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Harvard Business School rejected 119 applicants who accessed a portion of a Web site to learn whether they were accepted to the elite school before official notifications were sent out. USA Today reports the applicants were able to view files at AppyYourself (, a company that manages Web pages used by students to apply to about 300 universities. "This behavior is unethical at best," said Kim Clark, dean of Harvard's Business School. Although he claims to have a list of all 119 applicants, Clark would not say which would have been accepted. Officials from the site explain applicants to some of the most prestigious U.S. business schools were able to see whether they were accepted before formal offers or rejections were made.

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Back to the Future

The FBI has taken several steps back in its effort to create a state-of-the-art computer network to fight terrorism. In fact, now it appears such a system will not be available until the seventh anniversary of 9/11. FBI Director Robert Mueller made the announcement weeks after the late January revelation that the agency's Virtual Case File software project (designed to correct agents' inability to share leads) was virtually a bust after years of delays and $170 million. The New York Daily News reports the FBI, once resistant to using commercial software fearing anything not agency-designed is vulnerable to hackers, is now looking to phase in off-the-shelf software instead of building a monolithic file system from scratch. The aging system currently in place is the same one former FBI agent Robert Hanssen hacked for years to steal secrets he then sold to Russia.

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U.K. Alerts Netizens

The U.K. government has created a national virus alert service for its citizens following similar efforts in The Netherlands and U.S. The ITsafe service ( will issue warnings about damaging viruses, software vulnerabilities, and weaknesses on devices, such as mobile phones. The free rapid alerting service, aimed at home users and small businesses, will send email or text alerts, as well as provide information on what users can do to avoid trouble and protect their systems. The government estimates it will issue up to 10 alerts per year.

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Schoolyard E-Bullies

The school bully—depicted through the ages as the big, burly, and, yes, dim kid hovering over the meek—now looms even larger in cyberspace. USA Today reports the emergence of cyberbullying is one of latest ways technology is altering the social lives of children at an age when they are especially vulnerable to insults. By using the anonymity of the Web and wireless devices to mete out pain without consequence, cyberbullies intensify adolescent angst with social cruelties that escape the notice of school administrators and parents. Such practices are especially prevalent in affluent suburbs, where high-speed Net use reigns and kids are technically armed and savvy, says Parry Aftab, executive director of Boys and girls—mostly ages 9—14—are bullies and victims in equal measure. Moreover, school officials contend they walk a tightrope in protecting the victims without trampling the free speech rights of the bullies. Lawyers claim parents of a bully can be sued for defamation, privacy invasion, and emotional distress.

"Hello. I am selling what I believe to be a time machine built in the year 2239 by Dr. J.S. Strauss. I found the machine under my house when I was remodeling the bathroom...From what I put together Dr. Strauss built the time machine, traveled back to the early 1900s, and then it broke down or caught fire...I know this time machine might be one of the most important discoveries of all time, but if I can't get [it] to work, then it's not worth that much to me. I also figure to get a little extra money to finish remodeling my bathroom."
—As told on eBay by "iknowrodeo." The time machine sold March 12, 2005 for $647.59.

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IT and Work, Work, Work

A new report finds the very factors that give companies a competitive edge and stronger bottom lines—technology, multitasking, and globalization—may be undermining their employees' physical and emotional health. Technology is blurring the boundaries between office hours and off hours, and as a result one in three U.S. employees claim to be chronically overworked, reports the San Jose Mercury News. "Technology has made staying in touch instantly much more available, and that creates the expectation of an instant response," says Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute, the research firm that conducted the survey and published the findings in Overwork in America. "How many times have you seen people at parties, or sitting in church, with their Blackberry?" Galinsky adds that people who have experienced job insecurity and those who have witnessed downsizing are more likely to be highly overworked.

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Clocking Family Moves à la Potter

Inspired by the magic of Harry Potter and friends, researchers from Microsoft's Cambridge, U.K. lab are designing a clock that uses GPS technology to pinpoint the location of family members. The Family Awareness Clock, a prototype of which was recently unveiled in Seattle, is based on the popular, and heretofore fictitious, Potter invention where best pal Ron Weasley has a magical clock that indicates when his siblings and parents are in "mortal danger" or "lost." Microsoft's current family-tracking design includes one hand for each family member that points to places like "home," "work," or "school."

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