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Sports is a unifier in the sense that it can give people something to chit-chat about and fill in dead space. Kind of like talking about the weather, or what happened on Game of Thrones, or any other topic of general interest.
On the other hand, some people can take it way too far. The director in my organization is a rabid fan of one particular university. He consistently says "we" when referring to how the team played. He ordered the office space to be painted and carpeted in colors that closely match the team colors. The logo of our organization is based on the team logo. The list goes on and on. In that case, sports has proven to be a divisive subject as it is rammed down the throat of those that don't care, and fans of other schools feels like they are being marginalized.
My personal opinion is competitive sports needs to be separated from educational institutions. They are nothing but feeder leagues for the NFL, NBA, and MLB. Do like most other countries and let the local sports programs stand on their own rather than tying them to public institutions.
We've already trampled on the privacy expectations of our users and gained an almost insurmountable advantage in social media. Now for political expediency we will agree to across-the-board standards, but we certainly won't give up our ill-gotten gains and delete the data we collected through the same means.
If the rumored terms are correct and the newspapers are going to make full .pdf copies of the papers available through Apple News Service then I'll be one happy camper. My teaser rate of $20 a month for the WSJ runs out this month and would jump to $40. I could probably call and haggle with them for digital-only access and get them down to something like $25 - $30, but for only $10 a month for Apple News it looks like I'll be cancelling my individual subscription pretty quick.
Any other available news sources would just be icing on the cake at that point.
If Apple does a spec bump on the basic iPad and goes to an A11 processor then I think it will be a legitimate choice between it and the new Air. Assuming Apple keeps the same $329 base price, the Air would cost $170 more for an extra 32GB storage, slightly larger laminated screen, and A12 processor. That's a 50% price premium. The current iPad supports the Pencil, so I would certainly assume a spec bumped versions would do so as well.
Many people interested in internet browsing, social networking, checking email, shopping, and other basic functions will be perfectly fine with something that isn't as powerful as the new Air. They simply aren't going to be that concerned with a little added weight when real-world performance of the two devices on commonly used apps would pretty much be identical. We'll see. It wouldn't surprise me at all to see Apple carry over the 2018 iPad another year for no other reason than to make the new Air look better in comparison.