I just found out (almost by accident) that the U of C has decided to block ping. I knew ping wasn't working - hasn't been for what feels like forever. I just heard today that it was a deliberate move to block the port used by ping - to prevent hacking of unsecured Windows boxes using those ports.
So, let me get this straight. You've got a bunch of renegade unpatched Windows boxes on campus. Possibly 0wned. And, instead of, you know, fixing the problem by patching and securing the boxes, you block frigging ping. Great. Because, of course, ping has no useful purpose aside from hacking lazily managed Windows boxes. It's not handy at all for doing things like diagnosing network problems, or monitoring servers, or whatnot.
On a positive note, I discovered that the U of C has (at least temporarily) decided to allow access to the iTunes Music Store. I was able to connect today and download Tuesday's Free Song.