Corrupted files for sale to students to buy extra time

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82 Responses to “Corrupted files for sale to students to buy extra time”

  1. thelibrarianne says:

    I would actually prefer to hand a hard copy to my professors, but (at least in my department) they insist that we e-mail our papers. My papers have been lost too many times to count by my professors who claim to be computer-literate. One time after e-mailing my paper to a professor, I got it back in hard copy- covered in food and missing its first two pages. Ineptitude falls on both sides of the college equation, you know.

    That said, any student who is desperate enough to use a website like this is probably pretty stupid themselves. Stupidity: it’s like a virus.

  2. Takuan says:

    when you see the people who run your life cheat every day, why would you not cheat?

  3. Takuan says:

    something Jane Jacobs wrote… the collapse of public faith in the self-policing professions as a harbinger of the end of a civilization, the coming of a dark age. Lawyers, accountants, doctors, professors. When they no longer maintain standards and the rest of the populace catches on. Is it an inevitable, cyclic part of primate society? We care first for our own young, even to the cost of our lives and certainly over the lives of others. When a society matures, professions like physicians tend to be heavily dynastic, the way made smoother on the basis of parentage rather than innate skill. Corruption follows and then loss of faith. Plague of Athens all over again. Politicians are even worse for this when allowed to follow parents. The rot spreads even faster when the highest office is obviously rewarded for lineage before merit – and gross misdeed ignored. Why wouldn’t students cheat? Corporate psychopathy rather than deplored is respected and all those in positions of power and influence (yes, even college professors) are tainted by the possibility they somehow cheated too.

  4. zuzu says:

    Good thing that education is about learning rather than arbitrary deadlines for completing assignments intended solely to facilitate the students’ learning process of the concepts being taught… oh wait.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hidden_Curriculum_(book)

    The assignments given in the classroom and the rewards for superior work are not limited to the formal curriculum. While many tasks are cast in explicit terms — “Do problems 1 through 8 on page 67,” “Read Chapter 3 and be prepared to discuss the period 1792-94 in French politics” — there is another set of less obvious tasks which bears a most interesting and important relationship to the formal curriculum. The question for the student is not only what he will learn but how he will learn, and when he will learn. These covert, inferred tasks, and the means to their mastery, are linked together in a hidden curriculum. They are rooted in the professors’ assumptions and values, the students’ expectations, and the social context in which both teacher and taught find themselves.

  5. mellowknees says:

    …and if you buy one of these files, you better hope that other people in the class who got their reports done on time don’t find out about you using it and getting away with it!

    When I was in high school, I took a particularly challenging (but awesome nonetheless) Humanities class. I had a friend who was also in the same class. At the end of the year, we had to write a very large, very demanding paper for a big chunk of our final grade. I busted my ass and got my paper done on time. My “friend” decided that since she was a “good girl”, she would just neglect to turn in her paper and then would look all surprised and honest when the teacher asked her about it and say “Oh, but I turned that in…! Good thing I kept a copy…” and then actually turn in the paper several days late so she would have extra time.

    I don’t think I really talked to her much after that. Respect level for that kind of crap: ZERO.

  6. Drhaggis says:

    This is why I get all my students to submit their projects in the form of interpretive dance. It’s the most popular chemistry class in the curriculum.

  7. zuzu says:

    I know of very few professors who accept emailed papers. I told my students that under almost no circumstances do I allow emailed papers – any emails with papers attached will be promptly ignored unless it’s a pretty solid emergency. Nope. Hard copies only.

    I’ve been in college/uni for about six years now, and I have yet to encounter a teacher who will accept papers in an electronic form alone. They all want dead-trees.

    You’re living in the Stone Age. Most professors at several high-profile universities I’m familiar with have been accepting emailed papers since at least 1999.

  8. romulusnr says:

    This is in a nutshell why I don’t run a business. There’s no way I would ever think I could charge 6 dollars to generate 4K of random data. That’s almost the same byte/dollar rate as SMS messages!

    head -c4k /dev/urandom > 2pagecorruptedfile.doc. That’s 6 bucks, thanks for coming!

    But now I see a counterbusiness: sell a tool that determines whether a corrupted file is really corrupted or just a load of random data.

