New Preconstruction Center opens for use

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on New Preconstruction Center opens for use
Jan 282010
 
Authors: Ashley Watson

Referred to as the Mechanic Shop when it was first built in 1883, and recently known as the Industrial Sciences Building, the newly renovated Preconstruction Center has been transformed into a hands-on learning environment for construction management students.

When asked what the major goals of the renovation project were Thursday, the night of the official opening, Ron Holt from the Department of Construction Management said, “We had an antiquated building and wanted to create a new preconstruction learning center for students.”

CSU President Tony Frank agreed.

“This unique renovation project allowed the university to preserve an historic campus landmark that was in dire need of a renovation,” Frank said in a press release.

The $5 million restoration has provided students with resources around every corner and unique aspects to every room, university leaders said, commending the 170 people and companies who helped to preserve the space.

“Their support and collaboration is more than just an investment in a building,” Frank said in the same release. “ … It’s an investment in the long-term competitiveness of one of the nation’s top academic programs in construction management.”

The Haselden Preconstruction Learning Lab, named after one of the top project donors, Haselden Construction, is divided into 25 percent lecture area and 75 percent partitioned working spaces that construction management students will encounter in real-life job situations after college.

While giving a tour of the lab, Holt said, “This lab was built to give senior capstone students an environment they would actually encounter working in the (construction) industry.”

The room was built to include real-life examples of building design by exposing all the inner workings and structural elements of the building that would normally be covered by the walls and ceiling that make up a typical room. This way professors can have tangible examples of how to wire a room or how to lay out exhaust and air systems, instead of students having to conceptualize design ideas and methods.

Another unique aspect is the PCL Construction Classroom, named for another top donor, PCL Construction Services, Inc.

It boasts already saving the department money because of a new technology that allows what Holt called “distance learning.” The department can induce videoconferences with heads in the construction industry to have them speak to the classroom, and the university doesn’t have to pay to bring them across the country to do so.

Saunders Preconstruction Lecture Hall is the first lecture hall in the building.

Previously there was limited classroom space for the Construction Management Department, and Guggenheim Hall next door offers very little space for large lectures.
“This new addition will open more possibilities for classes,” Holt said.

Each room is named after a donor, and outside of each room is an interactive touch-screen LCD display advertising the company the room was named for. This provides students in the industry direction or ideas for projects, and they can use every company that donated to the construction of the building as a resource.

When asked how he felt about the finished product, Holt said, “I am extremely satisfied with the results.”

“It turned out fantastic,” he said.

Staff writer Ashley Watson can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 4:07 pm

Second provost candidate to visit campus, interview for the post

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Second provost candidate to visit campus, interview for the post
Jan 272010
 
Authors: Kirsten Silveira

Valerie Hardcastle, one of the three final candidates interviewing for CSU’s executive vice president/provost position on campus today, said she is a philosopher first and an administrator second.

In an e-mail interview with the Collegian, Hardcastle said before deciding on any changes she’d like to see at the university, she would have to learn the ropes and talk to the CSU community about what they’d like to see.

“I think it is premature to talk about changes at this point,” she said. “There is too much I need to learn first before I can answer this question effectively.”

One thing, she said is certain, is when all parties work collaboratively toward common goals, “we are strongest.” Her core values, she said, are:

  • Faculty/staff/student partnerships,
  • Collaborations instead of competitions, and
  • Shared governance.

Fifteen years of her career, Hardcastle said, was spent at Virginia Tech, a fellow land-grant institution. She currently serves as a dean of the McMicken College of Arts and Science at the University of Cincinnati.

“I believe strongly in the missions of service, useful knowledge and access and in my estimation; CSU gets all those things right,” she said.

The McMicken College, Hardcastle said, has the largest enrollment numbers at the UC but said that doesn’t keep it from having “deep ties” with the other colleges. The ability to collaborate with other colleges and build diversity are some of the things she said she thinks CSU is looking for in a provost.

Hardcastle is the second candidate to visit campus and will host an open forum today in the Lory Student Center Cherokee Ballroom. The current interim Executive Vice President/Provost Rick Miranda will be hosting his open forum next month.

The search committee charged with filling the position of provost/executive vice president began the search for a permanent provost in October 2009 and required that candidates have:

  • A minimum of five years academic administrative experience,
  • A doctorate degree,
  • Attained rank as a full professor with tenure,
  • Qualifications for the rank of full professor with tenure at a Carnegie research extensive university, and
  • Experience in a comprehensive research university.

