An anonymous reader writes "Washington Post reporter Marc Fisher discovered his house had been burgled; money, a winter coat, an iPod and his son's laptop were stolen. Imagine his surprise when Facebook friends of his 15-year-old son reported that a photo of the apparent thief, wearing Fisher's coat and holding a wad of notes, had been uploaded to his son's Facebook account. How addicted do you have to be to a social network to post a status update and upload your photo *while* you're burgling someone's house?"
Over 200 University of Central Florida students admitted to cheating on a midterm exam after their professor figured out at least a third of his class had cheated. In a lecture posted on YouTube, Professor Richard Quinn told the students that he had done a statistical analysis of the grades and was using other methods to identify the cheats, but instead of turning the list over to the university authorities he offered the following deal: "I don't want to have to explain to your parents why you didn't graduate, so I went to the Dean and I made a deal. The deal is you can either wait it out and hope that we don't identify you, or you can identify yourself to your lab instructor and you can complete the rest of the course and the grade you get in the course is the grade you earned in the course."
It is total bullshit. I recall in years past one of the primary advantages for using PDFs was because you could trust them from random web links as if they were JPGs. I recall my professors saying not to send any homework in DOC format because of its silly security problems. Nowadays I IP get block notices from our admins the minute my PDF reader is outdated.. it is ridiculous.
For people interested in this sort of thing you should check out Celestia! Yes, it is open source. http://www.shatters.net/celestia/
Yea and 200kg is about 441lbs.. but as this is not in libraries-of-congress, the numbers are incomprehensible anyways.
A major component missing from engineering education - software or otherwise - is the design process. In retrospect, I think this is due to too many professors lacking real world experience outside academia. Basically most of them have never been involved in large, complicated projects. I don't know about everyone else's education, but in my school we had just one course devoted to the software engineering process and one course devoted to the electrical engineering process. In retrospect this lopsided mix of fundamentals and process is really at odds with how engineering really works.
Proud member of the BAMA: Boston Atlanta Metropolitan Axis. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sprawl
Zip disks were pieces o' shit and as far as I know employed the first mechanical virus. A zip disc with the "click of death" would inevitably fail soon. Further, if you still loaded it in a drive, there was a good chance the drive would acquire said click. Then putting another functional disk in that drive would cause that disk to begin clicking. Amazing. At the web design firm I worked for in the 90's everyone used zip drives to share files (before we had a network) and eventually half our drives and disks were failing before we realized what was happening.
Lord Byron Eee PC writes "Newsweek is carrying a navel-gazing piece on how wrong they were when in 1995 they published a story about how the Internet would fail. The original article states, 'Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we'll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Intenet. Uh, sure.' The article continues to say that online shopping will never happen, that airline tickets won't be purchased over the web, and that newspapers have nothing to fear. It's an interesting look back at a time when the Internet was still a novelty and not yet a necessity."
This is an ENTIRE FIELD in the satellite remote sensing community.. Theres so many papers on improving limited satellite imagery its nauseating. Browse.. http://www.igarss09.org/Papers/RegularProgram_MS.asp
wjousts writes "IEEE Spectrum takes a look behind the scenes at Valve's on-going efforts to battle cheaters in online games: 'Cheating is a superserious threat,' says [Steam's lead engineer, John] Cook. 'Cheating is more of a serious threat than piracy.' The company combats this with its own Valve Anti-Cheat System, which a user consents to install in the Steam subscriber agreement. Cook says the software gets around anti-virus programs by handling all the operations that require administrator access to the user's machine. So, how important is preventing cheating? How much privacy are you willing to sacrifice in the interests of a level playing field? 'Valve also looks for changes within the player's computer processor's memory, which might indicate that cheat code is running.'"
Lolz, yea they really should have pulled out a cutting torch and cut out the middle third of the shuttle.
Following up on our discussion yesterday of annoying game distribution platforms, Ubisoft has announced the details of their Online Services Platform, which they will use to distribute and administer future PC game releases. The platform will require internet access in order to play installed games, saved games will be stored remotely, and the game you're playing will even pause and try to reconnect if your connection is lost during play. Quoting Rock, Paper, Shotgun: "This seems like such a bizarre, bewildering backward step. Of course we haven't experienced it yet, but based on Ubi’s own description of the system so many concerns arise. Yes, certainly, most people have the internet all the time on their PCs. But not all people. So already a percentage of the audience is lost. Then comes those who own gaming laptops, who now will not be able to play games on trains, buses, in the park, or anywhere they may not be able to find a WiFi connection (something that’s rarely free in the UK, of course – fancy paying the £10/hour in the airport to play your Ubisoft game?). Then there's the day your internet is down, and the engineers can’t come out to fix it until tomorrow. No game for you. Or any of the dozens of other situations when the internet is not available to a player. But further, there are people who do not wish to let a publisher know their private gaming habits. People who do not wish to report in to a company they’ve no affiliation with, nor accountability to, whenever they play a game they’ve legally bought. People who don’t want their save data stored remotely. This new system renders all customers beholden to Ubisoft in perpetuity whenever they buy their games."
kghapa writes "Still want to argue that video games shrink your brain? While video games have been previously shown to stimulate brain activity and improve coordination skills, a recently published study has directly linked structures in the human brain with video game aptitude. And yes, apparently size does matter in this case. Quoting: '... each subject received 20 hours of training to play a video game specifically created for research purposes, called Space Fortress. It's basically an Asteroids-type arcade game, in which the object is to knock down and destroy an enemy fortress while dodging space mines. However, the game has lots of extra twists that require close attention. Some of the players were told to focus exclusively on running up a high score, while others were told to shift their priorities between several goals. The result? The subjects who had more volume in an area called the nucleus accumbens did significantly better in the early stages of training. Meanwhile, those who were well-endowed in different areas of the striatum, known as the caudate nucleus and putamen, handled the shifting strategies better.'"
Matt_dk writes "Spectacular satellite images suggest that Mars was warm enough to sustain lakes three billion years ago, a period that was previously thought to be too cold and arid to sustain water on the surface, according to research published today in the journal Geology. Earlier research had suggested that Mars had a warm and wet early history but that between 4 billion and 3.8 billion years ago, before the Hesperian Epoch, the planet lost most of its atmosphere and became cold and dry. In the new study, the researchers analysed detailed images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is currently circling the red planet, and concluded that there were later episodes where Mars experienced warm and wet periods."