EdTech Snapshot: Summer 2008

Metrics

 

 

Helping Hand

Richmond-based Virginia Commonwealth University Health System gave out one-time individual awards worth $100 to $150 in June to its employees, including IT workers, to help them with rising gasoline prices. The university planned to distribute about $1 million to its 7,200 employees under the program. The average price of gas in Richmond was $3.99 per gallon in late June.

Helping Hand

Richmond-based Virginia Commonwealth University Health System gave out one-time individual awards worth $100 to $150 in June to its employees, including IT workers, to help them with rising gasoline prices. The university planned to distribute about $1 million to its 7,200 employees under the program. The average price of gas in Richmond was $3.99 per gallon in late June.


A Weakness for Web

An Arizona Office of the Auditor General report in late June found 35 of 205 web-based systems used by the state’s universities, including Arizona State University in Tempe, the University of Arizona in Tucson and Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, made student records, including names and Social Security numbers, vulnerable to unauthorized access. In the report, the auditors said they were able to access more than 10,000 confidential records through one web-based database and noted security weaknesses in many others. Arizona’s state schools use web-based applications for everything from curriculum and course management to admissions, coursework and payroll. The report said flaws that allow unauthorized access through web applications are “likely to exist in many more” applications. The auditor recommended statewide improvement for web-based application security.


Recycling Success

Carleton College collected 35,000 pounds of used computers and other electronic equipment during two collection events this year. The Northfield, Minn., school’s Information Technology Services department worked with Eagan, Minn.-based electronics recycler Materials Processing Corp.


Computer Snapshot

All but a tiny percentage of incoming first-year college students have their own computer, according to a study by the University of Virginia’s computing advisers. The advisory group of first-year students is appointed every year by the Charlottesville-based university to advise and assist their peers with computing at the school.

  • During the 2007–2008 academic year just completed, the study found 99.9 percent of first-year students at the university owned a computer.
  • Of 3,113 students surveyed, only four didn’t own some kind of computer.
  • 3,058 of the students owned notebooks, 47 owned desktops and 9 owned tablet computers.
  • 1,881 used the Vista operating system, 391 used Windows XP, 828 used Mac OS and the remainder were classified as “other.”
  • Printers were the most popular peripheral device, owned by 90 percent (2,789) of students surveyed. MP3 players were the second most common device, owned by 80 percent.

Spam, Spam and More Spam

Almost 80 percent of all e-mail volume in May was spam, according to MessageLabs’ June Intelligence report. Spammers, says the report, are moving away from reliance on e-mail attachments to free, mainstream hosted services. It also found that about 1,300 websites per day in May harbored potentially unwanted programs.

Aug 14 2008

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