Thursday, February 4, 2016

Exciting Inventions for 2016

Tommy Valletto
Staff Writer  

As we came to an end of all the fantastic innovations and trends of 2015 and opened our doors to 2016, we definitely have a lot to be excited about. Tons of people are starting to use hoverboards, a breakout product of 2015.
 A hoverboard is a electric motor powered scooter that which you stand on that has no handles. The hoverboard detects body movement that will go wherever your body is leaning. This is becoming very popular, but is also causing big issues for people in the form of injuries and restrictions on where exactly one can ride these hoverboards.
 Another cool invention that many city or neighborhood kids are excited for is the black net. This is an easy concept of a basketball net that is built into a frame of a basketball hoop. So when you go to a hoop that's missing a net all you do is simply put the basketball inside the black net and shoot it into the hoop with the missing net and after the ball goes through the hoop and drops out it is ready to be played on. When you are ready to take it out you shoot the ball under and out of the bottom of the net and the ball will drag the hoop with it making the installing and uninstalling process an easy five seconds. That is if, you have a good shot.
 A new weapon for law enforcements that might help this big epidemic of police brutality is this ballistic attachment. The ballistic attachment goes over the front of the barrel of the firearm so when the first round is fired it is non lethal. This will be used if the victim is carrying a nonlethal weapon. This will help reduce the number of tradies of people being shot and killed by police.
 There are many helpful and exciting inventions that are coming out this year just hopefully they follow through or actually prove to be useful to many people.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The issue with Cloud Computing

 Max Charney
Staff Writer

Cloud computing, it is the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer.  It is used by almost everyone, everyday. We all have something in Cloud, as it is informally called, and it is becoming more and more popular. Google Drive, Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, are all examples of cloud computing. You can accesses theses things whenever you want, wherever you are. Major companies like Amazon, Google, IBM, Dell, HP, Cisco, and Intel have had massive investments in cloud computing. It is clear that cloud computing is becoming the future, but is it secure?
 The problem with cloud computing is the security behind it, keeping your photos, videos, and documents safe from others. “When you don't own the network, it's open to the rest of the world, and you don't control the layers of the stack, the cloud - by definition - is more insecure than storing data on premises,” says Rajat Bhargava, co-founder of JumpCloud, a cloud security startup and we have already seen problems like this before. In August of 2014, a collection of about five hundred celebrity photos, mostly women and many of them containing nudity, were leaked from the iCloud. They were originally posted on the imageboard 4Chan, and from there spread across the internet to Reddit, and Imgur. These photos were obtained by a hacker, who had obtained the images by cracking iCloud usernames and passwords. Having weak passwords is a problem, but with cloud computing is a bigger problem.
 But the issues with cloud computing is not only on the computer, it is also heavily used in the gaming industry. For anyone in the gaming industry, and plays video games regularly, you would know the word DLC (Downloadable Content). Basically, it is the release of extra content to a video game after its release. The consumer can download the content through the internet, and then becomes an extension to the previous game you already have. This is a huge benefit for the gaming industry, companies can continue adding more and more content to their games. Even years after it has been released. This is all well and good, but players now feel that this is leading gaming companies to become more greedy. A game could cost sixty dollars upfront, but not have very much content in it, but you can get more by paying for DLC. Which can cost the player anywhere upwards to twenty dollars.
 So is there a solution for all of this? In terms of the gaming industry, it is complicated. Cloud computing is almost a blessing for the companies. But is taking a tole on the gamer’s wallets. The only solution to this is have faith in the company that is making the game you wish to buy. Hope that they do not give you half a game and then make you pay for the rest in DLC later on. Gamers have not hesitated to voice their opinion on this topic, and companies are learning from this. Take Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege for example, the game has an upcoming DLC that will be free to everyone. Because the DLC is free, Ubisoft, the company that made the game, will not have to worry about a split community. Grand Theft Auto V if four years old, but is still widely played by millions of people. Yet they have never asked their community to buy a DLC, it is given to the players for free too keep them playing to keep them coming back. To keep a strong and healthy community.This is one way to solve the issue, and as of now it seem to be the only way.

 In the computer world, users that have stronger passwords are less likely for the privacy to be breached. Passwords should be long, full of uppercase and lowercase letters, along with numbers and symbols. Keeping things that are very valuable to users, like pictures, videos, and documents on a computer hard drive is safer. Also keeping files and folders on a thumbdrive is a smart as well. Companies can focus more management to cloud security, and also by not sending servers to the cloud. It is still a complicated matter with an clear future of where it will be heading, but it is here now, and we all use it. So we should be smart when we use it.

