Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Colleges Outsourcing Email To MS Live, Google

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the who-uses-email-anyway dept.

Education 256

Andy Guess tips us to his article at Inside Higher Ed offering a detailed look at the snowballing trend of colleges outsourcing their email infrastructure, mostly to Google and Microsoft Live. Even outsourcing just email would presage big changes in the work that IT departments do on campus; but more such changes are on the horizon as schools grapple with entering freshmens' already entrenched online habits.

cancel ×

256 comments

Changes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21499051)

but more such changes are on the horizon as schools grapple with entering freshmens' already entrenched online habits.
More bandwidth for more downloading? So I can download every song ever created in two minutes and never worry about "legal issues" again?

Did somebody say snowball? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21499355)

I should have known better than to dare my friend Kara at anything. Least of all, something as totally depraved and raunchy as a snowball.... It was early summer, still early enough to not be intolerable, but hot and sticky enough that both our sundresses were clinging to our well-defined bodies, in a fine sweat. Kara had made pink lemonade, and we were in a picnic spot sipping away. Then, out of the blue, she asks me, "have you ever tried a snowball?" I nearly spit out my drink. Kara has never been one to mince words, but nevertheless I hadn't been expecting that.

"Well? Have you?" Kara was waiting expectantly for my answer.

"Well...I...no! Yeeeeeck! That's disgusting!" But my smile belied my curiosity and excitement.

"Why disgusting?" my friend demanded. "Don't tell me you've never had a guy cum in your mouth before!"

I couldn't tell her that....I'd had hundreds--quite a few of them with Kara present and sucking and fucking whomever she'd brought home for the night.

Instead, I said, "No...I mean....kissing another girl after...."

Kara only smiled evilly. I thought back to the time she'd walked into the bedroom and caught me masturbating on my bed. Nothing too embarrassing about that....except for the matter of exactly what I'd been fantasizing about as I frigged my sopping wet cunt. To this day I couldn't be entirely sure if she'd heard me calling out her name, as my fingers drove me to orgasm after beautiful orgasm....but if she had been anywhere in the apartment during the few minutes leading up to her catching me in the act, I couldn't see how she could have missed hearing it even if a jet plane were flying overhead!

Smiling, Kara asked me, "Does that mean you'd never kiss another woman? Even if she had a mouth full of delicious jism?"

"Never," I lied. "And even if I did....I'd never find someone who would do something that obscene."

"Hmmmm," Kara mused, running her finger along her bottom lip. "I might be prone to try something like that...."

"YOU?" I exclaimed, shocked. "You'd never do something like that."

"Dare me," Kara challenged.

"OK....I dare you!" I giggled, playing along.

Then Kara shocked the hell out of me by standing up and heading straight over to two guys who were playing catch with a football.

"Kara!" I hissed. "Hey...what...GET BACK HERE!" She looked back at me as if to say "you should know not to dare me..."

As she stood there, speaking with the two guys and flirting heavily (even from my vantage point, I could now distinctly see bulges in their shorts), I wished I could melt into the nearby trees. Even more so as she turned and began walking back toward me, holding hands with each of the guys. I felt so embarrassed! My face must have been bright red as Kara brought the two guys over.

She introduced me. "This is my friend, Terri." Maybe it was just my imagination, but I could have sworn she had put an odd emphasis on the word "friend". "Terri, this is.....ummmm...these...." Inspiration struck. "These are hard cocks for us to enjoy!" Not surprisingly, neither of the young guys objected to being classified as a walking sex object.

Kara had the guys sit on the picnic bench, and she quickly got both of them out of their shorts as i watched, a bit shocked at my friend's boldness. She guided me in front of the first guy, who was taller of the two and sandy-haired, gently but firmly pushing me to my knees in front of him.

"Terri, here, is gonna take good care of you. But," she warned, "you have to cum in my mouth. I need both of you to cum in my mouth." Then Kara took her own place in front of the other guy and began giving his hard prick a tongue bath. Then, I felt a hand on the back of my head, as my guy gently pulled me toward him. I opened wide and took him in...

We knelt there in our sundresses, our knees getting dirty as we slurped away at these magnificent hard cocks. Kara popped her man's meat out of her mouth for a moment, to murmur to the sandy-haired guy, "let me show you what my 'friend' likes..." She led me to the top of the picnic table where she arranged me on my back, slipping my sundress down so that it was bunched around my waist, my 36-D braless tits now fully exposed. Then she started playing with them! My nipples immediately got rock hard.

"Doesn't she have nice big firm titties?" Kara cooed. Sandy-haired muttered his agreement. "She just loooooooves having a hard cock between them and having them fucked," she whispered.

Sandy didn't need to be told twice. He quickly straddled my chest and plopped his meat between my boobs, and I pushed them together for him. I stuck my tongue out as far as it would go, licking the tip of his cock every time it poked through my cleavage. As I got titty-fucked, I glanced over at Kara and was surprised to see her getting wildly fucked from behind!

Kara was all talk. "Come on, you hot cocks...I need your cum....I need it in my mouth....give it to me!" She directed me as well. "Terri... push those nice juicy tits together...tighter! Make him cum....!"

Kara's man announced that he was going to cum. He pulled out of her and turned around, taking a sitting position on top of the picnic table as her guy stood on the bench. Grabbing his shaft, she hastily jerked him off. With a gasp, he let go and fired spurt after spurt of his sticky cum into Kara's mouth. This proved to be too much for the fellow balling my breasts, who also announced that he was about to cum.

Kara grabbed his cock and pulled him toward her open mouth, and he situated himself standing on the bench next to his friend. The only problem was that his friend wasn't quite done filling Kara's mouth with his seed, and the first two spurts of sandy's cum went all over her cheek and in her hair. Then as the other man stepped aside, she opened her already cum-drenched mouth to take the rest of it. Finally the well was dry. But Kara's fun was just beginning. She opened her mouth to show me the treasure we'd harvested together; the white sticky jism was literally overflowing over her teeth and lips and dripping down her chin.

Then she drew me in and our lips locked.....

What seemed like a gallon of hot, sticky, creamy sperm gushed into my mouth. I swished the salty cream around my mouth then passed it back to her....then back to me again. this time, her tongue followed, and as our tongues met, I had the first of many orgasms for that afternoon.....

Takes a load off IT. (1, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499053)

Lets face it. Higher Ed. Has below average skills in handling their own IT Infrastructure. Their budget is usually enough for one good manager and a bunch of college students who need spending cash. Keeping an email system up an running with blocking Spam is a lot of work normally way above what normal College IT have the skills or resources to do. So Google and Microsoft Live want more email users. So I say let them have it. Just modify the domain name to allow college.edu emails to go to the gmail account and things are all hunky dory. I work for a small business and I have been slowly outsourcing our email to GMAIL its free and it is easier and less work and expense on our end.

