Science and Education News

Since the end of 2007 Opera Software company has charged Microsoft with antitrust offense because of the use of Internet Explorer browser in all its operating systems. From this week on the problem will partly be solved: PC users from France, UK, and Belgium will get a window in which they will be able to choose a browser on default. Since March 1 this option will be available for all EU residents. Eurocomission approved of this variant, which had been proposed by Microsoft itself.
The list available to PC users consists of 12 browsers: 5 main ones (Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera) that will be seen on the first page, and 7 additional ones (AOL Explorer, K-Meleon, Flock, Avant Browser, Sleipnir, Maxthon browser, and SlimBrowser) on the second page. It is also added that the browsers will be listed at random.
Soon all the people in EU who use Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7 will get a notice of this update, which can be installed through Windows Update service.
Let us remind that Internet Explorer has 45.4% of the European market, Firefox has 39.3%, Chrome – 6.4%, Opera – 4.3%, and Safari – 3.7%.
Source: www.cifrovik.ru
At present, storage capacity of a Blu-ray disk is 25 GB. Thanks to i-MLSE (Maximum Likelihood Sequence Estimation) technology, presented by Sony and Panasonic, it may rise up to 33.4 GB, and with the use of two-layer disk it will allow to obtain a disk with storage capacity up to 66 GB.
I-MLSE (Maximum Likelihood Sequence Estimation) technology allows to enhance reading and writing quality of Blu-ray disks thanks to the use of a special signal-processing method, which works on the principle of partial response maximum likelihood — PRML.
One of the main advantages of the technology is its full compatibility with the existing devices for reading and writing Blu-ray disks.
It is worth mentioning that this technology is not a novelty, but until this time its implication was hindered by instability of synchronization in work with disks of high recording density. Developers solved this problem with the help of i-MLSE technology.
According to the representatives of Sony and Panasonic, the companies plan to promote the use of i-MLSE technology within the framework of Blu-ray Disc Association. Today the companies are ready to start producing two-layer disks with storage capacity of 66.8 GB. If Blu-ray keeps developing at such speed, soon we will be able to get optical disks with storage capacity equal to that of modern hard disks.
Source: www.electroname.com
Victor Sadovnichy, President, Russian Rectors’ Council, Rector, Moscow State University, academician, declared that the test of first-year students’ real knowledge, conducted in Russian higher education institutions, had shown the decrease in the quality of school education. “Both last-year and this-year tests have shown that the quality of school education is decreasing,” stated Victor Sadovnichy at the meeting of Russian Rectors’ Council.
He also stressed that the analysis of the quality of knowledge was made on the material of control works. As a step to increase the quality of education in Russian schools, he proposed to organize refresher courses for teachers in all higher education institutions of the country. “Our universities should organize refresher training institutions for school teachers,” he added.
On November 10 Andrey Fursenko, Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, made a report to the President, and at the same time heard an interesting lecture from Dmitry Medvedev, ex-lecturer on Roman law of Leningrad State University.
- I have signed the decree on the status of Moscow and St. Petersburg State Universities, the President informed Fursenko.
St. Petersburg and Moscow State Universities, the most prestigious universities of our country, will now stand aloof of all other higher education institutions in Russia. These universities are now officially free from the Unified State Examination, they are allowed to hold their own traditional exams. Moscow and St. Petersburg State Universities will establish their own educational standards, requirements, and will issue their own diplomas, equated with the state ones. The President himself will assign rectors of the country’s two main universities. These changes pursue an ambitious purpose – to range Moscow State University and St. Petersburg State University with the largest world universities, to design a special development program for them.
“Certainly, I don’t think that these two universities should rule higher school,” the President specified, “These are really our largest educational centres, probably the best universities in terms of their staff – that is the way it is.”
Medvedev regretted, that the main Russian universities were far from the top of the international rating. However, the list of the world’s best universities is often very subjective. The President considers that universities should be rated according to citation rating of their scientific works.
“Naturally, this idea is based on international experience, though it is not universal,” Medvedev explained. “Nevertheless, it should be adopted.”
