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200 Students Admit Cheating After Professor's Online Rant 693

Over 200 University of Central Florida students admitted to cheating on a midterm exam after their professor figured out at least a third of his class had cheated. In a lecture posted on YouTube, Professor Richard Quinn told the students that he had done a statistical analysis of the grades and was using other methods to identify the cheats, but instead of turning the list over to the university authorities he offered the following deal: "I don't want to have to explain to your parents why you didn't graduate, so I went to the Dean and I made a deal. The deal is you can either wait it out and hope that we don't identify you, or you can identify yourself to your lab instructor and you can complete the rest of the course and the grade you get in the course is the grade you earned in the course."

DRM vs. Unfinished Games 462

Rod Cousens is the CEO of Codemasters, and he recently spoke with CVG about how he thinks DRM is the wrong way to fight piracy. Instead, he suggests that the games industry increase its reliance on downloadable content and microtransactions. Quoting: "The video games industry has to learn to operate in a different way. My answer is for us as publishers to actually sell unfinished games — and to offer the consumer multiple micro-payments to buy elements of the full experience. That would create an offering that is affordable at retail — but over a period of time may also generate more revenue for the publishers to reinvest in our games. If these games are pirated, those who get their hands on them won't be able to complete the experience. There will be technology, coding aspects, that will come to bear that will unlock some aspects. Some people will want them and some won't. When it comes to piracy, I think you have to make the experience the answer to the issue — rather than respond the other way round and risk damaging that experience for the user."

The Big Technical Mistakes of History 244

An anonymous reader tips a PC Authority review of some of the biggest technical goofs of all time. "As any computer programmer will tell you, some of the most confusing and complex issues can stem from the simplest of errors. This article looking back at history's big technical mistakes includes some interesting trivia, such as NASA's failure to convert measurements to metric, resulting in the Mars Climate Orbiter being torn apart by the Martian atmosphere. Then there is the infamous Intel Pentium floating point fiasco, which cost the company $450m in direct costs, a battering on the world's stock exchanges, and a huge black mark on its reputation. Also on the list is Iridium, the global satellite phone network that promised to make phones work anywhere on the planet, but required 77 satellites to be launched into space."

Comment Re:Very tempted to get this (Score 1) 451

I've had subscriptions to three newspapers on the Kindle, and they are all a bit different. All share the common feature of the front section having headlines and the first three or four lines of the article. What I do is move back and forth between this section and the articles (using the Back button to return to where I left off in the front section). At the front of each article is a next article link, so it's also very easy to just jump from one article to the next after the first paragraph. The New York Times has pictures, the L.A. Times doesn't, so that is a consideration. Also, they don't send the comics or the crossword puzzles, so you'll miss those. Right now I have about three months of the L.A. Times on my Kindle (I deleted older papers manually, but theoretically they should be available forever once downloaded), and the search feature is pretty quick. I can search through every book and newspaper on my Kindle in about a minute. Topher

Comment Re:Very tempted to get this (Score 2, Interesting) 451

No argument there. My main reason for getting the Kindle was newspaper access (I really like being able to wake up to my L.A. Times in Chattanooga) and not proprietary eBook reading. I would really like to be able to share the proprietary books with friends (currently I can only share with my significant other's Kindle), but it hasn't been a show-stopper for me.

Submission + - Robotic Ecologies

Roland Piquepaille writes: "The University of Virginia (UVA) School of Architecture has started a new program about 'robotic ecologies' which wants to answer the question: Will robots take over architecture? As said the program leader, 'This research is not just about architectural machines that move. It is about groups of architectural machines that move with intelligence.' Apparently, buildings tracking our movements and adapting their shape or texture according human presence are not far fetched. Maybe one day, we'll talk to our homes and they'll answer... Read more for additional details and a picture of Super Galaxy, 'a high-rise apartment complex that's constantly in motion and responds to the needs of its inhabitants.'"

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PL/I -- "the fatal disease" -- belongs more to the problem set than to the solution set. -- Edsger W. Dijkstra, SIGPLAN Notices, Volume 17, Number 5