Edupage, April 21, 2006

  • From: Educational CyberPlayGround <admin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
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  • Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2006 10:18:33 -0400

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TOP STORIES FOR FRIDAY, APRIL 21, 2006 Cisco Launches Digital Incubator Charges Filed in USC Hack Publishers Settle Copyright Lawsuits, More Pending Company to Pay $4.5 Million in E-Rate Fraud Case Technology Director Charged with E-Rate Fraud

CISCO LAUNCHES DIGITAL INCUBATOR Cisco Systems has partnered with the recently launched mtvU on a program to elicit ideas about the evolution of online content from college students. The Digital Incubator program solicits ideas through mtvU and then selects 10 per year to receive $25,000 to fund the projects. Dan Scheinman, senior vice president of corporate development at Cisco, said the company does not expect a return on its investment per se but believes that the best ideas for where to take the burgeoning world of digital content for broadband users will come not from company executives but from young people--specifically, university students. In recent years, Cisco and other technology powerhouses have spent considerable sums of money to position themselves as leaders in a world of always-connected users looking for compelling content online. What form that content takes is the question at the heart of the Digital Incubator program. "Some of the ideas that students have come up with," said Scheinman, "are better than things we've venture-funded to the tune of $2 million." CNET, 19 April 2006

CISCO and Michael Lynn
Social Networking
Web 2.0 Tools for the classroom

CHARGES FILED IN USC HACK Charges have been filed against a network administrator in San Diego related to a June 2005 incident in which a server at the University of Southern California (USC) was compromised. Federal authorities have charged Eric McCarty with gaining unauthorized entry to a USC computer system for applications that contained information on more than 275,000 applicants dating back to 1997. Michael Zweiback, an assistant U.S. attorney in the cybercrimes and intellectual property unit, said, "Universities are becoming bigger and bigger targets to the hacker community," adding that "hackers always want to see if they can beat the technical people on the other side." If found guilty of the alleged hacking, McCarty could be sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. ZDNet, 20 April 2006


PUBLISHERS SETTLE COPYRIGHT LAWSUITS, MORE PENDING Two academic publishers have settled six of 20 lawsuits filed against individuals for selling copies of instructors' manuals online. The manuals accompany specific textbooks but are intended for faculty only because they include answers to homework and quiz questions in the texts. The individuals involved in the settlements were accused of making copies of instructors' manuals and selling them online, according to William Dunnegan, an attorney representing Pearson Education and John Wiley & Sons. Terms of the settlement were not released, nor were the names of the defendants. Other cases are still pending, and the publishers involved said the lawsuits are just one part of a larger campaign to address the problem of illegal online sales of copyrighted academic texts. Dunnegan said he hopes other academic publishers will join Pearson and Wiley, saying, "It will be easier to enforce as part of a group effort." Chronicle of Higher Education, 20 April 2006 (sub. req'd)

Copyright Copyleft

Houston-based NextiraOne has agreed to pay $4.5 million to settle
charges that it defrauded the government and the Oglala Nation
Educational Coalition through the federal E-rate program. The work for
which NextiraOne was under investigation took place at the Pine Ridge
Reservation in South Dakota. According to a complaint by the Department
of Justice, NextiraOne billed the government for products and services
it did not deliver; submitted fraudulent invoices; and charged inflated
prices for other products. The E-rate program, designed to extend
Internet access to schools and libraries that could not otherwise
afford it, has come under fire for what some have described as rampant
fraud. Under the settlement, NextiraOne will pay a criminal fine of
$1.9 million and will return $2.6 million to the government.
ITWorld, 21 April 2006

TECHNOLOGY DIRECTOR CHARGED WITH E-RATE FRAUD Federal charges have been brought against a technology director in South Carolina for defrauding the E-rate program, a federal program to fund technology improvements in disadvantaged schools. Cynthia K. Ayer was indicted on 12 counts of mail and wire fraud for funneling contracts worth $3.5 million to her company, Go Between Communications. According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), Ayer's actions netted her more than $450,000 of E-rate funds. Ayer faces fines of $250,000 and a lengthy prison term if convicted. The E-rate program has been riddled with accounts of fraud and abuse, and Ayer's case is just the latest in a string of prosecutions against 11 individuals and 10 companies. Thus far, settlements with some defendants have totaled $40 million in fines and restitution, and two individuals have been sentenced to prison terms. Internet News, 20 April 2006

Erate Fraud and Whistle blower Hot Line
Assuring effective stewardship of the E-rate by guarding against misuse
or waste of E-rate funds is a priority shared by USAC,
the Schools and Libraries Division, the FCC, applicants,
service providers, and the public.

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