Cheating website AshleyMadison has reportedly been hacked. Besides snippets of account data apparently sampled at random from among some 40 million users across ALM’s trio of properties, the hackers leaked maps of internal company servers, employee network account information, company bank account data and salary information. They want the site taken down, not because of the cheating, but because the company offers a "total delete" function and charges for it, but doesn't actually do it.
It's summer in Australia and that can only mean one thing: lots and lots of cricket! (Some previous discussions of cricket on Metafilter.) Cricket has long had a reputation as a "gentlemanly game", which quietly ignores the increasing popularity of women's cricket that has existed since 1745. Times change and some substantial technology is now being used to assist the umpires and referees. As the sport becomes more professional and attracts more money, controversy is increasing in these less genteel times. However, there is now one great ethical dilemma facing cricketers: should the batter voluntarily walk (dismiss themselves) when they know they are out, even if the umpire fails to give them out? [more inside]
In the spring of 1984, Davis caught an 8.7-pound bass in the KYKX Big Bass Classic. It wasn’t big enough to stuff and mount on the wall, but it was big enough to qualify for the $105,000 first prize. Winning two major bass fishing tournaments in less than a year? He was lucky. He was ecstatic. He was in deep shit. The Weight of Guilt.
Ticket to Ride is a board game about trains. Specifically, it's about connecting cities by claiming sections of track via matching cards of the same color (or symbol, to give a little help to the color-blind). The game (published by Days of Wonder) is quite popular, having sold many hundreds of thousands of copies, and it's won a ton of awards, including the prestigious Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) and the first Diana Jones award given to a board game*. There was even a world championship held this year to celebrate the game's tenth anniversary, featuring 25,000 players who were whittled down to 28 national champions (well, two from "North America," that is, the U.S.) for the finals in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France. The finals were broadcast over the Internet on Tric Trac TV -- which is how the cheating in the final match was discovered. [more inside]
In an era of high-stakes testing, a struggling school made a shocking choice. A look inside the standardized-test cheating scandal in Atlanta.
With recognition software making the use of recycled term papers impractical, a new service is now allowing students to hire unemployed professors to write term papers from scratch.
DCPS Chancellor Michelle Rhee oversaw radical reforms to Washington, DC's failing public schools. Amongst the results were widespread irregularities on standardized tests that suggest they were tampered with by adults. [more inside]
Inside the biggest scandal in quiz bowl history. Probably attracting more media attention than quiz bowl has ever received, it was recently revealed that a Harvard player accessed questions prior to several recent national tournaments, leading NAQT to strip Harvard A of multiple national championships. Coverage has been extensive, ranging from Bloomberg to The Telegraph.
Until Jackie Parks, Georgia state investigator Richard Hyde had never tried to flip an elementary school teacher. Ms. Parks admitted to Mr. Hyde that she was one of seven teachers — nicknamed “the chosen” — who sat in a locked windowless room every afternoon during the week of state testing, raising students’ scores by erasing wrong answers and making them right. She then agreed to wear a hidden electronic wire to school, and for weeks she secretly recorded the conversations of her fellow teachers for Mr. Hyde.
In several computer science courses at Johns Hopkins University, the grading curve was set by giving the highest score on the final an A, and then adjusting all lower scores accordingly. The students determined that if they collectively boycotted, then the highest score would be a zero, and so everyone would get an A.
Marathon Man: A Michigan dentist’s improbable transformation.
The Case of the Stolen Blanks — The real story behind the cheating scandal at the National Scrabble Championship.
Tax avoidance isn't a left or right issue, it's a cancer eating our democracy - but why do people cheat in the first place?
A computer scientist teaching at a business school decides to go after students who cheat in his class. He’s come to the conclusion that it’s simply not worth his time. [via]
This is a dialogue between Teach, an adjunct philosophy instructor at a public university in New York, and Cheat, who has authored over 100 papers for pay.
Subjects don't need formal logic training. They don't need math or philosophy. Fewer than 10 percent of the participants got it right when Peter Cathcart Wason performed his 1966 study, the Wason Selection Task. But according to an essay by Bruce Schneier referencing the work of evolutionary psychologists Leda Cosmides and John Tooby, that number improves, by 65 to 80 percent "...when the rule has to do with cheating and privilege."
