Apple’s got you by the wrist

October 30, 2014 3:07 PM

The release of the iPhone six last week was an unsurprising triumph for Apple, but another generation of smartphone seems fairly unimpressive in the shadow of the Apple watch, which is planned to debut in early 2015. Phones and tablets are fundamental tools in most of out lives, but the very nature of their design is somewhat limiting. By putting aside current models and implementing a totally new device Apple is opening the door for capability and interaction like we’ve never seen before. The Apple Watch will provide all the same services as the iPhone, texting, calling, email, GPS, and […]

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‘Sugar babies’ bad for women

September 17, 2014 10:40 PM

“Sugar babies” are making a comeback, from Lana Del Rey’s music and image, to Anna Nicole Smith’s infamous 90-year-old billionaire boyfriend. Shaming a woman for a decision she makes with her own body is never OK. But I can’t help but wonder—are the “sugar babies” hurting my gender? Or is it just the women who disapprove of them? A recent talk show segment on “sugar babies” made me uncomfortable. But what made me uncomfortable about the interview wasn’t what the sugar babies were doing—it was what the women in the audience said.  “I’m in med school,” one of the women […]

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Who’ll watch the cops?

10:27 PM

I remember when the Internet came to my house, I was in middle school. Now I’m 27 and it wasn’t until last year that I owned my first computer. It was given to me as a birthday gift by a friend who refurbished it. While I have always been grateful for the gift, I also remember feeling upset. It felt like being forced online, forced to take on responsibilities in a global community. One year of Internet-ing obliterated any notion that ignorance is bliss. It doesn’t take the Internet to see police brutality being carried out against friends, family, neighbors, […]

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What has 911 wrought in 2014?

10:13 PM

Thirteen years ago today our nation united in grief and horror as we watched the twin towers fall. I was only seven years old at the time, too young to fully comprehend the scope of the tragedy, though I do remember a certain level of bewilderment and fear as I watched my parents, former residents of Brooklyn, crying as the news came over the radio. My classmates and I discussed the events in school, sharing our limited understandings, each of us trying to sound adult though we were far out of depth. We could not see that our lives, and […]

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Letters to the Editor

September 8, 2014 11:34 PM

Financial Aid issues Editor—In the May 15 issue of The Tower I found it very interesting that one of the main arguments against Laney President Elnora Webb was the structural problems in the Laney Financial Aid Department. These allegations were made by a former ASLC vice-president, Marisol Zavala Suarez, which made it even more surprising. Many students and I have been confronted with problems relating to the office. Now that school officials and the Peralta Board of Trustees recognize a problem, they should evaluate the situation within the department and fix it. More of the blame should be planted on […]

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Oakland Zoo expansion

11:27 PM

The Oakland Zoo in Knowland Park has received criticism from protesters and environmental groups for the Zoo expansion project, the California Trail, which was approved by Oakland City Council in 2011. Protesters such as Friends of Knowland Park are concerned that expansion of the zoo will fence out wildlife, such as mountain lions that use the parkland for hunting. Fire safety is also a concern due to the remote location of the new zoo exhibits. Another issued raised by protesters was funding for zoo expansion. In November 2011 the Oakland Zoo tried to pass its A1 measure asking for one […]

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Industry-supported authors?

11:12 PM

It is now better than ever to be creatively driven. Technology has made plenty of space for a boom in expressive careers, especially independent writers. Thanks to Amazon’s Kindle direct publishing, and other indie publishers like Smashwords and Createspace, new, young authors everywhere are finding an audience without financial investment or worry of being repeatedly turned down by big publishing companies that ruled the market a decade ago. Self-published and indie-published authors are focused, determined people who’ve made full-time careers writing books in genres ranging from science fiction to dramatic biographies to mystery thrillers—even quite a few serial adult romances. […]

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Making the world safe for oil firms

10:50 PM

Well, here we go again trying to make the world safe for oil companies and Israel. The ostensible reason for attacking the group calling itself the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq is “humanitarian suffering” in the oil-rich Kurdish region. Humanitarian suffering in Syria and Israeli occupied Gaza did not move our Washington politicos. But have some uppity Islamists pose a threat to oil wells or the Jewish state and our military is dispatched pronto to set things right. That Wall Street money for political campaigns sure is powerful stuff: a 99-0 Senate vote for moral support and $350 million in […]

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What’s our true intention?