  9. Anonymous says:

    well, the real problem is that professors are not printers, and are not responsible for printing out their lazy students’ papers. so, when Jim D- sends this to you in an email containing text-message language: “hey herz my papr,” he is lucky that you email him and say “please turn it in to me on paper douchebag” instead of wasting time looking at the file, and then having to go through the intensive process of filing an honor-code violation and getting him kicked out of school.

  10. Anonymous says:

    @ Zuzu- I think your post right above (#81) does a great job of concisely stating what I was only able to condense into a short essay… Anyway, here are my thoughts on this new file corrupting service:

    While I am not condoning laziness or cheating in any way, I have to blame PROFESSORS (or teachers) primarily for this. That is right, I am blaming the innocent professors and teachers more than the dishonest students. Why? Because a good portion of teachers/professors have taken it upon themselves to be lazy and exploit their authority to the point that they are actually breaching academic integrity in their own way. Given that the universally accepted purpose of giving students assignments is for them to gain ACADEMIC experience, and the main point of grading this work is to evaluate its ACADEMIC quality, why is it that many teachers and professors decide to give students a ZERO for an assignment that is a few minutes, hours, or even days late?? Do they think it is better for the student to not do the assignment at all and learn nothing?? Even worse, if such professors or teachers had to specify their grading criteria for an assignment that received a zero because it was late, the criteria would be:

    100% of grade- Based on whether deadline was met
    0% of grade – Based on academic quality of work

    To me, that is almost a JOKE, but I think it is SAD more than anything else.

    I fully understand, and even encourage a deduction of 5, 10, or maybe 20 points for an assignment that is one or two days late. On the other hand, I feel it is ridiculous to say that a zero, or even a 50, is an ACCURATE grade for a paper that is a day or two late. What if that paper was of ‘A’ quality…should it receive a lower grade than a junky piece of crap that was turned in before the precious deadline?? I’m willing to bet that very few professors/teachers even believe that this is fair grade…they just see it as a very convenient way to reduce the amount of grading they have to do, or in rare cases, a way to satisfy their authoritarian egos. All this talk about “teaching responsibility” is BS!

  11. Anonymous says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if these “genius students” printed out 20 pages of garbage. Oooops! The printed copy got corrupted! ;-)

  12. Brainspore says:

    @ zuzu #27:

    Good thing that education is about learning rather than arbitrary deadlines for completing assignments…

    Any educational program that purports to prepare students for life outside of academia also needs to teach accountability. Every job has deadlines of some kind, pretending they don’t exist makes students complacent and curriculum planning nearly impossible.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I insist students submit their work as HTML web sites, or as MediaWiki pages. Corrupted Word files won’t work for that. See http://ebus.mgt.qub.ac.uk/

  14. ackpht says:

    When I was an engineering TA I used to live for grading the work of lazy students like #53. It was SO much fun!

  15. XerxesQados says:

    Much cheaper (actually free-er) method:

    1. Copy-paste random text for as many pages as you need.
    2. http://monolith.sourceforge.net/
    3. Rename the .mono file to “MyPaper.doc” or whatever it was.

  16. Brainspore says:

    @ Anonymous #53:

    The companies that choose to hire through your school’s career assistance center may not be a very representative sample of employers. The only times anyone wanted to know my GPA was when I applied to grad school and when I applied for teaching positions.

    Granted, as a designer most people are more interested in my portfolio than my grades. But my brother, who is an engineer, got started in his career because of all the engineering projects he’d worked on by the time he had his diploma.

  17. zuzu says:

    Any educational program that purports to prepare students for life outside of academia

    Your implied assumption being white-collar office job, in the kind of firm that you’re familiar with?

    also needs to teach accountability. Every job has deadlines of some kind, pretending they don’t exist makes students complacent and curriculum planning nearly impossible.

    You’re confusing a university education with job training… specifically the aforementioned tacit training of life inside what you assume will be a traditional corporate job.

    In other words, you’re indoctrinating your students in a prescribed culture of “professionalism” — to make them into an “organization man” (or woman).

    The least professors could do for their students is admit that much, while they do it.

    “Hi class, I know you’re here to learn about metabolic pathways and modeling, but what I’m actually going to teach you is how to obey your boss, struggle to meet arbitrary and sometimes impossible deadlines, and how to bullshit your way through the work demanded of you.”

