Where does the time go? It seems like fall classes were just gearing up and already the holiday break is well behind us as we jump into the new year.
What have you been investigating during the past few months? Have you shared your findings with your peers? If you have, let us know, we can help spread the word with announcements to the community, posting links to your findings, etc. If you have not been formally publishing your findings, we’d like to help you. Everyone is too busy to do everything they’d like to, maybe sharing your findings and experiences researching new solutions could help your colleagues either save a few steps or start them down the right path.
In the August edition of this newsletter we described in broad terms a project called “Best Practices in Podcasting.” You may recall the goals of that project were to explore the software and hardware tools necessary to develop podcasts and to develop an understanding of the level of effort required to produce podcasts on a regular basis. That project was completed in the late fall. If you didn’t follow the project as it unrolled, take a look at www.more.net/about/podcast. There you can listen to the podcasts that we developed and read about the experiences of the team. To quote the project leader, developing quality podcasts “requires a considerable investment of time and resources.”
Course Management Systems (CMS) were evaluated with assistance from the membership to determine if there is sufficient demand from the members to warrant MOREnet offering a hosted CMS service, and if so, which of the four most popular open-source systems was the best. Investigation showed that the higher-education members are already using the CMS of their choice, libraries have little need for such a service, and there was not sufficient need within the K-12 community. The project concluded with the recommendation that there is not enough demand within the membership at this time to pursue introducing a MOREnet-hosted Course Management System.
The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) tracking project team was very busy during the fall, and has been especially busy since December. In December the Federal Communications Commission announced the official filing dates for organizations that determined they were subject to CALEA. By the time this newsletter is published, you will likely have read the MOREnet announcement that we have determined (with much assistance from the University of Missouri’s General Counsel) that MOREnet is subject to CALEA. As such we will be filing the necessary documentation with the FCC during February and March and moving towards implementation by May 14, 2007, as required by the act.
Of special interest to you, it appears that if MOREnet members do not provide access to the Internet, other than through MOREnet, they have no separate CALEA obligation. While this is an informed opinion, MOREnet members are still encouraged to validate this opinion with their own legal counsel.
With all the upgrade activity scheduled for this spring and summer, the research calendar is pretty light. The video team hopes to begin evaluating new high-definition video conferencing products, and we will continue investigating wide-area networking technologies and opportunities as part of the Next Generation Network efforts.
As mentioned earlier, the CALEA project is expected to conclude this spring. We’ll be completing the technical and financial evaluation leading to the selection of an appropriate solution. Implementation will follow with the target production date in May.
MOREnet technicians are looking into ways to increase the effectiveness of the E-mail Virus and Spam Filtering (EVSF) service. We currently see an 83 percent detection rate of spam but would like to move that number higher, without creating more work for our EVSF customers.
The FIRST Robotics Regional Competition in Kansas City, March 15 – 17, is hosting 44 teams from 7 states. Nineteen teams are from Missouri and represent 7 school districts; Harrisonville, Independence, Kansas City, North Kansas City, Liberty, Raytown and Smithville. Each team builds their robot from a standard kit. The competition consists of the robot hanging round tubes on a rack. A competition video demonstration is available at robotics.arc.nasa.gov/events/2007_kickoff.php. MOREnet will be streaming the competition live; watch MOREnet’s web site for information about dates, times and URLs.
Don’t forget the Connections 2007 and HELIX 2007 conferences coming March 28-30 at Tan-Tar-A, Osage Beach! Visit www.more.net/conferences/index.html to see the programs and register. We’ll be hosting another Research Roundtable where you can get an update on MOREnet research activity and more importantly, share your research activities with your peers. We’d really like to hear what you have been doing and what you’ve got scheduled to investigate.
If you can’t make the conference, you can always call or e-mail me directly with your questions and comments. Reach me by phone at (573) 882-9730 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director, Strategic Technologies
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