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IT Trends for Thursday, November 6, 2003.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

In This Issue


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

From Computer Labs to Coffee Shops - About Time!

I recently walked through a number of buildings on various campuses and looked into quite a few computer “labs” that were mostly empty. One thing I didn’t do then, and could kick myself now for failing to do, was walk in and ask some of the students who were in the labs why they were there. That would be a pretty good idea, actually, asking them instead of their IT staff. Is anyone doing that? Or are IT staff asking each other whether or not student computer labs need to continue their existence?

That begs the question of why we even call them “labs” anymore, of course, and my primary observation was that there weren’t very many students in there anyway, whatever their reasons were for being there.

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WYSIWYG Software Development - Everyone's a Programmer

Imagine "an architect being able to draw a blueprint that has the magical property of building the structure it depicts—and even, should the blueprint be amended, rebuilding the structure anew.” Billionaire programmer Charles Simonyi's working to get us there. (Technology Review)
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CMU Prof's Web site Targeted by ‘Time-Travel Spammer’

Starting on Oct. 20, Carnegie Mellon University computer science professor David Farber's site? was slammed with hundreds of thousands of "bounce" messages. (Wired)...
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Carnegie Mellon Finds Better Ways to Cluster Web Searches

Researchers are now "making money" on the Vivisimo Document Clustering Engine project. Other research aims at categorizing images in searches. (The Tartan)...
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U. of Virginia Institutes Server-based Spam Filtering

Addressing a recent series of e-mail inundation and server crashes, the UVA "Abuve" team is implementing a system which "scores" incoming e-mail and allows students to select the "score" level at which they wish to receive messages. (Cavalier Daily)...
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Towson U. Tries Again on Distance Education

Efforts at distance education at Towson have failed but the university believes the timing and the technology is available now, and that substantial growth is likely.
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U. Alabama Students Pushing for More Wireless Access

Even as the university adds building after building to its wireless access networking, the campus student government is pushing for more.
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Spam Costs U. Texas Medical Center $620,000 Each Month?

CIO of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas figures that the institution's new spam-prevention software has a serious ROI! (Internet Week)...
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Students Playing Virtual Hooky in U. Minnesota Classrooms

Most professors don't see a problem as laptops and Internet access also enhance the experience?and there are myriad ways to "not pay attention."
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Kent State Antiviral Software Blocks Mimail.c Virus

In one day, Kent State scanned engines, found and stopped 3,477 infected e-mail messages and at the time, the popular antiviral client software didn't recognize this one!
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DiscounTech Provides Essential Tech for Non-Profits

DiscounTech, from non-profit resources guide Tech Soup, is a source for technology donations such as office applications, networking equipment, fundraising software, and accounting software exclusively for non-profit institutions. For a small administrative fee, nonprofits can order donated or discounted software and other technology. To make DiscounTech work, TechSoup partners with the philanthropic groups of leading companies to provide nonprofits with centralized access to technology product donations and discounts.
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Portal for Select Government Tech, Science Resources is a government catalog derived from ongoing U.S. research and development investments that provide the scientist, engineer, and technologist access to key U.S. government Web resources. Thousands of Web sites are reviewed to select sites that will provide links to government expertise, services, laboratories, and information centers. When searching this site, you are not searching millions of Web pages, but instead a database catalog containing descriptions of just those government Web sites that are entry points to government science and technology resources.
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Harvard B School Chooses Alumni Data Search Tool

The Harvard Business School's Department of External Relations has purchased the search tool Endeca InFront, to help users navigate the school’s alumni database. The tool will enable users with only a limited amount of information to search by characteristics such as last name, class year, and profession. Endeca solutions help businesses in sectors including retail, financial services, manufacturing, information publishing and business-to-business address information overload associated with content, catalog and enterprise information access and retrieval. The Endeca technology was a winner of Computerworld's 2003 Innovative Technology Award.

Colleges Become Beta Site for Datatel ERP System

Monmouth College in Monmouth, Ill., and Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif., has agreed to become beta sites for Datatel’s Colleague enterprise resource planning system running Microsoft SQL Server. The beta deployment will begin in December. Datatel’s approach consists of a combination of single source solution and a “strategic architectural framework” that lets higher education institutions choose the database and supporting platforms that best meets their needs.

Sponsored by:
Campus Calendaring Webinar
Learn all about WebEvent View, the universal calendar for the college campus. WebEvent View integrates public event calendaring with personal/group calendaring for students, faculty, and administration, providing one view into all campus-wide calendars through a standard browser interface.

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Syllabus fall2003
December 8-10
Cambridge, Mass.

Events Calendar

Sponsored by:
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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Are commercial course management systems vendors doing a good job of providing support for their products?

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Syllabus fall2003 Early Bird Deadline 11/7
Don't miss out on the $100 Early Bird savings for Syllabus fall2003, to be held December 8-10 in Cambridge, Mass. Enjoy outstanding keynote presentations from William J. Mitchell – MIT, Graham Spanier - Penn State, and Howard Strauss – Princeton University; explore tracks of strategic importance applicable to your needs, and network with peers. Hurry! Time is running out to save $100 off the registration fees. For more information and to register, go to

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Tool Expedites Flash-based eLearning Simulations

eHelp Corp. unveiled RoboDemo eLearning 5.0, a software simulation tool for creating Flash-based SCORM and AICC-compliant simulations of any software or Web-based application. The new version enables trainers, instructional designers, subject matter experts and Flash developers to create software simulations that use Flash and video content while maintaining a small file size. Users will be able to record the use of any application, or on-screen activity, and instantly create a simulation in Flash with visible and audible mouse clicks.

Software simulations created with RoboDemo can be enhanced by adding rich media, text captions, audio, images, interactive text fields, click boxes, special effects, and more. Users can also implement eLearning-specific features like quizzing, scoring, and branching, and can integrate their simulations with any learning management system (LMS), plus Macromedia Flash and Authorware.

Mirapoint Offers Layered Strategy for Spam Warfare

Messaging tech provider Mirapoint released an upgrade to its e-mail security technology, Full Spectrum that promises spam analysis, identification, filtering, and management features that deliver “better than 96 percent effectiveness with near-zero false positives.” The software addresses spam at the e-mail gateway, while offering controls so end-users can define what is spam to avoid lost messages. Current higher education customers include the College of William and Mary, the University of Georgia and Wayne State University. For customers with an existing mail server investment, like Microsoft Exchange or IBM Lotus Domino/Notes, the Mirapoint Message Director appliance can be deployed quickly to secure incoming and outgoing SMTP traffic.

DV eLearning Software Wins Japanese Quality Award

Digital video software maker CyberLink Corp.’s PowerDVD 5 playback software was”Best Software” ranking from Biglobe, the leading download site in Japan. Founded in 1995, CyberLink makes advanced digital video and audio software applications for the multimedia and eLearning markets. The company said its PowerDVD 5 deliver a “theater-like DVD experience on a PC or notebook.’

Sponsored By

Selecting a CMS
This week's interview features Kathy Cristoph.

Kathy Christoph explains how the University of Wisconsin selected a new course management system, through an in-depth study of campus requirements and user input, and a rigorous evaluation of potential CMS vendors.

Click Here to Listen

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