The registrar's office holds a reception this afternoon, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the University Club, to honour four staff members who are taking early retirement: Bruce Pinder, Steve Little, Jim Boniface and Trevor Boyes.
And the physics department holds a dinner tonight at the Waterloo Inn in honour of eight people who are retiring. The guests of honour are Pim Vatter-Fitzgerald, Hugh Morrison, Jack Kruuv, Arden Haner, John Grindlay, Phil Eastman, Ted Dixon, and Jim Corbett.
The Act makes imposes fines and prison terms on anyone who "by means of a telecommunications device knowingly -- (i) makes, creates, or solicits, and (ii) initiates the transmission of, any comment, request, suggestion, proposal, image, or other communication which is obscene or indecent, knowing that the recipient of the communication is under 18 years of age". In other words, it's about sex on the Internet. The court said the law is too vague to be enforceable as an exception to the First Amendment guarantee of free speech.
The ruling by a panel of three judges includes a long and lucid description of just what the Internet is, including this interesting paragraph:
The nature of the Internet is such that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to determine its size at a given moment. It is indisputable, however, that the Internet has experienced extraordinary growth in recent years. In 1981, fewer than 300 computers were linked to the Internet, and by 1989, the number stood at fewer than 90,000 computers. By 1993, over 1,000,000 computers were linked. Today, over 9,400,000 host computers worldwide, of which approximately 60 percent located within the United States, are estimated to be linked to the Internet. This count does not include the personal computers people use to access the Internet using modems. In all, reasonable estimates are that as many as 40 million people around the world can and do access the enormously flexible communication Internet medium. That figure is expected to grow to 200 million Internet users by the year 1999.
If you choose "General information", the second link on the home page (right after the Daily Bulletin), you'll see a page called "About the University of Waterloo", which is maintained here in the office of information and public affairs. You can scroll past the Canadian flag and Ontario logo, and past the general description of UW's programs (intended for outsiders wondering just what a Waterloo is), to the heading "People at Waterloo".
Wondering who Jim Bater is and what he's doing now? The place to look on the Web is UWdir, a searchable database of Waterloo staff, faculty and students. You can reach UWdir either by going back one step from "Senior administrative officers", back to the "About UW" page, where you'll see a UWdir link right above "Senior administrative officers", or by going all the way back to the UWinfo home page, where the UWdir link is on the third line.
Either way, you'll then need to choose "Directory query" -- in this case "simple" will do just fine -- and then enter the name "Bater" to see who there is at UW with that name these days. If you also test out UWdir with your own name, and don't like what you find, you can look under "UWdir documentation" (just below "Directory query") on the page) to find out where the information about you came from and how you can get it changed.
I'll suggest another Web Walk tomorrow, or whenever the Daily Bulletin has room for it.
Chris Redmond -- email@example.com
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
(519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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