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Comment Re:Speaking from the other perspective.. (Score 1) 582 582

All that said, the content industry (e.g. RIAA and MPAA) has made it hard for colleges to run their networks as well. So you can put some of the blame there too.

Incredibly hard. To say that they've forced universities ( at least here in Australia ) to perform witch-hunts regularly is probably putting it lightly. But here, of course, laws are different - and education facilities are not covered by safe harbor.

Comment Re:Speaking from the other perspective.. (Score 1) 582 582

That's an immense over-reaction, and illustrates the "I pay, give me what i want" attitude which does not score points and makes any sort of discourse adversarial from the get-go. Well done! Gold star for you!

The long and the short of the reality here is - if you, as a student, are asking me to take on your non-academia impacting website filter problem by appealing to my boss to get a change approved ( which then ties *my* name to it, and my boss' too for approving it ) and implemented ( which, may involve out of hours work depending on if such things require it ) then yes, you need to show a little fucking intelligence when it comes to asking me to do it. If you come at me with that attitude then I am going to dismiss your problem and then forget who you are, not because I'm a jerk but because I'm more worried about service delivery for the 12 odd thousand other faculty students that want to Get Stuff Done (tm) and not just those who complain about not getting their internet lulz. If the only reason you've got is "because I said so", then that's just not good enough.

If you come to me saying "The website has been unfairly blocked under the reason pornography, could you check it out?" then I will at least have some sort evidence to back up any sort of claim that the solution that we as IT have in place, may not be appropriately doing its job. If your request is additional to a bunch more that claim there's classification errors going on - I have a strong case to review what's going on and perhaps knock down the paranoia level if there's such a device or bit of software that controls it, or at least try and effect change.

Comment Speaking from the other perspective.. (Score 5, Insightful) 582 582

As a member of an IT systems admin team for a faculty we've often got specific mandates which services we must restrict, and to what end. What you may also be up against, other than 'unprivileged' access - is politics. Students do Naughty Stuff (tm) - that's just a fact that keeps on proving itself true time and time again. Even if you can speak for you, your friends, or your entire course - I can bet dollars to donuts that there's someone out there trying to do something shifty. Case in point: I was seriously asked to relax the restrictions on banning Steam so a student could "download 10 or 15 gig so i didn't have to do it over dial-up". On-campus living - sure, i can see where restrictions like that may diminish any sort of sanity saving software platform ( Valve fan \o/ ), but I'm not going to open up a faculty network just so you can play games. It's an education facility, not your personal high speed connection to the 'net. If you were a postgraduate student researching something that required access - then by all means get your supervisor to approve your request and I'll be more than happy to make it happen.

That being said - outline a clear case of why you need certain things re-classified and you may have a better case to work with. I am not suggesting that this tactic will work - as there's probably more to the story ( see - plug and play filter lists/software/appliances which remove the need to dedicate an entire FTE to putting classifications on traffic going out ) than you really know, but it will certainly stop you from seeming like a whinging student and more like an intellectual who is using sound reasoning. Hell - if you are able to find clear, repeated examples of wrongful clasification of websites, you may be able to enact a reconsideration of what's being used to deny you access or relax the level in which things are blocked.

Of course, they might not care. Who knows?


