Next eRate filing window opens Nov. 14

Schools and libraries hoping to receive funding next year under the $2.25 billion-a-year eRate will have from Nov. 14 to Feb. 7 to submit their applications.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the government entity responsible for the telecommunications program, announced the dates of the filing window on Oct. 19, the same day it released its annual Eligible Services List (ESL), the official roster of technologies and services that qualify for eRate discounts.

In its announcement, the FCC authorized the Universal Service Administrative Co. (USAC), the third-party operator that oversees the eRate for the federal government, to open the filing window next month, waiving a provision that would have kept the window closed for at least 60 days following the release of the new ESL. Program administrators say the move, which the FCC also made last year, is intended to get the money flowing to applicants sooner rather than later.

Before applicants begin filing their forms for 2007 telecommunications discounts, however, they’ll want to note the changes to this year’s program.

“In general, applicants will be happy with the changes and clarifications made by the FCC,” said Scott Weston, director of information services for Funds for Learning LLC, a national eRate consulting firm.

Among the more significant changes to this year’s ESL is the addition of interconnected voice over internet protocol, or VoIP, service. Until this funding year, the service–which enables users to place and connect calls over the internet, as opposed to traditional phone lines–had not been eligible for eRate discounts.

Officials also have added other components to the list–most notably, a KVM switch. Short for “keyboard-video-mouse,” a KVM enables users to control more than one computer using a single keyboard, monitor, and mouse. The switches reportedly have been used in schools to help technology staff members better control large server environments. In personal computing scenarios, the devices have been used as a money saver, enabling users to upgrade their machines without spending extra cash on ancillary attachments.

Program administrators also have sought to clear up some confusion as to the eligibility of technology training services under the program. Where new components are installed, the FCC says, training costs are eligible for discounts under the eRate, as long as the training occurs “within a reasonable time” after the initial installation.

Looking to reduce instances of idle, or unnecessary, technology secured by schools and libraries under the eRate, program administrators have clarified the rules regarding redundant components. According to information contained in the new ESL, any technology components “installed in standby mode, redundant, not active and online, or otherwise not an essential element in the transmission of information within the school or library … are not eligible.”

With regard to fees incurred for Universal Service, these line-item charges on schools’ telephone bills are eligible for discounts, the FCC says–but charges related to the administration of the program are not. Under the change, schools and libraries can apply for reimbursement of any charges on their bills used to support the fund, but not for occasional administrative charges that appear as a separate line item on larger bills, the agency explained.

Recognizing that more schools and libraries are exploring the possibility of wireless networks, the FCC has opted to do away with its requirement that “an auditable system” be in place before applicants receive funding for wireless access or related services intended for use with certain portable devices.

Originally, the FCC said, it wanted schools to have a system in place that could monitor where certain portable technologies were being accessed, whether from home or school, to ensure that any device paid for with eRate dollars was used specifically for educational purposes.

This year, the commission said it opted to remove the term “auditable system” after wireless telecommunications providers complained that such systems weren’t technologically feasible. Despite the change, the FCC said, schools still are required to use wireless internet access and the portable devices associated with it for “educational purposes” only.

To help schools and libraries better navigate the list and make sense of these and other changes, the new ESL includes an index and glossary of terms.

For clarity’s sake, administrators say, any ineligible services or components previously listed alongside eligible services have been relegated to a separate section for ineligible services and products. As a reminder, services not eligible for support now are listed at the end of each category.

USAC officials said they are looking forward to the opening of the filing window and reiterated that applicants should review the information in the ESL before submitting their applications. The earlier applications are received, the earlier they can be processed, the company said.

Editor’s note: For more news and analysis about the revised Eligible Services List, the opening of the 2007 filing window, and other eRate developments, see our eRate Resource Center: http://www.eschoolnews.com/resources/reports/ffl/index.cfm.

