Thursday, November 22, 2007

UMass Chancellor to meet with student strike leaders

I hadn’t heard about this until I read this story today on the Chronicle of Higher Education news blog, but apparently students at UMass-Amherst have organized a strike for several reasons.

The University’s chancellor has agreed to meet with 10 student strike leaders a week until February to discuss the student demands, which according to the post are: “a drop in student fees, more attention to diversity, the withdrawal of routine police patrols from dormitories, and a greater student say in the use of campus space.” The poster wrote that the students had organized a strike, but doesn't say whether it was actually enacted or not.

The poster also doesn’t mention how the students are carrying out the strike, but I imagine it must be that they refuse to attend classes or campus activities. If that’s the case, then I can imagine that the students’ grades might suffer. I get angry at some of the things Northeastern officials do sometimes, but I don’t think it would be worth risking my grades for. Whatever the outcome, I hope the students’ needs are addressed and perhaps this will spur a movement among college officials across the state to be more attentive to student concerns.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Northeastern and Jarg Corp. sue Google

Here’s an article from the Northeastern News on how the university and another corporation are suing Google for copyright infringement.

Northeastern and Jarg Corp., a private search technology company, filed a lawsuit against Google Nov. 6 claiming that the company has used a database system that Northeastern professor Kenneth Baclawski patented in 1997, a year before Google supposedly began using the technology. Baclawski and Jarg Corp. president Michael Belanger founded the company in 1998, and it has exclusive rights to the patent.

Belanger said his company was alerted to the possible infringement just over two years ago when a Boston area law firm that uses the technology noticed similar aspects between the technology and a Google presentation. Google officials obviously deny the allegations.

Since I don’t know whether or not these allegations are true, I can’t pass judgment on whether this is a good move by Northeastern. Since Google is such a huge corporation now, Northeastern could get a lot of money out of a settlement if they win. Hopefully Northeastern does win and lowers my tuition a little bit. Yeah right.