Three grand masters have been caught cheating at a chess Olympiad. The team members communicated using instructions disguised as phone numbers and and an ingenious system relating positions within the room to positions on the board. Details of the system and the way it was revealed can be found here, and the French Chess Federation's report (in French) here.
Cheating at exams is hardly new, but last week a user on Yahoo Chiebukuro in Japan (Yahoo Answers) audaciously posted questions online during university entrance exams and received answers before the exams were over. [more inside]
Cheating, Incorporated: The Infidelity Economy. "Looking to sneak around on your spouse? Got a little cash to spend? The CEO of Ashley Madison, a website whose own backers don't even want to be associated with, is happy to take your money." (Previously on MeFi) [more inside]
Clancy Martin is the chair of the philosophy department at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He's also an unabashed liar, a recovering alcoholic, and was once suicidal. He's surprisingly honest, and has written extensively about all three of these things. Prior to becoming a professor, he dropped out of grad school, made a small fortune in the murky world of luxury jewelry sales, and nearly became the world's leading dealer of counterfeit Fabergé eggs along the way. He occasionally writes an advice column about lying, and even wrote a few books about it. [more inside]
University of Central Florida professor Richard Quinn uses highly-detailed analysis to accuse many of the students in his Strategic Management course of cheating on their midterm exam. Since posting his online lecture, 200 of the 600 students in his class have come forward to admit they cheated using testbank exam answers. While some are calling Professor Quinn a "folk hero", many students in the class are now complaining because they feel their professor has been dishonest about where he obtained the information for his exams. But Professor Quinn isn't exactly responding in student news sources to these complaints.
“It is my hope that this essay will initiate such a conversation. As for me, I'm planning to retire. I'm tired of helping you make your students look competent.”
THQ's Cory Ledesma opened the flood gates in his interview about used games. Penny Arcade sides with publishers on the issue, citing issues with the used game market. [more inside]
Colin Berry's Spinout is a a touching, tragic story about his older brother, Kevin. Kevin competed in--and very nearly won--the All-American Soap Box Derby, but lost to Bobby Lange, the son of ski-boot magnate and engineer Robert Lange Sr.. [more inside]
One of the least edifying aspects of professional football [soccer] is the dive. Is it just part of the game, or something that, ahem, foreigners do? In 2006 FIFA rejected the use of video evidence to punish cheaters and although "simulation" is punished, when spotted by the referee, the problem remains. In the wake of (among others) a dodgy red card to Brazilian star Kaka in the 2010 World Cup, here's a handy guide to some of the best/worst dives about (inside) and how to tell when a player is faking it. [more inside]
All’s Fair in Love and Soccer Cheating and working the refs are part of what make the beautiful game fun to watch.
Open Letter to the Sudoku community and the organizers of the Sudoku National Championship about the potential cheating of Eugene Varshavsky during this Saturday's tournament. An unknown "man in a hoodie" shows up late and unregistered to the 2009 Sudoku National Championship in Philadelphia, and wins third place despite skipping the first two rounds. Second-place finisher and 2007 World Champion Tom Snyder accuses him of having a radio transmitter concealed underneath the hood, feeding him computer-generated solutions. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Varshavsky, wearing a stocking cap, defeated a grandmaster in the 2006 World Open chess tournament. Has competitive puzzling lost its innocence?
It’s only natural that if you wish to present yourself as a well-read person, a certain degree of complete bullshit is required. There’s no shame in lying about what you’ve read. There’s only shame in getting caught. Then you look like a doofus, and an illiterate one at that... How to lie about books.
A long-brewing online poker scandal reaches the mainstream: 60 Minutes Report (1, 2) (text version) and two consecutive front page Washington Post articles (by Pulitzer winning investigative journalist Gil Gaul) (plus lots of web exclusive content about the investigation)! [more inside]
Some of the female Chinese gymnasts are apparently under-age. It wasn't their skulls, their chins or their eyes that gave them away: it was the internet.
