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IT Trends 06-12-2003

Thursday, June 12, 2003

In This Issue


A Call for a Spam Summit for Higher Education

Terry Calhoun, Commentator
Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)
University of Michigan

Spam is killing the "killer app," e-mail being the one acknowledged "killer app" of the Internet. We've all come to rely on e-mail communications in our professional and private lives. Not too long ago, although it's beginning to seem like a different world already, those of us with quick fingers and good hand-eye coordination were lecturing everyone else: "Just use the delete key. What's the big deal?"

Now there is no one unaffected. Overnight, last night, I received 334 e-mail messages and the majority were spam, the "Keep-Your-Septic-Tank-Running-Like-Brand-New" type of spam … and there were plenty of the sordid, source-of-embarrassment types, as well. Worse, it only takes a little bit of research to reveal an IT world full of solutions that may be worse than the problem. (Read on for some examples.)

Even though we still can have a sense of humor about spam, I think it's time for higher education to have a Spam Summit. Time to get our brightest minds together—just like we are doing for cybersecurity—to define the issues unique to higher education, and put our institutions' research and programming abilities to work! …
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Stanford Shuts Down External E-mail to Fight Bugbear

Many of us have been experiencing the new, nasty Bugbear virus, and have seen the content of some messages that original senders never thought would be shared. At Stanford last week, sensitive and confidential information about employee salaries and bonuses were distributed courtesy of the "Bugbear.B virus." As an initial reaction, for a while and for the first time ever, Stanford deliberately shut down its 35,000+ users' ability to send e-mail to the outside world (San Jose Mercury News).
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Students Criticize New Fees, Spending on Technology

As tuition and fees go up at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, the IT staff will have funds to spend next year on computers and labs, even in dark financial times. But some students, claiming to be more than satisfied with the technology currently available to them on campus, are complaining.
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At Berkeley, a Fly You May Not Want to Swat

A research project at the University of California-Berkeley is working to develop a miniscule flying robot that can duplicate the flying ability of a real fly. The police and military implications of receiving back a data stream from an inexpensive, expendable flying toy are obvious. On campus, the tiny robots might monitor air temperature in large classrooms. Or take attendance? (Daily Californian)
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First-Ever Wireless Technology Petting Zoo

Thought to be the first-ever technology "petting zoo," this event—hosted by students, for students—was intended to introduce those with technophobic tendencies to the latest tools and toys, in a non-threatening way.
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Student Use of Tech Blurs Line Between Toys and Tools

"I don't become obsessed with a new device or revolve my life around one," said John Stockdale, a Stanford freshman, whose technological arsenal includes a laptop, a desktop computer with two CD burners and dual processors, a Unix server, Bose stereo, iPod MP3 player, and cell phone. "I've embraced technology as simplifying and improving my life. I bring my iPod instead of lugging around hundreds of CDs. It makes life easier." No comment. (The Stanford Daily)
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Internet Resources for Higher Ed Outcomes Assessment

A complete list of university Web sites detailing outcomes assessment tools and programs from around the country.
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eLearning Web Log

A blog on all facets of eLearning by Mike Kemmler, a consulant and industrial designer with over 12 years of experience working with eLearning technologies.
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N.C. State Vet School Buys Handhelds for Students

North Carolina State University (NCSU) College of Veterinary Medicine in Raleigh will provide PalmTungsten C handhelds to all first-, second-, and third-year students starting this fall. The handhelds will be used in classroom instruction and to prepare students to use the technology during their fourth-year clinical rotations. The high-speed wireless device has integrated 802.11 (Wi-Fi) technology that meets and exceeds the requirements of the college's Mobile Computing Initiative, according to Dan McWhorter, director of Web-based instruction.

Columbia Chooses Tool for Student Information System Maintenance

Columbia University will use a mainframe interactive analysis, de-bugging, and testing product called Xpediter from Compuware Inc. to maintain its Student Information System (SIS). The SIS is Columbia's student administrative application, which includes data relating to registration, admission, housing, financial aid, and student accounts.

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Free Webinar: Secure File Collaboration On or Off Campus
Discover how dozens of universities and colleges nationwide have already found the safe way to access and share information for students, faculty and administation. Meet Xythos education solution specialists online, June 18, 10:00 am PST. Register today!
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Innovative Furniture Solutions for the Electronic Classroom
Computer Comforts designs and manufactures furniture for computer labs and classrooms. Our many product solutions include recessed monitor tables, tech benches and multi-media carts. Make sure to visit our website to see the patented Hide-Away table, designed for the multi-use lab. When not in use, the monitor is safely stored below a flip-down lid for non-computer use. We recently added a video clip of this HOT product. Let us help with classroom layout and design.
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Sponsored by:


Should institutions charge students a technology fee to support technology programs on campus?

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Casey Green, Founding Director of Campus Computing, to Speak at Syllabus2003
Kenneth C. "Casey" Green has spent more than two decades researching the computer revolution in higher education. Hear his insights on innovation and information technology and its role on campus in his keynote address at Syllabus2003, July 27-31 in San Jose, Calif. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Syllabus2003 offers five days of outstanding keynotes, panels, breakout sessions, networking, and more! Don't miss the opportunity to participate in this summer's 10th annual conference at the new San Jose Marriott, with a special day of programming at Stanford University. Register before June 27 and save up to $200 with the Early Bird discount. For complete conference details and to register, click here.


Microsoft Details Features of Upcoming Update of FrontPage

Microsoft Corp. released details about its upcoming FrontPage 2003 Web designer, due to be released this summer. For starters, Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003 will be sold only as a stand-alone application. Updates will include a variety of Extensible Markup Language (XML) improvements, including tools for creating XSLT data views, a W3C standard for taking content off back-end databases and dropping it into Web sites.
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Quick Back-Up Saves to Many Formats

PowerQuest introduced a new version of its disaster-recovery software for servers and workstations. Key improvements included a "snapshot" back-up utility that enables the back-up of software at appointed times to a variety of storage media, including tape, disk, DVD and CD-ROM.
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Easy PDF Maker Introduced

eHelp Corp. released an update of RoboPDF, software designed for semi-computer literate workers to convert standard documents to the PDF format. The software costs $49 but can be purchased at volume discounts.
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Sponsored By

Wireless Handheld Computers to Increase Interactivity and Collaborative Learning
This week's interview features Betty L. Black

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