What's New

What's New

Looking for higher-education technology products and services? Start here.
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HDV camcorders are causing a stir in digital video. <b>Sony</b> has released the <em>HVR-Z7U</em> (a handheld at $6,850) and <em>HVR-S270U</em> (a shoulder-mount at $10,500) camcorders. They have interchangeable lens systems, native progressive recording, increased sensitivity for low-light conditions, and hybrid solid-state recording. A one-third-inch 3 ClearVid CMOS Sensor system offers sufficient pixel surface area while maintaining high resolution. Both models offer 1080, 24p, and 30p native progressive recording and come standard with a 12x multipurpose Carl Zeiss lens for HD video. An 8x wide-angle lens is optional.

Also new is the <em>HVR-M35U playback and recording deck</em> ($5,540), which supports standard-and mini-size cassettes, and accepts standard cassettes shot on the HVR-S270U or other shoulder-mount DVCAM camcorders. It can play back four-channel audio data in HDV1080i format recorded by the HVR-S270U, along with four-channel audio data in the DVCAM format. It includes a 2.7-inch-wide Clear Photo LCD plus screen, monaural speaker, edge crop adjust, and a Duplicate Plus function for copying video and audio from another VTR. Visit www.sony.com/professional.

<b>Regent</b> has updated its <em>Student Self Service Portal</em> to include an early needs analysis program and a digital Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Prospective and current students can now receive an early estimate of financial aid eligibility, without a fee or third-party service provider, instead of having to complete an application from a third-party provider or waiting until January 1 to complete the FAFSA electronically through the Department of Education. The portal also provides E-forms and accepts E-signatures, which reduce the need for institutions to mail forms to students or for students to go to financial aid offices, and incorporates an instant messaging feature via Live Chat for real-time communication between students and financial aid staff. The cost is based on a number of factors. The portal is part of the Regent Enterprise solution, which costs between $5 to $20 per FTE student, depending on an institution's requirements and needs. Visit www.regenteducation.com.

<b>Apple</b>'s new <em>MacBook Air</em> is the world's thinnest notebook, but has features you won't find even in a larger notebook computer. Measuring just 0.76-inches when closed, MacBook Air boasts a 13.3-inch LED-backlit widescreen display, a full-size and backlit keyboard, a built-in iSight video camera, and a spacious trackpad with multi-touch gesture support (like the iPhone). Apple has packed it with an 80GB, 1.8-inch hard drive, a 1.6 GHz or 1.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, and 2GB of memory (standard). It also includes 802.11n Wi-Fi technology and Bluetooth 2.1. What sets it apart from other notebooks is its lack of an optical drive. Software loading and file transfers are made with the help of Remote Disc, an application that reads nearby Macs and PCs and, once permission is given, can transfer files wirelessly. It sells for $1,799. Learn more at www.apple.com.

Developed at <b>Carnegie Mellon University</b> (Pa.), <em>CourseCast</em> lecture-capture software enables educators to offer students access to lectures long after class is over by streaming video and audio components over the web. Lectures can be edited, indexed, and archived. Students can obtain on-demand access to indexed lectures and course material, experiencing or revisiting entire lectures or focusing on specific segments. The user-driven software is deployed using standard PCs and peripherals. <b>Panopto,</b> its provider, is distributing this technology via the Socrates Project, which spreads the use of lecture-capture technology by offering the software free of charge. In return, Socrates members will participate in ongoing beta and developer programs aimed at enhancing this technology. Learn more at www.panopto.com.

It's one thing to recognize that student retention is a challenge, but developing a solution is another. <b>Hobsons'</b> <em>Students Retention Solutions</em> is a software suite designed to handle the technical side of managing student retention, as well as an advising package to guide administrators through the entire program. For example, Retention Assessments evaluates current retention efforts, while Predictive Modeling provides a model that uses historical data to predict behavior. EMT Retain, the system's centerpiece, is a web-based communication and coaching system that strengthens campus communication in order to target at-risk students. A team of specialists works with schools to develop a customized package. Pricing varies on needs, with base offerings starting at $7,500. Learn more at www.hobsons.com/us/retention.

It's another step toward harnessing the power of Web 2.0. <b>Adobe</b> is offering its <em>Flex Builder 2</em> software at no cost to students and faculty at IHEs. The Flex Builder 2 integrated development environment is part of a toolset for designing and developing rich internet applications, or RIAs. To learn more about the software and download a copy, visit www.adobe.com.

Content searches can be time consuming, especially if the source location is unknown. <em>Author-it 5.0,</em> a content management system by <b>Author-it Software Corporation,</b> is designed to make the reuse and sharing of content and knowledge within an institution happen faster and more efficiently. Author-it Xtend, an interactive authoring memory feature, makes all approved content in a database available to its creators, avoiding the need to perform a manual search. Once a user starts typing words, matching or similar content is located and returned instantly. Users can choose to insert any of the suggestions, see what documents they currently appear in, or continue typing to refine them. The software runs on Windows servers and Windows-based PCs and costs $5,000 per server. Visit www.authorit.com.

<b>Toshiba</b>'s <em>Port?g? M700 Tablet PC</em> series incorporates a touch screen LED backlit display with an antiglare coating. The touch screen supports fingertip input capabilities and traditional pen-based input by detecting the presence of a digital pen or a user's fingertip. It automatically switches between the two methods; when both are simultaneously detected, the digital pen gets priority. The series uses Intel Centrino Pro processor technology, including Intel Core 2 Duo processors, Intel 965 Express chipset, Intel Wireless Wi-Fi Link 4965AGN supporting draft 802.11n, and Intel Active Management Technology (AMT 2.6). The 1.3-megapixel webcam enables face-to-face communication when the user is out of the office or traveling. Perks include a spill-resistant keyboard and a 3D accelerometer to guard the hard disk drive (HDD) against accidental drops. The series includes the <em>Port?g? M700-S7002,</em> at $1,799, and the <em>Port?g? M700- S701X,</em> at $1,699. Learn more at www.toshibadirect.com.

<b>NetEx</b>'s <em>Recovery on Demand</em> uses the ability to expand performance options during disaster recovery (DR) outages and DR planning. Included with every HyperIP appliance, which offers a higher internet speed connection, Recovery on Demand provides a temporary bandwidth upgrade to boost data recovery performance by up to 600x, along with a "fire drill" technology trial plan that verifies the efficiency of DR plans under real-life conditions. HyperIP appliances are sold in a variety of scalable configurations, based upon bandwidth required, with data rates ranging from 1 Mb/s up to 622 Mb/s. Pricing starts at $20,759 for an appliance capable of delivering 3 Mbit/s of bandwidth, rising to $182,134 for 622 Mbit/s. This includes usage licensing for the first 12 months. Pricing generally starts from $13,000 to $16,000 for an entry level 3 Mb/s HyperIP. Two units are required for end-to-end connectivity. Visit www.netex.com.

Where shared computers go, trouble, by intent or accident, seems to follow. <em>NetSupport Protect 1.51</em> desktop security software, by <b>NetSupport,</b> aims to help IT staffers prevent computer users from exploring, altering, or even damaging their Windows operating system. The software can hide files and folders, lock control panels and settings, prevent the renaming and deletion of files or folders, prevent file creation by its type, restrict internet downloads, and control access to USB devices and CDR or DVD drives. It can also instantly restore a hard disk to an earlier point in time, and offers do-it-yourself disaster recovery. This new version also has a mechanism for auto restoration on reboot. Pricing starts at $16.80 per license for 10 computers and is discounted for volume purchases. To learn more, and to obtain a free 30-day trial, visit www.netsupport-inc.com.


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