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School District May Stop Honoring Its Valedictorians

Indiana officials worry honoring No. 1 student is fostering 'unhealthy competition'

(Newser) - While colleges debate the use of trigger warnings and safe spaces, administrators in Indiana's Greater Clark School District are worrying about one word in particular they say may cause students angst, SheKnows reports, via MSN . That word is "valedictorian," a title the district is mulling dumping in... More »

STEM Shocker: Intel Drops Science Contest

Company has been supporter of prestigious high school competition since 1998

(Newser) - "Wanted: Respected corporation with deep pockets and deep roots in the STEM arena to take over prestigious science and math competition." That's basically the ad the Society for Science and the Public now has to place to replace Intel, which has announced it will no longer sponsor... More »

EU Parliament Says It's Time to Break Up Google

Nonbinding move calls for search to be separated from other services

(Newser) - Europe's parliament has made a statement with a nonbinding vote: Google, the body says, needs to be divided. The European Parliament doesn't actually have power over antitrust matters, the New York Times reports, but the vote says that the EU's competition commissioner should "consider proposals aimed... More »

Tall-Tale Tellers Vie for Best Lie

Politicians, lawyers banned from contest

(Newser) - Fantastic fibbers are gathering at a remote pub in northwestern England today to vie for the title of world's biggest liar. The annual competition is held at the Bridge Inn in the Lake District hamlet of Santon Bridge. Contestants have five minutes to impress the judges with a whopping... More »

Obama Addicted to Winning

From politics to card games, he's a competitor

(Newser) - President Obama's winning instinct isn't just about elections: The president is highly competitive in most facets of life, whether it's card-playing or reading a story to children. And he's not shy about his drive, reports the New York Times . To wit: He told a fundraising crowd... More »

Romney Family Vacation Is Competitive, Mandatory

No one can skip contest sports, family grill sessions

(Newser) - What kind of president would Mitt Romney make? For some clues, take a look at his summer family vacation, where attendance by his grown sons and their families is mandatory, the days are packed with competitive games, and the little girls posed for the annual group photo last year in... More »

Sorry, Google: Apple to Launch Map Service

iPhone's Google ties weaken

(Newser) - The iPhone is fighting a war for independence from Google Maps, with Apple looking to launch its own mapping service. Long an inextricable part of the iPhone experience, Google Maps will no longer be the device's default navigator, if all goes according to Apple's plan. The Cupertino company'... More »

The Great American Trap: Competition

Paypal founder shows that US instead needs 'creative monopolists'

(Newser) - Peter Thiel spent most of his life competing. He competed to get into Stanford, and then Stanford Law, and then to become a clerk for a federal judge. But it was when he lost a competition—to become a Supreme Court clerk—that Thiel became a real success, founding PayPal... More »

Google Sues the Government

Government contracts guilty of killing competition, says suit

(Newser) - Google is suing the Department of the Interior, accusing it of unfairly favoring Microsoft's products in consideration for a government contract, Mashable reports. The DOI is looking for a client to supply an email and collaboration service for its 88,000 employees and contractors, but it has a clause that... More »

10 Nerdiest Contests Ever

If you can solve a Rubik's Cube in under 7 seconds, prepare for glory

(Newser) - You may not have realized it, but last weekend people got together in Europe to compete at "speedcubing." To the uninformed, that's the act of solving a Rubik's Cube—really fast. (The current record? 7.08 seconds.) Time lists nine more extremely geeky competitions:
  • Muggle Quidditch: Yes,
... More »

Okay, Okay, I Praise China Too Much

Thomas Friedman: But it's because I'm worried about us

(Newser) - China is mocking us. At this year’s World Economic Forum, they aired a cartoon in which a runner representing America fell over panting, while others teased, “He ate too many hamburgers.” And given China’s incredible growth, they have room to tease, says Thomas Friedman in today’... More »

Fertile Women Buy Sexier Clothes

But it's for the sake of other women

(Newser) - Women are more likely to pick out sexy clothes when they’re ovulating, particularly if they think they have competition for potential partners, scientists say. A new study says women subconsciously lean toward the skimpy and seductive if they’re ovulating and see other attractive women nearby. “In order... More »

Bing Pushes Google Into Innovation War

New features coming fast and furious

(Newser) - Google has been adding features lately—like its new side navigation, revamped image search, and customizable background image—that look an awful lot like ideas nabbed from Bing, the New York Times observes. Though Bing still has a mere 12.7% of the search market, compared to Google’s 62.... More »

Obama Puts Kid to Sleep at Commencement

Kalamazoo Central student dozes through reward for winning video

(Newser) - Barack Obama yesterday presented Kalamazoo Central High School's class of 2010 with their reward for winning his "Race to the Top" video competition: a commencement address from him. Thousands of students submitted inspiring videos about their schools; you can see Kalamazoo's over at the Huffington Post . Or cut to... More »

Canada Guns for Olympic Gold

Usually reserved nation says it will 'own the podium' in Vancouver

(Newser) - No more Mr. Nice Canada: Our neighbor to the north has contracted Olympic fever and is shouting from the rooftops that it will “own the podium” in Vancouver. After Canada made disastrous showings in the two previous Games it hosted, an organization called Own the Podium has emerged and... More »

Microsoft Office 2010: Worthy, But Not Worth It

Why buy what you can get for free?

(Newser) - The latest edition of the Fantastic Four of productivity—Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook—is worthy but not actually worth buying, writes Farhad Manjoo for Slate . Out next year but now available in a beta edition, Microsoft Office 2010 offers some definite improvements: It lets you preview how text or... More »

iPhone Nears China Debut

Apple receives license from Chinese government for prototype

(Newser) - Apple has won a technical license from the Chinese government to operate a version of the iPhone that could work with the country’s mobile network, the Wall Street Journal reports. The approval brings the company closer to debuting its hottest product in China’s massive mobile phone market. It’... More »

At Sauna Championships, 100% Chance of Perspiration

(Newser) - The English entry at the recent World Sauna Championships in Finland didn’t turn in “Britain’s finest hour,” team member Tom Whipple writes for the Times of London. The premise is simple: whoever lasts longest in a brutally hot sauna wins. The Brits were at a disadvantage—... More »

Seacrest, Idol Alums Sorry to See Abdul Go

Hosts, finalists Tweet their sadness over resignation

(Newser) - Paula Abdul’s surprise announcement that she won’t return to American Idol has disappointed fellow host Ryan Seacrest and several Idol alumni, E! Online reports.
  • "I was shocked," Seacrest said on his radio show this morning. "I'm just bummed because we've worked together for so
... More »

EU Slaps Gas Firms With $1.5B Fine for Price-Fixing

(Newser) - The European Union's powerful competition commissioner slapped two energy companies with record fines of $1.53 billion today for cartel misbehavior. GDF Suez and E.ON, two of the world's biggest gas producers, colluded to avoid competition in French and German energy markets and drive up prices. It's the first... More »

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