Blanche Hughes, vice president of Student Affairs, chairs the provost search committee and said in an interview with the Collegian that a provost needs to be the person who cares about CSU students, in classroom life and in everyday life.

If Hardcastle gets the job, she will be responsible for chairing the Council of Deans, sitting on CSU President Tony Frank’s Cabinet and serving as a non-voting member of the Faculty Council. In addition to attending these meetings, she would oversee more than 150 academic programs.

_Senior Reporter Kirsten Silveira can be reached at news@collegian.com. _

*Valerie Hardcastle’s Open Forum: *

  • When: today, 3:15 to 4:30 p.m.
  • Where: the Lory Student Center, Cherokee Ballroom

Rick Miranda’s Open Forum:

  • When: Feb. 1, 3:15 to 4:30 p.m.
  • Where: the Lory Student Center, Cherokee Ballroom
 Posted by at 6:35 pm

CSU creates new admin. position

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on CSU creates new admin. position
Jan 272010
 
Authors: Madeline Novey

CSU President Tony Frank announced Wednesday the creation of a part-time vice president of Diversity position following a recommendation by the task force created to evaluate and increase university diversity.

CSU’s student diversity offices have reported good student retention and support, Vice President of Student Affairs Blanche Hughes said, but a committed administrator could help in increasing the numbers of diverse students coming to the university.

“Traveling across our state over the past year and observing the changing demographics of our population have only reinforced my understanding of this cornerstone of our mission, as well as my conviction that we can’t fully deliver on the land-grant promise if we, as a university, are not striving to reflect the society we serve,” Frank said in an e-mail.

“This, to my mind, underpins our mission and is critical to our thinking relative to diversity,” he said.

Having anticipated university criticism for creating the position at a time when CSU is suffering the effects of severe budget cuts, Frank said, “But I also believe that our land-grant university mission must drive our thinking, and we cannot let the ongoing budget crisis prevent us from making the changes we need to deliver on our mission,” in an e-mail to the university Wednesday.

Frank said he intends to fund the new position through cuts made to administrative divisions. These include the divisions of University Operations and Public Affairs and the Facilities Management Department but no academic divisions, said Interim Provost/Executive Vice President Rick Miranda.

The VPD salary will be determined in a negotiation between the final candidate and the president, Miranda said, adding that he couldn’t even guess a figure.

The VPD is charged with:

  • Evaluating current university diversity,
  • Leading diversity planning among CSU’s branches,
  • Developing partnerships within and outside of the university community, and
  • Organizing the annual Diversity Conference, among other tasks.

“You need somebody who can coordinate diversity activities, to be an advocate, to be an external face,” Hughes said Tuesday.

The university will start an internal search for the new position “shortly after spring break,” Frank said in his e-mail.

Recognizing that it will take several months to find an appropriate candidate, Hughes was appointed the interim vice president of Diversity in addition to her obligations as the vice president of Student Affairs.

Hughes, who has worked at CSU 25 years, said she plans to “set an infrastructure” in place for whomever takes up the stead and “get lots of people involved” and “get voices together” in the interim period.

News Managing Editor Madeline Novey can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 6:31 pm

CSU professors: Obama turns populist

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on CSU professors: Obama turns populist
Jan 272010
 
Authors: Sara Michael

In the eyes of some CSU faculty members, President Barack Obama made a clear shift toward populism in his State of the Union address Wednesday night.

Rather than be the target of an aggravated America, he joined their voices and shared the frustration, English professor John Calderazzo said.

“He positioned himself not as the commander-in-chief, but as the listener-in-chief,” he said.

English professor Sarah Sloane agreed, pointing out his appeals to emotion that, in Wednesday night’s address, echoed back to the days of his campaign.

“You can’t go wrong with children or puppies,” she said, referring to Obama’s anecdote of an 8-year-old boy in Louisiana who mailed the president his allowance and asked him to use it for the recovery efforts in Haiti.

“It’s a technique that Time magazine has recently employed, called ‘nuggeting,’” she said. “The stories, the parables. It brings it back to the hearts of America.”

In most of his speech, the president held a very rational tone, said Communication Studies assistant professor Karrin Anderson.

He saved the “sweeping rhetoric” that was seen throughout his campaign for the conclusion. Instead, he tried to rally the American public with a tone of sincerity, spelling out the facts but drawing it back to small-town America, back to the common people,” Anderson said.

