News Update :: Tuesday, August 8, 2006


Rutgers to Lead Federal Media Sifting, Analysis Consortium

Rutgers University is getting $3 million from the federal government to lead a group of researchers scouring news stories, Internet sites, and other sources of information for clues that might indicate terrorist activity.

The group will develop computing technologies for looking for patterns and relationships in data, such as news stories, blogs, and other publicly accessible information, to quickly identify emerging indications of possible terrorist activity.

Rutgers’ Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science will lead the effort, and will partner with researchers from AT&T Laboratories, Lucent Technologies’ Bell Labs, Princeton University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Texas Southern University. The Rutgers center will also create educational programs using the technology it develops.

Others involved in the Department of Homeland Security program are the University of Southern California, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Pittsburgh. The government will award a combined total of $10.2 million over three years to these institutions and their partners.

“The challenge involved in this endeavor is not only the massive amount of information out there, but also how quickly it flows and how fast the sources of information change,” said Fred Roberts, the center’s director.

For more information, click here.

U. of New Hampshire, U.S. Army Collaborate on IPv6 Testing

The University of New Hampshire’s Interoperability Laboratory completed a weeklong test of the “Moonv6” network, the world’s largest multi-vendor IPv6 next-generation Internet. The test was the first successful public demonstration of the Network Time Protocol (NTP) running on a native IPv6-only connection. NTP allows computers to synchronize their time clocks via servers keyed to universal coordinated time.

During the week of tests, which concluded on July 28, the lab ran mixed voice, video, and data applications traffic between its testing lab in Durham, N.H., and the U.S. Army’s interoperability testing facility, the Joint Interoperability Test Command in Fort Huachuca, Arizona. Engineers at both locations passed data back and forth across firewalls systems via native IPv6 links, as well as mixed v4 and v6 links using transition techniques such as domain name systems (DNS) mapping. DNS is key to knitting IPv4 and v6 networks together during the transition.

Most of today’s Internet uses IPv4, now nearly 20 years old. IPv4 has been resilient, but it is beginning to have problems, including a growing shortage of IPv4 addresses. IPv6 fixes the address shortage and adds improvements in areas such as routing and network auto-configuration. Participating vendors in the University of New Hampshire – U.S. Army test included: Agilent, Check Point Software Technologies, Extreme Networks, Fortinet Inc., IBM, Lucent, Nominum, QLogic, and Spectracom Corp.

“IPv6 interoperability is on track, and we are seeing evidence that the applications for IPv6 are advancing,” said Erica Williamsen, UNH-IOL senior manager of software and applications who noted that the next Moonv6 event with the Army will take place “in the first or early second quarter of 2007.”

For more information, click here.

WC3 Group to Internationalize Speech Synthesis Software

The World Wide Web Consortium has set goals for Web-based speech synthesis that would eventually enable people using many different languages to listen to synthesized speech on the Internet. The goals were the product of a workshop on revising standards for Speech Synthesis Markup Language, including expanding the range of languages supported by SSML 1.0.

Workshop organizers said the push for the new features is an acknowledgement that voice applications and under-represented languages – especially Chinese and Indian languages – are growing on the Web. In many of the regions where these languages are spoken, people can access the Web more easily through a mobile handset than through a desktop computer. An improved SSML would increase the ability of people worldwide to listen to synthesized speech through mobile phones, desktop computers, or other devices.

Workshop participants also expressed the need to add to the standard the ability to represent features of spoken language, including tone, syllabic stress or accent, and duration in a machine-readable fashion. In some languages, these attributes are an important factor in determining meaning.

For more information, click here.

Nike Founder Gives $105 Million Gift to Upgrade Stanford B-School

Nike Inc. founder Phil Knight will give $105 million to Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. The gift will be used to build a new $275 million campus for the business school – the Knight Management Center – that will be outfitted with state-of-the-art instructional technology, a 450-seat auditorium, classrooms, breakout study rooms, dining facilities, a career management center, and executive education space.

The Center’s design will include more flexible classroom space for the greater number of small classes and seminars the school will offer. The new campus is also designed to support more interaction with university faculty and students, including facilities for cross-disciplinary classes and lectures. “Stanford Business School was an important part of my life,” said Knight, who graduated from the school in 1962. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to give back to the school and help it continue to push the boundaries of excellence in management education.”

Dean Robert Joss said the gift “will allow us to create a physical environment to support new methods of teaching management and leadership, while also inviting more collaboration from across Stanford.”

For more information, click here.

SCU Hosts Tech Business Boot Camp for Social Entrepreneurs

Santa Clara University’s (SCU) Center for Science, Technology and Society will host a two-week “boot-camp” this summer. It is designed to help “social entrepreneurs” from around the world graft Silicon Valley technology and business practices onto their ventures. The mission of the camp, say organizers, is to equip entrepreneurs with cohesive business plans that could make them effective in bringing their programs to resource-strapped regions of the world.

SCU devised the event, called the Global Social Business Incubator, to tap into a surge of interest in “social entrepreneurship,” and to give budding CEOs intensive instruction for getting innovations ranging from Third World tech training to getting sanitary toilet systems up and running.

Jim Koch, executive director of the camp, said he believes concepts developed in Silicon Valley – such as the “elevator pitch” and a focus on cooperation rather than competition among companies – can easily be applied to organizations working in developing countries. “Silicon Valley has a regional advantage and lots of experience in what it takes to grow rapidly, and there are a variety of approaches that have potential spillover benefit in the social-benefit arena,” he said.

“These are award-winning innovations from international communities who have a demonstrable idea, not pie-in-the-sky dreamers,” added Patrick Guerra, co-founder of the incubator.

For more information, click here.

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