Looking for higher-education technology products and services? Start here.
Aquis Communications has expanded LockDown, its crisis communication system for schools and universities, to include the Advanced Message Manager Platform (AMM). AMM is an integrated communications service that allows an organization to combine various communication infrastructures into a single management application. With the addition of AMM, LockDown can deliver and receive critical communications from wireless or wireline enabled devices such as cell phones, pagers, Blackberry devices, and internal or external phone systems, as well as from the web or a PC. It features universal PBX connectivity. Customized pricing is available after an initial consultation, with base packages starting at $5,000. Visit www.aquiscommunications.com.
It's one pop-up ad that might not be closed right away. CourseAdvisor has a new service that's being used to help further market IHEs to prospective students online. When a user goes to a search engine such as Google or Yahoo and enters a college-related search term, a CourseAdvisor ad pops up. After clicking on the ad, a student is asked questions about location, area of study, and education level. Then the student is presented with a list of colleges and universities whose programs meet the criteria. CourseAdvisor tracks and analyzes the data, passes on the lead to the institution, and tracks which students enroll where. The cost per lead varies significantly and can range from $2 to $100. Visit www.courseadvisor.com.
Ubiquity, the latest product in clearTXT's portfolio, allows administrators to take a multichannel approach when communicating with students, staff, and faculty. The system sends messages via e-mail, text, ticker window on desktop, instant message, and pop-up desktop alert for both PC and Mac. Individuals can determine how they want to receive information. The product can stand alone or integrate with e-learning systems such as Blackboard. The user interface is via a web browser, and there are no mobile software applications to download or install. The system can send messages immediately or schedule a delivery day and time, receive third-party information via RSS feeds, and act as a fully hosted solution that doesn't require additional personnel or IT infrastructure changes. Pricing-which depends on school size, whether Blackboard integration is needed, and other factors-averages about $1 per student per year for unlimited messaging. Check out www.cleartxt.com.
Mindjet Corporation has released MindManager 7, a software application for project and process improvement, communication, and interactions, as well as access to and management of key information. It's available in both Windows (MindManager Pro 7 and MindManager Lite 7) and Mac versions (MindManager 7 Mac).
MindManager Pro 7 ($349, upgrade $119) features a new interface based on the Microsoft Office Fluent UI. Users can launch Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Project, or Outlook, as well as import or export key content or information to any Microsoft Office application. MindManager Lite 7 ($99), entry-level software, is designed for student users.
MindManager 7 Mac ($129, upgrade $69) enables users to select topics by rules, which can be saved and applied as filters. With this version, users can now print large maps across multiple pages and add headers, footers, and borders to printed maps. Features also include enhanced import and export capabilities, including OPML, HTML, and Text Outline. Check out www.mindjet.com.
When a college student accidentally starts a fire while cooking, it's no laughing matter. Safe-Telement, distributed by University Electronics, is a product upgrade for electric coiled cooktops, engineered to help prevent cooking fires before they begin and reduce the amount of electricity required to cook. The electronically controlled solid cover plate can be installed on top of an existing stovetop burner. A control unit mounted on the back of the stove controls the temperature of the cover plate, allowing it only to reach a maximum of 662 degrees F. Depending on usage patterns, the system will deliver energy savings in the range of 25-50 percent. A kit for a four-burner electric coil range costs $175. Installation can be done internally or by certified installers at an additional charge. Visit www.universityelectronics.com.
Gordano Ltd. has released the Gordano Vanguard Server, a new stand-alone messaging security product. It provides enterprise class antivirus and antispam protection to individual or multiple mail servers, including the Gordano Messaging Suite, Microsoft Exchange, and IBM Lotus Notes/Domino. Dual antivirus scanning engines provide traditional signature-based virus protection complemented by technology that checks every message that has been routed through the traditional scanner against the most updated information available. There are more than 100 additional checks, including Bayesian filtering with automated training of filters, phrase-based checks (automated and custom), sender policy framework record checks, and message quality checks. Pricing is based on the number of users, approximately $5 (for 10,000 users) to $59 (for 25 users) per user. Vanguard does not require specialized hardware and can be installed on a range of platforms, including Windows, Linux (including SELinux support), Solaris, and AIX. Visit www.activethreatcontrol.com.
