EDUPAGE> Edupage, April 02, 2003

  • From: Gleason Sackmann <gleason@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: K12Newsletters <k12newsletters@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 3 Apr 2003 08:22:21 -0600

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Subject: Edupage, April 02, 2003
Edupage is a service of EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit association
whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting
the intelligent use of information technology.

 The Economic Upside to Copy Protection
 Engineer Designs Mac Clone
 U.K. to Crack Down on Spam
 Government Works on Notification Standards
 Penn State Gets Tough on Copyright Violations
 Computers, Not Pencils, for Standardized Tests

A study commissioned by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) reportedly
found a correlation between rates of software piracy and the overall
size of a country's IT sector. According to the BSA, countries with
high rates of software piracy, such as China and Russia, have
relatively small IT sectors, as measured as a portion of each
country's overall gross domestic product. Tax revenues are also lost
to software piracy. Reducing piracy rates, said the BSA, could lead to
growth in a country's IT sector specifically and in the economy
overall. The BSA projected that reducing the piracy rate by 10 points
over four years could create 1.5 million jobs globally and generate $64
billion in tax revenue.
CNET, 2 April 2003

The last time anyone produced an Apple clone was in 1997, when Apple
ended a three-year licensing program. John Fraser, an engineer in
Minnesota, hopes to change that with an Apple clone he has designed,
called the iBox. The iBox, which some have likened to a pizza box in
appearance, is made of a case Fraser designed with components built by
Apple that are sold to repair shops as spare parts. Fraser's plan is
to offer customers many options for configuring the iBox, including
processor speed, hard-drive size, and other pieces. Unlike the current
iMac and eMac choices from Apple, the iBox can be substantially
upgraded. Customers will provide the Macintosh operating system. Fraser
hopes his approach to building clones will avoid licensing or patent
problems, but those questions have yet to be answered. Intellectual
property lawyer Mark Dickson noted there is a wide range of trademarks
and patents that must be observed. He said the look of the machine or
how the pieces are put together could be grounds for legal action if
they fall under patents held by Apple or possibly even by another PC
Wired News, 2 April 2003,2125,58310,00.html

The British government is working on legislation that would place
significant restrictions on unsolicited e-mail. At the end of October,
spam will be illegal across member states of the European Union, and
Britain hopes to have its own legal framework covering spam in place by
then. Among the proposals for the legislation are requirements that
solicitors obtain consent for sending e-mail advertisements, that
consumers be notified of cookies and other Web tracking technologies,
and that Web sites let customers choose whether they are included in
subscriber directories. A government official acknowledged that
legislation would not mean the end of spam, but it will provide clear
guidelines for marketers and consumers and will give law enforcement
agencies authority to go after spammers.
BBC, 1 April 2003

Speaking at the Secure E-Business Summit this week, Howard Schmidt,
acting chairman of the federal government's Cybersecurity Board, said
officials from government and the private sector are working to develop
guidelines for notifying the government in cases of cybersecurity
incidents. Many such incidents are not reported, according to Schmidt,
because the private sector was not sure what the government wanted.
Schmidt called for clear standards for what types of incidents will be
reported to government officials. As a first step in establishing
formal policies and procedures for reporting cybersecurity incidents,
the government has created the National Communications System (NCS),
which serves as the primary point of contact for such notifications.
The NCS is part of the new Department of Homeland Security.
Federal Computer Week, 2 April 2003


Rodney A. Erickson, provost at Pennsylvania State University at
University Park, recently sent an e-mail message warning students of
the "potentially high price to pay for an illegally copied computer
program, movie, or recording." Where previous messages have threatened
the loss of Internet privileges, Erickson's e-mail warned students of
fines up to $250,000 and imprisonment under federal law. Students
reportedly were confused about the message's intent and how they will
be affected. Many believe pressure from the recording industry is
behind the latest missive to crack down on illegal file sharing.
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) spokesman Jonathan
Lamy said the RIAA was not involved with the e-mail but applauded Penn
State's efforts to inform students of the illegality of file sharing
and its potential consequences. Erickson said the university will
suspend the Internet accounts of students found in violation but will
not give their names to the entertainment industry for prosecution
unless required to do so by law.
Chronicle of Higher Education, 2 April 2003

Officials in Oregon are working to move the state's standardized
testing programs to computer-based exams rather than paper-and-pencil
tests. The Technology Enhanced Student Assessment (TESA) program is
used in more than 500 Oregon schools, resulting in one student in three
taking the tests on a computer. Idaho and Virginia have pursued similar
programs. Despite some parents' concerns that taking standardized
tests on a computer disadvantages some students, particularly younger
ones, officials involved in the program said students today are
extremely comfortable using technology and that even the third graders
are doing fine with the program. Bill Auty, Oregon's associate
superintendent overseeing testing, said computer tests are cheaper than
paper tests because they don't require printing or mailing. In
addition, students receive feedback almost immediately with
computer-based tests, rather than having to wait three months for
results of the paper tests.
Associated Press, 2 April 2003


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