Re:Takes a load off IT. (3, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499159)

Their budget is usually enough for one good manager and a bunch of college students who need spending cash.

Well, that's not entirely true but IT in Higher Ed certainly does not function like it does everywhere else and hosted solutions (of any application genre) are going great guns in Higher Ed because of the slow response times with IT.

It's a serious cash cow for the companies that host these services (like RightNow and TimeTrade to name just two of the dozen that I have dealt with as part of my job in the last 6 months) because Higher Ed is so willing to slough this stuff off on someone else and pay the maintenance fees rather than having to rely on the overworked in-house IT staff.

The unfortunate part of having a hosted solution is the maintenance fees. With a hosted CRM solution requiring an 8% yearly fee to keep up with upgrades and hosting/service fees, college budgets are dwindling for the departments that rely on this software for day-to-day activities.

The biggest problem will come in ~2014 as the enrollment decline hits the big time and colleges are scrambling to spend more of their limited budgets on marketing to their high-quality leads and keeping up with all the budgets of those higher-end schools. It should be interesting :)

Re:Takes a load off IT. (4, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499313)

Well it is true depending on the college... The point is that there are a few good IT Professionals and a bunch of students who think they know it all but don't understand that working in IT isn't all about just getting the computer to work. The issue of Paying say the maintenance fee vs. keeping a full staff is often cheaper when you figure out everything. First when there is a problem you can rather quickly get an experience or at least trained person to look and resolve the problem in a couple hours vs. Having some hourly wage guy spending days while higher ups are breathing down the necks to get it working. Also there is an issue of budgeting having a fixed budget for the year is better then needing to ask for emergency cash. Colleges have far more wast effecting the departments then an IT Budget that some strategic maintenance contracts. Mostly because every year they need to spend their entire budget just so they will have it for the next year, causing some department to be strapped for cash but for other who don't need it for that year but the next to go hog wild and wast as much as possible so they can get more the next year.

Re:Takes a load off IT. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21499945)

The point is that there are a few good IT Professionals and a bunch of students who think they know it all but don't understand that working in IT isn't all about just getting the computer to work.
A quick check of the IT-related job listings of any university will show that this just isn't true. IT infrastructure at a university (which includes campus-wide e-mail, of course) is not built or managed by students. Perhaps you're thinking of the kids that work in the computer labs? Those labs are just a fraction of the IT requirements of a university, and they certainly aren't setup by students tinkering with a few Windows boxes and some network cable.

There are definitely more than "a few" full-time IT professionals who do the real work behind the scenes. For example, I'm a Unix sysadmin at a mid-sized state university and we have over 400 employees in our IT division. That includes app developers, database administrators, systems analysts, etc. etc. in addition to the core groups which manage systems and networking (which is a couple of dozen people). As someone else pointed out, things definitely work differently than they do in the private sector, but not that differently.

Where do you get the idea that there are just a handful of pros and a bunch of clueless students building/managing university IT infrastructures?

Re:Takes a load off IT. (1)

boris111 (837756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499551)

The biggest problem will come in ~2014


What's the significance of 2014?

Re:Takes a load off IT. (1)

e9th (652576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499735)

Well, 2014 may be a bit premature, but the declining birth rate [about.com] is definitely going to affect higher ed. There is a buyer's market looming.

Re:Takes a load off IT. (2, Funny)

adminstring (608310) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499879)

At that point we'll probably just start accepting more students from other countries [nytimes.com] to keep the classrooms full.

Re:Takes a load off IT. (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499811)

The enrollment decline begins in 2010 because the number of eligible secondary students drops significantly.

Re:Takes a load off IT. (0, Flamebait)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499217)

All the students need is a terminal account on a Linux box somewhere with mutt or pine (and IMAP). That will be more than adequate for the official email communication needed as part of their course. If for some unfathomable reason they'd rather use Outhouse or some other spam-ridden monstrosity instead of pine, leave them to it.

Re:Takes a load off IT. (3, Interesting)

Celarnor (835542) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499929)

Before I go any further, I'm a freshman at RIT, which is a pretty geek-heavy place I also reside on the Computer Science House [wikipedia.org] , which is pretty nerdy [rit.edu] as well. Right now we're developing a robot to bring us drinks from a networked vending machine to our room, if that helps you any. Despite our extensive use of *NIX elsewhere, we use an Exchange server for email, which works fairly well. Most students just use the web frontend for it, or just forward it to their gmail account. Myself, I use IMAP with it, but it is frequently borked, and requires the installation of a security certificate for use off-campus. That said, a lot of students here have trouble figuring out how to forward x11 traffic and a different username via ssh, much less use pine; our UNIX cluster does have it installed, but I have my doubts about how many people use it.

Re:Takes a load off IT. (2, Funny)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499219)

Higher Ed. Has below average skills in handling their own IT Infrastructure.

Speak for yourself, buddy.

Fran Taylor, MIT '89

Re:Takes a load off IT. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21499501)

Well I just did a Google search on your name, and MIT I didn't find that you are an IT celebrity or anything. I guess you just have your noes so high up in the area that somehow it warped around the universe and went up your ass. as you pointed out and the parent stated "Higher Ed. As below average skills" below average meaning in aggregate of all colleges and universities when you quantify their skill levels then divide it against all colleges and universities you get a number, vs. taking the same quantification for all businesses and organizations and divide those by the number of businesses and organizations that you quantified. You will find that Colleges and Universities will have a lower score... So yes some colleges and universities will be above average but most do not. It is amazing that they didn't teach how to calculate the average and teach what an average means to MIT Students. I would demand your money back...

Re:Takes a load off IT. (-1, Offtopic)

Sergeant Pepper (1098225) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499605)

Well I just did a Google search on your name, and MIT I didn't find that you are an IT celebrity or anything. I guess you just have your noes so high up in the area that somehow it warped around the universe and went up your ass. as you pointed out and the parent stated "Higher Ed. As below average skills" below average meaning in aggregate of all colleges and universities when you quantify their skill levels then divide it against all colleges and universities you get a number, vs. taking the same quantification for all businesses and organizations and divide those by the number of businesses and organizations that you quantified. You will find that Colleges and Universities will have a lower score... So yes some colleges and universities will be above average but most do not. It is amazing that they didn't teach how to calculate the average and teach what an average means to MIT Students. I would demand your money back...
And it is amazing that they didn't teach English wherever you went^1^2. ^1 If you do not live in an English-speaking nation I apologize. ^2 Mods, this is a joke. If it's not funny, rather than modding me -1 Troll or -1 Flamebait (which don't fit), join the movement for a -1 Not Funny that doesn't affect karma!

Take a load off!!! (2, Insightful)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499835)

Wow, angry much? Ever heard of a laugh?

You are so right. Really, the only way to measure a person's worth is to do a Google search on what you think is their name.

