Robo Grader

Standardized-test robo-graders flunk

“According to professor of theory of knowledge Leon Trotsky, privacy is the most fundamental report of humankind. Radiation on advocates to an orator transmits gamma rays of parsimony to implode.’’ ANY NATIVE speaker over age 5 knows that the preceding sentences are incoherent babble. But a computer essay grader, like the one Massachusetts may use as part of its new public school tests, thinks it is exceptionally good prose. –Standardized-test…

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#MyNYPD Hashtag Promptly Hijacked

Someone is regretting this PR move. The official @NYPDnews Twitter account made an attempt at social media outreach today only to get promptly torn to shreds by users resisting the PR push. Hijacked hashtags are a common Twitter phenomenon, but tend to be played more for giggles (“trolling,” some call it) than to make a coherent political statement. With #myNYPD, however, a harsh pattern emerged right away. –NYMag

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Phoenix journalist admits ‘bad reporting’ in claiming White House press censorship

NEWS FLASH: If your sources are an off-the-record comment and a thing you chose to do, and you claim that everyone is forced to do the thing you chose to do, then your news item will probably fall apart. “I took a conversation about the preparation for a press briefing and muddied it with my own experience of wanting to provide a question for the press briefing. I incorrectly applied…

Supreme Court

DOJ Enters Into Landmark Web and Mobile App Consent Decree

Under the consent decree cite to http://www.ada.gov/hrb-cd.htm, H&R Block must undertake a number of stringent requirements including:Make its web content conform to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines WCAG 2.0 level AA by January 2015.Make its mobile apps conform to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines WCAG 2.0 level AA by January 2016.Appoint a Web Accessibility Coordinator to ensure compliance with the consent decree, create a detailed and publicly posted Web Accessibility…

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Standardized testing: I opted my kids out. The schools freaked out. Now I know why.

And so, on the first day of testing, I arrived to pick my daughter up at middle school at 9:25 a.m. I went into the office and checked her out. She and I started walking to my car. It was just as I started reaching for my keys that we realized that someone was in hot pursuit. It was the middle-school assistant principal. He was running after us. He called…

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TSA Agent Confession

It was May 2007. I was living with a bohemian set on Chicago’s north side, a crowd ranging from Foucault-fixated college kids to middle-aged Bukowski-bred alcoholics. We drank and talked politics on the balcony in the evenings, pausing only to sneer at hipsters strumming back-porch Beatles sing-a-longs. By night, I took part in barbed criticism of U.S foreign policy; by day, I spent eight hours at O’Hare in a federal…

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Replaying Childhood: On Gifting my Video Games to the Library of Congress

Giving up my games ended up being a bit of an emotional experience. I think the emotion of that experience underscores why it matters for the Library to collect games. The box of games and systems had sat in our basement for the last five years, and my mother’s basement for a good while before that. The last time I sat down and played through most of these games was…