[opensource] New Web Browser

Brian Swaney swaney.29 at osu.edu
Mon Oct 29 11:40:50 EDT 2007


Respondus will likely stop any hardware (such as your phone) from 
connecting to the computer to take screenshots, and most phones' camera 
resolution will not be high enough to legibly take a picture of the 
computer screen, at least as far as I understand. It does not prevent 
students from working together, or using multiple computers. I brought 
this point up in my article (I think) inquiring if 2 students share a 
dorm in the same class, and then take turns running the browser.

The only way I see of getting out of this is through feedback, or 
perhaps a little grassroots activism. Basically, let the Carmen/OIT 
people know, as well as any and all instructors who may decide to use 
it. Let them know that this new program is both invasive and 
ineffective. On a side note, I really hope they don't expect computer 
science students to use it. Not only for our own sake, but because 
they're going to have a lot of students guilty of "academic misconduct" 
for evading these mechanisms by way of virtualization (my personal 
favorite) when they use Linux and Wine/VMWare/QEMU/Xen to take their 
exams. I complained about this to them, and received a response, 
thanking me for expressing my "unique concerns" and saying to use a lab 
computer if I don't like it, but I suspect it will be different if I'm 
not the only one who resents the idea. I suspect the foreign language 
departments  will be the first to use it, so make sure they know if you 
take their courses, and I'll probably bring it up soon myself.

Thank you for the correction on terminology. I'll have it changed to 
treacherous computing on my article shortly (class coming up in a few 
minutes).


-Brian Swaney


Jim Dinan wrote:
> How will respondus prevent me from using my cell phone while I am taking
> an exam?  Will it keep me from taking screen shots with my digital
> camera or copying down questions on paper?  Will it know if students get
> together to solve the exam and then take it individually or if they
> gather as a group with laptops to take it?  What if I go to the computer
> lab and just use 2 machines, one for the web and one for the exam?
>
> As you've pointed out, this is clearly not a sufficient solution to
> prevent students from cheating.  I'm really sad to hear that you guys
> will have to deal with this lockdown browser junk.  This type of
> misguided draconian measure has no place in fostering a healthy and
> productive learning environment.
>
> Also, rather than DRM, this type of scheme is often called "treacherous
> computing": http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/can-you-trust.html.
> "Treacherous computing" is a general term that refers to any system
> which causes your computer to obey others instead of you.
>
>  ~jim.
>
> Brian Swaney wrote:
>   
>> Ok, I tried sending this directly to the list, but it seems to trip all 
>> of the spam alarms. I'll try linking to a web page this time. The same
>> general message is there. Basically, DRM meets OSU, and out pops this
>> new program.
>>
>> http://www.cse.ohio-state.edu/~swaneybr/lockdown-analysis.html
>>
>> Any comments are welcome.
>>
>> -Brian Swaney
>>     
>
>
>   

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