It's a private network. They have the right to set the rules for it. If they think that you have illegal obtained material on your hard drive and want you to remove it and verify its removal you've got a choice to comply or they'll just blacklist your MAC address. Even though none of the major ISPs take this position, they have the right to do so because in the end it's their network. The lawyers weren't incompetent at all, though I'm sure you could make a very successful argument of them being over reaching. Is it bad policy? Probably... A better way to handle it would have been something along the lines of a strike or demerit system. If you get three strikes or x number of demerits you're blacklisted. With all that being said, it would have been painfully easy to bypass any attempt for the University to track any illegal downloading although VPNs weren't as common as a commodity as they are now.
Which is why I mentioned IT Direction in name only. OP thinks it's by court order but in actuality it's preventative.
I'm just going out on a limb, but I think this person may be an IT Director in name only. It would be more logical that if they're providing network access to have some sort of content filtering system to avoid any prospects of nasty litigation. It's their right as the network provider to do so, and not an uncommon practice at all.
It's not labeled a service pack though. Whats it matter anyways? 8.x is a total joke. Microsoft is either going to fix it with this update and everyone will be happy or nothing will change.
After Civ V's horrific performance, They better pick up their game. I'll have to wait until after it releases to decide to purchase it.
Choosing a distro is much like choosing your future wife. There are many factors that you'll need to consider. Mainly length of upstream support, familiarity with the system tools, applications needing to be fulfilled, etc... There is no right distro, but once you deploy one in a commercial environment you're stuck with it. So do your research and make your decision carefully. I personally don't like Ubuntu based distros but they do have their own pros, mainly that there's tons of documentation on them. If you're only doing office productivity tasks, it's hard to beat CentOS. It's free, rock solid, has great long term upstream support. It'll run just fine on your old machines. You can greatly expand the software possibilities using EPEL and other repositories. The system tools, while dated compared to more recent distros still work great.
http://www.datacenterknowledge... It's been done before.