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Russian teacher fined for MS piracy

A Russian headteacher has been fined half a month's wages after being controversially found guilty of buying school PCs that ran unauthorised copies of Microsoft software. Alexander Ponosov, who was fined $195, plans to appeal following his conviction on Monday at the end of his second trial for software piracy offences. He …
John Leyden, 08 May 2007
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ICO makes school stand in corner over data theft

The ICO has given an Oldham school a stern telling-off after an unencrypted laptop with pupils' details was stolen from a teachers' car. The laptop contained "personal information" relating to 90 pupils at Freehold Community School when it was half-inched from the boot of the corduroy's car, which was parked outside their home …
Joe Fay, 21 Apr 2011
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Scottish council muzzles 9-year-old school dinner photo blogger

A Scottish council has been accused of crushing free speech by banning a nine year old girl from blogging about her school dinners. School Dinner by Glasgow blogger Veg, credit Martha Payne, used with permission Lunch at a primary school in Scotland: The first photo on the NeverSeconds blogpost that prompted a national media …
Anna Leach, 15 Jun 2012
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Does Gove’s webmail policy breach Data Protection Act too?

Does the use of Gmail or Hotmail by a Minister's Private Office (in order to evade Freedom of Information (FOI) obligations) also lead to breaches in the Data Protection Act? Well, I can see how this could be the case. The press has raised this issue only in the context of FOI. Yesterday's Sunday Times, for example, noted that …
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'People should be free from Peeping Toms' snapping pics of them!

This was the week when a top US senator laid down the law with Google and Apple over their Maps apps. Or actually, he didn't, he just laid down his suggestion that maybe having "military-grade spy planes" flying around snapping pics of the whole world was less than desirable. He thundered: Barbecuing or sunbathing in your …
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NSPCC blurs lines as vetting debate kicks off

As debate on the future of the Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) gets under way, the NSPCC is demanding the right for authorities to carry on hiring and firing on the basis of uncorroborated "soft information" about employees. In a statement issued today, the charity further muddies the water by blurring the distinction between …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 01 Mar 2011
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ICO makes mincemeat of nativity data protection piffle

The Information Commissioner’s Office (pdf) is sending a seasonal note to schools to reiterate that parents taking pics of their offspring kitted out as angels or shepherds is not a Data Protection matter. Meanwhile, Leicester police - previously castigated as bearers of bad tidings - have declared goodwill to all men bearing …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 09 Dec 2010
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Headteachers slam 'disproportionate' vetting database

Yet more bad news for the government’s vetting and barring scheme, which went live in October of this year. Head teachers today condemned it as bureaucratic and unlikely to guarantee the safety of those it is meant to protect. Meanwhile, claims that the scheme is the best solution on offer due to extensive and carefully thought- …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 11 Dec 2009

RM boss says school's out forever

RM yesterday announced that its head teacher honcho has resigned after more than 25 years with the computer supplier. The firm, which specialises in software, services and systems for the UK education market, said that chief executive Tim Pearson will step down from his role to be replaced by current group managing director …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Jun 2008
Handcuffs

US school cheat hack suspect faces 38 years jail

A pair of US teens are looking at an extended spell behind bars over accusations they hacked into school computers to change their grades. Omar Khan, 18, a student at Tesoro High School in Orange County, California, allegedly changed failing grades to As for himself and others using the purloined login credentials of teachers. …
John Leyden, 19 Jun 2008
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Tory twit accused of touting shanghaied tot shots

Tory incumbent David Tredinnick has angered parents and constituents in Bosworth and Hinckley for allegedly using photos of their children in campaign literature without permission or acknowledgment. In a move that might in other circumstances have had police beating down his door, it is alleged that Tredinnick’s companion …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 06 May 2010
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Homework late? Blame Russian hackers

Teachers are increasingly subjected to tech-based tall tales from students who've failed to get their act together in the homework department, the Telegraph reports. Long-suffering Brit teachers are now apparently offered 15 different yarns a week, with many kids trying to "pull the wool over teachers' eyes by blaming modern …
Lester Haines, 19 Nov 2008
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Norfolk town's schools first to be heated by burning cattle

