Facebook: comment rendre public un statut pour qu’il puisse être partagé [fr]

[en] Archive of my weekly French-language "technology advice column".

Ma newsletter hebdomadaire “Demande à Steph” est archivée ici pour la postérité. Chaque semaine, un tuyau ou une explication touchant à la technologie numérique, ou une réponse à vos questions! Inscrivez-vous pour recevoir directement la prochaine édition. Voici l’archive originale.

L’idée de la semaine pour inaugurer cette newsletter: comment rendre public un statut facebook afin que nos amis puissent le partager plus loin.

C’est très utile pour les petites annonces: un meuble à donner, un appartement à remettre, un chat perdu — mais aussi pour les recherches, les demandes: “est-ce que quelqu’un sait si…”, “connaissez-vous quelqu’un qui…”).

Une chose qui nous échappe souvent quand on poste ce type de demande ou d’annonce, c’est qu’un statut visible pour “amis seulement” ne sera jamais visible en dehors de notre cercle d’amis, même si il est partagé. Imaginez, si nos statuts privés étaient à la merci d’un partage maladroit!

Du coup, on voit souvent des messages avec “merci de partager”, mais qui sont limités aux amis de la personne qui poste. C’est dommage! (On peut les partager, mais ils seront invisibles à quiconque n’avait pas déjà le droit de les voir sur le profil d’origine. Selon les cas, ceci donne lieu à la fameuse “pièce jointe indisponible” que vous avez déjà certainement croisée ici ou là dans des groupes Facebook.)

Chacun de vos statuts indique, à côté de l’heure (et du lieu), qui peut le voir. Celui-ci n’est par exemple visible que pour mes amis:

Et celui-ci est public. C’est ça qu’on veut voir quand on fait un statut à partager:

Souvent, on publie d’abord le statut, puis on se rend compte qu’il n’est pas public. Pas de panique! Il n’est pas nécessaire de l’effacer et d’en republier un. On peut changer la visibilité de n’importe quel statut Facebook, même longtemps après sa publication:

C’est bien sûr aussi possible sur le téléphone:

Et voilà pour aujourd’hui!

Comme on démarre tout juste, ça m’intéresse vraiment d’avoir vos retours. Il suffit de laisser un commentaire:

  • est-ce que ces infos vous sont utiles, ou bien vous saviez déjà?
  • est-ce que l’explication est claire, trop longue?
  • avez-vous une question à laquelle vous aimeriez que je réponde une prochaine fois?

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Bowie Snowboarding Whilst Playing Minesweeper [en]

[fr] Archive de ma newsletter hebdomadaire, dans laquelle je partage trois liens dignes d'intérêt.

I run a weekly newsletter where I share three links I consider worth visiting. Less is more. This is issue #1. Sign up to get the next one directly in your inbox!

The Times Square snowboarding video: Why it went viral

I think the first time I stumbled upon the notion that what looked like “instant success” from the outside was in fact the result of a lot of hard work in the shadows was when I read Scott Berkun’s excellent book The Myths of Innovation.

As observers, things that suddenly appear on our radar do indeed seem to come out of nowhere. But that says more about our imperfect relationship to the world than the inner workings of reality.

If you follow YouTube and youtubers, you’ll probably have heard of Casey Neistat. I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t, until one of my students blogged about him. Well, he’s the guy behind the snowboarding video. He’s been at this for five years. He definitely has not “come out of nowhere”.

Bowie in the Studio and ZDTV Interview 1999.

I’m strangely having a hard time dealing with David Bowie’s death. All the more strangely because I didn’t really appreciate his work while he was alive. Anyway, I’m discovering it now, spending many hours on YouTube watching music videos and interviews.

I like this 30-minute video for three reasons:

  • in the beginning, we get to see Bowie settling down in the studio before the interview – casual, not-really-for-air footage; this is raw footage rather than the final produced thing, and I, as many, love peeking behind the scenes to try and catch a glimpse of “the person” behind “the artist”
  • the interview itself is about the internet, BowieNet, and the lyrics contest for the song “What’s Really Happening?” (the album is Hours…) – this is 1999, remember!
  • the last segment is the actual recording of the vocal track in the studio – Bowie at work, and we get to be the fly on the wall.

