Anyone who parks on campus regularly knows how frustrating it can be.
Parking in a UA lot means driving around for what seems like an eternity, looking for a spot and dealing with drivers who pull into spots while using the white lines as a mere suggestion. There’s even a price tag on it; permits can cost up to $600 per year.
Parking and Transportation Services at the UA has aimed to solve some of these problems with a series of changes scheduled to go into effect this upcoming year.
Their solutions include creating more lot-specific permits, rather than issuing passes that cover larger areas. This is intended to help people find parking more easily, while cutting down on traffic and providing a solution for students who complained that they were afraid to leave campus during the day because they could lose their spot.
In addition to these changes, permit prices will increase slightly (again), with most permits going up by $1 per month.
There are seven lots which will be converting from Zone 1 to lot-specific permits. For the 2013-2014 academic year, Zone 1 permits will cost $390. Lot-specific permits? $500. Increasing the security of spots for those who park on campus is a worthwhile goal, but a Zone 1 permit inherently comes with more freedoms than a lot-specific permit. There is simply a greater choice of lots in which to park.
While some of these changes seem to be a step in the right direction, there’s a glaring omission of changes to the parking garages on campus. Bill Davidson, the marketing manager for PTS, confirmed that parking in garages will remain mostly unchanged.
As someone who has held multiple permits for multiple garages, and who parks in a garage almost every day, I know from experience that there are issues with garage parking that PTS is not addressing.
Currently, there are caps for the amount of visitors allowed in a garage, which vary from garage to garage, in order to accommodate permit holders. This cap should be lowered.
Even if there are spots available for permit holders, when garages fill up that means most of these spots are on the roof of the garage. The main reason that I pay for a garage permit is so I can avoid parking my car in the hot Arizona sun, making parking on the roof rather pointless.
Poor parking jobs can be inconvenient in lots, but they can be even more so in garages. Stricter enforcement in the garages should be implemented.
Currently, PTS regulations define “Improper Parking” as: “Parking a vehicle in a manner that prevents another vehicle from using an adjacent legal space or occupying to spaces with one vehicle.” This violation carries with it a $35 fine. Raising the fine for double or other improper parking, or simply increased application of these fines, could be a solution.
One badly parked car can create a ripple effect, so that the whole row of cars is parked at an odd angle, or it can essentially eliminate a spot altogether. Nothing is more frustrating than seeing that one perfect empty spot only to find that it is blocked by someone’s bumper.
Davidson said that while parking enforcement officials do patrol looking for violators, he also stressed the involvement of drivers on campus to report problematic parkers.
“Some of it’s going to be our folks going out and making sure these things are taken care of, and also I think a little bit of it is the public letting us know if there’s a problem,” said Davidson. “We’ll be very responsive to it.”
Parking garages are not designed for full-size pickup trucks or other large vehicles, yet every day I have to dodge around a massive truck jutting into the aisle of the garage. This is dangerous for other drivers in the garages, because drivers could have to swerve around a truck, and combined with the blind spot that these vehicles already create for other drivers, this can lead to accidents. PTS already requires registration information for vehicles that hold permits, so why not charge large vehicles a premium?
Davidson acknowledged that large vehicles in garages is an issue.
“I know that’s always a challenge,” he said. “That’s not a bad idea, maybe we could do something different with that.”
Another aspect of campus garages that should be addressed is the cashier’s station. Replacing or supplementing the cashier with pay stations, similar to those found in some lots on campus, should be considered.
This would be much more convenient. Pay lots on campus don’t have a cashier sitting there waiting to take your money. While cashiers serve a useful purpose of addressing drivers’ parking concerns and problems, pay stations would greatly alleviate the lines at the garages. Davidson said that while pay stations in garages is something that is being considered in the future, it will not be implemented soon.
The changes that PTS has planned for the upcoming year show that they have the driver in mind, which is refreshing on a relatively car-unfriendly campus. Yet if PTS truly wants to improve the experience of those who park on campus, then they should aim for further-reaching changes, as well as set their sights on the parking garages.
