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Comment Re:Speaking from the other perspective.. (Score 1) 582

All that said, the content industry (e.g. RIAA and MPAA) has made it hard for colleges to run their networks as well. So you can put some of the blame there too.

Incredibly hard. To say that they've forced universities ( at least here in Australia ) to perform witch-hunts regularly is probably putting it lightly. But here, of course, laws are different - and education facilities are not covered by safe harbor.

Comment Re:Speaking from the other perspective.. (Score 1) 582

That's an immense over-reaction, and illustrates the "I pay, give me what i want" attitude which does not score points and makes any sort of discourse adversarial from the get-go. Well done! Gold star for you!

The long and the short of the reality here is - if you, as a student, are asking me to take on your non-academia impacting website filter problem by appealing to my boss to get a change approved ( which then ties *my* name to it, and my boss' too for approving it ) and implemented ( which, may involve out of hours work depending on if such things require it ) then yes, you need to show a little fucking intelligence when it comes to asking me to do it. If you come at me with that attitude then I am going to dismiss your problem and then forget who you are, not because I'm a jerk but because I'm more worried about service delivery for the 12 odd thousand other faculty students that want to Get Stuff Done (tm) and not just those who complain about not getting their internet lulz. If the only reason you've got is "because I said so", then that's just not good enough.

If you come to me saying "The website has been unfairly blocked under the reason pornography, could you check it out?" then I will at least have some sort evidence to back up any sort of claim that the solution that we as IT have in place, may not be appropriately doing its job. If your request is additional to a bunch more that claim there's classification errors going on - I have a strong case to review what's going on and perhaps knock down the paranoia level if there's such a device or bit of software that controls it, or at least try and effect change.

Comment Speaking from the other perspective.. (Score 5, Insightful) 582

As a member of an IT systems admin team for a faculty we've often got specific mandates which services we must restrict, and to what end. What you may also be up against, other than 'unprivileged' access - is politics. Students do Naughty Stuff (tm) - that's just a fact that keeps on proving itself true time and time again. Even if you can speak for you, your friends, or your entire course - I can bet dollars to donuts that there's someone out there trying to do something shifty. Case in point: I was seriously asked to relax the restrictions on banning Steam so a student could "download 10 or 15 gig so i didn't have to do it over dial-up". On-campus living - sure, i can see where restrictions like that may diminish any sort of sanity saving software platform ( Valve fan \o/ ), but I'm not going to open up a faculty network just so you can play games. It's an education facility, not your personal high speed connection to the 'net. If you were a postgraduate student researching something that required access - then by all means get your supervisor to approve your request and I'll be more than happy to make it happen.

That being said - outline a clear case of why you need certain things re-classified and you may have a better case to work with. I am not suggesting that this tactic will work - as there's probably more to the story ( see - plug and play filter lists/software/appliances which remove the need to dedicate an entire FTE to putting classifications on traffic going out ) than you really know, but it will certainly stop you from seeming like a whinging student and more like an intellectual who is using sound reasoning. Hell - if you are able to find clear, repeated examples of wrongful clasification of websites, you may be able to enact a reconsideration of what's being used to deny you access or relax the level in which things are blocked.

Of course, they might not care. Who knows?

Announcements Self-Slashdotted 388 was unreachable for about 75 minutes this evening. Here is the post-mortem from Sourceforge's chief network engineer Uriah Welcome. "What we had was indeed a DoS, however it was not externally originating. At 8:55 PM EST I received a call saying things were horked, at the same time I had also noticed things were not happy. After fighting with our external management servers to login I finally was able to get in and start looking at traffic. What I saw was a massive amount of traffic going across the core switches; by massive I mean 40 Gbit/sec. After further investigation, I was able to eliminate anything outside our network as the cause, as the incoming ports from Savvis showed very little traffic. So I started poking around on the internal switch ports. While I was doing that I kept having timeouts and problems with the core switches. After looking at the logs on each of the core switches they were complaining about being out of CPU, the error message was actually something to do with multicast. As a precautionary measure I rebooted each core just to make sure it wasn't anything silly. After the cores came back online they instantly went back to 100% fabric CPU usage and started shedding connections again. So slowly I started going through all the switch ports on the cores, trying to isolate where the traffic was originating. The problem was all the cabinet switches were showing 10 Gbit/sec of traffic, making it very hard to isolate. Through the process of elimination I was finally able to isolate the problem down to a pair of switches... After shutting the downlink ports to those switches off, the network recovered and everything came back. I fully believe the switches in that cabinet are still sitting there attempting to send 20Gbit/sec of traffic out trying to do something — I just don't know what yet. Luckily we don't have any machines deployed on [that row in that cabinet] yet so no machines are offline. The network came back up around 10:10 PM EST."
Role Playing (Games)

