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Is College Worth It? Clearly, New Data Say

Americans with four-year college degrees made 98 percent more an hour on average in 2013 than people without a degree. That’s up from 89 percent five years earlier, 85 percent a decade earlier and 64 percent in the early 1980s. [...] If there were more college graduates than the economy needed, the pay gap would shrink. The gap’s recent growth is especially notable because it has come after a rise in…

You Are Not a Digital Native: Privacy in the Age of the Internet

Cory Doctorow tries to wake young people up to the realities of an online world controlled by companies that are hungry for your personal data. Facebook is a company whose business model is based on the idea that if they spy on you enough and trick you into revealing enough about your life, they can sell you stuff through targeted ads. When they get called on this, they explain that…

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We Got A Look Inside The 45-Day Planning Process That Goes Into Creating A Single Corporate Tweet

The professionals don’t always spend 45 days designing a single tweet, but this one got just two favorites. Shortly after, Lindsay met with a copywriter and graphic designer to brainstorm tweet ideas for the next month. It was then that the copywriter suggested a tweet centered around the idea that Camembert, a French cheese popular during the spring, was best served at room temperature. The copywriter and designer met the…

Amazon’s Tactics Confirm Its Critics’ Worst Suspicions

This week, as part of a contract dispute with the publisher Hachette, we’re seeing Amazon behaving at its worst. The company’s willingness to nakedly flex its anticompetitive muscle gives new cause for concern to anyone who cares about books — authors, publishers, but mainly customers. Here’s the back story: In an effort to exert pressure on Hachette, Amazon began taking down preorder buttons for many Hachette titles. It has also…

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Facebook, Now You Remind Me of a Half-Drunk Cocktail Party Schmoozer

Last week, Facebook asked me what sportsing teams I cared about (and helpfully supplied me with a list of the teams I’d be statistically most likely to favor if I had any interest in sportsing). Now Facebook is asking me what TV shows I’ve  watched. Well, yes, I’ve watched episodes of each of these shows, but I have no particular desire to define my online presence (and thus the marketing targeted to…

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Facebook’s Mike Hudack rants about the media: Why won’t anybody do something about these shallow viral stories?

When a Facebook executive whines about all these shallow viral links clogging our feeds, Slate’s Jordan Wiessmann clicks him a new one. If only we, the American people, could summon a champion. Someone who could, with the change of a single algorithm, turn the entire media ecosystem on its head. But who? –Jordan Weissmann, Slate.

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What Makes Ohio State the Most Unequal Public University in America?

So while university presidents are making huge salaries, Tom Frank explains, students “borrowed and forked over enormous sums in exchange for the privilege of hearing lectures…lectures that were then delivered by people who earned barely enough to stay alive. It is a double disaster of the kind that only we Americans are capable of pulling off.” The schools that followed OSU on the “most unequal” list were, in order, Penn…

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Microsoft Research Launches Code Hunt Game to Teach Programming

Another item for the “when I’m finished with my current to-do list” list. Instead of presenting you with a problem and comparing your solution to a set of fixed test cases, Code Hunt presents an empty slate and a set of constantly changing test cases. It thus teaches coding as a side consequence of solving a problem by matching inputs and outputs, Microsoft explains. Let’s be honest, learning certain aspects…

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Times photo staffer’s invention: the streaming backpack

“From a photographer’s perspective it makes our photography process more similar to the days of film, where you went out you did your assignment, dropped off your roll of film, and went off to do another assignment. Now you download your cards, color correct and caption it. It takes away from the creative process of photography.” There’s certainly an entrepreneurial opportunity if the newsroom gets the smaller iteration down pat,…

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Creative writing majors getting rich as demand skyrockets

See, it’s funny, because poets need to suffer for their art, and people who get well-paying jobs are too isolated from their own existences to be able to write meaningfully about longing and desire and grit, right? (It’s satire, folks.) Petroleum giant Exxon Mobil is one of many Fortune 500 companies that is using innovative ways to snag creative writing majors fresh out of graduation. In March, the company finished…