Campus Briefs

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES, WEBCAST-STYLE.
When UC Berkeley’s (CA) Educational Technology Services (ETS) began offering Webcasts of class meetings for regular courses, here’s one thing it didn’t predict: The biggest growth area of hits on the ETS Web site is for last year’s classes. Yup; students are viewing last year’s Webcasts, presumably to get a wider perspective on subject matter, and as a study strategy. The reaction: ETS is looking into the best ways to make archived classes available to serve this new demand.

RIAA PRESSES ON.
The Recording Industry Association of America (www.riaa.org) continues to target college students with its legal and PR campaign to stem illegal, P2P downloading. An RIAA press release earlier this year implicated students at 11 colleges and universities in the latest round of John D'e lawsuits for illegal file-sharing and copyright infringement. But Campus Technology columnist Kenneth C. Green, also founding director of The Campus Computing Project, contends that P2P downloading is really more a consumer market issue, not a campus problem. Green cites data compiled by the 2004 Campus Computing Project, showing that college students accounted for less than 4 percent of the John D'es in RIAA’s legal filings.

THE WEAKEST LINK.
Recognizing that US colleges and universities may represent the greatest vulnerability in the country’s chain of critical infrastructure security, the US Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has awarded $200,000 to Information Security in Academic Institutions (ISAI), a New York-based research organization, to study the problem. An 18-month research project, conducted through Columbia University’s Teachers College (NY), will collect survey and interview data from more than 100 IT directors from the nation’s colleges and universities, to help pinpoint problem areas and recommend solutions.

LSU DELIVERS ON MAIL.
At Louisiana State University, students can now opt for a brand-new hosted e-mail system with a selection of services. LSU is the first academic customer of Outblaze’s (www.outblaze.com) Outblaze-EDU services, so administrators are looking forward to a high level of customized support and help in keeping one step ahead of spammers and virus threats. Geared for scalability, the system will eventually handle the of about 70,000 student accounts, say campus spokespeople—a burden that’s being gradually lifted from the shoulders of the IT department as students sign up. So far this year, about 15,000 students have signed on.

WALL STREET AT VU
Villanova students get an
edgy real-world trading floor.


THE OPENING BELL.
Simulated stock trades, complete with real-time financial data, give Villanova University’s (PA) students in the College of Commerce and Finance the ultimate hands-on experience in financial decision-making. The college’s Applied Finance Lab has just opened its doors to an updated, real-world trading floor equipped with ticker displays, Bloomberg and Reuters feeds, and the latest Dell (www.dell.com/hied) desktop systems and NEC (www.nec.com) plasma displays.

BIG DONATION, BIG STORAGE.
When Tsinghua University, China’s largest and most prestigious university, needed a network computing and storage infrastructure to serve its 8,000 faculty and more than 30,000 students, Network Appliance Inc. (www.networkappliance.com) stepped in with a donation of hardware, software, and services worth $3 million. The NetApp gift supports a personalized storage system so that every student and faculty member will have private space on the university system.

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