The real reason Microsoft invented the Minesweeper & Solitaire games

Really interesting example of gamification before it was hot – or how to use games to teach users basic interface skills. Try and guess, before reading the article. What did Solitaire and Minesweeper teach and exercise in these early days of consumer GUIs?

This reminds me of something I realised, a few years ago: smartphones and app stores (well, Apple) and little square thingies on the screen were finally teaching people what a “programme” (=application) was.

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The Perils of Hearing Less in the Classroom [en]

As the founding editor of Phonak’s community blog “Open Ears” (now part of “Hearing Like Me“) I contributed a series of articles on hearing loss between 2014 and 2015. Here they are.

In another lifetime I was a middle-school teacher. It only lasted for two years, but at that time I thought it might be my career.

I didn’t wear hearing aids then. Of the many difficulties I faced teaching classes of teenagers, I think some of them did have their root in my hearing loss.

First of all, I couldn’t understand soft-spoken students, and often had to make them repeat themselves. Uncomfortable for me, and also for them, especially if they were shy. The accompanying snickers from the rest of the class were certainly not a positive thing for the class atmosphere or my relationship with them.

I also had trouble when students made low-voiced comments or “talked back” in such a way that everybody could hear but me. It does make it difficult to ensure classroom rules are followed when so much can go on under your threshold of perception.

At the time, I didn’t realise how “bad” my hearing was (I knew I had some hearing loss). I didn’t realise that my colleagues heard that much more, and therefore had more information at hand to help them manage the class. Not hearing well clearly was not my only shortcoming in teaching teenagers, but I probably blamed myself more than I should have for the difficulties rooted in “not hearing things”.

classroom-940x492_10282015

You know how colds can block your ears a bit? In my case, as my hearing loss falls pretty much smack in the middle of the “speech banana”, temporary cold-related hearing loss often made me incapable of understanding anything that was said in the classroom.

We know how hard it is for adults to change the way they express themselves to compensate for somebody’s hearing loss, so imagine teenagers!

I now don’t teach teenagers anymore, and not so regularly. The social media classes I give today are either for undergraduate students (technically past their teens) or actively working adults. I wear hearing aids, but that doesn’t solve everything.

These last two years, I gave a course which took place in what I can only term an acoustically disastrous room. Echoey, of course, big, and to top it all, uncomfortably hot on a sunny day, with windows that opened on the noise of the city.

Students sitting in the front row are rarely a problem. I usually move around in the classroom when I’m talking to somebody, avoiding “across-the-room” conversations. So when the classroom is organised in solid rows of tables you cannot walk through, communicating with the students sitting in the back row can be a bit of a problem.

And, ever the same problem: the third time you ask somebody to repeat something in front of everybody because you haven’t understood what they’re saying, things start getting tense.

Of course, I always tell my students about my hearing loss. I explain that if I ask them to repeat something, it’s because I couldn’t hear them well enough to understand. I remind them to make a particular effort to speak loud enough, particularly if they are sitting in the back rows. I ask them to raise their hand or get my attention before speaking.

But it’s not enough. And these difficulties become a real problem when a student is being rude or challenging an idea I’ve brought to the classroom. I’ve been accused at times of shutting down conversations and not accepting debate, but how can you debate or have a conversation when you can’t understand what the other person is saying?

I also realise that depending on the teaching context, my hearing loss pushes me towards “teacher-speaking” and “work in groups” types of teaching, to the detriment of more “class interactive” formats, which I actually appreciate. I had the opportunity over the last year to give a series of short workshops to small groups of people (around 10), and all though I did end up speaking a lot of the time (hah!) I really did appreciate the group discussions we were able to have.

I had a chat with my audiologist about this particular acoustically disastrous classroom, and she told me that if this was somewhere I was often, we could create a programme especially for it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t really worth it, as I would only end up teaching 2-4 days a year in that particular room.

