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Edupage, December 18, 2006

Edupage is a service of EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology.

TOP STORIES FOR MONDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2006

> Higher Ed Tops in Data Breaches
> Two Foundations Join to Improve Third-World Schools
> PC Magazine Names Villanova as Most Wired
> MySpace Coming to Cell Phones
> Verizon to Build Fiber-Optic Link to China
HIGHER ED TOPS IN DATA BREACHES
Educational institutions reportedly have had more information security breaches than government, business, financial service, and health-care companies and are twice as likely to report breaches as other entities. According to Ron Ben-Natan, chief technology officer at database security and monitoring first Guardium, "College and university databases are the ideal target for cyber criminals and unscrupulous insiders [because] they store large volumes of high-value data on students and parents.... At the same time, these organizations need open networks to effectively support their faculty, students, and corporate partners." Even if the data are not used immediately for identity theft, the risk remains, as names, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth don't change. New York Times, 18 December 2006 (registration req'd)
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/18/technology/18link.html

TWO FOUNDATIONS JOIN TO IMPROVE THIRD-WORLD SCHOOLS
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation plan to donate at least $60 million over the next three years to improve schools in third-world countries. The Gates Foundation will give $40 million to the Hewlett Foundation, which will contribute $20 million to the project. Said Hewlett Foundation President Paul Brest, "It is the first time in our history that we have received a grant from another institution." Sylvia Mathews, president of the Gates Foundation global development program, said that the grant is the largest they have given another grant-making organization. She said her foundation was eager to bolster education in developing nations but realized they would be more successful if they worked with an organization that already had expertise in the field. San Jose Mercury News, 18 December 2006
http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/16266719.htm

PC MAGAZINE NAMES VILLANOVA AS MOST WIRED
Princeton Review, an educational and test preparation company, and PC Magazine surveyed about 240 colleges and universities to select the United States top "wired" campus. They declared Villanova University the winner, with its advanced finance lab that gives students access to Wall Street tools, including stock tickers. The university also provides laptops to freshmen, preloaded with software and applications they will use in their fields of study. The laptops and more than half the campus have wireless support. Michael Pagano, associate professor of finance in the School of Business, designed the lab in partnership with colleague David Nawrocki, professor of finance. The lab opened in January 2005. Said Pagano, "There's a growing demand to put finance theory into practice. It's nice if you can show them real numbers, blinking in real time." The Philadelphia Inquirer, 15 December 2006
http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/living/education/16243326.htm

MYSPACE COMING TO CELL PHONES
Cingular Wireless plans to offer its customers a version of the social-networking site MySpace.com on its phones for about $3 a month. Users reportedly will be able to upload photos taken on their cell phones, read and respond to MySpace e-mail, update blog entries, and view and search for friends. Users must download a Java software application to their cell phones to access the new services. Cell-phone service provider Helio also offers MySpace services on its phones, although with fewer options. CNET, 17 December 2006
http://news.com.com/2100-1039_3-6144395.html

VERIZON TO BUILD FIBER-OPTIC LINK TO CHINA
Verizon Communications plans to build an undersea, fiber-optic link between the United States and China, partnering with China Telecom, China Netcom, China Unicom, and companies in Korea and Taiwan. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2007 and end late in 2008. Data transport speeds are predicted to reach 10 gigabits per second for individual customers. The new line enhances a lower-speed system that is the sole direct link between the two countries. USA Today, 18 December 2006
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2006-12-18-verizon-china_x.htm


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