College

American Airlines Strips Man Of Unlimited Flight Pass After Racking Up 36 Million Miles

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/american-airlines-strips-man-of-unlimited-flight-pass-after-racking-up-36-million-miles-2012-5

American Airlines airplane

Now bankrupt American Airlines used to offer an incredible — and pricey — perk. Until 2004, $500,000 could buy a lifetime first class travel ticket for any route.

But, according to The Daily Mail, one man is having it revoked after amassing 36 million miles and costing American nearly $1 million a year.

Jack Vroom (yes, that is his real, hilarious name), bought the pass in 1989 and has taken advantage ever since.

He has flown far and wide, sometimes for just a few hours. He took a trip to Milan just to grab a motorcycle exhaust and has gone to London for a quick shopping trip.

One of Mr. Vroom’s more frequent trips was to take a sheet of silver to Gudalajara, Mexico to have belt buckles made. And while his son was in college, he’d fly 2,000 miles every weekend to watch him play football.

But he also helped people. The pass came with a companion seat, so one thing he did with it was fly home AIDS victims so they could stay with their families.

American has deemed that Mr. Vroom’s use of the pass has violated the terms they set forth, which means they can revoke it.

Even with the current financial issues, American expects to continue honoring the passes held by other customers. Mr. Vroom says he believes there are 40 in the world.

 Now check out a fast private plane >

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Thursday, May 10th, 2012 news No Comments

American Airlines Strips Man Of Unlimited Flight Pass After Racking Up 36 Million Miles

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/american-airlines-strips-man-of-unlimited-flight-pass-after-racking-up-36-million-miles-2012-5

American Airlines airplane

Now bankrupt American Airlines used to offer an incredible — and pricey — perk. Until 2004, $500,000 could buy a lifetime first class travel ticket for any route.

But, according to The Daily Mail, one man is having it revoked after amassing 36 million miles and costing American nearly $1 million a year.

Jack Vroom (yes, that is his real, hilarious name), bought the pass in 1989 and has taken advantage ever since.

He has flown far and wide, sometimes for just a few hours. He took a trip to Milan just to grab a motorcycle exhaust and has gone to London for a quick shopping trip.

One of Mr. Vroom’s more frequent trips was to take a sheet of silver to Gudalajara, Mexico to have belt buckles made. And while his son was in college, he’d fly 2,000 miles every weekend to watch him play football.

But he also helped people. The pass came with a companion seat, so one thing he did with it was fly home AIDS victims so they could stay with their families.

American has deemed that Mr. Vroom’s use of the pass has violated the terms they set forth, which means they can revoke it.

Even with the current financial issues, American expects to continue honoring the passes held by other customers. Mr. Vroom says he believes there are 40 in the world.

 Now check out a fast private plane >

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Join the conversation about this story »

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Thursday, May 10th, 2012 news No Comments

Where Do LinkedIn Users Work? (LNKD)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-where-do-linkedin-users-work-2012-2

LinkedIn has about 150 million users. In which industries do they work? Zoomsphere has the stats. We have the chart.

By the way, our guess is that the “higher education” category includes college students.

Chart of the day LinkedIn users

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Sunday, February 26th, 2012 news No Comments

Rice University And OpenStax Announce First Open-Source Textbooks

Source: http://techcrunch.com/2012/02/07/rice-university-and-openstax-announce-first-open-source-textbooks/

openstax

When we think about the distribution industry being disrupted, we tend to think about music and movies, whose physical media and vast shipment infrastructure have been rendered mostly obsolete over the last decade. To a lesser extent, we hear about print, and the effect of e-readers and web consumption on books and magazines. No one is making the change particularly gracefully, and the same can be said of the textbook business, which does millions of dollars of business every year selling incredibly expensive items to students — who likely consider them anachronisms.

