Print 57 comment(s) - last by Ringold.. on Oct 3 at 7:08 PM

Thanks to two new bills, there is financial relief at last

Whether you're racking up tuition fees now or still paying student loans after graduation, you know one thing is for sure: College is expensive. To make matters worse, the spending doesn't end at a semester of classes -- there's books that need to be purchased as well, and they're worth more than a little bit of pocket change.

But if you're going to school in California, a bit of relief has finally come your way in the form of two bills: SB 1052 and SB 1053. 

Both bills, which were crafted by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), will allow California college students to download up to 50 core textbooks for free in the form of e-books. The e-books are for lower-division courses and are for classes at the University of California, California State University and California Community Colleges. 

More specifically, SB 1052 allows for the development of the e-books and the creation of the California Open Education Resources Council for e-book approvals. SB 1053 has developed the California Digital Open Source Library to store the new e-books. 

"Many students are paying more than $1,000 every year on their textbooks, sometimes having to choose between buying the books they need or paying for food and other living expenses," said Steinberg. 

The new e-book bills were signed by Governor Jerry Brown on Thursday. They are expected to go into effect starting in the 2013-14 school year. 

Digital textbooks are certainly becoming the new way of learning in institutions around the globe. This new form of educational offerings was further boosted by Apple earlier this year, who released iBooks 2 and iBooks Author that allow for the creation of digital textbooks and makes them available for purchase on the iPad. 


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RE: We all pay in one form or another
By Jaybus on 10/1/2012 5:39:29 PM , Rating: 2
On Friday, April 12, 1861, Confederate forces opened fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor. On April 15, Lincoln issued a proclamation declaring that an insurrection existed and called upon the states to muster 75,000 militia troops, under the Militia Acts of 1792. The Militia Acts were passed by Congress in response to the Whiskey Rebellion that began in 1791 and gave the President authority to call out the militias of the states for the sole purpose of putting down an armed insurrection. On April 17, Lincoln signed the order to initiate a naval blockade of Southern ports.

Because neither the United States nor the Confederate States (nor Lincoln) ever issued a declaration of war, several court cases following the war depended on a definition of when the war started and ended. The Supreme Court was forced to decide the dates. They ruled that because a naval blockade is considered an act of war under international law, that the war began April 17, 1861 when Lincoln signed the naval blockade order.

Fortunately, history is about recorded events and the context in which they happened, not unsubstantiated opinions such as "a tyrant who declared war and murdered Americans to squash a completely bloodless secession."

RE: We all pay in one form or another
By Reclaimer77 on 10/1/2012 7:16:52 PM , Rating: 1
I love how Liberals will demonize any military action taken in the middle east, for example, but will fall all over themselves to legitimize Lincoln's actions. Which were, frankly, extreme and unwarranted. And lead to the slaughter of nearly a million Americans on both sides without even the attempt at peaceful negotiations.

They say the winners write the history books, and that's never been more evident then in the case of the Civil War.

If you think using the full power of the US military against it's own people, including burning down civilian cities to the ground, is an appropriate response to the events you've listed, well, that's on you.

RE: We all pay in one form or another
By ClownPuncher on 10/1/2012 7:41:09 PM , Rating: 2
I tend to look back on it and ask if how it turned out was better than if he had done nothing. Obviously we have a federal government with much more power over the states now, but in the end, the country did become stronger. Geopolitically, it was also a good move. The cost was that we set a precedent where the Constitution and Bill of Rights were much easier to steamroll past.

If things had gone differently, we likely would have had several wars between the north and south which would both be much weaker on their own.

It's difficult to speculate which would have been better. We should just spend our efforts trying to change what roles the government plays in current day politics. Bring back state rights and pass laws legally, rather than by lobby.

RE: We all pay in one form or another
By Reclaimer77 on 10/1/2012 8:49:46 PM , Rating: 2
If things had gone differently, we likely would have had several wars between the north and south which would both be much weaker on their own.

I don't know why people always jump to this conclusion. There is an equally possible chance that the Confederacy could have been brought to the table, and through negotiation and compromise, rejoined the Union leading to a stronger more Constitutional country.

