at our department. Subconfluent thyroid cells were irradiated under different conditions inside a cell incubator using a device that simulates cell phone-RFE. Proliferation of control and irradiated cells was assessed by the immunohistochemical staining of antigen Kiel clone-67 (Ki-67) and tumor suppressor p53 (p53) expression. DNA ploidy and the stress biomarkers heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) was evaluated by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS).

Results Our cells highly expressed thyroglobulin (Tg) and sodium-iodide symporter (NIS) confirming the origin of the tissue. None of the irradiation conditions evaluated here had an effect neither on the proliferation marker Ki-67 nor on p53 expression. DNA ploidy was also not affected by RFE, as well as the expression of the biomarkers HSP70 and ROS.

Conclusion Our conditions of RFE exposure seem to have no potential carcinogenic effect on human thyroid cells. Moreover, common biomarkers usually associated to environmental stress also remained unchanged. We failed to find an association between cell phone-RFE and thyroid cancer. Additional studies are recommended.


We here report that different evaluated RFE exposure conditions have no potential carcinogenic effect on thyroid cells. Proliferation and cellular DNA integrity, two major players in cancer development and progression were not affected in our conditions. Moreover, common biomarkers that are usually associated with environmental stress also remained unchanged after RFE irradiation. Among the limitations of our work we consider that even though measurements of extremely low frequency interference were considerably low, the stray magnetic fields emitted by the instruments used in the study may have had a confounder effect on our results. On the other hand, different conditions of time and frequencies of exposure should be further explored in order to completely cross out a deleterious effect of RFE on thyroid cells. In summary, the increase of both, thyroid cancer and cellular phone use calls the attention to further investigate the potential effects that chronic use of mobile phones might have on the thyroid gland.

For more studies on wireless radiation and thyroid cancer see


Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., Director
Center for Family and Community Health
School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley

Electromagnetic Radiation Safety

News Releases:
Twitter:                 @berkeleyprc

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Insurance and Liability of Wireless Communication Carriers

EHT December: "Never Before Seen Anatomical Animation of Cellphone Radiation"

December 2015


Dr. Davis describes EHT's research and shares new images of radiation absorption into the brain. Watch the video now!

Those clamoring to stuff kids' holiday stockings with electronic gadgets would do well to consider a child's safety and choose wisely.Read tips here

"The truth about mobile phone and wireless radiation: what we know, what we need to find out, and what you can do now." Watch the video of the lecture online here.

For raising awareness on wireless radiation, Juhi Chawla was recently received India's most prestigious award from Mumbai Congress.Please watch the video!

Dr. Davis on Australia's top morning news show recommends precautions with cell phones.Watch the video here

Monday, December 21, 2015

Red Blood Cells And Smart Meters

Red Blood Cells And Smart Meters

For those who wonder if there are any health issues or problems from exposure to Smart Meters and the electromagnetic frequencies they emit, here is a short video which shows three samples of blood examined using a Darkfield Microscope.

