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IT Trends for Thursday, October 23, 2003.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

In This Issue


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

What Is An “IT Commons”?

A few weeks ago I shared a news item about the new IT Commons at Mount Holyoke College. Most of us, when we hear the phrase “IT Commons” probably think of a specific physical location on a campus, where IT resources are shared.

At the University of Michigan, however, “IT Commons” means something else. It’s not a user-based idea; it’s a planner- and creator-based idea. It means a deliberate, campus-wide shift toward an IT strategic planning culture which is less centralized – local-unit planning with incentives for wider collaboration among IT units and also a shift to realign IT strategic planning with “existing University governance, processes, and culture.”

How is this working?
Read more

Terry Calhoun ([email protected]) is director of communications and publications for the Society for College and University Planning (


CalTech One Side of Fastest-Ever Internet Data Transmission

Imagine sending a full-length DVD film around the globe in seven seconds. CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, near Geneva, Switzerland, sent 1.1 terabytes of data at 5.44 gigabits per second to a California Institute of Technology lab on Oct. 1. The transmission rate is more than 20,000 times faster than a typical home broadband connection. (Wired)...
Read more

Berkeley Student Promotes ‘Capability-Based’ Security

A University of California at Berkeley, graduate student has a plan for a new kind of computer security he calls Capability-Based Security, which gives each program access only to the parts of the computer it absolutely needs. (The Daily Californian)...
Read more

Proposition: SoBig.F Designed as Spam Launching Pad

Sobig was probably "more effective" at what it was intended to do than its writers had planned. And it may have not been purely malicious: there may have been commercial intent to use Sobig to set up pathways for spam. (CIO Information Network)...
Read more

Ball State Leads in Real-Time, Global, Interactive Video

American Council on Education recognized Ball State's program earlier this year for its innovative video learning program, which is connected to campuses in Asia, Europe, North American, and South America. On campus, the goal is to ensure there is a video camera in every academic building. The university also plans to allow area businesses to use the network to conduct videoconferences with companies in other countries.
Read more

2003 Campus Computing Project Report Is Out

The Campus Computing Project released its annual report on the state of higher ed technology usage. Not surprisingly, wireless is hot this year, with lots of growth on campus. At the same time, 41 percent of campuses have experienced cuts in academic computing funding. A summary is available at the project's website, below.
Read more

Fighting to Preserve Legacy Software Programs

We all know the story about the server that was dry-walled into a space without an entrance or exit yet continued to chug along, functioning for a decade. This group, however, says that old software programs are not as tenacious and need help if they are not to be lost forever. (Wired)...
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Water-cooled Computer Chips Developed at Stanford

A recent test of a water-cooled computer chip showed the highest performance that Intel had ever seen from a chip cooling device. Why bother? For one thing, it cuts the noise out from fans. Hitachi already has a water-cooled laptop on the market. (Wired)...
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How Central Michigan University PCs “Trickle Down”

CMU purchases between 1,000-2,000 computers a year, replacing 25-30 percent of the machines on campus. When an older machine is replaced by a new one, the older one trickles down through a sometimes-tortuous path (Central Michigan Life)...
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Dorm Computer Labs to Close at Northern Arizona U.

Maybe a sign of changing times, but also the result of state funding cutbacks, residence hall labs may be on the way out at Northern Arizona University AU. (The Lumberjack)...
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Higher Ed Teacher Training in Assistive Technologies

The High Tech Center Training Unit of the California Community Colleges is a training and support facility for community college faculty and staff wishing to acquire or improve teaching skills, methodologies, and pedagogy in Assistive Computer Technology, Alternate Media and Web Accessibility. HTCTU supports High Tech Center programs at 114 community colleges and satellite centers. More than 10,000 students with disabilities are enrolled in High Tech Center programs in California.
Learn more

Digital Classroom: History with Original Documents

NARA’s Digital Classroom has organized the Archive’s vast collection of digitized original American historical documents into scholarly eras, from the Revolutionary War to the contemporary U.S. The site contains reproducible copies of primary documents, teaching activities correlated to National History Standards and National Standards for Civics and Government, as well as cross-curricular connections.
Learn more


Ohio State Deal Provides 10G Conferencing Network

Ohio State University Newark and Central Ohio Technical College are building an advanced network infrastructure that will supply ultra bandwidth to the desktop from speeds as high as 10 Gigabits per second in the core of the network. The network features a switching platform from Extreme Networks Inc. Using the technology, the schools last month opened the John Gilbert Reese Center, a technology-based conference center combining meeting facilities with high-speed network technology.

Des Moines U. Portal Unites Student, Administrative Apps

Des Moines University rolled out enterprise web applications for 1,800 students, faculty and staff via a new portal. Students are using the portal to access customized learning tools, library resources, and personal information, while faculty and staff can access self-service human resources tasks and publish departmental information easily. DSU said the portal has already saved $1.200 in printing costs with an application that manages leave requests. The school signed a deal with Plumtree Inc. to design the overall Web services architecture.

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Web Crossing Ships Online Office Tools for Faculty

Collaboration tool developer Web Crossing shipped the latest release (3.0) of its Campus Crossing software. The new version includes Faculty Office, which provides faculty private areas online to prepare courses, store files, and access grade books and attendance rosters. Other enhancements are automatic payment capabilities, interactive multimedia databases, language localization, and live event functions. The software is available as a server hosted solution (ASP) starting at $65/month. Licenses are also available on a per-seat basis starting at $295.
Learn more

Questionmark Browser Offers Secure Testing Environment

Testing and assessment software provider Questionmark released Questionmark Secure, which disables task switching, right click options, menus, printing, and other functions to provide a safe environment for delivering valuable content, tests quizzes, and exams. Questionmark Secure is a secure browser that displays HTML content but d'es not provide menu options, icons/buttons, or right click options that might allow the HTML content to be easily printed or captured by other systems. The look and feel of the screen displayed is exactly the same as a normal browser, except pages are not stored in the history and
menu options and icons are not displayed.
Learn more

Casio Enters the Portable Data Projector Market

Consumer electronics powerhouse Casio, Inc., has entered the data projector market with two high-luminosity mobile projectors (XJ-350 and XJ-450) designed for portability. The XJ-350 delivers 2200 lumens from a very small 9x7x2 inch configuration, while the XJ450, with a letter-sized footprint, delivers 2800 lumens. Both models come with a 2X optical zoom lens, which makes it possible to project onto a screen as close as 32 inches.

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Discussion of the Week:

What are your experiences with having nearby colleges share their workshops and training with other schools? -- posted by prospero

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