Links:

Universal Service Administrative Co.
http://www.usac.org/

Schools and Libraries Division of USAC
http://www.usac.org/sl/

Federal Communications Commission
http://www.fcc.gov

tags

“TeachEngineering” helps educators find free, standards-based science and math content

>

Teachers trying to meet national science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) standards now have a new tool at their disposal–a free online library called TeachEngineering. A national collaborative effort involving eight universities and organizations, spearheaded by the University of Colorado at Boulder, the site provides teacher-tested, standards-based engineering content for K-12 teachers to use in science and math classrooms. Teachers can search for curriculum content based on a number of criteria, including keywords, grade levels, educational standards, and more. Clicking on one of the listed activities tells users how long the activity takes, what grade levels it’s designed for, what educational standards the activity meets, and the details of the activity itself. TeachEngineering currently matches activities to most national standards, as well as those of four states: Colorado, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and North Carolina. By the end of the year, project organizers expect to have the standards of all 50 states integrated into the site.

tags

St. Bernard Software Launches Enterprise Reporting Server for Internet Filtering Appliances

San Diego, CA – October 25, 2006 – St. Bernard Software, Inc. (OTCBB: SBSW), a global provider of security solutions for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), today announced the immediate availability of its Enterprise Reporting Server for iPrism. The Enterprise Reporting Server is a dedicated appliance that provides a complete aggregate view of an organization’s Web usage, and delivers industry leading reporting speed and capacity within a company’s distributed network.

The Enterprise Reporting Server for iPrism provides centralized reports that cover a company’s entire distributed network. In addition, it allows companies to consolidate reports from multiple iPrism appliances within minutes, saving valuable IT resources for other activities. Companies can also schedule reports to run at any time, as well as generate on-demand reports as needed.

“Cumulative and accurate Internet filtering reports are an important part of protecting our organization and making sure our employees are using the Web for its intended business purpose while at work,” said Kevin Sampo, Jr., Security Engineer at Winterthur US Holdings, Inc. “The speed and storage capacity of the Enterprise Reporting Server gives us the ability to set recurring or on-demand reports in order to make sure our AUP is being followed. Additionally, it used to take us hours to complete the detailed reporting that we can now do in minutes.”

The Enterprise Reporting Server for iPrism supports over 100 million events, or Web visits, generated per day from all iPrisms within an organization, relieving concerns about hitting a threshold when reports are needed. With over 1 terabyte (TB) of storage capacity, enough for more than 2 billion Web access and IM/P2P events, organizations benefit from months of report archival, which can indicate trends and usage by location, individual user or for the entire organization.

Another important feature for all companies when reporting on Internet use is failover for data protection. The Enterprise Reporting Server comes with a dual-power supply, keeping data safe in the most adverse conditions. With RAID 10 hard drives, companies never have to power down the Enterprise Reporting Server to solve problems, further keeping important data secure.

“Organizations now depend on the Internet more than ever. They must also be able to enforce Web usage policies and comply with numerous regulations, while being able to report on employee Web behavior as needed,” said Steve Yin, VP of sales and marketing at St. Bernard Software. “With the Enterprise Reporting Server, companies can streamline Web monitoring across multiple iPrisms by producing consolidated reports and spotting any issues in one central location, with unmatched speed and accuracy.”

Key benefits of the Enterprise Reporting Server for iPrism include:

– Productivity – The Enterprise Reporting Server for iPrism gives companies an instant and long-term view of Web activity across the organization, enabling companies to address the productivity drain from employees who access non-business related sites.

– Security – The Enterprise Reporting Server for iPrism allows companies to monitor and report on all Internet protocols across the entire network, helping IT managers pinpoint security concerns that come from inadvertent downloading instantly, such as spyware, malware and phishing.

– Liability – The Enterprise Reporting Server for iPrism allows organizations to know where acceptable use policy (AUP) violations are occurring in order to deal with infractions quickly, before they turn into serious legal situations.