MobileSphere's Emergency Broadcast Text Messaging Solution is designed to rapidly convey urgent information to students, officials, and the general public. By logging in to its online account management interface, users can type a message and instantly broadcast time-sensitive alerts to thousands of people in a community. Users can upload mobile numbers and create multiple groups, and then messages can be sent to both groups and individual users. A remote backup is included in the case of local system failure. Two-way messaging is another feature. The system is currently compatible with any mobile device and carrier in the United States and Canada. Its pricing plan offers the choice between an annual licensing model based on the number of users, with pricing that averages $2-$3 per student per year, and a pay-per-use model. Log on to www.mobile-sphere.com.
If computers had to go to school, they probably would want to look cool and sharp in class. Lenovo has released two new notebook PCs with widescreens measuring in at 14.1 inches-the ThinkPad T61 and the first ever R Series widescreen, the ThinkPad R61 (starting at $1,399 and $1,249, respectively). They share many features: a new Top Cover Roll Cage for durability, an improved cooling system, and enhanced wireless connectivity with Ultra Connect II. They also have Intel Centrino Pro and Intel Centrino Duo mobile echnology. The "Battery Stretch" feature allows users to extend battery life by 15 percent by powering down tools they don't readily need.
Also new is the 3000 N200 15.4-inch widescreen notebook, which offers WLAN with 802.11n technology, 10/100 Ethernet, and Bluetooth connectivity options. Integrated fingerprint readers help users manage their passwords and information. For a lower total cost of ownership, Lenovo Care Tools help manage IT tasks with automatic updates, one-button system recovery, and network connectivity. Choices of Intel integrated graphics or NVIDIA discrete graphics combined with options such as an integrated camera, a five-in-one multicard reader, and Vibrant View display, add to its use. Pricing starts at $1,099. Visit www.lenovo.com.
Hitachi Software Engineering America has gone green with its RoHS compliant (the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive, established by the European Union) BT-2G Bluetooth System Wireless tablet. This compliance ensures the product will not release restricted hazardous substances such as lead and mercury, and two types of polybrominated fire retardants. The tablet can be used as a peripheral to any existing StarBoard or as a stand-alone system. It features a range of up to 65 feet and a battery life of 24 hours, is 9.5 inches by 10 inches by 1.2 inches, and weighs a pound. Users can connect up to seven BT-2G systems to a PC. The pen, which operates the lightweight system, features an LED battery indicator and a low battery warning. The tablet also features a writing resolution of 1000 lpi, twice the resolution of its predecessor. Its retail price is $499. Check out www.hitachi-soft.com.
ePen&Inc. and M3Designs have partnered up to create PaperToolsPro, a software program designed to simplify note taking, prevent plagiarism, and help writers learn good researching skills and ethics. It is designed for writers to enter publication information for bibliography entries and citations, take notes either as quotations or in their own words, and identify information with descriptors and keywords. It records sources and page numbers; creates bibliography and citation entries in MLA, APA, ACS, CBE, AAAS, and Chicago styles; and organizes notes with a search query. The software can also transfer notes with citations into a rough draft on a word processing page, as well as import sources as citations and bibliography entries from citation management programs such as Endnote. Available for Mac and PC, PaperToolsPro is available by CD or download for $55. It also can run off of a memory stick or iPod. Volume pricing and site licenses are available. Learn more at www.papertoolspro.com.
Luidia and NEC Display Solutions of America have partnered to utilize Luidia's eBeam technology in NEC's new ImagineX IW77 interactive whiteboard. Presenters can control the computer, run PowerPoint presentations, and annotate slides or documents by using the interactive stylus directly on the projected image. Having the ability to annotate over any application, the whiteboard can save these files for students to take home. A web collaborate feature gives teachers the ability to broadcast and share materials over the Internet or in real-time. New mouse functionality makes it easy for users to control the desktop directly from the board with just a stylus pen, while the PowerPoint Palette allows annotation of and navigation from slide presentations. The Scrapbook application provides a digital workspace to record notes and import screen shots and other files. The cost is $1,799. Visit www.necdisplay.com.
