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IT Trends for Thursday, March 18, 2004

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Thursday, March 18, 2004

In This Issue


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

Carpe Occasio! Celebrate National Internet2 Day

Today, lots of people on Internet2 member campuses will be celebrating National Internet2 Day, locally with brown bag lunches, luncheons, and presentations from campus-based speakers—and virtually, using a variety of netcast options. We should all join them, no matter where we are.

Just as we now rarely give a thought to the people who designed and built the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the Mackinac Bridge, and the Hoover Dam, users of the ubiquitous Internet will, in what will seem like no time at all, reap their connected benefits without considering pioneering efforts like Internet2. The people we live and work with who have the vision and who are doing the work will be forgotten, even as their creation lives on. So, carpe occasio, Internet 2, seize this favorable moment!
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National Internet2 Day is Today

PA good idea: Celebrate Internet2 on your campus and explain why it's important to faculty, students, staff, and other constituents.
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Years later, Cleveland State Sues PeopleSoft for $510M

The filings accuse PeopleSoft of having known, or that it should have known, that some of its promised modules were "vaporware."
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PDFs Closer to Becoming the Archive Standard

Open-standard PDFs, that is. The most recent push is driven by two massive corporate bankruptcy filings and the need for the federal judiciary system to store and retrieve those documents.
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Personal Computer Grid Projects Move Beyond SETI

More projects are using more machines in grids,, for example, filtered Oxford University's catalogue of 35 million compounds to 45 molecules likely to be useful in smallpox drugs in five months.
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Wireless a Big Hit on and off Campus at Oregon State

The combination of free or fee at local coffee houses, plus a growing wireless net on campus seems fairly typical of many campuses in early 2004.
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Fuss Over the Cost of New Zealand's Equivalent to Internet2

New Zealand's feeling left behind, but it can't figure out the cost of getting to the next level to ensure it's well connected with other countries.
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Blackboard Inc. Going public, Files for IPO

Blackboard, which claims that 12M students, faculty, and staff used its products last year, has filed to go public and sell stock.
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Connected Learning Central Part of University of Dayton

Several new programs intertwine to further the idea of combining living and learning with appropriate use of information technologies.
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Clemson University Investigates Post Office Complaints

No, not "mail server" problems, "post office" problems. This news article illustrates how long standing the issues we face in information technology are, even prior to electronics.
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Watch out for PhatBot

A new, potentially very dangerous worm is called by some "a virtual Swiss Army knife of attack software." It uses peer-to-peer capabilities to snoop for passwords and tries to disable firewall and antivirus software.
Read more


Blackboard Bares it Soul in IPO Filing

Want to know how Blackboard addresses prospective investors on why they should support the company given that “providing enterprise software applications to the education industry is an emerging and uncertain business”? Or given that it has “had a few profitable quarters and may never achieve sustained profitability?”
Learn more


MIT to Install Invention Machines on Design Student Desktops

MIT said it will deploy Invention Machine's Goldfire Innovator software to its students. Innovator is innovation-support software that helps inventors and developers organize the creative workflow and access databases and research libraries. Under the agreement, students in the Masters program in Advanced Systems Architecture Design will have Goldfire Innovator installed on their individual laptops. In addition, students will have access to over 15 million patents from worldwide patent collections, as well as 9,000 scientific effects and 2,000 scientific Web sites.

University of Vienna Picks Desktop Virtualization Solution

Technikum Wien, the University of Vienna, picked Softricity’s SoftGrid application virtualization platform to centralize management of its students’ 1,750 laptops. The school said the platform would enable it to accelerate application deployment by 90 percent, cut desktop management costs in half, and substantially enhance its IT department’s quality of service.

Technikum Wien said it considered electronic software distribution (ESD) and server-based computing approaches, but realized that neither would solve their time-consuming application conflict issues. In addition, server-based systems could not adequately handle processor-intensive applications such as Pr'Engineer, Mathcad, and Visual Studio .Net. SoftGrid enabled the school to centrally deploy and update all of its applications on all 1,750 laptops. Michael Braunstorfer, IT manager for Technikum Wien, said the software enabled the school to “shape our environment to our needs, instead of letting our needs be dictated by our environment.”

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Napster, IBM Collaborate to Reduce P2P Bandwidth Usage

The system mostly involves a lot of local storage areas for the most popular Napster tracks saving a claimed 90 percent of the bandwidth that would otherwise cross the Internet.
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Texas Student to Launch New Search Engine

Apparently not a bit shy, Blake Rhodes and his team wanted to compete head-to-head with Google and others, creating a more user-friendly, visually-attractive search site that is more customer-friendly.
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Eliminating the Whine of the Fan

No, this isn't about collegiate sports. A Pennsylvania State University team has created a fairly inexpensive way to eliminate the more obnoxious sounds associated with CPU cooling fans. Imagine a silent server room.
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