Obama’s choice of topics surprised some people. “He waited 30 minutes in to mention his health care program,” said English professor David Milofsky.

Obama focused mostly on the job crisis that has struck much of middle-class America.

One particular phrase that resonated with CSU professors employed the use of parallel phrasing to emphasize a point.
“We face more than a deficit of dollars,” Obama said. “We face a deficit of trust.”

“He was uniting the frustration over the economy with the frustration of politics,” Anderson said.

“In the end, it is our ideals, our values, that built America,” Obama said. “These aren’t Republican values or Democratic values they’re living by; business values or labor values. They are American values.”

Sloane mentioned Obama’s burial technique of hot topics. He hid them, but they stuck around, she said.

Amid a list of goals, Obama said he planned to work with the military and with Congress to repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve in the military “because of who they are.”

“A lot of the Facebook statuses are posted as ‘Ask. Tell.’ He bracketed the controversial stuff in rhetoric, but it’s there,” Sloane said.

Obama also called out the Supreme Court’s decision last week to “open the floodgates” and allow unlimited spending on elections.

“I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people,” he said.

Obama encouraged Democrats and Republicans to unite and “right this wrong.”

The president coined a phrase tonight, said Calderazzo. “He referred to the last 10 years as ‘The Lost Decade.’” Obama made it clear that he inherited the last eight years, but in his speech, he redefined the decade.

“The final invocation was of generations who made it through,” Calderazzo added. Obama referred back to big challenges in history, and in that, Calderazzo said, he implied that Americans have very large, very important challenges ahead.

“Let’s seize this moment –– to start anew, to carry the dream forward,” Obama said. “We don’t quit.”

Staff writer Sara Michael can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 6:23 pm

Deans present preliminary FY11 budget cuts

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Deans present preliminary FY11 budget cuts
Jan 272010
 
Authors: Aaron Hedge

As Colorado keeps projecting budget shortfalls for fiscal year 2011, CSU’s deans and department heads announced Wednesday that they will be trimming in faculty and development, but most stressed they would try to maintain the same number of classes currently offered.

The presentation was the second in a series to be held throughout the semester as open discussion forums on the upcoming budget decisions.

Numbers announced in the meeting were preliminary –– part of a series of budget drafts, which university officials are calling “Budget 1.0” through “Budget 5.0,” a play off subsequent editions of computer programs.

The last version will be given to CSU’s governing board, which will approve it and hand it to Colorado’s appropriations committee.

The faculty cuts are in the form of not filling a number of spots that will be left vacant by instructors and professors who are retiring or leaving for other institutions.

The development cuts come in the middle of a highly publicized capital campaign, CSU’s first ever, a move Interim Provost Rick Miranda called “frankly opportunistic” in some cases.

The university community is invited to provide feedback on the budget draft, and officials will take that feedback into consideration before they present “Budget 3.0” next week.

Some deans expressed frustration in the cuts they have been forced to spend many sleepless nights contemplating and busy days implementing.

Perhaps the most troubling example of how the cuts will affect the university came from Ajay Menon, the dean of the College of Business, who said that, for his school, they will mean fewer faculty, larger classes, a lower level of student satisfaction and a drop in national rankings.

The business school is one of the university’s most prominent departments, frequently ranked in the upper echelons of business schools nationally by business media.

Menon wasn’t the only one experiencing difficulties.

Jan Nerger, the dean of the Natural Sciences, pulled up a PowerPoint slide on the projector in the North Ballroom that displayed the famous cover image of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Music to be Murdered by,” where the director is seen with a gun to one side of his head and an axe to the other.

“For me, this last year has felt like this,” she said, pointing to the slide.

Natural Sciences sustained a nearly $2.2 million cut from its normally much larger budget of $25.6 million.

Pat Burns, the director of Information Technology and the libraries is busy streamlining his budget by cutting technical support positions, which, he said, will not bode well for CSU’s Web operations, like RamCT, the university’s online class discussion forum.

“We’re going to try to spread the staff thinner and hope things don’t break,” Burns said. He went on to say that things would inevitably break.

CSU President Tony Frank told the crowd of presentation attendees at the end of the meeting that the cuts are prudent actions taken in anticipation of better economic times in the future.

He commended the program leaders in making the cuts, using methods that are “tried and true,” but expressed frustration in the number of cuts –– totaling $12 million across the university –– and the effects they will have on CSU’s mission.

