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The Los Angeles Unified School District is demanding a refund from Apple for what it says is bad software on the 43,000 iPads it bought as part of a failed, scandal-ridden tech plan. Who’s to blame for the debacle, and does the district deserve its money back? The online craft marketplace Etsy is going public and its outlook appears rosy. In our weekly web news roundup, we look at Hillary Clinton’s new campaign video. What are the promises and pitfalls of social media for political candidates? Next, we hear from two Central Valley farmers about the impacts of California’s drought and the state’s new water restrictions. And finally, the delta smelt fish is nearly extinct. Scientists recently found only a single one in the Delta River. What does that mean for the future of the species and the ecosystem it lives in?

Banner Image Credit: Toca Boca

The LAUSD's iPad Debacle Drags On With Refund Demand 10 MIN, 9 SEC

The Los Angeles Unified School District has an iPad -- or 43,000 -- it would like to sell you. Lawyers for the district have fired off a letter to Apple saying they’re not happy with the product and demanding a refund. School officials say the curriculum on the iPads, made by the education company Pearson, is glitchy and students don’t like the content. Most teachers who were given the iPads have stopped trying to use Pearson’s app. The iPad debacle lead to the end of John Deasy’s tenure as superintendent, and the FBI is investigating possible fraud in the bidding process. So who’s to blame here, and does the LAUSD deserve a refund?

Steve Zimmer, LA Unified School District; candidate for School Board District 4 seat (@lausd_zimmer)
Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times (@howardblume )

Etsy Going Public 7 MIN, 50 SEC

The website that provides hand-knitted tea cozies to the world went public yesterday and began trading today. The online craft marketplace Etsy was offered at $16 per share, and it’s already going for about twice that. That makes the company worth more than $3 billion. That’s a lot of beaded bracelets. We get all the details from a reporter who’s followed the offering closely.

Telis Demos, Wall Street Journal (@telisdemos)

Web Roundup: Hillary Clinton’s Meme and More 8 MIN, 49 SEC

Hillary Clinton skipped the soaring speech in front of a historic landmark when she announced her candidacy this week. Instead, she went the chill route with a polished video slipped to the social media masses. Clinton is, of course, no stranger to viral culture. She starred in her very own meme a few years ago: a photo of her texting. This week in our regular web segment, we look at the benefits and pitfalls for political candidates in the age of viral videos and hot takes.

Xeni Jardin, BoingBoing.net (@xeni)

Farmers Feel the Hardship of Drought 13 MIN, 29 SEC

Dawn Birch of Flora Bella Farm

We’ve talked a lot lately on this show about the impacts of California’s drought and the state’s new water restrictions. Today, we hear from farmers. Two Central Valley growers discuss how they’ve had to scale back their businesses amid California’s epic drought. One also discusses the state’s new, first-ever mandatory water restrictions, which only apply to urban consumers, not agriculture, even though farms use nearly four times as much water as cities.

Dawn Birch, farmer
Shawn Coburn, farmer

Down To a Single Delta Smelt 7 MIN, 29 SEC

Tension is growing between California farmers, like Shawn Coburn, who want more water and environmentalists who want to protect endangered species in the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta. One of those endangered species is the delta smelt, a pinky-sized fish that’s nearing extinction. Earlier this month, scientists found a single delta smelt remaining in the Delta River. What does that mean for the future of the fish?

Peter Moyle, UC Davis

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