May 15, 2014 1:37 PM

In Nigeria on April 15, 276 young girls were kidnapped from their school dormitories in the town of Chibok just as they were preparing to take final exams. These girls were kidnapped by a Jihadist Military group called Boko Haram, which has threatened to sell the girls as slaves or child wives. The families of these young girls have taken to the streets in Nigeria, demanding that their government rescue them; however, the government apparently has done nothing. Some call it apathy, others call it a weakness of the Nigerian Government since it simply does not have the resources to […]

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Un-necessary Extravagance

May 1, 2014 4:12 PM

Oakland is characterized by flat grounds with direct routes to almost anywhere you need to go, an ideal haven for bicyclists. However, there are few streets in Oakland that have sufficient bike lanes, which makes it difficult for cars and bicyclists to safely share the road. Telegraph Avenue is an important street in Oakland and Berkeley; it contains, separates, and connects many parts of Oakland, including Downtown, West Oakland, Uptown Oakland, Lake Merritt, North Oakland, and continues all the way to the top of the slight slope to connect Oakland with Berkeley. Ideally, bicyclists should be able to take this […]

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The Beautiful Game turns ugly in the Qatari deserts

October 24, 2013 4:36 PM

I’ve never really trusted anything labeled “supreme” (unless immediately followed by the word “pizza”), and the “Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee” is no exception. Charged with oversight and coordination of Qatar’s ongoing World Cup project, the committee is ultimately responsible for what The Guardian newspaper has recently called “slave labor” working conditions. In reports revealed by several of the paper’s correspondents, a host of labor violations has been unearthed, not least of which is the death of at least 44 migrant workers toiling in forced labor conditions. The workers, primarily from Nepal, are recruited by less than reputable agencies and then […]

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Opposing Viewpoints: Censorship

4:05 PM

Silencing songs is un-American In a small club in downtown San Francisco there’s a mural of a guy with Uncle Sam’s hand over his mouth painted on the wall. Below them it states, “Censorship is UnAmerican.” And with blurred out rap music dominating nearly all the radio stations and live TV becoming rarer and rarer, censorship is more alive than ever. And maybe it should be. But in America, where speech should be free, is censorship fair and should it exist? While there is a lot of trash talking and degrading garbage that the censors keep hidden, there’s also a […]

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Hannah Montana no more

October 10, 2013 12:30 PM

Miley Cyrus found herself at the center of much controversy after her Aug. 25 performance for MTV’s VMA awards sent shockwaves throughout entertainment media. There she brought a form of dance that long existed on dimly lit club floors out into the limelight, and made the word twerk a part of the common vocabulary. While the uproar from this was barely starting to settle, she released Wrecking Ball, a music video featuring her riding astride a swinging wrecking ball, naked; this ignited still more controversy. In an attempt to present her side of things, she recently talked with Rolling Stone’s […]

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GM crops…and your health

September 26, 2013 2:06 PM

There has been much discussion lately about genetically modified (GM) foodstuffs, most of it expressing concerns over so-called “terminator” seeds, health implications, and the profit motive. The first two are really a straw-man argument. In the case of “terminator” seeds, seeds which produce fruit that either has sterile seeds or no seeds at all, while the technology does exist, it is not yet commercially available. Regarding health implications, i.e. what impact GM crops might have on the health of human beings, there really isn’t evidence that GM crops have any impact. And, as long as we’re operating under the global […]

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