“(The methods) may have been tried and true,” Frank said, “ … but they are not without impact.

After the departments adjusted for the cuts, the university was still more than $3 million low in projected funds, so Frank plans to pull that amount from a one-time coffer to fill the hole, he said after the meeting.

Miranda said the university plans on restoring the faculty lines immediately following an improvement in the economy, but made no speculations as to when that might be.

“What I can’t predict is when the economy will come back,” he said.

Administrative units in the offices of Outreach and Strategic Initiatives and Advancement and International Programs sustained the biggest cuts and saw 18.8 percent, 10 percent and 9.6 percent cuts, respectively.

News Managing Editor Madeline Novey, Senior Reporter Kirsten Silveira and Projects Editor Jim Sojourner contributed to this report.

Projects Editor Aaron Hedge can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 6:20 pm

Fort Collins improves on an older design

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Fort Collins improves on an older design
Jan 272010
 
Authors: Matt Miller

Senior apparel merchandising major Allie Ermel has witnessed many potentially fatal driving errors just from looking out her front door. 

“I’ve almost gotten into so many car accidents because people go the wrong way,” said Ermel, who lives on Mason Street and has seen firsthand the dangers of the one-way to two-way switch at Mason and Myrtle streets.

To fix this confusing intersection, the City of Fort Collins has embarked on a project to make Mason a two-way street. This change is just one of the few improvements that will be made during what is called the Mason Corridor project.

This $82 million project includes changing Howes Street into a two-way street and building Fort Collins’ first ever rapid transit system connecting the transit center to a new center to be built south of Harmony.

“I think it’s going to be quite a big benefit for CSU and the community,” said Steve McQuilkin, project manager of the Mason Corridor project.

The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) will have three stops for CSU at Prospect Road, University Avenue and Laurel Street. CSU students will be given free passes on this new transit system.

It is projected that at least half of the riders on the BRT will be CSU students, McQuilken said. He added that the University of Oregon, which has had success with their BRT, inspired the city.

According to the Fort Collins city Web site, the BRT will run faster than normal bus travel and operate in an environmentally friendly manner with rubber tires.
 
“It’s not your average bus,” McQuilkin said. “It’s designed for speed and comfort.”

The Mason Corridor project, which has been discussed since 2000, began in 2009 with the conversion of Howes into a two-lane road. The project will continue in the fall of 2010 when the city is given permission from the railway to convert Mason.

Project organizers hope that this project, which was funded by a federal transit grant, will help stimulate redevelopment and economic growth.

“Fort Collins transportation isn’t that good,” Ermel said. “With everyone trying to carpool and be environmentally conscious I think it will work.”
_
Staff writer Matt Miller can be reached at news@collegian.com._

 Posted by at 6:12 pm

Gearhart’s girlfriend new ASCSU director

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Gearhart’s girlfriend new ASCSU director
Jan 272010
 
Authors: Kirsten Silveira

Student Government President Dan Gearheart’s girlfriend was appointed and confirmed as the body’s director of finance during its weekly Senate meeting last night.

High-ranking officials from the organization confirmed Gearheart was completely removed from the interviewing and hiring process and the Senate showed no concern about Shannon Endres’s ability, regardless of the inner-office relationship.

Endres said when she heard the position was opened, she approached Gearhart to tell him she would be applying and said he immediately had Associated Students of CSU Vice President Tim Hole handle all interviews and the appointment.

“Dan takes the helm on hiring issues normally,” Hole said. “Once Shannon applied, he gave me the entire responsibility.”

The hiring process took only a week, Hole said, because the former director of finance Jake Donovan stepped down last week, and the Senate needed to ratify a new director last night for a student funding board meeting that takes place today.

Donovan said he stepped down from the position to focus on family and school. Endres was one of three applicants for the position.

“She was one of the people I was hoping would get the job,” he said, adding that he worked with Endres during his time with ASCSU and is confident in her ability to take over his position.

Endres has been involved with ASCSU for nearly three years and before being appointed as the director of finance, served as a student government Supreme Court justice.

“Just because I’ve been put in a Cabinet position instead of the (Supreme Court), the way Dan and I interact professionally won’t change,” she said.

The new position will require that Endres monitor the ASCSU budget, chair the student funding board –– which allocates $210,000 to student organizations over the course of the year –– and help newly elected student leaders draw up a budget later in the semester.

