Friday, October 10, 2008
Our teacher, Diane Guerrazzi, a reporter from channel 2, hosted a fake news conference in on the SJSU campus. The purpose of this exercise was the practice our camera and interview skills. Also, we had to edit our video clips and create a news package.
Here is my package.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Tangled in an Invisible Web
Wireless signals within SJSU have increased during the last few years, owing to the Comcast wireless project, which started full operation in December, 2005 said Richard Porter, network analyst from University Computer and Telecommunication (UCAT) .
Comcast Wireless has been installed in every campus building except the Market Café,
There is also a guest account that allows visiting faculty, staff, campus vendors and MLK Library vendors, who do not have a SJSUOne account, to log in to the wireless network. Porter said up until winter 2008, the wireless service became accessible via library accounts also.
Community Relations Coordinator of Housing Organization department, Kevina Brown said the wireless is limited on
Comcast wireless network is sponsored by Associated Students (AS) and
Vargas also said that the AS has a four year commitment to the project, which expires in June 2009.
“The contract with Comcast will be renewed. It is likely that AS will be a partner, but we have not projected that out yet,” she stated.
Information Technologies Manager of AS, Jason Stovall, who has been involved in the project since it started, said that the Comcast lost millions on the project, as it “underestimated the project, but the bid was so good.”
Although not everybody on SJSU campus owns a laptop computer the access to wireless network has issues from time to time. Students and professors complain about the weak signal or no signal at all.
Carlos Castro, a junior management major, said he experienced problems in the dorms and the MLK library. “Above sixth you have a hard time getting a signal,” Castro said about the library.
If enough reports about weak signals in certain areas around campus come in, UCAT, who in turn notify Comcast, which has its office on Campus that provides 24/7 support, will go and investigate the problem areas, said Porter.
“The connection is as fast as you get… it is a service and one cannot expect it to be like you have at home,” Porter said.
According to Electronic and Print News Technology Equipment Specialist Jessie Pickett, he received a call from the classroom 225 in Dwight Bental, who said that they did not get any reception. He had to call UCAT office and they came and fixed the problem.
“That was the second time, but it does not happen often, but it happens occasionally, because you deal with electronic devices,” Pickett said.
Pickett said that one of the reasons might be that once the power goes off and then comes back again, the connection might be sensible to it.
Another reason why some student end up kicked off the network is the He also noted that one access point can only endure certain number of students. According to Stovall, three months ago there was 8 000 login a day.
“Access point for wireless is like a storm, it is unpredictable, it kind of moves and flows and all of a sudden one access point gets stronger…. It depends on what you are doing on that… Even if you have a stronger access point, and everybody is doing a video you are going end up saturated,” Stovall said.
“This is the best that we could do. Depending on the technology we have today. There just has not been an upgrade in wireless technology… You are buying the same access points as you were buying five years ago,” Stovall added.
According to Stovall, the whole campus is using wireless networking standard 802. 11 G, which supports all typical wireless cards of 802.11 a/b/g. Soon wireless networking standard 803. 11 N will be used, that will allow wireless work a bit better.
The weak signal has a different cause at the SJSU library. The specific construction of the library does not allow the transmission to be as good as one can expect it to be.
“The wireless range decreases if you have concrete walls, any electricity going around can hamper the frequency. Also metal, steal bars, and books as well. Everything that is in the way of transmitter, will slower the transmission of signal. If there are too many students on one single WAP it will reduce their signal,” Library Info Tech Manager, Farrukh Farid said.
Stovall said that a new wireless login page will be set up soon, which will include a separate section for comments, where students can submit their complaints that will directly go to UCAT and AS Information Technologies Management.
“The best way to improve problem is to find tuning. If we know the access points are too saturated we can install more access points in the area,” Stovall said.
How to access the wireless network at SJSU:
-Create a SJSUOne
-In order to make an account you will need to insert your Tower ID number that is located on the back of the Tower Card.
-The option of having a short password or a long password will be available.
-Once your account has been created they will be reset every 180 days.
