Mr. Edwards spoke on a White House panel in September, and federal Department of Education officials often cite Mooresville as a symbolic success. Overwhelmed by requests to view the programs in action, the district now herds visitors into groups of 60 for monthly demonstrations; the waiting list stretches to April. What they are looking for is an explanation for the steady gains Mooresville has made since issuing laptops three years ago to the 4,400 4th through 12th graders in five schools (three K-3 schools are not part of the program).
The district’s graduation rate was 91 percent in 2011, up from 80 percent in 2008. On state tests in reading, math and science, an average of 88 percent of students across grades and subjects met proficiency standards, compared with 73 percent three years ago. Attendance is up, dropouts are down. Mooresville ranks 100th out of 115 districts in North Carolina in terms of dollars spent per student — $7,415.89 a year — but it is now third in test scores and second in graduation rates.
“Other districts are doing things, but what we see in Mooresville is the whole package: using the budget, innovating, using data, involvement with the community and leadership,” said Karen Cator, a former Apple executive who is director of educational technology for the United States Department of Education. “There are lessons to be learned.”
Using cash for small purchases like a cup of coffee, gum and other items is a good indication that a person is trying to pass for normal without leaving the kind of paper trail created using a debit or credit card for small purchases.
The most recent update asks coffee shop owners, baristas and other customer-service specialists to be on the lookout for the enemy who walks among us (who evidently has been reanimated from the graves of the 1950s Red Scare era of blacklisting and Communist-baiting or the KGB’s constant witch hunt for capitalist sympathizers or people who resent being witch-hunted for their political beliefs).
Much to the displeasure of the wider EU, the Dutch want to liberalize their copyright laws to explicitly allow remixes and mashups. The irony is that their inspiration is not political movements like Sweden’s Pirate Party, but America’s laws about fair use.
In the U.S., fair use protects the use of copyrighted material for commentary, criticism and the like. But automated tools for detecting copyrighted material (on e.g. YouTube) and the overly-broad Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which allows anyone to request that an infringing work be taken down, put the burden of proving that a work constitutes fair use on the content creator. This has a chilling effect on the kind of work everyday people release on the web.
The proposed Dutch laws, in contrast, would explicitly protect fair use of copyrighted material. Here’s Marietje Schaake, of the European Parliament, quoted by Radio Netherlands:
“We must ensure that there is competition and a free market but we have to protect creativity as well. Right now the entertainment industry, for one, benefits from these outdated laws. These big parties will do all they can to prevent reform or redesign at all.”
“It is a total mess,” said one high-ranking Vatican official who spoke, like all others, on the condition of anonymity.
The Machiavellian maneuvering and machinations that have come to light in the Vatican recently are worthy of a novel about a sinister power struggle at a medieval court.
Senior church officials interviewed this month said almost daily embarrassments that have put the Vatican on the defensive could force Pope Benedict to act to clean up the image of its administration – at a time when the church faces a deeper crisis of authority and relevance in the wider world.
Some of those sources said the outcome of a power struggle inside the Holy See may even have a longer-term effect, on the choice of the man to succeed Benedict when he dies.
From leaked letters by an archbishop who was transferred after he blew the whistle on what he saw as a web of corruption and cronyism, to a leaked poison pen memo which puts a number of cardinals in a bad light, to new suspicions about its bank, Vatican spokesmen have had their work cut out responding.
Up in Canada, they’re pushing for a new “lawful access” bill, which is basically a “government can spy on your internet usage” bill. Michael Geist has a full and complete run down about the new effort and why it’s crazy. But, the insane part came out of the introduction when Public Safety Minister Vic Toews apparently told people: “You can stand with us, or you can stand with the child pornographers,” according to Dale Smith, a journalist who was present. In other words, like Lamar Smith here in the US, he’s trying to push through a widespread internet surveillance bill by hiding behind claims that those against it are somehow “for” child porn.
But Samsung isn’t bothered one bit. Well, AV product manager Chris Moseley isn’t, at least. Pocket-lint caught up with the AV boss at the Korean company’s European Forum in Prague and he explained that Samsung’s superiority in picture quality means that Apple’s much touted TV isn’t ringing any alarm bells at Sammy HQ.
“We’ve not seen what they’ve done but what we can say is that they don’t have 10,000 people in R&D in the vision category,” he said.
“They don’t have the best scaling engine in the world and they don’t have world renowned picture quality that has been awarded more than anyone else.
“TVs are ultimately about picture quality. Ultimately. How smart they are…great, but let’s face it that’s a secondary consideration. The ultimate is about picture quality and there is no way that anyone, new or old, can come along this year or next year and beat us on picture quality.
And there’s no way, no way I tell you, that a company like Apple could create a phone that could possibly compete, remember?