Maybe the Internet Isn’t Tearing Us Apart After All

 

VIKINGMAIDEN88 IS TWENTY-SIX years old. She enjoys reading history and writing poetry. Her signature quote is from Shakespeare. I gleaned all this from her profile and posts on Stormfront.org, America’s most popular online hate site. I also learned that Vikingmaiden88 has enjoyed the content on the site of the newspaper I work for, the New York Times. She wrote an enthusiastic post about a particular Times feature. I recently analyzed tens of thousands of such Stormfront profiles, in which registered members can enter their location, birth date, interests, and other information.

Stormfront was founded in 1995 by Don Black, a former Ku Klux Klan leader. Its most popular “social groups” are “Union of National Socialists” and “Fans and Supporters of Adolf Hitler.” Over the past year, according to Quantcast, roughly 200,000 to 400,000 Americans visited the site every month. A recent Southern Poverty Law Center report linked nearly one hundred murders in the past five years to registered Stormfront members.

Stormfront members are not whom I would have guessed. They tend to be young, at least according to self-reported birth dates. The most common age at which people join the site is nineteen. And four times more nineteen-year-olds sign up than forty-year-olds. Internet and social network users lean young, but not nearly that young. Profiles do not have a field for gender. But I looked at all the posts and complete profiles of a random sample of American users, and it turns out that you can work out the gender of most of the membership: I estimate that about 30 percent of Stormfront members are female. The states with the most members per capita are Montana, Alaska, and Idaho. These states tend to be overwhelmingly white. Does this mean that growing up with little diversity fosters hate?

All boards to move towards common curriculum, papers

NEW DELHI: The Union ministry of human resource development (HRD) will curb the “malpractice of spiking of marks” and implement a more scientific moderation policy from 2018. The Delhi high court had restrained the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) -primarily because of the timing of the board’s decision -from doing away with its moderation policy this year.

The HRD ministry has set up an inter-board working group (IBWG), comprising eight boards, to work out the details for stopping of moderation and upward revision, or spiking, of marks.

IBWG will deliberate regularly and work out a model for all boards to follow.

All boards will also move towards adopting a common core curriculum, the grace marks policy is to be uploaded on websites, and marks and grades for extracurricular subjects are to be given separately. The plan is also to share question papers (with CBSE) to bring about uniformity in assessment.

“It (the plan to scrap moderation) could not happen as planned this year. However, we are working things out for all boards from next year. In fact, all the boards have agreed to stop spiking marks from next year,” a senior HRD ministry official said.

The official added that some boards had raised certain issues at the April 24, 2017 meeting about implementing the same this year, but they are in agreement about 2018.

In April, 32 school education boards agreed not to moderate marks (for upward revision) this year, but the Delhi high court, acting on a petition, restrained CBSE from implementing it. Meanwhile, some boards continued with the practice of “inflating the marks”.

However, the HRD ministry was encouraged by the fact that some boards, like those of Punjab and Karnataka, adhered to the consensus and made an effort.

 

Apple offering free classes at all 495 of its stores

Turns out Apple isn’t too cool for school.

The company said Tuesday it would launch educational sessions globally with seminars called “Today at Apple.” The free program will be open to the public and include more than 60 different classes on topics such as art, design, coding and photography.Image result for Apple offering free classes at all 495 of its stores

The sessions will kick off worldwide in May at all 495 Apple’s stores. The company is introducing “Creative Pros,” the teaching equivalent of the store’s “Geniuses” that help with technical issues. The Creative Pros will also have 90-minute studio hours — like a professor’s office hours. People can bring in their personal projects for Apple staffers to glance over also.

“We think it will be a fun and enlightening experience for everyone who joins,” Apple senior vice president of retail Angela Ahrendts said in a statement.

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Apple

Since all the classes are at an Apple Store, they’re also focused on Apple products. It includes “How To” sessions on taking photographs with your iPhone, or learning how to code in Swift, Apple’s programming language. Apple is also offering courses on Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X for audio and video editing.

The new classes come as a part of the Apple Store’s redesign, which Ahrendts spearheaded.

“I’ve told the teams, ‘I’ll know we’ve done a really, really great job if the next generation, if Gen Z says, “Meet me at Apple,'” she said in an interview with “CBS This Morning.”

Teachers are encouraged to stop by on “Teacher Tuesdays,” while families can come in on weekends for “Kids Hours.”

