Archive for July, 2007

Nationwide Wireless in the USA

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

The wireless frequencies that are being abandoned as television goes digital is to be auctioned off by late January of 2008. Right now there is a tense three pistols thing going on between Google, AT&T and the FCC. The FCC is, of course, the sheriff of analogy town. Google and AT&T are both asking for provisions. If Google gets the exact licensing requirements that it asking for, it has pledged to bid over four BILLION dollars for the airwaves.

Source: Computer Business Review

Aquafina to Make Major Label Change

Monday, July 30th, 2007

PepsiCo Incorporated is leap frogging past it’s critics with regard to its bottled water labeling.

Spring water has to meet a strict criteria with regard to its source to be labeled as such in many markets. Pure water just has to truthfully state its composition on the label. Aquafina has always used plain old tap water as its source. Now it is going to say just that on its label. It is going to say PUBLIC WATER SOURCE.

The bottle is made from petrochemicals.

Source: CTV

Education and Belief

Monday, July 30th, 2007

Educational philosophies are often a cause for heated debate. My children were enrolled in an alternative school for some time. I took an active role at the school, first as a parent with voting rights in important decisions at the school, and later as a volunteer. The volunteer work transitioned into an elected position as a staff member. Our school was modeled on the Sudbury Valley School. The main aspects of these schools are full democracy and complete academic freedom. The school was very up front about its core philosophies.

One thing that happened repeatedly at this school was that during interviews with parents prior to their children enrolling, they did not come to a full understanding of the philosophy. They would take issue with the degree of freedom that their child was provided with weeks or months after they entered the school. Some parents had practical or social reasons for placing their children in the school. In many parts of North America, governments do not legislate or enforce any type of standard of education in private schools. They consider the oversight to be the responsibility of parents. I don’t think all parents even understood that.

While looking on the Internet for controversies related to alternative schools, Waldorf schools have risen to the top. The main thing that critics point to is the deceptiveness with regard to the underlying beliefs and philosophies. The obvious reason for concealment is the fact that the founder Rudolf Steiner had views that are understandably repulsive to modern parents. Modern parents are the main source of income for Waldorf schools. Personally, I would never consider such a school for my children. Any organization that develops a culture of concealment is no place for children.

Realistically, parents have to face the fact that every teacher in every school, public or private, has a set of beliefs.