Fursenko and his ministry now have a task: to reform higher education institutions in a way that will make them more competitive, make studying more interesting and comfortable, and provide an opportunity for students and lecturers to share experience with other higher education institutions, including international ones.
“We are endeavouring to work,” Fursenko got enthusiastic, “With your permission, at the end of the year, according to the terms, I will report to you about the taken steps.”
Source: Komsomolskaya Pravda
“Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation approved of new admission regulations for higher education institutions. At present, the decree on the new admission regulations is under registration in the Ministry of Justice,” announced Igor Remorenko, Director, Department of State Policy and Education of the Ministry of Education and Science.
Igor Remorenko noted, that “there will be few essential differences from this year’s regulations: reduction of the number of stages of admission to a higher education institution from three to two; ability of higher education institutions to assign minimal marks not only for core subjects, but also for others; reduction of target admission from 30% to 20%; limitation of the number of applications.”
“Rectors suggested to make a limit, so that a person could apply only to three higher education institutions, but we consider this measure too strict,” stressed director of the department. In the final text of the regulations the stated limit for applications is five universities and three exams in each, which is quite adequate for a range of interests of the overwhelming majority of applicants”.
In general, final examinations for students and admittance to higher education institutions in 2010 will be better tuned and more habitual, as estimated by Igor Remorenko. “The regulation of conducting Unified State Examinations were already approved of this year, in February. The new admission regulations for higher education institutions will be valid on a permanent basis. In this way, the regulations of conducting examinations are stated in general, and are of long duration,” he said.
Source: Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, http://mon.gov.ru/
Dmitry Medvedev, the President of Russian Federation, signed a decree granting state-financed academic and higher education institutions the right to establish small enterprises for implementation of innovations.
Federal law “On amendments to certain legislative acts of the Russian Federation on the establishment of business entities by state-financed academic and educational institutions with a view to practical application of the results of intellectual activity” was adopted by State Duma on July 24, 2009, was approved of by the Council of Federation on July 27, and enters into force from August 15, 2009.
The law stipulates granting to state-financed academic and educational institutions the right to establish business entities, the activity of which will consist in practical application of the results of intellectual activity, exclusive rights to which belong to these academic and educational institutions, as informs the Kremlin press-service.
The law also stipulates, that if a business entity is established in cooperation with other parties, the interest of a state-financed academic (educational) institution must exceed 25% (in case of a joint-stock company) or one third (in case of a limited liability company).
Besides, the income from the disposal of interest (shares) in authorized capital stock of business entities, as well as parts of revenue of the business entities, received by state-financed academic and educational institutions, enter into their own disposal and are used only for legal protection of the results of intellectual activity, compensation payments to authors, and fulfillment of chartered activities of these institutions.
Source: www.vsluh.ru
Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation came forward with an initiative to reduce the number of priority directions of science and technology development during the crisis. According to ITAR-TASS, the declaration was made by Sergey Ivanov, Vice-Premier, at the meeting of the Governmental Committee on High Technologies and Innovations.
Sergey Ivanov elaborated on the solution proposed by the ministry. According to him, after the analysis of each of the selected directions “the most promising ones from the point of view of technological and innovative development of Russia” will be chosen. In this way, vice-premier specified, the priorities of science development in the country will be made more precise, and the necessary resource concentration in the remaining directions will be ensured. The government will prefer the projects that will provide “maximum effect” in “ensuring national security, raise in manufacturing competitive ability, stable social and economic development”.
Besides, the Vice-Premier stressed that the economic situation with attracting new staff to high-tech branches is critical.
“The basis of policy of the Russian Federation in the sphere of science and technology development before 2010 and in further prospect” was adopted in 2002 by the then-President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. In his speech at the united meeting of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, Presidium of the State Council of the Russian Federation, and Council on High Technologies and Innovations, Vladimir Putin called the list of the priority directions of science development “short”.
