EdTechSR Ep 202 – Google Down

Welcome to episode 202 (“Google Down”) of the EdTech Situation Room from December 16, 2020, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wesley Fryer (@wfryer) discussed Google news including Wednesday’s temporary service outage, acquisition of Neverware, the death of Cloud Print, and the controversial firing of AI researcher and ethicist watchdog Timnit Gebru. Updates to Firefox and Microsoft Office for native MacOS M1 processor support, and developer-mandated revelations about the jaw-dropping ways Facebook’s iOS app tracks user behavior and collects private data. Facebook’s new PR ad campaign “advocating for small businesses” (ok, whatever…), YouTube’s streaming music dominance over all other players, the huge popularity of gaming videos on streaming networks, and disinformation commentary from Roger McNamee as well as Facebook’s oversight board’s initially selected cases were topics rounding out this week’s show. Geeks of the Week included T-Mobile’s first 5G hotspot and dataplan, DownDetector.com, and Troy Hunt’s spectacularly helpful “Compromised Password Checker.” Our show was live streamed and archived simultaneously on YouTube Live as well as our Facebook Live page via StreamYard.com, and compressed to a smaller video version (about 100MB) on AmazonS3 using Handbrake software. Please follow us on Twitter @edtechSR for updates, and join us LIVE on Wednesday nights (normally) if you can at 10 pm Eastern / 9 pm Central / 8 pm Mountain / 7 pm Pacific or 3 am UTC. All shownotes are available on http://edtechSR.com/links.


  1. EdTech Situation Room Listener Survey: wfryer.me/edtechsr
  2. Follow @edtechSR on Twitter!
  3. Audio podcast feed (Subscribe with iTunes or Stitcher)
  4. Video version on YouTube
  5. Check out our video podcast feed and subscribe to our YouTube Channel (episodes also in this YouTube playlist)
  6. Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) – blog: blog.ncce.org
  7. Wes Fryer (@wfryer) – blog: speedofcreativity.orgShared Media Literacy Lessons & Curriculum
  8. 2021 Will Launch the Platinum Age of Piracy (Wired, 12 Dec 2020)
  9. Gmail was messed up for a ‘significant’ number of users today (The Verge, 15 Dec 2020)
  10. Google acquires Neverware, a company that turns old PCs into Chromebooks (The Verge, 16 Dec 2020)
  11. Google acquires Neverware, the company that brings Chrome OS to older laptops with CloudReady (About Chromebooks, 15 Dec 2020)
  12. Migrate From Google Cloud Print With These 12 Alternatives (Chrome Unboxed, 7 Dec 2020)
  13. More than 1,200 Google workers condemn firing of AI scientist Timnit Gebru (The Guardian, 4 Dec 2020)
  14. We read the paper that forced Timnit Gebru out of Google. Here’s what it says. (MIT Technology Review, 4 Dec 2020)
  15. Timnit Gebru: Google and big tech are ‘institutionally racist’ (BBC News, 14 Dec 2020)
  16. “I started crying”: Inside Timnit Gebru’s last days at Google—and what happens next (MIT Technology Review, 16 Dec 2020)
  17. Firefox’s latest update brings native support for Apple’s Arm-based Macs (The Verge, 16 Dec 2020)
  18. Microsoft releases native Office apps for M1 Macs (ComputerWorld, 15 Dec 2020)
  19. Latest iOS update shows all the ways Facebook tracks you. There are a lot. (Mashable, 16 Dec 2020)
  20. Facebook attacks Apple in full-page newspaper ads over ad-tracking (95o5Mac, 16 Dec 2020)
  21. This Week In Tech 800 – It’s Coming From Leo2 (TWiT, 6 Dec 2020)
  22. Did you know: The most popular music streaming platform isn’t Spotify (Android Authority, 6 Dec 2020)
  23. YouTube touts 40M active gaming channels with 100B hours of watch time in 2020 (9to5 Google, 8 Dec 2020)
  24. 2020 Was The Year Of The Twitch Streamer (The Verge, 16 Dec 2020)
  25. Roger McNamee on disinformation’s spread: Everyone is ‘isolated in their own Truman Show’ (NBC Universal / Yahoo News, 12 Dec 2020)
  26. From hate speech to nudity, Facebook’s oversight board picks its first cases (Reuters, 1 Dec 2020)
  27. Jason’s Geek of the Week: T-Mobile introduces its first 5G hotspot and a 100GB standalone plan for $50 (The Verge, 10 Dec 2020)
  28. Wes’ Geek of the Week: DownDetectorCompromised Password Checker by Troy Hunt