Although I’m not a full-time teacher anymore, I would be really interested in hearing about the experiences other teachers with hearing loss. Does your hearing loss limit you in the “teaching formats” you are able to use with your class? Do you find it puts you at a disadvantage to “manage” the class, particularly with young students? Do you have any compensating tips and tricks to share?

Let us know.

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The Friends Who Listen For Me [en]

As the founding editor of Phonak’s community blog “Open Ears” (now part of “Hearing Like Me“) I contributed a series of articles on hearing loss between 2014 and 2015. Here they are.

While I was writing “Never Mind, It’s Not Important“, I realised I have certain friends who do way more than just avoid brushing me off with a “never mind” when I am in a situation where I struggle to understand what is being said: they will repeat and summarise for me.

This happens especially in group situations where I haven’t managed to position myself optimally, or when the audio quality or acoustics aren’t good.

Having somebody “be my ears” and repeat to me what I need to know is really precious. We’re at the opposite of the “it’s not important” situation I wrote about recently: I am willingly giving up the power to decide what is important or not to somebody else. But the key word here is “willingly”. It is my choice.

Friends-Who-Listen-For-Me

This allows me to relax instead of having to strain, and it also means I won’t be asking the person speaking to the group to repeat stuff that everyone has understood but me.

So, group situations where somebody is giving information/instructions for everybody are a typical scenario — another is dinner parties at restaurant tables. It’s really nice when the person beside me repeats what a more distant person is trying to get across to me when I’m asking them to repeat for the third time. Easier!

I’m very grateful for these people who seem to be able to keep in mind that it’s more difficult for me than them to hear well in tricky situations. And it touches me that they care enough to take the trouble to make life a little bit easier for me.

Thank you.

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Never Mind, It’s Not Important [en]

As the founding editor of Phonak’s community blog “Open Ears” (now part of “Hearing Like Me“) I contributed a series of articles on hearing loss between 2014 and 2015. Here they are.

You’ve read articles about this, right? How we the hearing less don’t appreciate being told “never mind” or “it’s not important” when we’re asking for something we didn’t understand to be repeated.

Since I started wearing hearing aids, I’ve had a few years to reflect on the impact growing up hearing less, first undiagnosed, then underestimated. When I see what a hard time adults sometimes have adjusting their communication habits to my ears, and that I still sometimes fake it despite my fancy cutting-edge hearing aids, I can only imagine what an impact this had on my relationships and ability to socialise as a child.

Some years ago I met up with a few girls I was in kindergarten with. It was really fun to meet them as adults, and we got on great, although we weren’t all exactly friends when we were in school together. I saw them as the “popular” girls and they didn’t seem to be very interested in me. As I was mentioning that, one of them remarked that it wasn’t they didn’t like me, but that I didn’t really speak to them or answer when they spoke to me.

never-mind-it-s-not-important

Shyness? I was shy. But now, I’m thinking I probably didn’t even hear or understand them. And, as another said, “we were five years old”.

What I’m getting at is that when you don’t hear as well as most of the people around you, you are automatically left out to some extent. You don’t have access to the same sound information as everybody else. You miss things. You misunderstand things. And when you are a child or a teenager, you will be mostly dealing with human beings who are probably not very good at taking that into account.

For many years I blamed my social difficulties as a child on being “awkward”, or not socially skilled, or not likeable, or whatnot. So yes, maybe I was a smart nerdy awkward kid, but the more I think of it, the more I’m convinced that my hearing loss played some role in there.

I’m dragging you into my childhood because I think that for those of us who grew up with hearing loss, “never mind” and other “it’s not important” responses hit right upon this sore spot of being left out. For those who lost hearing later in life, it probably hits a slightly different button, the one about losing an ability you had in the past, and not being able to function socially as you used to anymore.

There is something dismissive and patronising in “never mind”. The words being said were words I was expected to hear and understand, that others around heard and understood. They were uttered and audible-to-normal-ears, and as such made available to the hearer for an executive decision about their importance. If it really weren’t important, you wouldn’t have said it, right? And, as I like to point out to people who dismiss social media as “useless chatter”, these seemingly random and unimportant exchanges are the very ones which draw people together and create relationships.

