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Friday, April 16, 2010

CSN to limit enrollment, shut the doors on applicants

CSN budget cuts to limit expansion at time of higher enrollment

"Students looking to attend the College of Southern Nevada next semester should sign up for classes as early as possible. The school is going to run out of room. Fast." is the lead in the Las Vegas Review Journal coverage of CSN president Michael Richards address to a town hall of students and faculty. He later repeated many of the same grim warnings before the Board of Regents.
CSN budget cuts were not a deep as at several other schools in the University system, however the cuts will hurt. Nearly 7% will be cut from a budget already slashed several times over the past three years, despite growth in student population and the increased economic transition, remedial and undergraduate course demand placed on the school by other institutions. Enrollment at CSN grows each year, up 6.7% over the last year alone. Such growth cannot be maintained, in effect limiting access to higher education in Southern Nevada.

You can do the math...enrollment up about the same amount as budget cuts...or an impact of almost 14% on services and enrollment.

The president announced the 6.9% cut, which the Las Vegas Sun reports will force a "force a de facto enrollment cap and jeopardize the institution's "open access" mission."

More at the Las Vegas Sun: click here.

More at Las Vegas Review Journal: click here.

Movie stocks by the individual film

Moves to tie investments and investment performance in motion pictures to individual and packaged groups of motion pictures drew one step closer in Washington today. There is strong opposition to this Wall Street based futures trading market method by the AMPTP, studios and traditional Hollywood.

From The WRAP:

One of two financial companies looking to establish futures trading based on domestic box-office performance of movies received regulatory approval Friday, clearing a major hurdle.

The ruling from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission sanctions Chicago-based Media Derivatives to create the infrastructure for movie-futures trading. The company still has to gain approval for the actual financial products that will enable trading on this exchange.
A Media Derivatives official told TheWrap that the company hopes to have its box-office trading product approved -- and up and running -- sometime in the third quarter.
Separately, the CFTC is scheduled to rule next week on the formation of another movie-futures exchange being established by Wall Street giant Cantor Fitzgerald.
That exchange is also expected to be approved, with Cantor also requiring a separate approval for its trading product in order to commence operation.

Go the The Wrap for additional and updated details. has its entertainment business slant on the story.

And The Holllywood Reporter.

Have we thought through 3D and its impact on our lives?

‘Not tonight, dear; I have a headache’

When viewing movies, most less than two hours in length, binocular
 dysphoria has not been a huge issue for audiences.
When viewing movies, most less than two hours in length, binocular dysphoria has not been a huge issue for audiences.

Most 3-D display technology, whether in the theater or at home, requires viewers to wear electronic glasses that are timed to open and close rapidly. A slightly different image is projected to each eye, and from that difference, the brain creates the illusion of depth.

However, our brains process visual information in many different ways, and human depth perception is a very complicated business. The brain uses 10 different cues to figure out the distance of an object. One if them is parallax, which is used by most 3-D TVs. For 3-D to work, the brain must reject several of the other cues in favor of parallax.

When viewing 3-D is over, the brain is still rejecting those depth perception cues. It takes it time to return to normal. Some people snap out of it immediately, while others take hours to recover. This condition, known as “binocular dysphoria,” is a price humans must pay for cheating their brain into believing the illusion of 3-D TV.

With movies, most less than two hours in length, binocular dysphoria has not been a huge issue (although there have been a few reported cases). However, with sustained 3-D viewing for hours in the home, it could be. As of now we don’t know for sure, because not one of the TV manufacturers has done any health or safety testing on the issue.

Doctors, however, say that headaches and visual disturbance are likely with many viewers of 3-D content; we just don’t know how many yet.

Dr. Michael Rosenberg, an ophthalmology professor at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, said there are many people with very minor eye problems — a minor muscle imbalance, for example — which the brain deals naturally with under normal circumstances.
However, he said, when watching 3-D content, these people are confronted with an entirely new sensory experience. “That translates into greater mental effort, making it easier to get a headache,” he said.

A recent study by the University of California, Berkeley, concluded that 3-D can cause headaches and blurred vision. Researchers attributed this to viewers focusing on the foreground and distance simultaneously.

ABC News blogger Mike Pesce predicted that one of two things will happen with the recent interest in 3-D technology for the home: Either the fad will quickly disappear from the market, or we’ll soon see the biggest class-action lawsuit in history as millions realize that 3-D TV permanently ruined their depth perception.

See Also: 5 reasons 3D will not take off

3D or Not 3D

Is 3D the Future

ESPN and Discovery offer 3D Networks

Computer Ease Utilities

5 Mac Utilities That Rock My World

I work in front of a computer for 10 – 12 hours per day, and having a productive environment on my Mac is vital to my mental health. I don’t always use the Mac for my work, but I use it more than others since it’s sitting on my desk with a big Cinema Display. The Mac is a productive system on its own, but gets even better with some utilities I use that helps make it more so. Here are 5 Mac utilities that rock my world.
Cinch. That 24-inch Cinema Display gives me a lot of screen real estate, and putting it to best use is helped by Cinch. Cinch enables some windows management that mimics the Aero Drag features in Windows 7. I can drag a window to the top of the screen and it instantly goes full-screen; dragging it back down returns it to the original size. Particularly helpful is the ability to drag windows to the left and right screen border, which makes the window instantly size to half the screen. It’s a great way to put two windows — equally sized — side by side for working back and forth. $7.
Xmarks. I use many different computers — both Macs and Windows — and keeping my browser bookmarks in sync across them all is crucial for my work. I also use Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Google Chrome to further complicate this process. The Xmarks utilities are available on every one of these browsers for both Windows and Macs, and keep all of my bookmarks and site passwords synced across them all. I never have to think about this, it just works. Free.
SnagIt. I am constantly capturing images off my screen for my work. I take snaps of program windows to share, images on a web page and full desktop images. I have to resize these images to fit the particular need, and annotate them occasionally. SnagIt is a great method to do all of the above, and it has become a big part of my work day. I shot avideo of SnagIt in action if you’re curious. It’s in beta so is free for now.
SoundSource. Simple utilities are often the best, and that fits SoundSource. Anyone who often switches audio sources appreciates when that is simple. SoundSource sits in the system tray and through a drop-down menu makes it one-click easy to change input/output audio sources and set the volume level. Input/output and system audio levels can be controlled independently through SoundSource. Free.
SugarSync. The cloud service SugarSync is not a utility per se, but the Mac program functions like one in the background and keeps all my files backed up. It also keeps them synchronized to other computers I use, and it does so silently and without fail. Through the iPad app I can use SugarSync to access all of my Mac’s files on the slate. Free and paid versions, depending on storage requirements.