Compsci 182s, Spring 2012, Midterm, Section1

Your midterm is composed of two parts: Part I is objective questions and Part II is descriptive. For Part I, you have three attempts and your highest score will be recorded.

Part II is available below. For Part II, submit your responses as a single pdf document via sakai. Both Part I and Part II are due on 2nd March 5th March 11:59:59 PM.

You can use the Internet, however you cannot communicate with any person about these questions (except ola, vamsi) --- that includes speaking, writing, humming, etc.


  1. Google makes things Faster
  2. A CNET article discusses SPDY, an improvement initiated by Google to make the web faster. Google has also initiated changes to the TCP protocol (see also a technical paper on this), again designed to make the web and the internet faster.

    Write several paragraphs in which you demonstrate (1) a basic understanding of how protocols for the Internet are developed, (2) whether these proposed changes are in accord with the end-to-end design of the Internet, and (3) why Google has initiated these proposed changes to existing protocols. Show in your writing that you understand the proposed changes at a high-level in addressing the three points.

  3. NYTimes, Forbes, Copyright and Fair Use
  4. This NY Times article from Feb 16 was used as the basis for this Forbes Article covering essentially the same material. Write several paragraphs in which you address copyright and fair-use on the Internet with respect to the Forbes' article which likely generated advertising revenue for Forbes. In your paragraphs address whether you think fair-use is or should be different when articles appear on the Internet as opposed to in-print, e.g., in the NY Times magazine and the Forbes magazine. Be sure to indicate how you think the Forbes article is covered by copyright and/or fair-use.

  5. Patent Trolls
  6. Many recent (and online) articles discuss a recent decision in a Texas court regarding Eolas v. [Google, Amazon, Yahoo, and others]. This Wired article discusses the decision. Write a few paragraphs in which you demonstrate a basic understanding of patents with respect to software, how they differ from copyright with respect to software, and in which you take a stance regarding whether software patents should last for something less than the 20 years that is currently the duration of a patent.

  7. Cyberwar
  8. In this NY Times article about Anonymous and an attack against the Vatican the authors use the sentence below in describing the attack:

    The attack, albeit an unsuccessful one, provides a rare glimpse into the recruiting, reconnaissance and warfare tactics used by the shadowy hacking collective.

    Write a few paragraphs in which you demonstrate an understanding of what the article refers to as "a brute-force approach --- a so-called distributed denial-of-service" and in which you take a position regarding whether the use of words like warfare in describing what Anonymous and other groups are doing is legitimate or somehow fear-mongering in using the word war similarly to how the phrase cyber-terror is used to describe Anonymous in this recent article.