My Best Teaching Is One-on-One


Of course, I team teach and do special lessons, etc.


But my best work in the classroom is after the lesson is over --
going one-on-one,
helping individual students with their assignments.


It's kind of like with computer programs, walking the client through hands-on.
The job isn't really done until the customer is using the program.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

"Blocking less secure mail apps"

I should not post in the heat of anger. But let's see if putting my complaints into words helps me cool down.

About a month back, my aging primary computer died. I think the CPU needs more heat-sink grease, but it's a 32-bit Sempron. The RAM is kind of tight, too, just 760 MB. Using the software everyone around me thinks I have to use has been getting difficult. So I am moving my operations to other hardware.

My mail client, when I'm not being lazy and logging in to my gmail account from the web, is usually Sylpheed. (A little more about Sylpheed from wikipedia.) I had been using Sylpheed on a regular basis when things hit the fan with systemd, but I had been rather lazy from that point until the hardware died. Moving from debian and learning how to use openbsd didn't leave me much time for setting up the mail client. I don't know when I last logged in to gmail with Sylpheed.

After moving to new hardware a few weeks back, I find myself unable to log into my regular gmail account from sylpheed. (I can log into my family gmail-hosted e-mail, however.)

Couldn't find any answers on Google. Didn't have time to dig into it.

I've filtered notices and other junk from Google into a folder just for Google, and I often forget to look there. I have to start looking there more often.

I looked in there just now and found a notice from Google from a few weeks back:

Hi Joel,

We recently blocked a sign-in attempt to your Google Account [address].

Sign in attempt details
Date & Time: [date and time]
Location: [location]
If this wasn't you
Please review your Account Activity page at to see if anything looks suspicious. Whoever tried to sign in to your account knows your password; we recommend that you change it right away.
If this was you
You can switch to an app made by Google such as Gmail to access your account (recommended) or change your settings at so that your account is no longer protected by modern security standards.
To learn more, see

The Google Accounts team      
    This email can't receive replies. For more information, visit the Google Accounts Help Center.    

You received this mandatory email service announcement to update you about important changes to your Google product or account.

So I was, indeed, blocked.

Well, if I were using MSOutlook or MSOutlookExpress, especially on MSWindows98 or MSWindowsXP, I'd almost consider this a reasonable approach to a real problem.

Except I can log in to gmail from my Android 4.something-now-old tablet that is not getting updates from anyone any more. That fact puts a little unsavory perspective on things.

I checked the links. It was more of the same. Apparently no comprehension that it might be Google fumbling the more secure login handshake.

This reeks of Microsoft's deliberate habit of fumbling the newer, better open standards in an effort to convince everyone to believe they have to use Microsoft's less secure, less capable, completely inferior offerings.

(Financially speaking, Microsoft has been quite successful at this game. Four of five people who read this post will still be running some sort of Microsoft OS, and are still in the habit of thinking that Microsoft Office is the definition of office productivity software. What OS are you using? Maybe you are using Firefox, but who makes the rest of your software?)

I probably need to be explicit about this, but Sylpheed is not a fly-by-night Android App built by someone I've never heard of. The OS is not that Android OS, that, finally, in version 5, supports some semblance of one of the foundations of a secure OS, a way to login as a specific user.

(... But is ultimately still effectively tied to the OEM's opinion of what freedoms the end-user should be able to exercise -- Breaking out of the OEM's jail requires, for most people, using another fliy-by-night app by some developer you-nor-I have ever heard of, only mechanically rated by the PlayStore rating system.)

So much for Google's dalliance with "Don't be evil."

(And, yes, this one does get posted, even though I'm much calmer now than when I started typing. Filtering a few swear words and other less-coherent rants out of the post helps me calm down. I have a lot of these rage posts that I don't bother posting. There are more that I delete. But this one gets posted.)

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