For more information about the product, please stop by St. Bernard Software’s InfoSecurity booth #234, visit www.stbernard.com or email sales@stbernard.com

About St. Bernard Software

St. Bernard Software (OTCBB: SBSW) is a global provider of security solutions, including Internet and email filtering appliances, patch management and data backup solutions. St. Bernard Software also provides the SME market with a complete line of hosted security solutions, including email, IM and URL filtering services.

Deployed across millions of computers worldwide, the company’s award-winning products deliver innovative security solutions that offer the best combination of ease-of-use, performance and value. Established in 1995 with headquarters in San Diego, CA and an international office in the United Kingdom, St. Bernard Software sells and supports its products directly and through solution partners worldwide. For more information, please visit www.stbernard.com

(c)2006 St. Bernard Software Inc. All rights reserved. The St. Bernard Software logo, and Open File Manager are trademarks of St. Bernard Software Inc. UpdateEXPERT, ePrism and iPrism are registered trademarks of St. Bernard Software Inc. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are hereby acknowledged.

>

tags

Study Commissioned by Thinkronize also Shows that Four out of Five School Principals and Administrators See Danger for Students on the Internet Increasing

Cincinnati, OH – It’s not the dirt, it’s the commerce. Four out of five (79%) school principals and administrators see danger for students on the Internet increasing and commercial and pay sites rank as their greatest concern, according to new research conducted by a New York independent research firm and commissioned by Thinkronize, Inc.

When asked to rate the specific types of dangers facing students on the Internet, 61% of survey respondents said pornography and 58% said adult predators were a great or significant danger. Concern over getting useless or irrelevant results when using search engines was also high at 59%. The issue rated highest, however, at 76% was concern over unauthorized redirection to commercial or pay sites when conducting online research.

From school vending machines to book covers, to sides of buses, advertising in schools is a reality. And now, with the commercialization of the Web, there is a more insidious means that cannot be protected by filters.

“We have 50,000 students in our district and are worried that they are being bombarded by inappropriate ads in the one place that should be all about learning,” said Rita Phillips, technology coordinator, Sacramento City Unified School District. “The Web is creating a new front of concern as we can’t control our students getting redirected to sites that are both unevaluated and irrelevant. This is not only distracting, but brings on financial and time-draining concerns. We have taken steps to block access to music and video downloads as well as blogs, MySpace and gaming sites, but we are still very concerned about our students being redirected to the plethora of commercial sites.”

“This is about online safety and information literacy and we take both very seriously at Thinkronize,” said Randy Wilhelm, CEO of Thinkronize. “Ad-supported sites allow for a wonderful free flow of information. However, as the Internet becomes more and more ubiquitous and commercialized, we need to teach our weaned-on-the-Web children how to evaluate sites and to be critically aware of the ways they are being targeted for potentially dangerous and commercial purposes.”

Data from the study also indicated that educators believe there is significant room to improve the Internet as an educational resource. Today, only 30% rate the Internet as an “excellent” resource. And, when it comes to safety, just over one-third (38%) say the Internet is “very safe.”

“Today’s kids are digital natives, and the reality is that the Internet is a powerful research, communications and collaboration tool,” said Helen Soulé, Executive Director, Cable in the Classroom. “The job that lies before us is teaching parents, kids and educators how to use the Web safely, responsibly and productively. Teaching information and media literacy skills are vital, as is the use of tools like filters and search engines that are built for kids.”

Educators are seeking additional means to solve their concerns and virtually all report taking actions to protect students. Few schools, however, appear to have purchased and installed special search engines designed to meet the needs of school age children (35%). Findings include:

– Installing filters – 100%

– Giving faculty instructions on safety – 90%

– Giving students instructions on safety – 90%

– Providing parents with tips and information – 66%

– Purchased special search engines – 35%

This survey was conducted online in September of 2006.