During the Senate’s question and answer period, Endres said she plans to improve the relationship between the student funding board and the groups it funds, along with revamping the paperwork filing process.

Four other people were also ratified into ASCSU last night:

  • Environmental Affairs, Jesse Jankoski,
  • Environmental Affairs, Seth Danner,
  • Associate Director of Marketing, Greg Harmon, and
  • Director of Academics: Ryan Morrison.

Senior Reporter Kirsten Silveira can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 6:10 pm

Men’s basketball stops Moss, sneaks past TCU Horned Frogs

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Men’s basketball stops Moss, sneaks past TCU Horned Frogs
Jan 272010
 
Authors: Adam Bohlmeyer

In front of a crowd of 2,910 filling Moby Arena Wednesday night, the CSU Rams proved they know magic by defeating TCU 63-57.
After allowing Texas Christian point guard Ronnie Moss to score 19 points in the first half of their conference showdown with the Horned Frogs (10-11, 2-4 MWC) Wednesday, the Rams (12-8, 3-3) made the sophomore disappear.

CSU held Moss to only two points the entire second half –– both coming from the free throw line –– and captured a much-needed victory in the process, snapping a three game losing streak.

Rams head coach Tim Miles joked that he didn’t expect the CSU to shut down Moss the way they did after half time and gave credit to every Ram on the court for doing so.

“He’s really good, and we just didn’t get to him aggressively enough early with all those ball screen actions,” the third year CSU coach said. “It takes five guys on that. You have one and two on the ball, and those other guys have to fill up lanes. I thought we did a good job getting all five guys in the right spot.”

CSU forward Greg Smith agreed with his coach and said he knew Moss couldn’t keep up his hot streak throughout the game. Moss missed all seven of his attempted shots from the field in the second half.

“We haven’t seen him shoot like that all year,” Smith, a true freshman, said. “It was something that we didn’t think could happen, and we knew he was going to come back down to Earth at some point.”

With a little more than five minutes to go and the game tied at 45, Andy Ogide hit a layup for the Rams, giving them the lead for good. Four more points from Ogide down the stretch, combined with seven of eight made free throws in the final two minutes of the game, were good enough for CSU to pull out the hard-fought victory.

Ogide was big for the Rams in the win, recording his first double double of the season and finishing with 14 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and a block.

The junior forward said that he was pleased with his effort, but added that he should have these types of numbers every game.
“It’s about time. I should be getting a double-double every night,” Ogide said. “I’m just pursuing the ball a little bit more I guess and really looking at where the ball is going to come off rebounding wise. Points, they are just going to come.”
Ogide finished the game with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

The Rams got off to a slow start offensively during the first half, scoring only four points in the opening eight minutes. CSU would pick it up late in the in the half, going into the locker room tied at 29 with the Horned Frogs.

Miles credited freshman Greg Smith for being an offensive spark for the Rams in the first half.

“When no one else was doing anything, Greg was really our knight in shining armor,” Miles said. “He’s playing pretty good defense. He’s just getting better and better and he has a high ceiling for talent. He could be a good player in our league, a really good player, and I think he’s getting it.”

Smith finished the game with a team and career-high 15 points to go along with six rebounds and an assist.

With the win, the Rams improve to 9-1 in games at Moby Arena. CSU has another chance to improve their home record Saturday night as they host San Diego State.

Ogide said that Wednesday’s win can give the team momentum going into the showdown with the Aztecs.

“Saturday we look at as a must win again. We need that to get above .500 in conference and somehow get a post season berth.”
_
Assistant Sports Editor Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at sports@collegian.com._

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Football steals recruit from Mich.

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Football steals recruit from Mich.
Jan 272010
 
Authors: Matt L. Stephens

In years past, the final few weeks before National Signing Day has been a time that the CSU football team has lost some of their most sought-after recruits. Not this year.

As reported by the Collegian on Tuesday, the Rams were able to get a pledge from defensive end John Froland, who until last weekend, planned on playing his college ball at Northwestern, and Wednesday, CSU was able to steal another Big Ten commitment.

Tony Drake, a 5-foot-9, 170-pound all-purpose running back from Skyline High School in Dallas, has made a verbal commitment to the CSU Rams, GoldandGreenNews.com reported.

Drake, a three-star prospect ranked as the country’s No. 8 all-purpose back in the class of 2010 by Rivals.com, decided he wanted to spend his college career in Fort Collins, despite being committed to the University of Michigan for almost a year.

