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News 12-27-2000

Web-Based Education Commission Issues Report

The Web-based Education Commission recently called for a national effort to fulfill the Internet's promise to help transform learning and achievement. The Commission's report conclusively demonstrates that there are serious gaps in access to the Internet, leaving millions of Americans behind in the Internet Revolution.

Based on the evidence of hundreds of people who testified, the Commission issued a recommendation, calling for accessibility and affordability of Internet resources; continuous and relevant training and support for educators at all levels; the creation of a research and development framework; development of quality online content; revision of outdated regulations that impede innovation; protection of the privacy of online learners; and new and traditional funding measures to implement these recommendations.

Internet2 Board Names New Chair

Internet2 recently announced that Molly Corbett Broad, University of North Carolina president, will become chair of the Internet2 Board of Trustees on January 1, 2001. Broad succeeds outgoing Chair David Ward, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin. Both Ward and Broad have served on the Internet2 board since its inception in September 1997.

Led by more than 180 U.S. universities working in concert with industry and government, Internet2 is developing and deploying advanced network applications and technologies for research and higher education, accelerating the evolution of tomorrow's Internet. Internet2 effectively recreates the partnership of academia, industry, and government that helped foster today's Internet during its infancy.

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NASA Space Technology Promotes Healing

Using powerful light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, originally designed for commercial plant growth research in space, scientists have found a way to help patients with hard-to-heal wounds, such as diabetic skin ulcers, serious burns, and severe oral sores caused by chemotherapy and radiation. The project includes laboratory and human trials, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and funded by a NASA Small Business Innovation Research contract through the Technology Transfer Department at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

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NASA Coalition to Solve Computer Problems

NASA recently announced plans to join leaders from academia, the government, and Silicon Valley in a "high-dependability computing consortium" to find long-term solutions to computing glitches. A dozen high-tech companies and Carnegie Mellon University have signed on with NASA in a partnership whose terms will be agreed upon next month.

In the high-tech business world, companies don't often invest the time or money to study and solve long-term reliability problems, but NASA is reportedly prepared to spend as much as $10 million a year to bring researchers together to develop affordable, non-competitive tools that the entire industry can use. NASA's expectation is that the consortium will design failsafe software that will ultimately drive successful space missions. Though NASA devotes years of testing to ensure its computer systems will perform, unreliable computers have derailed two recent Mars missions.

DISH Network Channel Awarded

The California Community College Satellite Network (CCCSAT) has recently been awarded a national public interest channel on the DISH Network. The channel will be launched on December 15, 2000. As a component of the California Community College system (the largest community college system in the world), CCCSAT has the distinction of being the first community college to be selected for this opportunity. Utilizing the vast resources of the California Community College system, the CCCSAT channel (CCN) (Channel 9405) will provide informational, educational and enrichment programming airing 24 hours daily, 7 days a week to over five million households.

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