About David Michaelson & Company, LLC

David Michaelson & Company, LLC is a New York City-based research company that has conducted extensive research in the education and non-profit markets. This study was conducted under the direct supervision of Dr. David Michaelson. Dr. Michaelson has over 25 years experience including work in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East. Further information about the company can be found at www.davidmichaelsoncompany.com.

About Thinkronize

Thinkronize, an Internet developer of K-12 educational products, was founded in 1999 and grew out of a passion for and commitment to enhancing teaching and learning with the Internet and standards-based online resources. The company launched its flagship product, netTrekker classic, in October 2000 and has since expanded the product line to include netTrekker d.i. , designed for use in schools to help educators meet individual students’ learning needs, and netTrekker home, available for purchase by parents whose district or school has not yet purchased a netTrekker subscription. Peers, educators and parents have honored Thinkronize and the netTrekker product suite 17 times for their contribution to education. Thinkronize currently serves nearly 9.3 million students in 47 states, including adoptions by key districts and states nationwide and is one of the fastest growing companies in the education industry. In August, 2006, Thinkronize was named to the Inc. 500 list, with over 400% growth in three years. For more information visit www.thinkronize.com or phone 877-517-1125.

>

tags

EDUCATION PIONEERS RECEIVES $1.2 MILLION GRANT FROM THE BROAD FOUNDATION TO TRIPLE GRADUATE SUMMER INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES IN EDUCATION REFORM

SAN JOSE – Education Pioneers announced today it has received a $1.2 million grant from The Broad Foundation (pronounced “brode”) to triple the number of top graduate students it recruits into summer internships with leading education organizations. Education Pioneers, a national nonprofit based in the San Francisco Bay Area, recruits, trains and places high-achieving graduate students from pre-eminent business, law, public policy and education schools to work for the summer in urban school districts, charter management organizations and educational nonprofits across the country. Three out of four Education Pioneers alumni continue to work full-time in the field of education following graduate school.

“Education Pioneers is providing an incredibly important bridge for promising young business, law, public policy and education leaders to enter the world of education reform and lend their talents where they are desperately needed –to improve opportunities for our inner city youth,” said Eli Broad, a renowned business leader and founder of The Broad Foundation, a national education venture philanthropy.

The internships are part of Education Pioneers’ rigorous, 10-week, full-time, summer “Fellows Program,” which currently operates in Boston, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Fellows are placed in large, urban school districts or in leading education organizations including California Charter Schools Association, KIPP Foundation, New Leaders for New Schools, New Profit Inc., NewSchools Venture Fund and the New York City Center for Charter School Excellence. Fellows spend the summer working for experienced education leaders on projects ranging from strategic planning to policy and legal research to finance, marketing and fundraising. Throughout the summer, Fellows also attend training sessions, weekend retreats and networking events to connect with and learn best practices from education leaders. In the next two years, the program will expand to additional cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C., thanks to The Broad Foundation grant.

“We are thrilled to partner with The Broad Foundation to dramatically increase the number of talented, emerging leaders developing the skills, knowledge and networks to transform urban public education,” said Scott Morgan, founder and president of Education Pioneers. “Graduate students in our program are truly pioneers on the frontier of major efforts to close achievement gaps and improve teaching and learning.”

Of last year’s 365 applicants –a third of which came from Harvard University, Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley –only a select 17 percent, 62, were chosen to participate as Fellows. Upon completing the program last year, 98 percent of Fellows –nearly all –reported that they would recommend the Fellows Program to other students.

“The Education Pioneers experience strengthened my resolve to work in education, gave me a foot in the door to a large urban school district –that became a full-time offer –and broadened my network of education professionals,” said Allison Wyatt, a 2007 M.B.A. candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management who worked in Boston Public Schools.

Nearly all employers participating in the Education Pioneers program –97 percent –report that they would recommend the Fellows Program to other education employers.

