Finding A firewall

But, as silicon-enriched Crocodile Dundee might say, if you really want to protect your network install the only firewall on Planet E certified to EAL4 (Evaluation Assessment Level 4), the highest attainable level of security. Nothing and no one has ever got through it, not even British Intelligence. Needless to say, it does not run under Windows. Called BorderWare, it was developed in Canada but is marketed from the UK. The website is www.borderware.com.
BorderWare, has been built intelligently – it is scalable. Big for big sites; small for small. The pricetag is also scalable – $2500+. But in these days of rampant attacks from steroidal e-vandals, 100 percent-secure firewall is worth 270 times its kaons in e-gold.
It is, however, very odd that only one company has so far achieved EAL4. Does no one else care about stopping the e-vandals?

Tapping into education/training
We should be past being surprised at what is being done on the web, but it does seem tad unusual to see teachers, and aspects of human resources, job-training, company sponsorship, and students’ school reports converging.
A small Auckland company, Education Software & Devices (ESD at www.esd.co.nz), has found nice little niche (microniche?) in which to earn its crust, and is spreading jam on it with its flagship software, eTAP (electronic Teaching, Assessment & Planning).
eTAP is, firstly, 100 percent web-powered, so it thumbs its nose at the idea that you need particular operating system to do anything, because it runs on anythingummy that can access the web (don’t tell Bill G). It also avoids the arrogant trap, condemned here last November, into which webmasters fall who insist on building in all the latest knobs, bells and whistles, and treat with disdain anyone whose browser cannot handle them.
eTAP’s main aim is to reduce the hyperload of assessment that teachers must carry nowadays, as well as to be powerful teaching and planning aid. It also bristles with other work-saving facilities, such as keeping the roll, doing student’s reports, and emailing automatic alerts about misbehaving students to the right resources. Although it was designed for schools, eTAP’s ?infinitely customisable’ nature means it can be used in pretty well any educational circumstance in any organisation, so it can be used to plan, assess and track the training and performance of staff in businesses and factories.
The assessment tool is boon. Even small school of, say, 300 students must do tens of thousands of assessments every year; and teachers, principals, school boards, and the Education Review Office should be able to look at the resultant data in zillion different ways and extract lots of helpful information and statistics from it on individuals, classes, schools, ethnic subsets, etc. eTAP achieves that with impressive nonchalance.
What, you may ask, does all that have to do with business – apart from eTAP’s aforementioned usefulness in corporate training programmes? Well ESD, being spiffingly up to date, built into eTAP spot for sponsors. Which means company can sponsor eTAP for school, and receive in return on the school’s eTAP frontpage modest acknowledgement and link to the corporate website.
Added to that, as time goes on, will be eTAP-powered school reports available to parents online. Which is quite few modestly valuable acknowledgements. And far cry from rumpled document produced with pride or terror from pungent schoolbag.

Nobilangelo Ceramalus: Writer, commentator, journalist, desktop publisher, graphics-designer, illustrator, webmaster, phototgrapher.

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