WildPackets has released a line of products and services under the OmniAnalysis Platform geared toward monitoring virtual traffic. Its flagship, OmniAnalysis 5, enables IT engineers to troubleshoot and monitor all networks. Its major upgrades include OmniPeek network analyzers and OmniEngine remote analysis services.
The line also includes the Omni Virtual Network Service, a lightweight traffic capture service designed for virtual servers. It provides data center engineers and test teams with the visibility they need into virtual server traffic. The service runs on Windowsbased virtual servers and enables network traffic to be analyzed with OmniPeek Analyzer.
Also available is a new consultation service, the Strategic Network Audit. It intends to provide IT management with a thirdparty objective, to offer detailed reports that they can use as the basis for network optimization, problem remediation, or future planning. The OmniAnalysis Enterprise product line starts at $6,995, and the OmniAnalysis WorkGroup product line (for SMBs) starts at $995. Log on to www.wildpackets.com.
Emergency Alert Information Portal by Viyya Technologies helps provide timely distribution of information, both on a routine daily basis and, in times of crisis, in an emergency mode. Information originates from a variety of sources, including the internet, intranets, or local databases, and can be displayed, filtered, organized, and disseminated through portal technology and shared by the appropriate parties. The system instantly transmits alerts to thousands of users via e-mail or SMS text messaging and supports collaborative information exchange through chat rooms, discussion groups, and topic-specific forums. It can be run as Software-as-a-Service or installed locally in an enterprise environment. Optional features include incident event reporting, visual data representations, and document management systems. Pricing ranges from $4,995 to $19,995, depending on the configuration and number of users. Log on to www.viyya.com/eaip.
Cdigix has integrated its C-Labs digital education platform into the Blackboard Building Blocks open architecture initiative, allowing Blackboard Academic Suite users to access and deliver rich media using the C-Labs service. A turnkey service, C-Labs provides the tools necessary to easily post and maintain course-critical digital audio and video media online. The C-Labs 2007 version offers an enhanced user experience and new administrative tools. C-Labs Community posts institution-owned media into a shared pool that is available to other partner institutions. C-Labs Library allows administrators to acquire media that is not currently in their campus libraries. C-Labs Podcasting lets faculty download campus- protected content that is posted to C-Labs in nonencrypted audio and video formats to their computer or transfer it to a portable device. There is an annual license fee of $9,995, which includes a cache server, maintained by Cdigix, digital asset management and administrative tool set, operational and technical support, and training and documentation. There is also a one time, per title charge of $200 for encoding, encrypting, and adding digital rights management, enabling secure delivery on Macs and PCs. Check out www.cdigix.com.
2MAX Earphones, by Sensaphonics Hearing Conservation, is designed to eliminate the differences in system performance between wired and wireless in-ear systems, allowing wireless users to get the volume they need at lower bodypack settings. Based on the company's ProPhonic 2X-S model, the 2MAX features a higher-sensitivity, which results in more output at lower volume settings. And, identical to its predecessor, the 2MAX is custom molded from soft silicone, which doesn't shrink, crack, or degrade, ensuring long life, a good seal, and comfortable fit. The standard transparent silicone material can be customized in various colors. The 2MAX also features a stronger, more flexible cable. Professional pricing is $850. Log on to www.sensaphonics.com.
SmartAVI has taken video wall technology one step further with XPander, a hardware and software video wall solution to create, manage, and control information display systems across multiple screens. The product's technology is implemented by inserting a range of up to 16 graphic cards (each card supporting up to four screens) into a PC. Using multiple graphic cards, it is possible to create a display that allows the Windows desktop to be spread across a maximum of 64 screens.
The system includes a Wall Control management software program and a multiscreen display driver. The software also offers configuration of the multiscreen display, launches video overlays, and creates a wall layout. This product supports Flash, PowerPoint, Adobe, movies (MPEG, WMV), QuickTime, RealPlayer, scrolling text, or news/RSS feeds in one display or expanded over 64 monitors. The unit costs $1,699 for card and software. Visit www.smartavi.com.