December 2013 Articles

If you missed the October link to Businessweek’s profile of Jeff Bezos and Brad Stone’s new book about Amazon, you might watch this segment of 60 Minutes. Charlie Rose profiles three aspects of Amazon: fulfillment, web services and their research and development project Amazon Prime Air.

The origin story of Campus Loop

Our story begins where all the best stories do — in college. We were determined to make the most of our time in college, which to us meant we had to get ourselves involved in just about everything we could — from cheering with the spirit squad at NCAA Basketball games, to sitting on the on-campus housing and dining advisory committee, participating in the Academic Decathlon, and planning a national leadership conference. Oh yeah — and we went to class and stuff. We did it all…or at least we tried.

What we quickly discovered was that no matter how involved we thought we were, we always seemed to miss out on something because we simply didn’t know it was happening. Senior Bear Garden? A college sponsored tailgate party with free beer and a chance to win a campus parking spot? — heck ya, we’d love to attend! Too bad it was last week! We knew there had to be a better way to bring event information together — some sort of central resource — for everyone in the campus community to consume. And from that problem, we came up with a solution: Campus Loop.

As we worked on the project, we discovered there was something about it that made it more than just a campus event calendar. Campus Loop was reinforcing what we inherently loved about college — the community. When we get all philosophical about it, our college experience was meaningful not because of the things we did (Alpha Chi party — check, semester in Gospel Choir — check, study abroad — check); it was meaningful because of the people we met, the experiences we had, and most importantly because of the relationships we made. There is something pretty freaking cool about getting to know other people on your campus and coming to appreciate that the chick who always drums on her desk in Chem 6A, or that dude who practices his freestyle bike tricks on the plaza on Tuesdays. We were all living in the same space, at the same time, and with the same people. Our interconnectedness is invaluable and vital.

But let’s face it, we live in a time when our online social networking is discussed more than our in-person networking, and where we aren’t really friends with someone until they have accepted our friend request. And while social media is attributed with “connecting” people, it is also causing us to scroll on our phones for hours instead of giving the person standing right in front of us five minutes of our time to get to know a little something about them.

“Okay…but Campus Loop is just another website — aren’t you being a little hypocritical?”

True, Campus Loop is another website. No, we don’t think we are being hypocrites. Campus Loop was created to be an extension of your physical campus community — only those who are a part of your community can join, and those who are not, like your Dentist or your summer internship supervisor, cannot. Furthermore, we aren’t proposing that you get on Campus Loop and “waste time” (you have a 10 page paper on the meaning of “The Metamorphosis” due tomorrow after all), but instead use it as a tool to see if anyone around you has a suggestion for what to do Tuesday night, or if anyone is looking for a roommate next year.

Campus Loop has taken many forms from its inception to the service it is today. Just as each campus has its vibe, so does Campus Loop. We anticipate each campus community using it in different ways, and giving it a life of its own. Join Campus Loop. Join a Community.

Tim Cooks accepts Auburn University’s Lifetime Achievement Award from the College of Human Sciences on December 10th at the United Nations.

In a room full of potentially interesting strangers — say at a conference — what’s the best way to break the ice and introduce yourself to someone new? How about a well designed badge?

The writer on an illicit affair she had with a teacher at the age of 14:

“When I was fourteen, I had a relationship with my eighth grade history teacher. People called me a victim. They called him a villain. But it’s more complicated than that.”

A blog post in which the author relates his experience as an NSA employee and imparts his thoughts on the policies in place, his former coworkers, and the current cyber war.

“…authorities did the right thing when they shut down the troubled and aging nuclear plant near San Diego. But [Cohen’s ] not happy to see California lose a major source of low-carbon energy.

“‘San Onofre produced as much carbon-free energy as all the wind power installed in California to date,’ Cohen says. ‘So it’s going to be a pretty heavy lift to replace all that nuclear with low-carbon energy.’”

“Americans are fielding millions of calls from bright, energetic telemarketers, but what they don’t know is that they’re talking to machines… Sort of.”

What I found most interesting in this article was Mr. Thompson’s argument for mobile. The reason we talk so much about mobile isn’t just that people are buying and using smartphones. It’s that people now have more time to interact with internet services because they now have a mobile internet device with them at all times. More time generally means more revenue for online services.

Alexis Madrigal presents the idea that ‘the Stream’ — more recognizable as web pages that focus on giving you information constantly. Think Twitter and Facebook streams — are reaching their peak. His reasoning? “It is too damn hard to keep up. And most of what’s out there is crap.” Madrigal then goes on to postulate that ‘the Stream’ won’t run dry in the metaphorical sense but rather that we will see the balance swing back towards articles that have value and are not all fluff.