Political gridlock defines the progress of technology policy. With the nano-scale world of emerging machinery progressing at an increasingly exponential rate, legislators, lawyers and the like have worked to define ethical boundaries and policy regulations at what was normal, 20th century speed.
The result? Snail’s pace policy promulgation that produces almost instantly outdated regulations. The legislative process as we know it is unprepared to keep up with the avalanche of new technologies ready for the market.
On February 4, at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, advances in biomedical and material science engineering allowed for the development of lab-grown human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), lab-synthesized cells unique in that they can adapt to reproduce just about every type of known human cell, ready for 3D printing.
The next day, robotic innovators debuted ‘Rex,’ the six-foot, fix-inches tall bionic man complete with artificially engineered organs. Rex, short for Robotic Exoskeleton, is programmed with algorithms that enable him to process and produce spoken words. Rex walks, too.
On the other side of the globe, Israel’s EyeSight Technologies might have just made the touch-screen feature a thing of the past. Last Thursday, EyeSight Technologies described the product as the “world’s first commercial gesture technology to allow users to control digital devices with a fingertip”, and the company’s current ventures include working with Windows and Linux operating systems to market software development kits (SDKs).
Fear not, Android users – EyeSight has developed the “fingertip” SDKs for your smartphones and tablets, too.
Each of these releases occurred just within the past two weeks.
The pace at which new technologies are being manufactured is unstoppable; we’re witnessing Moore’s Law in action, seeing as how the complexity factor of technology, in general, at least doubles every two years.
No one knows for sure where we’re headed. What we do know is that there’s no escaping the daunting task of sorting out rules and regulations for an industry that has isomerized into the corporate manifestation of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle: as soon as you think you’ve pinned down a new technology for the hot seat, it escapes, transforming into something better, faster and more complex. You’re left at the scene of the crime with nothing but an antiquated analysis.
Currently, patent litigation still consists of loads of paperwork. And if a market-ready technology has a biomedical focus, the stack of necessary FDA paperwork is discouraging. Sure, filling out the pages involves plenty of copying and pasting – the FDA doesn’t give you free-form control to author a heap of sheets towering over even the bulkiest of college textbooks. The system we have in place today cannot ensure that the devices your physicians, scientists, and engineers use to improve your quality of life are the most effective and efficient ones available. Proven, cutting-edge technology still has to be processed through the government.
Market-ready technology is piling up like one of those lines to nowhere at the DMV.
Beyond the realm of ethical and economic concerns in policy, it is impossible even to predict how the back-to-back launching of new technology into society will modify life as we know it. These developments will offer us an improved quality of life, with synthesized cells like the hESCs enabling the regrowth of human limbs. Of course, there are dangers to every new technology. After all, who would want Rex-bots to take over the world?
The dichotomy of consequences each technology offers us, both good and bad, is exactly why we must prepare the realm of public policy for the dynamic environment of technological innovation, so we can extract the beneficial aspects and prohibit the detrimental.
As university students, the questions facing us are being redefined on a momentary basis. How bionic should our society become? What limitations must be put on these advancements? The supersonic speed of the applied and integrated science we are witness to offers us more than convenience, increased productivity, and inspiration. It’s giving us the chance to write the future like nothing else ever has.
Amnesty International has now conclusively shown that any true concern they may have about human rights can be overwhelmed by politics. Specifically, through their blind prejudice against Israel, the organization has marginalized Hamas, a terrorist group which endangers the people it claims to be fighting for, while condemning Israel’s attempts to defend its citizens against attack.
As the fighting in Mali escalated this month, an Amnesty International spokesman issued a statement in which the organization said that civilian casualties resulting from French actions were basically unavoidable.
Salvatore Saguès, a researcher at Amnesty International, told AlertNet, “It is simply impossible to really separate the armed groups and the population because the armed groups [are] in towns, in civilian buildings.”
The situation is reminiscent of recent fighting in the Gaza strip between Hamas and Israel. Hamas regularly targets civilian areas and fires their rockets from densely-populated civilian areas in Gaza.
