The Most Common Passwords

 

 

Do you think your password is safe?

SplashData, a provider for security applications and services, has released its annual list of common passwords found on the internet and named them as the “Worst Passwords.”

They got their data from 3.3 million leaked passwords in the year. According to their data, “123456” and “password” continue to hold the top spots since 2011.

SplashData said that the passwords they studied are mostly used by North American and Western Europe netizens.

Here are the top 10 Worst Passwords for 2014:

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. 12345
  4. 12345678
  5. qwerty
  6. 123456789
  7. 1234
  8. baseball
  9. dragon
  10. football
Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Provider – someone whose business is to supply or give a particular service or goods
  2. Annual – occurring every year
  3. Leak – unauthorized revelation of confidential information
  4. Hack – get unauthorized access to a computer or network

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. How long should a password be, in your opinion?
  2. What should people do to protect themselves from being hacked?
  3. How do you protect yourself from being hacked?

    Do you think your password is safe? SplashData, a provider for security applications and services, has released its […]


Continue Reading.. 

Level:

Intermediate

Don’t Give Your Children iPads to Calm Them

FEB. 07 462-illust_(Feb6)Don't Give Your Children iPads to Calm Them

 

 

Do you let your children play with modern gadgets just to calm them down?

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine has found out that letting your children play games in mobile devices just to calm them down is not good. They believed that by doing so, parents are not teaching their children to control their emotions.

Dr. Jenny Radesky, a clinical instructor in Paediatrics for Developmental-Behaviour at Boston University said that constant use of mobile devices and watching TV decreases the child’s development of language and social skills.

However, Dr. Radesky added that technology can help us in teaching our kids if only they are being used appropriately. He said that mobile devices are wasted on toddlers but EBooks, tablets and learn-to-read applications are useful in teaching vocabulary and reading comprehension for children in preschool age or older.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Gadgets – a device or control that is useful
  2. Paediatrics – a branch of medicine that is concerned with the treatment of infants and children
  3. Appropriate – suitable for a particular person, place or condition
  4. Comprehension – an ability to understand the meaning or importance of something
  5. Preschool – an educational institution for children too young for elementary school.

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Do you agree with what the researchers said? Why or why not?
  2. What do you think are the best ways to calm a child?
  3. Which is the best teaching method in your opinion, the traditional one or by the use of modern technology? Why?

    Do you let your children play with modern gadgets just to calm them down? Researchers from Boston University […]


Continue Reading.. 

Level:

Intermediate

Spray On Sleep

JAN. 29 451-illust_(Jan29)Spray On Sleep

 

 

Have you ever wished you could fall asleep very quickly as if you will just press a sleep button in your body?

A start-up business from Stanford University has developed a new product called Sprayable Sleep which will send users to sleep after two sprays on the neck.

Benjamin Yu, the creator of this product, said that their Sprayable Sleep is much better than sleeping pills because when you wake up the next day, you won’t feel groggy.

The idea has become popular online and has reached a funding of $15,000 in less than 24 hours. Although it is still currently in development, the creator said that the prototype will become available on February 2015.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Start-up – a new business
  2. Groggy – stunned or confused and slow to react
  3. Funding – financial resources provided to make some project possible
  4. Prototype – full-scale working model of something built for study, testing or display

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Do you find it hard to fall asleep quickly? What do you do before you sleep?
  2. What do you think about this new product? Would you try it? Why or why not?
  3. Some people believed that drinking medicines to fall asleep is bad for our health, do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?

    Have you ever wished you could fall asleep very quickly as if you will just press a sleep […]


Continue Reading.. 

Level:

Intermediate

Why We Should Stop Reading A Tablet Before Bed

JAN. 10 - Why We Should Stop Reading A Tablet Before Bed

 

 

How does reading a book traditionally or with a tablet affect our health?

It’s perfectly alright to read a good book at the end of the day to unwind and decrease our stress. But if we are picking up a digital reader or a tablet instead of a real book, then we are doing it wrong.