With an account activated the following will be available:
-Dial-up internet Access
-Wired Network Port Registration
-Access to your own profile configurations
Support for SJSUOne account is provided by the San Jose State University Help Desk. This Help Desk is located on the first floor of Clark Hall. Information about this help desk is available online at:
Wireless Hot spots in the Martin Luther King Library
Internet Access points in the Student Union
Ralph Tran, a senior marketing major, connects to the internet in the Student Union.
Jesse Van Black, a junior photography major, uses his laptop in the Student Union.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
The Textbook Racket
It happens on college campuses across nation: students are required to buy textbooks that their professors happened to have written.
When professors require textbooks they have authored for a class, is there a conflict of interest between students and their professors?
Professor Anu Basu of the Business Department at
“Almost all courses require a text,” she said. “and if the professor has written a text, it is likely that they would be competent and excited to teach from it.”
However, some students feel it is harder to voice your opinion when their teachers are the authors.
“That’s what I do all the time and then we get arguments, stuff like that. It’s just your opinion, your own theories, your ideas and sometimes since they’re professors, they think they’re right all the time,” Ed Mene said.
“You can’t challenge, you wouldn’t be able to challenge anything because he’s the author,” said Carmina Alvarado, a child development senior.
Alvarado also feels that teachers who profit from assigning their authored text in a class are “too much.”
“They’re getting a lot from our tuition and then they’re getting it like from our books, you know? When is it going to end?”
Professor Terry Christensen, who has taught at
Christensen wrote his textbooks because he wasn’t happy with the books available in his field of study.
“I didn’t write that book to make money. I will never get a minimum wage for the hours that were put in [to writing Local Politics],” he said.
Philosophy Professor Daniel Williamson expressed the same thoughts in an e-mail.
“But the profits from texts is very low,” Williamson said. “It’s not as if a professor is producing a bestseller. And given that other professors may be using the book, the percentage of the profit from a professor using his or her own book is small.”
A SJSU lecturer, who wished to remain anonymous, thought it was wrong for professors that made large profits of their textbooks by selling it overpriced to students: “This whole textbook thing is a big scam and they are kind of ripping off the students a little bit. Every couple of years a new edition comes out and it’s basically the same material they just move some chapters around and changed the names.”
Some students agreed with this sentiment.
“I don’t think it’s ethical, they [professors] can publish books, but assigning it for their own class is selfish and I think our university shouldn’t allow that,” said Eishan Mirakhur, a computer engineering freshman.
“If you write the textbook you really shouldn’t be allowed to assign it to a class because it just puts more money into your pocket,” said Rafael Porter, an international business senior.
Three of Porter’s professors have done this: “In those classes, we barely even used the books. They [professors] said they new everything already in the book and they just lectured… That’s why I don’t buy books anymore.”
Some students benefit from their professors writing the class text.
Ivan Metrigal, an engineering junior said he prefers class text compared to an actual textbook.
“In my case, in my engineering building it actually works for us because teachers write their own notes and so way cheaper to buy their notes,” Metrigal said.
Susan McClory, a math professor at SJSU, photocopied notes for her students instead of assigning the $125 textbook. When the faculty discovered this method, the notes were published into a book and are currently used at SJSU and two other campuses.
“When two publishers approached me about publishing my class notes my criteria to them was that the price to the student could be no more than $25,” McClory wrote in an e-mail. “The unexpected consequence of a cheap, readable text is that they keep it for reference.”
But Robin Lee, a general manger at Robert’s Bookstore, one of Spartan Bookstore’s competitors feels this is a conflict of interest ingrained in SJSU’s institution.
In order to achieve tenure, professors are encouraged to publish works they have written.
The phrase “publish or perish” refers to the pressures professors often face to in order to sustain their careers.
Williamson, a philosophy professor, also wrote in his e-mail that he felt the pressure to publish is way over the top.
“Getting published is a large part of getting tenure,” he said. “So in a sense, any work on a book does yield some benefit, the compensation is getting tenure or a raise in grade from assistant to associate to full.”
The Faculty Affairs office did not immediately return an interview request.
