New Mac OS 10.10 (“Yosemite”) Released

Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10.x), released on 16 October 2014 and is available as an upgrade for faculty and staff who are currently running Mavericks (10.9.x).  If your machine is running Mavericks (10.9.x) or Mountain Lion (10.8.x) the upgrade will appear automatically in Software Updates under the Apple Menu.  If your machine is running Snow Leopard (10.6.x) or Lion (10.7.x), you will need to contact the Technology HelpDesk to discuss upgrade options.

As with all operating system upgrades, there are potential issues of compatibility with applications and services and we are currently neither promoting nor discouraging the upgrade.  New computers provided for faculty and staff will continue to have 10.9.5 (Mavericks) installed for now; public labs are not scheduled to be updated to Yosemite at this time.  Knowing that there will be “early adopters” who opt to upgrade right away, we have created a site to share known issues and areas of concern.  Visit go/yosemite/ to view — or add to — this work-in-progress.

Yosemite has several improvements, including better support of multiple monitors, handoff capabilities between Yosemite and iOS8 devices, and enhanced iCloud Drive capabilities.  See Apple’s complete list of what’s new in Yosemite or take a personal tour using lynda.com’s new, hour-long course, Mac OS X Yosemite New Features.

Key Survey Mobile App Update Now Available

KeySurvey LogoThe following information is pertinent only for individuals having a Key Survey account used to create, distribute, and work with surveys and response data.

Message text (excerpt) from WorldAPP’s Customer Care team, dated 10/21/14:

New updates for Form.com Mobile v4.0 and Key Survey Mobile v4.0 are now available for download.

What’s New: This latest software update provides enhanced ability to capture data from your mobile device while offline and offers improved data synchronization technology with a faster automatic data upload frequency rate when online – now, every 5 minutes.

Before downloading the update, please be informed that:

• Legacy versions of the Form.com Mobile and Key Survey Mobile apps will continue to operate, however, we highly recommend installing the latest update to receive the best possible performance.
• We advise performing a final synchronization request to ensure all data is uploaded to the server. Failure to do this could result in data loss.
• If you are still working from the WorldAPP Offline branded mobile app, it is recommended that you install the new mobile app (Form.com Mobile for Form.com accounts, Key Survey Mobile for Key Survey accounts), as WorldAPP Offline will no longer be supported. Follow these 4 simple steps for a smooth transition to the new app.

As always, WorldAPP’s support staff can assist with questions you may have.

 

 

Friday Links – October 17, 2014

Time for a Thesis – From the Senior Admissions Fellows Blog, a self-reflective essay by a History major on the impact of our annual message to seniors about thesis carrel signup and research support. His conclusion is quite nice: “When I think ahead to the books and research, I am not so much nervous as I am excited,” he says.

Practicing Collaborative Digital Pedagogy to Foster Digital Literacies in Humanities Classrooms – This article presents two case studies of classes who employed different techniques to “foster digital literacies in humanities students using distinct approaches for each course.” My key takeaway hinged on one student’s observation: “Through creating an infographic in Easel.ly, I learned that it is very important to develop skills in being able to pick out important information from the vast amounts that you can easily find online.”

How Stress Affects the Brain During Learning – A fight or flight reaction may be useful in some situations, but it is highly detrimental in the classroom. Whether anxiety stems from test taking or from an unstable home environment, the brains of students experiencing high levels of stress look different than those who are not — and those brains behave differently, too. In this article, we’ll take a look at the neural and hormonal responses that underpin a student’s stress response, and make a few suggestions for continuing to teach through the challenges it presents.

Upcoming Battery Will Charge Phones And Electric Cars in Minutes – It takes about an hour to fully charge a cell phone, and the battery lasts about two to three years over 500 charge cycles. However, a new design could reduce charge time to only a few minutes and the battery is expected to last for 10,000 charge cycles over a 20 year lifespan.

FireChat in Hong Kong: How an app tapped its way into the protests
(CNN) — The revolution will not be televised but it will be tweeted, instant messaged or, in the case of Hong Kong, broadcast on mesh networks like FireChat.

 

System and Network Maintenance this Sunday

During our regular maintenance window this Sunday, Oct 19th between 6 and 10 am we have the following activities planned.

 

  • A patch will be applied to the DNS servers requiring sequential reboots. DNS resolution may see some slow responses for up to 20 minutes
  • Two of our spam filters will be moved between racks in one data center. There’s sufficient redundancy that no impact will be seen
  • One of our database servers and a print server will be rebooted. Printing queues may be unreachable for up to 15 minutes
  • One of our two ISP circuits will be down for 2 hours while the provider performs maintenance

              o   We have sufficient redundant bandwidth. Internet reachability will not be impacted

              o   Point-to-Point VPNs may drop a few packets, twice, during route changes

  • The VSphere interface to our virtualized server environment will be patched and rebooted. Reachability will be down for up to 15 minutes
  • Middfiles will be rebooted and unreachable for up to 15 minutes

 

We appreciate your patience as we continuously strive to keep our systems functioning optimally.

 

Billy Sneed

ITS – Central Systems & Network Services

Middlebury College

Middlebury, VT  05753

(802) 443-5769

Alexander Street Drama (trial ends December 3, 2014)

Alexander Street Drama brings together thousands of plays from Alexander Street’s individual full-text drama collections and makes them accessible and cross-searchable in a single package. It includes the complete content of:.

Everything is cross-searchable through the unified North American Theatre Online interface, with the results seamlessly integrated into one search result.

Let us know what you think – email eaccess-admin@middlebury.edu or your Library liaison.

Friday Links – October 10, 2014

How tech is changing the way we think and what we think about – There are a myriad of arguments for and against the increased use of technology in everyday life. Futurists and technophiles encourage its use, sure that technology will welcome a new utopia, while luddites rail against the “destructive” nature of technology use.

The Next Wave of Tech Change | Self-Publishing & Libraries (from Library Journal)

Trust, Privacy, Big Data, and E-book readers “… the Amazon Kindle platform is as much a data ingest tool for providing end-user behavior data to Amazon as it is a sales platform for digital media content,…” … “It seems that counter to this trend, libraries and scholarly publishers are the exception to the rule. Whether our community will remain outliers and whether this status is a good thing or not over the long run, remains to be seen.”

IEEE’s Computer Science Digital Library (trial ends October 22, 2014)

Members of the Middlebury community have free access to the Computer Science Digital Library from the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) for two weeks, ending October 22, 2014.

Included in the CSDL are over a dozen journals, many “Transactions of the IEEE” and hundreds of conference proceedings.

Let us know what you think – email eaccess-admin@middlebury.edu or contact your liaison.