Anne-Marie Chan, an associate professor of Biobehavioural Health at Penn State University, together with her colleagues conducted a study at Brigham and Woman’s Hospital where they asked patients to read books digitally and traditionally. They found out that those who read books traditionally fell asleep quicker than those who read digitally. They also found out that despite having the same duration of sleep, digital readers had shorter REM sleep than printed readers. Professor Chang explained that having short REM sleep leads to feeling sleepier and less alertness the next day.

The result of this study helped Professor Chang to conclude that “Using electronic device affects our lives, our health and our well-being.” If we want to have better health, maybe it’s better to put our gadgets down in the hours before bedtime or buy a book.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU
Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Unwind – relax
  2. Biobehavioural Health – a program that enables us to explore all factors — biological, behavioural, social/cultural, and environmental—that influence the health of individuals and groups through the life span
  3. Duration – the period of time which something continues; length
  4. Digital readers – people who read books by using gadgets such as e-readers or tablets
  5. REM – (Rapid Eye Movement) the stage in which our brain refreshes itself while the body is sleeping
  6. Conclude – decide by reasoning; draw or come to a conclusion

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. What do you do before you go to bed?
  2. If you use gadgets before you go to sleep, how do you feel the next day?
  3. What should we do in order to have a better sleep?

    How does reading a book traditionally or with a tablet affect our health? It’s perfectly alright to read […]


Continue Reading.. 

Level:

Intermediate

Tracking Your Children: A Good Idea or a Bad one?

 

 

Is it a good idea to track your children’s digital activity or not?

MamaBear, Life360, My Mobile Watchdog, and Canary are just some of the many parental tracking apps and services existing for monitoring teen activity on smartphones. They allow parents to monitor their children’s location, social media activity, text messages and call logs.

However, doing this can harm a parent and teen relationships. According to Barbara Greenberg, a family clinical psychologist, this gives a message that parents don’t trust their children. She added that part of growing up means making mistakes and learning from them. If the parents are always watching and always fixing the problems of their children, their children will grow up with little confidence and increased anxiety.

On the other hand, monitoring apps are helpful in preventing bullying and may even stop suicide. It can also help parents protect their children from meeting with suspicious people.

Moreover, parents who wish to use these apps should think carefully before trying to monitor their children’s digital activity.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Monitoring – the act of observing something (and sometimes keeping a record of it)
  2. Logs – a written record of something that is sent and/or received
  3. Harm – cause or do damage to
  4. Anxiety – an unpleasant emotion that is experienced in anticipation of some misfortune
  5. Prevent – to stop

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. What do you think about parents tracking their children’s digital activity?
  2. If you have children, would you track their social media as well?
  3. What are the other advantages and disadvantages you can think of about using tracking apps?

    Is it a good idea to track your children’s digital activity or not? MamaBear, Life360, My Mobile Watchdog, […]


Continue Reading.. 

Level:

Intermediate

E-learning: iPads instead of Books

NOV. 12 425-illust_(nov6) E-learning- iPads instead of Books

 

 

Is it better to use modern technology to study and learn than real books?

Sarah Marsh, a journalist, investigated schools in Netherlands who swapped textbooks to iPads as their main material for teaching and learning. These schools are called as “Steve Jobs schools” and they have over a thousand students from the age of 4 to 12 years old.

You won’t see notebooks, blackboards or lesson plans in these schools. In fact, there is no seating plan and 45% of learning takes place on an iPad which every child is given when they join. These children will then take a 30-minute workshop on various subjects. Marina Donker who teaches at Ontplooing Steve Jobs School in Amsterdam explains that the use of web-based learning is good for students who get bored easily on a traditional classroom.

