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+ - SurveyMonkey's CEO dies while vacationing with wife Susan Sanberg->

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber writes: Dave Goldberg, the chief executive of SurveyMonkey ( and spouse of Facebook COO Sheryl K. Sandberg, died on Friday night. He was 47.

“We are heartbroken by this news,” Facebook said in a statement. Mark Zuckerberg, a friend of the family, said that Mr. Goldberg died while on vacation abroad with Ms. Sandberg.

Goldberg built Surveymonkey into a provider of web surveys on almost every topic imaginable, with 500 employees and 25 million surveys created. News reports said it was valued at nearly $2 billion when it raised a round of funding last year.

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+ - Student torches computer lab after he is unable to hack into grading system->

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber writes: A 15 year-old Douglas County, Georgia high school student has been charged with five felonies, including burglary and arson, after sheriff's deputies caught him while responding to a 1 AM fire at Alexander High School.

The boy admitted to investigators that he set fire to a computer after trying, unsuccessfully, to hack into the school computer system to change his grade on a failed test.

“It's very sad and tragic. He could have very easily come to one of his counselors and asked for help,” said Lt. Glenn Daniel with the Douglas County Sheriff's Department. “From what we can tell, (the student) was mad and frustrated because he could not hack into the system.” Lt. Daniel said the charges could land the young man in prison for several years.

The computer lab was cleaned up and re-opened in time for the start of that day's classes.

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+ - AT&T bills 83-yr old customer $24,298.93 for landline dial-up service->

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber writes: 83-year-old Woodland Hills, California resident Ron Dorff usually pays $51 a month to AT&T for a landline, which he uses to access the Internet via an old-school, low-speed AOL dial-up subscription.... but then, in March, AT&T sent him a bill for $8,596.57. He called AT&T and their service rep couldn't make heads or tails of the bill, so she said she'd send a technician to his house. None came, so Dorff figured that everything was ok.

Dorff's next monthly bill was for $15,687.64, bringing his total outstanding debt to AT&T, including late fees, to $24,298.93. If he didn't pay by May 8, AT&T warned, his bill would rise to at least $24,786.16. Droff then called David Lazarus, business columnist for the LA Times, who got in touch with AT&T, who wasted little time in deciding it would waive the more than $24,000 in charges.

AT&T spokeshole Georgia Taylor claims Dorff's modem somehow had started dialing a long-distance number when it accessed AOL, and the per-minute charges went into orbit as he stayed connected for hours.

AT&T declined to answer the LA Times questions about why AT&T didn't spot the problem itself and proactively take steps to fix things? AT&T also declined to elaborate on whether AT&T's billing system is capable of spotting unusual charges and, if so, why it doesn't routinely do so.

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Comment: Re:Hard to take sides (Score 2) 353

by McGruber (#49570751) Attached to: University Overrules Professor Who Failed Entire Management Class
Thank you for sharing that informative article, which quotes the actual emailed reasons for the failing grade:

You all lack the honor and maturity to live up to the standards that Texas A&M holds, and the competence and/or desire to do the quality work necessary to pass the course just on a grade level. I will no longer be teaching the course, and all are being awarded a failing grade."

The article also explains why the Professor, a guy with 20 years of college teaching experience, is in his 1st year at Galveston:

The professor, who is new to Galveston, relocated (to a non-tenure-track position) because his wife holds an academic job in Houston, and they have had to work hard to find jobs in the same area. He stressed that the students' failings were academic as well as behavioral. Most, he said, couldn't do a "break-even analysis" in which students were asked to consider a product and its production costs per unit, and determine the production levels needed to reach a profit.

In most of his career, he said, he has rarely awarded grades of F except for academic dishonesty. He said he has never failed an entire class before, but felt he had no choice after trying to control the class and complaining to administrators at the university.

Students have complained that they need this class to graduate, and Horwitz said that based on the academic and behavioral issues in class, they do not deserve to graduate with degrees in business fields (the majors for which the course is designed and required).