I don't see the words "typical" or "average" in what I quoted. You've fabricated "meaning in average in aggregate..." on your own.

I was also an MIT employee for a year, and MIT paid me back ALL that I paid to them in four years.

True story: my boss and I were messing with the web cams on our spiffy SGI workstations very late one night. After maybe two or three minutes, there was a LOUD knock on the door. It was a guy from MIT Networking, from the other end of campus, complaining that the subnet mask on one of the machines was not set right.

"Anonymous Coward" pretty well sums it up.

Re:Takes a load off IT. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21499231)

As an IT guy at a University that's looking to outsource e-mail, it's more a lack of resources than a lack of skills. We're competent enough to run e-mail ourselves, and we've been doing it for 12 years or so for our students, but we just don't have the money or the time to keep up with what Google and Microsoft are offering. We simply can't provide 5 GB of storage to an account. Our more savvy students are already forwarding their e-mail to other services, so why not just give the students what they want in the first place?

Re:Takes a load off IT. (2, Insightful)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499363)

We simply can't provide 5 GB of storage to an account.

You don't have to do that. Use IMAP with a low quota and make the students store their own mail on their own computers. You can sell extra capacity for those who prefer to store email on the server, and turn your email operation into a revenue stream.

Re:Takes a load off IT. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21499425)

I'm guessing you meant POP; IMAP wouldn't alleviate the problem.

We chose 6 or 7 years back to go with web based e-mail because we wanted to encourage it as a primary means of communication, so we wanted it available to them wherever they are. We provide *lots* of computers around campus (somewhere in excess of 1500, last I heard), and e-mail should be accessible to the students on all of them. We used a POP client on the computers with networked storage for awhile, but web-based e-mail was just easier for everyone.

We looked at Zimbra too, and it's a rockin' solution, but it's still substantially more economical for us to outsource the whole mess. :)

Re:Takes a load off IT. (2, Informative)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499573)

I know IMAP. I worked for a VERY BIG email company. You can use quotas. Use Cyrus IMAP and you can keep all the account info (including quotas) in an LDAP database so you don't need a zillion entries in /etc/passwd. If you want something Really Robust, talk to OpenWave.

You CAN force people to download their email and clear it from the server with IMAP. Like I said, you can make a school operation like this pay for itself by providing barebones service for free and charging for extra storage space.

Re:Takes a load off IT. (2, Informative)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499463)

So Google and Microsoft Live want more email users. So I say let them have it. Just modify the domain name to allow college.edu emails to go to the gmail account and things are all hunky dory.

It would've been hunky dory, if it were possible to not have to deal with the advertisements and other crap, that supports these "free" services...

I work for a small business and I have been slowly outsourcing our email to GMAIL its free and it is easier and less work and expense on our end.

Well, if you don't care, that an outside corporation is reading/parsing all of your e-mails — without even a signed non-disclosure agreement customary in a typical outsourcing situation, then yes, it makes sense...

Re:Takes a load off IT. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21499649)

1) Disagree that universities cannot handle their email systems. My old computer department did a nice job [better than any company I have worked for]. I will say that the email system for the school at large was nowhere near as well managed [cis.xxx.edu vs xxx.edu] so I only used my cis department email address. I think this is a hiring issue as my old computer department IT group was good and the university at large was sucky [I think this is because universities are so fragmented and political] but this is an internal failure and besides, CIS dept has the best crack at hiring new IT.

2) As a student, I would go nuts thinking that google now has all my email. Thanks for mining my emails though it is "anonymous". I hope these accounts are never used in any Google information derivation.

3) Should universities instill into our youth that yeah yeah we say myspace and.... social networks are bad and you shouldn't use them. But no Google is great, let them keep all your data, communications... They are just anonymously looking at it, don't worry. What happened to universities breeding independence in thought and action and having a healthy level of not trusting anyone: government, companies... And the idiot that replies to this with the moronic response of: "If you have not caught google abusing... then don't worry just trust them more, give them everything, you don't need to know what they are doing under the covers." That person better work for google or there is no excuse for his/her stupidity.

Re:Takes a load off IT. (1)

Total_Wimp (564548) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499853)

"Takes a load off IT"

That's an interesting thing to say. Every industry I know of that's had a load taken off has then seen massive, or even total, job losses.

A) What's good enough for college is often good enough for business. All it takes is a product/service that matches the executives' pinstripes.

B) Do you have an MCSE Messaging cert? How much will it be worth when nobody does their email in-house?

It's not an "if," it's a "when." The load is going to be so successfully taken off that pretty much all internal email admins are going to have to find something else to do with all their free time. You know, like spending some quality time with Dice.com.

Re:Takes a load off IT. (3, Insightful)

Sepiraph (1162995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499873)

I disagree, it is entirely inappropriate for Universities to outsource their emails, since all their students' communications would then be in the hands of 3rd parties. Also Universities would be undoubtly influenced by even more corporate interests. That is definitely a step toward the wrong direction. If anything, Universities need to spend more $ on IT and hired more competent people instead of giving all the $ to the administration.

Re:Takes a load off IT. (1)

NoodleSlayer (603762) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499939)

I already have my college .edu address forwarding to my gmail account (well, actually to a dreamhost run email account which then forwards everything to gmail, but it ends up there regardless) and it's tons more reliable then the campus email system. The college's email system was down over thanksgiving because of some oracle security update that needed three days to install. Since then anyone that actually uses the oracle system for their email (instead of a forwarder) are having problem sending email, and the system has been deleting attachments from email too.

Ask anyone on campus whether they would rather use the school run oracle based solution or gmail, and it'd be nearly unanimous in favor of gmail.

Outsourcing it? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21499055)

If I was a university president, my motto would be "Get a gmail account, bitches", then I'd be all like, "Regeants: Up my pay another $150K", then under my breath I'd be like, "bitches."

Re:Outsourcing it? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21499617)

I go to Arizona State University. This is EXACTLY what has happened here.

Re:Outsourcing it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21499673)

I plucked that $150K raise from my alma mater, the University of Washington. The president there just got that raise.

Re:Outsourcing it? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21499717)

... and then the Regents would be all like "What's up with that crazy ass prez talking to that beaker full of chemicals" and your beaker full of chemicals would say something like "Did you just call me a wuss?"

Re:Outsourcing it? (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499953)

that isn't "chemicals" it's ethanol

This might not be good.... (4, Interesting)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499073)

This might not be good for campuses that may experience network outages. With servers on campus, at least messages could be sent via the network rather then the internet, but now, if the internet is down, Live or Google goes down (possible for Live far-fetched though for Google) or MS (or possibly Google) decides to charge for a "premium" account that takes away features from the "free" counterpart. And also, if MS's or Google's web-mail system gets exposed to security venerabilities, it could be just as insecure as Outlook or IE.

