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Wednesday, May 22, 2024 — Houston, TX

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NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Phishing scams intensify

While students and faculty may have been taking a break for the summer holidays, it appears internet scammers have been hard at work. Since February, there have been 14 rounds of phishing attacks, which led to a massive Rice e-mail blacklisting from several major e-mail providers this summer. An estimated 12 students, faculty and staff this summer volunteered their personal e-mail information to the fraudulent requests.Phishing, which can happen not only through e-mail but also via telephone, is the act of attempting to get a person's personal information. By obtaining a person's password and user identification to a university e-mail account via phishing attacks, scammers can access that account and can use it to send fraudulent messages to other e-mail services. Because many e-mail providers have relatively strict spam filters, scammers look for university webmail e-mail addresses, which are seen as legitimate, Information Technology Security Officer Marc Scarborough said. This way, scammers can send more e-mails through these accounts and increase their chances of getting money from their message recipients.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Vardi wins computing machinery award

Computational Engineering Professor Moshe Vardi received the Association for Computing Machinery Presidential Award June 21, in recognition of his contributions both to the field and the association. Vardi, the director of the Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology, led the ACM Job Migration Task Force, which studied the phenomenon of offshoring and its effects on the U.S. job market. In 2006, the task force published its report, "Globalization and Offshoring of Software." The study concluded that while offshoring is a major phenomenon, the computer technology industry is still growing and thriving in the U.S. and will continue to do so, as long as an effort is made to keep up with global trends and to continue to be innovative in a global setting.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Cards replace keys at Martel

Rice entered the 21st century this summer with security doors and locks boasting a new magnetic card swipe to gain entry into doorways. Though using a student identification card instead of a hard key to enter doors is not a new concept, Martel College is the first to test out a new system that allows Housing and Dining to activate and deactivate room access via a wireless network instead of manual configuration. "The Basis G system by Stanley Bess is a brand new system and allows us to wirelessly configure rooms from our office instead of sending someone out there every time a student loses his key," Housing Operations Manager Mark Chaszar said.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Supporting Wilson

Many of us have been following the case of former Rice student Matthew Wilson, who disappeared last December and was found Aug. 13, 2008 in Berkeley, Calif. (See story, page 1.) Wilson was recently charged with theft of University of California-Berkeley property, but the charges were dropped. At the moment, he has been placed in a mental hospital on suicide watch.With all the media coverage surrounding Wilson, it would be easy to spin every bit of minutae into an overblown media sensation, but the fact is that we don't yet know why Wilson dis-appeared, and until we learn the facts, all we can do is remem-ber that he once was, and still is to many of us, a fellow Rice student.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Princeton Review ranks Rice no. 2 for quality of life, race/class interaction

The Princeton Review ranked Rice number two in the categories of best quality of life and best race/class interaction and number 15 in the category of happiest students out of 368 best U.S. colleges profiled. The results of the annual survey were compiled online from a mixture of freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors in the past three years from 2005 to 2007.In the past, Rice has typically ranked high - number 1 and number 6 - in the categories of best quality of life and best race/class interaction, President David Leebron said. He said he is pleased that Rice placed 15th on the list of happiest students since Rice has not placed in the category in the past.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Rental car system: good idea, bad planning

Some may think that college students do not need cars and that living on campus enables them to have access to most necessities. But who's to say when the urge to go exploring off campus will strike? There will be times when the sterile, dead atmosphere of Fondren Library just doesn't cut it as a late-night study spot; only the 24-hour Starbucks will do. There will be times when students want to go to Katz's at 3 a.m. to indulge in a smorgasbord of artery-clogging delights. And there will be times when students may simply want to go for a drive to clear their thoughts. For many students without cars or parking spots, these off-campus options had not been available to them. That is, until this year.With rental car system ZipCar available to students (See story, page 6), students will be able to rent a car for $7 per hour - with a $35 annual fee - to drive to their heart's content. The models available to students include a Toyota Prius and a Volvo S40, and there is one of each. Unfortunately, two cars for about 50 percent of carless undergraduates seems to be low, which could lead to some problems, especially if a student walks to Baker Lot only to find that neither the Prius nor the Volvo were there.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Satisfying Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants sequel follows footsteps of prequel, characters

Audience reaction to the big screen is usually a good prediction of the success of a movie because the audience - not the critic - is the ultimate judge. If the audience screams with laughter, instead of fright, at a poorly choreographed war scene, the film is probably a flop. If the audience collectively laughs in the right places, sighs in understanding of a character's disappointment or cries at a touching scene, the movie is probably a winner that will rightfully hold its place in the box office and in the hearts of moviegoers.The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 is no exception to this rule. Its audience - consisting of an overwhelming majority of girls - did just that: They laughed, cried and sighed in all of the right places, awarding the film a thumbs-up as a touching, sentimental movie that is worth noting during this summer's film season.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Rice Soccer 2008 Preview

For the past two years, the Owls have been knocking on the door of the NCAA tournament, and after a slight decline in 2007, the squad is hoping that the third time is the charm.While sheer misfortune led to a series of injuries and upsets last year, the players know that they cannot rely upon luck to carry them to success. They each went through a vigorous workout schedule over the summer to enhance their fitness levels and prepare themselves for a run at a conference championship and NCAA tournament berth.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Rice granted $6.4 million to create Houston's first Sociology Ph.D. in 2011

Not to be overshadowed by the well-established programs in other Rice departments, the social sciences department is increasing its visibility with a new Ph.D. program in sociology. A $6.4 million grant from the Houston Endowment will establish the first sociology Ph.D. program in Houston, which begins with the 2011 incoming class.The sociology department's Center on Race, Religion and Urban Life, as well as the work of sociology professor Stephen Klineberg and his annual Houston Area Survey caught the atten-tion of the Houston Endowment.



NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Killer Films

A sociopathic clown. A drunken billionaire adorned in titanium alloy. Construction workers committing suicide. Sounds like the plot of a really hot porno, doesn't it? If you didn't recognize them, those were just a few of the numerous highlights that dominated the box office this memorable movie season. Every summer, Hollywood churns out a slew of mega-blockbusters full of glitzy special effects, mind-numbing explosions and gunfights. This past summer was no exception.The 2008 summer box office was ruled by superheroes: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Hell Boy II, Hancock and, my personal favorite, The Dark Knight. As an obsessive-compulsive movie-watcher, I had several amazing - and not so pleasant (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2) - cinematic experiences. So let's get started .


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

IT self-help page introduced

In an effort to make technological woes easier on the Rice community, a new Information Technology self-service Web site was created in June to address basic concerns for students and faculty.The Web site allows users to easily modify basic settings such as changing one's Net Identification and password, creating a vanity e-mail address apart from the standard NetID and full name addresses, viewing the amount of storage space left in the Rice e-mail account, increasing mailbox quota, viewing on-campus printing charges and adjusting spam filter settings.



NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Rice Football 2008 Preview

The Rice University campus is abuzz as the football team prepares for its home opener against Southern Methodist University on Aug. 29. After a disappointing 3-9 season, all indicators suggest that the Owls will be stronger as long as the team can avoid last year's cascade of injuries.A large crowd is expected for the nationally televised rematch of last year's shootout. The 43-42 win in 2007 featured a striking but telling juxtaposition of the team's explosive offense and its struggling defense.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Academic honors rival personal growth

How will this affect my grade point average? Will this help my application? Does it improve my chances of getting into medical school? These questions likely cross the mind of the Rice premedi-cal student in evaluating time us-age. The momentous enthusiasm, which often drives pre-meds to be-come doctors, combined with the inescapable fear that they might not achieve the dream of holding a prestigious medical position makes for a dire sense of anxiety. I know. I have been there. I spent four years as a Rice pre-med going through the whole gamut. Now, nearly four months after graduation and hav-ing experienced life free of pre-med responsibilities, the emotional toll of those four years has become much clearer. The struggle to grow both aca-demically and personally in the pre-med environment can be intense. True, this is not a unique conflict for Rice students, and it can affect any motivated student undertak-ing a heavy course load. But for the pre-med, the stress seems height-ened. First, there are prerequisites and the Medical College Admission Test, and if those are not enough, there are the upper-level science courses to prove competence, non-science courses to show depth and well-roundedness, volunteering in hospitals and clinics to show sin-cerity, building relationships with professors for good recommenda-tions and then the application pro-cess. All the while, pre-meds must grapple with the worry that they might not get into medical school and eventually don the white coat.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

O-Week 2008 Highlights

Between hairy, shirtless men, glowstick raving in the Sallyport and the university president decked out in bling, this year's Orientation Week has been chock full of 'interesting' moments. O-Week is that special time of year when the campus can quench its creatiev thirst without worry of academia, all while showing our newly matriculated students the ropes and horrors of Rice life. Here are some of the highlights that our Thresher staff caught on film. //


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Beer-spitting good time: a local music perspective

It's that time of year again - Orientation Week is upon us - and as more freshmen swim into Rice with the tides, I can't help but reflect on my own O-Week three years ago.Unlike most new students, I didn't enjoy it all that much. I hadn't heeded the "get sleep" warning and had trouble letting loose. O-Week improved substan-tially, though, when my group left the hedges and took a trip to The Chocolate Bar, where a bluegrass band known as the Medicine Show lit up my life and made me optimis-tic about Houston.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Djerejian advises students to understand their enemies

Over 700 freshmen got their first taste of the academic life Monday when they crammed into the Stude Concert Hall for the Orientation Week faculty address. Director of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy Edward Djerejian spoke to the new students about better understanding international conflict, tying in global politics to this year's common reading, Greg Mortenson's Three Cups of Tea.Djerejian began his speech by men-tioning the beginning of the common reading, in which Mortenson writes to the presidents of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Pakistan had close military ties to Al-Qaeda, a situation worsened by the Taliban taking over the Afghan government, Djerejian said. And while the U.S. primarily focused on Iraq in the War on Terror, it should instead have focused on Pakistan and Afghanistan, he said.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Summer construction, had me a blast

Much like last summer, students returning this fall may be surprised to see new green fences on campus. Facilities, Engineering & Planning Communications Director Susann Glenn, however, hopes students will be more impressed by the progress FE&P has made with its construction projects.


NEWS 8/21/08 7:00pm

Fear stupefies student thought and views

The start of the school year means different things for different people. For new students and freshmen, this week marks the beginning of their "adult" lives and a slew of experiences, both good and bad, that life brings. For seniors, a new school year translates to the beginning of the end, one last hurrah in the final year of college and a brazen effort to maximize the potential for fun while attempting to secure a semblance of a stable future post-Rice.But for me, the beginning of the year means something else as well: another year of garnering and showcasing student opinion and thought. One of the great things about Rice is the diversity of its students and the experiences they bring to the academic and social table. With so many intelligent people who possess an endless variety of backgrounds and views, student opinion should be flowering - and flooding my inbox. Sadly, this is not the case.