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+ - Open Source Alternatives to Turnitin

Submitted by
Puchku
Puchku writes "A professor at one of India's best law schools asked me if I knew of any good, open-source, alternatives to Turnitin. They have a rampant problem with students plagiarizing for their papers, but Turnitin's licensing fees are prohibitively expensive.
They have tried Viper, but it doesn't work too well. Are there any open source projects that are tackling this problem? The law school is open to commissioning something from an open-source developer, with the provision that the code must be released under one of the GPL-style licenses, so that the community can benefit.
I would be grateful for any pointers in this regard."
Image

Air Canada Ordered To Provide Nut-Free Zone 643

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-nuts dept.
JamJam writes "Air Canada has been told to create a special 'buffer zone' on flights for people who are allergic to nuts. The Canadian Transportation Agency has ruled that passengers who have nut allergies should be considered disabled and accommodated by the airline. Air Canada has a month to come up with an appropriate section of seats where passengers with nut allergies would be seated. The ruling involved a complaint from Sophia Huyer, who has a severe nut allergy and travels frequently. Ms. Huyer once spent 40 minutes in the washroom during a flight while snacks were being served."

Comment: Re:Mobile phone + Developing Nations = Opportunity (Score 1) 54

by Puchku (#28797949) Attached to: Mobile Phone Technology and Developing Nations
The Tata Group has been around for ages (like over a 100 years), and they own a huge bunch of businesses. Everything from Hotels to tea to steel to cars to cellphones to salt... you get the idea.. They are also very respected in India, since they actually have corporate values that seem to work... In fact, the Tata factories don't have unions, as far as I know, since the workers actually trust the management (shock!). They're pretty good at what they do, so usually when they start something, people pay attention.

Comment: Re:Copper vs New Materials (Score 1) 524

by Puchku (#27671511) Attached to: Should Network Cables Be Replaced?
I don't get the "much like oil" bit. Not trying to be a green nazi, but when we burn oil, it's changes state, doesn't it? I mean, you can't take the smoke and get the oil back? Copper stays copper, and can be melted and made pure again and all that, but how do you take a gallon of gasoline, burn it in your car, and then get it back? Unless of course you mean that the creation of oil is a continuous process, which I'd agree with, but it takes a hell of a long time to form, and we seem to be using it up faster than new oil is being created.

Comment: Re:It may be a misconseption on my part but... (Score 5, Informative) 600

by Puchku (#26669161) Attached to: Comrade, You Are So Not Getting a Dell

In India, we have thousands (literally) of kids graduating with computer engineering degrees every year. Now, the thing is, a lot of these degrees are pretty useless since the college/university that issued them is basically a money making machine, and nothing else.

However, there are a bunch of good places that produce very good engineers. The Indian Institutes of Technology are the most well known, but there are some others that are equally good (some of the top Regional Enginnering Colleges, and so on)

I think it boils down to numbers. Say we have 30,000 comp sci grads every year. Now say 60 percent of them are hacks who know nothing much and are only good for repetitive code work and stuff like that. 20 percent will be quite good, easily as competent as a good programmer in the US or wherever. 10 percent will be skilled at code and other stuff like management, the types who end up heading into upper management, 8 percent will be very good, and 2 percent will be fantastic.

The 2 percent mostly heads off to MIT, or CMU, or $TOPSCHOOL to do an MS or a Phd, but that still leaves a pretty substantial number of good people.

Now, when you realize that 30,000 is a low estimate, since the acutal figure is 175,000 (source: http://www.timesascent.co.in/index.aspx?Page=article&sectid=2&contentid=20080930200809301249051997b5b53a, and http://www.rediff.com/money/2006/jun/09bspec.htm ) you begin to see that while we do have a huge number of terrible programmers, we have a pretty good talent pool too. It's all about the numbers!

Security

+ - Why don't more people use S/MIME? 1

Submitted by
Puchku
Puchku writes "The question is: Why don't more people use digital certificates or S/MIME for email? Given that email spam is a huge problem, and getting a certificate is often trivially easy and free, why does this not get more play on tech sites and in the media? Can all of you who work for big tech companies tell me if you use digital certificates for identity verification and encryption, and if not, then why not?

Cost? Ease of use? Any other issues? How about for a home user? Should I get a digital certificate from Verisgn, and use that for all correspondence?

I understand that using something like PGP may be difficult to set up, depending on the skill level of the users, but since 90% of email clients support S/MIME, surely this would be easier to implement? Verisign's and Thawte's and Comodo's of the world, please answer."
GNU is Not Unix

+ - Kerala's draft IT policy released - Focus on Free

Submitted by
veejey
veejey writes "The Kerala (India) Government have released it's IT policy which give empasize on Free and Open Source Software and Open Standards in e-governance projects. Open standards such as Unicode and Open Document Format and Open Architecture will be followed in e-governance projects to avoid total dependence on select vendors.

read the policy document at http://itforum.kerala.gov.in/"
Graphics

+ - Flash 9 Released for Linux

Submitted by
eldavojohn
eldavojohn writes "Yesterday, Adobe released a binary for Flash 9 for Linux which looks nice and appears to work. The obvious downside is, of course, that it's only a binary and not open source which means that many Linux distributions will most likely refuse to carry it and require you to acquire post-installation. But don't look so down! From the article, "Adobe engineers are, however, working on an open-source dynamic library called flashsupport, which can be used by developers to create support for OSS and other non-officially supported audio formats." Another huge bonus about this release is that Adobe claims it's ten times faster scripting performance due to more efficient memory performance."

"Just think of a computer as hardware you can program." -- Nigel de la Tierre

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