A "trailblazing" Norfolk town has begun heating many of its buildings - including the schools - by burning oil made from melted-down cow and pig carcasses. The strategy is described as "equal or lower in carbon footprint than natural gas". News of the 12-month biofuelled heating trial comes courtesy of the University of East …
Lewis Page, 10 Feb 2009
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How gov scapegoats systems for man-made errors

If you want to understand what is wrong with public policy when it comes to IT in the UK, look no further than the recent tragic case of the letter sent by a school to the parents of dead schoolgirl Megan Gillan, demanding that she improve her attendance. It was one of those bleak and bitter accidents that inevitably occur from …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 03 Apr 2009
Mortar board

Schools chief pushes Big Brother out of dinner line

The government has told head teachers to lighten up after one British school told children in the dinner queue that if they didn't give their fingerprints they wouldn't get any food. The Department for Education and Skills said this week in a statement to the BBC Radio 4 Programme You and Yours that schools who refused school …
Mark Ballard, 04 Oct 2007
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Ireland pounces on school fingerprinters

The Irish Information Commissioner's Office has come down on the notion of school fingerprinting and taken early action to prevent the technology being deployed arbitrarily. It has told the first handful of Irish schools known to be establishing biometric systems that they ought to have a good reason for doing so and has said …
Mark Ballard, 23 Mar 2007

Novo Minoru - the world's first 3D webcam

Big-name film directors Steven Spielberg and James Cameron seem to think that 3D is the future of the film industry. Sky predicts that it'll be broadcasting programmes in 3D within just a few years. And now you can get in on the act as well, thanks to Minoru – the world’s first 3D webcam. Yes, you do have to wear silly cardboard …
Cliff Joseph, 30 Dec 2008
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Should iPods carry health warnings?

An Australian head teacher has banned pupils from bringing their iPods into school, because they encourage social isolation. "People were not tuning into other people because they're tuned into themselves," she told the Sydney Morning Herald. As we noted this week, all kinds of fascinating social possibilities elude the iPodder …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Mar 2005
The Register breaking news

One copy of Windows for 200 PCs?

No wonder Microsoft is keen to do something about UK schools ripping them off, if the experience of one Register reader is typical of what goes on. The software giant is sending a guide to software theft to every head teacher in a bid to educate them on the issues involved. A survey, carried out for Microsoft by the British …
Andrew Thomas, 12 Sep 2000
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Boy tries to infect school with 256 viruses

A 15-old-youth who tried to infect his school's IT network with 256 viruses is now allegedly making claims that he wrote the "Love Bug". Bruce Summers, the IT officer at Hathershaw Community High School, said the boy is bragging to school mates that he was the creator of the Love Bug virus. However, the authorities would be …
Tim Richardson, 15 May 2000
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Paedo ring sysadmins jailed for 11 years

Two British men yesterday began prison sentences totalling 11 years and three months for their involvement in a sophisticated paedophile ring. Simon Chan, a 27 year-old IT engineer from Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey, was sentenced to a total of five and half years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute indecent …
John Leyden, 15 May 2003
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Computers cripple kids

Children spending prolonged amounts of time on computers are putting their health at risk, according to researchers. They claim thousands of children have already developed medical problems associated with operating computers. And this time it isn't the ever-present evil of radiation that is being highlighted, but bad posture …
Lucy Sherriff, 27 Nov 2000
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Red Hat powers new Millennium school

Here's a way to stamp out rampant software piracy in British schools -- move over to Linux. It's easier, of course, when you're opening up on a greenfield site, like Red Hat Linux adopter Parrs Wood High School, the first school in Britain to be opened in the 21st Century. Based in Manchester, Parrs Wood is also the first school …
Drew Cullen, 12 Jan 2000
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Info Commissioner: Too late to stop school fingerprinting

So many schools are taking the fingerprints of their pupils that it's too late to do anything about it, according to the Information Commissioner. Yet the privacy guardian hasn't a clue just how many schools are taking children's fingerprints when they take registration, issue books from the library, or dish food out in the …
Mark Ballard, 17 Jan 2007