MOBILE APPS CONTEST. AT&T has launched the Big Mobile on Campus Challenge, a contest for full-time college students and staff to develop innovative mobile applications that enhance academic performance, build campus community, and help improve campus security operations. One winner will receive a $10,000 scholarship, and a $5,000 scholarship will go to each of two runners-up. Entry deadline: Aug. 31.
ENHANCING SECOND LIFE. Linden Lab is releasing three technical upgrades to the Second Life Grid platform: 1) the Second Life Simulator, a physics engine that will reduce region crashes and improve the overall reliability of simulations as well as avatar- and object-based movement; 2) WindLight, atmospheric rendering technology that will increase the clarity and visual quality of the Second Life viewer; and 3) Dazzle, an upgrade to Second Life's user interface that will help make navigation brighter, more accessible, and intuitive.
SECURITY CONVERGENCE. A growing number of organizations are integrating physical security measures such as video surveillance with traditional IT security systems, but barriers to security convergence still exist, according to a survey from technology provider and manufacturer Honeywell. Thirty-three percent of respondents (more than 50 CIOs, CSOs, and CISOs of US-based global corporations) envisioned convergence happening within their organizations in the next two to five years, while 33 percent believed that convergence will never happen within their organizations. Barriers to convergence include: turf control; complexity and skills needed to handle multiple disciplines; budget conflicts; compatibility across groups; lack of technical platforms; and expanding privacy laws. Read more here.
JOHNS HOPKINS will use a Kirtas digitization system for nondestructive scanning of rare, deteriorating books in the school's Sheridan Libraries.
NONDESTRUCTIVE DIGITIZATION. Book digitization vendor Kirtas Technologies is providing The Johns Hopkins University (MD) with a digitization system for the school's Sheridan Libraries. The school will use a Kirtas APT BookScan 2400, which provides what the vendor calls "high-quality, gentle scanning of bound books," to digitize numerous rare book collections that are deteriorating. Read more here.
:: M&A, Etc.
HP EXPANDS. HP has announced it will acquire Tower Software, a document and records management software company based in Canberra, Australia. The acquisition of Tower will add electronic records management to HP Software's existing eDiscovery and compliance capabilities in information collection and retention.
VP OF HIGHER ED. Unicon, a provider of open source enterprise portals, applications, and technology consulting for higher ed, has selected Gregory Baker as VP of its Higher Education Professional Services division. Prior to joining Unicon, Baker held positions as VP of product management, product development, business operations, and business development for Blackboard.
SHARP CEO. Sharp Electronics has appointed Daisuke Koshima to chairman and chief executive officer. The 37-year Sharp veteran replaces Toshihiko Fujimoto, who will transfer to a new assignment as general manager for strategic planning with Sharp's International Business Group in Japan.
HI-TECH VET TO NETCLARITY. Network access control vendor NetClarity has named Christopher Calisi as chairman and CEO. Calisi has held executive positions at Overland Storage, eHelp (now Adobe), and Symantec.