Students Stress Over Expensive Textbooks
There are not many issues that college students unanimously agree on. Textbook prices are one of the exceptions. Most, if not all, college students think textbooks cost too much money.
Eishan Mirakhur, a computer engineering freshman, recently bought a math textbook for $180 and said he could “get the same knowledge out of the Internet.” Mirakhur added that the book was expensive and he did not use it very much.
“Here they are more expensive,” said Silvia Santinello, an Italian exchange student, commenting on textbook prices in the
An anonymous SJSU lecturer agreed with the students’ opinion stating “this whole textbook thing is a big scam and they’re kind of ripping off the students a little bit.”
One way to avoid high textbook prices is to buy used books.
Robert’s Bookstore, located on
Lee said that publishers set a list price for textbooks and Robert’s Bookstore sells used books at 25 percent less than the list price. Comparing books to cars, Lee said “It’s nice if you can resell your car once you’re done with it and you can get something back because you’re done with it…and it’s nice if you choose to buy a used car and try and save money.”
Thursday, March 20, 2008
The Hybrid Trend
Jeff Molumby, a business owner in San Francisco, is the owner of a Toyota Prius.
He said he bought the car in 2006 for $29,000 because his commute to and from work was about 60 miles each way and he wanted the financial benefits offered with the car.
“I get to drive in the carpool lane, which is nice,” Molumby said. “There was a tax credit, which was pretty big. I think it was about three grand.”
His Prius gets about 45 miles per gallon and has around 90 horsepower, he said, which caters to his freeway and city-driving needs.
“I don’t really need to go from zero to 60 (mph) in four seconds,” he said. “I don’t ever go past 90 (mph), so it goes as fast as I need it to go.”
Molumby is a part of the “green” trend that has risen in popularity in the last six years.
“Going green” means practicing more environmentally friendly behaviors, whether it’s recycling, cutting down on pollution or saving energy.
Low-, ultra low- and partial zero-emission vehicles with hybrid engine systems have recently become a trend among car buyers, according to an article by Jason Moore titled “Fuel-Efficient Ford Cars: The New Trend,” published on Buzzle.com.
According to the California vehicle emissions ratings, low-emissions vehicles are the emission standard for all cars sold in the state starting in 2004.
The emissions ratings stated that ultra low-emissions means the vehicles produce 50 percent less pollutants than regular models, and partial zero-emissions are 90 percent cleaner than regular models.
The hybrid engine system refers to any vehicle that combines a gas engine and electric motor and battery, said Jim Kaefer, sales manager at Capitol Toyota in San Jose.
The vehicle does not need to be charged, he said, and the battery is disposable and “not hazardous to the environment.”
Hybrid technology allows the driver the option to create the power, said Luart Tobias, a sales consultant for the Capitol Honda dealership.
Honda has been making hybrid vehicles since 1999, starting with the Honda Insight, Tobias said.
When Honda’s hybrid system car first came out, he said, the dealership would only keep about one or two of them on the lot.
Now, Tobias said, there are usually about 20 hybrids on the lot at one time.
Since 2005, national Civic Hybrid sales have risen slightly by percentage, from 8.3 percent of all Civic sales in 2005 to 11.9 percent so far this year, he said.
“I get a lot of people who are fuel conscious,” Tobias said. “There’s some people who like it just because it’s technology, and obviously, the main reason is the gas savings.”
Sales percentages for the Prius were unavailable.
“The fact that gas is going up close to $4 is helping the Hybrid sales a lot,” Tobias said.
Tax credits were given out for both the Prius and Civic Hybrid as incentives to prospective buyers.
Credits for the Civic Hybrid are currently $1,080, until July, Tobias said, when they will drop to $525.
In April 2007, tax credits for Prius ended, Kaefer said.
“They had the (carpool) stickers back in 2006,” Tobias said.
He said the State of California offered stickers for cars with hybrid systems allowing owners to drive their vehicles in the carpool lane without having a person in the passenger seat, and free parking in public garages.
“The free parking downtown still exists,” Tobias said, “but the carpool stickers (were) … only for a certain amount of vehicles and they stopped after they created enough.”