 

BlackBerry KEYone review: pushes all the right buttons

The KEYone got me out of CrackBerry retirement and using a BlackBerry Smartphone again (and loving it!). I have no shortage of phones at my disposal and can reach for an iPhone or Google Pixel or Samsung Galaxy whenever I want. Since picking up the KEYone, I’ve never felt that urge. What more can be said than that? With battery life that will last you all day and night (and well into the next day) and a smart physical keyboard that makes typing on buttons feel new school again, it’s a communication-centric phone that power users will love.Image result for BlackBerry KEYone review: pushes all the right buttons

The keyboard BlackBerry phones are the phones I wish were more popular, but really aren’t. The Priv had QA and update issues (it’s still on an old version of Android), and this one isn’t exactly my personal cup of tea because I’d much rather have a slider (preferably a horizontal slider). Still, I hope these phones somehow manage to find a small, but perhaps profitable niche so they can keep throwing time and development at them.

 

Amazon Sale Offers: iPhone 7 Rs. 17,001 Cheaper, Over Rs. 11,000 Discount on All Phones

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Flat discounts on iPhone 7, iPhone 6, iPhone 6s in Amazon sale
  • Rs. 22,000 off on Moto X Force, Rs. 12,000 on LG G6
  • Additional exchange discounts, cashbacks, freebies on offer

The three-day Amazon sale on mobile phones will end tonight, leaving only a few hours before some of the best prices on popular smartphones dry up. The e-commerce giant is offering discounts and deals on handsets iPhones, as well as popular smartphones by the likes of Samsung, OnePlus, Moto, Coolpad, etc. If you are looking to buy a smartphone this season, scroll down to see some of the best ongoing Amazon sale offers you can get your hands on today. Of course, the offers include more than just flat discounts, as you get exchange discounts, cashbacks, no-cost EMIs, and even free mobile data with select operators in these Amazon sale offers.

iPhone 7
The Amazon sale offer on iPhone 7 brings down the prices of all variants of the Apple flagship. The 32GB iPhone 7 can be purchased for Rs. 42,999, while the 128GB and 256GB models now have best price of Rs. 52,987 and Rs. 64,800, respectively. On top of these discounted prices, you also get exchange discount of up to Rs. 11,082 on three iPhone 7 variants in the ongoing sale.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s
If the latest iPhone model is too expensive for you, then there’s the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s discounts you can check out. The 32GB iPhone 6 usually costs Rs. 26,999, but can now be purchased for Rs. 25,499 in the Amazon sale – a discount of Rs. 1,500. Similar to this is the iPhone 6s 32GB discount, which brings down the price from the standard Rs. 36,999 to Rs. 34,999, a difference of Rs. 2,000. Of course, the Rs. 11,082 exchange discount applies here as well.

Moto X Force
Moto X Force, the smartphone with a ShatterShield display, has received the biggest discount in the Amazon sale. The Moto X Force 64GB variant is available for Rs. 15,999, a solid Rs. 22,000 shaved off its standard price. In addition to the steep price cut, there’s the Rs. 11,082 exchange discount to make the deal even sweeter. Launched in India in February 2016, the smartphone has a display that the company claims will not crack even if dropped on a slab of concrete; the display panel comes with a 4-year warranty for accidental damage.Amazon Sale Offers: iPhone 7 Rs. 17,001 Cheaper, Over Rs. 11,000 Discount on All Phones

LG G6
LG G6, which competes with the likes of iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S8, can be purchased for Rs. 39,999. This represents a Rs. 12,000 discount over its launch price of Rs. 51,990, which makes it a rather lucrative deal considering the phone was launched just two months ago. And on top of that you get exchange discount of up to Rs. 11,802, Bajaj FinServ no-cost EMI option, and 100GB of free Reliance Jio data. If you are purchasing the handset on credit card EMI, you can get the interest back in the form of Amazon Pay cashback on buying it from Cloudtail India.

OnePlus 3T
The current OnePlus flagship, the OnePlus 3T, does not have any price cuts, but comes with exchange discount of Rs. 11,082. This can bring down the price of the popular handset down to Rs. 18,917, from the standard Rs. 29,999. As the 128GB model is now out of stock in India, a discount on the 64GB variant’s price is the only deal available now. But to make it worth the money, the Amazon sale is giving Rs. 500 in promotional ebook credits for the Kindle users, Rs. 250 cashback as Amazon Pay on logging into your Prime Video account, up to 70 percent discount on OnePlus 3T cases and covers, Bajaj FinServ no-cost EMI option, and 45GB data free for 5 months on Vodafone.

As a side note, the smartphone’s successor, the OnePlus 5, launched last night, and will go on sale at 4:30pm IST on Thursday in India on Amazon.