    Because my experience has been that 95% of students merely bullshit their work well enough to be what’s “common knowledge” or what the professor/boss expects to hear — entirely without critical thought or original research, so that they can complete their papers by the afforded deadline. No actual learning or examination of the material ever occurs. The entire aim of why they’re in university in the first place is completely lost.

  18. Anonymous says:

    knew a guy that did this on his own – had a corrupt word doc and would rename it and submit it to buy more time. Eventually the prof caught on to him, got him to admit it, and then flunked up. Now he’s IN PRISON for 5 years on an unrelated charge.

  19. zuzu says:

    @65 Ackpht

    You’re throwing that word “lazy” around awfully casually. Care to explain?

  20. agoodsandwich says:

    This makes me wonder whether everyone else realizes that nobody really HAS to go to college. Why would you go to college and cheat? What are you, twelve?

  21. Brainspore says:

    @ zuzu #32:

    Your implied assumption being white-collar office job, in the kind of firm that you’re familiar with?

    Look who’s being presumptuous now. (FYI, I’m a designer and educator- I never had what I’d consider a “white collar” job.) No, I meant it when I said any job has deadlines of some kind, where you are accountable to some person for something. This applies to freelancers, construction workers, politicians, every paycheck-earning position I can think of.

    You’re confusing a university education with job training… specifically the aforementioned tacit training of life inside what you assume will be a traditional corporate job.

    No, I’m saying that a university education should prepare you for life outside of a classroom- where you will have to deal with other human beings at some point.

    Because my experience has been that 95% of students merely bullshit their work well enough to be what’s “common knowledge” or what the professor/boss expects to hear — entirely without critical thought or original research, so that they can complete their papers by the afforded deadline. No actual learning or examination of the material ever occurs. The entire aim of why they’re in university in the first place is completely lost.

    I’m sorry that you had such a shitty university education, but just because an assignment comes with a deadline doesn’t mean that it can’t involve critical thinking.

    The good news is that if you think such an education is worthless then you shouldn’t care if the professor flunks you for not turning in your work.

  22. Lauren O says:

    Having just graduated from college a couple weeks ago, I’d say that the most common way that I had to turn in papers was to submit both an email copy AND a hard copy. There were a handful of professors who both required only email copies and were not particularly good at technology. I imagine that people buying these corrupted files would know which professors it would be likely to work on, and which it wouldn’t.

    That said, I completely agree with AGoodSandwich. Why go to college and cheat? If you’re paying a jillion dollars to go to college, you should get as much out of it as you can.

  23. martian_bob says:

    The school that I teach at _requires_ professors to use an in-house CMS type thing that does course pages, electronic submissions, grades, etc. Deadtree submissions are, essentially, completely optional here. I teach computer science, so this isn’t much of a problem for me, but I’m passing this on to my department and other TAs.

  24. Halloween Jack says:

    I’m hoping that the real masterminds behind this are profs who got sick of repeatedly getting “corrupted” files.

  25. Anonymous says:

    the old “my dog ate my homework”… i did this in high school in 1993, renaming a wav file, replacing the format header in the body. yes, it worked, but i am pretty sure a normal luddite lie would have done just as well.

  26. zuzu says:

    I’m sorry that you had such a shitty university education, but just because an assignment comes with a deadline doesn’t mean that it can’t involve critical thinking.

    Even the typical 14-week semester makes critical thought and independent research on the subject presented extremely unlikely. (Unless you’re either a natural genius or have a rampant Adderall prescription.) Let alone the typical work cycle of 1-2 significant papers written each week (per class).

    The good news is that if you think such an education is worthless then you shouldn’t care if the professor flunks you for not turning in your work.

    What bothered me most was ostensibly paying for a credential when I was learning everything on my own anyway. Classes and professors were worse than useless. (Not that all professors were bad, I personally enjoyed many professors. But when it came to questions of, “suppose I want to do X, Y, and Z, how would one go about that?” they were completely ineffectual as intellectual resources.)

    In Deschooling Society, Ivan Illich calls for the disestablishment of schools. He claims that schooling confuses teaching with learning, grades with education, diplomas with competence, attendance with attainment, and, especially, process with substance. He writes that schools do not reward real achievement, only processes. Schools inhibit a person’s will and ability to self-learn, ultimately resulting in psychological impotence.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I teach college and I never accept emailed papers, for a number of reasons. I’ve just added one more!