Re:This might not be good.... (5, Interesting)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499169)

Working for a university, I'd say that our Internet connection goes down less often than our infrastructure goes down, even though that's usually local to an area or building on campus (temporary bridge loop, etc). And even if the University connection to the Internet is down, students can still go off-campus to get email (coffee shop, etc). The "Internet", or a pipe towards some Gmail server somewhere, being completely down is a rare occasion.

Privacy is our biggest issue with the Gmail for students pilot program. No ads, sure, but mail is still being bot-scanned and some of it is sensitive information which, by policy, is not to be allowed off the campus infrastructure. Those are the hurdles we're working around with Google.

Re:This might not be good.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21499667)

If you are sending sensitive information through unencrypted email at all you have much bigger problems to worry about than whether or not it is on your servers or google's......

Re:This might not be good.... (1)

Albanach (527650) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499933)

If you are sending sensitive information through unencrypted email at all you have much bigger problems to worry about than whether or not it is on your servers or google's......
Perhaps you missed where he said it wasn't allowed off campus infrastructure by policy.

It's quite strightforward to ensure email is encrypted from the desktop to the recipient if it stays on your network using TLS/SSL. It's quite another thing if you hand it over to, say, google. Gmail doesn't even use SSL while you are reading your mail.

Re:This might not be good.... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499181)

Normally when there is an outage it is because their servers are down... In college back in them old 90's whenever I occurred a network outage (and they were a lot) 99% of the time it was because they had a problem with a server, hub (switches were still too expensive back then), or the router (which they called a firewall although it never blocked a single port, but it is the same IT Guy who got mad when we put an 10/100 Mb switch saying that 100 Mbs packets are interfering with the 10 Mbs network) which oddly enough when it went down so did all network comunication... Having email outsource they have more time free to managing their infrastructure and making sure they don't loose connection. And having email outsourced getting full internet back up and running will be a much higher priority.

Re:This might not be good.... (4, Informative)

superflit (1193931) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499359)

I give all my thumbs Up for this.
Already done 4000 user accounts, and now doing more 44000 for all users.
Google Rocks.
About the network Connection, we have 3 data links (one radio, 2 fibre). The downtime by year is very little.
Only students will have a Google Account, all the teachers and administrative will continue using in-house solutions.
(we have to take more control, backups, logs, etc..)
We did a small survey and 80% of all users choose Highly satisfied using Google.

Microsoft is another history, you have to pay for License to have a in-house server syncing with your AD (SQL Server + MIIS)..
And if you do not want ads, have to pay (Google Education is free and you can take out the ads..)

About APIs: Google has the single-sign , easy, open, and I can choose (Java,Python,Net,etc.)
And now google has made avaliable APIs to migration and Reports, they keep evolving the product..
security: How many Security Bugs Google Apps had VS others MTAs??

I will ask them for a job or a commission there..

Re:This might not be good.... (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499641)

How many Security Bugs Google Apps had VS others MTAs?
At least one really, really big one. I don't know if it's been fixed yet.

http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/08/03/1241217 [slashdot.org]

Re:This might not be good.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21499557)

I went to Cornell, which as you may be aware, is a big-name school in a little town in the middle of nowhere. I don't recall ever losing internet connectivity, but I recall our local services going down fairly frequently.

Reliability-wise, it would have been a great deal for us, which I think means it would have been a great deal for just about anybody.

Now, I don't like the privacy concerns, or the idea of hiring outside people to run internal services, or the fact that Google would probably be secretive about features until the second they rolled out. Also, it's (still!) "BETA". Our campus had its own telephone system, and its own post office -- the idea of selling out in the one area most prone to legal and privacy issues is a bit strange and frightening.

This is a bad idea, but reliability is the least of your worries.

Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21499771)

Outlook insecure? Are you living in the 90s?

Not so strange (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21499075)

Most of the academics I work with (professors, grad students, undergrads) already use either a regular gmail or yahoo account for their primary email address. Usually these services have better spam protection, higher storage limits, and better portability than a university email address.

Get off my lawn (2, Interesting)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499297)

Really? Long time ago, my university used to have a strict policy about electronic transmission of things like student grades or research data...

So I wonder why these days any American Uni would want their intellecual property transmitted over google.cn routers?

The whole country going down the tubes, looks like.

Re:Get off my lawn (1)

AxelTorvalds (544851) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499871)

Well they really shouldn't put that kind of stuff in an email to begin with if that's their policy.

Looking at the grand scheme, I can't imagine too many benefits to running your own exchange or notes, or whatever email system. There are some security benefits and a whole lot of security risks. Even at businesses with full IT staffs, it's a pain, there are issues with storage and email retention, there are issues with their damn filters as they attempt to fight spam and viruses, there are issues with portability, issues with server maintenance. I'll mention spam again which seems to result in expensive, yet still crappy software products cobbelled on to exchange. On top of that all that, it's such a broken protocol to begin with, until some sort of robust replacement emerges (im2000 appears to be stalled) the best thing might be to outsource it to google, yahoo and hotmail. Hosting email just seems like a rat hole for most companies.

Now if Google is really smart about this, they'll cater it to companies, provide vanity domains and some extra security type features and control for management. Likewise, if I was starting another company tomorrow, I'd probably totally scuttle outlook and exchange and use gmail and google calendar and maybe the whole google beta suite of products as the foundation of my IT until I got profitable.

What's sicker still, if google, hotmail and yahoo could agree to a couple things, they could probably rewrite smtp themselves, who knows what percentage of actual email they transfer, they could add seamless auth and encryption and start to rid the world of spam.

Re:Get off my lawn (1)

RincewindTVD (1011435) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499881)

Trucks! not Tubes!

wait..

captcha: courting

Re:Not so strange (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499343)

Exactly right. Who doesn't already have an email address by the time they get to college?

Mod parent up.

Not new (1)

caeled (621124) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499103)

This isn't new. Early in my tech support years, one of my first jobs was for a small division of MCI (1992?) Called Campus MCI. Not only had quite a few colleges outsourced e-mail (they were on MCI servers using the same systems as the consumer internet) but also the internet connectivity.

We have thought of this (4, Informative)

Paul Pierce (739303) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499127)

I've worked IT at a College for 5 years now. We actually had a push for MS live taking over our e-mail from some of our co-workers. It has always scared me, and much prefer keeping it in house. M$ was going to do everything for us for FREE. They would keep us up with the times, keep data secure, etc...

My two main issues:
1. If (when) M$ starts charging for this down the road, then what? They could charge virtually anything they wanted for us to get our e-mails back if we didn't like their new price.

2. We do sometimes lose connection to the internet, internal e-mail will no longer work

Re:We have thought of this (1)

AlexBirch (1137019) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499255)

1) Use IMAP to retrieve all the email from their server or better yet have your legal department insert the clause "Microsoft will provide all email to us upon request" into your legal agreement.