There already was a reduction of the number of priority directions in 2004. Then seven direction out of nine were left, and the number of critical technologies was reduced from 52 to 33. Such scientific directions, as the development of space and aviation technologies and modern transport technologies, stopped being priorities.
Source: www.lenta.ru
Andrey Fursenko, Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, was decorated with the highest order of Yakutia – the Pole Star. As stated in the decree, he was decorated “for special merits in the development of education and science system, contribution to the training of highly qualified personnel, and long-term fruitful cooperation”.
The minister had been to the Republic of Yakutia many times, rendered assistance in  raising funding for building of schools and acquiring computer equipment for them, providing access to the internet for 100% of schools in the Republic. With his active assistance “The program of development of Yakutsk State University for 2006-2011” was developed and adopted. This document became the basis for the development of innovative educational program, which was acknowledged as the best one at the federal inter-university contest in 2007.
Source: www.regions.ru
About 28 thousand students of Russian higher education institutions, who had problems with paying education fees during the crisis and who were successful in studying, were transferred from paid to state-financed places in 2009, informed Igor Remorenko, Director of the Department of State Policy in Education of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation.
Dmitry Medvedev, President of the Russian Federation, commissioned the Government and the Ministry of Education and Science with the development of measures to support students, including transfer of advanced students from paid to state-financed places, fixing education fees in roubles for the whole period of education, and offering credits for educational purposes.
“Transfer of students began after the President’s initiative, announced on February 2 this year, and after the recommendation of the Ministry of Education and Science, sent to educational institutions on March 13. On the whole, 28 thousand students were transferred to state-financed places,” said Remorenko, answering readers’ questions to experts of the Russian Social Council for Education Development.
He reminded that the opportunity of such transfer was stipulated in the legislative acts, and higher education institutions used it at their own discretion.
Vladimir Vasilyev, Rector of Saint Petersburg State University of Information Technologies, Mechanics, and Optics, told RIANovosti, that in this university students are transferred from paid to state-financed places, if there are free state-financed places in their speciality. Besides, to be transferred to a state-financed place, one should be getting good and excellent marks for a year.
“But there are exceptions: if a student is in difficult circumstances, such as the parents’ death, we certainly make advances, even if he or she has studied less than a year. So the rules and conditions are quite simple, our students know it and use the opportunity actively,” he said.
Vasilyev added, that the decision to transfer a student is made with the active participation of faculty and university student governments, which give testimonials to students willing to be transferred to state-financed places.
“In other words, we transfer students following not only the dean’s and department head’s decision, we also ask student organizations, because in most cases there are more volunteers than there are free state-financed places, and students often know better than lecturers, who is more worthy of studying on a state-financed basis,” he added.
In March the Ministry of Education and Science recommended all Russian higher education institutions to transfer paid students, who have been receiving good and excellent marks for four semesters, to state-financed places. The Ministry proposed to transfer those, who are having personal problems, for instance those whose parents have lost jobs, in the first place. It is enough for such students to have good and satisfactory marks.
Educational institutions were recommended to transfer students after each session, that is twice a year, and to inform students about the number of vacant state-financed places at the official websites after each session.
During the 2008-2009 academic year about 4.5 million people studied in Russian higher education institutions on a paid basis.
Source: www.rian.ru
Mobile TeleSystems company (MTS) established a third-generation network in Moscow underground. “Universitet” became the first underground station where you can use it.
Before the end of summer 3G network, provided by MTS, will become available at “Biblioteka Imeni Lenina”, “Preobrazhenskaya Ploshad”, and “Chistye Prudy” stations, and in autumn 2009 it will spread over all the stations of the Moscow underground circle line.
MTS subscribers will be able to use high-speed Internet connection, download multimedia content and emails. To use services of the third-generation network with the speed of data transfer up to 3.6 Mbit/sec, it is enough for a subscriber to have a mobile phone supporting 3G standard, activated GPRS service, and to be within the cover of 3G network of MTS. Registration in 3G network is automatic and free, fees for the services are charged according to the subscriber’s tariff plan.
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