  28. Anonymous says:

    Ten years ago before professors caught onto this, I used to just rename .JPG files to .DOC. It’s easy, shows up as garbage, and it’s free.

  29. jowlsey says:

    The service makes sense to me. If you can’t figure out how to make a ‘corrupted’ file on your own, you might be stupid enough to pay for one.

  30. Brainspore says:

    @Zuzu:

    There’s nothing wrong with getting an self-directed education independently of a structured system like a University, and there is plenty that can be improved in how schools measure success. But the only way to lead a life completely devoid of deadlines and responsibilities is to shun society altogether and become a hermit.

  31. zuzu says:

    The school that I teach at _requires_ professors to use an in-house CMS type thing that does course pages, electronic submissions, grades, etc.

    Blackboard / WebCT?

    Why go to college and cheat? If you’re paying a jillion dollars to go to college, you should get as much out of it as you can.

    Gee, because most people are willing to sacrifice genuine intellectual integrity for good grades?

    Guess which prospective HR departments are going to look at first: your GPA, or interview you to suss out your capacity for reasoning. (Never mind that the person in HR is probably dumber than you are.)

    This is why I mentioned The Hidden Curriculum by Benson Snyder first. It’s a whole book detailing precisely this phenomenon, which continues de rigueur today in the university system. People learn to “play the game” more than they actually learn; and the game in university mirrors the game in “professional” employment.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Well, since I do not accept late work, a corrupted file I can not open is considered late and no points are assigned. Too bad. Prof. A

  33. zuzu says:

    Well, since I do not accept late work, a corrupted file I can not open is considered late and no points are assigned. Too bad. Prof. A

    So, to you, an outstanding paper submitted one hour late is worth zero. But a crappy paper submitted an hour before then is worth, say, a C?

    What has the author of the outstanding-but-late paper learned?
    What has the author of the crappy-but-punctual paper learned?

    What is the purpose of the assignment, anyway?

  34. zuzu says:

    But the only way to lead a life completely devoid of deadlines and responsibilities is to shun society altogether and become a hermit.

    I’m not arguing against deadlines in this sense. (I’m definitely not arguing against chosen responsibilities.) I am arguing against arbitrary deadlines (that receive zero feedback from those performing the knowledge work).

    I’d also argue against “critical path” / “work breakdown structure” project management as it’s commonly performed in top-down hierarchies, rather than through real-time peer-to-peer electronic feedback systems (or the price mechanism). In other words, I’d argue against the scientific management / Taylorism definition and use of deadlines.

    The role of a good professor and of a good manager is to facilitate the knowledge workers (i.e. students) they’re responsible for, to maximize possible outcomes within the constraints of currently available resources.

    Bad professors / managers instead demand fiat results regardless of the consequential facts and circumstance.

    “Papers will be marked down one full grade for each day that they are late.” is emblematic of the latter.

  35. Anonymous says:

    The companies that choose to hire through your school’s career assistance center may not be a very representative sample of employers. The only times anyone wanted to know my GPA was when I applied to grad school and when I applied for teaching positions.

    If companies like Chevron, IBM, Halliburton, Baker Hughes, Shell, National Instruments and Samsung aren’t a “very representative sample of employers,” I’m not quite sure who is.

    When I was an engineering TA I used to live for grading the work of lazy students like #53. It was SO much fun!

    Lazy professors = lazy TAs = lazy students

  36. Chevan says:

    I guess there’s a sign saying “Not responsible for hardass professors who fail your ass” somewhere in there?

  37. Anonymous says:

    I can easily imagine this being used in the workplace, too.

    If I’ve learned anything is that work deadlines zoom by faster than school deadlines and some bosses are less understanding than others.

  38. Piers W says:

    “I’m saying that a university education should prepare you for life outside of a classroom- where you will have to deal with other human beings at some point.”

    Lots of universities now have management layers. I see a way of achieving your noble goal.

  39. Brainspore says:

    @ Zuzu:

    I’ll grant that arbitrarily chosen deadlines are a sign of bad curriculum planning if you agree that having no deadlines is an equally inane idea for most class settings.

  40. Anonymous says:

    When submitting your paper via email, paste the text of the last paragraph into the body of the email. Thanks.

