Edupage, March 20th and 22nd 2006

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  • Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2006 12:52:07 -0500

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TOP STORIES FOR MONDAY, MARCH 20, 2006 Georgia Institution Pushes iPods Microsoft Targets Phishers Cray Outlines Future

GEORGIA INSTITUTION PUSHES IPODS Although iPods have been incorporated into the curriculum at a number of colleges and universities, Georgia College and State University (GCSU) boasts one of the strongest efforts at putting the devices to educational use. Of the institution's roughly 300 faculty, more than 100 use iPods for teaching or research. In 2002, the administration began loaning iPods to faculty with ideas about how to use them for teaching. Today, faculty use the devices to replace traditional office hours, to give students access to resources they will see in a study abroad program, and for other activities that free up class time for more learning. Deborah Vess, professor of history, asks her students to download 39 movies to video iPods and watch them outside class. Dorothy Leland, president of GCSU, said, "The more you free up your classroom for discussion, the more efficient you are." In recognition of its efforts at expanding the educational uses of iPods, GCSU was selected by Apple Computer as host of the Digital Campus Leadership Institute, which took place in November. CNN, 20 March 2006

Earbud Ipod Ear Health

Microsoft has announced its intention to use trademark laws to confront
the operators of phishing scams. Phishers set up bogus Web sites
designed to look like legitimate sites and trick users into entering
confidential information. At a press conference in Brussels, Microsoft
said it would level trademark-violation charges against outfits that
pose as Microsoft sites such as Hotmail or MSN. The Global Phishing
Enforcement Initiative will target more than 100 sites in Europe, the
Middle East, and Africa. Also part of the initiative will be stronger
ties between Microsoft and international law enforcement agencies,
including Interpol, to fight phishers. Microsoft's strategy may prove
more successful at defeating phishers than prosecutions that depend on
evidence that the sites in question had actually defrauded users.
Microsoft's legal approach would simply need to demonstrate that site
operators infringed on the company's trademarks.
ZDNet, 20 March 2006,39020375,39258528,00.htm

Supercomputer maker Cray has outlined its plans to streamline its
operations and compete with growing challenges from mainstream computer
makers including IBM, HP, Sun, and Dell. Jan Silverman, senior vice
president of corporate strategy, said the company's goal is to offer a
range of processor technologies in a single system--necessary because
various processor architectures can best handle different kinds of
computing challenges--and to "hide that complexity from the users."
Cray will offer four types of processors: traditional vector chips;
AMD's Opteron chips; field-programmable gate arrays, whose
characteristics can be modified to suit particular jobs; and
multithreaded chips from Tera Computer. Beginning in 2007, Cray will
begin offering systems with distinct processor types that target
specific types of supercomputing applications. Two years later, the
second phase of Cray's plan will see those systems combined into a
single chassis. The third phase will entail adding a software component
that directs processing jobs to the portion of the system best able to
handle them.
CNET, 20 March 2006

TOP STORIES FOR WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22, 2006 Court Affirms Creative Commons License French Legislators Try to Avert Music Monopoly Microsoft to Support Competitors Sun Launches Grid for Hire

COURT AFFIRMS CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE A Dutch court has ruled that a publisher who used photographs protected by a Creative Commons license is subject to the terms of that license, marking what is likely the first case law pertaining to the Creative Commons. Former MTV VJ Adam Curry had posted photographs of his daughter on Flickr and assigned one of the Creative Commons license levels to those photos. A Dutch gossip magazine published those photos without Curry's permission, in violation of the terms of the license. The magazine argued that the licensing terms were unclear and that information about how to obtain further information about the license was not obvious. The court rejected that argument, saying the onus is on users of copyrighted content to understand the applicable license and obtain necessary permissions. According to Creative Commons Canada, the ruling sets an important precedent in that it affirms the Creative Commons licenses, which are a relatively new program for specifying usage rights, and that it holds users of protected content liable "even without expressly agreeing to, or having knowledge of, the conditions of the license." CNET, 21 March 2006

Learn about what the Creative Commons is and how to use it.

FRENCH LEGISLATORS TRY TO AVERT MUSIC MONOPOLY Lawmakers in France's National Assembly, the country's lower house, have passed a bill that would require purveyors of digital music technologies to share access to those technologies, allowing cross-operation among files and players. The most obvious target of the legislation is Apple Computer, whose iPod device and iTunes music format are linked. Under the bill, users would be able to play iTunes songs on non-Apple music players, and iPods could be used to play music files in other formats, such as those from Sony or Microsoft. Apple responded to the move by saying that if passed by France's Senate, the law will only serve to increase music piracy. A spokesperson from Apple said if the law is passed, "music sales will plummet just when legitimate alternatives to piracy are winning over customers." Others noted that the law could slow innovation because it does not offer strong protections for intellectual property. French officials countered by saying the law would in fact increase sales of online music and that they hope other countries pass similar legislation. CNET, 22 March 2006

Digital Rights management and Apple Formats

In its latest effort to comply with a March 2004 ruling by the European
Commission (EC), Microsoft announced it would provide free, unlimited
technical support to software companies developing products to work
with Microsoft's server software. The 2004 antitrust ruling requires
Microsoft to make its code available to rivals that want to develop
products that run on Windows machines and compete with some of
Microsoft's applications. Microsoft had previously offered 500 free
hours of technical support and said it has also extensively updated the
documentation for its products. In its latest announcement, Microsoft
said the improved documentation along with unlimited support should
address the EC's concerns. Jonathan Todd, spokesperson for the
European Union (EU), said that the technical documentation appears to
remain insufficient, noting that it should provide competitors with all
the information they need and that they "should not be forced to rely
on help from Microsoft staff." The EU, which is expected to issue a
ruling some time in the next two weeks about Microsoft's compliance,
could impose a fine of nearly $2.5 million per day, retroactive to
December 15.
Wall Street Journal, 22 March 2006 (sub. req'd)

Sun Microsystems now offers pay-as-you-go access to its Sun Grid
Compute Utility to U.S. customers. The new service is similar in
concept to that provided through contracts between Sun and a number of
organizations including Princeton University. Under those contracts,
customers could buy processing power from Sun and only pay for
processing cycles that they use. With its new offering, Sun will bill
users $1 per hour per CPU through online payment service PayPal. The
service, which is available through an online portal, is reportedly the
first grid utility that can be accessed through a personal computer,
though users must have AMD Opteron or Sun UltraSparc computers to use
the new grid utility. Sun said the service would be available
internationally later this year.
Internet News, 21 March 2006

Trends in Technology find the $125 Computer.

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