News Update :: Tuesday, October 10, 2006


CollegeNet Wins Damages in Xap Competition Suit

A federal jury last week awarded CollegeNet, which provides online admission application services to colleges and students, $4.5 million in damages in a suit it filed against Xap Corp. for anti-competitive practices. Xap provides online services in a tangential segment of the admissions market, the student loan network of state agencies, departments of education, banks, and other lenders.

CollegeNet claimed that Xap had made false representations to its customers about privacy, creating a competitive disadvantage. Colleges have to pay for CollegeNet, but can get Xap services for free because financial aid institutions pay for Xap. CollegeNet had charged that XAP misleads colleges about its privacy policies by giving colleges the false impression that XAP won’t sell student data.

Under the Lanham Act, the jury verdict confirmed CollegeNet’s claim that XAP made false or misleading statements in the marketplace about its policies on the privacy of student data. The evidence revealed that XAP sold certain information such as social security numbers, names, addresses, and dates of birth for at least 600,000 students...

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MIT Launches Center for Collective (Wiki) Intelligence

MIT opens the doors this week of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence (CCI), which has set the ambitious goal to understand how to harness the power of large numbers of people – connected via the Internet and other technologies – to solve a range of business, scientific, and societal problems.

CCI Director Thomas Malone said the recent successes of “Google and Wikipedia suggest that the time is now ripe for many more such systems.” Malone, author of “The Future of Work,” said the Center’s research will address, “how can people and computers be connected so that – collectively – they act more intelligently than any individuals, groups, or computers have ever done before?”

As an example, CCI will announce a joint project among CCI, the SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management at the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania, and Pearson Publishing that will involve thousands of people who will collectively write a book – Wikipedia-style – about how to use communities in business.

To view a live webcast of the Oct. 13 th launch of CCI, visit

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Stanford Debuts Wiki of All Things Stanford

Stanford University last week launched the Stanford Wiki, a spin-off of the Wikipedia Web encyclopedia. It will focus solely on things related to Stanford.

Stanford Wiki is the brainchild of Tristan Harris, student in computer science. “The Stanford Wiki is a place for students to share information about essentially anything they want related to Stanford,” Harris told the Stanford Report. “It can be about their favorite professors, the best places to take people on dates, the worst dining halls, [or] good places nearby to get haircuts.”

Harris added that the content on Stanford Wiki can also include “plenty of non-superficial things,” including “grants and scholarship programs only a few people on campus know about, ways to eat for free during the week, or the secret transportation systems to get around the area.” The Stanford Wiki, unlike Wikipedia, will sell ads and be for-profit...

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Golden Gophers Launch National Media Web Site

The University of Minnesota has launched a Web site designed solely to attract national radio, TV, print, and Internet media outlets to campus research news, university experts, and news columns. The site was produced by the university’s news service, part of the university relations operation.

Daniel Wolter, director of University News Service, said the “new site is an easy way for the media to access our professors, experts and research.” It offers an online booking feature with which media outlets planning shows can submit a guest request in real time online by typing in a topic and/or guest name. The university’s “national media team” will then “work quickly to accommodate” request and needs. “In today’s 24/7 news cycle, news sources like the U of M need to be accessible and nimble,” said Wolter.

The university’s national media site also offers free downloadable (text) columns for newspapers and Internet news sites to use for publication...

For more information, click here.

U.S., Japan Raise Bar on Global Grid Computing

University and industry researchers in the U.S. and Japan for the first time demonstrated “automated” interoperability between network and computing resources in two national grid computing test-beds. Researchers said it was the first demonstration of integrated computing and communication technology on such a scale between two countries.

The interoperability between the G-lambda project in Japan and the Enlightened Computing project in the U.S. was dem'ed at the annual Global LambdaGrid Workshop in Tokyo, Japan.

In the demonstration, for the first time, a software application in a research testbed in one country was able to reserve, manage, and monitor computing and network resources across both countries. Participants considered it a key milestone toward the development of a “global grid” of networked, interoperable resources, which some believe will lead to the next generation of computing and the Internet.

The demonstration included computing resources at the North Carolina State University Virtual Computing Lab, MCNC, the Center for Computation & Technology at Louisiana State University, and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

“Grid technology enables resources to be shared throughout the university environment through the Virtual Computing Lab, and we are working to extend the sharing of resources across North Carolina,” said Mladen Vouk, department head and professor of Computer Science, and associate vice provost for Information Technology at NC State...

For more information, click here.

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