January 27, 2012
By Jonathan Benson
Standardized testing is a common method by which colleges and universities evaluate the competency of applying high school students. But an increasing amount of students are cheating on such tests, which has caused lawmakers in New York to consider actually harvesting “digital DNA” from students and applying it to special ID cards that students would be required to furnish both before and after taking the SAT or ACT exams to prove their identities.
The digital DNA card idea was birthed after a major cheating scandal at Great Neck North High School on Long Island. Students struggling with their studies and the standardized test protocol apparently hired Sam Eshaghoff, a former student who performed well on his own SAT exam, to take the test for them in exchange for cash.
Dr. James Hayward from the applied DNA sciences lab at Stony Brook University, which is currently working on perfecting digital DNA technology, claims it is “absolutely unbreakable for securing the identity of a student taking the SAT exam.” He explained to lawmakers in Albany, NY, recently that a student’s identity code is wirelessly uploaded to an IT “cloud,” which allows test proctors to remotely access it and verify that it matches both that student’s digital DNA card and his or her actual image.
November 2nd, 2010
By: Iain Thomson
Google has launched a legal case against the US government for excluding it from bidding for cloud application contracts.
The suit cites the decision by the Department of the Interior (DOI) to exclude its Apps for Government services from bidding on a contract to consolidate the DOI’s 13 platforms into one cloud system. The contract, for around 88,000 users, would be worth $59m and last five years.
Based on the risk assessments and market research,” the DOI said, Microsoft had “the only commercial product that satisfies every requirement identified by the department.
Google said that it repeatedly expressed an interest in bidding for the contract but was originally turned down because its Apps service didnt meet DOI security requirements.
The company says it held frequent meetings to show it met the requirements of the government, but was told it would not be considered for security reasons and that the decision on a new messaging system had already been made.
Despite rumours that the DOI had already started a pilot project to move to Microsofts, which officials denied until presented with evidence. Google was also told is did not meet FISMA (Federal Information Security Management Act) standards, although it is now certified to this level.
Last week the Government Accountability Office (GAO) dismissed Googles complaints, and that of its reseller Onix, on the grounds that Google was not an interested party. The company has responded with this lawsuit.
Cloud service vendors are increasingly courting government business as both the US and UK governments have indicated that they want government services to be run at lower cost.