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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Monday morning quarterbacking

    The Wildcat comments on weekend news events

    What I did on summer vacation …

    Some students are content to spend their summer vacations relaxing on the beach. George Hotz, a 17-year-old New Jersey tech whiz, had a different idea of summer fun, spending two solid months programming, soldering and hacking in an attempt to unlock his Apple iPhone. He announced Friday that his clever coding was successful – allowing the iPhone to be used on any cell phone network and ending AT&T’s exclusive sales relationship with the much-hyped gadget, a right for which the company paid millions of dollars. The fanatic effort put into liberating the phone is another example of the futility of any attempt to control new technology or limit information, and another indication that consumers want digital freedom – not exclusive locked-in agreements and byzantine contracts. In the fast-paced world of technology, the iPhone should be allowed to run free.

    Testing anxiety

    The College Board agreed Friday to pay out a $2.85 million settlement to put an end to a class-action lawsuit brought by thousands of high school students whose SAT scores were misreported in 2005. The errors, which resulted when their answer sheets were accidentally moistened and misread, resulted in assigned scores as much as 450 points too low, more than enough to influence their chances at college admissions. It’s good to see the College Board held accountable for its mistake, but it would be even better to see a college admissions process that didn’t rely so heavily on the results of one important test owned and administered by a monopoly.

    Soccer hooligans

    This weekend, an attempted act of goodwill in Afghanistan led instead to a demonstration by hundreds of angry villagers. The U.S. military, hoping to improve relations with villagers in the southeast Khost province, dropped colorful soccer balls out of a helicopter and into the hands of Afghan children in a heartwarming attempt at humanitarianism. Unfortunately, the devil was in the details. The balls were decorated with colorful flags from around the world – one of them from Saudi Arabia, a banner with script including a verse from the Qur’an and the name of Allah. Needless to say, the Muslim villagers failed to take kindly to kicking the balls around in the dust, and local mullahs instead blasted the military for their insensitivity. Oops, we did it again – another good idea hampered by our lack of cultural awareness.

    Freshwater farewell

    A species census in China confirmed this week that the Yangtze River dolphin, or baiji, has likely gone extinct. Last seen in 2002, the endangered animal, known as the “”goddess of the Yangtze,”” may be the first large vertebrate to go extinct in more than 50 years. Researchers blame the extinction on overfishing, pollution and the impact of China’s massive Three Gorges dam, built upstream from the dolphin’s natural habitat. The extinction of the 20-million-year-old animal is a sobering reminder of the growing environmental impact of China’s remarkably rapid expansion.

    OPINIONS BOARD: Editorials are determined by the Wildcat opinions board and written by one of its members. They are Allison Hornick, Sarah Keeler, Connor Mendenhall, Justyn Dillingham, Allison Dumka and Jerry Simmons

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