2) How much is it worth to your campus to have internal email when the internet outages happen? I would be guessing the bean counters would not think it was worth the IT support, hardware support, etc. Would 200K annually be a low ball park guess?

Re:We have thought of this (2, Interesting)

Paul Pierce (739303) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499479)

For us it is hard to say just how much internal email is worth. We do get hit by spyware/viruses that can slow the internet to a crawl for the students, but there are 2 main cases that are very common for us to need internal email:

1 - A student has a nasty virus or is doing something real bad so we block them. They can still get to all of their shared drives and their email. Makes it a lot easier to send them an email explaining why they can't get out.

2 - A student refuses (or isn't a student) to register on our network. They don't like our policy for whatever reason, or don't want to risk getting viruses online. They can still send/receive mail from teachers and other students.

Re:We have thought of this (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499595)

Download all mail from the server using imap? This is a college he's talking about and thus could have several thousand accounts... You would need to acquire each user's password, or reset it somehow, and retrieve the mail from each mailbox.
It is absolutely essential that you have a copy of all user account details and every mailbox in a standard format, so that you can migrate to another service if necessary. Not having this is completely irresponsible.
If you don't have the raw data in a usable format or a contractual requirement that it be provided on request, the service provider can hold you to ransom... When your current contract expires, they can make ridiculous demands for it's renewal or else delete all your mail.

Re:We have thought of this (1)

lb746 (721699) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499311)

Everything with M$ involves a contract. Your contract for them hosting your email service should be no different and include some legal protection for you both, in case they have an outage and you try to sue them, or that you suddenly move to Google-mail. As long as you verified in the contract a length of time for this service set at price (free) and met their demands such as allowing them to scan all student emails content, I don't see any reason for this to be a considerable thing to worry about.

Where I work we use M$ for their mapping service for our store locater. I originally wanted to use google but they didn't offer a comparable solution at the time. I know our business department locked in a deal with M$ for a year and in the fine print we pay a certain amount for the service, and a certain amount for usage. They can't suddenly raise the rates on us or they are violating our agreement, and we'd jump ship to Google in a heartbeat.

Who the hell is M$? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21499383)

You mean, its like Linuzzzz and Abble? Oh, I get it!

Re:We have thought of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21499327)

The company I just quit from had "out-source" their email a month earlier, now they are working on "in-sourcing" their email. They have almost no controls and the lag between send and receive between internal users if freaking hopeless, 10 - 30 minutes with a max so far of two and a half hours. As an added bonus they had to pay a forth-party to handle spam and AV filtering.

Freaking Morons, this is what happens when the CEO put his buddy's brother in charge IT with no infrastructure experience. Ha, ha, ha.

Re:We have thought of this (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499437)

That's not to say it's all like that. Most outsourced email solutions work flawlessly, freeing up IT's resources.

I'd recommend outsourcing email to ANY company unless there is a strong business need otherwise.

Re:We have thought of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21499469)

Okay, let's talk about it.

1. If (when) M$ starts charging for this down the road, then what? They could charge virtually anything they wanted for us to get our e-mails back if we didn't like their new price.

Well, A.Switch to another service. B.Handle your own email again, after taking a savings for a few years on equipment and staff costs, and some on pensions.

Though if MS did do that, they'd likely make the new price more attractive than expanding your IT, or the minor disruption of switching.

Either way, it's not a convincing argument against switching to a free service.

2. We do sometimes lose connection to the internet, internal e-mail will no longer work

Why do you lose connection, and how often, and how long? That should be quite abnormal now in any first world city.

Maybe your IT email budget should be repurposed to connectivity? And IF the connection problem is internal, that's only one more reason not to trust in-house with mail.

Also your internal email may still work, but that's only good for staff-to-staff during the working day. You're still half-down or more in that senario, presuming like many schools you have quite a bit of course material online, and have a fair bit of ftp going on, not to mention discussion among students from home. What I mean is, keeping the internal email up only saves a small portion of your responsibilities while connection is down. You're arguing that each whole year's email budget is justified by that? That's not a position I'd like to defend.

Athough there's no way I'd go with MS for this, using Gmail and other Google services makes a lot of sense. I find it analogous to telephones - since those are common outside of school, you wouldn't consider running your own in-house system. Free email service has become that common -- there's no longer the need for schools to provide it to assure all students have access.

Re:We have thought of this (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499611)

If you intended to switch to another service, how would these mail providers provide you with all the current mail and user accounts?
Or would you be expected to recreate new empty accounts with all existing mail lost? Or expect users to migrate their own mail (yeah right).

This is something missing from these outsourcing options, what is the exit strategy? How is the outsourcing company going to provide an archive of your users and their mail in a standard format if/when you decide to leave?

Re:We have thought of this (4, Informative)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499553)

When i was at college, hotmail and other free mail services (usa.net etc) were banned.

Other things to consider:

How much of your mail goes outside, and how much stays inside? We had a lot of internal traffic, often sometimes quite heavy (large attachments etc) and it would have been pointless sending this out over the wan only to have it come straight back in again...

What is your privacy policy? And what kind of data is sent over email? If your sending students' personal details etc around you might not have their permission to send/store them off-campus on equipment not owned by the college.

How much storage will users want/need? Disk space is cheap these days...

Can you keep a local backup? You should demand this really, have some ability to pull incremental backups of the mail spools in a standard format so that you have a workable exit strategy if you want to switch services or move it back inhouse. You need to be able to do this centrally, not rely on each user to download all the mails to their clients - most wont.

Is access to mail provided via the methods you need (imap, pop3 etc)?

And so it starts (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499149)

Take a look at the weavers during the 18th century. As soon as power and roads allowed. That's approximately what's going to happen to internal IT organisations and independent software places.
 

Predictable (1)

joaommp (685612) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499157)

No matter what the future brings, the big sharks of information management will always find something others find worthy of outsourcing. Entire companies have been moving their corporate email to Google. One company I worked at last year did that. Can't say much of the experience, since I left shortly after. Nevertheless, I believe a lot of the universities that focus their courses on technology will choose to keep managing their own email systems as they also use it as learning/teaching/training tools and real world use cases.

creators outsourcing % of planet/population rescue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21499195)

it's a good deal when you consider the alternatives are dark & dismal death/debt & disruption at the hands of the corepirate nazi execrable whois holding many of us hostage. see you there?

gmail/school (2, Informative)

u235meltdown (940099) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499345)

I have my university emails all forwarded to GMail already, but I have used our web-mail systems and have found that they are not half bad. It's just that GMail is even cleaner and aggregates all my messages and calendars for me. Some of my friends (after seeing what I did) followed suite, while others still preferred to keep school and everything else separate.