How Gamers View Their MMOs 132

GamerDNA is trying out what they call their Discovery Engine, a system that uses metadata from users to classify games and identify which have similar traits. Massively describes it thus: "Once the gamerDNA community continues to contribute to something like this, it builds up an enormous database of terminology based on actual player knowledge, not just shiny PR words thrown together to promote a game. These search terms can end up being unique to a specific genre, and ultimately lead gamers to exactly the types of games they're looking for." GamerDNA tested the system out on some of the popular MMOs, and they've posted the results. They look at how MMO players identify themselves within the game, how they describe the setting, and what basic descriptive phrases they use in reference to the games.

Submission + - Facebook spyware worse than previously thought? 1

An anonymous reader writes: Further developments in the Facebook Beacon affair... According to PC World, a Computer Associates researcher claims that Beacon, when installed on participating sites, is sending data about users' activity back to Facebook, even when a user is logged out of Facebook — despite Facebook's claims to the contrary.
The Media

Submission + - Capitol Records must pay DebbieFoster's Legal Fees

TechForensics writes: "From a Wired article at 21454284, it seems that the RIAA has finally bitten the big one in its headlong and heedless push to crush the life out of the meaning of our copyright laws: Capitol records has been ordered to PAY ATTORNEYS' FEES to Debbie Foster for refusing to relinquish its "untried and untested" theory of vicarious copyright liability, nameley, that a householder is on the hook for infringements conducted from the household, regardless of who may have performed them. Is this the beginning of the end of **AA brutality?"

Obama Announces for President, Boosts Broadband 846

Arlen writes "As many as 17,000 people (according to police estimates) watched Senator Barack Obama officially announce his candidacy for President in Springfield, Illinois today. He mentioned several things that will interest readers of Slashdot. The Senator said he wanted to free America from 'the tyranny of oil' and went on to promote alternative energy sources such as ethanol — a popular stance in the Midwest where he announced, because of all the corn farmers. He also talked about using science and technology to help those with chronic diseases, which is likely to have been an allusion to his staunch support for stem cell research. Perhaps most of interest to readers here is the following statement halfway through Obama's speech: 'Let's invest in scientific research, and let's lay down broadband lines through the heart of inner cities and rural towns all across America. We can do that.' Like nearly everything in his speech, this was met with robust applause from the crowd. You can watch a video of the entire speech at Obama's website."

Journal Journal: Spotlight Upgrades in Leopard 356

Mac OS 10.5 Leopard is set to feature several new enhancements to Spotlight, Apple's desktop search, according to ComputerWorld. These include searching across multiple networked Macs, parental search snooping, server spotlight indexing, boolean search, (sorely needed) better application launching, and quick look previews.
User Journal

Journal SPAM: 'NYT' Reporter Who Got Iraqi WMDs Wrong Now Highlights Iran 3

Saturday's New York Times features an article, posted at the top of its Web site late Friday, that suggests very strongly that Iran is supplying the "deadliest weapon aimed at American troops" in Iraq. The author notes, "Any assertion of an Iranian contribution to attacks on Americans in Iraq is both politically and diplomatically volatile."

What is the source of this volatile information? Nothing less than "civilian and military officials from a broad range of government agencies."


Dell Laptop Burns House Down 405

Nuclear Elephant writes "The Consumerist is running a story about a house burned down by a Dell laptop. 'My 130-year-old former farm house was engulfed in flames, with thick dark smoke pouring out of the windows and roof... Hours later, after investigation the fire marshal investigator took me aside asked me if I had a laptop computer. Yes — I told him I had a Dell Inspiron 1200.' It was determined that the laptop, battery, or cord malfunctioned after its owner left for work, leaving the fire to spread through the entire house. All attempts to contact Dell have failed. 'I have tried to call Dell to at least notify them of my problems, but each time I have called I get transferred into an endless loop of "Joe" or "Alan" all speaking a delectable version of English I presume emanates from Bangalore. I have been outright hung up on each time I get someone who speaks a reasonable version of English, or sounds like they might be in charge of something. Promises of call backs have gone, of course, unreturned.'"

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