IT Trends December 8, 2005

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In This Issue


Wikians R Us and Some Folks Don't Like that Very Much

By Terry Calhoun

Earlier this week, Matt Drudge featured an odd news item about mysterious threats between Florida witches; threats communicated in notes wrapped around rocks and written in ancient Theban script. Of course, maybe the first thing everyone who read the story thought (I did.) was, why not use Wiccan powers to threaten each other? I mean, a note wrapped around a rock thrown through a window - how Muggle-ish.

I've known some Wiccans and I know, of course, that they do not do those kinds of things, but I grew up before it was socially acceptable to be anything other than what everyone else seemed to be, and I've apparently got my built-in preconceptions, just like others. But it was an unfortunate item to appear in any popular media at the same time as the biggest press that the Wikipedia has ever gotten - and pretty negative press at that.

I have no doubt that the huge number of Americans who still think that Saddam Hussein was the evil mind behind 9/11 will make the connection: Wicca/Wiki, and for a long time to come have bad attitudes toward a great tool.

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iPod Use Grows at Duke University

It adds up this way. Twice as many classes are using iPods and four times as many students. Sounds like that initial risk may be paying off. (Duke News)

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UBC Trying to Head off "Clicker Proliferation"

Figuring that students won't like having to buy a different 'clicker'for each class, the University of Victoria, (British Columbia) is working to understand the vagaries of the technology and develop a standard ASAP. (Ring, The University of Victoria's Community Newspaper)

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Face It: Privacy Is Endangered

There's going to be a lot of talk about privacy and the dangers of the Internet in the next few months. The latest in face recognition technology, combined with networked videocams, can provide a nice big frisson for you. (Wired)

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SMU Wants to Expand Wireless Network

At the moment, SMU's got 25-30 percent coverage. But it's just one of many campuses aiming for eventual 100 percent coverage. (SMU Daily)

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New Resource for Expert Rich Media Content

Sonic Foundry wants to share the wealth. They've just launched, a searchable Web site that aggregates publicly available expert presentations from higher education, government, and corporate sectors. The idea is to link individuals to a growing database of expert rich media content. Debuting with more than 7,000 titles, the collection is based on, but not limited to, presentations that were recorded using Sonic Foundry's Mediasite recording technology. Find out more


Adobe Completes Acquisition of Macromedia

Adobe Systems Inc. announced the completion of its acquisition of Macromedia Inc. The move accelerates Adobe's initiative to market a software platform, based on PDF and Macromedia Flash technologies, designed to scale from mobile devices to high-end servers. (Adobe News) Read more

Thursday, December 8, 2005

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Indian's "Virus Hit Squad's a Hit

Called Shelob, after the giant spider in The Lord of the Rings, the implementation of this open source security system seems to have been as beneficial as the designers hoped. It operates only at the network level, nothing needs to be installed on students' computers. ( Read more

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