Monday, March 31, 2008

Honor Among Thieves

From today's Statesman:

University of Texas at San Antonio students wanted to draft an honor code that discouraged cheating and plagiarizing.

Unfortunately, it appears they copied another school's code without proper attribution.

The student in charge of drafting the code said it was an oversight, but cheating experts say it illustrates a sloppiness among Internet-era students who don't cite sources properly and think of their computers as cut-and-paste machines.

Akshay Thusu said he took over the project a month ago and inherited a draft from other students.

He said he discovered that a group of students attended a conference put on by Clemson's Center for Academic Integrity five years ago. Materials from the conference, which are used by many universities, were probably the main source of UT-San Antonio's code, Thusu said.

That's why parts of the draft match word-for-word the online version of Brigham Young University's code.

Brigham Young credited the Center for Academic Integrity, but UT-San Antonio didn't. That will change, said Thusu, who plans to submit a draft with proper citation to the Faculty Senate


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Rule of Law


It appears that Mr Bush got one right and the supreme court overruled him. This is pretty close to a showstopper for me. Man.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Avoid Circuit City

I must have been Texan in a previous life. I can't believe how, on leaving Circuit City after a repulsively foul consumer experience, I mutterred in perfect Texan "That's alright (assaw rat). I'll take it out of their hide (attather had.)" Weird.

So herewith, delivery on my vow. I offer you a strong piece of advice to avoid Circuit City, which essentially will not accept returns of merchandise that does not function as advertised. I won't bore you with the details of my story. If you are foolishly tempted to enter the place, and you aren't within 300 miles of a Fry's, please just go to Best Buy or some small time place instead.

If you won't take my word for it check this story out. Corroboration here, there and everywhere. Treating staff with this sort of contempt apparently leads to staff that treats customers with comparable contempt. Don't let them take it out on you.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Blame Canada

I guess it's not funny anymore.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A Stray Thought for PyCon

So it turns out I actually end up believing that rules and regulations are a good thing, but really, it's just a stray thought, don't read too much into it:
So your brother's bound and gagged
And they chained him to a chair,
Won't you please come to Chicago
Just to sing.
In a land that's known as freedom,
How can such a thing be fair?
Won't you please come to Chicago
For the help that we can bring.

We can change the World.
Rearrange the World.
It's dying
to get better.

Politicians sit yourselves down,
There's nothing for you here.
Won't you please come to Chicago
For a ride.
Don't ask Jack to help you
Cause he'll turn the other ear.
Won't you please come to Chicago
Or else join the other side.

We can change / yes we can change the World.
Rearrange / rearrange the World.
It's dying / do you believe in justice?
It's dying / and if you believe in freedom.
It's dying / Let a man live his own life.
It's dying / Rules and regulations who needs them?
Open up the door.

Somehow people must be free,
I hope the day comes soon.
Won't you please come to Chicago,
To show your face.
From the bottom of the ocean
To the mountains of the Moon.
Won't you please come to Chicago
No one else can take your place.

We can change / yes we can change the World.
Rearrange / rearrange the World.
It's dying / If you believe in justice.
It's dying / and if you believe in freedom.
It's dying / Let a man live his own life.
It's dying / Rules and regulations, who needs them?
Open up the door.

OLPC grumble

Won't have one before PyCon for sure.

Dear Michael,

Please accept my apologies for the delay in receiving your XO laptop. Give
One Get One was such a phenomenal success that we over-taxed our order
processing, and payment systems. Demand exceeded supply.

Additional XO laptops are being built now, and will be delivered in April.

One Laptop Per Child
Donor Services

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Tobis []
Sent: Monday, March 03, 2008 12:05 PM
To: Support

I have been in the following status for more than two weeks.

"Your donation is ready to be shipped and is in our shipping queue.
Please check back with us every few days for updates If you have
received this same response after several days (2 weeks or more)
please contact Donor Services to verify your shipping information."

I am pretty frustrated. Hoped to have mine in hand months ago.

Please ship to ...

Update: It finally arrived at the older shipping address, about two weeks before it would have been impossible for me to retrieve it from there. It was on my desk on my return from PyCon. All's well that ends well, I guess. Now the problem is figuring out what to do with it.