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June 08, 2012

Hundreds of thousands protest sky high tuition hikes in Montreal, for four months (and counting)

In Focus - The Montreal Protests, 4 Months In - The Atlantic
Beginning in February, students throughout Quebec began protesting against a proposed 75 percent hike in the cost of their tuition. Demonstrators staged strikes, sit-ins, and marches, in some cases drawing hundreds of thousands of participants and incurring hundreds of arrests. Quebec's government responded by passing a controversial emergency law, Bill 78, that places strict limits on free assembly, including a provision that requires demonstrators to submit protest plans and receive police approval. Reacting to the new law, hundreds of thousands more took to the streets to join the broadening protest. Now, four months later, nightly demonstrations continue across Montreal. These marches are called "casseroles," as participants use pots and pans to create noise and call for attention.

June 04, 2012

The Demise of the Local Daily Print Paper vs. the Demise of Local Integrity

The publisher of the Ann Arbor Chronicle has written a...

June 02, 2012

Barnes & Noble replaces every appearance of the word "kindle" with "Nook" in Tolstoy's War & Peace

Ocracoke Island Journal: Nookd
I had read about half of the novel when I was given the gift of a Nook, the e-reader from Barnes and Noble. Although I am committed to supporting my neighborhood independent book store (Books to be Red), and enjoying honest-to-goodness books, the .99 Nook edition was so lightweight that it has made reading War and Peace a genuine pleasure. For those of you who have not tackled this tome as yet, it is a page-turner. As I was reading, I came across this sentence: "It was as if a light had been Nookd in a carved and painted lantern...." Thinking this was simply a glitch in the software, I ignored the intrusive word and continued reading. Some pages later I encountered the rogue word again. With my third encounter I decided to retrieve my hard cover book and find the original (well, the translated) text. For the sentence above I discovered this genuine translation: "It was as if a light had been kindled in a carved and painted lantern...." Someone at Barnes and Noble (a twenty year old employee? or maybe the CEO?) had substituted every incidence of "kindled" with "Nookd!" I was shocked. Almost immediately I found it hilarious...then outrageous...then both. It is definitely clever. But it raises many questions. E-books can be manipulated at will by the purveyors of the downloadable software. Here is a classic work of fiction (some claim it is the greatest novel every written) used for a sophomoric and/or commercial prank. What else might be changed in an e-book? Fears of manipulation for economic, political, religious, or other ideological ends come to mind. It makes one wary of the integrity of any digital version of not only War and Peace...but any e-book.

June 01, 2012

The law school system is entirely broken

How to Make Law School Affordable - NYTimes.com
THE economics of legal education are broken. The problem is that the cost of a law degree is now vastly out of proportion to the economic opportunities obtained by the majority of graduates. The average debt of law graduates tops $100,000, and most new lawyers do not earn salaries sufficient to make the monthly payments on this debt. More than one-third of law graduates in recent years have failed to obtain lawyer jobs. Thousands of new law graduates will enter a government-sponsored debt relief program, and many will never fully pay off their law school debt. How did we get into this mess? And how do we get out? Two factors have combined to produce this situation: the federal loan system and the American Bar Association-imposed accreditation standards for law schools. Both need to be reformed.