Manipur, which has a population of 2,388,634, has the highest rate of HIV in the country, which is also the reason why it has the most number of NGOs working in the area. However, what is disturbing is that a day or two ago, one of these NGOs bribed a group of children into getting their blood tested, so that they could increase their chances of garnering more funds.
So, who doesn't use steroids or HGH? So what do you do when MVP winners, Cy Young award winners and some World Series winners all have cheated? Any ideas? [more inside]
Poker is pretty popular, and it seems like almost everyone is making money at it. At the tables, on Wall Street, and online. The World Poker Tour helped create the current boom and, with the World Series of Poker, helped make poker players into rock stars. [more inside]
For the town of Hanover, NH, home to Dartmouth College, one could expect academic integrity to be a cornerstone. But a high school cheating scandal has shaken the town's foundations and divided the community. On an evening this past June a group of students at Hanover High School [video] used stolen keys to break into a teacher's filing cabinet, walking away with multiple mathematics exams. Five days later, another group stole chemistry finals. As many as 60 students may have had a role in the thefts, either helping to plan them or receiving answers from the stolen exams. Police investigated and a local prosecutor has filed criminal charges against nine students. "Parents of the accused are furious and frantically trying to reduce charges to violations that carry no criminal penalties, penalties they say could harm their children's chances of attending college or securing employment....some residents [are] laying blame squarely on the nine accused students - dubbed "the Notorious Nine" - while others have questioned whether the intense competitiveness of 750-student Hanover High forced students into positions of having to cheat."
A tiny wireless spy earpiece is being marketed to students who want the cheat on exams, much to the chagrin of teacher/examiner organisations. The Examear website proclaims they are: "Helping students succeed. Worldwide!" The makers say the devices are also suitable for people such as TV reporter, TV game show contestants -- anyone who needs help remembering things. Remember, before the internet, when students didnt copy all their essays and actually did some work?
The Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test is a continuation of the standardized testing Texas has been doing for the past 15 years, a good bit of which George W. Bush pushed as a way to measure teacher aptitude and school performance. The company that administers the test claims that cheating is "extraordinarily rare" but the Dallas Morning news found about 50,000 cheating students in 1/3 of all Texas schools. The most prevalent was the 11th grade science exam, also known as the one you must pass to get a diploma. The article even has cool coverflow-like visualizations of what a cheating school exam looks like. [via the journalist's blog, which promises parts 2 and 3 in the next couple days]
Two students sue Turnitin for copyright violations. "All of these kids are essentially straight-A students, and they have no interest in plagiarizing," said Robert A. Vanderhye, a McLean attorney representing the students pro bono. "The problem with [Turnitin] is the archiving of the documents. They are violating a right these students have to be in control of their own property." (via) (obligatory link to the Best. Thread. Ever)
Cheating at the Daytona 500. Blood doping in cycling. Rampant use of steroids in professional baseball. Don't even bother with the Olympics. Is the idea of professional and amateur competition doomed, is looking at this as a symbol of something larger about our culture(s) valid, or what?
Cheatneutral. "When you cheat on your partner you add to the heartbreak, pain and jealousy in the atmosphere. Cheatneutral offsets your cheating by funding someone else to be faithful and NOT cheat. This neutralises the pain and unhappy emotion and leaves you with a clear conscience." [Via Gristmill.]
Don't date him girl! Good news for the paranoid. Invasive site for documenting those unsavory men who have cheated on women. The rebuttal: warning: flash site with annoying birds. bugmenot
A wise Mefite once said "I cannot fathom the stress of multiple spouses," and I'm sure it only gets more stressful if your loved ones don't know about each other. As Valentines Day approaches, let us take a moment to ponder the difficulties that two-timing scumbags of either gender will have trying to please everyone at once, on this holiday that was created by a greeting card company, yet ultimately benefits private detectives more than any other holiday of the year.
Near Ovulation, Your Cheatin' Heart Will Tell on You "New research from UCLA and the University of New Mexico suggests that members of "the gentler sex" may have evolved to cheat on their mates during the most fertile part of their cycle — but only when those mates are less sexually attractive than other men."
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