New Paper From Indiana U Law Faculty Shows Significant Law Student Satisfaction With Online Classes

This is the first article to provide empirical data on the effectiveness of distance education in law schools since the ABA this summer approved increasing the total number of credits that law students could earn through online classes from 15 to 30. Our data, composed of law student surveys and focus groups, reveal not only the success of distance education in their experience, but also the methods that are most effective for them.

— Dutton, Yvonne and Ryznar, Margaret and Long, Kayleigh, Assessing Online Learning in Law Schools: Students Say Online Classes Deliver (October 1, 2018). Denver University Law Review, Forthcoming; Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Research Paper 2018-13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3242824

This article is important for 2 reasons. First, it provides an excellent survey of the state of online education in American law schools including information on what schools are providing online courses (hint: lots) and how those courses are being taught. Second, it provides solid empirical evidence of the success of online classes in an ABA accredited law school with the course being taught within the scope of the accreditation rules.

This is a must read for law school Deans, faculty, librarians, and technologists.

Online regex tester and debugger: PHP, PCRE, Python, Golang and JavaScript

Regex101 allows you to create, debug, test and have your expressions explained for PHP, PCRE, Python, Golang and JavaScript. The website also features a community where you can share useful expressions.

Source: Online regex tester and debugger: PHP, PCRE, Python, Golang and JavaScript

This site is really handy if you want to test and debug regex statements before committing them to code.

Just a little hiccup in upgrading from Debian 8 to 9

How about a little tale of upgrades for a Friday?
On my dev machine here at the house I was running Debian 8. A few weeks ago, hoping to get more coherent support for things I needed like MySQL 5.7 and PHP 7, I did an in place upgrade to Debian 9. The upgrade proceeded without any issues even, through a couple of reboots and some tests. Finally, with a flourish, there was a final reboot that should have brought the machine back online as a Debian 9 PC.
It crashed.
I was watching a console full of errors of all sorts scroll by. All I could get was an emergency failure prompt. That means something had gone horribly wrong during the boot process. I was quickly able to determine that the issue was in the RAID1 array. I was able to manually mount the RAID volumes and see that the data was still intact. But, something was wrong. I shut it down and let it sitting there.
Since Comcast was up and down today I figured this was a good time to get it that box back up and running. With root access from the emergency prompt I was able to comment out the broken mounts for the RAID volumes. This allowed me to get it to boot but it was unhappy about missing the /var and /home mounts from the RAID.
I quickly discovered the I could use mdadm /dev/md1 -manage to get the RAID device up and then I was able to do the mounts for /var and /home. Using Webmin I checked the status of the RAID noted that both RAID volumes were flagged as degraded and each one only showed a single physical device attached. I readded the necessary physical disks to the RAID and waited for it to resync. Then I put the mounts back in fstab and rebooted. It fired right up and all is well with the world.
It appears that during the upgrade process from Debian 8 to 9 the system chose to only recognize one partition on each physical drive as part of the RAID1 setup. That broke the RAID and disrupted the boot process. I doubt I’ll ever see this sort of thing again.

Let’s Encrypt releases ACME v2 with Support for Wildcard Certificates

Wildcard certificates allow you to secure all subdomains of a domain with a single certificate. Wildcard certificates can make certificate management easier in some cases, and we want to address those cases in order to help get the Web to 100% HTTPS. We still recommend non-wildcard certificates for most use cases.

Source: ACME v2 and Wildcard Certificate Support is Live

This is something we’ve been waiting for at CALI so we can move Classcaster to HTTPS. I think it’s also going to be great for folks like me who like having a domain for everything. With wildcard support we should be able to encrypt all the web pages.

Give Your WordPress Blog a Voice With Our New Amazon Polly Plugin | AWS News Blog

Today we are launching a WordPress plugin that uses Polly to create high-quality audio versions of your blog posts. You can access the audio from within the post or in podcast form using a feature that we call Amazon Pollycast! Both options make your content more accessible and can help you to reach a wider audience. This plugin was a joint effort between the AWS team our friends at AWS Advanced Technology Partner WP Engine.

Give Your WordPress Blog a Voice With Our New Amazon Polly Plugin | AWS News Blog https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/give-your-wordpress-blog-a-voice-with-our-new-amazon-polly-plugin/

Amazon launches a Polly WordPress plugin that turns blog posts into audio, including podcasts | TechCrunch

Amazon launches a Polly WordPress plugin that turns blog posts into audio, including podcasts | TechCrunch https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/08/amazon-launches-a-polly-wordpress-plugin-that-turns-blog-posts-into-audio-including-podcasts/

Educause plans to buy assets of bankrupt New Media Consortium

Educause plans to buy assets of bankrupt New Media Consortium https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/02/06/educause-plans-buy-assets-bankrupt-new-media-consortium

Top 4 open source alternatives to Google Analytics | Opensource.com

These four versatile web analytics tools provide valuable insights on your customers and site visitors while keeping you in control.

Top 4 open source alternatives to Google Analytics | Opensource.com https://opensource.com/article/18/1/top-4-open-source-analytics-tools

We use Matomo (formerly Piwik) on CALI websites. We decided to host our own analytics for a few reasons including performance, data control, and to better choose the options we use.

More than 2,000 WordPress websites are infected with a keylogger | Ars Technica

More than 2,000 WordPress websites are infected with a keylogger | Ars Technica https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2018/01/more-than-2000-wordpress-websites-are-infected-with-a-keylogger/

Podcast Hosting with WordPress: Your Advanced Guide | Barn2 Media

Setting up your own podcast hosting isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Our step-by-step guide covers all you need to know to quickly set up your own self-hosted podcast library on a WordPress website, measure your podcast’s success and submit it to iTunes.

Source: Podcast Hosting with WordPress: Your Advanced Guide | Barn2 Media

Podcasting is easier than ever with WordPress and this is a pretty good guide to get you started.