Education Pioneers

Founded in 2003, Education Pioneers is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to training, connecting and inspiring a new generation of education leaders to transform educational systems so that all students receive a quality education. Education Pioneers will accept applications for the 2007 Fellows Program from December 15, 2006 through February 15, 2007, with priority applications due by January 15, 2007. Additional information about Education Pioneers is available at: www.educationpioneers.org.

The Broad Foundation

The Broad Foundation is a Los Angeles-based venture philanthropy established in 1999 by Eli and Edythe Broad. Eli Broad is a renowned business leader who founded two Fortune 500 companies, SunAmerica Inc. and KB Home. The mission of The Broad Foundation is to dramatically improve student achievement in urban public school districts through better governance, management, labor relations and competition. The Broad Foundation’s Internet address is: www.broadfoundation.org.

>

tags

MDOE Purchases CPSI Products for First SIF Based Financial System

Columbia, Ill., Oct. 25, 2006–Maine Department of Education (MDOE) purchased SIF products by Computer Power Solutions of Illinois (CPSI), leading provider of data integration tools based on the Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF) standard, as a result of a contract between MDOE and Enterprises Computing Services, Inc. (ECS). MDOE wanted an easier way to electronically compile reports using ESC’s reporting tools to accomplish their long term goals. The SIF solution will enable MDOE to electronically integrate financial data, creating budget and seamless reporting vertically between the School Administration Units (SAU), districts and state levels. Maine Education Data Management System Financial System (MEDMS/FS) will be the first financial system using SIF solutions, in any state.

SIF communication was extended by CPSI to include new data objects by using specific rules for data validation, allowing transportation of data reports using Excel format. The integration allows the recording of long term historical data and future projections.

The CPSI products being used for this communication are the Universal Agent Suite and the SIF Connect Server. The pilot phase of implementation began in August, using a small test group of districts. This allows for opportunities to test data validation and data warehouse storage. Full production for all 290 districts is expected in December of this year.

About CPSI

CPSI, founded in 1989, is committed solely to K-12 education. Its hallmark application, Visual CASEL, was developed specifically for schools with extensive input from teachers, technology coordinators and administrators. With the addition of several SIF based products, CPSI has proven itself in the industry as a developer of solutions for K-12 institutions. Learn more http://www.vcasel.com. Media contact: Melissa Mace, melissa@vcasel.com.

About MDOE

Maine is a rural state with 206,000 students (2005-06 school year) enrolled in 700 schools in 290 districts with 150 superintendents. Maine provides all the State’s 32,000 7th and 8th grade students and 4000 teachers with one-to-one access to wireless notebook computers. For information, see http://www.state.me.us/education/.

About ECS

ECS is an Atlanta-based software development and services company. Founded in 1994, ECS provides innovative and cost effective software development solutions and professional staffing services. Their software development vertical expertise lies in education, healthcare, financial and telecommunications industries. Committed to the highest quality standards, their development teams specialize in database design, software development and user support services for data warehousing and other management applications. For information, visit www.ecsinc.net.

>

tags

Curriculum Advantage finds Georgia good for schools, business

DULUTH, Ga. (Oct. 25, 2006)–A little more than a year after Curriculum Advantage, Inc., publishers of Classworks–computer-based student instruction in K-12 for English/Language Arts, Reading and Mathematics–relocated the company headquarters from Los Angles to suburban Atlanta, the move is proving to be a success not only for the company, but for many local schools as well.

The move, which took place in August of 2005, brought the company closer to the majority of Classworks customers, who are in the Southeast, and established a space for a demonstration classroom and training center to showcase Classworks successes and best practices from all around the Southeast.

Curriculum Advantage (www.curriculumadvantage.com) has grown through various acquisitions, and many of its inherited offices were located far from its user base. All departments, including sales, technical support, customer support and operations, were relocated into a new Duluth location. Nearly 120 schools in 30 school districts in Georgia are currently using Classworks in classrooms and computer labs, including sites in Atlanta City Schools, Houston County School District and Buford City Schools. This is in addition to hundreds of schools in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and North and South Carolina that use Classworks. The reports back from these schools and districts show that its students are benefiting from Classworks–both the program and the new company location.