  41. Snig says:

    The second person who hands one into the same professor could get busted for plagiarism…

  42. Anonymous says:

    That’s why you always put something in the Syllabus like “In cases where the assignment is accepted via email, it is your responsibility to insure that your paper has the proper extension and can be opened by me. Papers with the wrong extension or those that otherwise don’t open will be counted late until you provide a working version.

    Papers will be marked down one full grade for each day that they are late.”

    Problem solved.

  43. jordawesome says:

    Love the “keep this site secret” banner at the top. Whoops.

  44. querent says:

    @34 thanks. now I don’t have to say it.

  45. Anonymous says:

    just open both in HexEdit and do a visual comparison. if some of the content doesn’t match you have a student 3.95 poorer.

  46. Frank W says:

    Duplicate your own unfinished Word file;
    Delete .doc suffix of the copy;
    Open in proper non-MS-built text editor;
    Delete random snippet of baud barf;
    Save;
    Re-attach .doc suffix;
    Check whether it still opens in Word.

    Better still, get your work done in time.

  47. DavidEmerson says:

    Want your own corrupt file? Pull it down from an FTP during the upload.

  48. davidasposted says:

    This might be an effective strategy if your professor allows you to e-mail him/her your final paper, but most profs I know would not allow students to do so. I always require a hard copy of papers in my classes. They would probably send the file in an unreasonable .docx format any way, which would just make me mad.

    Some instructors are technologically inept, but not all of us. Think before you waste your money on a corrupted file.

  49. Anonymous says:

    @ZuZu

    1) My time is a constrained resource. I have many other students and responsibilities and cannot serve ANY of them well if I am waiting for you to complete your deep thoughts at your leisure, in between your other classes and drinking. As you say, most people are willing to sacrifice intellectual integrity – not only for grades, but for laziness.

    2) You know what? It IS an evaluative process. It’s supposed to be. You can’t figure out how to integrate a set of information, seek out new information you did not get handed to you in class, and put your own interpretation on it – and do so in a timely fashion? Then no, I don’t want you to go to medical school or be designing bridges or cars.

    If your goal in life is to provide armchair critiques of academics, science, and society, then yes, you can probably do that without the educational system (beyond it teaching you to read), and should feel free to do so. However, be cautioned that people at parties may consider you a bore.

    3) Creative, questioning students are a joy to teach…and at a certain stage, it becomes “collaborate with”, not teach. The students who can get there are a professor’s dream. However, the ones who make it there successfully are the ones who understand that there is a discipline and a body of knowledge to be acquired first, and only once that base is acquired can you reach the higher levels. Otherwise, to borrow a biblical quote “The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died.” Or as I like to think of it…

    “Wax on, wax off, motherf*****.”

  50. a5m0deu5 says:

    um guys, there is another better website that has been offering this for free for a long time, I’ve used it and it works great. You even get to specify file size. http://www.xnet.se/fd/

  51. Anonymous says:

    Speaking for many college instructors out there:

    We’re on to you.

    Just so you know.

  52. Anonymous says:

    I can’t believe someone is trying to sell this! I’ve been corrupting disks for school for at least 15 years! I hope no one falls for paying for this!

  53. zuzu says:

    The teacher didn’t accept late papers so he “attempted” to email her a copy of his paper. In sending the email, he misspelled the email address and got a return email saying his message was not deliverable. He then emailed the paper to the correct address the next day, saying he didn’t check his email to discover the mistake until then. He forwarded her the returned notification as proof the paper would have been on time. Truth or bull? I vote bull. Clever, but bull.

    But how good was his paper?

  54. Anonymous says:

    I know in undergrad I once justified turning in a paper a week late, but sending a file that clearly wasn’t a word file with a “.doc” extension with a week’s previous time stamp (by changing the clock on my computer and thus my mail client) so that when my professor asked me about, I told them I had sent it, they found it in their inbox down where the time stamp was and when they opened it they just got gibberish from Word trying to read an image or layered photoshop file as text.

    That was free and bought me enough time to get the paper right.

    But now I’m the professor, teach technology and would catch it.

  55. codeman38 says:

    I’ve actually seen a site like that– maybe it is that site– advertised on Facebook.

    Why do I point this out?