What “never mind” says is “it is not worth the effort to give you access to this information that other people have”. It is not worth including you. And yes, I get it. You might think it’s not worth the effort.

But to me, it means a lot to feel included, to feel that I am worth the effort. Even if it’s just to get confirmation that indeed, it was nothing important.

At least I get to make that call.

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What Is Waiting For Us Around The Corner [en]

As the founding editor of Phonak’s community blog “Open Ears” (now part of “Hearing Like Me“) I contributed a series of articles on hearing loss between 2014 and 2015. Here they are.

A few days ago I stumbled upon a Forbes article about 4 game-changing technologies for the deaf and hard of hearing. I read it with interest, as I keep rubbing shoulders with the tech/startup world, and the moment it intersects with hearing technology, I immediately wonder what the technological future for hearing-impaired people like me might look like (remember my excitement about mimi?)

Without being an expert on either innovation or the hearing aid industry, here’s what I see when I look around. There are startups, like mimi, who approach issues from original angles, and clearly try to disrupt the market. But big companies innovate too.

future-of-hearing-technology

Over the last year or two, for example, we’ve heard a lot about Made for iPhone hearing aids, that will connect directly to your iPhone without a streamer (there’s a price though, not least a battery life of 2-3 days).

Also featured in Yahoo News’s game-changing wearable devices, Phonak’s Roger Pen, a versatile device that makes hearing in difficult situations much easier. I have yet to test it (soon, hopefully!) but I know a bunch of deaf students who swear by it. Less conducive to attention-grabbing headlines than “bluetooth hearing aids”, but maybe more important, there is also Venture, the new platform for Phonak aids. This can seem “softer” innovation, as it is “the next version” (after Quest, which I also tried), but if it is so good you fall asleep with your hearing aids on and forget to use your programmes, isn’t that quite incredible? Not to forget Lyric, a truly invisible hearing aid that you wear 24/7 and change every few months.

Anyway. Back to the article that got me writing today, and the players it showcases, along with my somewhat skeptical comments.

We have MotionSavvy, a tablet and software that translate sign language into spoken language in real time. This sounds really exciting, but can it really bridge the deaf and hearing worlds? I don’t sign, so I’m not certain of the implications of carrying a tablet around and signing with one hand. Also, I know that facial expression is an important part of sign language — will MotionSavvy manage that? I’d be interested in feedback from people who use sign primarily to communicate on how “real-life-useful” this seems to them. From the technology point of view it’s clearly exciting, though. (Update: two MotionSavvy founders + other employees are deaf, so I’m reducing my skepticism a few notches and increasing my enthusiasm about the project — “scratch your own itch” is always a selling-point for me.)

Then there is Solar Ear, which is about getting solar-rechargeable batteries in hearing aids for developing countries. We’ve written a few posts here about the Hear Haiti Project, and I’m certain that in addition to hearing aids the volunteers with the Hear the World Foundation must be bringing many many packs of batteries with them in their luggage. So, clearly, batteries that can be recharged with solar power sound like a great advance. However, there are reasons we’re not already widely using rechargeable batteries in hearing aids. This is above my pay-grade, but I did peek at their specs for the 312 battery (those I use), and I see it’s Ni-MH, which I read in the other article suffers from issues like the memory effect and capacity fading. Have they found a way around this, or do they simply design a hearing aid that can deal with these issues?

Third, ISEEWHATYOUSAY (video). This is a speech-to-text device. You speak a message into your end, and the message appears typed on the other person’s device. This is the less convincing one for me, because I don’t see how it is very different than dictating a text message into your phone for the other person.

Last but not least, in the vein of pimping your hearing aids, Hayleigh’s Cherished Charms. Hayleigh started drawing hearing-aid jewellery when she was little to encourage her classmates to stop hiding their hearing aids behind their hair. Now 16, Heyleigh runs a proper business selling her charms, complete with Etsy store!

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I Never Lost My Hearing [en]

As the founding editor of Phonak’s community blog “Open Ears” (now part of “Hearing Like Me“) I contributed a series of articles on hearing loss between 2014 and 2015. Here they are.