Re:gmail/school (3, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499869)

Aggregating messages and calendars is nothing new, it was available in desktop email programs long before GMail was even on the map. I use Kontact, for example, which allows me to do things that google's web interface is not capable of (to the best of my knowledge):

  • Drag-n-drop emails into calendar or todo items, and visa-versa
  • Integrated e-mail encryption (almost all universities read students' emails)
  • Automatic reminders on my desktop of upcoming events or todo items (Google desktop may or may not support this, I haven't checked)
  • Logging of completed todo items (surprisingly useful)
  • Offline availability (wifi and cell coverage are not universal)

And that is just what I personally use. Outlook, Evolution, and others have similar features. GMail's web interface is interesting, but you can only go so far with a web interface, and I really don't see the attraction of a web interface over a mature, integrated email program. My university made a big deal out of an upgrade to a new web interface for our email, and I just yawn seeing "new" features that I've been using since high school.

10 years ago... (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499411)

Gee, was it only ten years ago when UNL switched everyone, faculty and students, from normal e-mail to Lotus Notes? No, I think it had to be longer than that.

At it seems they still are using it [unl.edu] , at least 10 years later. (Even some of the old pages [unl.edu] still exist.) Most recent news: attachment size limit has been scaled back to 120 MB "to increase productivity and reliablity". If I hadn't linked it, you could have found it by searching for that misspelling (and two other hits for the phrase, sadly).

Surprising... (5, Insightful)

weave (48069) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499415)

Speaking as one of those alleged incompetent educational IT directors, I'm not seeing a lot of value in this. Email costs us next to nothing now. Let's see, I have 40,000 active accounts now on one server, using Cyrus, dspam, clam-av, and policyd. All the software is free so the cost is basically a new server every three years and some storage space on the SAN (email is a very small portion of space on the SAN so freeing it up won't buy us much).

Yeah, if I had an Exchange farm and a dedicated staff to manage it, then outsourcing it would be enticing. As it is now, it'd be more work to figure out how to migrate people away from a tried-and-true solution as well as the privacy and FERPA issues than it is to let it ride as is, and if people do something stupid like delete a folder, we can easily restore it from backup in short order.

In-house also means being able to use a single-sign on solution for all campus services. Same ID, sign in once using CAS (Central Auth Service -- another freebie package)

(We do provide an interface for users to forward their emails to their preferred provider. No one is forcing them to use us.)

Now what I would like to do is outsource shared calendaring service with seamless syncing to a plethora of mobile devices. That's a need that hasn't been adequately addressed in-house. ie, before fixing stuff that's not broken, how about helping with services that fix what *is* broken!

btw, news flash, people under 20 don't use email much anyway. It's basically the tool of "old people." Email is busted in many ways and will probably die as a platform in the future anyway. I say let it ride as is until then.

Now get off my lawn.

Re:Surprising... (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499743)

They pretty much all support syncml now and there are a couple of syncml servers available. Seems to work ok.

Opensync, multisync and funambol. Funambol may be your best all in one bet.

 

Re:Surprising... (1)

teknopurge (199509) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499965)

Mod Parent up. God, someone that is prgamatic is refreshing around here...

Mod parent "intelligent" (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 6 years ago | (#21500003)

I wish there were more sys admins like you.

Re:Surprising... (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 6 years ago | (#21500011)

w, news flash, people under 20 don't use email much anyway. It's basically the tool of "old people.

you're an IT director in Korea?

A fucking bad Idea. (0, Troll)

drolli (522659) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499421)

Especially for google. Why? Not because i think the concerncs about privacy etc. could not be settled legally in a binding way or because of the loss e-mail when the college looses connectivity. Just for a very simple reason: in recent times, if something can be done via google, responsibles turn their head to autopilot and stop thinking. And while for most of the users outsourced mail is ok, i would think that some, e.g. the Network administrators, an the board of the Institution need internal e-mail, as well as Hospitals connected to the Unioversity (In Germany these exist). No try to explain such things to somebody whose head was just turned off. The qustion: "Why cant we use gmail?" could be difficult to explain in this case.

Let's all SELL OUT our students! (1)

MilesNaismith (951682) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499423)

Yeah, let's pay to SELL OUT our students! What a brilliant idea. If some BANK came to your school, and said hey we'll help out a bit with your accounting department functions if you will just make sure all your students use our BANK, you'd look at them like they were insane. However when it comes to selling out students to be captive CONSUMERS of a big evil email vendor, people see few problems. Can't you see the business of MS and Google is NOT EMAIL? Are people blind & stupid? They are in the business of capturing your online existence, as a TOOL to sell you stuff you don't need. To imprison and describe you in every conceivable way and use you. To own your eyeballs and mind. I see it as entirely disingenuous to describe it as "free", the linkages required with Google go deep and they require ongoing work to maintain an authentication & authorization infrastructure that is compatible. The COSTS are NOT zero as often described.

Re:Let's all SELL OUT our students! (2, Interesting)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499657)

because colleges and universities don't use their students as a captive market? at least with gmail you don't have to buy what they are selling. A school will tell you things to buy and you'd better pay if you want the sheepskin.

Re:Let's all SELL OUT our students! (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499813)

Well, the joke is on google then because I don't see ANY ads. Not on my gmail account, not on search results, not on Facebook, not anywhere. All the data mining and profiling in the world wont do any good if at the end of the day I'm blocking every advertisement you serve up with that info. Privacy is a real concern but anything REALLY important I do through the internet is encrypted, so good going if they're logging all that they're holding useless bits they can never read.

Hey (2, Funny)

kybred (795293) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499941)

Yeah, let's pay to SELL OUT our students! What a brilliant idea. If some BANK came to your school, and said hey we'll help out a bit with your accounting department functions if you will just make sure all your students use our BANK, you'd look at them like they were insane. However when it comes to selling out students to be captive CONSUMERS of a big evil email vendor, people see few problems. Can't you see the business of MS and Google is NOT EMAIL?

Zippy, is that you?

YOW!! What should the entire human race DO?? Consume a fifth of CHIVAS REGAL, ski NUDE down MT. EVEREST, and have a wild SEX WEEKEND!

Just hope... (1)

alphasubzero949 (945598) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499457)

Just hope that some student or faculty at one of these institutions doesn't get the infamous lockdown in sector 4. [google.com]

Would you trust a faceless corporation to important course or departmental messages in such an instance?

In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21499461)

Those with a clue run their own mail servers.

Makes sense to me. (1)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499489)

I am currently in my senior year at a small college. When I started, we had a web-based email system that barely worked, set up by an IT staff that had all been fired, and the new IT staff didn't have time to use it. So everyone forwarded college email to another account and ignored the campus email system. By the time the IT staff was able to get a new system running, nobody cared. For a while the school disable forwarding to get students to use the system, but that just resulted in students and faculty ignoring their email entirely. Now the school just collects email addresses every semester with registration paperwork, and includes email addresses in class rosters. Our email system is in place, but is only used by a few members of the faculty.

