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StarBulletin.com

Brief asides


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POSTED: Wednesday, October 21, 2009

RIDING HIGH

There's always room for a new gadget

Refine it, and they will come.

Apple Inc. was evidence of that with its gangbusters sales last quarter, beating analysts' expectations with a 47 percent jump in net income. Thanks to strong sales of a faster iPhone and the popular iPod Touch, coupled with reduced pricing of older models, the profits surged Apple shares to an all-time high in extended trading Monday. Bad economy? What bad economy? People love their gadgets—and apparently will find the dollars for them.

HOT BATTER

Victorino keeps rockin' the Phillies

What a ride it's been for Maui boy Shane Victorino.

With his Philadelphia Phillies down 4-2 in the sixth inning Monday night, the 1999 St. Anthony High School grad tripled into the left-field corner, then scored on a teammate's line drive. Talk about a hot bat: Victorino's 11 hits in this year's playoffs are tied with teammate Ryan Howard for most in the major leagues.

The defending World Series champ Phillies head into tonight's NL Championship Series with a 3-1 lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

NEW BUBBLE?

College costs keep going up; students try to keep up

The average annual cost of tuition and fees at four-year public colleges rose 6.5 percent from last year, to $7,020, even as the Consumer Price Index declined 2.1 percent, according to a report by the College Board. At for-profit colleges, the average was $14,171, a 6.5 percent rise; at private nonprofit universities, $26,273, up 4.4 percent. And those figures don't include room and board.

Students are relying more on federal loans, shifting away from private loans as parents lose equity in the homes that once drove education borrowing. Total education borrowing increased 5 percent from the previous year, and at least one expert called the financial burden on students and their parents unsustainable.