Google closes the book on Reader, announces July 1 sunset

The day long feared by fans of Google Reader has come: the service will shut down, the company said, CNET reports.

“We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites,” the company said. “While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader. Users and developers interested in RSS alternatives can export their data, including their subscriptions, with Google Takeout over the course of the next four months.”

Google Reader lets users subscribe to and read feeds from all manner of publishers, in a format that resembles an e-mail in-box. Loved by information junkies, the nearly eight-year-old service was once among the most popular ways of tracking large numbers of news sites, blogs and other publishers. It was also an early experiment for Google in social networking, as the service’s sharing features inspired friendships and even marriages. Diehard fans of the service called themselves “sharebros,” as was detailed last year in a lengthy, definitive feature on Buzzfeed

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The Importance of Network Time Synchronization

Your network is time stamping files, email, transactions, etc., while server logs are recording the transactions for backup. Fundamental to this is the belief that the time is correct. This paper describes why network time synchronization is critically important.

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Expanding E-Learning in the UK: Sonic Foundry Partners with University of London Computer Centre to Offer Cost-Effective Academic Video Solution

ULCC adds Mediasite webcast technology to its national IT infrastructure

LIVERPOOL, UK (UCISA Stand #27) — March 12, 2013 — A new partnership between Sonic Foundry, Inc. (NASDAQ: SOFO), the trusted market leader for video management and academic, enterprise and event webcasting, and the University of London Computer Centre, which hosts and develops e-learning services for more than 2 million students, allows universities in the United Kingdom to launch cost-effective academic video initiatives with Mediasite Enterprise Video Platform.

“More and more universities are using video to enhance all aspects of their operations: learning and teaching, research, administration and marketing,” said Richard Maccabee, Director of ULCC. “Our partnership with Sonic Foundry further extends our portfolio of learning technology services and illustrates our commitment to support and integrate with best-of-breed products to meet the needs of our customers. With our announcement of an economical and scalable service to support Sonic Foundry’s Mediasite webcast technology, we expect more universities to embrace video.”

ULCC provides integrated technology solutions to over 250 Higher and Further Education institutions in the United Kingdom. The addition of Mediasite Enterprise Video Platform to its list of available services allows universities to connect their Mediasite Recorders to a centrally-managed Mediasite webcasting and management platform to record, deliver and manage interactive videos.

Maudsley Learning, a start up social enterprise with the strategic vision of raising knowledge and awareness of mental health and wellbeing through the delivery of technology enabled learning in both their physical and digital space, is the first organization to launch an academic video initiative with Mediasite through this partnership.

“Maudsley Learning will use Mediasite via ULCC to live stream and create on-demand video content of educational events, seminars and teaching. This will enable us to deliver Maudsley Learning’s strategic vision to provide learning on issues relating to mental health and wellbeing to anyone, anytime and anywhere,” said Dr. Sarah-Louise Quinnell, Learning Technology Manager at Maudsley Learning.

“The University of London Computer Centre has been committed to offering leading edge academic technology solutions for decades. Giving their clients, which includes the top educational institutions in the UK, the ability to create, manage and distribute video-based instruction in a secure environment via Mediasite speaks directly to its mission,” said Rob Lipps, executive vice president of Sonic Foundry. “The world is a more informed and connected place when the knowledge shared in classrooms is being preserved, and we’re honored to partner with ULCC to ensure that every higher education institution in the UK has access to a cost-effective solution to achieve this shared vision.”

Frank Steiner of ULCC and Quinnell will present a free webinar, “Expanding E-Learning in the UK: How the University of London Computer Centre Offers Cost-Effective Academic Video Solutions via Mediasite” 10 a.m. CDT March 27. To register, visit www.sonicfoundry.com/ulcc. Also, visit ULCC (stand # 11) and Sonic Foundry (stand # 27) at UCISA 2013 March 13 to 15 in Liverpool, UK.

Trusted by more than 1,100 colleges and universities, the patented Mediasite webcasting and video content management system quickly and cost-effectively automates the capture, management, delivery and search of live and on-demand videos and rich media.

About Sonic Foundry®, Inc.
Sonic Foundry (NASDAQ: SOFO) is the trusted market leader for enterprise webcasting solutions, providing video content management and distribution for education, business and government. Powered by the patented Mediasite webcasting platform and webcast services of Mediasite Events, the company empowers people to advance how they share knowledge online, using video webcasts to bridge time and distance, enhance learning outcomes and improve performance.