EdTech Situation Room Episode 101

Welcome to episode 101 of the EdTech Situation Room from July 25, 2018, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wesley Fryer (@wfryer) discussed automation and the technological trajectory of our society, potentially toward dystopia, informed by Douglass Rushkoff’s “Survival of the Richest” article shared in early July. This led to discussions about the weaponization of news via social media, as highlighted by danah boyd in a recent lecture in Detroit available on YouTube, recent revelations about voting machine vulnerabilities to hackers via remote access, and the cautionary tale provided by Ukraine in recent years on Russian hackers’ capabilities to bring a society’s institutions to a standstill via cyberwarfare. On the less depressing technology news front, Jason and Wes discussed the recent hoopla of Apple throttling MacBook Pro laptops revealed by a user on YouTube, and Apple’s release of an iOS version which provides better support for privacy and travelers passing through customs inspections where equipment may be used to copy iPhone data via USB tools. On the Google front, Jason discussed identified speed issues with web browsers and the YouTube website, the recent EU fine of Google for anti-trust legal violations, the opinion that Android has (positively) created more choice in the global smartphone market, and an update on Google’s Chromecast technology which celebrated its 5th birthday. Facebook’s legal challenges and potential fines in Great Britain over Brexit, rumors of a Microsoft-branded smartphone, updates to Microsoft Teams software, slow growth in the PC industry, and the continued revelation of more backdoors in Cisco routers (5 at this point) rounded out this episode’s topics. Geeks of the Week included Loom, a Chrome extension for screencasting, the Apple Magic Pad running on Chrome, Reddit (it’s not just for trolls), DocHub (for PDF annotation and digital signing) and the new documentary “This is AI” by IBM and Discovery. Please follow us on @edtechSR for updates and join us LIVE on Wednesday nights if you can for our show!


  1. EdTech Situation Room Listener Survey: wfryer.me/edtechsr
  2. Follow @edtechSR on Twitter!
  3. Audio podcast feed (Subscribe with iTunes or Stitcher)
  4. Video version on YouTube
  5. Check out our video podcast feed and subscribe to our YouTube Channel (episodes also in this YouTube playlist)
  6. Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) – blog: blog.ncce.org
  7. Wes Fryer (@wfryer) – blog: speedofcreativity.org
  8. Blackboard Announces Winners of 2018 Catalyst Awards (includes the Montana Digital Academy)
  9. Survival of the Richest (@rushkoff on Medium, 5 July 2018)
  10. VIDEO: Future of Information with danah boyd (21 July 2019 – Highlighted takeaways: Understanding the Weaponization of News Media with danah boyd (Wes’ takes)
  11. Top Voting Machine Vendor Admits It Installed Remote-Access Software on Systems Sold to States (Motherboard; 17 July 2018)
  12. This Week In Tech 676: Falling Asleep As The Robots Wake Up
  13. How An Entire Nation Became Russia’s Test Lab for Cyberwar (Wired, 20 June 2018)
  14. Caliphate Podcast Series by the New York Times (speaks to the potential for radicalization of youth via Internet technologies)
  15. YouTuber Claims 15-Inch MacBook Pro With Upgraded Core i9 Chip is Severely Throttled Due to Thermal Issues (MacRumors; 17 July 2018)
  16. Apple releases iOS 11.4.1 with USB Restricted Mode (Wired, 9 July 2018)
  17. Free Online Literacy Activities for Chromebook Learners (Presentation slides by Wes from 21 July 2018)
  18. How to make YouTube five times faster if you don’t use Chrome (The Verge; 25 July 2018)
  19. Google fined a record $5 billion by the EU for Android antitrust violations (The Verge; 18 July 2018)
  20. Android has created more choice, not less (Google Blog; 18 July 2018)
  21. Google’s Chromecast is five years old today [Update: Chromecast history from Google] (Android Policy; 24 July 2018)
  22. Facebook Is Facing Its First Fine Over the Cambridge Analytica Privacy Scandal (Time; 11 July 2018)
  23. Microsoft Store employee claims a Microsoft-branded phone is launching soon (Windows Latest; 14 July 2018)
  24. Microsoft introduces a free version of Teams, going head-to-head with Slack (All About Microsoft; 12 July 2018)
  25. The PC Industry (Barely) Grew for the First Time in 6 Years (Thurrott.com; 15 July 2018)
  26. Backdoors Keep Appearing In Cisco’s Routers (Tom’s Hardware, 19 July 2018)
  27. DARPA pushes for AI that can explain its decisions (Engadget, 23 July 2018)
  28. Peggy’s Geek of the Week: Loom (Google Chrome extension for screencasting)
  29. Jasons Geeks of the Week: PSA: The Apple Magic Pad Works Well with Your Chromebook! and Reddit… not just for trolls 🙂
  30. Wes’ Geeks of the Week: DocHub (for browser-based PDF annotation / digital signing) and Documentary: This is AI (by IBM and The Discovery Channel)