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IT Trends for Thursday, Oct. 9, 2003

Thursday, October 09, 2003

In This Issue


The First Step Toward Getting E-Mail Back The Way It Used to Be

As a power user of e-mail I send and/or receive somewhere between 600 and 1,000 messages on a typical work day. In today's guest column, J'e St Sauver's call for our government to do something rings a bell for me. Yes, it may be a little complicated. The do-not-call list is off and on hold, for example, due to legitimate free speech issues. (As an employee of a 501(c)(3) organization, it would make life difficult for us if we were held to the same standards as commercial organizations, partly because complying means spending money we don't have - from "profits" we don't make - on the technology to comply. On the other hand, not holding us to those standards may well constitute an infringement of the commercial speakers' free speech.) And, even if most spammers are inside the U.S., if they're making enough money, they could just move away. On the other hand, maybe that cuts into the profit margin just enough. Anyway, an astute candidate for the 2004 presidential election would be paying a lot of attention. I know that if one of the democratic candidates could point to something they had done that had effectively reduced spam, they'd likely have my vote. Heck, if even one admitted they read their own mail and understand the problem, I'd probably even bring out my checkbook! -Terry Calhoun, IT Trends Commentator, Society for College and University Planning (SCUP), University of Michigan.
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Colleges Go to New Heights to Snag Students

In light of our opinion last week about pandering to students with IT spending, it's interesting to see just how intense that pandering gets in other areas of the campus: How about 7-story climbing walls in student center atriums with hot tubs? (
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New "Information Commons" at Mount Holyoke College

A space that had previously been devoted to back files of science abstracting and indexing services has been remodeled to a state-of-the-art information commons in the Miles-Smith wing of the Holyoke library. (College Street Journal)...
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Wisconsin Students Pay $2M in Technology Fees, System Wide

This quite detailed article illustrates how the dollars are charged and then allocated, along with some discussion of student discontent. (Advance-Titan)...
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Radford University IT Staff Balances Demands on Network Router

Radford's main router ran at 35-40 percent capacity most of last year; this year when the students came back it jumped to about 98 percent. Lots of brainpower went into working toward the current solutions. (The Tartan Online)...
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Some Could Be Falsely Targeted for File Sharing

Published as the RIAA moves closer to more court actions, an anonymous paper describes a number of techniques that could make it appear as if an innocent user is hosting copyrighted files; and ways to trick users into unintentionally downloading copyrighted files that they then unknowingly host (
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NSF Grant for Internet2 Connectivity G'es to Music Ensemble

The Miami Beach-Based New World Symphony will network with colleges, universities, and other institutions for connected distance music education. (NSF Office of Legislative and Public Affairs)...
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U. of Florida Restricts Peer-to-Peer Abuse in Residence Halls

The University of Florida has developed Icarus, "Integrated Computer Application for Recognizing User Services," an open-source campus-developed program that detects file sharing and first sends warnings, then disconnects students automatically. File trading has been reduced 90 percent. (Wired News)...
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Portal for Information on Business Process Outsourcing

An Internet portal for information on outsourcing business processes and information technology requirements. Contains case studies, database directories, market research, and best practices on outsourcing as a strategic business direction. Hosts a monthly online Outsourcing Journal and BPO Outsourcing Journal. Site is managed by the Everest Group, a consulting group that assists organizations in making business value improvements.
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'Presenters University' Shows Tips, Tools, Techniques

Site is sponsored by projector vendor InFocus, but nonetheless is a good resource for information and tools for enhancing presentations. Freebies include some presentation software, i.e., free trial of SnagIt, a screen capture and editing tool, PowerPoint templates, as well as Corel masters. Many articles included from presentation experts, latest presentation books, and an 'Ask the Professor' feature for presentation software questions.
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UBC Deal to Develop Advanced Media Server Applications

The University of British Columbia has signed a deal with Spectrum Signal Processing Inc., a provider of wireless signal and packet-voice processing systems, to develop advanced Media Server technologies. Media Servers enable service providers and enterprise customers to offer services such as viral conferencing, voice portals, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) servers, voice-mail services, and IP Centrex. Work for the partnership will be done both at Spectrum and at UBC's campus in Vancouver, B.C. Funding will be provided by Spectrum, UBC, and the Advanced Systems Institute of B.C.

Utah State Deal for Private Label ISP for Athletics, Alumni

Utah State University has signed a letter of intent to launch a private-labeled Internet Service Provider for alumni, fans and supporters of USU athletics. The school will work with application service provider IDI Global Inc., portal designer New Connexions, and marketing firm ISports Marketing & Development on the program. The planners said the service will create a "powerful affinity relationship" with USU sports fans.

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Tool Enhances Engineering Design for Mathcad Users

Mathsoft Engineering & Education, Inc., introduced the "Data Analysis Extension Pack," an enhancement for Mathcad, the industry-standard math applications. The program helps users manage data from multiple sources into Mathcad in order analyze engineering data patterns and relationships. Mathsoft says organizations using the tool can integrate analyses into design processes, improve management of calculations, and incorporate data analysis work into publication-quality technical documents, graphs and presentations created in Mathcad.
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Kurzweil Adds NeoSpeech Text-to-Speech Tool

Kurzweil Educational Systems has selected VoiceText, a text-to-speech application from NeoSpeech, to power its Kurzweil 1000 scanning and reading software. Kurzweil produces software for enabling the blind and visually impaired to scan printed text or access electronic text and then have the information read aloud to them through text-to-speech technology. "Our goal is to make books, articles, bills, and even advertisements accessible, and make the reading experience enjoyable for people who are blind or who have limited vision," said Stephen Baum, Chief Technology Officer at Kurzweil.
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Analytic and Reporting Tools for the IBM AS/400 World

SPSS Inc., a provider of predictive analytics software, introduced ShowCase Suite 6.5, the latest version of its business intelligence software for organizations that use IBM AS/400 computers. The software focuses on enabling organizations to deliver analytics to enterprise users through a Web browser, and to provide them with tools to explore and visualize business data in greater detail. The release features Report Designer, a tool that lets users customize queries directly from a Web browser. The resulting reports can be outputted as HTML, PDF, or Microsoft Excel documents.

RoboPresenter Gives PowerPoint Presentations Panache

EHelp Corp, introduced RoboPresenter, a tool for creating Flash presentations from PowerPoint with no Flash knowledge required. The software provides PowerPoint users with a simple way to transform their existing PowerPoint content into Flash-based, rich-media presentations. Enhancements include synchronized audio narration, interfaces with navigation, software demos and other rich-media. RoboPresenter is $399. Educational discounts are available.
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