Re:Makes sense to me. (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499967)

set up by an IT staff that had all been fired

Your problem is not IT staff, it's clueless administration. It's too bad they can't outsource that.

I am very alarmed by this development (4, Interesting)

cos(x) (677938) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499499)

My university is in the process of switching to GMail. The old home-grown system was abysmal at best, but I was simply forwarding all e-mails to my private address and never worried about it. With that system about to be shut down next week, I set up the GMail account I am forced to get today - and I find it really troubling that I had to do so. All I want is to forward my e-mail to my private address again. I have absolutely no interest in Google's services, in their Spam filtering or nifty webmail interface. GMail does offer forwarding. I enabled it and expect never to never in my life visit GMail's site again. But before getting this far, I had to accept Google's terms of service and privacy policy.

I am forced to use the college e-mail address for some administrative stuff. How is it reasonable that this also forces me to accept some third party's terms and rules? If I *wanted* GMail's services, then it is fair game that I would have to accept their terms. But if all I want to do is forward my e-mails and get them off the service as fast as possible, there should be a shortcut way that routes the e-mails around Google's servers, prohibiting Google from having a peek inside. College has picked a third party here and is forcing me to enter into a contract with them. This isn't right.

Re:I am very alarmed by this development (4, Funny)

PietjeJantje (917584) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499703)

I've stored your message infinitely so if you ever get in trouble, it can be used against you. Furthermore, after filtering your message I have the following to add to that:

Obtain a University Degree
Want the degree but can't find the
time? Earn the higher compensation
you deserve!
www.worldclassgrees.com [worldclassdegrees.com]

Private and confidential
Privacy ensured and perfect
service - are you game?
www.collegeescortgirls.com [collegeescortgirls.com]

college email (1)

mattb112885 (1122739) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499505)

I go to a school in the U.S. and let's just say the email is notorious for being really, really crappy. It takes about a day to send or receive an email, almost all the spam that I get (which gmail filters as spam) is forwarded from my school email address, and we only get 25 MB. I filled up 25 MB within a month because of all the attachments teachers send to us and expect us to somehow be able to receive. I know a lot of people, myself included, who forward all of their school emails to gmail, since the forwarding isn't nearly as slow as receiving it in the inbox (in the worst days I'd get emails 3-4 days before the rest of the class, no exaggeration), the spam goes where it belongs, and I can save stuff. I therefore am not surprised in the least at this article, and I hope that my school pays attention.

Back to text terminals (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21499543)

Run all email through a UNIX box. Force the little dears to login and learn Mutt. The sooner they get bitter, the sooner they understand The Adult World and can go on, get fat and materialistic, give up hope and start collecting nostalgia items.

think the kids have problems now (4, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499547)

We talk about the kids facebook profile as a liability when they try to find jobs...

What about a record of every email they sent in college. Every threat to a competing lover, every breakup, every plan to falsify grades.

The nice thing about email on a schools server is that the mail is presumably gone when the student leaves college. OTOH, google promises to keep a copy of everything ever created on it's server.

Re:think the kids have problems now (1)

mrvis (462390) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499987)

A fine job begging the question. You assume that somehow, students' email will be discoverable by a prospective employer. Then you create a situation where it is Google's fault.

If a prospective employer can get access to students' mail, you are already screwed.

good consumer (1)

hhawk (26580) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499567)

There is a lot to be said about educated consumers...

There was a time when you first went to college you got your first email account... and it was all bright and shinny...

Today's kids may or may not have excellent email but they certainly have it and they certainly know what to expect from an account in terms of storage (a few gigs or more), spend, etc.

Plus in the perfect world Google would pay the colleges to mandate their use, but $$ aside, my guess is if a kid has been using AOL mail, etc., they are not so likely to change to the college system.. but whomever switches to the college system (assuming it's one of the public providers) they are likely to keep that account for long time... (IMHO).

One good thing (2, Interesting)

CWRUisTakingMyMoney (939585) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499579)

My school just migrated over to Google Apps, or rather is in the process of migrating. I understand that network outages, though rare, can result in email downtime, or worse, emails lost forever. This is especially bad at my school, where by policy, official communication from the university to students and vice versa is done via email and email only (this may not be at all unique; I really don't know). However, I can see one great side effect of this, and it is that, if all goes according to plan, I will be able to keep my university email address plus storage (on Google servers, true) indefinitely after I graduate. This would be a big help, as I use my university email as my main address, and it would be a big pain to have to change to another address in a year or so.

What kind of universities are these? (1)

ueltradiscount (1195109) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499583)

In Europe institutions of higher learning go out of their way to keep corporate fingers away from their students. They don't give information on their students to recruiters, even though recruiters certainly want to know who's "top of class" and how to get to them. They also provide legal advice and assistance to their students. If a student gets pulled into a serious lawsuit and especially an unfair lawsuit, the law department is likely to step in and defend the student. Handing the emails of thousands of students to companies like Google and MS? That would cause a student protest and lecture walkout large enough to shut down the university and meet with protests from the lecturers and teaching staff as well. So what the hell is wrong with these colleges? Too cheap to maintain a few e-mail servers? Under political pressure to make student e-mails "accessible" to shadowy third parties? How can you hand thousands of student email accounts to for-profit entities outside the university and still protect your students' basic privacy rights?

Re:What kind of universities are these? (2, Insightful)

cos(x) (677938) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499729)

Trinity College, Dublin is switching completely to GMail mid next week. So much for European universities protecting their students from corporate interests.

students already do it on their own (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499597)

At the school I'm currently in, a lot of people already do use gmail. Unfortunately, none of them realize the consequences of putting their research up on servers the school can't control in terms of security, availability, and backups.

Google or MSN could (and have) "accidentally" zapped email or entire accounts. That is a considerable danger to a research student using that service as their primary email address and "workspace".

Will Google or MSN care (or even have the facilities) to:

  • Restore a folder of a year's worth of email you accidentally deleted?
  • Change the password you forgot, without making you remember "security questions", which hopefully weren't too easily researched, and thus represent a major security hole on their own?
  • Restore your entire account after your jilted ex deletes your account completely?
  • Look in their logs to see exactly why that email from the NIH about your million dollar grant didn't make it? Or even care?

No, no, no, and....no. Yet, all of those things are available to the students whose email server I administer. And you certainly can't run into MSN's office nearby and cry "Help!"; hell, you can't even reach them on the phone. Google's employees are too smart to do that whole "telephone" thing- that's SO 1900's.

Re:students already do it on their own (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21499709)

Hard to believe you even got into a school, moron.

> Restore a folder of a year's worth of email you accidentally deleted?

