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September 20, 2001 - Image 3

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-09-20

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LOCAL/S TATE

The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 20, 2001- 3A

RESEARCH

Influx of e-mail creates a
problem for my.umich.edu

Raindrops keep fallin'

Copay increases
lower availability
of medicine, care
Recent rises in drug costs and
spending have caused insurance com-
panies to raising their copay, leading
the government to figure out new
ways to'provide prescription drug care
to Medicare participants, according to
researchers at the University Health
System.
The study found benefit-based
copay would get medications to peo-
ple who need them most and could
make prescription drug coverage
more available to the public.
.The new form of copay devel-
oped at the University would allow
some people to pay less than other
and could even pay people to take
their medications, if solid evidence
exists that the patient benefits more
from a drug depending on illness
severity.
Possible drugs covered under the
plan include those that lower choles-
terol, help' osteoporosis and those that
prevent asthma attacks.
Under the plan; people who ben-
efit the most from a given drug pay
less than those that don't gain as
much. Actual pay is based on the
price of the drug, the effectiveness
of the drug on the disease and the
number of people suffering with
the disease.
The plan will also lower copay if
patients take their medication correct-
ly and refill on time, and it will
account for side effects which make
the drugs less attractive.
Tighter Internet
security system
developed at UC
Computer scientists at the Universi-
ty of California-Davis have developed
a more effective and simpler protec-
tion system for information sent over
the Internet.
Currently, the pretty good priva-.
cy or PGP encryption method is
used, which uses two keys to secure
messages sent through transactions,
including banking and shopping.
The keys, one public and one pri-
vate, hold different purposes. Using
the public key, it is not possible to
decode a sent message, but a pri-
vate key can decode messages.
Because many Internet users don't
have access to public keys, people
must borrow public keys from some-
one else, including the company they
are making the transactionl with.
The new technology would give
each user a public key through their e-
mail address, rather than having to
create and borrow a public key from
somewhere else.
Frost may play a
role in economic
struggle
Global climate, specifically frost,
plays a significant role on economic
development in nations, according to
researchers at Purdue and Tufts uni-
versities.
Frost not only helps increase pro-
ductivity in agricultural settings, but it
also plays a role in control of disease,
mainly malaria.
Using global information sys-
tems data and economic models,
the researchers determined that
annual had frosts occurred in
wealthy countries more often the
poor.
The frost causes insects to enter a
dormant state, which lessens the

spread of disease they carry. It also
leads to a build up of organic mate-
rials to create more rich, fertile top-
soil.
Researchers also found that past
agricultural success has helped
nations to flourish.
* Frog venom new
weapon in fight
against cancer
Molecules, called peptides,
secreted by rain forest frogs to ward
off predators may be the next
weapon in fighting life-threatening
illness, including cancer and heart
disease, according to researchers at
the University of Ulster.
- Compiled by Daily Staff Reporter
Lisa Hoffmnann.

__ _....

By James Restivo
Daily Staff Reporter
Despite the fact that LSA junior
John Cherian was away from the Uni-
versity this summer, he was still able to
check his umich e-mail account and
keep up with current campus news on
the recently developed my.umich.edu
website.
"It was very beneficial and helpful,"
Cherian said. "I was in Boston this
summer and I really wanted to check
my e-mail from another computer. I
also checked some courses because my
schedule wasn't complete."
The website, which was first made
available to students on February 20 of
this year, is currently experiencing dif-
ficulties that don't allow students to
check their e-mail.
Linda Place, the University director
of website coordination, said this
inability to use the mail system from
mv.umich.edu is due to the high e-mail
volume that has been sent on the Uni-
versity's network since last Tuesday's
attacks on the World Trade Center and
the Pentagon.
"During the past week there has been
an incredible amount of activity that
has slowed down the system," Place
said. "We chose to remove e-mail so
you could use the rest of the environ-
ment - it was slowing down every-
thing. It was better to lose one piece
than many because it is easy to get e-
mail elsewhere on campus."
Place added that the mass-campus e-
mails sent out by University President
Lee Bollinger regarding the recent

tragedy have also added stress to the
system, but students who use the sys-
tem seem to understand the current
problems.
Between 4,000 and 4,500 people
used the system on a daily basis this
summer, and Place said that at one
point since its conception, there were
more than 15,000 people on the system.
James Hilton, associate provost for
academic, information and instructional
technology affairs, said the temporary
loss of e-mail is being supplemented by
an online mulberry system that can be
accessed from the website.
Any student with a University
account and access to the Internet can
utilize the system from anywhere in the
world.
The website, originally known as the
Janus Project, began in fall 1999 at the
request of former University Provost
Nancy Cantor, and was sponsored by
the Office of the Chief Information
Officer.
Yet, the system is still in its "open-
pilot" mode while technicians prepare
the system for full production.
"We've given access to all students
but we make no promise that every-
thing can be accessed," Place said. "We
won't put it into full production until
we feel comfortable with all compo-
nents - the reliability and perfor-
mance levels need to be higher."
Aside from e-mail, mv.umich.edu
includes news, a favorite website stor-
age, the campus directory, the student's
personal calendar and announcements,
as well as many other features students
can personalize to their own interests.

