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Education 2.0 Journal

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Thursday, July 29, 2010 Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey   To the President of Syria, Mr. and Mrs. Bashar al-Assad Mr. and Mrs. President Bashar al-Assad: At the tender age of 17 months my severely ill daughter Sofia, an American citizen, was abducted by her mother on Monday, July 26, in Istanbul, Turkey, and taken to Syria. Fox News: ▸ video ▸ story I was informed yesterday by Sofia's mother that she will not be coming back to the United States nor will she allow Sofia to return home. Sofia has been diagnosed with a severe medical condition that requires immediate treatment in the United States. It was scheduled to start on July 27, 2010, in New Jersey, the day after her abduction and was supposed to last until she reaches the age of 3. Any delay in the urgently needed treatment will result in a life-long disability for Sofia and make her dependent for the whole of her a... (more)

Open Letter from Sofia to First Lady of Syria Asma al-Assad

Thursday, March 3, 2011 Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey To the President of Syria, Mr. and Mrs. Bashar al-Assad Mrs. President and First Lady of Syria Asma al-Assad: I wrote an open letter addressing you and Mr. President seven months ago. I've been informed that you read my letter. I've also been informed that you will read this follow-up letter as well. Fox News: ▸ video ▸ story Seven months ago, at the tender age of 17 months, my severely ill daughter Sofia, an American citizen, was abducted by her mother on Monday, July 26, in Istanbul, Turkey, and taken to Syria. Following her abduction, I was informed by Sofia's mother that she will not allow Sofia to return home. Twitter updates on Sofia @FuatKircaali Sofia has been diagnosed with a severe medical condition that requires immediate treatment in the United States. It was scheduled to start on July 27, 2010, in New J... (more)

Three More Universities to Use Yahoo Cloud

Yahoo's got three more universities using its cloud supercomputer cluster, also known as M45 and operational since November 2007. Berkeley, Cornell and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst will join Carnegie Mellon in conducting large-scale systems software research and exploring new applications that analyze Internet-scale data sets ranging from voting records to online news sources. Carnegie Mellon has been using it for over a year, resulting in the publication of more than two dozen academic papers. The cluster has approximately 4,000 processor cores and 1.5 petabytes of disks. Carnegie Mellon says it gives it more access to data on the Internet and has let it compare the performance of the open source Hadoop file system to other parallel file systems. ... (more)

New Linux-Based PCs Encourage Seniors To Learn The Internet

A new computer called SimplicITy has been aimed at people over the age of 60 who have never before used PCs or the Internet, BBC News reported. The simplified desktop has just six buttons directing users to basic tasks such as e-mail and chat and each machine is pre-loaded with 17 video tutorials from television presenter Valerie Singleton. The SimplicITy computer has no login screen when started up, and contains no drop-down menus. The made-to-order computer can be ordered by mail and takes two weeks from request to delivery.Singleton set up the project in partnership with Wessex Computers and Discount-age, her website aimed at older people. A recent survey by the Office for National Statistics in August 2009 revealed that 6.4 million people over 65 have never used the Internet.Singleton said the number of older people who do not have computers shocked her. "I think pe... (more)

Sofia Facing Bloodiest Easter Abducted in Syria

More than a year ago, Sofia was abducted from her home in Lighthouse Point, Florida, by her Syrian National uncle Feras Bankosly, MD, who is practicing medicine in the Chicago, IL, area. Fox News: ▸ video ▸ story Last March, a Florida judge issued an order to pick Sofia up from the uncle's house in Chicago and return her to her home in Florida. This weekend my two year-old abducted daughter Sofia remains in the middle of the bloodiest Easter in Syria's history! Demos against the Syrian regime and Bashar Al-Assad in Damascus, Homs, Aleppo, Banias, Latakia, Douma, and Daraa already left more than 150 dead between Good Friday and the funerals on Saturday, before Easter! Furthermore, it's widely anticipated that due to increasing violence in the country, the U.S. mission in Damascus will be closed before June, 2011. Turkey will also close its border with Syria by June, 2... (more)

ColdFusion in Education: Developing a Web-based Portal for East Carolina University

