Four short links: 26 March 2012

Aussies Dump Huawei, History of Information, Corner Vision, and Questioning Higher Ed Effectiveness

  1. Australian NSA Forces National Broadband Network to Dump Huawei — Australia’s government security organization knocked Huawei out of the eligible bidding list. “It’s the exact area where we have been the sole supplier in the United Kingdom for the past six years,” Huawei’s director of corporate and ­public affairs, Jeremy Mitchell, told the Financial Review. Governments ask themselves how to be assured of information security when routers, firewalls, etc. are made in countries that have fostered attacks against other states and corporations.
  2. From Cave Paintings to the Internet — a timeline of many (many) milestones in the history of information.
  3. How to See Around Corners (Nature) — love the production of the demo video, but interesting to see how computation is becoming integral to vision apps. (via Ed Yong)
  4. Are Undergraduates Actually Learning Anything? (Chronicle of Higher Ed) — Growing numbers of students are sent to college at increasingly higher costs, but for a large proportion of them the gains in critical thinking, complex reasoning, and written communication are either exceedingly small or empirically nonexistent. At least 45 percent of students in our sample did not demonstrate any statistically significant improvement in Collegiate Learning Assessment [CLA] performance during the first two years of college. [Further study has indicated that 36 percent of students did not show any significant improvement over four years.] Why your graduate intake feels disappointing: it is. (via Counterpunch)
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  • I only see three links. Is O’Reilly in austerity mode?

  • @Michael H: Must be that the Aussie NSA took out the fourth one.

  • Nah, a filter for those undergrads in item 3.

  • Matt

    DSD (Defence Signals Directorate) is the Aussie equivalent to NSA.

    ASIO seems to be more analogous to the FBI, but mostly counterintelligence-focused.

  • Jeff H.

    A fourth link has appeared. And it’s already moved up to second place. Impressive!

  • Rich

    My experience with working at universities and doing some college course teaching is that many students were there to primarily to accumulate a credential. In fact, that is what many schools of higher learning are effectively “selling” nowadays. There often seemed to be a real disconnect between the act of learning and simply taking courses to finally accumulate enough credits to get the credential. It was difficult to discern whether much real learning was actually going on. It was the rare student who was truly engaged. The formalized and often rigid lecture structure and large class sizes certainly didn’t help.