February 25, 2010 |
The vice chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission could scarcely contain his scorn. Before the commission was yet another appeal from a Philadelphia-area family, again seeking a break on unpaid electric and gas bills that by last year were closing in on $30,000. This family lived in a $986,000 house on the Main Line. The breadwinner, until recently, had earned well more than $100,000 per year. Yet he and his wife were in hock to creditors, ranging from Uncle Sam to their former synagogue - and had regularly been stiffing Peco Energy for five years, breaking payment plan after payment plan.
October 28, 1994 |
In a geometry class on a recent morning at Delaware Valley Friends School in Bryn Mawr, the only sound, at times, was that of teacher Tom Grant and his six students tapping at their keyboards. Grant's small classroom was darkened - the better to see gray screens. The teacher was giving a lesson in the use of special geometry software; geometry instruction would come later. Grant's class - indeed the entire school - is going on-line. "The difference is, when you make a drawing on a piece of paper, it's a static thing.
October 12, 2010 |
The Lower Merion School District will pay $610,000 to settle lawsuits over its tracking of student laptop computers, ending an eight-month saga that thrust the elite district into a global spotlight and stirred questions about technology and privacy in schools. School board members voted unanimously Monday night to pay $185,000 to the two students who claimed the district spied on them by secretly activating the webcams on their laptops. The bulk of the money, $175,000, will be put in trust for Blake Robbins, the Harriton High School junior whose family brought the issue to light in February.
January 17, 2007
By midsummer, millions of schoolchildren in poor neighborhoods will be able to go online, thanks to American ingenuity in making the dream of a $100 laptop computer a reality. These children, though, will be in developing nations - not in the disadvantaged communities of U.S. cities, where plenty of kids also could use a hand up in getting online. Nations in Africa, South America, the Far East and elsewhere will be the first to receive computers under the One Laptop Per Child project.
April 15, 2010 |
Responding to parents' concerns, a federal judge on Wednesday barred anyone from disseminating photos or screen shots captured by the Lower Merion School District's laptop-tracking program without his permission. The order, from U.S. District Judge Jan E. DuBois, followed a conference with lawyers in the lawsuit over the program, and representatives of parents who wanted the protective order. "It severely limits the universe of people who have access to the photographs and other data collected by the district," said Stephen Shapiro, lawyer for Richard and Elaine Neill and their son, Evan, who asked for the ban. The order was faxed to 17 lawyers - a reflection of how the case has grown since Blake Robbins and his parents, Michael and Holly, sued in February, saying Harriton High School administrators had spied on him through a camera on a school-issued laptop computer.
August 21, 2011
After her son, Jamal, was killed in Iraq last August, Michelle Watson thought, "If I could just hear his voice one more time -. " When the Army sent Sgt. Jamal Rhett's personal belongings home to Palmyra, she found his laptop. And on it were a few precious moments of him talking on video. It was like a voice from heaven. Watson, who works as a sick-call nurse at the women's prison in Philadelphia, had raised her only child to be a Christian. He had said from Iraq, "Mom, I pray more now than I ever have.
March 15, 2012 |
MINNEAPOLIS - The stolen laptop sent its owner a hopeful message just hours after it had been spirited out of his south Minneapolis home. The message included the exact spot where the laptop had been taken and, conveniently, a photo covertly shot by the MacBook's webcam of the man now using the computer. Antitheft software on the laptop kicked into gear when the owner reported his computer stolen. Now the police would simply go get it back, thought the man, a Web developer. Instead, he watched online as his laptop traveled from an apartment complex in Coon Rapids, Minn., to an apartment in Mounds View, Minn., and then, weeks later, to the University of Ghana, in Africa.
December 9, 2010
REWARD: FABULOUS DRUG STASH! You'd probably expect those words to come courtesy of a Phish concert, not a full-service ad-design firm. But Kurt Shore is especially desperate to recover his stolen laptop. So he's appealing to a higher power for help. Pun intended. Here's the backstory. As Shore was leaving his agency's Manayunk office one night last month, an employee somehow tripped the alarm. Not wanting the police to pay an unnecessary visit, Shore told me, he left his car running and ran back inside to turn off the alarm.
February 15, 2013 |
Microsoft's new Surface Pro is tough to pigeonhole. Is it a tablet that doubles as a laptop? A teeny laptop that doubles as a tablet? An upgrade to last fall's Surface RT that runs actual Windows 8? A svelte solution to the age-old hassle of taking work home or on a plane? On the surface, here's the Pro: an $899 tablet that, with a couple nifty add-ons, morphs into a $1,100 micro-laptop. With its sharp, HD display and Windows 8's "live tile" apps, the touch-screen tablet will keep its owner engaged for four or five hours without a power cord.