The video is self-explanatory, as the samples clearly show morphological responses or reactions. That kind of constant exposure with apparent human cellular morphological reactions—as will happen when a Smart Meter is placed on a dwelling—undoubtedly occurs, as EMFs/RFs are emitted 24/7/365. Consequently, it will be only a matter of time, depending upon each individual’s electromagnetic sensitivities threshold, before adverse health consequences materialize.
Below is a chart created by EMF researcher Ronald M. Powell, PhD, which is self-explanatory? [3]
exposure chartThe above graphic shows that 67 peer-reviewed, repeated studies show significant health issues (e.g. cancer, tumors, infertility) at levels far below the government safety standards (gray line). The yellow line is what the standards should be if public safety is considered. Source
In another paper, “Electronicmagnetic Field Interactions With the Human Body: Observed Effects and Theories,” (NASA, April 1981) presented to the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771, on page 23, we find this:
Adverse, Benign, and Curious Effects
The effects listed and/or discussed in this section relate to at least three of the five senses (touch, hearing, and sight) and nearly every system of the human body (including circulatory, digestive, nervous, and muscular). Many of them are temporary; however, some result in death and persistent disease. Some are better understood and more widely accepted than others. [1] [CJF emphasis added]
In 1981, NASA knew of numerous health problems, which are now classified as “Non-Thermal Health Effects,” which were cited on page 30 of that report:
  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Disturbed sleep at night
  • Sleepiness in daytime
  • Moodiness
  • Irritability
  • Unsociability
  • Hypochondriac reactions
  • Feelings of fear
  • Nervous tension
  • Mental depression
  • Memory impairment
  • Pulling sensation in the scalp and brow
  • Loss of hair
  • Pain in muscles and heart region
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Increased perspiration of extremities
  • Difficulty with sex life
And, on page 59 of that same report, this most enlightening comment appears:
Physical and Physiological Foundations
A great variety of theories have been developed to help understand the effects described in the preceding sections. In this section, the theories are presented roughly in order of how homogeneous the human body is assumed to be. At one extreme, it may be regarded as a simple shape (e.g. a prolate spheroid) with a single set of electromagnetic constants (permittivity, permeability, and conductivity). In that sense, the body is a simple antenna or probe capable of intercepting a certain amount of electromagnetic energy, which is converted entirely into heat. At the other extreme, the body may be regarded as a collection of countless electronic microcircuits, each one corresponding to an individual cell or part thereof. Electromagnetic energy somehow finds its way to individual microcircuits and influences the electronic functions there. These functions include various communication and control processes essential to life and its activities. [CJF emphasis added]
That the human body is “a collection of countless electronic microcircuits” seemingly is disregarded totally by those who should know better or catalog medical-science information, e.g., Public health agencies, states Public Utility Commissions and the various public utilities the PUCs regulate, whose mission statements often include “to provide safe services.” What’s “safe” about making people exposed to EMFs/RFs that cause health problems? Utilities are forcing EMF/RF-producing Smart Meters on to consumers’ and customers’ residences with total disregard, plus dis-abandon even for those who come under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
For bureaucrats at states’ public utility agencies and electric, natural gas, and water utility companies’ corporate executives and legal departments, here’s a quick primer on the human body being an electromagnetic entity, whose ‘wires’ get crossed when impacted by microwave EMFs and RFs.
Smart Meters pulsed-microwave-energies, which are sent into a home over its electrical wiring system, create what’s called “dirty electricity”, i.e., much higher Hz than the house electrical wiring is designed to handle. Here, though, is some information pertinent to pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs):
PEMF stands for Pulsed ElectroMagnetic Fields, which are widely used these days to improve circulation and cell metabolism. The body can become accustomed to nonmoving (or static) magnetic fields, which are generally unable to deeply penetrate the body. A pulsed electromagnetic field, however, is quite dynamic, is able to penetrate all the way through the body, and creates a cascade of effects within the body. [2] [CJF emphasis added]
And, consider this, which is the all-important differential:
It is important to distinguish between the electromagnetic fields we use for [medical] therapeutic purposes, and other man-made electromagnetic fields from power lines, microwave ovens, cell phones, etc., which can cause damage to our bodies. [2] [CJF emphasis added]
Note that Smart Meters operate using microwave technology, the same high tech of cell phones and cell towers to transmit and receive information from utility companies 24/7/365 which produce very high EMF pulses every 15 seconds—per a meter test I personally observed—of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year. You can turn off a cell phone, but you can’t turn off your electric, natural gas or water Smart Meter.
Lastly, here’s a tell-tale graphic of how microwave (cell phone/tower, Wi-Fi, and Smart Meters) EMFs affect children’s brains:
brain imagesChildren’s brains absorb much higher amounts of microwave radiation than adults because of their thinner skulls. Their nervous systems are also easily damaged by EMF because they do not yet have the protection afforded by nerve cell myelination. [3]
Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.
Catherine’s latest book, published October 4, 2013, is Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines, available on
Her 2012 book A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, is available on and as a Kindle eBook.