Friday Links – April 11, 2014

Evidence that taking notes by hand is a better bet. “… Although laptop users took almost twice the amount of notes as those writing longhand, they scored significantly lower in the conceptual part of the test. ….”

Wearable Mi.Mu gloves: The next big breakthrough in music? – Imogen Heap and a team of engineers and artists seek to put musical innovation, in the palm of your hand, literally.

 

Security Note – OpenSSL ‘Heartbleed’ Vulnerability

As you may have read in mainstream news media outlets, a vulnerability was recently discovered in certain versions of OpenSSL which could allow a remote attacker access to sensitive data on certain types of servers.

LIS has already patched relevant local systems and is working with vendors to ensure that any relevant externally-hosted systems are similarly patched. There is no evidence to suggest that Middlebury account credentials have been compromised.

More information about the vulnerability is available on the LIS Information Security web site’s ‘Threat Bulletin’ area: http://www.middlebury.edu/media/view/475111/original/middlebury_threat_bulletin_openssl_heartbleed.pdf

If you have specific questions, please feel free to email infosec@middlebury.edu.

New to the library, April edition

In addition to the recently announced Annual Reviews of Economics and Chinese Newspaper Archive, more new library collections are rolling in:

Research Databases

Encyclopedias

Journals, etc.

Starr_Library

Nope, nothing new in this photo. Starr Library, 1945

Friday Links – April 4, 2014

The Terran Computational Calendar - Synchronized with the northern winter solstice and the UNIX Epoch, the terran computational calendar contains 13 identical months of 28 days each in addition to a short Month Zero containing only new year’s day and a single leap year day every four years (with the exception of every 128 years).

Why Facebook Acquiring Oculus Rift Is A Good Thing – Here are a lot of numbers with the word ‘billion’ in them. Facebook has 1.2 billion active users. In 2013 Facebook made $7.872 billion in revenue. Facebook could afford to pay $2 billion to acquire a technology that could have potentially been doomed to a niche market, squandering all its incredible potential, squandering a genuine chance to change the world through interactivity. This is now a potential that has an exponentially stronger chance of become a hard reality.

Infographic: See the daily routines of the world’s most famous creative people – Ever wonder how your routine stacks up against others? Check out this infographic from Info We Trust to compare your schedule to Darwin’s.

 

Introduction to the Junos Pulse VPN client

We’re delighted to formally announce a significant enhancement to the College’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) service that offers a faster and more convenient way to establish a connection from off-campus to Middlebury’s network.  The Junos Pulse client is available for a wide variety of computers and mobile devices that include: Macintosh, Windows, iOS (iphones, ipads), and Android.

For Macintosh and Windows platforms, the Junos Pulse client may be downloaded from Middfiles at:  https://middfiles.middlebury.edu/Software/Public/Junos%20Pulse – to access this download site you will be prompted to enter your Middlebury Network username and password, this site is accessible from off-campus without first establishing a VPN connection.

A special note for Windows 8 users.  Do not install the Junos Pulse client for Windows 7 on your Windows 8 computer, rather if you’re running Windows 8.0 upgrade to Windows 8.1 and the use the built-in VPN tool to configure the Junos Pulse client that is embedded within Windows 8.1.  Please follow these instructions for Windows 8.1 computers:  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj613767.aspx.

For iOS (iphones, ipads) devices, please visit the Apple store and search for junos pulse.

For Android devices, please visit the Google play store and search for junos pulse.

Details on how to install and configure Junos Pulse are available here:  http://go.middlebury.edu/vpn.

While you will be able to continue to establish a VPN connection the Middlebury’s network from off-campus using the Junos “NetConnect” client or by visiting https://vpn.middlebury.edu for the next several weeks, we strongly encourage you to transition to the Junos Pulse client.  Indeed, on or about April 30th, 2014, we will redirect the current login page at https://vpn.middlebury.edu that uses the Junos “NetConnect” client to http://go.middlebury.edu/vpn that contains our instructions on how to use the Junos Pulse client instead.  We have received a number of positive comments from those who have already transitioned to using the Junos Pulse client.

As always, we welcome your feedback and are ready to assist you with this transition; if you run into trouble or have questions, please open an LIS help desk ticket, email us at helpdesk@middlebury.edu or give us a call at the helpdesk X2200.

Sunday morning maintenance

This Sunday morning between 7 and 11 am we will be upgrading our printing tracking solution Papercut to v14.1. Upgrading the server side components will take place first, this phase is expected to be completed by about 9 am.  This will then be followed by site visits to the public printing release stations throughout the campus to complete the upgrade.

Each of the following servers will be off-line for about 10 minutes, each between 7 and 9 am or so, they include:

  • Papercut
  • Willow
  • Spruce
  • Bombay
  • Beech
  • Walnut

We also expect about 30 minutes of interruption to the “web print” service during this period.

Printed jobs will be queued up and automatically resubmitted during the service interruptions to the print servers.

There are several new features and fixes to known problems available in this release, additional details are available here:  http://www.papercut.com/release-history/.

Microsoft to end technical support for Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2003

Microsoft will end support for the Windows XP operating system and Microsoft Office 2003 software on April 8.  Microsoft will no longer release security updates or provide technical support for either product after this date.

Both Windows XP and Office 2003 will continue to function, but computers running either product will become increasingly vulnerable to malware and other forms of cyber-attack.

Due to the risk these vulnerabilities create, the Information Security group considers it necessary that Middlebury College students, faculty and staff have an upgrade to better protect personal and College data.

If you are not sure whether you are using Windows XP, Microsoft has created an easy-to-use website you can use to help at http://amirunningxp.com.

If you have a College-owned device that is running Windows XP, please contact the helpdesk at helpdesk@middlebury.edu, or create a ticket at  https://webhelpdesk.middlebury.edu/ to discuss the best course of action. The Technology Helpdesk has already begun the process of migrating all College-owned computers to Windows 7.

Students, faculty, and staff with personal computers running Windows XP will need to upgrade their computer operating system to be able to connect to the Middlebury network or VPN at some point in the future, so please take action as soon as possible.

For questions or assistance, contact the Helpdesk at X2200 or visit https://webhelpdesk.middlebury.edu/ to create an online ticket.

Environment and Agriculture – Taylor and Francis journal collection (trial through April 30)

Because Middlebury was ranked by Sierra Magazine as one of the “Cool Schools,” Taylor & Francis is graciously providing us with free access to the 212 journals in their Environment and Agriculture Collection.

Since there isn’t a specific page or website for these journals, after the trial we will see whether the journals in this collection were used sufficiently to justify a subscription. Find articles in these journals by searches in Summon, or searching the Taylor and Francis Online platform, or link to the journals from go/journals. A complete list of journal titles can be found here.