All posts by Stephanie Brooks

Upcoming science and tech cultural events

Global Warming: Too Much or Too Little Water

The Environmental Program presents Too Much or Too Little Water on a Warming Earth, a lecture in three parts by Winthrop faculty members.

Dr. Marsha Bollinger, the chair of the Environmental Program and Interdicipinlary studies, is in charge of the event.

Dr. Janice Chism, Director of Graduate Studies in Biology, will speak about flooding and climate change in Peru, and also what this means for the future and present.

Dr. Matthew Heard, Assistant Professor, will speak about heavier rainfalls and how that will affect public health.

Mr. Bryan McFadden, Instructor of Geography, will speak about monitoring changes in climate.

“No matter where [students] are in the world, it will affect them,” Bollinger said.

This event will take place on Valentine’s Day from 11 am- 12pm in Owens Hall G01.

ACM speaker comes to Winthrop

On Feb. 20, a speaker from the National Association from Computing Machinery’s Distinguished Speaker Program, Dr. Barbara Simons will be speaking at Winthrop in Whitton Auditorium at 12:30 p.m.

Dr. Simons will be talking about issues regarding current and future electronic voting.

She has been researching and has been published on this issue for the past decade.

This is a free cultural event. It should last appromixately an hour and 15 minutes. For more information about this event call ext. 2691.

Congress doesn’t play around with violent video games

Utah’s Democratic Representative Jim Matheson recently introduced a bill to ban the sale of violent video games to minors. Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act (H.R. 287) makes it illegal for anybody to ship, sell or rent video games that do not have an Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) label. The penalty for breaking this is subject to a civil penalty of no more than $5000 per violation.

According to Brendan Sasso, Congress was told by President Obama to appropriate $10 million to study gun violence, including possible links to violent video games and media images. Entertainment and video game industries have been receiving extreme levels of scrutiny since the Sandy Hook shooting that happened in Conn. last month.

The ESRB label rates the age appropriateness of the game. The ratings consist of five different groupings. According to Sasso and Pete Kasperowicz, writers from The Hill, video games labeled ‘C’ are intended for children, ‘E’ for everyone, ‘T’ for teen, ‘M’ for mature and ‘AO’ for adult only. The bill will also make it illegal to sell and rent video games rated M to people under the age of 17 and video games rated AO to people under the age of 18. The bill will also require stores to display information from Federal Trade Commission about ESRB’s content rating system.

In 2011, the Supreme Court denied a similar law because it violated the freedom of speech rights. According to Sasso and Kasperowicz, Matheson believes that his bill is different because unlike the California law he does not try to define violent video games; he allows the industry to rate its own games.

For more information or to read the bill visit

Apple fails to ban Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus

According to Jon Xavier, a web producer for the Silicon Valley Business Journal, the war between Apple and Samsung continues. Samsung recently reached a victory and is still able to sell their phones on the North American continent. The U.S Court of Appeals denied Apple from preventing Samsung’s right to sell the Galaxy Nexus.

Apple claimed that Samsung was guilty of patent infringement. The actual case is scheduled to be held in 2014. Apple tried to block the Nexus before the patent trial because Samsung supposedly copied Apple’s ‘604 patent. This patent is for the universal search and retrieval system Apple calls Siri.

The judge for the 2014 trial is Judge Lucy Koh who according to Xavier last summer made a $1.5 billion ruling against Samsung in a different Apple patent lawsuit. Judge Koh denied Apple’s ban request.

Apple hoped that the Appeals court would approve it but they did not.

Apple’s only option to try  to prevent the ban, the Galaxy Nexus, before the patent case in 2014 is to take their ban request to the Supreme Court. Xavier believes that this case will most likely not even be considered for a hearing.

Tech tip of the Week

There are ten tips and tricks all iPad, iPhone and iPod users should know to simplify using their Apple product.

1. When your Apple product is locked and you get a pop up notification, users can slide the notification to the right and enter their pin (if they have one) to directly open the app.

2. Instead of scrolling all the way back up to the top of the page, users can tap the top of the status bar (where the battery and time are shown) to shoot the page back up to the top.

3. If the user has apps running in the background, they can double tap the home button to view all of the apps that are open. You can hold them down until they ‘jiggle’ and close them out to save battery life.

4. If the user has apps running in the background the easiest way to scroll between them is by swiping four fingers either left or right until the user finds the app they are looking for.

5. Taking screenshots is simple but many don’t know how to do it. All the user has to do is press the lock button and the home button at the same time.

6. With all Apple products, you can split the keyboard in two. This helps with using the iPad because the user can hold the iPad with two hands and type with their thumbs.

7. If reading webpages becomes an issue, you can use the Reader button on all Apple products to save the article in an easy-to-read format. This also removes advertisments from the page but it doesn’t work with all pages.

8. Many users don’t realize that on all Apple products there is a shutter button. The volume up button on the side of the phone acts like a shutter button when the camera app is open.

9. iPads can be used like digital photo albums when throwing parties. The photo frame button on the lock screen will flow through all of the users photos and guests will have to know their password to access the other apps. iPhones and iPods also have this feature.

10. There are several ways to mute an Apple product. The obvious way is to hold the down volume button until it shows a speaker with an X through it. The other way is to use four fingers and slide up and scroll to the left. The user can slide the volume down there as well. For iPad users you can use the side button that locks the rotation to mute it if you change the settings.

History of the Week

On Jan. 31, 1971 Apollo 14 launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida to the moon. The astronauts on Apollo 14 were Alan B. Shepard Jr., Edgar D. Mitchell and Stuart A. Roosa. Five days later they suffered problems docking their lunar and command modules. As they descended on to the moon they completed the third U.S. moon landing.

Shepard was the first American in space in 1961 when he rode aboard Freedom 7. Upon landing in 1971, he became the fifth astronaut to walk on the moon. He remained on the surface of the moon for 34 hours.

While on the lunar surface, they collected 96 pounds of lunar samples and conducted simple scientific experiments, including hitting golf balls in space with a golf club. Four days later, on Feb. 9, they returned to Earth. Apollo 14 experienced safe travels back.

Compiled from

Reduce energy consumption

1. Unplug cellphone chargers when not in       use.

2. Replace light bulbs with CFL bulbs.

3. Consider walking, biking or roller skat-

ing to destinations.

4. Turn off all lights when leaving.

5. Use natural daylight when it is available.

6. Turn off computer screen savers.

7. Close all exterior doors and windows

during heating and cooling seasons.

8. Move furniture away from heat source

to allow all of the heat to flow through

the room adequately.

For more information visit