In Houston County School District, 100 miles south of Atlanta, Classworks has been used extensively for two years, district officials decided to also use Classworks to help children who had failed Georgia’s statewide Criterion-Referenced Competency Test. The results of this targeted application were impressive.

At Houston’s King’s Chapel School, third-, fourth- and fifth-graders who didn’t pass the 2005-06 CRCT as second-, third- and fourth-graders received extra time with Classworks to prepare for this year’s test. Of these students, 77 percent passed all three CRCT categories (reading, math and language arts), and of those, 18 percent not only met but exceeded expectations in at least one category. An amazing 100-percent of King’s Chapel’s third-graders who received extra time with Classworks met expectations in math, and 85 percent passed all three CRCT categories.

“This is an example that shows Classworks can help students make significant gains for on-grade-level success, as well as for remediation,” said Danny Carpenter, the superintendent of schools for Houston County. “Students at King’s Chapel were not working toward retaking a test they had already failed, but preparing themselves for the upcoming year’s exams.”

Classworks staff development is usually done at the schools, but because of the growing number of requests from districts seeking additional or specialized training, the company built a state-of-the-art training center in the middle of the headquarters. Recently a group of teachers, principals and technology department heads from throughout Barrow County, made the short trip down I-85 to Curriculum Advantage’s Duluth office for a day of extra training in Classworks.

Barrow recently proved the value of Classworks instruction through an internal analysis of student achievement based on Classworks use. The study, which utilized questions released from the CRCT, showed student scores improving, on average, by 20 percent in reading and 12 percent in math.

“Students with considerable differences in individual skill on the pre-test demonstrated a fairly uniform and consistent improvement after exposure to Classworks,” said Matt Thompson, the Barrow County testing specialist who conducted the study. “The improvement pre- and post-test for all students was noteworthy and considerable.”

About Curriculum Advantage

Curriculum Advantage, Inc. (www.curriculumadvantage.com) is based in Duluth, Ga. Curriculum Advantage’s flagship product is Classworks, a network-based system of K-12 reading and mathematics curriculum and learning tools that currently comprise over 5,000 hours of curriculum. Classworks activities are correlated to national and state learning standards and state tests. They include prescriptive and summative assessment, remediation and reporting tools. Classworks is installed in 3,000 schools in the United States and worldwide. INET Classroom, also from Curriculum Advantage, is a comprehensive library of web-based curriculum linked to state and national standards.

>

tags

CPSI AND TRAPEZE GROUP PARTNER FOR SIF 1.5 CERTIFICATION

Columbia, Ill./October 23, 2006– CPSI, a leading provider of SIF based solutions, announced the development of an agent based on the Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF) standard in partnership with Trapeze Software Group’s school division. Trapeze Group is a developer of affordable, comprehensive solutions that automate the process of school transportation services. The CPSI SIF Connect Agent for Trapeze, powered by the Universal Agent Framework, is highly customizable–capable of passing and accepting data elements within the SIF standard and elements outside the standard, known as extended elements. The agent is based on CPSI’s Universal Agent Suite (an advanced, powerful SIF based ETL and mapping application).

“We are pleased to provide Trapeze Group with a SIF agent capable of going above and beyond other SIF agents by giving their customers the capability to extend ETL capability beyond their certified objects,” said Michelle Elia, CPSI president.

Certification date was on July 5, 2006. This SIF agent provides integration for Trapeze Data Integrator application to the Trapeze suite of transportation products including Mapnet 4.0 or higher and all versions of both Smartr 9 and VEO Suite.