    Because whoever placed the Facebook ad is apparently too stupid to realize that teaching assistants use Facebook.

  56. Takuan says:

    and while decent people quibble about trivial ethics, the sociopaths that back-stabbed their way to the helm smile and order another daiquiri of rum and infant blood.

  57. Anonymous says:

    I went to college at UNC-Chapel Hill from 1998 on and submit a ton of papers via email.

    I have actually submitted a junk file to get an extension. It worked pretty well, they just asked for another copy.

    Also, I had to submit a paper once without my name to a special form, (so the prof would not be biased based on our name) and accidentally “found-replaced” the subject with a blank space. I got a D because the subject of all sentences was removed. It looked like I did not know how to form a sentence. Once i showed the prof, what happend he gave me a B. It was pretty weird, but it all worked out in the end.

  58. Anonymous says:

    Pretty lulzy, It’ll be funny to see what teachers do when they start getting 100x as many corrupted files as they used to.

  59. jimsing59 says:

    Modern day cliff notes. There’s also a device that makes you sound sick.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      jimsing59,

      You’ve already been asked once not to include your URL in comments. Please contact me if you want your account reinstated.

  60. Antinous / Moderator says:

    My friend who’s an anthropology professor teaches quite a few online classes, so her students submit everything electronically. On the other hand, she blogged this last week, so good luck getting around her with this trick. In reality, although her computer literacy is average, she’s miles ahead of most of her students in basic computerating.

  61. Lobster says:

    All the professor needs to do is change it to a .txt file and they can see the contents. A file is very rarely COMPLETELY corrupted; when I was an RA I used this technique to help a few students recover lost documents. When your professor (or TA) sees that your corrupted document contains absolutely nothing that looks at all like an actual paper, well, it inspires a rhetorical trailing off.

  62. Anonymous says:

    @codeman38

    I don’t think the purveyors of this site really care. They just want to make money by selling garbage. It is a pretty brilliant scheme if even 10 people bite.

  63. Anonymous says:

    @8

    If you made with WordPerfect you may not be able to see any “paper” in there

  64. stumo says:

    Under their custom formats, they’ll offer a corrupted .txt file – good luck with that one.

  65. flamy says:

    What a scam from a technical point of view. Here’s a cheap ass solution for those blessed with unix.

    dd if=/dev/urandom of=~/term_paper.doc bs=1k count=$(expr $RANDOM % 100)

    Here’s your term paper.

    For bonus points, take a header of an existing word document and append some garbage to the end of it.

    Brilliant business plan though.

  66. Anonymous says:

    Any reasonably apt hacker student would take what they do have and randomly corrupt a large portion of it, and if it’s too short grab random web text of relating matter intermix it, and corrupt it too.

  67. Anonymous says:

    Until professors catch on and decide to just start failing students who pass in corrupted files.

  68. zuzu says:

    well, the real problem is that professors are not printers, and are not responsible for printing out their lazy students’ papers.

    I’m sorry, are you from the past? Do you also print out your emails to read them? Why are you printing at all?

    Hell, there are major universities that do all of their classwork collaboratively on a MediaWiki, and the professor makes “edits” with their corrections along the way. This way, future students can see what previous students have done and learn from their body of work, while simultaneously preventing lazy professors and lazy students from reusing the same assessments, ever.

    It’s because they never change their curriculum and friends of friends continually pass these manuals down. But confront a professor about it and their excuse is that they don’t have time to constantly change their curriculum since they have more important research to do. I understand that universities make the majority of their money off professor’s research, but should I really have to pay tens of thousands of dollars at the same time if the staff isn’t willing to effectively teach?

    This is a major problem of having professors both be teachers and researchers. They should be compelled to pick one, because professors who are subject to “publish or perish” for their career always sacrifice their teaching to make it.

    …which is yet another example of precisely the problem I’m identifying as the hidden curriculum.

    Universities should focus solely on being paid by students to teach them. If you want to do grant-based research, create a company like RAND to do it; don’t hijack the universities.

  69. Eamon says:

    Nice business idea.. w0ah

  70. buddy66 says:

    @ZUZU,

    Gotta love Gatto! I ran screaming from the profession forty years ago, and except for an occasional workshop gig I have not looked back at those burning towers since.

