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The new batch will join Sainsbury’s second largest tech centre in Manchester and the move follows the addition of 480 digital and IT workers to its centres in London and Coventry.Update The University of Cambridge is due to host a cybersecurity hacking competition between the top UK universities next Saturday (23 April).The hackathon (pdf), which is expected to involve students from 10 UK universities, follows a similar exercise between the University of Cambridge and MIT last month.The latter exercise was promoted by US president Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron.Dr Frank Stajano, reader in security and privacy at the University of Cambridge’s Computer Laboratory, explained that the long term aim of both exercises is to address the skills gap in cybersecurity.There has been a tremendous response from both the institutions and the students, especially when taking into account the very short time scale on which this has been organised (two months), Stajano explained.

Universities down to attend include Imperial College, Queens University Belfast, Royal Holloway, University of London, University College London and University of Oxford, among others.The university hackathon sits alongside wider initiatives such as the UK government’s Cyber Security Challenge in attempting to bridge skills gap in cybersecurity.The difference is in the audience being addressed: the Cyber Security Challenge admits anyone who is not a security professional, Stajano explained. The Inter-ACE only admits candidates who are currently registered students at an ACE-CSR.Practical security exercises – such as the upcoming hackathon – need to be balanced alongside more traditional theoretical fayre in university syllabuses, according to Stajano.As an educator, I believe the role of a university is to teach timeless principles rather than the trick of the day, so I would not think highly of a hacking-oriented course that taught techniques destined to become obsolete in a couple of years, he said. On the other hand, a total disconnect between theory and practice is also wrong.I’ve always introduced my students to lockpicking at the end of my undergraduate security course, both as a metaphor and to underline that practical aspects are also relevant. It has always been enthusiastically received, and has contributed to make more students interested in security, Stajano concluded.

American authors have failed to persuade the US Supreme Court to hear issues raised by the Google book-scanning case.Described as humanity’s last library, Google’s 25 million book archive was almost entirely obtained without permissions from authors and publishers, leading to an epic 11-year legal battle.The decision means a controversial lower court ruling – which defines the reuse of copyright material without permission – is likely to stand. Google didn’t ask for authors’ or publishers’ permission when it began scanning and uploading pages in 2004. It has subsequently put digital copies of 25 million books online. Instead, Google advanced the Greater Good argument, claiming that the ends (more information in public) justified the means – and the US second circuit appeals court agreed.Authors are disturbed by the expansion of the transformation doctrine – the legal defense used to support taking-without-permission so that liability isn’t incurred, which falls under fair use. The doctrine has broadened so much that the copy doesn’t need to be transformed at all, the writers argue, it’s a straight copy from one medium to another. The justification is that Google Books is a search tool, not a direct replacement for visiting a library.

Courts have been forced into this position because the Supreme Court has only given the lower courts one tool in the toolbox, and that tool is the transformative use test. It’s the typical ‘square peg in a round hole’ problem, argues the Copyright Alliance’s Keith Kupferschmid.Courts need another tool in the toolbox – give them a new test – one that more effectively addresses the competing interests of the parties and the goals underlying the Copyright Act.Clarification was needed because the case law doctrine is fundamentally at odds with the statute, experts argued. The judge-made expansion of transformation has swallowed the statutory rule. A huge multinational corporation can make, for its own profit, unauthorized uses of works that you created by making risky, long-term investments of your own human and financial capital, writes Tom Sydnor.Microsoft withdrew from backing a rival book scanning project, the Open Content Alliance, in 2008, thereby handing Google a monopoly. And it’s far from the dream of universally accessible knowledge: only tantalizing snippets remain available, with huge gaps in between, and the project is rife with errors.

Some of which are inadvertently hilarious. Did you know Sigmund Freud was a Mozilla user? Or that Victorian illustrator Aubrey Beardsley was a huge fan of Jimi Hendrix?Supporters of the Google Books project have argued that getting a few snippets, badly catalogued, is better than nothing. It hasn’t destroyed the library or the market for old books.Books that are Out of Print – are a ‘No-opoly’, Richard Sarnoff, the publisher who agreed to a settlement with Google back in 2008 said at the time. They’re inaccessible except to those within physical reach of a particular library. This will create a market for those titles for the first time.But is it the best the internet can do? Twelve years after it started, there is no competitive market for digitized books, which may have given far superior offerings to the public. The public opted for crap but free at the point of delivery, and handed Google a monopoly that it’s unlikely to want to improve.

HPC blog I jumped at the chance to interview supercomputing pioneer Bo Ewald and quantum computing whiz kid Murray Thom a few months ago. Although it’s been in my “vault of lost content” for a while, the video serves as a good primer for quantum computing and its promise.It turns out that there are three broad categories of problem where your best bet is a quantum computer. The first is a Monte Carlo type simulation, the second is machine learning, and the third is optimization problems that would drive a regular computer nuts – or, at least, take a long time for it to process.An example of this type of optimization problem is this: Consider the approximately 2,000 professional hockey players in North America. Your task is to select the very best starting line-up from that roster of guys.There are a lot of variables to consider. First there’s all the individual stats, like how well they score, pass, and defend. But since hockey is a team sport, you also have to consider how well they work when combined with other specific players. When you start adding variables like this, the problem gets exponentially more difficult to solve.But it’s right up the alley of a quantum computer. A D Wave system would consider all of the possible solutions at the same time, then collapse down to the optimal set of player. It’s more complicated than I’m making out, of course, but it’s a good layman-like exampl

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