+ - Texas A&M Overrules Professor Who Failed Entire Management Class->

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber writes: After a semester of disrespect, backstabbing, lying, and cheating, Texas A&M Galveston Professor Irwin Horwitz ( had all he could take. He "sent a lengthy email to his Strategic Management class explaining that they would all be failing the course. He said the students proved to be incompetent and lack the maturity level to enter the workforce."

Professor Horwitz's email cited examples of students cheating, telling him to "chill out," and inappropriate conduct. He said students spread untrue rumors about him online, and he said at one point he even felt the need to have police protection in class. "I was dealing with cheating, dealing with individuals swearing at me both in and out of class, it got to the point that the school had to put security guards at that class and another class," said Horowitz.

However, Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Patrick Louchouarn made it very clear that the failing grades won't stick. The department head will take over the class until the end of the semester, according to school officials.

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+ - Denver TSA Screeners Manipulated System in order to Grope Men's Genitals->

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber writes: The CBS affiliate in Denver reports: "Two Transportation Security Administration screeners at Denver International Airport have been fired after they were discovered manipulating passenger screening systems to allow a male TSA employee to fondle the genital areas of attractive male passengers."

According to law enforcement reports obtained during the CBS4 investigation, a male TSA screener told a female colleague in 2014 that he “gropes” male passengers who come through the screening area at DIA.

“He related that when a male he finds attractive comes to be screened by the scanning machine he will alert another TSA screener to indicate to the scanning computer that the party being screened is a female. When the screener does this, the scanning machine will indicate an anomaly in the genital area and this allows (the male TSA screener) to conduct a pat-down search of that area.”

Although the TSA learned of the accusation on Nov. 18, 2014 via an anonymous tip from one of the agency’s own employees, reports show that it would be nearly three months before anything was done.

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Comment: Re:Racketeering, Ouch... (Score 2) 201

Those who give students their grades should not be the same people that give the students their education.

It is important to note that the Atlanta Public Schools' cheating happened *after* the tests were administered. After the tests were collected and the teachers who administered the tests went home, some other "educators" had erasing parties, where they got together and changed incorrect answers. So, to me, racketeering was the appropriate charge -- those "educators" ran a racket when they got together, circumvented test-security protocols and changed official state records (the exams).

My partner is the Principal of a public elementary school in Georgia.... the school is not part of the Atlanta Public School system, but is in a school district next-door to Atlanta. My partner's school has a very strict testing security protocol. When tests arrive in the school, the materials are locked in a safe inside a locked room that only the "testing administrator" controls. (This "testing administrator" is usually an Assistant Principal.) Anyone who goes into that room while the tests are in the school has to sign a log posted outside the room. The school's security system has a camera pointed at the room's door and that footage from that camera is saved; someone in the school system's main office apparently spot-checks the log against the footage. When the seals on the packets of test booklets are broken (in order to pass out the tests), two teachers must sign a paper saying that they witnessed the seals being broken. Any "testing abnormality" (the air-conditioning went out, loud noises or other distractions happened, etc.) has to be documented and a written explanation submitted with the tests.

My understanding is that the Atlanta Public Schools had a similar testing security protocol... so the "educators" who cheated really went out of their way to cheat. According to newspaper reports, one Atlanta "educator" even wore gloves so that her fingerprints would not be on tests.

Comment: Bloggers, not Newspapers, revealed the cheating (Score 3, Informative) 201

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution sowed suspicion about the veracity of the test scores in 2009

Actually, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) newspaper was one of Beverly Hall's biggest cheerleaders. Bloggers were pointing out problems with the Atlanta test scores for years before the AJC looked into it. The cheating wasn't really a secret -- someone was even using the screen name "Beverly FRAUD" to post comments on the AJC's own website.

The AJC ignored all those allegations of cheating until Beverly Hall was named 2009 National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA).... and then the newspaper reluctantly started investigating her.

Comment: Re:Racketeering (Score 2) 201

RICO was intended to be used against violent mobsters.

But these Atlanta "educators" were mobsters -- they used gang tactics to run the schools, kept thousands of children from receiving their educations and ruined the livelihoods of those teachers and principals who refused to cheat.

All programmers are playwrights and all computers are lousy actors.