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Submission + - Gov Jindal wants Oil Spill settlement to fund bridge for offshore oil industry (

McGruber writes: Some more evidence that the the Biggest, Most Expensive Oil Spill In History Changed Almost Nothing ( Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has asked coastal restoration officials to allow some of the BP oil spill settlement to be used to pay for the $350 million Louisiana Route 1 bridge. This highway is the main access route to Port Fourchon, which serves the offshore oil industry. (

Submission + - $1.8 Million in Bitcoins stolen when Bitpay's CFO falls for Phishing Email (

McGruber writes: According to a federal lawsuit filed Sept. 15, bitcoin payment service Bitpay ( CFO Bryan Krohn received a phishing email from someone purporting to be with a digital currency publication asking Krohn to comment on a bitcoin industry document.

The phishing email directed Krohn to a website controlled by a hacker, where Krohn provided the credentials for his Bitpay corporate email account, according to the lawsuit.

After capturing Mr. Krohn's Bitpay credentials, the hacker used that information to hack into Mr. Krohn's Bitpay email account to fraudulently cause a transfer of bitcoin" valued at $1,850,000.

Bitpay is now suing Massachusetts Bay Insurance Company, its insurer, after MBIC declined to cover the loss.

Comment Re:How it works? (Score 1) 143

The explanation wasn't very clear, but I think this is how it works. Student in 2015: "We charge you $34k tutition, but you are eligible for $20k grant, so you pay us $14k." Same student in 2016: "We charge you $20k tuition, but you are eligible for $6k grant, so you pay us $14k"

The article says students will save somewhere between $1,000 to $5,000 a year, so the last line of your hypothetical example probably should be:

"2016: We charge you $20k tuition, but you are eligible for grants ranging between $7k-$11k, so you will only pay us somewhere between $9k and $13k" [Students in 2015 paid $14k]

Charging its students $1k to $5k less per year will cause Utica College "to lose $2 million in the first year, but it expects to more than make up the difference in the years to come" from increased enrollment.

Comment Utica College's Tuition Reset (Score 5, Informative) 143

There are more details posted on the college's website: A Bold Move For Tomorrow - Utica College Resets Tuition to a Better Price, Improving Our Affordability

On the FAQ page they explain:

Q. Why is Utica College doing this?

A. Colleges and universities all across America are dealing with affordability issues. Even though colleges like Utica provide high quality and great results to make the investment worth it, the pricing models used by most private colleges can result in published prices that give students and their families “sticker shock.” America’s colleges and universities are reaching a point where they can no longer keep raising their already high tuition amount year after year – at some point it starts to seem just too high, and not every family knows that the sticker price will most likely be discounted for them with scholarships, grants, and other financial aid. The overall result is that too many students and families are not even considering a private college as a realistic possibility.

So we are doing this because it needs to be done. And we are the right college to do it. Many private institutions are in the same position as Utica, with the ability to reset their tuition to a better price. But Utica is one of the few colleges in the nation – and the first among those we compete with for students – that has been bold enough to actually do it. There’s a reason UC’s brand signature is “Never stand still.” It captures the entire forward-moving spirit of Utica College. Ever since our post-WWII founding to serve area veterans on through to our early adoption of online learning and our development of cutting-edge programs like economic crime and cybersecurity, UC has remained flexible and innovative, growing and thriving specifically because we are always committed to meeting marketplace needs.

Submission + - The Answer to the High Cost of College: 42% Cut in Tuition (

McGruber writes: An unexpected outbreak of common sense in US higher education: Utica College (, a small, private university in upstate NY, announced it is cutting its annual tuition by 42 percent (

According to College President Todd Hutton, the change will reduce the sticker shock that many parents and students have when seeing the tuition price. Hutton says there are fewer than a dozen students who pay the full price.

Currently, 61 percent of the tuition revenue coming from freshman is grants and subsidies directly from the college's pockets. Under the new tuition rate this number, called the "discount rate," would go down to 29 percent. Essentially, Utica College would spend less of its own money to pay the tuition of students who can't afford the full price. It expects to make up the lost revenue through increased enrollment, which would come as a result of the college appearing to be more affordable. Even though some of it sounds like a shell game, students will all make out better in the end, Hutton said. The least a student will save is $1,000. The most is more than $5,000, Hutton said.

While the college's net revenue per student will decrease, the colllege anticipates offsetting that loss with a higher number of students enrolled. The lower tuition will have a cascading effect since more prospective students will consider the college and end up enrolling in it.