However since diplomacy wasn't even attempted, this is all speculation.

We should just spend our efforts trying to change what roles the government plays in current day politics. Bring back state rights and pass laws legally, rather than by lobby.

It's too late. Rebellions like the Civil War, historically, are the only things that lead to the massive types of reforms we're talking about.

Why would the Government give up that much power today? Not without a fight. They've murdered their own people before to hold onto that power, and they would do it again.

But Clown it's refreshing discussing this with someone who doesn't instantly pull the "you just want slavery" card whenever this topic comes up. You have no idea :)

By Ringold on 10/1/2012 10:59:01 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you; a lot of the key actors on the north and south were in fact mutual life-long friends with little animosity towards one another. A lot of soldiers, despite a lot of animosity, had friends and even family and brothers on the other side.

Given that, I think you're right, the two would've either came to a negotiated compromise (like just returning to the original constitution), or would've agreed to be separate nations and cultures but brothers in blood, closer to one another then any other 2 countries, maybe in history.

RE: We all pay in one form or another
By jeffkro on 10/1/2012 9:30:47 PM , Rating: 3
Wow, you guys have gone way off topic

RE: We all pay in one form or another
By Ringold on 10/1/2012 11:05:55 PM , Rating: 2
In a way, it's perfectly on target of how open source educational books can be a failure.

You've got the left here with their revisionist history, same as how modern America likes to forget the Japanese internment camps the left likes to forget about the giant dump Lincoln took on the constitution -- in order to save it, he would argue. (In fact, I think he actually DID argue exactly that) Then you've got the right, pointing out facts they find inconvenient, and offering perspective on the motivations of the South that modern liberals are very poorly equipped intellectually to understand... Not that they're dumb, but they're the ideological polar opposite of those people.

Economics and psychology are two other fields that could get messy on the margins. They don't publish much, and don't command as large a following among actual economists out there, but what they lack in number modern Marxist economists make up for in verbosity... They'd try to have their way with any open-source econ text. Even in the mainstream, ideas take time to be established.

Physics, even, on the fringes could be questionable. Imagine the e-rage that could come up over different explanations for the big bang, or over the safety and efficacy of nuclear power.

I, for one, would rather pay $100 for quality, curated knowledge and information than a lowest-common-denominator book of dubious value.

RE: We all pay in one form or another
By Etsp on 10/2/2012 12:38:57 AM , Rating: 2
Ringold, if you're really worried about revisionist history, contribute to these projects! Part of that contribution is to stand up and say "That's not factually accurate. Here are my sources."

I really think you don't understand how open source works. It's usually not the free-for-all edits of Wikipedia, but rather each project is an organization within itself, with a hierarchy of authority, standard practices and policies.

Each change and contribution must meet certain requirements PRIOR to getting included into the project. Random people can't just log into the site, edit a few pages with nonsense, and expect it to get implemented.

RE: We all pay in one form or another
By Ringold on 10/2/2012 2:59:37 PM , Rating: 2
Problem is, like with any open-source project, a professor can take a project, 'fork' it for his courses, stuff in his revisions, and indoctrinate wave after wave of students that'd never know any better.

RE: We all pay in one form or another
By The Raven on 10/2/2012 8:04:38 PM , Rating: 2
Re: open souce project this.

And the open source model allows for anyone to fork the material. This means that people can fork and do something worse (which you point out) or fork and do something better (which you failed to point out). And I wonder which one will float to the top and be used by the best schools? You actually are afraid that people will chose the worst one?

By Ringold on 10/3/2012 7:08:48 PM , Rating: 2
If educators embraced best-practice policies, America wouldn't have a failing education system, would it?

Professors get tenure, and then are free to do whatever they want. Are you aware, for example, that there's liberal-arts school "Economics" programs out there stuffed with old-guard tenured Marxists that pump out wave after wave of indoctrinated little communists that go forth and never get jobs doing actual econometric work? In this happy world of best-case scenario outcomes, why do so many of these colleges exist with their centuries-outdated curricula?

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings

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