IT Trends March 3, 2005

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In This Issue


DMR: The Challenge of the Decade

By Terry Calhoun

A few short years ago, the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP), with which I am affiliated, held a regional conference in Ann Arbor, MI. Ordinarily, I don’t attend our regional conferences, so it was a delight for me to be able to join in the audience. One of the presenters was a University of Michigan executive with important roles in the library, and in information technology policy. His presentation was so lively that we moved it down the hall for additional discussions when the allotted time was over.

The presenter had bemoaned the then-new trend of students using Internet sources for their work, combined with their lack of desire to actually consult the physical materials in the library itself. I shared with him my own observations that the same was true (even then) of higher education professionals. It was clear that instructors would also use an Internet resource over a physical resource from the library, even if they might get better information from the physical source. Then I suggested that maybe we should pay attention to the users’ preferences and put more and more of our information onto the Internet. “Why not face the future,” I said, “and just put the whole library online? It’s what they want.”

The presenter was outraged to the point where I felt it would not be polite for me to continue that line of discussion. “That’s not what libraries are about!” he snapped, and added, “That won’t happen unless it’s over my dead body.”

Well, he’s a nice guy and I sure hope his health is good, because late in 2004, the University of Michigan announced a deal with Google that will digitize the complete holdings of the University of Michigan Library—more than seven million volumes—over the next six years.

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How's That iPod Experiment Going at Duke University?

“We weren’t quite ready in some ways for all the things you need to make a project successful," said one administrator. This article is a good exploration of the planning and implementation of a complex project. (Duke Chronicle)
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University of Maryland Kids Team Designing a New Library

A staff of 15, along with a cadre of "short graduate students' are working on implementation of International Children's Digital Library. (Washington Times)
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UC-Irvine Needs to Store a World of Earth-Modeling Data

It works fine, but lacks storage for the data results of a 300-year earth projection experiment that is the main purpose of the compute and software, because 90 percent of the removable storage devices do not work. (New Univeristy)
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University of Maryland OIT Unsure of Student Data Security

A recent OIT report indicated that the categories of “Security Plan” and “Information Assurance for Protected Information” are unfunded and unstaffed, and thus not certain. (Diamondback Online)
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Frosh Computer Project at Indiana State Drawing Fire

A decision must be made this spring, but the cost and other parameters, are being hotly debated within the university community. (IndyStar.Com)
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XORP G'es Live

The Extensible Open-Source Router Platform (XORP) project is about to replace its own routners with PCs running a XORP product. XORP is not only open-source, but unlike its commercial competitors, it is designed--for now-- to run on PCs rather than specialized servers. (Next-Gen Data Center Forum)
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Mass email Info System at Northern Illinois University Taps Students for Funding

An opt-in email mass notification system for the student body will cost approximately $100k to install. About a third of that will come from the student assembly. Operating costs will be with finance and facilities. (Northern Star Online)
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Thursday, March 03, 2005

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What if 911 calls don't work, just when they need to?

The origins of the internet were in the pursuit of a distributed information network that could not be taken down by a single attack or failure. This article explores liabilities created by VOIP in its current state. (USA Today)

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