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Ann Arbor Schools Want $45M For Tech, Partly For Computers To Run Google Docs 248

An anonymous reader writes "The Ann Arbor Public Schools defended their request for a $45 million bond for new computers by claiming that Apple eMacs aren't good enough for their Advanced Journalism class. A teacher told reporters that new PCs are needed to run WordPress, Google Docs, and Adobe InDesign CS6. WordPress and Google Docs are server-based applications that can be accessed with nearly any web browser. InDesign CS6 has not been released yet and its system requirements are unknown. As a web developer, I am impressed by the online newspaper published by the journalism class, but I question the need for new hardware. The district previously claimed that the old computers couldn't run its standardized testing software, although they far surpass the vendor's specifications. Does modern education really require cutting-edge computers, or are schools screaming 'think of the children' to win over tech-illiterate voters?" Whatever the answer to that question, exaggerated system requirements aren't the only driving force; the $45 million bond sought would not be dedicated only to replacing journalism program computers, note; it would also be used to fund other infrastructure upgrades, including some lower-tech updates, like new sound amplifiers in the district's classrooms. Ann Arbor schools' web site says that the district has (as of 2010, at least) 16,440 students. What are tech outlays like in the public schools where you live?

FEMA, FCC Hope To Forestall Panic Over National Emergency Alert 210

Ars Technica has a piece on the "first-ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS)," slated for this Wednesday at 2 p.m. EST. An excerpt: "This national system will look and sound much like the current (and local) emergency warnings often seen on TV or heard on radio, but the scope is larger and it can be put under the direct control of the President. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the National Weather Service (NWS) will all coordinate the test, but it's FEMA that actually transmits the alert code. Concerned that such a test might alarm people, the agencies are going to extraordinary lengths to provide a heads-up. I first heard about the test in an e-mail newsletter from my city government, which told residents last week, 'Do not be alarmed when an emergency message will take over the airways... this is only a test.' The test will display a warning message on TV screens, though as my city helpfully noted, 'Due to some technical limitations, a visual message indicating that "this is a test" may not pop up on every TV channel, especially where people use cable to receive their television stations.'"

Comment Get off my lawn! (Score 2) 360

Another "x dropped from Ubuntu" post, another mass ragequit from the hive mind.

Ten years ago, nobody complained about the default installation profile of Linux distributions. If you were geeky enough to use Linux, then you knew how to use package managers and could maybe even configure and make something from source. Now everyone wants their preferred DE and pre-selected apps handed to them on a platter, as if they reinstalled their OS every fucking week. If the default package list is a deal breaker for you when choosing a distribution, then you need to reevaluate why you are using Linux to begin with. And no, you probably won't find yourself welcome in the Gentoo/LFS communities either because they dropped this grievance long ago.

Submission + - Google snoopmobile catches muggers (theregister.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: Apparently a few unlucky muggers got a bit more than the bargained for when the mugged a 14 yr old Dutch boy last year. For just before their heist of some cash and a cell phone a Google snoopmobile had snapped their picture as it was taking pictures for Google streetview. After the victim realized this he contacted police who then obtained an original copy from Google and nabbed the perps. Full story can be found here — http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/06/19/street_view_mugging/
The Internet

Submission + - The Liberal Party of Canada announces support of N

bryxal writes: The Liberal Party of Canada, currently leading in most polls (http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/06/01/federal-poll357.html) has announced yesterday that it supports Net Neutrality. http://www.liberal.ca/en/newsroom/media-releases/15947_liberals-speak-out-in-support-of-net-neutrality saying: "Internet management should be neutral and not be permitted for anti-competitive behaviour nor should it target certain websites, users, providers or legitimate software applications. We must protect the openness and freedom of the internet, and maintain competition to spur innovation, improve service levels and reduce costs to users."

Submission + - Why Virtualization is Just a Tool (channelinsider.com)

dasButcher writes: "Everyone is getting hyped up about the magic of virtualization (a new technology that's been around for 35 years). As Larry Walsh reports (http://www.channelinsider.com/c/a/Virtualization/Virtualization-is-Just-a-Tool-Says-Expert-643420/), virtualization is nothing more than a tool that is less useful when it's not applied in an operational or business context."

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