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Submission + - iPhone will be a primary target for cybercriminals (net-security.org)

BaCa writes: Assaults are likely to be in the form of drive by attacks — malware embedded into seemingly harmless information, images or other media that actually perform dangerous actions when rendered on the iPhone's Web browser. With the scrutiny the iPhone has received since its launch earlier this year over network lock-in, Arbor's Security and Engineering Response Team (ASERT) believes that hackers will be enticed by the possibility of attacking Apple users and the opportunity to "be the first" to hack a new platform.

Submission + - Student Information Systems Increasingly Complex?

nf070307 writes: Meris Stansbury, eSchoolNews, recently wrote an article on the evolving complexity of student information systems in K-12. The article begins with a discussion about the SIS evolving into an ERP system with all school functions inside of one system. This is an interesting perspective considering that education has some highly specialized needs, such as Special Education, that have complex compliance requirements, legal requirements and highly detailed tracking and audit capability to satisfy the requirements of myriad stakeholders. The article mentions also that HR and Finance would be coming under one system as well. It occurs to me that such specialized function do not belong under one roof.

It seems to me that creating ERP in education seems to be more about education being run as a business instead of a teaching and learning institution. Teaching and learning is still an art that requires the ability to adapt to different learning styles and differentiate in instructional delivery. I don't think that education is a it fits one style institution and it is likely that there is not an education ERP that is a one size fits all. Even the existing ERP systems out there are not in widespread use across all sizes of business. It seems to be restricted to the larger companies who can afford such an undertaking.

The article also mentions mobile devices and only gives a passing mention about security. With many of the system breach events in Higher Ed and K-12, it makes you wonder why these institutions would extend their systems to mobile devices? Or let data be stored on the mobile device as implied by a quote of Century Consultants in the article.

The article only gives a passing mention to open source quoting Jim Hirsch from Plano ISD in Texas. Plano ISD has a very ambitious project underway to build an open source ERP. They are already heavy users of open source both in the IT shop and in the instructional side of the house where they are using Moodle. For an industry that is as financially constrained as education, you would think that more attention would be given to open source alternatives in education and the role they can play. Not only in flexibility and control, but more so in reduced budget dollars being taken from instruction.

In reality, the article, which is from one of the leading education industry publications, has little substance and delivers no real value to an open discussion of SIS in K-12 and what K-12 and Higher Ed truly need from such a system. The reality is that SIS solutions in K-12 have a very poor history. From the SasiXP offering from Pearson that runs on Dbase IV in a distributed architecture to the failed implementations of of Chancery in several large districts, the road is littered with valuable education dollars that have been wasted. SIS systems seem to get replaced every 3-5 years and are enormous cost items. The vendors are not entirely to blame as many choices and projects were decided by those with little practical technical or IT experience.

This article would have been much better to examine the various systems, their weaknesses, the open source alternatives and present the reader with an informed view helping them better understand these complex systems that cost a great deal of money. This is education reporting? Hardly.

Submission + - A new look at virtual autopsies

Roland Piquepaille writes: "Using computed tomography (CT) scans for autopsies is not new. This kind of exam is routinely practiced in several countries (read this for example). But except for some autopsies of American soldiers, this technology is not really used in the U.S. This might change now that the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) says that CT autopsy has the potential to replace conventional autopsy in determining the cause of certain accidental deaths. Not only a CT scan of the whole body is considerably cheaper than a conventional autopsy, it doesn't damage the bodies, and it's much faster — 30 minutes compared with several hours using knives. But read more for additional references and pictures showing multiple skull and facial bone fractures identified with radiological methods."
United States

Submission + - Choices: Have too many, still want more

MM_LONEWOLF writes: "Why is it that no matter what a person wants to do today, they have to make a choice? From buying a car ( What Car? What Brand? What Price? New or Used? Mileage?) to 15 different types of white bread, capitalism has blitzed the world into a state of numbness with choices. With the advent of technology, it's gotten even worse. What computer? What OS? What super-conglomerate do I increase the profits of? Lambskin keyboard? 20 button, personalized mouse? In several million years of evolution, humans have gone from banging rocks and painting on caves to inventing the internal combustion engine, taking flight, and creating nuclear plants and weapons, to staring dazed at the computer screen, deciding what brand of skin moisturizer to buy"

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