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Wanted in College Graduates: Tolerance for Ambiguity

“What answer do you want?” “Just tell me what you want me to write, and I’ll write it for you!” I once had a student in a literature class who almost had a panic attack when she found out, from the mock final exam, that the final exam would contain poems and prose passages that we hadn’t gone over in class, so that there was no way for her to…

Key Speakers At The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC)

Don’t Give Apple Too Much Credit for Bowing to Taylor Swift

Apple is skilled at attracting praise. Often, it deserves that praise. This isn’t one of those times. […] For Apple to prove it truly stands with artists, Rabhan says, it would have to fundamentally change the way these contracts are negotiated, striking deals directly with the artists instead of music labels. Until that happens, he argues, Apple has done little more than “put a Band-Aid on an open wound” that cuts…

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To Apple, Love Taylor

Apple changes its plans, after initially intending not to pay artists during the three-month free trial of its new music streaming service. Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing. I say this with love, reverence, and admiration for everything else Apple has done. I hope that soon I can join them in the progression towards a streaming…

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4 Skills to Help You Stand Out In Any Job Interview

An employer will never ask you to write a five-paragraph essay, but your employer will expect you to demonstrate the critical thinking skills that you will develop while mastering the college essay. How will you set yourself apart from all the other job applicants who have also passed freshman comp? These are all specific skills I expose my students to through working on their academic weblogs and the online student newspaper.…

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In an Unpredictable Job Market, How Should People Think About College Majors?

I tell my students that if what they want is specific job skills, they should learn how to lay cable or get a Class-2 rating to drive a P-5000 Power Loader. But the specific job skills I teach a freshman or sophomore may be out of date by graduation day. Rather than teaching students how to use a particular piece of software, I want to teach self-sufficiency and critical thinking; I want to…

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Clickbait Tactics Drive the Writing of Headlines on ABC News

I probably should not be surprised, but when I saw this run of several headlines on the ABC News website, I was struck by how deliberately uninformative they are. I added some useful information that could have been in the headline. A print journalist writes a headline for someone who’s already holding the newspaper, so giving away the actual news in the headline won’t lose a sale. But a link…

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Warning: Don’t Download Software From SourceForge If You Can Help It

Looks like SourceForge has backtracked on this particular issue, but I’m happy  to pass along the warning that SourceForge has engaged in these tactics.  GIMP is the free, open-source digital editing tool that I use (a replacement for PhotoShop). In 2013, GIMP’s developers pulled the GIMP Windows downloads from SourceForge. SourceForge was full of misleading advertisements masquerading as “Download” buttons — something that’s a problem all over the web. SourceForge…