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Apple’s iPad to fall behind Android as tablet war grows

Shipments of tablets running Google Inc’s Android will overtake the iPad this year for the first time, research house IDC predicted on Tuesday, as Apple Inc cedes more mobile market share to hard-charging rivals around the globe, Reuters reports. A growing variety of smaller and cheaper Android tablets from Google to Amazon.com Inc will catch on this year with more consumers and chip away at Apple’s dominance since the first iPad launched in 2010, International Data Corp said. iPad and iPhone shipments are expected to keep growing at enviable rates, but arch-rival Samsung Electronics and others have hurt Apple with a combination of savvy marketing, greater variety and rapid technology adoption. On Thursday, Samsung takes the wraps off the fourth generation of its flagship Galaxy, the smartphone that helped the South Korean giant knock the iPhone off its top ranking for part of last year…

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House panel introduces school disclosure bill

For-profit higher education institutions in Idaho that provide courses but cannot issue degrees may be required to disclose more information about job placement rates under a bill making its way through the House, the Associated Press reports. The House Education Committee agreed Tuesday to introduce legislation requiring those institutions to be more transparent about cost, job placement rates and ability to provide transfer credits. Boise Democrat Rep. John Gannon said the measure could help alleviate high loan and default rates among students who enroll in the programs…

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For students, banking 2.0 involves social media

Let’s say you’re in college. You’re taking a full load of courses, balancing classes with a work-study job that pays minimum wage, and whether you eat or not depends entirely on the credit still left on your weekly meal plan, ABC News reports. Money’s tight and you’re caught in between independence and still having to rely on your parents’ generosity. Financially speaking, college students are in a unique position . . . and it’s not an attractive one to banks. A basic checking account is essential for everyday purchases, but banks stand to make little if any profit off a typical student’s minor transactions. Additionally, the Credit CARD Act of 2009 makes it illegal for creditors to issue credit to anyone under 21, a previously lucrative practice that targeted inexperienced, underage consumers, setting them up for a potentially lifelong burden of debt. With such a low net worth, students’ banking needs are often overlooked…

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Ambassador Education Solutions Achieves SSAE 16 Compliance

Standards Provide Greater Visibility into Company’s Services and Results

Melville, NY – March 11, 2013 – Ambassador Education Solutions, experts in powering course materials management and delivery for higher education institutions, received its annual Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE 16 SOC I Type 2). The Ambassador SSAE 16 standard validates the systems and processes that support its clients are suitably designed and operating as expected and effectively.

“Meeting these standards reinforces our commitment to our clients that Ambassador provides solutions that are not only greatly beneficial to their businesses, but are also designed and managed appropriately,” said Steven M. Blicht, Chief Operating Officer of Ambassador. “Our SSAE 16 report provides clients, prospects and strategic partners substantial evidence and greater visibility into our services and results, and it also supports why our business has advanced and grown over the last 40 years.”

The SSAE 16 replaces SAS70 as the standard by which service organizations demonstrate the establishment of effectively designed control objectives and activities via an in-depth audit of the processes related to the services provided to customers. According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), which developed SSAE 16, the standards enable an organization to report on relevant subject matter other than financial statements. Per the standards, Ambassador provides auditors with additional documentation, including a description of its service organization system, details pertaining to the design of the controls, and an assessment of the operating effectiveness of those controls.

Leading this initiative was Ambassador’s Chief Information Officer, Jordan Kaufman, who has extensive experience in the education technology sector, as well as information security compliance. “We are very pleased to have received such a positive SSAE 16 report, as it solidifies our ongoing effort to engineer systems and practices that exceed industry standards and expectations in regard to best practices, while also providing our clients and partners additional assurance that our services are secure and appropriately managed.”

About Ambassador Education Solutions
Since 1973, Ambassador has engineered, developed and implemented customized bookstore and technology solutions for higher education institutions to simplify the adoption, delivery and management of all course materials, including textbooks, eBooks, eResources, custom content, scrubs, kits, supplies and logo apparel. Ambassador’s products and services, which integrate with Student Information Systems, Learning Management Systems and Digital Content Platforms, deliver an optimized student learning experience with extensive student and faculty support, while enabling institutions to maintain control and streamline costs. Ambassador also supplies print, digital and media requirements to libraries worldwide. Ambassador’s proprietary supply chain technology, specialized advisory services, analytic tools and dynamic solutions enable institutions to efficiently fulfill their academic and financial goals. For more information, please visit www.ambassadored.com.
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Colleges, it’s time to admit you have a problem

Growing up, I did exactly what was expected of me. I worked hard through high school and was the first in my family to graduate from college, thanks to the federal Pell Grant, an academic scholarship and work-study program, says a contributor for TakePart.com. Despite that, I still walked away with massive student loans. I don’t regret my choice because my education is the one thing no one can take away from me. But, like too many of my friends, I am now buried in student debt. By the time I pay off my loans, I’ll be in my 50s. And like many of my peers, I’m thinking differently about major life decisions, like buying a home or car or having kids, because I have too much student debt to pay off first. My story isn’t unique. More and more, skyrocketing college costs are forcing students to take on crippling debt in order to get the education they need. Since the early 1980s, tuition and fees have increased 538 percent—that’s almost twice as fast as healthcare costs. Over two-thirds of all college students currently borrow in order to finance their education. Even so, I was shocked to learn that Americans now owe more than $1 trillion on student loans…

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