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Businesses

+ - Even music reviewer are getting tired of DRM

Submitted by
FighterHayabusa
FighterHayabusa writes "It's not only the public consumers that suffer from DRM-techniques. The labels are making reviewing CDs a pesky business by imposing their seriously flawed techniques on promos of their artists CDs. Swedish webzine Critical Mass has posted an article on it and a petition to stop all DRM. Read the article and sign the petition! The article is in english."
Networking

+ - Setting up a internet gateway similiar to a hotel

Submitted by Scoldog
Scoldog (875927) writes "Hello everyone.

I work in the IT Dept for a large car dealership in Australia with many branches. One of the branches has decided they want an ADSL line installed so that customers can surf the net while their cars are being serviced. I don't mind the idea but I want to be able to monitor the traffic and filter what people are accessing. From what I have seen, a PC with some sort of monitoring software acting as a gateway would be the way to go rather than forking out for commercial gateway hardware

There are a few requirements that I need:

1. I can't see the need for people having to acknowledge they want internet access as we won't be charging for it (Like a hotel getting people to say 'yes' before accessing internet from their rooms). Does anyone disagree with this and would you recommend?

2. I am a Windows Administrator but I don't like the idea of using a Windows box as a gateway (I have dealt with too many malware infested PC's in the past, just imagining hordes of random people plugging their laptops into a common Windows PC is enough to freak me out!) I am currently playing around with Ubuntu and Fedora in my own time, is there an easy way of setting up a gateway using either of these distributions (preferably Ubuntu)?

3. They are looking at adding wireless access for the customers (instead of plugging in to the wall jacks they have already installed). Is there a solution that can handle stuff like stopping after hours access on the access point (stopping people from hanging around outside leeching net time)

4. I would also like to setup a banned list of words, websites and ports so people are only able to go to 'appropriate' websites and get their email.

5. Being able to dial in and monitor off site plus make changes to the settings would be great as well.

What problems have you come across doing this? Do you recommend a software solution (using a PC as a gateway) or is it not worth it and I should recommend a commercial gateway instead?

Thanks for your help"
Education

+ - Death of Computer Science much exaggerated

Submitted by
yorickwilks
yorickwilks writes "Why have over sixty professors risen up to deny McBride's claim (Slashdot 3

March) that university Computer Science is finished; is their attitude more than

good old job protection, and a refusal to see how their subject fits into the modern world?

But while Neil McBride's piece on "Why Computer Science is dying" was

stimulating, it was also utterly wrong, both as to facts and its

unsupported claims. Contrary to the impression McBride gave, there are

today more computer science students in the UK than in all of the more

traditional sciences — physics, chemistry, biology — put together. Even so, few

would argue that basic physical science is dying, or losing out to

industrial research, just because it is sometimes hard to recruit

undergraduates from our current school system. Likewise in our field.

McBride's complaints may best be seen as a description of what has

happened in universities which do not do computer science research, but

his disbelief that Microsoft hires computer science PhDs suggests he

himself knows little of that world, and Bill Gates explicitly asserted that he wanted

more of them in an article last month (Toronto Globe and Mail, February 8).

There is another oddity in McBride's piece

when he rubbishes the products of computer science departments but tells

us, with apparent approbation, that Indian universities produce "100,000

skilled English-speaking" graduates every year, having taken over "the

very paradigms and skills that are dear to British computer scientists".

Surely, if the Indians are right to pursue this then so must we.

There is no difficulty in revealing the basic facts about all this. The

website of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

carries a copy of its International Review of UK Computer Science. And

this found that the standard of research in universities was excellent;

the creators of web search engines like Google, for example, continue to

emerge from university departments while in the UK, important work that

made the likes of Skype and MSN Messenger possible, was done in our

universities. All market surveys show huge and continuing demand for

well-trained computer science graduates on either side of the Atlantic,

a demand that is indeed now being met by India, partly because of the

growth of pessimistic beliefs like McBride's in this country.

But his article does touch on real issues, well-known and much debated

in the field. There is the gap between the computer science core, taught

in good departments, and which is much in demand in industry, and the

much softer IT/ICT disciplines, which involve some business training,

and much use of commercial packages but little rigorous programming.

E-skills degrees of this sort are now being offered in many places, and

one must wish them well. But it is not yet clear what the future of

their graduates will be, because they are neither one thing nor the

other, and recruiters know this. Nevertheless — and here is the crux of

our argument — promotion of these new degrees does not require or

support an attack on computer science itself in the way McBride has

chosen.

On the other hand, he is right that computer science must reach out much

more to other disciplines, from psychology, philosophy, sociology and

linguistics to medicine, biotechnology, nanotechnology and beyond,

because the computational metaphor is now at the intellectual core of

most disciplines. Far from being dead, computing is now effectively the

new "Queen of the Sciences". How odd it is that most houses and offices

now have a thing still called a "computer", but barely one in a hundred

is ever used to program. And soon this will change and most people will

deal only with "black box" devices that contain great computing power to

enable them to play games, access the web, drive cars, see films and

fill fridges, and it will not occur to anyone to call them computers.

Yet behind these devices there will still be armies of trained

programmers from good university computer science departments, based

either here in the UK or abroad. That last choice is still ours to some

extent, but there is no way out of this shortage of expertise in this country by

declaring, as McBride does, that a crucial university subject is

finished because he cannot or will not teach or research its core

discipline.

[Over 60 UK Professors of Computer Science agreed to sign this article —

the list is at http://www.dcs.shef.ac.uk/~yorick/THES/thes.html%5 D"
Music

+ - Someone In Congress Actually Understands Mixtapes!

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Most of us (for pretty good reasons!) have come to assume that our Congressional representatives are pretty far out of touch when it comes to things like technology and culture, but it's nice to see that at least one Congressman seems to understand that mixtapes and mashups aren't such a bad thing. Techdirt has the transcript of Rep. Mike Doyle's speech, which talks about the benefits of mixtapes, while wondering about why DJ Drama was arrested: "I hope that everyone involved will take a step back and ask themselves if mash-ups and mix-tapes are really different or if it's the same as Paul McCartney admitting that he nicked the Chuck Berry bass-riff and used it on the Beatle's hit 'I Saw Her Standing There.' Maybe it is. And, maybe Drama violated some clear bright lines. Or, maybe mixtapes are a powerful tool. And, maybe mash-ups are transformative new art that expands the consumers experience and doesn't compete with what an artist has made available on iTunes or at the CD store. And, I don't think Sir Paul asked for permission to borrow that bass line, but every time I listen to that song, I'm a little better off for him having done so....""
Windows

+ - Stopping WGA Installation sends data to Microsoft

Submitted by
rev
rev writes "The new WGA Notification installation that can be installed using Windows Update sends data to Microsoft if the user decides to cancel the installation. A cookie is set that could be used to identify the host and information such as version of Windows and WGA as well as language of the operating system are transmitted. Part of the data is encrypted. (read more)"
Microsoft

+ - Windows 2.0 era talk by Bill Gates with 640k

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Back in 1989, Bill Gates came to talk to the students of the University of Waterloo on the early days of Microsoft, and the future of computing. It's an interesting blast to the past, as he touches on topics such as the VGA graphics, OS/2 and software piracy, as well as the now infamous 640K of memory. Lost for nearly two decades, the tape of the talk recently surfaced and is now available in a number of audio formats from the University of Waterloo Computer Science Club."

Asynchronous inputs are at the root of our race problems. -- D. Winker and F. Prosser

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