Trojan Alert: What You Need to Know

Ed. Note: Mike and I were discussing the Flashback Trojan today, and I asked him if he could write up an explanation for you all, including what you can do to keep your computer safe. Thanks, Mike!

There has been some news about a Trojan software that can infect your Mac called the Flashback Trojan. To help prevent this, the first thing to do is make sure you run your Software Updates. To run your software updates, go to the Apple menu and select Software Update. Then just install any updates.

This Trojan uses something called Java on your computer and can infect you if you go to an infected website. You can disable Java in your web browsers. These instructions may vary depending on the version of your browser. If you can not find it with these instructions, let me know.

In Safari, go to the Safari menu and select Preferences. Under the Security tab, uncheck the Enable Java option. Don’t worry about JavaScript.

In Firefox, go to the Tools menu and select Add Ons. Then click on the Plugins tab and scroll down to Java Plug-In and click on the Disable button.

In Chrome, go to the Chrome menu and select Preferences. Go to the Under the Hood tab and click on the Content Settings button. Then under Plug-ins click on Disable individual Plug-ins. Then scroll down to Java and click Disable.

If you have any problems or want me to look at your computer, let me know.




You Are Your Words

Wow, this is not only cool from a technology standpoint, but can impart a valuable lesson. You Are Your Words is a tool created by the American Heritage Dictionary that turns a student’s words (using a piece of writing that they have already created) into a picture of that student. By uploading a picture, the application manipulates the size, shape, and color of each word until it creates a digital image of the photo. It’s a fantastic way to exhibit student work, and helps students to remember that what they say, what they write, reflects on them.

**Special thanks to iLearn Technology for bringing this great site to my attention.**

Addendum: It has come to my attention (thanks Jen!) that the pictures you create with You Are Your Words are automatically added to their gallery, and can’t be deleted. So make sure you (and your students) are OK with having their creations available for all to see before you go playing with this.

All Things Titanic

I am fascinated by the Titanic disaster, and as we approach the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the unsinkable ship, all kinds of fantastic resources are popping up to further fan the flames of my curiosity. I don’t know if any of you are planning on covering this piece of history in your classes, but if you are, I’ve found some really sensational resources.

“1300 Passengers Are Rescued At Sea From The Sinking Liner Titanic, Wrecked In A Night Collision With An Iceberg.”

This was the headline of the Milwaukee Daily News on April 15th, 1912. Imagine the shock when the news came out that it was, in fact, more than 1300 killed on that fateful night. The History Buffs newspaper archive is an incredible repository containing scanned photos of newspapers from important historic events, including a few from April 15th and 16th, 1912. What a powerful discussion on information, misinformation, and journalism you could spark by showing these newspapers to your class! You’d think that major newspapers would no longer be making such enormous errors, but even now, in this age of instant news, reports are being published that are completely wrong. Remember when the Daily Mail’s website published a report that Amanda Knox’s murder conviction appeal had been denied?

Titanic: The Final Word With James Cameron

James Cameron has put together a brand new documentary, titled Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron, that pieces together the latest scientific research on the sinking of the Titanic. This National Geographic documentary includes a stunning computer simulation of the sequence of events that led Titanic to the ocean floor. It’s pretty incredible.

Titanic: The Unsinkable Ship

Finally, if you’re looking for a comprehensive overview of the Titanic (how it was built, who was on it, a timeline of events, and even some interactives), Britannica has you covered. Their site on Titanic links together all the information available in the encyclopedia, including pictures, into one-stop-shopping for all of your Titanic needs.

Of course, if you’re looking for more, Mr. Goodwin and I have put together a display in the library, complete with fiction, non-fiction, and magazines on all things Titanic.