NOTE TO EDITOR: Story Title is intended to be a reference to Hitchhiker's Guide to Galaxy,

Comment Pao: "Trolls are winning battle for the Internet" (Score 2) 234

When I submitted, I forgot to mention that Bezo's newspaper published a July 6 opinion piece written by Ellen Pao: Former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao: The trolls are winning the battle for the Internet

Pao's essay is bizzare -- she complained about "trolls" while she herself used the troll tactic of claiming to be swamped with private messages of support:

As the trolls on Reddit grew louder and more harassing in recent weeks, another group of users became more vocal. First a few sent positive messages. Then a few more. Soon, I was receiving hundreds of messages a day, and at one point thousands. These messages were thoughtful, well-written and heartfelt, in stark contrast to the trolling messages, which were usually made up of little more than four-letter words. Many shared their own stories of harassment and thanked us for our stance.

The writers of these messages often said they could not imagine the hate I was experiencing. Most apologized for the trolls’ behavior. And some apologized for standing on the sidelines. “I didn’t do anything, and that is why I am sorry,” one user wrote. “I stayed indifferent. I didn’t attack nor defend. I am sorry for my inaction. You are a human. And no one needs to be treated like you were.” Some apologized for their own trollish behavior and promised they had reformed.

As the threats became really violent, people ended their messages with “stay safe.” Eventually, users started responding on Reddit itself, using accurate information and supportive messages to fight back against the trolls.

If Pao had really received "hundreds of messages a day" from supporters, then she should have been easily able to use crowfunding to pay her legal bills.... IMHO.

Submission + - Ellen Pao drops appeal of her gender discrimination suit (

McGruber writes: Jeff Bezo's newspaper is reporting ( that Ellen Pao is dropping her appeal of the gender discrimination suit she lost against her former employer, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers(
Pao sued KPCB in 2012, claiming that women were not given fair consideration in the male-dominated workplace. She also said that a male colleague with whom she had an affair unfairly cut her out of e-mail correspondence and upper management did nothing about it. She was fired soon after filing her suit. After a bruising month-long trial in which her personal character and work performance were repeatedly brought into question, a jury of six men and six woman ruled that there was no evidence of gender discrimination.

Comment Model Railroad Hobbyist (Free Online Magazine) (Score 1) 149

If you're not aware of it, check out the Model Railroad Hobbyist (MRH) website.

Just keep in mind that MRH and Model Railroader (MR) magazine are both advertiser-driver... which is a nice way of saying that their business models are to always be trying to convince you to buy the newest and greatest, instead of being happy with what you already have!

Comment Re:an amazing OS (Score 2) 284

Yes I (AC) remember it - it was a fantastic upgrade from W 3.11 for Workgroups: - the new UI/desktop made it much nicer than 3.11, the file manager was much better - the Recycle Bin made it much simpler to 'recover' accidentally deleted files, no more FAT16/32 undelete tools (anyone else remember Revive or was it Revival?) for most mistakes - the Plug'n'Play feature did work ok for well known extension cards, everyone I know found it way cool not to fiddle with deep technical settings just to get a sound blaster to work At the time it looked amazing and although slower (on my old 486DX2@50MHz) it showed a new way to use the computer - the future to the 2000s looked bright.

Although at the last Win 9x in the series - Windows ME - I switched to Linux full time (mostly for stability), I remember W95 fondly.

Comment Looked slick, but so unstable (Score 4, Interesting) 284

Do you remember first seeing or installing Windows 95?

I do.

95 was really slick looking. Its splash screens and on-screen fonts seemed beautiful, after years of having run DOS programs, earlier Windows (2.1 and 3.0) and Desqview.

I also remember that 95 was awful to use for work -- it would crash, hang, and/or start acting erratically, requiring reboots several times during each work day. I also remember having to manually save my work every few minutes, unless I was using a program that could be configured to autosave every few minutes. (I think we were still using WordPerfect in a DOS box back then and WP was one of the few programs that could actually autosave.)

95 was so unstable that, when you purchased a Microsoft language (C, Pascal, etc), Microsoft actually include a copy of NT 4.0 for free. (At my college bookstore, buying a Microsoft language with a NT 4.0 CD in the box actually cost less than buying just NT 4.0 by itself.)

Work expands to fill the time available. -- Cyril Northcote Parkinson, "The Economist", 1955