According to their dealerships, both vehicles get about 45 miles per gallon of gas and cost anywhere from $23,000 to $29,000.
Both Kaefer and Tobias said any wrecked hybrid vehicle could be taken to any body shop unless the actual hybrid system is impaired.
“If the hybrid system was damaged, that would have to come back to the dealer,” Kaefer said.
He also said Toyota has been talking about improving all of their current models, and coming out with a vehicle that uses even less gasoline than the Prius.
“Toyota is hoping to have a hybrid option for every model down the road,” he said.
Currently, about 90 percent of Toyota’s vehicles are partial zero-emissions vehicles, he said.
Tobias said Honda believes zero-emissions vehicles, or ZEMs, are the future of cars.
“What Honda’s doing is, by next year, they will be releasing a newer, cost-effective hybrid,” he said. “They have a concept car … it’s going to be upgraded technology compared to what we have in 2006.”
Tobias said he considers lower-emission engine technology a trend, and expects to see more ZEMs on the road in five to ten years.
The engineering department at SJSU is also “going green.”
Tai-Ran Hsu, a professor of engineering, and his engineering students have been building a ZEM since 2006 and its completion is scheduled for April.
The ZEM’s power sources are solar panels and a chargeable battery, Hsu said, so the car does not require any gasoline fuel at all.
He said although the maximum speed of the car is 40 mph, the cost of production for the ZEM is between $3,000 and $4,000.
“The cost of a Prius is $20,000,” Hsu said. “We’re talking about only a fraction of that.”
Thursday, February 28, 2008
The quirk story is about Campus deals that save San Jose students money.
Chiaramonte said one of the popular places for discounts can be found in the computer area of the Spartan Bookstore.
He said the bookstore offers Apple products at a lower price compared to Apple retail stores and other locations.
Apple Computer Inc. provides educational pricing, roughly around three to four percent less than the Apple store, for its products to the bookstore Chiaramonte said.
He said hardware, software and other programs other than Apple products are also available at a discounted price at the bookstore.
“Are reason for being, basically is to operate for the benefit of the campus,” Chiaramonte said about helping students.
He said he does not see an end to the disco
With tuition increases and monetary factors affecting San Jose State students, there is several deals campus that can help relieve some financial stress.
“There are many deals, specials, for students in shops operations (Spartan Shops) because we deal in the education marketplace,” said Phil Chiaramonte, Senior Director of Retail Services.unted prices of computer products and the Spartan Bookstore’s relationship with Apple because of its success on college campuses.
Another discount that can be found on the SJSU campus is the AS Eco Pass.
The AS Eco Pass, which is included in SJSU students’ tuition fees, offers students rides on public Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority vehicles such as bus and Light Rail.
As of Sept. 1, 2007, it costs $1.75 for a single adult fare and $61.25 for single month pass for VTA buses and Light Rail services.
Andy Chow, Commute Coordinator for SJSU, said the As Eco Pass costs SJSU students $73.50 for several months use.
Chow said the partnership with VTA started in 1994.
“It was voted on by the students years ago and they did so overwhelmingly,” Chow said in regards to the addition of the VTA fees.
“The whole concept with the Eco Pass program is that it is beneficial only if all full-time students are willing to pay for it because it is a revenue neutral program,” said VTA spokesman Dino Guevarra. “It is an employer-based program, the same with any business.”
The current AS Eco Pass is valid from Jan. 23, 2008 till Sep. 24, 2008.
Another deal SJSU students can benefit from is the free San Jose Mercury News newspapers offered outside Dwight Bentel Hall and other locations around campus.
Journalism School Director Bill Briggs, said The Mercury News has donated newspapers to SJSU through a charter program for a number of years.
Jesse Pickett, Technology Equipment Specialist at SJSU, said The Mercury News and SJSU had a symbiotic relationship because they had donated lenses and cameras to the journalism department before.
San Jose Mercury Newspapers can cost 35 cents, Monday through Saturdays, and $1.00 on Sundays.
Campus Deals Video