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Comment Re:One more reason that such systems make no sense (Score 1) 308

Here in the UK Oxford and Cambridge have entrance exams, and some courses at other universities will require applicants to sit an entrance exam or submit an assignment to gain entrance. These are in addition to the exams sat at the end of secondary education and, certainly in the case of Oxford and Cambridge, owe more to tradition than to any serious requirement for additional assessment.

Comment Re:One more reason that such systems make no sense (Score 1) 308

Here in the UK there are national exams at the end of secondary school (A-Levels in England and Wales, Highers (IIRC) in Scotland) that are set and assessed by national bodies independently of the schools. Papers are graded by independent examiners, usually in a double-blind assessment. In some subjects these do include course work assessment by the teachers but each year work from a random sample of students are audited to check that the grading by the teacher is in line with national standards. Teachers who tend to grade too high or too low are given feedback (usually copied to their head of department and head teacher) and the work regraded. The size of the sample will depend on the length of experience and how good the teacher has been in past years so experienced teachers who are usually very close will have only a small sample audited but new teachers or teachers who have a record of being off the mark may find every assignment they graded being audited. Similarly a sample of the independently assessed papers are audited.

Comment Re:CEOs are overrated (Score 2) 692

It should also be noted that the 'iconic' white ear buds soon made the iPod users an identifiable target for muggers, pick pockets and other thieves who figured why mug someone for what may be a £20 MP3 player with zero trade in value when you can mug someone advertising that they have a £399 iPod that can be traded in for £120 at many high street and backstreet vendors of second hand electronics. As a result many iPod users switched from the 'iconic' white ear buds to more ubiquitous headphones.

Comment Re:Despite all of the complaining about it... (Score 1) 627

I've seen it happen. On the payroll server. The morning of the day the monthly payroll for about 20,000 staff was to be run (he was supposed to be clearing out the /tmp filesystem so the server wouldn't run out of space for the tempfiles the payroll system would create as it ran but not clear up after itself).

Submission + - Breastfeeding Censorship on Myspace

rogue0208 writes: " ml

MySpace allows pictures of scantily clad women across its site. MySpace also allows images of children in barely there clothes to grace its pages. However, they've been deleting images of women breastfeeding their children. Why? Because they consider it be indecent. Breastfeeding is allowed by law in any public place that a woman is allowed to be in. If every state allows a woman to breastfeed in public without a law being broken, then why does Myspace have an issue with it? Please sign the petition to let MySpace know that what they are doing is censorship."

Submission + - First vulnerability in Vista's Windows Mail

An anonymous reader writes: Clicking on a link in an email can be enough to launch a program on you local machine — at least if you are using Windows Mail on Vista. For this to work there must be a folder with the same name like the executable file though. The discoveror of this problem, a hacker called Kingcope, points to winrm and migwiz, heise Security was able to launch the calculator after creating a folder called calc. So while this is not a big deal by itself, it makes you wonder, what else is lurking beyond the surface of the sucessor to Outlook Express.

Submission + - RFID Driver's Licenses Instead of Passports

tverbeek writes: Good news and bad news on the RFID privacy front. The good news is that U.S. citizens may not need to carry an RFID-embedded passport just to cross the border with Canada. The bad news is that the driver's license you carry with you nearly everywhere would be embedded with an RFID chip instead. That's the scenario that's going to be tested in the state of Washington as a pilot program starting in January 2008, according to an article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer . Washington is anticipating loads of border-crossing traffic for the 2010 Olympics in adjacent Vancouver BC, shortly after the federal passport requirement goes into effect in June 2009. The "enhanced" licenses would require applicants to submit to an in-person interview and show proof of citizenship to get one.

Submission + - BBC's download plans approved

An anonymous reader writes: The BBC reports that following approval from the BBC Trust (an independent oversight body) they are now allowed to release their "iPlayer", enabling the download and viewing of BBC owned content such as Doctor Who. Unfortunately the Trust also mandated the use of DRM to enforce a 30 day playable period, and exempted classical music performances from being made available. There will now be a 2 month consultation period. According to one of the trustees, the Trust "could still change its mind if there was a public outcry and it was backed up by evidence".

Submission + - Google loses "Gmail" in Europe

Hippie Hippie Shake writes: Google has just lost the right to use the name "Gmail" in Europe, according to the EU. From the article: "Daniel Giersch, a German-born 32-year old entrepreneur, has just announced that his company received a positive ruling last week from the Harmonization Office supporting his claim that "Gmail" and his own "G-mail" are confusingly similar. G-mail is a German service that provides a "" email address, but also allows for a sort of "hybrid mail" system in which documents can be sent electronically, printed out by the company, and delivered in paper format to local addresses." It looks like "Google Mail" from here on out, at least in the Old Country.
Your Rights Online

Why You & Yahoo Should Like This Human Rights Law 217

Regular contributor Bennett Haselton has written in to say that "The Global Online Freedom Act, introduced last year during a firestorm of controversy over American companies cooperating with totalitarian governments in China and elsewhere, was introduced this month as the Global Online Freedom Act of 2007. When Chris Smith (R-NJ) first introduced the law in 2006, Yahoo was under fire for recently turning over information to Chinese authorities that led to the arrest of a political dissident, Microsoft was attacked for removing pages from MSN Spaces China at the behest of the government, Google was being criticized for removing political sites from search results displayed to China, and Cisco was accused of helping to enable Chinese filtering of the Web. All four corporations testified at a February 2006 House hearing during which Representative Tom Lantos summed up the mood of many of his colleagues by telling the companies, "I do not understand how your corporate leadership sleeps at night." The companies protested that they had no choice but to comply with local Chinese laws, but that they were troubled by their own actions, and -- in a rarity for individual tech companies, much less for a chorus -- they all invited the U.S. government to play a bigger role, while being vague about what the role should be."

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