Tracy Mitrano

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August 21, 2012
That the Internet is a game changer is well-known phenomenon. In fact, the word most usually associated with this phenomenon is "disruptive," and it is a good one because more times than not it is truly a neutral, descriptive term. Depending on what side of the fence you are on at the time of the disruption, you might think it either a good or bad thing.  Think content industry: bad. Think people without money who want access to content: good. Of course, life, law and technology are infinitely more complicated than those Manichaeism terms, but you get the idea. Let's see how it applies to academic integrity.
August 16, 2012
I encountered my first case of academic integrity as a third year graduate student teaching assistant. Although concentrating on U.S. history, I assisted Professor Thomas Africa, a beloved and noted historian of Ancient Rome, at Binghamton University. The year was 1983, fall semester. As I read through a paper on what exactly now I do not recall, I vividly remember the sense that came over me when I hit a paragraph in the middle of the term paper that instinctively struck me as odd.  At the time, I was not even aware of what the problem was. I was not looking for plagiarism.
August 6, 2012
Many issues of note are in this story worth teasing out. 1. Do students know and understand behaviors that have the potential to compromise network security which therefore might run them afoul of IT policy?
August 1, 2012
Inside Higher Ed's article on Failing Law Schools suggests a book that sums up many current discontents regarding legal education in the United States.  =Curiously, the main criticism against the education would appear to be the price; little is said here, or elsewhere, about the substance: examination, criticism and argumentation that a good legal education imparts to its students.
July 22, 2012
With emotion, I think that removing the statue of Joe Paterno was the right thing to do. Why with emotion? Because in so many enduring ways, Joe Paterno remains a model of fortitude and spirited excellence. Because, I admit, I look up to Italian-American achievement with pride. Because tragedy -- which is what this story is in the truest sense -- is dramatic.
July 17, 2012
MOOCs are all the rage, and there is nothing wrong with that, although don't count on it lasting in its current stage forever.  This effort is still in early "take off" mode, and an exciting one at that. Time, then, to talk law and policy.  The NYT reports that the leader of the pack, Coursera, has a business model whereby no costs are inputted unless there is gain.  "Gain by or for whom?" was my first thought.
July 16, 2012
A NYT article, More Demands on Cell Carriers in Surveillance, resounds with the theme that technology has disrupted the Fourth Amendment jurisprudence in communications.  It is also a testament of what the USA-Patriot Act has wrought not because that Act created the gap but because it exacerbated it.  More than a decade later, that which has been lost in the bargain becomes more obvious.
July 10, 2012
F. Scott Fitzgerald famously stated that "The rich are different from you and me."  Given the demographics of wealth distribution in this country, it is not a wonder that Tavis Smiley and Cornel West have teamed up to create a manifesto based on that statement.  But since this is a blog about law, policy and technology, I offer a variation on that theme. The moguls are different from you and me. And keep eyes and ears peeled: they are getting together to talk money today in Sun Valley, Idaho.
July 3, 2012
Are many people still in the throes of anti-Microsoft views, now long in the tooth of Internet time? Are many still swimming in the miasma of Google glory? Or do they know something about the negotiations that higher education has had with both of these companies over the last many years that I don't know? 
July 1, 2012
Microsoft wants Google's market share in higher education applications. They want it badly enough that they are prepared to deal with us. They come to the table with an understanding of our needs. They answer the phone when you call. They get FERPA, and what it takes to meet requirements for HIPAA, including a Business Associates Agreement. They use a real contract, not one by URL. They are even willing to provide financial assistance (as was reported to be the case for the University of Nebraska) for implementation.


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