Rice University, which has been pushing alternative distribution mechanisms for scholarly publications for years, has announced a new initiative, by which they hope to publish free, high-quality textbooks in core subjects like physics and biology via a non-profit publisher called OpenStax College. It’s the polar opposite of Apple’s iBooks textbooks, which, while they too help drag this dusty industry into the present, amount more to a new sales vector for the publishers than competition.

Rice and OpenStax aren’t the first people to propose open-source or free textbooks. There are collections here and there, like Flat World Knowledge and Apple’s iTunes U — but they’re decidedly short on the type of books a freshman might have to buy for their year of survey courses: Biology 1, Physics 1, Sociology 1, Psychology 1. And 11 Learning has a similar idea of collaboration producing a book, but their creation model may not be economically feasible.

And of course there are the many companies that want to remove textbooks from the equation entirely. Setting up textbook platforms on new devices like Kno and Inkling, making an environment for meta-curricular activities and non-traditional learning like Khan Academy, or virtualizing the whole education experience, something with which many universities are tinkering.

But textbooks are still big business, and their utility in the education system is difficult to argue with right now. So OpenStax splits the difference: fueled by grant money from a number of private foundations (i.e. not government grants), they’re putting together full-on textbooks, peer-reviewed, professionally laid out, and all that. These textbooks will be provided for free in file form. But supplementary materials — quizzes, videos, presentations, and the like, presumably — cost money.

It would be petty to call this a bait and switch, since the bulk of the material is being provided for free. And a savvy professor or TA can scrape quite a few supplementary materials from the web already, thanks to those post-textbook services already mentioned. Providing the meat for free and the potatoes for a price is perfectly reasonable.

What remains to be seen is the quality of the textbooks. So far OpenStax has signed up “in the low tens” of colleged and universities to use the books. Institutions probably are waiting to see how the next year or so plays out: everything is in flux and to commit to one platform over another when the true costs and benefits are still unclear would be a bad move.

OpenStax’s first textbooks, for physics and sociology, will be coming in March, with others following later in the year. A strange time to make a debut, in a way, as the school year is well underway and many intro courses won’t be offered. But it will give time for the creaking machinery of academia to notice, acknowledge, examine, and judge the OpenStax offering. It may be that they can demonstrate their agility in fixing, improving, and expanding the content on the fly, which could either impress or terrify nodding faculty members who use the same text for a decade at a time.


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Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5882027/sharing-with-friends-of-friends-on-facebook-exposes-you-to-150000-people

Sharing with "Friends of Friends" on Facebook Exposes You to 150,000 PeopleWell this is mildly terrifying: according to a new Pew study, the Facebook privacy mode a lot of us rely on for photos and status updates is, on average, anything but private. Time to reconsider your settings, everyone.

The finding is staggering—Friends of Friends can hit as many as over seven million people:

Facebook users can reach an average of more than 150,000 Facebook users through their Facebook friends; the median user can reach about 31,000 others. At two degrees of separation (friends-of-friends), Facebook users in our sample can on average reach 156,569 other Facebook users. However, the relatively small number of users with very large friends lists, who also tended to have lists that are less interconnected, overstates the reach of the typical Facebook user. In our sample, the maximum reach was 7,821,772 other Facebook users. The median user (the middle user from our sample) can reach 31,170 people through their friends-of-friends.

When you think friend of a friend, the IRL analogue comes to mind. Your buddy’s buddy. That guy you met at a bar who seems okay. Your girlfriend’s pals from college. They must be okay people, right? They’re so narrowly removed from you, why not share all your photos with them?