If you are stupid enough to delete a year's worth of email, I doubt most schools will help you either. All of the situations you set up are completely ridiculous, and Google / MSN would be about as willing to help you as any school, which is not much. It takes many steps to delete a large volume of email in everything from PINE to Outlook, and people that can edit .mail folders (that is, much smarter than you are) generally won't make the error.

Missed learning experience (2, Interesting)

iamacat (583406) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499645)

Students should run their own e-mail systems, period. Otherwise, how can IT students prepare for their real life work in future in a realistic environment? Sure the security will not be as tight as an offsite system. But, it is educational by itself to learn how to telnet to port 25 and send a hoax e-mail from Jesus Christ or from your professor. So is catching the hoaxer by looking at the message paths or catching a student admin reading others e-mails and putting him/her to public shame. Most of all, it's a critical part of education to realize that just because you can look at other people's files does not mean you should.

If we remove the educational value of students interacting with each other and learning both skills and morals they will need to function in the outside world for the rest of their lives, we might as well outsource the whole university instead of just the e-mail system. Why not just have some good professors from India read the lecture and answer questions through online chat? Will certainly save students some money...

Re:Missed learning experience (1)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499955)

the students need to be educated about outsourcing too

Couldn't be closer to the truth (0)

Aeron65432 (805385) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499715)

This morning, I went to my university's library to print out a PDF.

First, several computers monitors were burned out. ThenI couldn't log in to several computers, cause the network was temporarily down, and each computer authenticated with the server. Secondly, half the printers were down to various reasons. It was extremely aggravating...our IT department is completely inept, shockingly, we just moved to a Microsoft Exchange. And the university is one of the top 50 in the US.

My point is to reaffirm that campus IT departments, with the exception of tech schools, are woefully inept. No one in the library staff had any idea where or how to contact IT about the problems. I've never understood why I pay 20k a year for internet not even as good as a cable modem.

Re:Couldn't be closer to the truth (1)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499935)

"I've never understood why I pay 20k a year for internet not even as good as a cable modem."

So why don't you drop your current ISP and switch to your local cable provider? Oh, right. Because you aren't paying 20k/yr for internet, you're paying 20k/yr for college.

Re:Couldn't be closer to the truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21500033)

No, if he goes to an expensive school, he's paying 20k a year for education, the other 20k is for room and board as well as technology. But as an RIT-trained engineer (I'm originally from Rochester as well, I was intelligent enough to get out of a such a shitty economy) I guess numbers are the only thing you understand.

Inbox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21499855)

Please ignore. This is my version of holding a newspaper in a photo for date verification.

4e fa cf 72 6f cd 96 50 44 2c ab e3 df 73 1c 5e fc 08 fd fd 24 5e d0 52 20 a7 24 7a 11 c0 4d da 3e 4b f3 21 15 35 28 83 cb 28 7c cc 2d 1d 8f 86 ce 1a 91 bc ee aa c6 93 cd 1d a5 dd 9e e7 6a fb

We do this here. (3, Informative)

Honig the Apothecary (515163) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499857)

I'm a satisfied user of Google Apps for Education. We did this transition back in August of this year for our users. We do not currently do student email through the service as there is not a good way short of the address formating to specify a student account vs a faculty or staff user. But we are going to have student email accounts next semester.

To clear up a few misconceptions:
1. Ads are turned off for our domain. Nobody will see a google ad in their email client.
2. There is POP and IMAP support just like the normal gmail accounts.
3. It is the most stable beta I've ever seen.

The reason I pushed this is that it is relatively easy and their spam and virus filtering are way better than anything we tried here. I am the only one of the four IT staff that has a serious clue as to running a successful email system and I plan on leaving soon to pursue other opportunities as they say. Gapps is easy for my boss and the other support staff to manage.

We are on connection that has not gone down for an unplanned outage since it was installed in May. Our previous connections were almost as stable with less than 10 minutes of downtime in a year.

It is speedy, it is ubiquitous, and it is cost effective. If students have privacy concerns they can learn how to forward stuff to a POP account someplace else and delete the mail from the gmail box.

Re:We do this here. (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499913)

If students have privacy concerns they can learn how to forward stuff to a POP account someplace else and delete the mail from the gmail box.

Right, because Google won't possible keep a copy in their massive we-know-everything-about-everybody-for-data-mining database. Google and privacy just don't go together.

I'm a student, and ... (1)

BPPG (1181851) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499923)

The university I attend(I'm a Canadian student at a Canadian university) only internalizes a few things. The CS department handles most of its own things, including an web-based assignment submission system written in Java, but most classes that do anything online either do it through wordpress or the webct system (contains class by class forums, email, and notices). This could be much better simplified into one internalized system, and I'm sure they have the server power/ person power for it. I think internalizing such web-based services is definitely something that would get the attention of tech-y moms and dads sending their tech-y or non tech-y children to school. Worries about self-maintained security are counter-intuitive, professors should want students to try to hack their systems, as long as they set up the appropriate dummy-holes.

Not for non-US Institutions (4, Interesting)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499931)

Apparently we looked at it for the University I work at here in Canada but the administration rejected it out of hand. Everyone loved the technical aspects of GMail - the problem was that it was run by a US company. This means that the US government has the ability to force emails to be handed over which, in almost all circumstances, would be a violation of Canadian privacy laws thus leaving the university in very hot water.

Given some of the recent claims from Mr. Bush and co. even having the servers located in Canada would not be sufficient protection as long as it was a US company owning them. So, despite Google's excellent technical product and general trustworthiness, I don't see many countries where there are any sort of privacy laws being able to sensibly use it. In fact the university are very uncomfortable with faculty using personal GMail accounts for exactly the same reason.

Entrenched habits? (4, Interesting)

mswope (242988) | more than 6 years ago | (#21499947)

"as schools grapple with entering freshmens' already entrenched online habits." Since when has this been a problem, let alone a priority for schools? Did schools somehow become democracies that care what the students previous habits were in things like email? How does it teach them anything, if they don't expose them to different environments and conditions that don't conform to what they do in their bedrooms at home? What will happen to them in the corporate world, or military world, or just about any workplace that has a modicum of technology "to deal with?"

I wish we did this here (1)

Xoth (168125) | more than 6 years ago | (#21500019)

Our campus IT is fragmented. Although there is a stigma to outsourcing our email, it boils down to the cost of doing business. We need campus wide email and calendar. To this day we still dont have it. Its embarrassing. Obviously it would add great benefit to communication and collaboration. Attempts have been made to do it inhouse but the service doesnt match what google apps can support.

So yea I am disappointed I cant do it inhouse. We simply dont have the funding and resources. And to all the naysayers going on about important emails lost or student info in corporate hands its all moot when you cant communicate with one another in the freaky first place. Think of how research could benefit if we could simply talk and coordinate with each other.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...