On Deck With Tech

Your Weekly Technology Newsletter-Vol. 4

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PCHS Teachers Respond to Chromebooks in the Classroom

By Ramses Young and Eddie Allen III

In late August, each student and certified staff member at Platte County R-III high school received a shiny new Chromebook. While the devices themselves seem to have mixed reviews, there is something they all have in common; teachers use them...and not only for getting emails to their students.

In an interview with Mr. Jones, foreign language teacher, he showed support for the Chromebooks 110%, stating that “it helps with spontaneous activities”; he goes on to explain how the Chromebooks have helped to engage students through interesting activities that can help with more tedious learning, such as vocabulary. He also stated that he has begun creating videos in Spanish for those students that have trouble reading and that it really helps being able to simultaneously hear the words out loud and read them. He later says that, “there is really no excuse for students not being able to understand a concept, as they can look up my videos or more on the internet”. Overall, Mr. Jones really likes the Chromebooks and believes that PCHS has only begun to explore the potential of the Chromebooks.

Mrs.Schmidt, science teacher, also spoke about her experiences using Chromebooks in the classroom. She stated that for instance when students miss a class for whatever reason, they can use their Chromebook to access what they did that day on Google Classroom. She liked that if a student missed a day, they wouldn't be behind because they had instant access to notes and daily assignments. The only con she’s found so far is that she has students turning homework in in different spots instead of just one, and she can grade it all at once.

Overall, the introduction and implementation of Chromebooks and Google suite of products into classrooms at Platte County high school is one that is welcomed, highly accepted and appreciated.

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First X-Rayed Mummy CT scanned to Discover True Cause of Death.

By Austin Allen and John Salehi

In 1817, a Mummy was discovered in Egypt. Today, almost 200 years later, scientists know what he suffered from and how he died. Little was known about the mummified Egyptian child until Walter Koenig used X-rays to attempt to identify the cause of death and details of his lifestyle while he was alive.

Biological anthropologist and Egyptologist Stephanie Zesch of the Reiss Engelhorn Museum in Mannheim, Germany, and colleagues have used CT scans. By using the CT scans they have reconstructed the skull and teeth to identify gender, age and even health issues this ancient child had. The team identified numerous amounts of health issues the child had, such as a common chest wall deformity called pectus excavatum, or sunken chest; bone density marks called Harris lines in his leg bones that indicate physiological stress; and an enlarged liver.

With technology advancing by the day, we will be able to see the world differently. We can see Mummies from a different point of view, including details about how someone who lived 1700 years ago died so tragically through identifying what medical problems they had when they lived. Technology is helping us see the world from a different view one scan at a time.

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“Fixed” Galaxy Note 7 Catches Fire On Plane

By Austin Allen

A replacement Samsung Galaxy Note 7 device, deemed safe by the firm, caught fire on a Southwest Airline from Louisville, Kentucky, to Baltimore, Maryland; passengers and crew were evacuated before takeoff on Wednesday. The Note 7 had a mass recall in September, with the company later claiming they have found the cause of the issue. Samsung says they are investigating the matter.

A Southwest Airlines spokesperson told the BBC: "A customer reported smoke emitting from an electronic device. All customers and crew deplaned safely via the main cabin door." There was a black square icon on the device's packaging, a symbol which Samsung added to distinguish old, certified unsafe devices from the replacement models. But late last month, after assuring customers - and safety officials - that the fixed devices were safe, Samsung confirmed it was looking into new reports that devices were still overheating. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had issued a warning to the public saying Note 7 devices should be powered down and not charged while on planes.It also advised against packing the phone into hold luggage.The FAA is yet to comment on whether further guidelines will be issued after this latest issue.

What does this mean for Samsung? Will they lose more customers due to their technology issues? Are people safe from this factory mishap? Only time will tell to see how Samsung will handle these possible fires and accusations.

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Counter Strike Gambling

By Ramses Young

Recently, Valve, the owners and creators of a video game franchise series called “Counter Strike :Global Offensive (csgo)” received an important letter; a cease and desist letter from the Washington State Gambling Commission was issued, stating that valve needed to, “Stop allowing the transfer of virtual weapons known as 'skins' for gambling activities”, one of the most rapid growing gambling industries on the internet.

Unfortunately, the commission is a little late on this matter, as the csgo gambling websites have either closed or been shut down over the past few months. Over the course of about two months, starting midsummer 2016, these sites have been shut down repeatedly. You see, the gambling websites have been transferring items in Counter Strike, called “skins” (refer to picture) as a form of currency. These skins, which cost anywhere from $.04-40,000, go onto the players’ game guns, making it visually unique. Skins are transferred through Valve’s bots, which are essentially fake valve steam accounts being used to trade the skins and, therefore, the gambling websites were using Valve to make money. When Valve realized this, they instantly sent an email to all these websites stating that it was a direct violation of user policy to use fake accounts or even create them; by violating this policy, they destroyed the gambling scene and nearly ended it completely, until recently.

While the issue was thought to have been resolved, Valve gambling websites have been making comebacks, finding loopholes in the system of gambling, and coming up with more creative ways to make money using Counter Strike’s popularity as a way to piggyback their way to success. An example of this is the site selling “gems” in the game that can be used to gamble; once a person is done gambling his or her gems, either winning or losing them, he or she can withdraw them from the website in the form of skins using, once again, fake valve accounts to bring them to their personal account. While the commission hasn’t talked to Valve about this yet, we here at the Tech Deck believe they will be receiving another cease and desist letter very soon.