"We've given access
to all students but
we make no promise
that everything can
be accessed."
- Linda Place
University director of website
coordination
Hilton said the idea behind the site
was to provide services and resources
for students, with the ability to cus-
tomize one's news and activities.
"The goal of my.umiA.edu is to see
if we can use technology to find ways
to make the University feel smaller and
more personal," Hilton said. "Ultimate-
ly the infrastructure would allow you to
tailor the applications to your own per-
sonal likings."
Place said the system is being updat-
ed continually with new items and new
applications to serve the student's
need. She added that within a few days
the e-mail capabilities should be up
and running again so that students who
are away from the University for vari-
ous reasons can retain access.
"We will continue to improve the
product as it needs it," Place said. "But
doing this doesn't necessarily mean we
won't bring it down again - we don't
know what's going to happen to the
nation."

DAVID ROCHKIND/Daily
Students protect themselves from the rain on their way to class
yesterday. Cloudy skies are expected again today.

Use of tobacco settlement criticized

By April Effort
For the Daily
Michael Moore, the Mississippi attorney gen-
eral who filed the first lawsuit against a tobacco
company on behalf of a state, gave a stern warn-
ing yesterday about tobacco settlement money
going up in smoke as states spend it on what he
called "the political whim of the day."
So far, Michigan has approved $100 mil-
lion of its money from the settlement -
expected to be 5350 million over the next 20
years - for spending. None of that money
has been approved for tobacco enforcement
programs.
Moore said most states are not spending the
money appropriately according to Center for
Disease Control guidelines, which mandate
that a $53 million minimum be spent for

* tobacco-related initiatives per state.
For example, Moore said Texas was award-
ed $200 million and is only spending the inter-
est off of that money on prevention. He said
Los Angeles has reportedly spent the money
by paying off police corruption lawsuits.
As for Michigan's tobacco settlement
money, Kenneth Warner, a professor at the
School of Public Health, said he is pleased
with the portion of money being spent on the
life science initiatives, but isn't as enthusiastic
about the allocation of settlement money for
scholarships. Warner said it strikes him as
"pandering to the middle class voter."
Most of the settlement money in Michigan
has been set aside to fund college scholarships
and the Life Sciences Corridor, a proposed
biological research project.
Michigan Attorney General Jennifer

Granholm, who is currently running for state
governor, said she would like to see the tobacco
settlement funds being used in different areas.
"When I'm governor, the money will be
spent in the appropriate way," Granholm said.
Specifically, she said, the money should be
spent on smoking prevention programs and
health care.
David Whalen, a fourth-year medical stu-
dent, said he sees first-hand the deadly effects
of smoking when treating patients at the Uni-
versity Hospitals.
"After my diagnosis, I can tell that they have
been smoking for 50 years" Whalen said.
Whalen said a significant proportion ofthe
tobacco settlement money should go towards
tobacco education and other health policy
issues in order to eliminate or significantly
reduce smoking.

DAVID ROCHKIND/Daily
Former Mississippi Attorney General Michael Moore speaks on
the first state lawsuits against tobacco companies yesterday.

Suspected terrorists
arrested in Detroit
had criminal records

DETROIT (AP) - A man sought
by the FBI in the terrorism investiga-
tion has a criminal record, kept multi-
ple addresses in at least two states and
was authorized to drive a truck carry-
ing hazardous materials.
At 1:40 p.m. Monday, that man -
Nabil Al-Marabh - was in Three
Oaks, in the southwest corner of
Michigan near the Indiana border, get-
ting a duplicate driver's license for the
second time since August, according
to records at the secretary of state's
office in Lansing.
Hours later, federal agents arrested
three men at a Detroit house with Al-
Marabh's name on the mailbox. The
FBI list that Al-Marabh is on
includes suspects, potential associates
of the suspects, and potential witness-
es related to the attacks, the FBI said.
According to Sadik Tawil, Al-
Marabh's former landlord at that
address, the man moved out in Aug.
2000, after living there for just a few
months. But on Nov. 29, 2000, Al-
Marabh changed, the address on his
Michigan license to the address of the
raided home.
In December, he was convicted of
assault and battery with a dangerous
weapon - a knife -in South Boston
District Court. He was to have started
serving a sentence in March, but failed
to show up.
In August, AI-Marabh, 34,
obtained the first of two duplicate

Michigan licenses, this time with an
address in Dearborn. No one at that
apartment complex yesterday
remembered him.
At the raided home in Detroit, fed-
eral agents found a cache of docu-
ments. Karim Koubriti, 23; Ahmed
Hannan, 33; and Farouk Ali-Haimoud,
21 were arrested and charged with
having false immigration papers. The
men are resident aliens from Morocco
and Algeria, U.S. Attorney spokes-
woman Gina Balaya said.
The FBI didn't say where Al-
Marabh was from; his former landlord
in the Boston area, Marian Sklodows-
ki, said Al-Marabh told him he was
Palestinian.
In the house the FBI raided in
Detroit, agents found a planner
with handwriting in Arabic,
according to an FBI affidavit filed
in federal court. The planner
included information about an
American base in Turkey, the
"American foreign minister," and
Alia Airport in Jordan, the FBI
said.
Investigators also found what
appeared to be a diagram of an airport
flight line, including aircraft and run-
ways, according to the court docu-
ment, which did not say which airport
was shown.
All four men hold chauffeur's
licenses in Michigan, according to
secretary of state records.

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,

THE CALENDAR
What's happening in Ann Arbor today
EVENTS Hospital lobby, Fashion Plate; To benefit SERVICES
E "A Random Walk Look SAFE House Children's
"Terrorism's Effect on into Turbulent Disper- Cenapus Information
MuslIms. Arabs and sion;" Lecture by Prof. Resources Fund, 6:00 inftrsmih d or

. £^ f
Z.
3, TE
1,
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