I thought that this interview with UConn President Susan Herbst was exciting. I’ve been critical of the tuition raises at UConn especially in light of the current economic climate. However after President Herbst explained that many undergraduates were unable to complete their degrees in time and therefore were paying more I think that its more justifiable than it used to be. Herbst made a case for ambition and noted that here we have an uneasy relationship with it. Having spent four years in Massachusetts I think she managed to hit the nail on the head when it comes to our respective cultures.
Yet there are some who fly in the face of this stereotype. Look, for example, at Susan Bysiewicz. She is relentlessly ambitious. In some ways I wonder whether Connecticut loses out when individuals like her are too ambitious, or are not ambitious in the right way. Recently the state legislature lost a lot of talent when Governor Malloy pulled people like Mike Lawlor and Andrew MacDonald into his administration. If ambitious people like Susan Bysiewicz (who did once serve there) or even Linda McMahon or Ned Lamont ran for the state legislature they could probably do a lot of good there. The time and resources they could dedicate to serving in the state legislature along with their connections would give them a huge advantage, spread the center of power in the chamber, and maybe even be a stepping stone towards some of the reforms suggested by Colin McEnroe.
I have been a fan of Soundcloud for a while now. Basically it is a YouTube for audio content. The iPhone application allows you to record audio and upload it directly to your account. Poking around it you can find some interesting interviews. Robert Scoble has technology related interviews with people involved in funding start-ups. However I especially enjoyed the discussion of the HBO Game Change movie, which I have embedded below.
Game Change is a book that chronicles the 2008 election between Barack Obama and John McCain. The movie is based on the portions of the book that tell the story of the selection of Sarah Palin as Vice-President. It’s worth the watch if you are a political junkie. You get a better behind the scenes impression of the campaign than most TV reporting provided and learn tidbits that you may have missed. Both the book and movie are a bit on the gossipy side which is a positive if you enjoy stories and character development, but might be frustrating to people who view negative treatment as character assassination. Palin was one of the latter and she started criticizing the movie before its release. However after watching it I tend to view it as fair and in many ways I felt more sympathetic towards Palin than I did before watching the movie.
The thing that amazes me the most is how many people that own iPhones I can casually ask whether they have enabled iCloud and they say they haven’t. Sometimes they are not even sure what iCloud is. iCloud is Apple’s free service for storing backups of your stuff online. By enabling it you save the space on your hard drive and you no longer have to worry about what happens if your iPhone dies. So far I’ve had two die on me and after signing into iCloud it took an hour to download all my data and then it was as if my entire phone was restored from the dead. No extra time spent configuring or do anything else.
Soon additional features will be added to iCloud. You’ll soon be able to use it to share photo albums and also to sync the tabs in your web browser between your desktop and iPad or iPhone. They are also adding more features for saving and synchronizing documents. If you are not using iCloud you are missing one of the most delightful perks of using a Mac.
The one thing that Apple has yet to do is enable any kind of streaming of iTunes music on the iPhone. However this void has been filled by cloud music services like Spotify. If you are like me and do not subscribe to Spotify or iTunes Match, Amazon just came out with its own iOS app. With it you can store your music collection in their cloud and then stream it to your iPhone from anywhere. Extremely handy if you are running out of space or have a large music collection.
The only downside to the cloud is most of the services are freemium. In my case this means I have content stored across various cloud providers based on features. So far none of the providers have endeavored to provide a comprehensive set of features (music play/streaming, full computer backup, mobile backup, etc.) so my loyalties are divided. If you want to try out cloud services I suggest Dropbox, Amazon Music, and Google.
On Sunday I finally graduated from law school. Those three years fly by so quickly. A graduation is a conflict of emotion: excitement for the next adventure and also a feeling of sadness as I will be leaving the school I loved so much and many friends will be moving away. I was lucky enough to be joined by some family friends at the ceremony and then we went out to dinner afterwards. My parents even surprised me with a beautiful cake that had an oreo frosting filling in the center that was delicious.
The bittersweet part of a graduation, especially from law school is that as soon as you finish bar review begins. I’m still working on my job search and finishing up the last parts of my Connecticut bar application but next week I will have to start studying for the Massachusetts and Connecticut bar exams full-time. I opted for the BarBri program that most students sign-up for. It is expensive, nearly $3000. However they give you all the books, lectures, and other material you need to pass.
I of course decided to geek out and install the mobile app on my iPhone. The app lets you to play the video lectures and tackle practice questions. I decided that I wanted to watch the lectures on a bigger screen so I bought the Apple HDMI adapter for the phone and plugged it into the television on the porch. The picture quality is not quite as good as the screen on the phone but it is fine for the BarBri videos. It certainly makes it easier to pay attention to than the little phone screen and is less distracting than streaming it on my MacBook. My friends assure me that I can work on my own time with the video lectures and need only attend the live classes for the simulations, but I will probably go to the first one to check it out.
There’s nothing terribly exciting about bar review. It’s just something to grind out. So do not worry, I will not post about the intricacies of agency liability or sixth amendment rights.