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Social Networks

Foursquare-Style Checking In For Couch Potatoes 86

Posted by Soulskill
from the real-life-achievements-are-getting-out-of-hand dept.
This CNN article discusses a new breed of mobile "check-in" apps for people who aren't particularly mobile. The news apps were borne from the popularity of Foursquare, Gowalla, and Facebook Places, but instead of focusing on locations you've been, they spotlight movies and TV shows you watch, as well as books you read and video games you play. "These apps let users earn virtual rewards and meet fans with similar interests. Users also can push their check-ins to other sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, to keep the conversation going. They each have their own benefits on top of that, from giving users recommendations based on the things they already like to letting them unlock videos and other extras when they've become 'super fans' of a show. ... While people in the United States may all have different hobbies and engage in different activities away from home, 'we know most people do three things — they eat, they sleep and they watch TV,' [Miso's CEO, Somrat Niyogi said.] 'We think the market is massive. We think this is going to be a much bigger market' than location-based apps, he added."
Education

Los Angeles Unveils $578 Million Public School 367

Posted by Soulskill
from the passing-out-hundreds-in-the-lunch-line dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from an Associated Press report on next month's opening of the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools in Los Angeles: "With an eye-popping price tag of $578 million, it will mark the inauguration of the nation's most expensive public school ever. The K-12 complex to house 4,200 students has raised eyebrows across the country as the creme de la creme of 'Taj Mahal' schools, $100 million-plus campuses boasting both architectural panache and deluxe amenities. ... At RFK, the features include fine art murals and a marble memorial depicting the complex's namesake, a manicured public park, and a state-of-the-art swimming pool. 'There's no more of the old, windowless cinderblock schools of the '70s where kids felt, "Oh, back to jail,"' said Joe Agron, editor-in-chief of American School & University, a school construction journal. 'Districts want a showpiece for the community, a really impressive environment for learning.' ... Critics note that nearly 3,000 teachers have been laid off over the past two years, the academic year and programs have been slashed, the district faces a $640 million shortfall and some schools persistently rank among the nation's lowest performing."
Earth

Tornado Scientists Butt Heads With Storm Chasers 402

Posted by Soulskill
from the any-way-the-wind-blows-doesn't-really-matter-to-me dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Tornado researchers say amateurs — inspired by movies like Twister and shows like Storm Chasers — are getting in their way, hampering science and creating hazards. 'Hundreds of camera-toting amateurs in cars ended up chasing the same storms as a fleet of scientific vehicles during the high-profile research project, called Vortex2, which wrapped up data collection this week. At times the line of traffic caused the Midwestern roads to look like the freeways of Los Angeles, said Roger Wakimoto, director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, during a briefing for reporters this week. "I worry about this as a safety hazard," Mr. Wakimoto said. "These people were blocking our escape routes because of the sheer number of cars."' Storm chasers say they have as much right to watch storms as Ph.D.s."

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