Although these kinds of schools are unique, the use of iPads and other modern gadgets in a classroom is not new. Apple reported that more than 10 million iPads were purchased by schools worldwide.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Investigate – study; try to understand; examine carefully
  2. Swap – exchange or give something in exchange for
  3. Workshop – a quick course for a small group
  4. Unique – a single one of its kind; highly unusual or rare

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Is there a school or institution in your country that uses modern gadgets as their main tool for teaching students?
  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages you can think of in using modern technology for learning?
  3. Do you agree that we should replace real books and lesson plans with modern gadgets as the main materials for learning? Why or why not?

    Is it better to use modern technology to study and learn than real books? Sarah Marsh, a journalist, […]


Continue Reading.. 

Level:

Beginner

Google Street View: Arabian Style

OCT. 12 393-illust_(oct12)Google Street View- Arabian Style

 

 

Do you use Google Map’s Streetview?

We have grown accustomed to seeing Google Street View images via a car. However there are some areas which need a slightly different mode of transportation.

Google Maps has just extended its street view into the Arabian Desert. Google Maps will travel through the Liwa desert, 150 kilometres southwest of Abu Dhabi going through endless sand dunes. Google said that they are going to achieve it by mounting Google’s streetview camera on top of a camel’s back.

Google hopes that people all over the world will be able to have a glimpse of what it looks like to travel the desert as caravan merchants have for the past 3,000 years.

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Accustom – make psychologically or physically used (to something); get used to (something)
  2. Mount – attach to a support
  3. Glimpse – a quick look; a glance or a brief or incomplete view
  4. Caravan merchants – are businessmen that travel the desert or through any dangerous territory

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Do you use Google Maps? In what occasions do you use it for?
  2. Do you think it’s useful for users to see the Arabian Desert through Google Map’s Streetview? Why or why not?
  3. Some people said that Google Maps’ Streetview function is not safe to use? Do you agree or disagree? Why?

    Do you use Google Map’s Streetview? We have grown accustomed to seeing Google Street View images via a […]


Continue Reading.. 

Level:

Intermediate

Weather Modification

OCT. 07 388-illust_(oct7)Weather Modification

 

 

Is it possible to control the weather?

We think that weather control is just a fantasy, something that can be done in the future. But little has been known to people that weather modification has been on-going for almost a hundred years now.

Wikipedia defined weather modification as the act of intentionally manipulating or altering the weather. There are various ways that experts can use to control the weather but cloud seeding is the most popular. It can increase rain or snow, usually for the purpose of increasing local water supply. Another purpose of cloud seeding is to expedite an impending storm. An example of this is when China used cloud seeding before the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Cloud seeding is being used since the 1950s.

However, weather modification has been used in war as well. In fact, United States of America admitted that they used cloud seeding during the Vietnam War in order to slow down their enemies. But in 1977, United Nation signed a law that prohibits any countries to use environmental modification techniques for warfare.

Vocabulary Enhancement

  1. Fantasy – something that is not real; opposite of reality
  2. Modification – the act of making something different; make some changes; alteration
  3. Manipulate – influence or control something
  4. Alter – to modify; to change
  5. Expedite – speed up the progress of something; process fast and efficiently
  6. Prohibit – to forbid or to not allow something
  7. Warfare – an active struggle or fight between competing entities; war

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Have you heard of Weather Modification? What do you know about it?
  2. Do you agree in manipulating the weather for the benefit or people? Why or why not?
  3. Do you know if your country has used any weather modification?

    Is it possible to control the weather? We think that weather control is just a fantasy, something that […]


Continue Reading.. 

Level:

Beginner

Accidental Discoveries: Greatest Invention

SEPT. 30 381-illust_(Sep30Accidental Discoveries- Greatest Invention

 

 

How do you think the inventors discovered their inventions?

Most people think that inventors make discoveries through a very long series of studies and experiment; slowly testing and finally finding the solution after a long hard work. However, the truth is, many inventions were discovered out of pure luck. Here are some of the great inventions discovered due to some sort of accidents.