We have always thought that one of the best-kept secrets amongst the ColdFusion "universe" is its tremendous potential and success within select educational institutions. Those that work with or for public educational institutions are very familiar with the staffing and budget issues that often cut resources, making it difficult to provide services to the communities that support them. However, as East Carolina University found, all that is needed is a little funding, some talent, and a willingness to learn. As subscribers to CFDJ since the first issue, we have often read many "how-to"s with sections of code and invaluable "tips and tricks". While we couldn't be nearly as productive without these articles, we find it extremely beneficial at times to learn from other implementations and methods used to solve potential challenges. At risk of providing an effective slee... (more)

Older Student Finds College A Challenge

Dear Dr. Fournier: Your columns ring very close to home. I have worked very hard since I graduated from college. I have a wife and two children and what I thought was a great job. Each day, I thought I was getting closer to the top of the corporate ladder. I have been willing to do everything necessary in order to get there. Recently, I began to realize that kids straight out of college were suddenly my peers. They were at my level without having to do all the extra work and overtime hours I did to get where I am. As if that were not enough, I was told it was in my best interest to go back to college for an advanced degree. It's been the worst experience. I'm not doing well even though I read everything, take good notes and reread. I'm not making good grades and I don't feel I'm getting anywhere. I feel desperate. Do you have any advice? Dan T. Phoenix, AZ Dear D... (more)

Take A Business Approach To Conferences

Dear Dr. Fournier: Report cards are out and I have just received my child's along with a note from his teacher requesting a parent-teacher conference. I've been here before. I remember my first time. I was happy to know the teacher wanted to work with me, but then I went to the meeting and it was horrible. I decided my child should be present, expecting we were ready for solutions. Instead, I sat stunned as she told me how horrible and terrible he was. She had only had him for a little over 6 weeks so how could she know this? I've had him for 11 years and I know he is a kind, caring child. Because of my past experience, I'm afraid to meet with his current teacher. How can I get over my fear and participate in solving my son's educational issues? Lindsey G. St. Paul, MN Dear Lindsey: All too often, the motivation for this type of parent-teacher conference turns par... (more)

My Two-Year-Old Daughter Sofia Facing Life-Long Disability in Syria

The day after my last tweet regarding the lack of any new information about my abducted daughter Sofia since March 4, I received an updated letter on Thursday, April 7, 2011, from the State Department on Sofia's welfare in Syria. Fox News: ▸ video ▸ story Sofia was abducted by her mother from the United States to Syria last July, following her diagnosis of GDD with possible autism. She had 13 remaining medical appointments left at the time of her abduction, none of which she was able to keep. Last week's welfare report prepared by our Embassy in Damascus, Syria, after their second welfare visit to the home in Syria where Sofia remains with her mother and grandmother, showed a bleaker outcome for my daughter than the previous report dated November 2010. At two years and two months of age, Sofia still doesn't speak a single word, make or follow simple hand gestures... (more)

Uncle Who Kidnapped Sofia to Syria Still a Practicing MD in Chicago

More than a year ago, Sofia was abducted from her home in Lighthouse Point, Florida, by her Syrian National uncle, who is practicing medicine in the Chicago area. Fox News: ▸ video ▸ story Last March, a Florida judge issued an order to pick Sofia up from the uncle's house in Chicago and return her to her home to Florida. Due to a jurisdiction question in court - since Sofia had never lived more than 6 months in one state at the time of her abduction - the judge later gave temporary custody to her mom until the court could determine final jurisdiction between Florida, New Jersey, and Illinois. Sofia at Chicago's O'Hare Airport on her way home after her initial kidnapping from her home in Lighthouse Point, FL, by her uncle who is a practicing MD in the Chicago area. In July 2010, based on this uncle's instructions, Sofia was abducted by her mom to Syria where she ha... (more)

State Department Photos of My Abducted Daughter Sofia in Syria

Wednesday morning I received new photographs of Sofia from the State Department in Washington, DC. Sofia remains in Syria since being abducted in July 2010. Fox News: ▸ video ▸ story The day after my last tweet regarding the lack of any new information about my abducted daughter Sofia since March 4, I received an updated letter on Thursday, April 7, 2011, from the State Department on Sofia's welfare in Syria. Sofia was abducted by her mother from the United States to Syria last July, following her diagnosis of GDD with possible autism. She had 13 remaining medical appointments left at the time of her abduction, none of which she was able to keep. Last week's welfare report prepared by our Embassy in Damascus, Syria, after their second welfare visit to the home in Syria where Sofia remains with her mother and grandmother, showed a bleaker outcome for my daughter t... (more)