Scary High-Speed Lectures

This year’s Open Ed conference brought to light a strange, new, phenomenon of students listening to prerecorded video lectures at double speed in order absorb the information faster. In theory, that sounds like a neat idea:  Listen to a lecture in half the time and you can listen to twice as many lectures in the timespan it would take you to listen to one live lecture.

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Minority Children in Triple Jeopardy

Health Affairs recently released a disturbing and disparaging report concerning the health and wellbeing of minority children in America:

Bethesda, MD — Almost 17 percent of black children and 20.5 percent of Latino children in the United States live in “double jeopardy,” meaning that they live in both poor families and poor neighborhoods, according to research released today in the March/April issue of the journal Health Affairs.

In contrast, only 1.4 percent of white children live in double jeopardy. According to researchers, the type of neighborhood one lives in plays a significant role in racial and ethnic health disparities. In addition, poor white children are more likely than poor black or Latino children to live in better neighborhoods.

A typical poor white child lives in a neighborhood where the poverty rate is 13.6 percent, while a typical poor black child lives in a neighborhood where the poverty level is nearly 30 percent.

A typical poor Latino child lives in a neighborhood where the poverty rate is 26 percent. Segregated, disadvantaged neighborhoods affect health in the following ways:

· By limiting economic advancement for minorities because of poor education, limited job opportunities, and a poor return on housing investment.

· By exposing minorities to violent crime, environmental hazards, poor municipal services, and a lack of grocery stores and healthy food options.

· By leading to segregated health care settings with poorer-quality health care.

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Double Billing for Bandwidth

If the traditional phone companies have their say you will be soon be paying twice for optimized broadband content.
You first pay for a high speed connection and then you’ll be forced to pay additional tiered fees the phone companies hope to charge your content providers like Movielink and Google and Vonage and Game Servers to deliver uninterrupted multimedia broadcast content to you. 

Uninterrupted” or “streaming” content is the key here. Unlike email and instant messages, high quality content demands a data stream be strong and open and continued 00 it doesn’t work well in spurts. Here’s how The Wall Street Journal reported the issue last week:

The phone companies envision a system whereby Internet companies would agree to pay a fee for their content to receive priority treatment as it moves across increasingly crowded networks. Those that don’t pay the fee would find their transactions with Internet users — for games, movies and software downloads, for example — moving across networks at the normal but comparatively slower pace. Consumers could benefit through faster access to content from companies that agree to pay the fees.

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