All posts by Simmi Aujla

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‘I Still Want to Stab a Certain Someone,’ and Other Ideas Not to Post on Facebook

Turns out social media, romantic relationships, and mortuary science don’t mix.

A student at the University of Minnesota, smarting from recently getting dumped, wrote on Facebook that she wanted to stab her former man in the throat with a trocar, a tool used to drain dead bodies. When she showed up at mortuary-science class on December 14, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, campus police officers questioned her about the post and banned her from campus while they investigated. The police…

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Hacker Breaks Into Community-College Server Containing Personal Info of 51,000

A hacker broke into a computer server at the North Carolina Community College System, gaining access to the personal information of 51,000 people, the Asheville Citizen-Times reported on Thursday. The breach occurred at a library server in Raleigh, North Carolina, in August. System officials say the server contains driver’s license and Social Security information used to track library materials at 46 community-college libraries.

Administrators say no information seems to have been taken, though …

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France Pledges $1.1-Billion to Digitize Archives

France will spend $1.1-billion on digitizing its archives, President Nicolas Sarkozy announced on Monday, in an effort to maintain control over its literary history. But the investment doesn’t mean France is dismissing collaborating with Google, The New York Times reported.

An announcement earlier this year that the French government was working with Google to digitize its history angered the French publishing community and raised questions about entrusting its culture to an American company.

“W…

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Business-Backed Group Tells Colleges to Follow For-Profit Model When It Comes to Teaching

A new report from a business-financed public-policy organization says that traditional colleges and universities can learn from for-profit colleges’ approach to teaching.

The Committee for Economic Development’s new report makes recommendations for how the government, colleges, and universities should encourage online education. One of its chapters, titled “Lessons From For-Profit Institutions of Higher Education,” summarizes the strengths of for-profit colleges’ teaching methods.

For example, t…

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Police Officers Set Up Facebook Account to Catch Underage Drinkers

This fall, 20-year-old Tyrell Luebker made two mistakes on Facebook. He posted pictures of himself drinking beer with his friends in an album titled “Not Sober Fest.” And he confirmed a friend request from an attractive young lady named Jenny Anderson. He assumed he had met her at a party.

In November, Mr. Luebker, a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, found himself in an interview room in the city’s police department, staring at printouts of the pictures he had posted and ans…

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Amazon.com Starts Textbook Trade-In Program

Amazon.com today announced a new textbook trade-in program, which gives students Amazon gift cards if they mail in their used books. The move poses a major challenge to college bookstores, which have long been the main site of book trade-ins for many students.

Amazon says the program will give students good prices for their books and help them avoid the hassle of waiting in line to trade them in at a campus bookstore. Amazon already has trade-in programs for DVD’s and video games, which the comp…

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George Washington U. Experiments With Robotic Book Digitization

Centuries ago, the best way to reproduce a book was to have a monk in a monastery sit down and rewrite the original, word for word.

These days, digitizing one of those ancient texts can seem almost as laborious: It can take hours upon hours of human work to scan just one volume. So George Washington University is now trying to figure out if an automated digitization system will take less time, and cost less per page, than a manual one.

The university announced Tuesday that it will use an automat…

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New Mobile Site Makes Coffee Breaks More Efficient

In its latest victory over inefficiency, mobile technology is making coffee breaks quicker for some students at North Carolina State University.

The university’s library staff has created a new Web site that lets students with mobile phones decide whether to sneak off for a coffee break by watching a live video stream of the main library’s café. Users of the site can also browse a catalog of library materials and search for available public computers.

In the future, students will also be able to…

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Too Much Reading? Try Listening Instead

For most college students, there’s so much reading, and so little time.

California State University-Dominguez Hills is trying to make students’ lives easier by turning some of that reading into listening. About a year ago, a library administrator was tinkering with text-enlarging software, which makes it easier for visually impaired students to read. She found that the software could also turn text into sound, and thought it would make sense to make the program available to all students.

Sevente…

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Stanford Doctoral Students Can Now Submit Dissertations Online

Doctoral students spend years on their dissertations. Too bad the results of their hard work often end up in a cardboard box in a dark corner of a library.

Now Stanford University doctoral students will be able to store their dissertations in a digital repository instead of submitting several bound paper copies to the university, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The university has also reached an agreement with Google, which will serve as a third-party distributor, meaning users of the searc…