Though I find myself favouring the expression “hearing loss” to talk about “hearing that’s not ‘normal'”, it always feels wrong for me.

You see, I haven’t lost my hearing: I just never had it. Well, the part that’s missing. Because there is a sizeable chunk that is there. Give me 60 dB in any frequency (down to 25 in my better ones) and I’ll happily hear.

As far as I can tell, I was born with “hearing like that”. I share my cookie-bite audiogramme with my brother and father, a typical situation of hereditary congenital “not hearing well-ness”.

Saying “hearing loss” makes it sound like at some point I lost my hearing. Like I have a “before” and an “after”, or that my hearing is deteriorating. That I have an awareness of what life with “more hearing” is like. But my “loss-less” story is very different from the stories of loss that others like Stu, Christina, Howard or Angie have been through.

I-Never-Lost-My-Hearing

I have not suffered the trauma of losing. I only have the grief of having never had, and of realising at age 40 how much more difficult my hearing impairment made my life as a child and a teen (even an adult!) during all those years where it was first undiagnosed, then underestimated to the point I just decided to cope, because it was “no big deal”.

But it was, and it’s painful to think about.

I am left with not knowing how to describe myself or my hearing, in terms that are both understandable by others and do not betray my experience of living with these somewhat wonky ears. I fall back on “hearing loss” in English, and “je n’entends pas bien” in French, but they feel like a pair of jeans that is not quite the right shape for me.

This struggle with language is, in my opinion, symptomatic of both the lack of general information about D/deaf/HoH issues in the hearing population, and (related of course) the greater social stigma (leading all the way to denial in some cases) around hearing vs. vision impairments.

Because of our unease around malfunctioning ears (yes, I dare say that), we do not speak gladly of hearing loss/impairment/problems, and the inadequacy of our language is there to remind us of this state of affairs.

We “on the spectrum” are tossing these terms and expressions around, and will continue to do so for a while before they agree to settle.

Until then, we will do the best we can with the words we have — at the risk of being misunderstood.

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The Hearing Loss Spectrum, Between the Hearing World and Deaf Culture [en]

As the founding editor of Phonak’s community blog “Open Ears” (now part of “Hearing Like Me“) I contributed a series of articles on hearing loss between 2014 and 2015. Here they are.

Since becoming the editor of this blog, one thing I’ve struggled with is the diversity of “hearing loss” experiences we would like to reflect. This is parallel with all the questions related to the minefield of hearing-related terminology, which we’ve touched upon in a couple of past articles. I actually drafted another article on the topic after Christina wrote hers about reclaiming the term “hearing impaired” for herself. But it’s been sitting there because I didn’t feel I was managing to get it right. And because I’m very much afraid of saying the wrong thing on a loaded topic (as I am with this very post).

In what I’ll call the “hearing loss spectrum”, for lack of a better expression, there is a reasonably obvious distinction, the importance of which was recently brought to my attention on a couple of occasions. Not that I wasn’t aware of it before, but I’ve come to a deeper understanding of it — and of its relevance to the editorial line of Open Ears (part of my job here).

The distinction is the following: is your primary means of communication through vocal speech, or signed language? Of course there are people who use both, but for most or us I think, it is one or the other. Is your culture hearing culture, or Deaf culture?

About a month ago I heard that Christine Sun Kim was giving a talk at the MIT Media Lab. Christine is a sound artist — and she’s deaf. Of course this made me curious, and I thought it would be interesting to talk about her work on Open Ears (which I’m doing, actually, by writing this ;-)). Then the “rift” between parts of the “hearing loss” and “deaf” communities was pointed out to me. My initial reaction was “no big deal, Open Ears is about the whole ‘hearing loss spectrum’.”

But in the days that followed, and as I read more about Christine’s work, and watched videos, and explored more about deaf language and culture [PDF], I realised that I was missing something.

Hearing technology (hearing aids and cochlear implants, mainly) is about making it possible for those who want it to take part in hearing culture as normally as possible even though their “lesser hearing” makes this difficult, to varying degrees. In that respect, this blog is clearly about the hearing world.

