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CT Briefs

MARTIAN IMAGE from U Arizona's Phoenix Mars Mission site lands on iTunes U.

MARS LANDS ON ITUNES U. The University of Arizona has brought video and animations relating to the Phoenix Mars Mission to iTunes U. The university is taking the lead role in the first mission of a NASA program of smaller missions to Mars designed to complement its larger ones. A range of still images, videos, and animations are available on UA's Phoenix Mars Mission website, while the mission's iTunes U portal concentrates on video clips. Read more here.

CATCHING SPYWARE AT THE PERIMETER. Every student at Eastern Kentucky University has long been supplied with antivirus software, but now that's just part of a larger security picture. Assistant Director of Networking, Telecommunications, and Systems Ed Riley observes, "By relying on a user-based approach, we were essentially relying on people, and people are the weakest link in any security system." The university now employs multitiered security comprised of antivirus, anti-spam, and network access control. FaceTime's Real-Time Guardian stops spyware and other malware before it gets onto the network. "This kind of edge-based protection is really essential to our network security," comments Riley.

ROBOTS TO THE RESCUE. Microsoft Research has announced its support of three unique robotics research projects at higher education institutions. At the University of South Florida, researchers are developing a webenabled, multimedia robot that can interact with trapped disaster and accident victims until rescue personnel arrive at the scene. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell are creating a multirobot interface to monitor and command robots deployed in a disaster scenario. And in a partnership between Texas A&M and UCBerkeley, robots will be taught to venture into remote and dangerous locations, making it safer for scientists to study climate change. Along with a cash award, each institution will receive relevant advanced software development tools, including Microsoft Robotics Studio.

ALERT SYSTEM FITNESS. The University of Vermont is taking a multimodal approach to mass notifications, striking a balance among technologybased solutions like e-mail, voicemail, or PDA communications, and low-tech solutions like flyers or audio speaker systems-- all used as appropriate. The school is focusing on reliability and has selected inCampusAlert from MIR3 as its notification platform, featuring 24/7 support, proven capacity to deliver messages in a timely manner, and appropriate security and redundancy.

SOA CAN DO. If the thought of integrating administrative systems elicits "Can't-do!" at your institution, consider this: Some IT organizations are placing their hopes on service-oriented architecture (SOA) to simplify integration. Northwestern University (IL) is building an SOA based on Oracle Fusion Middleware which will deliver financial management functions as web services.


Eric DirstNEW DEVRY CIO. DeVry, parent company for several well-known education organizations including DeVry University (various locations), has announced the appointment of Eric Dirst as CIO. Dirst's previous firm, relocation solution provider Sirva, received recognition as one of CIO magazine's "Top 100 Innovative Organizations" under his leadership in 2006.

SYMANTEC GRAD FELLOWS. Junghee Lim, student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Polo Chau, student at Carnegie Mellon University (PA), are recipients of Symantec Research Labs Graduate Fellowships. The program supports student researchers investigating real-world information security, storage, and systems management. Both doctoral candidates in computer science, Lim and Chau will receive 100 percent of tuition and fees, plus a stipend to fund research.

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