As a senior, Drake rushed for 1,373 yards and 13 touchdowns while averaging 8.3 yards per carry. He also brought down 12 receptions for 119 yards and one score on the receiving end.

Assuming Drake signs with CSU on Feb. 3, he’ll be the second former, high school top-10, all-purpose back on the Rams’ roster. UCLA transfer Raymond Carter, who will be eligible to play for CSU during the upcoming 2010 season, was the No. 3 all-purpose running back from the class of 2007.

The Rams’ recruiting class now ranks 54th nationally, ahead of CU-Boulder, ranked 55th by Rivals.com. Sports Editor Matt L. Stephens is a recruiting analyst for Gold and Green News of the Rivals.com Network. He can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:50 pm

Binary Boys: The lowdown on the Apple iPad

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Binary Boys: The lowdown on the Apple iPad
Jan 272010
 
Authors: Ryan Gibbons and Glen Pfeiffer

Yes, this week Apple did something amazing. They had an event on a Wednesday, meaning we can write about it when it’s only a day old.

That’s not quite as amazing as what Apple unveiled: the much-anticipated tablet.

Now we’re not saying it’s not duly shiny and Apple-y in general, for it is very much so, but there are a few limitations that may prevent even us gadget lovers from taking the plunge and ordering it when it’s made available in two months.

At first glance, the device looks like a big iPhone with a 9.7 inch screen. It is based on the iPhone operating system rather than Snow Leopard, which is found on Apple’s computers.

We were hoping for it to act like Snow Leopard, with a user interface that included a traditional desktop and icons for things other than apps, but alas, the home screen is a big collection of App Store apps.

Much of the ridicule you will be hearing about this device will be that there is no point in owning an iPad and an iPhone. We disagree on this point.

Both of us are iPhone owners, but are considering testing the iPad as a replacement for our netbooks (a small, portable laptop that has been hugely successful as a note-taking and Web-surfing device).

In this capacity, it has some very polarizing pros and cons. Our netbooks and this tablet are very portable, allowing us to take electronic class notes in style and surf the Interwebz.

A big disadvantage, however, is like the iPhone it can’t play Flash video, which means no videos online from anywhere but YouTube –– no Hulu, no Megavideo.

It also loses the capability of having a fully functioning operating system like the netbook. For instance there’s no interface for plugging in external hard drives, flash drives or disc drives to watch external movies. Also, there are no games apart from the wide variety in the App Store.

However, the touch screen, HD picture and other features we’ll mention below make up a lot of good reasons to give up on our netbooks.

As most notebooks come with a 3G data connectivity option, Apple had to offer it in the iPad.
It comes in two versions: One that’s WiFi capable only and another that receives 3G signals, or Internet almost everywhere.

For 3G it’s going to cost you $130 more than the base model plus an extra $30 a month for unlimited data or $15 for 250MB. We use about four times that in a month on our iPhones.

The good news is that there is no contract involved (month-to-month unlike the iPhone’s two-year commitment) and the device is unlocked, suggesting it might be able to be used with T-Mobile 3G.

Our advice is if you have a smart phone, DO NOT bother with the 3G. You already have the Internet wherever you go, so why pay for it twice?

Features include:

Being able to run most of the 140,000 existing iPhone/iPod Touch apps. Apple expects many developers to expand their apps to take advantage of the nice big screen.

The device is bluetooth enabled, has docking and case options allowing it to stand, has rewritten version of iWork (Apple’s version of MS Office) and has GPS functionality.

Apple also announced the new iBookstore with the hope of taking a slice of that yummy Kindle pie for itself. Books should sell for about the same price as the Kindle, and Apple has already partnered with five major publishing companies.

The books appear to look great on the screen, and it almost feels like you’re reading a book when you swipe your finger across to turn the page.

However, it should be noted that the advantage of the Kindle is its E-Ink screen, which lessens eye fatigue caused by backlit displays.

The kicker for us college students is it can be used as an e-book reader, if cheap textbooks are made available on it.
We’ve yet to sneak a peek at the titles in the bookstore.

We don’t have enough inches of parchment in this column to talk about everything the iPad can and can’t do, so look at it at Apple.com to get the marketing pitch and full feature list. There’s even Steve Jobs’ full presentation if you’d like to be entranced by the magic.

Ryan Gibbons and Glen Pfeiffer are very busy deciding whether or not to make a purchase. Let us know if you think we should at verve@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:50 pm