Matches. In 1826, John Walker was mixing chemicals in his lab and there was a particular chemical that was very difficult to scrub off. Frustrated, he started to rub it much faster and all of a sudden, the tip has burst into flame and thus, the friction match is born.

Penicillin. Alexander Fleming discovered the Penicillin because he had forgotten a petri dish in his office when he took a two-week vacation.

Tea. Some people might think that the British invented the tea but it was actually a Chinese emperor named Shennong who made the accidental discovery. The emperor was boiling his drinking water as usual when leaves from a nearby tea bush blew into his pot. Instead of throwing it away, Shennong curiously tasted the brew and tea was discovered.

Potato Chips. In the summer of 1853, a customer at the Moon Lake Lodge in Saratoga Springs, New York was not satisfied with the chef George Crum’s French fries. The customer thought that it was too thick and kept sending them back to the kitchen to be remade. Chef George Crum was annoyed and frustrated because his fries were rejected so he decided to make a batch of paper-thin, crisp potato wafers out to the customer, hoping to annoy him. Instead, the customer loved it and so did others.

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Scrub off – to remove something by hard rubbing
  2. Petri dish – a shallow dish used to grow bacteria
  3. Brew – drink made by steeping and boiling something in the water to get more flavour
  4. Wafers – a small, thin crisp cake or cookie

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Do you believe that some inventions were discovered accidentally?
  2. What did you feel after reading this article?
  3. Do you know other inventions discovered through accidents?

    How do you think the inventors discovered their inventions? Most people think that inventors make discoveries through a […]


Continue Reading.. 

Level:

Advance

Fake Online Review

AUG. 11 362-illust_(Aug11)Fake Online Review

 

 

Do you check other people’s opinions before you buy online

Shopping online can be dangerous, that’s why online reviews are useful. The comment section is where people write their opinions about the product they bought, restaurant they’ve been to and hotels they’ve checked in to and this is where future buyers or vacationers usually check to see if it’s worth buying or staying.

In 2012, about 57% of restaurant goers said that they relied on online reviews before choosing where to dine. Additionally, 90% of Yelp users thought that a positive review influences their choice of food and restaurant. However, not all reviews are true. Some business establishments pay reviewers to post a positive review even though they haven’t tried using the product or the service yet. They do it to boost their business activities and profits.

But not to worry, here are the five ways to spot fake online reviews:

  • The reviewer hasn’t reviewed anything else. One extremely positive or negative comment from someone who has never reviewed anything else could be suspicious.
  • The reviewer posts many reviews with similar content.  If one reviewer has commented on many hotel listings but the content of review somehow sounds the same, then that might be a fake review and the reviewer is being paid.
  • The reviewer uses the specific name even if it’s long. Some products or hotel names are long and extremely tiring to type, that’s why most reviewers will not write out the whole name multiple times and will instead use a shorter name instead. (For example, from “ABC HybridMutation Smartphone 5000 Chrome” to “HybridMutation”.)
  • Too! Much!! Enthusiasm?!!! If there are too many punctuation and overly positive language, then don’t trust it.
  • A fake hotel reviewer focuses on family and activities. Real reviewers often write their comments about the hotel itself. Fake reviewers usually focus on making it sound personal and relatable as possible.  Additionally, if fake reviewers haven’t been in that hotel, chances are they don’t really know anything about the interior and the ambiance the hotel gives.
Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Reviews – an essay or article that gives a critical evaluation about something
  2. Influence – affects one’s judgment or choice
  3. Establishment – a public or private structure or building
  4. Boost – to increase

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Do you buy products online? Do you also use booking websites (For example Agoda, TripAdvisor, etc.) to book hotels and reserve restaurants? What can you say about these websites?
  2. Do you read reviews before deciding to buy the product or book the hotel/restaurant?
  3. How do you know if what they wrote is fake or real?

    Do you check other people’s opinions before you buy online Shopping online can be dangerous, that’s why online […]


Continue Reading.. 

Level:

Intermediate