Cynical University
"Where all your ideas are derivative works of ours"


Attempt all questions.

Part A (50 marks)

Scenario:

Mr A enjoys model railways so much, he wants to tell everyone about
them, so he decides to publish a free newsletter for all called
"The Story of O Gauge".  Learning the lessons of the other free
newsletters lying near telephone booths, he sets up an automated
printer-dispenser in Old Compton Street, which prints and dispenses
a copy of his newsletter each time its shiny red button is pressed
by anyone at all.

Quickly, he discovers that his newsletter is popular, for many
copies are dispensed to anyone that comes within arm's length;
but this popularity comes at a cost.  So Mr A decides to defray
his dispensing expenses by asking Mr B, the owner of a local trinket
emporium, to pay him to give away their brochure, "Astounding Trinkets!",
with his newsletter.  They agree, but only on the grounds that
Mr B will pay one red cent for each brochure given away with
a copy of Mr A's newsletter.

Time passes, and Mr A is enraged to discover that he has
been giving away many more copies of his newsletter than the
"Astounding Trinkets!" brochure, which, in his mind, is
an integral part of the whole newsletter experience, and
not something the public is at liberty to ignore, throw
away or clean their ears with.

Questions:

1) On a scale of 'nowhere near long enough' to 'way too long',
   how long has Mr A's brain been cooking on the Wishful Thinking grill?

2) On a scale of 'not at all' to 'exceedingly', how stitched up
   has Mr A been by Mr B's transfer of business risk?

3) Using any international Laughing Policeman scale, how
   helpless with mirth will PC C become when Mr A accuses
   members of the general public Messrs D through Z of stealing
   his newsletter that he chooses to dispense freely to all and
   sundry?  Will Mr A's case be strengthened if he also stamps
   his little foot indignantly during these accusations?

4) Mr A decides to use DRM to restore economic sanity to
   the surly public's enjoyment of his total content experience,
   but he wants to keep them involved in the process for some reason.
   So he asks his newsletter's readers which DRM model they
   prefer; the overwhelming answer is: "the one with the biggest tits".
   List at least three dubious, yet profitable business opportunities
   that Mr A sadly overlooks at this point.

5) Assume that Mr A started his dispenser at midnight on
   Jan 1 2007, that he dispensed one hundred copies on that day,
   that his newsletter dispensing grows at 375% per month,
   and that his pent-up frustration grows exponentially with
   dispensing figures.  At what time will Mr A die from an
   aneurysm if he never realizes that most potential
   advertising impressions generate no response, and you
   couldn't make some people read them if you put a gun
   to their head?

6) How will the date of his demise change if, when he dispenses
   his 50,000th copy, he discovers that two thirds of his
   newsletters are being eaten by a local circus horse called
   'Googlebot' that loves the taste of toner in the morning?

***** Your exam continues after this important message ******

 Is your advertising revenue plummeting because
 your God-given right to demand attention is being
 denied to you by computer freedom blighters?

 Are you worried that your family will spit their
 last breath at thee because of rampant ad-blocking mayhem?

 Are you hoping for a miracle cure that
 will unblock your ads?  Well, hope no more!

 Just add mod_senokot to your web server, and
 your bits will be flowing freely again, as when the web was new!

 Unblock your ads with mod_senokot today!

****** And now, back to the exam. ******

Part B (50 marks)

On a graph with 'Wastefulness' along the X axis and 'Obnoxiousness'
up the Y axis,, plot the size and position of all the advertising-supported
business models you know of.  Keep the graph within the bounds
of good taste by calibrating it in mega-Saatchis, and by using
the colour scheme that you think will be most attractive
to avocado-eating ABC1 18-34-year-olds.  Include a
statistically significant sample of their names, phone numbers
and tasteful photographs so that your answer can be verified
by an independent panel of lonely experts.


*** The remainder of the exam is sponsored by Sony Playstation 3 ***

Exam Raider X -- the Final Challenge  (2,000 marks)

Compare and contrast the relative speed, fidelity and legal
vulnerability of the following copying machines:

 * the Gestetner Automatic Cyclostyle
 * the British Parliamentary rumour mill
 * EMI Records
 * Shawn Fanning's original Napster

Explain, in sufficient detail to prevail at appeal, how these legal
vulnerabilities can be avoided by any media player that Sony might
bring to market in the future.


Exam Raider XX -- the Ultimate Hurdle  (20,000 marks)

Show how a rigorous, yet fair, system of intellectual property
governance, applied at the outset of rampant DNA copying by
multicellular organisms, would have sped up the process of
biological evolution to the point where we would all be
walking on sunshine by now.


Exam Raider XXX -- the Desperate Gambit  (200,000 marks)

Perform a market-impact assessment of a machine that could make
perfect, free, unlimited copies of itself and Angelina Jolie,
paying particular attention to the international trades in
lip gloss, little brown babies and grainy photographs of
Jennifer Aniston.  Using any system of logic that is
legally permissable, show how hacking such a machine to make
copies of Steve Ballmer would lead directly to the
end of the world, as well as causing a widespread loss of
confidence in Blu-Ray technology.

**** End of the exam -- or is it? ****

Exam Raider Anniversary Edition -- coming for Christmas 2008.
--
Frank Wales [EMAIL PROTECTED]

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