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News 08-27-2002

Grants Underwrite Digital Archiving Research

The Mellon Foundation and the National Science Foundation independently awarded two, two-year grants totaling about $3 million to the LOCKSS ("Lots Of Copies Keep Stuff Safe") program. LOCKSS is a joint undertaking of Stanford University Libraries and Sun Microsystems to develop a secure, reliable system to preserve access to digital publications. The system is designed to make it feasible and affordable for even small libraries to preserve access to e-journals and safeguard access to them. Designed as an Internet appliance, LOCKSS preserves access to authoritative versions of web-published materials. A PC runs an enhanced web cache that collects new issues of the e-journal and continually compares its contents with other caches on other participating computers. If files have been corrupted or altered, they can be repaired or replaced with intact copies from the publisher or from other caches.

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Sponsor: James Oliverio Featured Keynote Speaker at Syllabus fall2002

James Oliverio, Professor and Director of Digital Worlds Institute at the University of Florida, will lead off the first day of Syllabus fall2002's main conference as keynote speaker on November 4. Oliverio's interest in immersive collaboration and the use of visualization and multi-modal technologies to increase understanding and retention promises to be an enlightening, thought-provoking session. Syllabus fall2002 will be held November 3-5 at the Boston Marriott Newton Hotel in Newton, Mass with pre-conference seminars on November 3 and a vendor fair scheduled for November 4.

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Berkeley Offers 'Bioinformatics' Curriculum

The University of California at Berkeley's continuing education arm this fall will offer courses in "bioinformatics," an emerging field that examines the relationship between the disciplines of life sciences and computer science. The program will introduce technical personnel to biology fundamentals and vice versa, as well as offer in-depth courses focusing on areas of specialization in each field. A new professional sequence for scientific researchers, computer engineers or computational specialists is planned for spring of 2003. "Extension's bioinformatics courses will aid those computationalists and scientists who want to succeed in this field by providing them with the necessary computer knowledge and biology background," said academic director Dr. C. J. Chee.

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Oracle Enhances Student Higher Ed Database

Oracle Corp. said it broadened the Oracle Student System, part of its product line created for the higher education market, to include new applications for financial aid management and student recruitment, as well as enhanced self-service functions. The company said the modular Oracle Student System is based on the concept of using one database and one student record, allowing student data to be available across all administrative functions. The system stores all constituent information in a single repository and allows users to view relationships among individuals included in the database, such as parents and alumni. The centralized repository enables users to access up-to-date information on interactions that may have occurred through other recruitment and marketing efforts.

RealNetworks Launches College Sports Net

Internet media company RealNetworks, Inc. has partnered with the Official College Sports Network (OCSN) to bring live audio broadcasts of college football, basketball, baseball to college sports fans across the Internet via a new subscription-only service called College SportsPass. The college package will kick off the fall sports season by providing live audio coverage of football games, including games featuring Miami (Fla.), Washington, Michigan State, Illinois, Arizona and more than 40 others. The service costs $6.95 per month, and will include audio and/or video from press conferences, coach's shows, highlight shows, live statistics breakdowns, and league standings.

Bells & Whistles: Speech-Enabling Campus Calls

The University of Maine, Orono, will speech-enable student, faculty, staff, and administrative directories, allowing callers to simply say the name of the person or department they wish to speak with or access a portal of information. Campus employees will be able to perform pocket pages, change their operational status (i.e., at desk, in meeting, do not disturb), or signal that they are reachable at certain times. The school chose the Intellispeech system from Manchester, N.H.-based System Development Co., which specializes in speech systems and computer-telephone integration. The company says the system eliminates over half of routine calls to operators, allowing them to provide a higher-level of support to callers.

Awards, Deals, Contracts, in Higher Education

Help Desk Services: East Carolina University, Eastern Michigan University and Utah Valley State College chose Magic Service Desk from Network Associates for help desk services across their campuses. Using the system, help desk technicians use the Internet access the help desk database anytime and anywhere. Administrators can centrally manage the service desk system and route trouble tickets automatically to the appropriate technician. In addition, administrators using Magic Service Desk can generate reports to view metrics on IT issues, time-to-resolution, and volatility in help desk calls.

Publishing: McGraw-Hill Education said it would acquire Open University Press, a leading U.K. social science publisher for academic markets. The purchase would enable McGraw-Hill Education to expand its print and online product offerings in the academic area, especially in the area of education, health and social welfare, psychology and sociology. McGraw-Hill Education will continue to use the Open University Press imprint.

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