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Education

The College-Loan Scandal 827

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-about-the-benjamins dept.
Matt Taibbi writes in Rolling Stone about the economics behind college tuition. Interest rates get the headlines and the attention of politicians, but Taibbi says the real culprit is "appallingly high tuition costs that have been soaring at two to three times the rate of inflation, an irrational upward trajectory eerily reminiscent of skyrocketing housing prices in the years before 2008." He writes, "For this story, I interviewed people who developed crippling mental and physical conditions, who considered suicide, who had to give up hope of having children, who were forced to leave the country, or who even entered a life of crime because of their student debts. ... Because the underlying cause of all that later-life distress and heartache – the reason they carry such crushing, life-alteringly huge college debt – is that our university-tuition system really is exploitative and unfair, designed primarily to benefit two major actors. First in line are the colleges and universities, and the contractors who build their extravagant athletic complexes, hotel-like dormitories and God knows what other campus embellishments. For these little regional economic empires, the federal student-loan system is essentially a massive and ongoing government subsidy, once funded mostly by emotionally vulnerable parents, but now increasingly paid for in the form of federally backed loans to a political constituency – low- and middle-income students – that has virtually no lobby in Washington. Next up is the government itself. While it's not commonly discussed on the Hill, the government actually stands to make an enormous profit on the president's new federal student-loan system, an estimated $184 billion over 10 years, a boondoggle paid for by hyperinflated tuition costs and fueled by a government-sponsored predatory-lending program that makes even the most ruthless private credit-card company seem like a "Save the Panda" charity. Why is this happening? The answer lies in a sociopathic marriage of private-sector greed and government force that will make you shake your head in wonder at the way modern America sucks blood out of its young."
Image

Google Street View Shoots the Same Woman 43 Times 106

Posted by samzenpus
from the get-your-face-out-there dept.
Geoffrey.landis writes "Terry Southgate discovered that his wife Wendy appears on the Google Street View of his neighborhood not once or twice but a whopping 43 times. From the article: 'It seems as if the Street View car simply followed the same route as Wendy and Trixie. However, Wendy was a little suspicious that the car was doing something on the "tricksie" side. Several of the Street View shots show Wendy looking with some concern towards the car that was, well, to put it politely, crawling along the curb. "I didn't know what it was doing. It was just driving round very, very slowly," Wendy told the Sun.' The next best thing to being a movie star — a Street View star!"
Books

Judge Chin Says He Will Cut the Google Book Settlement 38

Posted by timothy
from the why-not-horizontally dept.
Miracle Jones writes "In a move that has shocked the publishing world, Judge Denny Chin has filed a brief saying that he has decided to cut the Google Book Settlement in half, letting Google host the first half of every book the company has scanned, and letting other interested stakeholders fight for the rights to the rest. 'We think this is a hard decision, but a fair one,' said John Peter Franks for Google. 'We would like to be able to host and control whole books, but at least we get the front half.'"

Comment: Re:Git and Mercurial? (Score 2, Interesting) 268

by hysterion (#29196985) Attached to: Making Sense of Revision-Control Systems

I also think that going from no version control to CVS is a larger step than going from CVS to SVN, and that going from CVS to Subversion is a larger step than going from Subversion to Git

But that's only a 'legacy' problem. Today, going from no version control straight to Git/Hg is much easier than even your first step -- and saves you from having to unlearn all that intermediate junk.

Comment: GPLv2 vs GPLv3 (Score 3, Informative) 782

by hysterion (#28910329) Attached to: The Ethics of Selling GPLed Software For the iPhone
Since the original XPilot is GPLv2 the case is quite clear-cut, as everyone already answered. Perhaps the original developer is confused by comments pertining to v3, such as the following?

Published at http://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/why-free-software-and-apples-iphone-dont-mix, "Why free software and Apple's iPhone don't mix" is one of a series of articles detailing the threats posed by Apple's iPhone to the free software community. It focuses specifically on Apple's "tivoization" model of requiring every application installed on the iPhone to have an approved cryptographic signature, a restriction which is incompatible with version 3 of the GNU General Public License and with user freedoms to share and modify free software in general. (emphasis added)

The URL referred to makes this case based on a quote of the GPLv3 "Installation Information" clause,

"Installation Information" for a User Product means any methods, procedures, authorization keys, or other information required to install and execute modified versions of a covered work in that User Product from a modified version of its Corresponding Source. The information must suffice to ensure that the continued functioning of the modified object code is in no case prevented or interfered with solely because modification has been made.

If you convey an object code work under this section in, or with, or specifically for use in, a User Product, and the conveying occurs as part of a transaction in which the right of possession and use of the User Product is transferred to the recipient in perpetuity or for a fixed term (regardless of how the transaction is characterized), the Corresponding Source conveyed under this section must be accompanied by the Installation Information. But this requirement does not apply if neither you nor any third party retains the ability to install modified object code on the User Product (for example, the work has been installed in ROM).

Even then, I wonder if "incompatible" is not overstating the case. 1) Does conveying here "occu[r] as part of a transaction in which..."? 2) Who exactly is "retain[ing] the ability to install modified object code..."?

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