IT Trends :: Thursday, May 18, 2006

New Technology

Students and Turtles Mesh at UMass

Replacing the old hand-wave sign of everything being okay, University of Massachusetts in Amherst’s buses now carry Linux-based computers with GPS transmitters, online WiFi access for passengers, and a second card that scans for information from other buses or electronic sources on the bus route. Amazing. A wide-area network on Amherst's 150-square-mile bus system gives passengers limited Internet access onboard, and will eventually provide riders with up-to-the-minute information on buses' locations and arrival times at particular stops… (TechWeb)

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$100M Supercomputer Takes Nanotech Back to School for RPI

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, working with IBM and the State of New York, is laying claim to having the most powerful supercomputer at a university. Its programming will primarily be directed in support of nanotechnology research. It is designed to continue the advances in shrinking device dimensions seen by electronics manufacturers, and to extend this model to a wide range of industries that could benefit from nanotechnology… (

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Boise State Campus Makes Switch to Internet Phoning

The choice to convert the school's analog phone system to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) came down to one factor: cost. Boise State priced a new land line system at $2 million, while the new VoIP system costs $1.1 million. Massachusetts' Brandeis University and the University of Notre Dame are among other recent VoIP subscribers. Most BSU faculty and staffers have VoIP phones that simply hook up to their computers, so many don't even realize the university converted to a new system… (The Idaho Statesman)

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Even Campus Administrators find Facebook Professionally Useful

The students are all "hooked." They might ignore official e-mail alerts, so some administrators are joining Facebook not just to observe, but to communicate for learning purposes. Ralph Metcalf, Middle Tennessee State University's multicultural affairs director, got himself a profile mainly for the access to students that the Facebook account gives him. If he hasn't heard from a student in a while, he'll send them a note through Facebook to check in and ask how the student is doing… (The Daily Advertiser)

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