Because 150,000+ people includes a hell of a lot of strangers you probably shouldn’t trust, and certainly don’t (and will never) know personally. You can read the study in its entirety below. [Pew]

PIP Facebook Users 2.3.12

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Friday, February 3rd, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

NYC opening its first public high school dedicated to software engineering

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/17/nyc-opening-its-first-pubic-high-school-dedicated-to-software-en/

NYC Department of Education

There are plenty of specialized public high schools in New York City and in September of 2012 that roster of educational institutions will grow by one more when the Academy for Software Engineering opens its doors. The school will greet its first class of incoming freshman at the beginning of the next school year and become the first NYC public school dedicated to pumping out programers. Beyond filling our desperate need for more engineers the school will be special in several respects. For one, it will be a “limited, unscreened” institution, which means grades and attendance records are not considered for admission — only interest. Secondly, this isn’t a vocational school that simply teaches kids to live and breathe in C++ and JavaScript. While the focus will be on software engineering, it will be accompanied by traditional college preparation academic classes. Check out the source and more coverage links for a few more details.

NYC opening its first public high school dedicated to software engineering originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 17 Jan 2012 04:44:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 news No Comments

6 Charts About The Future Of Learning

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/future-learning-charts-2011-12


This past summer, the Pew Research Center published a report on the “Digital Revolution and Higher Education.” The whole report is worth a read, but we’re drawn to the charts. Here are a few.

In these, only 15% of college presidents said that most of their students have taken a class online. But half think that 10 years from now, most students will take classes online.

Interestingly, college presidents see a greater educational value for online learning than the general public. Some 51% of college presidents polled said online courses offer an equal educational value, compared to classroom courses, versus just 29% of the public.

Pew education charts

Here, we start to see which types of colleges are leading the way in online learning: community colleges and less-selective colleges. Those trends are expected to lead the way, with 4-year private school presidents considering their undergrad student bodies the least likely to be taking online classes.

Pew education charts

Not surprising: 62% of college presidents think that more than half of student textbooks will be entirely digital in 10 years. Only 7% of college presidents think that less than 25% of student textbooks will be entirely digital.

Pew education charts

What’s helping that trend? Apple’s iPad. Here’s a bonus chart from Kleiner Perkins’ Mary Meeker showing just how fast the iPad is gaining steam relative to the iPhone and iPod.

iPad shipment in its first six quarters

More from our special report on The Future of Learning:

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Tuesday, December 13th, 2011 news No Comments

John Doerr And Reed Hastings Put $11 Million Into Education Startup

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/boonsri-dickinson-dreambox-raises-11m-from-john-doerr-and-reed-hastings-2011-12


john doerr tbi

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and super VC John Doerr just invested in DreamBox Learning, an adaptive math learning platform.

The startup just raised an $11 million round from Hastings (through his Charter School Growth Fund), Doerr (through his private investment fund), not Kleiner Perkins, and others.

The company plans to use the investment round to expand the product and curriculum as well as increase distribution. In the past year, half a million elementary school students used the platform, viewing more than 11 million lessons. An independent study found that students who used DreamBox for four months, improved their test scores by about 5%.

As a nation, the United States is lagging behind in math, but educational startups may soon change that. Another popular startup Khan Academy recently raised $5 million, which uses videos and practice problems to teach a range of courses including physics and computer programming. In October, Founders Fund invested $33 million in education startup Knewton, which has an adaptive learning algorithm that has been used to power a college online math readiness course.

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Wednesday, December 7th, 2011 news No Comments

The NFL Is Still King Among American Sports Fans

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-nfl-is-still-king-among-american-sports-fans-2011-10

In a recent survey by Scarborough Sports Marketing, 62 percent of American Adults listed the NFL as a sport in which they have at least a little interest. That was tops among all sports, easily out-pacing Major League Baseball with 49 percent.

It also might be time to reconsider what we call a “major sport” in the United States. The NBA came in fifth, behind college football. And the NHL was 12th, behind NASCAR, high school sports, and figure skating.

Interestingly, MLB is not even the second most popular “sport.” They fall behind the Olympics, which is more of an event than a sport, but I say tomato, and you say tomato (wait, that doesn’t work as well when not spoken out loud).

Here are the 20 most popular sports among American adults…

Most popular sports

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Sunday, October 23rd, 2011 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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