About Trapeze Group School Division

Trapeze Software Group’s school division provides transportation routing and logistics software to the following markets: public schools; private schools; and special education facilities. Our corporate goal is to provide state of the art software to address the transportation planning needs of our target markets. Trapeze Software Group’s software facilitates the computerization of all aspects of the student transportation scheduling and management process. For information see www.trapezegroup.com. About CPSI

CPSI, founded in 1989, is committed solely to K-12 education. Its hallmark application, Visual CASEL, was developed specifically for schools with extensive input from teachers, technology coordinators and administrators. With the addition of several SIF based products, CPSI has proven itself in the industry as a developer of solutions for K-12 institutions. Learn more at http://www.vcasel.com .

About the Schools Interoperability Framework Association (SIFA)

The Schools Interoperability Framework Association (SIFA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to an industry initiative to develop an open specification for ensuring that K-12 instructional and administrative software applications work together more effectively. The SIF standard is not a product, rather an industry-supported technical blueprint for K-12 software, enabling diverse applications to interact and share data seamlessly. SIF certification is managed through a third-party agency, the Open Group (http://www.opengroup.org/sif/cert/cert_prodlist.tpl). Visit http://www.sifinfo.org/.

>

tags

NETOP TECH INC. LAUNCHES NETOP MOBILE TO HELP COMPANIES REMOTELY SUPPORT MOBILE DEVICES

Chicago –October 25, 2006 –NetOp Tech Inc., a fully owned subsidiary of Danish IT company, Danware A/S, today launched in the United States NetOp Mobile, remote control software for supporting mobile devices used by companies with a field workforce. The new software is an extension of Danware’s NetOp Remote Control software and provides enterprise- level remote control for mobile devices including corporate helpdesk support, remote administration and maintenance.

NetOp Mobile allows corporate IT and helpdesk management to remotely control and support the mobile devices being used by field personnel. It can be used for securely transferring files, updating software, messaging and technical support. Field workers can request help with a single button.

“We see NetOp Mobile as a solution for companies with mobile staffs such as sales organizations, trucking companies and healthcare organizations,” said Jason Vargovchik, country manager for NetOp Tech. “This is one of the few software products available that can establish a connection to devices running on cellular networks and it can be an invaluable tool for companies trying to manage large numbers of mobile devices.”

The new remote control software works with mobile devices using Windows CE 2003 and Windows Mobile 5.0 and can be remotely controlled from a wide range of platforms using NetOp Remote Control Guest, including Windows, Linux, Solaris, OS/2 and ActiveX.

IT and telecommunications analyst firm IDC predicts that worldwide the number of mobile workers will grow from 650 million to 850 million by 2009 *). That means more than a quarter of the global workforce will be mobile. Each one of these workers will need to communicate with their corporate headquarters and will need wireless mobile devices to do just that. Companies will increasingly need tools to support these devices to keep employees connected and the flow of information uninterrupted.

Scalability is a key feature of NetOp Mobile allowing companies to add additional devices as needed. The number of phone book entries and concurrent connects is only limited by disk space and memory, respectively. NetOp Mobile generates little network traffic and uses a non-polling communication engine which only transmits if something changes or if a command is issued –so it is not a drain on network resources.

“NetOp Mobile is complete, scalable and secure remote control software for IT professionals,” said Vargovchik. “We have priced this product very reasonably and have provided some excellent early incentives, so we believe the market will respond well to this new offering.”

For more information visit the NetOp Tech Inc. Web site at www.netoptech.com

ABOUT NETOP TECH INC.

NetOp Tech, Inc. is the U.S. subsidiary of Danware, a Danish based software company. Danware’s core business is to develop and market, through a certified channel of NetOp Partners, software products based on the NetOp core technology –a technology enabling swift, secure and seamless transfer of screens, sound and data between two or more products.

ABOUT DANWARE A/S

Based in Birkerod, Denmark, Danware A/S develops and markets NetOp software products sold in more than 80 countries worldwide. In 2005, Danware reported sales of about $15.5 million. Danware’s shares are listed on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange and are a component of the Small Cap+ index. For more information, visit the Danware Web site at www.danware.com.