Monday, February 1, 2016

The lottery crazy has come and gone

Riley Smith
Staff Writer

Many have had the dream about what they would do if they won the lottery. When the Powerball reached an all-time high of $1.6 billion, everyone seemed to be crazed about the thought of winning the jackpot. Lottery machine lines wrapped around the New Hope Wawa, said an employee behind the counter before the drawing occurred.
The six balls were drawn on Jan. 13. Players select five numbers from a set of 69 numbers and one number from a set of 26 red Powerball numbers If your numbers match the six drawn, you win the jackpot! This may sound simple, but the odds of winning were calculated to be 1 in 292,201,338.
 Some people are complete nonbelievers in the lottery, but many proved to enjoy the rush of having the very slim chance of instantaneously becoming rich.
 The final Powerball drawing resulted in three different winners, so they have to split the $1.6 billion three ways. Therefore they would get about $533 million each, but after 39% tax cut that is immediately taken from the winnings, they are only left with the small sum of $327.8 million.
 If a winner did win the full $1.6 billion jackpot and no taxes were taken out, then he could’ve done some pretty amazing things. The lucky winner could’ve bought 600 private islands, 7500 lamborghinis, and the Playboy Mansion (which has recently gone on sale), seven and a half times.
 If this person wished for simpler things he could’ve bought 156,250,000 Chipotle steak burritos...with guac! Or he could’ve of just bought every single Chipotle store in the entire world.
 Although the biggest jackpot ever has come and gone, you can always buy a Powerball ticket for the chance to win at least $40 million.

Is the Hype About Hoverboards Really Worth it?

Alexandra Buchler
Staff Writer

The latest and greatest gadget has skyrocketed in popularity over the past six months. Hoverboards were one of the hottest gifts this past holiday season and the star of countless viral videos. However, hoverboards and segways have been responsible for thousands of falls and resulting injuries.
 Hoverboards are at the center of a new California law effective on Jan. 1, 2016 that requires a rider to be at least 16, wear a helmet, and only ride on streets where the speed limit is under 35 mph.  
  The Segway, also known as a Hoverboard, can reach up to 12.5 mph, conveniently takes only one hour to charge, and provides two hours of enjoyable riding after a complete charge. The Segway does not have an engine, brakes, or a steering wheel. It accelerates and decelerates by responding to a person's shifting center of gravity and turns with a subtle body movement.
 Even though these seem like harmless, fun toys, they can actually lead to serious injury. The first time you step on one of these hoverboards, the jolting movement can easily cause you to fall down. The slightest amount of pressure applied to one side of the board will cause you to automatically spin, not to mention leaning forward can cause you to faceplant.
 Jim Heselden, a 62-year-old British businessman who bought the Segway company less than a year ago from American inventor Dean Kamen, apparently died after falling off 30-foot cliff while riding a rugged all-terrain Segway near the River Wharfe in Yorkshire, England.
 Even experts can get hurt while using hoverboard technology.
 Another case that led to serious injury when a teen from New York got Hoverboard for Christmas from his parents. Three days after receiving the gift, the teen thought he had mastered the board and took it outside. After 30 seconds on the road, he fell and broke his arm and leg.
 This potentially dangerous toy has become extremely popular for kids and teens, and is recommended for ages six and up.  
So, is all the hype about the latest craze really worth breaking your arm?

New SAT vs. Old SAT vs. ACT

Catherine Donahue
Staff Writer

Just over a year ago, the College Board announced that the SAT would be changing for the first time in almost ten years in March 2016. The first class to be completely affected by this switch will be the Class of 2017, because juniors are the main group taking standardized tests in preparation for college applications the following year.
 In the past years, juniors could pick when to take the SAT from a list of test dates scheduled nearly every month. Many students chose to take the test in the fall or winter of their junior year, so that they could find out their scores and then retake the test in the spring or fall of their senior year.
 Students in the class of 2017 were posed with a major dilemma: the SAT is changing in the spring of this year, with the first new test taking place in March. Superscoring, defined by College Board as when “you submit scores from test dates of your choosing, and the schools cherry pick your best score from each section, creating a ‘superscore,’” is difficult now because scores from the old test before March and the new, updated test cannot be combined into a superscore.  
 Students were left wondering if it would be better to take the old SAT in the fall and winter, with only a couple of chances to better their score before they can never take the old SAT again, or to take the new SAT and risk being the guinea pigs for the College Board’s first installment of the new test. Or should they just ignore the SAT altogether and take the ACT, which has been essentially the same for decades?
 The logical answer would be for a student take all three tests: the new SAT, old SAT, and the ACT, and just submit to colleges whichever test he or she performed the best on. However, another problem comes into play that most people don’t realize, which is that many selective colleges require all scores from every test taken to be submitted when applying. This means that a student who may have only had one or two chances to take the old SAT will be required to submit both of these scores, even though they did not have the same amount of time to re-prepare and study from their winter test to take the spring test that students in previous years had.
 Another possible answer to the problem is to take the new SAT, ignoring the old SAT altogether. However, students don’t know what will be on the new test and students will risk getting a bad score because they don’t know what to expect on the test.
 A final option for students is to only take the ACT, which has been fundamentally the same for decades. The ACT has been the more popular of the two tests in the South, Midwest, and some parts of the West. The SAT is more popular in the Northeast and far West. Many parents of students in the areas where the SAT is more popular are unfamiliar with the ACT which makes them hesitant to allow their child to take only the ACT.
 There is a longstanding rumor that colleges don’t accept the ACT, and those that do favor SAT test takers. However, all colleges now accept the ACT and have for years, and claim to not favor one test over another.
 It is up to each individual student to decide if they feel the old SAT, new SAT or the ACT will be the best fit for them. Colleges don’t seem to care which test is taken, but with the late registration date quickly approaching for the last of the old SAT tests, students must decide promptly which test, or tests, they will take.