School Closures Could Cost The US $50 Billion

Closing all US schools for one month would erase $50 billion from the economy, according to new analysis led by a professor of epidemiology at NYU. One of the authors of this report speaks on the economic and social implications of these closures, including school meals and parents’ ability to work.

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6 Creative Strategies To Deal With Student Loan Debt

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School Closures Could Cost The US $50 Billion

Scott Galloway Explains Who Gets Hosed From WeWork’s IPO Disaster

NYU Professor of Marketing, Scott Galloway, explains who is affected most by WeWork’s postponed IPO. Between J.P. Morgan and SoftBank, SoftBank is going to see the impact sooner.

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Scott Galloway Explains Who Gets Hosed From WeWork’s IPO Disaster

Expert: Hotel chain to blame for security breach

(30 Nov 2018) Cybersecurity expert and NYU professor Justin Cappos says the security breach that compromised the information of as many as 500 million guests shows that Marriott’s Starwood hotels simply did not care about customer security and privacy. (Nov. 30)

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Brand expert: Nike-Kaepernick deal a win for both

(4 Sep 2018) NYU sports marketing professor David Hollander says the endorsement deal between Nike and Colin Kaepernick is a win for both, and gives the NFL a chance to focus on football instead of politics. (Sept. 4)

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Analysis: Facebook Fights Russian Disinformation

(1 Aug 2018) Michael Posner, Director of NYU’s Center for Business and Human Rights says Facebook and the Trump administration isn’t doing everything they could to prevent Russian hackers from spreading disinformation on social media. (July 31)

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How Columbia House Sold 12 CDs For A Penny

Does 12 CDs for a penny sound too good to be true? Well in the mid 90s that offer made Columbia House $1.5 billion. NYU music business professor, Larry Miller, helps break down how Columbia House made their money.

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Following is a transcript of the video:

Matt Stuart: Ever get a whole bunch of CDs for a penny, or even free?

Commercial: Columbia House, big enough to bring you all the best in entertainment

Matt: Columbia House and the BMG Music Service both offered amazing deals. About eight CDs at almost no cost to you, then just buy one more at full retail price and you get three more for free. Sounds too good to be true, right? How could something like this make money?

Commercial: Remember, it’s our secret, so watch your mail for this package from Columbia.

Larry Miller: You could join these things for a penny, get a bunch of music for almost free as long as you promised to buy a certain amount of music over the next year or so at regular club prices.

Matt: That’s Larry Miller. He’s an NYU professor and music industry vet with a podcast about the industry, Musonomics.

Larry: The regular price of the CDs that you would buy was the suggested retail price, which was 17.98, 18.98, 19.98 plus shipping and handling for those CDs.

Matt: Those prices and the shipping costs were key to the club’s success. Columbia House, BMG Music, and other clubs utilized a practice called negative option billing.

Larry: The way that the clubs offered music to consumers was through a catalog roughly every month. Actually it was a little bit more often and in some cases they were shipping 21 different catalogs every month. And that for every catalog, you would need to send back a postcard within ten days of your receipt of that catalog indicating that you didn’t want the selection of the month. If you didn’t do that in time, or if you just forgot, you would be shipped that record and of course you would be billed for it.

Matt: Forget to send the card back and you’d owe the club about $22 for a CD you may not even want. But you still only paid a few bucks shipping on 11 other albums. This still doesn’t seem sustainable, especially when retail shops were selling CDs for $14 and up.

Larry: They would license the actual master tapes and the production files for the physical media from the major music companies. And they would be able to manufacture these records at a cost of about $1.50 or so each. In many cases, inferior pressings on vinyl and CD and you wouldn’t get maybe the full lyrics and you wouldn’t get the nice inserts and stuff and even the little booklets that were included in the CD were not quite as nice as the ones that you would get in the store very often.

Matt: By pressing their own albums, the clubs were able to make about $5 to $6 on each unit they actually sold. Even accounting for all the free albums they sent out.

Larry: As it turns out, that was plenty of margin to operate these businesses which together were generating about a billion and a half dollars of revenue, or about 15% of U.S. record industry volume at the peak, which was around 1996 or so for the record clubs.

Matt: However, that 1.5 billion wasn’t really going to everybody. Larry: The records that you would get for a penny counted as free goods and that there were no royalties on free goods. It’s still unclear today exactly how many of those royalties were paid through to recording artists. They were only paid on the purchased goods, and even so it was at three-quarters of the regular rate that they would have been paid had you bought it in a regular record store.

Matt: Most of the artists and writers didn’t get paid anything on any of the free albums. Larry: However, the sale of the records did count in the calculation of gold and platinum and chart position.