  71. Anonymous says:

    I had a classmate in an ethics class (imagine that) who missed class on the day that a paper was due. The teacher didn’t accept late papers so he “attempted” to email her a copy of his paper. In sending the email, he misspelled the email address and got a return email saying his message was not deliverable. He then emailed the paper to the correct address the next day, saying he didn’t check his email to discover the mistake until then. He forwarded her the returned notification as proof the paper would have been on time. Truth or bull? I vote bull. Clever, but bull.

  72. semiotix says:

    My SYLLABUS OF DOOOOM would eat this for lunch.

    But even if it worked as advertised–let’s say you get the corrupted paper, and send an e-mail to Johnny Student at noon on Tuesday. Johnny writes back promptly: “Oh, no! What an unforeseen tragedy! As soon as I get back to my dorm, I’ll send you another copy.” Sure enough, by 5:00 that day a steaming pile of term paper hits your inbox.

    Does this site teach Johnny to modify the hidden document properties? Because I bet if you check, Johnny’s slapped-together paper will say something like “Document created: Today, 12:04 p.m. Revisions: 0. Total editing time: 4:56.”

    The iron rule of academic misconduct is this: dumb student is dumb. Someone’s going to make a tidy profit off this idea!

  73. zuzu says:

    I teach college and I never accept emailed papers

    You teach “college”? Are the midterms hard?

    Twenty-six years ago, having nothing better to do, I tried my hand at schoolteaching. My license certifies me as an instructor of English language and literature, but that isn’t what I do at all. What I teach is school, and I win awards doing it.

    John Taylor Gatto, New York State Teacher of the Year, 1991

  74. Anonymous says:

    I know of very few professors who accept emailed papers. I told my students that under almost no circumstances do I allow emailed papers – any emails with papers attached will be promptly ignored unless it’s a pretty solid emergency. Nope. Hard copies only.

    Of course, I still get a few geniuses every term who “forget” and email me their papers anyways.

  75. chris says:

    bah humbug

  76. Takuan says:

    someone’s got to do it.

  77. Anonymous says:

    Or, you could use a free online service like File Destructor 2.0 and not pay for the same service. Plus, pick your own file size!

  78. Anonymous says:

    @ZuZu

    As someone who is finishing their last semester in college, I couldn’t agree with you more. If I had to name the most importants thing I learned as an engineer in college they are that you need to look good on paper and you need to learn how to get by.

    Through our career assistance center, I talked to more than a handful of companies that refused to even look at your resume once they saw your GPA wasn’t up to their standard. Practically every company I interviewed with said that I wouldn’t be using much I learned at college once I started worked. So what did I walk away with? That I’d rather work for a GPA to get a job of my choice, rather than learn things I won’t use and get stuck at a boring job.

    Second, practically every class I took had a solutions manual floating around. I’d say that for the most part, at least 30% of any given class had access to a solutions manual. And it’s not because the professor is giving it out as a study aide. It’s because they never change their curriculum and friends of friends continually pass these manuals down. But confront a professor about it and their excuse is that they don’t have time to constantly change their curriculum since they have more important research to do. I understand that universities make the majority of their money off professor’s research, but should I really have to pay tens of thousands of dollars at the same time if the staff isn’t willing to effectively teach?

    Hopefully any one reading this understands what I’m getting at. If not, I’d be happy to elaborate.

  79. Anonymous says:

    I don’t understand all of the comments saying how no professor would ever let you email an assignment.

    1) Clearly, someone must given that this website was created. Why create something if no one could use it.

    2) My university encourages emailed assignments and assignments submitted to the university’s site all of the time.

    The moral to all of this, of course, is do your work on time. Legitimate excuses for extensions or for turning in an assignment electronically rather than in person are almost always easily discerned from fake ones.

  80. Daemon says:

    I’ve been in college/uni for about six years now, and I have yet to encounter a teacher who will accept papers in an electronic form alone. They all want dead-trees.

    So it’s not only cheating, in most cases, it’s useless cheating.

  81. Piers W says:

    “Do you also print out your emails to read them? Why are you printing at all?”

    Some people, faced with 120 exam papers or theses or whatever, still find it quicker and easier to use a coloured pen on double spaced type.

    If I have to correct the proofs of something longer than 3000 words, I’m afraid I print it out, mark it up, and go back into Quark or Indesign or whatever to produce the final result.

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