Edupage, October 24, 2005

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  • Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 14:04:49 -0400

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  Higher Education Responds to CALEA Order
  Stanford Podcasts Go to iTunes
  Microsoft Funds Program for Technology Access
  Sun Spins Off Education Unit, Sponsors Developer Contest
  More Suits Target Google's Book Scanning Project

HIGHER EDUCATION RESPONDS TO CALEA ORDER The higher education community is preparing several responses to an order by the Federal Communications Commission to extend the provisions of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) to Internet service providers, including institutions of higher education, libraries, and municipalities that provide Internet access. The order would require covered entities to configure their networks to allow law enforcement officials--with the authority of a court order--to tap into data streams remotely. Currently, such taps typically require the assistance of network personnel. Making networks compliant with the new regulations would in most cases require significant investment in new switches and routers, and higher education officials contend that the expense would not be justified by the number of taps placed on their networks. By some accounts, U.S. colleges and universities would incur costs of at least $7 billion to redesign their networks. Those seeking an exception from CALEA for education noted that in 2003, just 12 of nearly 1,500 wiretap orders were issued for computer networks. Representatives of higher education are working on responses including appeals, possible lawsuits, and negotiations with federal officials. Higher education officials said that the objection is not with providing appropriate assistance to law enforcement but that lower-cost solutions would provide the needed capability without placing a large financial burden on colleges and universities and their students. New York Times, 23 October 2005 (registration req'd)

Under a new deal with Apple Computer, podcasts from various aspects of
campus life at Stanford University will be available on the iTunes Web
site. The arrangement is the first one in which a university has made
an institution-wide commitment to provide podcasts to iTunes. The
podcasts will include academic content such as lectures, coverage of
sporting events, and podcasts created by students. About 400 podcasts
are currently included, and Stanford officials said they plan to
regularly add content to the site, which is its own section of the
iTunes Music Store. Other institutions are said to be considering
similar programs, and the addition of capacity to handle video files in
iTunes could make the service appealing to still others. In a separate
project, Stanford podcasts are being made available through iTunes only
to students and professors involved in a group of university courses.
Chronicle of Higher Education, 21 October 2005 (sub. req'd)

Microsoft has announced two programs to provide grants for research
into making technology more accessible to those with limited resources
and skills. The Digital Inclusion program will award grants to academic
researchers for projects aimed at making technology accessible,
affordable, and relevant, with special emphasis on "culturally
relevant" programs that use mobile computing tools. The Inspire program
will award grants toward doctoral degrees to individuals pursuing
research into bridging the digital divide, particularly through health
care, education, and economic development. The program will work with
higher education officials in developing countries to bring lecturers
and researchers to those countries. Microsoft will award $1.2 million
under the two programs.
ZDNet, 20 October 2005

Sun Microsystems announced a pair of initiatives intended to promote
open source technologies and boost its position in the education
market. In the first effort, the company's Global Education and
Learning Community (GELC) will be spun off into a nonprofit, which will
allow government agencies and other vendors to participate. The GELC
facilitates the exchange of information and resources among math and
science teachers at the secondary-school level. The unit also allows
participants to work collaboratively on projects. The other effort
involves a new competition in Sun's Solaris University Challenge
Contest. The new contest will pit teams of up to four developers from
the same university against one another in building applications based
on the Solaris 10 or the OpenSolaris operating systems. Winning teams,
which will be chosen based on innovation and originality, will receive
$5,000, and their universities will receive Sun hardware and credit
toward the purchase of other Sun products.
CNET, 19 October 2005

After failing to reach an agreement during several months of
negotiations, a group of five publishers has filed a lawsuit against
Google over its book-scanning project. The project has come under fire
since it was announced, with publishers and copyright holders arguing
that scanning their texts constitutes a violation of their copyright,
regardless of whether the digital copy is made available online in its
entirety. Penguin, McGraw-Hill, Pearson Education, Simon and Schuster,
and John Wiley and Sons have sued Google, seeking to have the project
cancelled. The publishers are asking for Google to pay court costs but
not damages. All five are members of the Association of American
Publishers, which had been in talks with Google for months. Last month,
an organization representing writers sued Google over the book-scanning
project. Google continues to maintain that it respects the rights of
publishers and copyright holders and that the project will bring wider
exposure for the scanned text.
BBC, 19 October 2005

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