Edupage, April 28, 2006 - MAY 01, 2006

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  • Date: Tue, 02 May 2006 10:52:22 -0400

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  NSF Funds Nanotechnology Center at UMass
  Duke's iPod Program Evolves
  Copyright Infringement Letters Target LANs
  Committee Kills Net Neutrality Bill

NSF FUNDS NANOTECHNOLOGY CENTER AT UMASS The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded the University of Massachusetts at Amherst $16 million to fund nanotechnology research, beating out a number of higher-profile institutions for the prestigious grant. UMass already has more than 50 faculty working in the field of nanotechnology, and the university has drawn $54 million in funding for nanotechnology research since 1997. As a condition of the award, the state must provide $5 million, for which Governor Mitt Romney has begun to work. With the grant, the Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing at UMass will embark on research in the areas of nanoscale manufacturing, bionanotechnology, and nanomaterials. "I'm hopeful that nanotechnology will offer the same kinds of benefits and economic potential for the Commonwealth that we saw with biotech," said Romney. The Boston Channel, 25 April 2006

Duke University's iPod program continues to evolve since its
introduction in 2004, when all incoming freshmen were given iPods. The
Duke Digital Initiative was started to investigate the pedagogical uses
for the devices and, despite skepticism from some corners, has proven
successful. In the second year of the program, instead of giving every
freshman an iPod, the university handed out iPods to any student
enrolled in a course designated by the school's Center for
Instructional Technology as having a legitimate use for the device. The
goal was to encourage faculty to design curricula that incorporated the
technology. Indeed, the number of courses approved for iPod use rose
from 19 in the spring of 2005 to 47 in the spring of 2006. New changes
to the program reflect budgetary constraints. Students in iPod-approved
courses can now borrow the devices for the duration of the term.
Students who want to own an iPod can buy one from the university for
$99, about one-third of what it would cost retail.
Inside Higher Ed, 28 April 2006

At an estimated cost of about $500,000, the university
provided the nifty little white devices to all entering freshmen,
with the goal, it said, of encouraging "creative uses of technology
in education and campus life."

New Word - Screen Suckers for Adults and Generation M

COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT LETTERS TARGET LANS The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have sent letters to presidents of 40 universities in 25 states asking that they investigate possible illegal file trading on campus local area networks (LANs). The letters suggest that many students might think that trading copyrighted files across LANs is either not illegal or sufficiently shielded from copyright owners that it's okay to do. The letters encourage recipients to see whether students are using applications such as Direct Connect (DC++), MyTunes, or OurTunes to swap files on LANs and, if so, to take actions to stop them. Fred von Lohmann, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, faulted the RIAA and the MPAA for being out of step with the times. Music labels sent similar letters regarding Napster, he said. "Here we are, seven years later, and the problem from their perspective is bigger than ever." The entertainment industry should make licensing arrangements with colleges and universities, he said, and "let the students do what they're going to do anyway." CNET, 27 April 2006

Interiview with the Inventor of C++

Digital Rights Managment

COMMITTEE KILLS NET NEUTRALITY BILL The House Energy and Commerce Committee has killed an amendment designed to guarantee net neutrality. The amendment would have prevented Internet service providers from delivering different content at different speeds based on content providers' having paid extra fees. Supporters of the amendment, including Microsoft, Amazon, and Google, argued that the Internet was built on ideas antithetical to the notion of paying fees to have content available to consumers. They called on Congress not to drop the issue but to "enact legislation preventing discrimination" against certain content providers. Opponents of the amendment, including cable and phone companies, suggested that the landscape of online content, including such material as movie-quality video, could be available to consumers if content providers paid a surcharge for it. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), chairman of the committee, commented that net neutrality is "still not clearly defined" and that he doubts the dire predictions of the amendment's supporters. ZDNet, 26 April 2006 What was at stake.

TOP STORIES FOR MONDAY, MAY 01, 2006 Stanford Med School Joins Internet Project U.K. Schools Grapple with Upgrades Suffolk Considers County-Wide Wi-Fi Napster Debuts Ad-Supported Service

STANFORD MED SCHOOL JOINS INTERNET PROJECT The School of Medicine at Stanford University has joined a project led by a San Diego company to develop a Web portal where users in China can find accurate, current medical information. Many in China still rely on herbal remedies and treatments. The portal is intended to provide a reliable source of information to fill the gap between traditional approaches and modern medicine. Michael Chermak, chief executive of Bridgetech Holdings International, which is leading development of the portal, stressed the importance of having partners such as Stanford whose reputation can provide credibility for the project among users. Other partners in the venture include The Texas A&M Health Center and the Wu Jieping Medical Foundation, in China. Paul Costello, director of communications for Stanford's medical school, said the institution is not likely to benefit directly from the partnership but that the goal is to spread information "throughout the globe." Mercury News, 1 May 2006

Help overcome China Censorship

U.K. SCHOOLS GRAPPLE WITH UPGRADES An annual report from the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA) presents a mixed bag of findings on computer use and availability among U.K. schools. According to the agency, the number of computers in schools has increased. Moreover, schools are making "notable accelerated progress" in how they use computers, despite ongoing questions about the effect technology has on learning. Many schools, however, from primary through university education, are using older computers, and many schools are unable to replace systems on a three-year schedule. According to the report, "56 percent of primary and 44 percent of secondary schools did not have a policy in place for replacement of workstations in the school." Further, student enrollments at many schools, particularly at the college level, have outpaced acquisition of new computers, worsening the student-to-computer ratio. The report also warns of a "digital divide" between students who have computers at home and those who do not. BBC, 30 April 2006

Suffolk County, in New York, is considering installing a free wireless
network that would fully cover the county's 900 square miles, offering
Internet access to 1.5 million residents. If built, the network would
be one of the largest in the nation, though officials in Chicago are
considering an even larger network, 940 square miles, that would cover
5 million people. Suffolk County includes considerable waterfront, and
county officials are considering having the network extend over the
water as well. Steve Levy, Suffolk County Executive, proposed the idea,
saying that a private firm would be contracted to develop and maintain
the network. Funding would come from advertising or from fees charged
for higher connection speeds. Because the project would be sponsored by
the county government, the proposed network has further fueled the
debate over whether governments should be involved in such projects at
all or if they should be taken up by commercial vendors.
New York Times, 28 April 2006 (registration req'd)

National Children's Folksong Repository Project

An historic electronic online archive of children's folk songs.
A public folklore project built by the children of the United States
and territories.
Children pick up the Phone and SING OR CHANT (SAY) THEIR SONG.
Watching the streaming video.

Napster has debuted a new service that allows users to listen to any
song from the Napster library five times for free. Beyond that, users
must either buy individual songs or pay for a monthly subscription. The
service is supported by advertisements and is intended as an enticement
to pay for online music. Napster also unveiled two more new services,
NapsterLink and Narchive. NapsterLink is designed to let users share
songs with their friends through e-mail, instant messaging, blogs, and
other communication tools. The Narchive is a repository of comments,
images, and links contributed by Napster users.
CNET, 1 May 2006
Here we go another social network biz - Learn the rules to keep kids safe

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