>

tags

U.S. court takes up COPA dispute

Eight years after Congress tried to criminalize the online posting of material deemed “harmful to children,” free-speech advocates and web site publishers took their challenge of the law to trial Oct. 23.

Salon.com, Nerve.com, and other plaintiffs backed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) are suing over the 1998 Child Online Protection Act (COPA). They believe the law could restrict legitimate material they publish online–exposing them to fines or even jail time.

Officials at the U.S. Department of Justice contend their primary target is commercial pornographers who use sexually explicit “teasers” to lure online customers.

The free teasers are available to nearly anyone surfing the internet, officials contend–children and adults alike. The pictures sometimes appear even when computer users are not seeking out pornography and typically lead potential customers to a web site that might require payment and age verification.

The Justice Department argues that it is easier to stop online pornography at the source than to keep children from viewing it.

The law, signed by then-President Clinton, requires adults to use some sort of access code, or perhaps a credit-card number, to view material that might be considered “harmful to children.”

It would impose a $50,000 fine and six-month prison term on commercial web-site operators who publish such content, which is to be defined by “contemporary community standards,” without imposing these restrictions.

The law has yet to be enforced, however.

The U.S. Supreme Court has twice granted preliminary injunctions, including one in June 2004 in which it ruled 5-4 that the plaintiffs were likely to prevail.

Another law, the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), requires schools and libraries receiving federal funding for computers and internet access to use “technology protection measures” such as filtering software to shield kids from harmful material online.

CIPA, which took effect in 2001, was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2003 (see “High court upholds web filtering law,” High court upholds web filtering law).

Although filtering software can block access to some constitutionally protected material, CIPA passes muster because adults in charge can disable the technology whenever they deem appropriate, the court ruled.

The ACLU argues that filters are a more effective way of policing the internet. It notes that COPA would not regulate any material posted overseas.

The government “will argue that parents are too stupid to use filters. It’s an insulting argument, and it’s wrong,” ACLU attorney Chris Hansen said in his opening statement on Oct. 23.

Eric Beane, a government attorney, acknowledged that it’s tempting to defer to families on the question of what is appropriate for children, but he said the patchwork of filters used by parents and schools don’t work.

“The evidence will show that a shocking amount of pornography slips through to children,” Beane said.

The nonjury trial in front of U.S. District Judge Lowell Reed is expected to take about a month.

The plaintiffs, technology experts, and even Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy have expressed concerns that the law has already been surpassed by technology and the growth of the internet. Kennedy noted, for example, that filters can block web material posted offshore, but the law cannot control what foreigners post online.

In preparing for its defense of the law, the Justice Department sought internal files from search-engine companies and internet service providers. Google Inc. refused one such subpoena for 1 million sample queries and 1 million web addresses in its database, although it primarily cited trade secrets, not privacy issues.

A federal appeals court has twice struck down the law, most recently and conclusively in March with a ruling that the law is riddled with problems that make it “constitutionally infirm.”

Previously, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled the law unconstitutional on grounds that it allowed internet content to be judged by “contemporary community standards.”

The ACLU and other opponents of the law said that was a meaningless or risky standard to apply to the internet, which is available equally to the most conservative town or household and the most liberal.

The notion of what is acceptable can shift, and it would effectively give a veto to the most conservative dot on the U.S. map, the law’s opponents argued.

For this reason, the law is opposed by the American Library Association and some education associations, who say citizens and students could be denied online access to constitutionally protected information on such topics such as birth control or sex education.

In its first crack at COPA, the Supreme Court looked only at the standards question. In a splintered ruling in 2004, the high court delivered a partial victory to the government by ruling that the evaluation standard alone did not make the law unconstitutional.

The justices then sent the case back for a fuller examination of the other free-speech objections raised by the ACLU.

Links:

American Civil Liberties Union
http://www.aclu.org

American Library Association
http://www.ala.org

U.S. Department of Justice
http://www.justice.gov

tags