When the Israeli military strikes Hamas’s positions, civilian casualties are similarly unavoidable. Tactics such as using human shields are the bread and butter of terror groups everywhere.
Likewise, when military strikes occur in civilian areas, collateral damage will occur. This is a tragic but inevitable fact. Even with state-of-the-art military technology utilized by modern militaries, when terrorists such as Hamas choose to use the innocent as human shields then there will be death.
Amnesty International has no problems with French military intervention in Mali, a country thousands of miles away.
Hamas has consistently launched rocket and suicide attacks into Israeli territory and against Israeli civilians, but terrorists in Mali cannot possibly pose such a threat to French national security.
Hamas is a threat to Israeli security and a threat to the lives of Israeli civilians. They do not value the lives of civilians, either in Israel or the Palestinian territories. Israel has a much greater impetus to fight Hamas than France does to fight Islamist militants in Mali.
There is no doubt that Hamas is a terrorist organization. It is recognized as such by the governments of the United States, Canada, the European Union and Japan, as well as Israel.
In addition, Hamas’s goals include the destruction of Israel and the establishment of an Islamic state in its place, and has issued statements calling the Holocaust a “lie.”
Amnesty International refers to Palestinian territories as “occupied” by Israel despite the fact that this is a lie, one often used by opponents of Israel to delegitimize the Jewish state. Israel has had no military presence in Gaza since 2005, and both Gaza and the West Bank are self-governing territories.
Amnesty International also called for an international arms embargo on Israel during the most recent conflict in Gaza, and has criticized the Israeli blockade despite the fact that it is meant to prevent weapons from entering Gaza. The organization has also ignored the fact that Israel itself consistently delivers aid to the Palestinian territories.
Israel also took exceptional efforts to protect Palestinian civilians from harm in the most recent conflict. They dropped leaflets over civilian areas where strikes were planned, warning residents to evacuate. Hamas sent no such warning to Israeli civilians when launching rockets.
Clearly, Amnesty International harbors deep prejudice against Israel and denigrates it right to defend itself against terrorists. They focus on Israel obsessively, even to the point of ignoring other, far more serious human rights abuses. The group’s most recent annual report mentioned Israel 137 times, while only making 74 references to the Syrian regime which has killed thousands of its own people.
An organization that purportedly exists to protect human rights wherever they are threatened should be much more evenhanded. By treating Hamas and the Israeli government with the same level of criticism, Amnesty International has minimized suffering of Israelis at the hands of Islamic terror as well as largely turning a blind eye to the atrocities of Hamas. If pursuing Islamist terror in Mali is worth the sacrifice, then why is that not the case in Israel?
— Look for more from David Weissman and the Wildcat Perspectives crew on Twitter.
For most students, going to college marks the beginning of a journey into the world of personal finance. As young adults, we take baby steps into the fiscal world with credit cards, checking accounts and online banking options. According to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, that makes us a target of Iran.
In this past year, the U.S. banking industry has endured a firestorm of progressively more intense attacks on their computer systems, believed by intelligence officials to be launched from Iran.
These aren’t your average hack-and-jack incidents. They also aren’t the typical distributed denial-of-service assaults, which result in server crashes due to unmanageable amounts of site traffic. The attacks in question are still DDoS assaults, but the volume of traffic flow used to crash these servers greatly exceeds any capacity the industry has been prepared to handle.
Up to this point, these strikes have only wreaked havoc on day-to-day money-lending activities, such as online banking. However, with the dawn of a rocky fourth-quarter earnings season upon us, the last thing executive boards and industry stakeholders want to report is a drop in corporate profits, let alone a loss in overall operational productivity.
Relax. Ahmadinejad doesn’t have your three-digit security code, thanks to the National Security Administration. To ensure that financial privacy remains secure and routine transactions regular, the NSA has been functioning as a consulting firm for banks across the country.
While the NSA is responsible for “information assurance,” it serves the purpose of safeguarding, in this case, “national security systems.” Thus, the NSA believes it is acting “in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations” when it offers technical help to the banks, it said in a statement. But only a few NSA employees work on a given investigation at a time, trying to uncover how the attack happened and what was compromised and following up the investigation with a proposal of a cutting-edge defense strategy.