A couple of weeks later, I met a woman whose son is deaf. He can hear very loud sounds (ambulances etc.) with the help of a powerful hearing aid, but that’s it. They sign, of course. She was telling me about how extremely difficult our Swiss ideal of “total integration in the classroom” was for deaf kids (like asking little hearing kids to take part in a class full of telepaths).

Her story kind of drove home for me how very different it is to be part of hearing or deaf culture — deafness here as a linguistic and culture minority: the Deaf.

And so, yes, there is a whole spectrum of hearing loss. But at some point there are two worlds that are culturally different and communicate via different mediums (oral speech or sign). To some extent, they are related to degrees of hearing loss, but not necessarily.

This is quite obvious, I’m aware. It’s not a new idea for me either. But as an editor who is forever thinking about and questioning the editorial line of this blog (do we write about this? and what about this? and this? or not?), these two encounters helped me clarify that we do not want to encroach upon the territory of all the great Deaf publications out there, and that Open Ears respectfully remains on the “hearing culture” side of hearing loss.

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Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week [en]

As the founding editor of Phonak’s community blog “Open Ears” (now part of “Hearing Like Me“) I contributed a series of articles on hearing loss between 2014 and 2015. Here they are.

Tomorrow marks the 135th anniversary of Helen Keller‘s birth. I remember being fascinated by Helen’s story as a young child, full of wonder at how she managed to learn to communicate although she was deaf and blind. (Thought she was born deaf and blind? Check out the myths.)

More recently, whilst exploring the d/Deaf/HoH world online, both out of interest as a hearing aid user and as “blogger-in-chief” of Open Ears, I came upon postings about Usher Syndrome, a rare progressive disease that affects both sight and hearing. They gave me a touch of the fear one could have about losing sight in addition to hearing, particularly if one uses sign language.

In 1984, President Reagan proclaimed the last week of June “Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week” — an occasion to raise awareness about deafblindness and highlight the contributions of those who have this disability. It has since spread to some other anglophone countries.

As my contribution to this awareness week, I’d like to share two videos about young deafblind women with you.

helenkeller-940x492_062015

The first is a documentary produced by and about Brittany, who has been deaf and blind since she was two. She walks us through her life at school and shares her feelings about her disability and relationships with others.

The second is from Molly, who has Usher Syndrome. She has actually set up a charity, the Molly Watt Trust, to advocate and raise awareness about the condition. In her video she tells us about the consequences of being both deaf and blind on her everyday life.

Both are well worth watching and show different faces of deafblindness. There are many others of course, not forgetting those who in old age see their senses fade away to the point where they can no longer make use of them.

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What Are These Hearing Loops? [en]

As the founding editor of Phonak’s community blog “Open Ears” (now part of “Hearing Like Me“) I contributed a series of articles on hearing loss between 2014 and 2015. Here they are.

A couple of weeks ago, Angie wrote a post chronicling her repeated failure to find functional loops so she could try out her newly-activated telecoil. I was curious, as I’ve never used a loop myself. I’ve seen the signs, of course: the white ear on blue background with a T next to it. But until my recent last visit at Phonak headquarters, I wasn’t even certain my hearing aids had a telecoil (they do).

It seems I’m not alone in being mystified/uninformed about loops, as the many questions on the Phonak Facebook page testify.

So. What are these hearing loops?

what-are-loops

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might remember me mentioning streamers like the Compilot Air or the M-DEX. What these streamers do is they transmit sound from an audio source (typically, your phone) directly into your hearing aids. Your hearing aids are basically working like “in the ear headphones”.

Induction loops allow the same kind of experience — without the streamer and in a specific place.

Here’s one of the many articles on hearing loops I was reading this morning, perfect if you’re in a geeky state of mind. The loop is actual wiring that produces an electromagnetic field which is “captured” by the telecoil in your hearing aids and transformed into sound.

This means that if you’re at a theatre that is equipped with a loop, you can put your hearing aid on the T-coil programme, and lo and behold, you’ll hear the audio that is playing directly in your hearing aids. Same thing at the till when you’re buying your train ticket — instead of struggling to hear through the glass and the crappy loudspeakers, you can hear the teller directly in your ears.

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