SmartClassroom :: Wednesday, August 30, 2006

News & Product Updates

Microsoft Patches Bad Patch

Microsoft reissued a critical security update for its Internet Explorer browser that “fully resolves” a security bug that was introduced with the original update on August 8. The company acknowledged that there were problems with the update soon after it was issued. Web sites that used HTTP 1.1 compression to speed up the downloading of images could cause the browser to fail, and users of Web-based applications such as PeopleSoft, Siebel, and Sage CRM had problems with the software.

The issue d'es not affect users of Microsoft's latest Service Pack 2 version of Windows XP, but users of IE 6 Service Pack 1 on Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 and Windows XP Service Pack 1 are affected...

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CMU Team Bury Ancient Mystery in Programming Contest

A team of three comp-sci doctoral students and one undergraduate at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) worked six months to create a mystery-shrouded entry for the ninth annual programming contest of the ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Functional Programming to be held next month Portland, Ore.

For the contest, the students produced a movie-like plot involving a fictional ancient codex or handwritten book and the Rosetta Stone. Participants then had 72 hours to use clues to solve the codex and activate a fictional ancient computer, which in turn was used to help solve eight puzzles. Many teams worked around the clock for three days to solve the puzzles. The winners will be announced at the conference.

CMU’s made-up contest theme was “computational archaeolinguistics” – a fictional narrative developed by programmers Daniel Spoonhower of Rochester, N.Y., Tom Murphy VII of Hamden, Conn., and Daniel Licata of Buffalo, N.Y., all CMU students in the Ph.D. computer science program, along with CMU senior Chris Casinghino of Manchester, N.H...

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Software Glitch Exposes Personal Data for Thousands of Student Loan Borrowers

Officials at the Education Department admitted last week to software glitch that may have exposed the personal data of over 32,000 borrowers of direct student loans. According to Terri S. Shaw, chief operating officer of the department’s Federal Student Aid Office, a software upgrade to the online system for managing loans mixed up the data for different borrowers and allowed some individuals to view others’ personal information. This information included Social Security numbers.

Shaw offered assurance that those affected will be contacted by the department and offered free credit monitoring services by ACS. The department has disabled the malfunctioning parts of the Web program and will not turn them back on until the problem is fixed. During that time, certain portions of the student loan Web site may not be accessed...

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