Regardless of the fact that the NSA is most likely operating in full conformity within the spectrum of its designated powers, the laws governing its powers are very vague. For starters, the concept of “national security” can be stretched to incorporate just about any area imaginable. The NSA officially has access to any data the banks possess capable of being deemed critical to national security.
So now the government agency home to the Utah Data Center, a.k.a. the NSA Spy Center, has access to personal financial records from major U.S. Banks. As if billions of chronicled phone call conversations from chief wireless carriers don’t provide them with enough information about us.
Why are these banks at the feet of the fed? After all, private financial institutions offer much more competitive salaries to cyber employees than government agencies can afford to give. It’s no secret that these companies are able to recruit the best and brightest for their cybersecurity teams.
I’m not a fan of big government, but if the best cybersecurity analysts can’t stop these attacks – attacks that will ultimately affect all aspects of the fiscal world – the NSA, with oversight to ensure the nature of their actions, should step in and give the counterpunch their all.
Election season has a way of getting everyone to talk. Even people who don’t seem all that political feel the need to weigh in. Even people like Snoop Dogg, via Instagram.
Daily Wildcat writers, as far as I know, don’t typically frequent TMZ, but the gossip site reports that the rapper’s Instagram profile has been blowing up since he reposted a list of reasons called “Why I’m Not Voting For Mitt Romney.” There’s also a list of reasons for why he is voting for President Barack Obama.
The list about Romney includes some gems, such as:
• He is a white n**ga.
• He looks like he says ‘n**ga’ all the time.
• He’s a Mormon but he ain’t got no hoes.
We might have given Snoop Dogg and the list’s original author, @DragonflyJonez, some credit for the ninth list item (“He reminds me of every boss I’ve ever hated”) were it not for rest.
Regardless of where you stand, there’s no way “he’s hugged Beyonce before and sniffed her neck” is a legitimate reason for voting for Obama. No offense to Beyonce and her neck.
— Follow Kristina Bui on Twitter.
The writers of the Arizona Daily Wildcat’s Perspectives section are pretty thrilled to bring you POV:Politics, just in time for tonight’s debate between President Barack Obama and candidate Mitt Romney.
We’ll talk about it all here, whether it’s the presidential race or local elections. And, whether you agree or disagree with our view, we hope you’ll join in on the discussion.
In the meantime, whether you’re watching at home or joining the Associated Students of the University of Arizona for their Rad, White and Blue block party, check out a round-up of what the Internet has to be say about the presidential debate.
8 Memorable moments from Obama and Romney’s past debates
The Week collects the most memorable and/or awkward moments of Obama’s and Romney’s debating past. We’re sure there will be more YouTube videos up tomorrow.
These debates could use some Jill Stein or Gary Johnson
John Nicols, a writer for The Nation, takes down the U.S. idea of a “debate,” calling the idea more of a “quadrennial joint appearances by major-party candidates who have been schooled in the art of saying little of consequence in the most absurdly aggressive way.” Ouch.
Where is Romney spending 110 times more than Obama?
Slate breaks down Federal Election Commission data to figure out where one campaign is outspending the other and illustrate it in a pretty spiffy map.
Reuters 2012 election portal
Just in time, Reuters launches its portal to the 2012 elections. Feature stories, YouTube videos and infographics galore.
But in case you’re already sick of the same old elections coverage, the Future Journalism Project is ready to liven it up with a round of bingo. You can try going a step further by turning debate bingo into a drinking game, but we’re pretty sure you’d run out of alcohol before it were over.
— Follow Kristina Bui on Twitter.
More from POV: Politics
- UA Parking and Transportation Services have far more changes to make
- Rate of new technological advancement outpaces outdated regulation implementation
- Political bias has no place in defending human rights in Israel
- NSA needs to take further action to thwart cyber attacks
- Snoop Dogg reposts 'Why I'm not voting for Mitt Romney' list, most of Internet is disgusted
Tweets by @WildcatOpinions