Edupage, March 01, 2006

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  • Date: Thu, 02 Mar 2006 10:59:20 -0500

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***************************************************** Edupage is a service of EDUCAUSE, *****************************************************

  Congress Lifts the 50 Percent Rule
  Surveying the Open Source Landscape in Higher Ed
  Control of .com Expected to Stay with VeriSign
  New Virus Jumps from PCs to Mobile Devices

CONGRESS LIFTS THE 50 PERCENT RULE Tucked inside a budget bill passed by Congress is a provision that repeals the 50 percent rule, which restricted federal financial aid to students attending colleges and universities that offer fewer than half of their courses online or that enroll fewer than half their students at a distance. The rule was enacted in 1992 to combat diploma mills, many of which operated online. The growing numbers of students enrolled in online education--both at for-profit and nonprofit institutions--and a strong lobby for commercial colleges helped push through the repeal. Members of Congress who sponsored the lifting of the rule, John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Howard McKeon (R-Calif.), said the change will expand educational access to nontraditional students and help Americans join the workforce. Opponents of the rule change advised moving more cautiously, saying online education has not demonstrated that it can be as effective as traditional education. Henry Levin, director of Columbia University's National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education, said commercial education is "a growth industry, and you get rich not by being skeptical, but by being enthusiastic." New York Times, 1 March 2006 (registration req'd)

Military, Industrial, Educational Complex - the new CEO
and Distance Learning

SURVEYING THE OPEN SOURCE LANDSCAPE IN HIGHER ED A new study from the Alliance for Higher Education Competitiveness paints a picture of higher education as very interested in, but cautious about, open source software. Based on a survey of officials at more than 200 campuses, the study found that although two-thirds are investigating open source, only one-quarter are currently implementing open source applications. Concern about the shrinking number of IT vendors for such products as course management systems is behind some of the interest in open source, as is the notion that each campus has sufficiently unique needs to justify the effort of implementing open source and customizing its functionality. Many college officials said they remain happy with their commercial products, however, and committing to open source means a campus largely has to take care of its systems without vendor support--a move many colleges are not eager to make. Kenneth Green, founding director of the Campus Computing Project, echoed the study's characterization, calling it "affirmative ambivalence." There is a lot of interest in and talk about open source, but many still believe that it is "not quite ready for prime time," he said. Inside Higher Ed, 1 March 2006

Open Source Classroom Tools Available to everyone

CONTROL OF .COM EXPECTED TO STAY WITH VERISIGN The directors of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) have voted 9-5, with one abstention, to approve a deal that will leave control of the .com domain with VeriSign until at least 2012. The deal ends legal action between the two organizations over functionality introduced by VeriSign that ICANN opposed, saying it unfairly favored VeriSign over other registrars. Under the deal, which can be renewed, VeriSign will be able to increase wholesale prices for names in the domain. Many of the largest Internet registrars oppose the deal, saying it grants VeriSign a monopoly with no foreseeable end. One of those opposed, BulkRegistrar, estimated VeriSign would stand to see gross revenues of more than $3 billion between 2006 and 2012, though VeriSign disputed that number. The Coalition for ICANN Transparency and the World Association of Domain Name Developers also oppose the deal and have filed a new lawsuit against ICANN and VeriSign. The deal now must be approved by the U.S. Department of Commerce to be finalized. Internet News, 1 March 2006

Domain Names are controlled by ICANN

Fasinating History of how Verisign came to own .com.

The Mobile Antivirus Researchers Association (MARA) announced a new
virus that can move from PCs to mobile devices. A text file that comes
with the virus says it is a proof-of-concept but hints that others will
follow, saying "now it's one big world open to all." On a PC, the
virus replicates repeatedly and copies itself into the registry,
eventually affecting performance. The virus transfers itself to mobile
devices through ActiveSync, Microsoft's application that synchronizes
data between computers and portable devices. When the virus reaches a
mobile device that is running Windows CE or Mobile OS, it deletes all
of the files in the My Documents folder. MARA will provide the virus
code to antivirus companies and security experts.
PCWorld, 28 February 2006,aid,124887,00.asp

Mobil Viri jumping is old news:

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