Skype to close?
eBay says it may have to shut down Skype due to a licensing dispute with the founders of the internet telephony service.
The surprise admission puts a cloud over the 40 million active daily users around the world who use Skype for business or to keep in touch with friends and far-flung relatives.
– Shock threat to shut Skype(2009-Jul-31) [The Age]
“You have as many words for Espresso as Eskimos do for snow”
– “Friend Roast” (2009-Jul-30) [dieselsweeties]
Melbourne University job slash …
MELBOURNE University will slash 220 full-time academic and administrative staff because its financial position has taken a battering in the economic crisis.
In an email to staff, vice-chancellor Glyn Davis said the crisis had devastated investment returns and a so-called ‘‘economic response program’’ would result in 50 academic and 50 administrative staff taking voluntary redundancies.
Another 120 jobs would go in restrictions on contract renewal, a freeze on hiring, and attrition. …
– Battered Melbourne Uni slashes 220 jobs (2009-Jul-29) [The Age]
Vice-chancellor Glyn Davis said today Melbourne was looking at a number of measures to reel in costs, including a freeze on hiring, about 100 voluntary redundancies as part of a 3 per cent cut in staff costs, a clamp on travel, and a $10,000 incentive for staff to take early retirement.
– Financial rout forces University of Melbourne to slash staff (2009-Jul-29) [The Australian]
Glyn Davis memo, Melbourne University (2009-Jul-29) [The Australian] – the full memo by Melbourne University’s vice-chancellor, Glyn Davis, detailing his economic response package.
Vice-Chancellor Glyn Davis says the job losses have been forced by a $30 million fall in the university’s investments, because of the global downturn.
He says the university budget is in surplus and the cost cutting will ensure it remains in the black.
– Melbourne Uni to axe 220 jobs (2009-Jul-29) [ABC News]
Australian universities need to do much more to fulfil their most important role: teaching students to think for themselves.
…When I was an undergraduate at the University of Melbourne in the 1960s, my teachers still had time to talk to their students, either in their offices or in the cafeteria or at the pub. Tutorials were limited to 12 students. Today they are often twice that size, making it almost impossible for every student to contribute. Without those conversations, in class and out, I doubt that I would have gone into philosophy. Today’s Australian university teachers are under far more pressure, not only to teach more students, but also to publish more papers, and to write more time-consuming applications for research grants that they don’t really want, but which, if successful, will somehow demonstrate the value of their research. (When I tell my colleagues at the University of Melbourne that no one at Princeton tells me I should be applying for research grants, I see the envy in their eyes.) …
– Peter Singer (2009-Jul-27) [The Age]
We must nurture the humanities
Pictured: The record-breaking kayaker who risked life and limb in a 186ft waterfall drop (2009-Jul-27) [The Daily Mail]