[CSG Spring 2007] Newsy items and timely topics

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Educause live – June 5 – covering the increases in royalties for streaming radio. June 19 – campuses outsourcing student email to Google (Steve Worona looking for speakers).

Cliff – CyberInfrastructure office at NSF starting to generate solicitations for proposals for considerable numbers of things. Most recently an announcement for “community-based data interoperability networks” – looks like it’s designed to fund interoperability for scientific data on projects – relatively small grants (up to around $250,000). The solicitation we’ve been expecting on data prototypes doesn’t look like it will be out till July.

NEH has launched a digital humanities funding project. There was a meeting of digital humanities centers a couple of weeks ago. They may be moving towards funding these kinds of centers.

An astounding proposal made for a new set of copyright laws, originating from AG Gonzales – they want to criminalize things like attempted copyright infringement, bring copyright infringement under the RICO statute. Keep an eye on this.

Mark Luker – House science committee having a hearing June 5 on control of P2P file sharing (due to a member from Nashville). There will be four witnesses, including one from Arizona State, that has tried out Audible Magic technology; the president of Audible Magic; A rep from Illinois State who’ve been testing out different technologies; and Greg Jackson on why these technologies aren’t perfect.

Jerry brings up the management of CSG surveys. We do a lot of surveys – should we have a data coordinator? Bill says that the surveys are as of a point in time and he’s not sure of the value of keeping that around. Phil suggests that having a place to collect the survey data might be useful.

Spam –

Greg – moved to Mirapoint RazorK which does the same stuff as PureMessage but also notes if identical messages come in in batches, which knocked out a whole bunch of stuff that PureMessage didn’t capture. It has had some false positives. They also quarantine for two weeks.

Bruce – Stanford also uses PureMessage. Other departments use other things – business uses Iron Port which they like. Texas likes that too, as does Virginia. Berkeley uses that too, in series with everything else.

Greg – Tbird client filter is pretty good.

John – uses Barracuda device – been adequate though not spectacular. Once they taught admins to click vendor default button instead of customizing it’s been much better. They’re taking a strong look at Iron Port, which has just been purchased by Cisco.

Phil – we could be benchmarking spam catching data across the institutions, which might be more valuable than anecdotal testifying.

Michigan has put temporary rejection of mail into place at the end of the spam filters. Joel says graylisting has made a big difference in spam receipt, as has Berkeley. UC Berkeley couldn’t get to contract terms with Sophos and dropped them.

MIT has been using Barracuda spam firewall.

Paul – CalConnect update – most recent meeting was in Seattle at Boeing, next in fall is at MIT. New members include Google, Scalix, … next meeting will have demos using CalDAV and free/busy searches of CalDAV including Boeing’s gateway to Exchange. Next few months will see CalDAV products shipping. Mobile vendors have asked the consortium to take on looking at the vCard standard, so there will be a full-day workshop at the MIT meeting. Bob notes that it was impressive to see engineers from all those companies sitting around the table working together.

RL Bob – Shib and InCommon – Shib working on 2.0 release. Small scale beta anytime now, full-scale before Shib camp in Portland June 25-27. implements SAML 2.0, authn requests, logout, Java SP. InfoCard – new paradigm signon method for web apps. Only significant way we have of fighting phishing – the card paradigm instead of sites asking for login and password. Often talked about in terms of self-provided credentials, but also useful for enterprise-provided credentials. Expecting to this to be ubiquitous, but it will take a while to get there. Shib folks will be working on implementing this (not in Shib 2.0). Shel asks about the relationship between Liberty Alliance and InfoCard – no particular relationship. There is still active work going on in Liberty, but that’s separate from this.

InCommon – 5-+ participants, 35+ universities, 15+ partners – over half of CSG members are now InCommon members. Community Working Groups – Apple, re iTunes U; library services (re using shib with licnesed content, search, citation mgt, etc); student services (federation opportunities in admissions, transcripts, enrollment verification, etc); US Gov (e-auth, NIGH, Dept of Ed).

OpenID – openid.net
– “user-centric” internet identity (“a cool hack” – RL Bob)
– has nice features of being dynamically deployable. blog-centric in many ways, evidence of popularity, yet another thing to support

Gary – putting up blogs.nyu.edu – how seriously should they think about putting up blogs? Bob – the canonical case is blog comment authentication – but when it gets popular enough the spammers will set up their own OpenID provisioning sites.

Paul Hill – federation technologies are beginning to succeed. Let’s say we accept these IDs for anyone dealing with our university. What does this do to our sense of community for all of our online tools? How do people understand the community they belong to? Phil thinks that in the long run he can’t see higher ed remaining the provider of electronic identity – people will have online lives both before and after they’re at the university – we give identities because there is no good alternative.

Steve Worona – there isn’t a current way to overlay universities with congressional districts. He’s got a list of addresses of institutions – who’s interested in taking on this challenge to mash this up? Note that congressional districts don’t match to zip codes.

Ron notes that at Wisconsin they’re seeing lots of less-qualified contents for their jobs. One of the California schools says they’re having to pay 10-12% higher salaries than last year to pull in candidates.

Brad – Community source update – Had about 200 people in St. Louis for Kuali days. Release 2 of Kuali goes to code freeze in July. Release 2.1 is targeted for June 1 of 2008, which will include capital assets tracking. Sakai put out 2.4 release. Release was coordinated out of South Africa, and the chairman of the Sakai board is from the UK. Four new tools went from contrib to provisional, and three from provisional into the core. Rice, the Kuali workflow and service buss, is making progress, and is the first community source project with no foundation funding. See rice.kuali.org.

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