News Threads

Carleton University and Algonquin College have undertaken a joint initiative to provide a new Bachelor of Information Technology degree scheduled to begin September 2003. The new degree program, to be administered by the Faculty of Engineering and Design, and the Faculty of Science, has two distinct programs – interactive multimedia design and network technologies.

Graduates of the new program will leave with education, knowledge, and skills in designing user interfaces, iterative prototyping and in-depth usability testing for new software and IT products, as well as team-based product development skills.

PeopleSoft program surpasses US$25 Million

PeopleSoft Inc. recently announced that its On Campus program has surpassed US$25 million in software grants to colleges and universities.

Since its inception in 1999, the PeopleSoft On Campus Program has helped business and IT education by integrating PeopleSoft’s applications into the curriculum of institutions. Canadian participants include the University of Western Ontario and the University of Quebec at Montreal. PeopleSoft On Campus is an industry academic partnership program that provides PeopleSoft’s pure internet applications, end user training software and faculty training at PeopleSoft University. Through the program, more than 10,000 students will gain hands-on experience with PeopleSoft applications in the 2002 academic year.

Chilling Effects site explains Net users’ legal rights

Internet users hit with cease-and-desist letters related to their online activities now have somewhere to turn to get help and information on their legal rights, thanks to a Web site launched recently by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and four law school legal clinics.

The site, dubbed Chilling Effects in reference to how legal threats can stifle online use, is designed to help users navigate often murky legal waters by posting users’ cease-and-desist letters replete with links and annotations to help them plot their legal course. EFF launched the site along with Harvard University, Stanford University, University of California at Berkeley and University of San Francisco. Law students at the universities will respond to users’ letters on the site, helping them understand their legal rights related to issues such as fan fiction, copyright concerns under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, trademark and domain names, anonymous speech and defamation, the EFF said.

Microsoft readies security tool

Microsoft Corp. plans to ship a free tool that’s designed to scan Windows-based systems for security vulnerabilities in the operating system itself as well as the company’s other products. The Baseline Security Analyzer supports Windows XP, Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4.0 and will replace an earlier piece of freeware released last summer.

Microsoft also released three separate software patches for security vulnerabilities that could affect some of its key products, including Internet Explorer, Windows XP, SQL Server 2000 and Commerce Server 2000. The security holes were all given “critical” severity ratings by Microsoft, which urged systems administrators to install the patches as soon as possible.

Lindows forges ahead in suit Inc., the Linux software start-up being sued by Microsoft Corp. for alleged trademark infringement, has withdrawn its motion to dismiss the suit and last week released a summary of its battle plan as the case proceeds. is developing an operating system called LindowsOS that allows users to run applications designed for Microsoft’s Windows as well as the open source operating system Linux. Two months after unveiled its company and software product in October, Microsoft filed a lawsuit claiming that similarities between the names of the two operating systems could be confusing to customers. Microsoft is seeking to stop the company from distributing the operating system under the Lindows name.

E-mail appeals in age of anthrax

U.S. Capitol Hill is becoming more tech-savvy as it turns to e-mail and tries to steer away from anthrax-ridden letters. The volume of e-mail to the American Congress has more than doubled since anthrax was discovered in a letter meant for Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle said Nu Wexler, a spokesperson for Senator Ernest Hollings.

The beneficiaries of this trend may well be a new breed of political activists who like to use the Web as a tool for activism. “E-mail is not the most effective way of contacting your members of Congress because it doesn’t pile up the way letters do,” said Jonah Seiger, co-founder of Mindshare.

Judge grants Napster time to probe record companies

Napster Inc., the online music exchange shuttered by the recording industry’s legal action, is allowed to investigate whether the record companies misused their copyright in attempt to control the market for online music, a U.S. District Court Judge ruled recently.

The ruling marks a small victory for Napster. If the record companies misused their copyright, either through restrictive licensing or antitrust law violations, it could invalidate the suit against Napster. However, the recording companies could again bring a case after adjusting their practices, Judge Marilyn Hall Patel wrote in her ruling.