Matt: So no money, but you might wind up with a pretty big trophy. Now the clubs are long gone and services like Spotify and Apple Music have taken their place with access to almost any song you could want for $10 a month. Are those bum deals for the artists, too?

Larry: I believe that as streaming takes hold and as smartphone penetration continues to grow the way that it has and as smart speakers and voice interactivity begins to take hold that music consumption is going to grow to a level that we just haven’t experienced before. Even if the amount of money per listen is less than what we were used to getting back in the days of the CD or vinyl record.

How A Potential Mass Shooter Led Vermont To Redefine “Domestic Terrorism” (HBO)

In the wake of the Parkland school massacre, several states are scrambling to find ways to address the problem of senseless mass shootings. Among them, Vermont has taken the most far-reaching and unusual approach: Moving to legally define such shootings (or attempted shootings) as domestic terrorism — regardless of whether they are ideologically motivated.

Vermont’s domestic terrorism bill came after the arrest of Jack Sawyer, an 18-year-old who kept a journal detailing his plans to shoot up his old high school. Sawyer’s actions were not enough to meet Vermont’s unusually high bar for proving attempt, and prosecutors were forced to drop the most serious charges against him (Sawyer pleaded not guilty to the rest.)

The prospect of Sawyer’s release terrified administrators at Fair Haven Union High School, who installed more than $100,000 in new security measures. And it spurred State Sen. Dick Sears, a Democrat, to introduce the bill defining all mass violence — or attempted mass violence — as terrorism.

“When students tell me that they feel like they’re sitting ducks in their classroom, that’s a form of terror,” Sears told VICE News. “It doesn’t necessarily have to be because of some political bent.”

But there are experts in counterterrorism and civil liberties who believe such an approach will create more problems than it solves. Sears’s bill isn’t limited to school shootings — it applies to anyone who targets multiple people with violence.

That gives law enforcement huge discretion to decide who they use the law against, warned Michael German, a research fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU and a former FBI agent who focused on domestic terrorism, particularly neo-Nazi and other armed far-right groups.

German warned that giving the authorities such broad power to call people terrorists — and to prosecute them as such — opens the door for them to use the statute excessively against people they’re already predisposed to suspect, beginning with Muslim Americans and other minorities.

“The last thing you would want to do is take one horrible case and pass a broad law that creates more horrible problems in the future,” German said.

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Twitter Bots Can Fight Racism — If They’re White And Popular (HBO)

If you’re black and want to ask a white person to stop being racist on Twitter, it may be more effective to have a white friend do it for you.

That’s what the data indicates in a recent paper published by NYU political science graduate student Kevin Munger. He conducted an experiment in which he tracked white Twitter users who were calling people the n-word. He then created four accounts: two with a white cartoon face and two with a black one; one of each had 500 followers, and one of each had only two followers.

Whenever a subject used the n-word again, he had one of the accounts send them a simple tweet: “Hey man, just remember there are real people who are hurt when you harass them with that kind of language.”

In general, only users who got a tweet from a white account with hundreds of followers reduced their usage of the slur. Black accounts, on the other hand, were unsuccessful. And one set of subjects actually tweeted out more racist comments after being gently nudged by a black account with only two followers.

I called Keith Munger to ask why white people using racist language appeared to listen only to white Twitter bots.

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Here’s why so many nations want to control the South China Sea — and what China wants to do

The South China Sea plays an outsized role in international commerce and politics. A litany of regional and global powers crave its natural resources as well as the benefits that come with controlling on of the world’s most important shipping lanes.

China has aggressively pursued control over the Spratley Islands — an archipelago of rocks, reefs and cays that sit in the middle of the sea. Malaysia, Brunei, The Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan have staked their own claims to the area, but it’s really the United States Navy that stands in the way of China. The Seventh Fleet, however, cannot keep China from reclaiming land on the islands it controls.

Professor Dave Denoon, director of the NYU Center on US-China Relations explains how the situation arose and how it will likely play out in upcoming years.

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Here’s why China won’t use its leverage to make North Korea give up its nuclear weapons

China has no desire to see North Korea armed with nuclear weapons, but exerting economic and political leverage over its neighbor is not so easy. Professor Dave Denoon, director of the NYU Center on US-China Relations, explains how from China’s perspective, a nuclear-armed North Korea may not be the worst case scenario.

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11 arrested at NYU during clashes protesting conservative speaker Gavin McInnes

Eleven people were arrested outside New York University’s student center during violent protests over a speech by conservative commentator Gavin McInnes. Students and ‘antifa’ protesters clashed with supporters of McInnes and President Donald Trump.

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