Spend Matters Afternoon Coffee

A "Certificate of Mastery" from Harvard and MIT -- for free??
Harvard and M.I.T. Team Up to Offer Free Online Courses -- In what is shaping up as an academic Battle of the Titans -- one that offers vast new learning opportunities for students around the world -- Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technologyon Wednesday announced a new nonprofit partnership, known as edX, to offer free online courses from both universities. Harvard's involvement follows M.I.T.'s announcement in December that it was starting an open online learning project to be known as MITx. Its first course, Circuits and Electronics, began in March, enrolling about 120,000 students, some 10,000 of whom made it through the recent midterm exam. Those who complete the course will get a certificate of mastery and a grade, but no official credit. Similarly, edX courses will offer a certificate but will carry no credit.

Some supply chain thoughts from the Financial Post.
Does Asia really need to be part of your supply chain strategy? -- Supply chain disruptions, fuel price volatility, rising labour costs, advances in technology and a growing realization of the advantages of being physically close to customers are leading some manufacturers to conclude that they are better off with a supply-chain strategy that may or may not include China. Crude oil prices and transportation costs have risen, making them far more significant relative to inventory, production and fixed facility costs. This in turn has given rise to new cost-optimization realities.

The mind reader was probably booked for those days.
DoD calls off annual procurement conference -- Defense Department officials have called off large annual contracting-focused conference just weeks before it was set to begin. The invitation-only DoD Procurement Conference and Training Symposium was to have taken place in Orlando, Fla. Between May 21 and May 24. A notice posted on a department website said officials had decided they needed more time to better align the training programs with DoD acquisition policy. It wasn't immediately clear whether recent backlash against agency-sponsored conferences in the wake of theGeneral Services Administration scandal played a role in the decision.

Speaking of that whole student loans problem...
Top Judge Makes Free Legal Work Mandatory for Joining State Bar -- Starting next year, New York will become the first state to require lawyers to perform unpaid work before being licensed to practice, the state's chief judge announced on Tuesday, describing the rule as a way to help the growing number of people who cannot afford legal services. The approximately 10,000 lawyers who apply to the New York State Bar each year will have to demonstrate that they have performed 50 hours of pro bono work to be admitted, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman said. He said the move was intended to provide about a half-million hours of badly needed legal services to those with urgent problems, like foreclosure and domestic violence.

- Sheena Moore

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