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IT Trends 04-10-2003

Thursday, April 10, 2003

In This Issue


Is Client Platform Diversity Taking Hits Due to Budget Cutting?

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

Despite the failing U.S. economy last year, higher education institutions were creative about finding budget dust and delaying the inevitable. As the second year of budget cuts hits IT planning on campus this year, one way IT departments might reduce costs is to homogenize the campus computing environment. That possibility, even likelihood, is ratcheting up the tension surrounding the arguments most of us have heard before—only this time it's not just the usual intense fervor over preferences, the bottom line is diminishing dollars.

Many purchasing staff already believe that when comparably configured with their PC equivalents, there is a significantly larger initial cost for a Macintosh desktop and laptop machine. And many IT managers believe that keeping help desk and other client support personnel up to date on both Mac and Windows operating systems is a non-trivial cost that can be eliminated in this time of shrinking budgets. It's really hard to justify spending resources bringing staff up to speed in order to support a type of machine that represents a small and dwindling percent of all your client boxes …

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Cramming, Slamming and Other Unauthorized Charges

Unauthorized charges, such as calling plans, calling cards and other products and services on institutions’ telephone bills are a major IT-communications issue. A new database of campus telephone numbers, created by the Association for Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education (ACUTA) and aimed at helping to reduce or eliminate the problem, contains nearly 900,000 numbers from more than 100 colleges and universities … (Association for Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education)
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Software "Donations" to Campuses Decline, Become Complicated

The potential for software giveaways to influence higher ed purchasing decisions has always troubled some, but such donations are important for many programs and institutions. Recent reductions in some donations and increasing restrictions and requirements on others are creating IT management headaches and complications in decision making and purchasing … (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
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One of the "Most Wired" Campuses Is Getting "Unwired" Fast

Wake Forest is likely to implement a program that would allow for a wireless-fidelity system, known as Wi-Fi, to be used across campus. "We've heard from our students that they want more," said Tommy Jackson, the director of information technology security at Wake Forest. "They want to be able to go anywhere and check e-mail anywhere." … (
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Four Students Sued for Operating File-Search Networks

Students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Princeton, and Michigan Technological University unexpectedly found themselves headed for federal court recently after being charged with copyright violations. "The people who run these [campus] networks know full well what they are doing -- operating a sophisticated network designed to enable widespread music thievery," RIAA President Cary Sherman said in a statement. 'The lawsuits we’ve filed represent an appropriate step given the seriousness of the offense." … (CNET
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The CompreHensive CollaborativE Framework (CHEF) Initiative at Michigan

CHEF is an OKI-compliant resource, which serves as a virtual workspace for working communities of various sorts. At the moment you might think of it as "Yahoo! Groups without the ads," but its developers envision it as far more comprehensive and flexible … (
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Pioneering Computer Scientist Anita Borg Dies at 54

Anita Borg, a pioneering computer scientist who worked to break the "silicon ceiling" in the high-tech industry, has died. She was 54. Often saying, "It is easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission," and wearing a t-shirt that declared, "Well-Behaved Women Rarely Make History," she spent much of her life dismantling barriers that kept women from entering computing and technology fields. She died of brain cancer Sunday at her mother's home in Sonoma, Calif. … (Institute for Women and Technology)
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Genetic researchers will find extensive information on the design of new genes using a computer algorithm available at Stanford University’s Genome@home. . .
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Grid computing resources for research in computer systems design including NANO technology is available at the University of Florida Advanced Computing and Information Systems (ACIS) Laboratory. . .
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University of Florida Buys IBM z800 Mainframe for Grid Computing Project

The University of Florida Advanced Computing and Information Systems (ACIS) Laboratory announced the purchase of an IBM z800. With funding from the National Science Foundation, the university lab will place the z800 at the heart of it experimental Grid system. The z800 running the Linux operating system will be linked to Intel Pentium 3 and 4 PCs also running Linux. ACIS will also employ IBM’s virtual machine technology to provide an added security layer by separating users accessing the Grid via the Web from the hardware in Florida. . .
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Vantage Learning Speeds Assessment with Parallel Processor-Based Scoring Engine

Vantage Learning unveiled a high-speed version of its essay scoring technology for use in large-scale assessment programs. Using a parallel processing methodology, the IntelliMetric Parallel scores more than 100 responses per second. Such speed is useful for both instructional and high-stakes assessment situations where thousands of students are submitting responses concurrently …
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Intel Centrino Notebooks to Bring New Level of WiFi to Campus IT Environments

Intel Centrino mobile technology features a new mobile processor, related chipsets, and 802.11 wireless network functions. With the WiFi hotspots set up around a campus, members of the academic community will have instant access to university Web portals regardless of whether they are sitting in a classroom or out on the lawn …
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Altova Releases XML-Based eLearning Authoring Tools

Altova Inc. is offering the AgileLMS Studio tool to create XML-based eLearning content for students to access via the Web. Unlike existing HTML tools, the use of XML means that academic content can be created once for presentation on a variety of devices from classroom PC workstations to notebook computers and ultimately mobile handheld devices …
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Jenzabar Offers Tool to Help University IT Departments Meet New Federal Rules for Data on International Students

University IT departments seeking tools to meet federal guidelines for tracking foreign exchange students are getting help from the new SEVIS System from Jenzabar, Inc., Cambridge, Mass. The company’s Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) product is designed specifically to help IT comply with the federal demand that higher education institutions maintain up-to-date information on foreign students and exchange visitors. SEVIS can be used to extract relevant student data from ERP systems and other data sources …
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