News Update November 1, 2005

CT News Update:
An Online Newsletter from Campus Technology


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News for Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2005

* Princeton to Offer Free "Vodcasts" of Lectures on Web

* Carnegie Mellon U. Demos Speech Translation Breakthrough

* Georgia Southern Prof Named ACM Education Chairman

* Survey: Ball State, Western Michigan, U. Akron Most Wireless

* U. Michigan Solar Car Shows in World Championship Race

* VIRUS ALERT: Worm Carrying "Rootkit" Spreading Via AOL IM

* Deals: U. Oklahoma Upgrades Supercomputing Power

* Online Resources

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Princeton to Offer Free "Vodcasts" of Lectures on Web

Princeton University (NJ) has added "vodcasts" — shared videos
that can be watched using Apple Inc.'s iTunes — to the podcasts,
or downloadable sound files, it already offers on its Web-based
University Channel. The service makes academic lectures and
events available to the public via the Web. Apple recently
introduced vodcasting technology in conjunction with the video-
enabled iPod as a way of sharing video files over iTunes.
Subscribers are notified when podcasts and vodcasts are available
directly on the website or for downloading onto a computer. Both
options are free of charge.

Princeton's Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
launched the University Channel this summer in an effort to grant
widespread access to academic events for a broad audience.
University Channel Executive Director Donna Liu said she first
added podcasting because, "commercial media d'esn't put out full-
length presentations" of interesting lectures and speeches, using
only short clips during news broadcasts instead. While the service
uses Apple technology, Lui said there is "not a specific relationship
between Apple and the University."

Wilson School Dean Anne-Marie Slaughter lauded the move,
saying, "In a world in which everything is increasingly privatized
(Stanford has just put its lectures up on iTunes, but for a price),
sharing the wealth both nationally and internationally is very
consistent with the role Princeton aspires to play as a great

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Carnegie Mellon U. Demos Speech Translation Breakthrough

Carnegie Mellon University researchers last week demonstrated a
breakthrough in cross lingual communication and speech-to-speech
translation in a video conference with researchers at the University
of Karlsruhe in Germany. Computer science professor Alex
Waibel delivered a domain-independent, speech-to-speech
translation in a lecture that was simultaneously translated from
English to Spanish to German.

Waibel said current systems allow translation of spontaneous
speech in limited situations, such as making hotel reservations or
tourist shopping, but they cannot enable translation of lectures,
television broadcasts, meetings or telephone conversations. The
new technology fills that gap and makes it possible to extend such
systems to other languages and lecture types. The demo also
included an array of small ultra-sound speakers that can deliver a
narrow beam of audio in a foreign language to a particular
individual, while others nearby hear the same speech in the
original language as it's spoken without disturbance.

Waibel and his colleagues also showed delivery of speech via
heads-up display and text, a PDA-based pocket interpreter, and
simultaneous translation of videos of European Parliamentary

Georgia Southern Prof Named ACM Education Chairman

Han Reichgelt, an associate professor at Georgia Southern
University's College of Information Technology, was elected
chair of the Association of Computing Machinery's Special
Interest Group on Information Technology Education
SIGITE aims to advance the state of information technology
by providing a forum in which practitioners and other people
involved in the field of information technology education can
interact. Previously, Reichgelt was chair of the SIGITE
subcommittee on accreditation where he led a group of 30
representatives from universities in forming accreditation
criteria for information technology programs.

Survey: Ball State, Western Michigan, U. Akron Most Wireless

Ball State University, Western Michigan University, and the
University of Akron (OH) were named first, second and third most
"unwired" campuses in a ranking by the Intel Corp. Intel makes the
Centrino chip, which is adapted for mobile laptops. The company
said its survey showed that 98 percent of the top 50 campuses are
covered by a wireless network, up from 64 percent in 2004, with
74 percent having 100 percent wireless network coverage on
campus, up from just 14 percent last year.

"Wireless Internet is part of everyday life for students now," said
Viji Muralidharan, vice president for information technology and
chief information officer at Western Michigan, which now has
2,000 access ports around campus. "We provide access that lets
students access the Internet anytime and anywhere."

U. Michigan Solar Car Shows in World Championship Race

A University of Michigan solar car, dubbed "Momentum," placed
third at the recent World Solar Car Championship, a race across
Australia. The school's Solar Car team is a non-profit project run
entirely by students. The team is primarily composed of
undergraduates from business, engineering, and the liberal arts.
Since its founding in 1989, the team has won four national
championships, and has now placed third in the World Solar
Challenge three times.

The car carried technology from Motorola Inc. that provided
vehicle-mounted modems and a "wireless cruise control" that
allowed the team to set, monitor, and control the speed of the
vehicle. During the race, a Michigan advance team traveling ahead
of the car monitored upcoming speed limits and broadcasted the
information remotely to set the maximum speed of the solar car so
it could not exceed the speed limit. Jeff Ferman, a member of the
UM race team, said the experience "helped us show the future
possibilities of technology--a day when cars are powered by the
sun and communicating with one another."

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Worm Carrying "Rootkit" Spreading Via AOL IM

C/Net is reporting the spread of a worm via AOL IM. One security
expert calls this unnamed worm "a very nasty bundle" of malicious
software including for the first time a so-called "rootkit."

"A rootkit is a tool designed to go undetected by the security
software used to lock down control of a computer after an initial
hack," the C/Net report explains. It's part of a "disturbing trend"
using the popular IM systems to spread viruses.

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Deals: U. Oklahoma Uprades Supercomputing Power

The University of Oklahoma's Supercomputing Center for
Education and Research has deployed a 512-node supercomputer
that boosts the school into the top ranks of supercomputing power.
Dr. Henry Neeman, director of the center said the new
supercomputer, "puts us in the top one percent of all U.S.
universities in terms of our computing resources and provides our
students, faculty and affiliates with a state-of-the-art tool to
conduct advanced research."

The new supercomputer is the ninth fastest supercomputer among
all U.S. universities and the fourth fastest among U.S. universities
that do not host any of the National Science Foundation's three
national supercomputing centers. The supercomputer is designed to
provide resources for research in weather forecasting and high
energy physics. It integrates Force 10 TeraScale E-Series routers
and switches, Dell PowerEdge servers and a large storage area
network. The architecture supports 1,260-gigabit Ethernet ports per
chassis, capacity that will allow the cluster to expand as its
computing demands increase.

Online Resources

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