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Education

Submission + - University of Florida proposes elimination of Computer Science (wordpress.com)

nastav writes: The Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Florida has proposed eliminating all graduate and research activity from it's Computer and Information Sciences department (CISE), moving the Computer Engineering degree programs, BS, MS and PhD, to the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Dept. Roughly half of the faulty would be offered the opportunity to move to the ECE, Biomedical Engineering (BME) or Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) departments. Further, the proposal will eliminate all support staff in CISE including Teaching Assistantships. The TA duties are being reassigned to faculty remaining in CISE, who will focus exclusively on teaching and advising students.

The primary motivation for this plan is stated as an attempt to reduce about $4M from the College of Engineering's budget.

Students, faculty, as well as alumni are responding to this proposal with consternation, and are attempting to dissuade a plan that amounts to a de-facto dismantling of Computer Science as a first-class discipline at the University of Florida.

Links:

Dean's proposal: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/72753329/Budget%20Cut%20Plan%202012.pdf

Change.org petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/dean-abernathy-college-of-engineering-university-of-florida-do-not-destroy-the-cise-department

Submission + - Hotfile Sues WB for Copyright Fraud and Abuse (torrentfreak.com)

schwit1 writes: The Florida-based file-hosting service Hotfile has sued Warner Bros. for fraud and abuse. Hotfile accuses the movie studio of systematically abusing its anti-piracy tool by taking down hundreds of titles they don'tt hold the copyrights to, including open source software. Among other things, Hotfile is looking for damages to compensate the company for the losses they suffered.

Earlier this year five major Hollywood movie studios sued file-hosting service Hotfile for several copyright-related offenses. The case is ongoing and two weeks ago the MPAA studios scored a victory when Hotfile was ordered to share detailed information on the site's users and affiliates.

Hotfile, on the other hand, is fighting back hard as expected. Yesterday the company filed a counterclaim accusing movie studio Warner Bros. of fraud and abuse. According to the complaint, Warner systematically misused the anti-piracy takedown tool (SRA) Hotfile had built for them.

Submission + - The Food and Drug Terror Headache is Hardly Over (motherboard.tv)

CoveredTrax writes: "To coincide with today's Senate subcommittee hearing on agro-defense and new reporting that the Department of Defense's food anti-terror plans are costly, unwieldy and otherwise fractured, Motherboard takes an in-depth look at the 1982 Chicago Tylenol killings, far and away the most chilling act of American terror you've never heard of."
Social Networks

Submission + - UK Man Jailed for Trolling (bbc.co.uk)

punkedmonkey writes: ""A Berkshire man has been jailed for posting abusive messages online about a schoolgirl after she committed suicide.
Sean Duffy, 25, of Reading, was handed an 18-week sentence for posts on social networking sites about Worcester teenager Natasha MacBryde.

The charges related to Facebook and YouTube posts about Miss MacBryde, 15, who Duffy had never met.""

The Courts

Submission + - Man jailed for trolling (bbc.co.uk) 1

Xest writes: A man in the UK has been jailed for just over 4 months for trolling, and has also been given an order banning him from using social networking sites for 5 years. The trolling in question involved insulting a person who committed suicide by jumping in front a train by posting offensive remarks on a page dedicated to her memory, and creating a YouTube parody of Thomas the Tank with the deceased girls face in place of Thomas'.

Is it about time trolling to this extent saw this kind of punishment, or is this punishment simply too harsh for someone who perhaps didn't realise how seriously his actions would be taken by the authorities?

Facebook

Submission + - SPAM: Dell, HP Loses Orders as Do-It-Yourself Servers Ga

suraj.sun writes: Dell, HP Loses Orders as Do-It-Yourself Servers Gain:

When Facebook set out to build two new data centers, engineers couldn't find the server computers they wanted from Dell or HP, they decided to build their own. "We weren’t able to get exactly what we wanted," Frank Frankovsky, Facebook's director of hardware design, said at a conference on data-center technology last month.

Dell, HP and companies that sell the computers off the shelf are losing sales in a key market as Google, Facebook and Microsoft have designed servers that contain the minimum amount of components required for their specific task. Facebook's servers, for example, have custom power supplies and circuit boards in sheet-metal enclosures designed to maximize airflow with the minimum number of fans. Those and other tweaks — combined with a specially designed facility — boosted efficiency by 38 percent and reduced the cost of building a data center in Oregon by 24 percent, according to the company.

Bloomberg: [spam URL stripped]

Link to Original Source
Microsoft

Submission + - OOXML - where is it today?

Raul654 writes: Back in 2007/2008, Microsoft used a boatload of dirty tricks to ram its nascent OOXML document standard through the ISO. The ISO approved the standard in two forms — strict (which was to be a clean, fully-open standard), and transitional (which included more than 1,400 pages of legacy support, effectively rendering it unimplementable). At the time it was approved, Microsoft made a series of promises, including a promise that future versions off Microsoft Office would fully support OOXML strict, not create OOXML transitional documents, and that Microsoft would work with ISO the committee to fix more than 3,000 known errors in the standard. In April 2010, Alex Brown, who supervised OOXML's ISO approval process, posted in his blog that Microsoft had broken all of its promises — it was no longer working to refine the standard and had decided to continue the use of OOXML transitional in the next version of its Office Suite. That was more than a year ago. What's the status of OOXML today?
Iphone

Submission + - Michigan: Police Search Cell Phones During Traffic (thenewspaper.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: The Michigan State Police have a high-tech mobile forensics device that can be used to extract information from cell phones belonging to motorists stopped for minor traffic violations. A US Department of Justice test of the CelleBrite UFED used by Michigan police found the device could grab all of the photos and video off of an iPhone within one-and-a-half minutes. The device works with 3000 different phone models and can even defeat password protections.
Piracy

Submission + - Where can I buy ROMs? 1

PktLoss writes: "I'm interested in building an arcade machine, following the footsteps of Cmdr Taco amongst many others. Not being all that interested in piracy, I need to find somewhere to buy games. Starroms used to be the kind of thing I was looking for, though with an incredibly short catalog. The MAME people have a few available for free (non-commercial), but this isn't going to sate my needs.

There's an entire cottage industry supporting this goal. People are ready to sell me plans, kits, buttons, joy sticks, glass marquees, and entire machines. That's fantastic, but where can I get the games? I refuse to believe that this entire industry is built on piracy."
Hardware

Submission + - Jelly batteries (bbc.co.uk)

TENxOXR writes: BBC News website is reporting that a team of researchers at the University of Leeds have developed a polymer jelly that could replace the volatile and hazardous liquid electrolyte currently used in most lithium batteries. They hope that their development leads to smaller, cheaper and safer gadgets.

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