ITER Fusion Reactor Enters Existential Crisis 470 470

deglr6328 writes "The long beleaguered experimental magnetic confinement fusion reactor ITER is currently in what some are calling the worst crisis of its 25 year history. Still existing only on the paper of thousands of proposed design documents, the latest cost estimates for the superconducting behemoth are soaring to nearly 20 billion USD — roughly twice the estimates from as recently as a few years ago. Anti-nuclear environmentalist organizations have seized upon the moment as an opportunity to use the current global economic crisis as a means to push for permanently killing the project. If ITER is not built, the prospect of magnetic confinement fusion as a technique to reach thermonuclear breakeven and ignition in the laboratory would be in serious question. Meanwhile, the largest laser-driven inertial confinement fusion project, the National Ignition Facility, has demonstrated the ability to use self-generated plasma optical gratings to control capsule implosion symmetry with high finesse, and is on schedule to achieve ignition and potentially high gain before the end of the year."
Announcements Self-Slashdotted 388 388 was unreachable for about 75 minutes this evening. Here is the post-mortem from Sourceforge's chief network engineer Uriah Welcome. "What we had was indeed a DoS, however it was not externally originating. At 8:55 PM EST I received a call saying things were horked, at the same time I had also noticed things were not happy. After fighting with our external management servers to login I finally was able to get in and start looking at traffic. What I saw was a massive amount of traffic going across the core switches; by massive I mean 40 Gbit/sec. After further investigation, I was able to eliminate anything outside our network as the cause, as the incoming ports from Savvis showed very little traffic. So I started poking around on the internal switch ports. While I was doing that I kept having timeouts and problems with the core switches. After looking at the logs on each of the core switches they were complaining about being out of CPU, the error message was actually something to do with multicast. As a precautionary measure I rebooted each core just to make sure it wasn't anything silly. After the cores came back online they instantly went back to 100% fabric CPU usage and started shedding connections again. So slowly I started going through all the switch ports on the cores, trying to isolate where the traffic was originating. The problem was all the cabinet switches were showing 10 Gbit/sec of traffic, making it very hard to isolate. Through the process of elimination I was finally able to isolate the problem down to a pair of switches... After shutting the downlink ports to those switches off, the network recovered and everything came back. I fully believe the switches in that cabinet are still sitting there attempting to send 20Gbit/sec of traffic out trying to do something — I just don't know what yet. Luckily we don't have any machines deployed on [that row in that cabinet] yet so no machines are offline. The network came back up around 10:10 PM EST."
Role Playing (Games)

How Gamers View Their MMOs 132 132

GamerDNA is trying out what they call their Discovery Engine, a system that uses metadata from users to classify games and identify which have similar traits. Massively describes it thus: "Once the gamerDNA community continues to contribute to something like this, it builds up an enormous database of terminology based on actual player knowledge, not just shiny PR words thrown together to promote a game. These search terms can end up being unique to a specific genre, and ultimately lead gamers to exactly the types of games they're looking for." GamerDNA tested the system out on some of the popular MMOs, and they've posted the results. They look at how MMO players identify themselves within the game, how they describe the setting, and what basic descriptive phrases they use in reference to the games.

Submission + - Driver issues plague HTC handhelds->

An anonymous reader writes: The latest and greatest HTC SmartPhones and PocketPC's, including the TyTN II, are plagued with driver issues, namely missing or grossly underperforming video, touchscreen and camera drivers. After months of complaining to HTC and them hardly even acknowledging the issue, there is now even talk of a possible lawsuit to get HTC to fix the problems.

Affected devices include the "PDA of the year" HTC TyTN II (Kaiser, AT&T Tilt, T-Mobile MDA Vario III, Vodafone v1615), the "iPhone killers" HTC Touch / Touch Dual / Touch Cruise, the HTC Titan (Sprint Mogul, Verizon XV6800) and several other less known devices.

Link to Original Source
The Courts

Pirate Bay Gets a 4,000-Page Complaint 643 643

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Swedish prosecutors appear to be close to finally pressing charges against The Pirate Bay, having served them with 4,000 pages of legal papers. While this might appear bad, the administrators have already moved some of the servers out of the country, so Swedish prosecutors can't shut it down, even if they want to. Moreover, the people of Sweden are decidedly on their side, with the Pirate Party, which is sympathetic to TPB's cause, being one of the top ten political parties in the country. Still, this looks like a dirty trick on the part of the prosecutors — like they're dumping all of this on the defendants in the hope that they won't have enough time to sort through it and defend themselves. For comparison, the second-biggest murder case in Sweden required only 1,500 pages."

Online Cartoonist Finds Financial Success Offline 268 268

destinyland writes "The first collection of Perry Bible Fellowship comics has racked up pre-sales of $300,000 due to its huge online following. Within seven weeks the volume required a third printing. Ironically, the 25-year-old cartoonist speculates people would rather read his arty comics in a book than on a computer screen, and warns that 'There's something wonderful, and soon-to-be mythic, about the printed page...' He also explains the strange anti-censorship crusade in high school that earned him an FBI record!"

Submission + - Facebook spyware worse than previously thought? 1 1

An anonymous reader writes: Further developments in the Facebook Beacon affair... According to PC World, a Computer Associates researcher claims that Beacon, when installed on participating sites, is sending data about users' activity back to Facebook, even when a user is logged out of Facebook — despite Facebook's claims to the contrary.

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten