On the Net ... with UPI

By CHRIS H. SIEROTY, UPI Technology Correspondent  |  Aug. 15, 2002 at 10:00 AM
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Millions of teenagers use the Internet for their schoolwork, but many say their teachers often do not know how, do not want or are not able to use online tools to help them learn or enrich their studies, a new study reveals. The study, by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, found students say the nation's multi-billion dollar effort to wire schools for the Web is at risk of being squandered unless there is a similar commitment to improve connectivity in classrooms, help all students master computer skills, teach more sophisticated Internet literacy, make sure high-quality information is available and -- most important -- create assignments that take advantage of Web resources students have found on their own. The report is based on the results of 14 focus groups with 136 middle- and high-school students around the nation and in reports from about 200 teenagers who responded to an online survey.


A new report finds one out of every five children and teens who have online access -- nearly 20 percent of the overall active Internet population -- logged online from home in July 2002. About 20 million surfers ages 2-17 accessed the Web last month, spending more than 9 hours online and initiating an average of 16 sessions, according to the research firm Nielsen//NetRatings. Popular among this segment of the population, instant messaging applications drew 11.5 million kids and teens to the Web, the survey said. "Young surfers are generally more technologically savvy as compared to other age groups, and have adopted the use of the Internet as part of their daily activities at home as well as in school," said T.S. Kelly, principal analyst at Nielsen//NetRatings.


AOL Time Warner Inc. disclosed three transactions totaling $49 million at its America Online unit that may have resulted in improper recognition of revenue. In its second quarter report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said the potential revenue misstatement is "based on information that (AOL) learned within the past 10 days" and involves "consideration received by (America Online) from third parties (that) may have been inappropriately recognized as advertising and commerce revenues." The company said it is reviewing the three transactions "as well as other transactions involving the AOL division relating to advertising and commerce revenues. After completing its internal review, the company will determine whether its accounting for any transactions was not appropriate, and if so, what action, if any, is appropriate with respect to its reported financial results." Richard Parsons, AOL Time Warner's chief executive officer, said the internal review involves "a small number of transactions." AOL noted the $49 million, recorded as revenue over 6 quarters, is "an insignificant portion of the company's revenue."


Princeton University has demoted a top admissions official for repeatedly breaking into the online admissions notification system of Yale University. Princeton President Shirley Tilghman said Stephen LeMenager no longer would work in the admissions office, where as associate dean and director of admissions he improperly accessed a Web site designed to inform applicants whether they had been accepted at Yale. Dean of Admissions Fred Hargadon also accepted responsibility and will retire at the end of the next academic year in June 2003. In a statement, Yale President Richard Levin welcomed Princeton's announcement and said "President Tilghman has handled a very difficult situation in an exemplary manner."


Authorities in Myanmar -- formerly known as Burma -- this week launched an electronic passport system. The system involves embedding of a microchip in the passport, which contains information about the holder, including photographs, and fingerprints. The passports are to be checked at automatic gates installed in the departure terminal at Rangoon International Airport. The e-passports use technology developed by a Malaysian-based company, Iris Corp., which is partly owned by the U.N. envoy to Myanmar, Razali Ismail. Ismail told the British Broadcasting Corp. that 5,000 e-passports would be issued this week to the country's diplomats, officials and selected members of the business community as part of a pilot program. The company hopes that the passport will eventually be introduced in all East Asian nations.


Millions of California drivers who receive traffic citations now are able to pay their tickets online by clicking on the state's My California Web site. The site will provide links to the five state superior courts that offer online traffic citation programs. Five trial courts in Alameda, Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Ventura counties now allow drivers to process their citations through their official Web sites. These five counties account for almost half of California's 21 million drivers. Of the 4.7 million traffic infractions processed in fiscal year 2000-2001, 2.5 million were in those five counties. Other courts currently are working to bring online traffic-ticket features to their Web sites.

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