New for the libraries – Roper Center’s Public Opinion Archives

The Middlebury Libraries recently subscribed to the Public Opinion Archives of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research. This vast trove of data from public opinion surveys is one of the world’s leading archives of social science data, focused on surveys conducted by the news media and commercial polling firms. Most of the surveys in the Roper Center were conducted on national samples, but there are also some state and local surveys, as well as a number of surveys of special populations of interest.

You can easily search all of the data in the archive through the iPoll interface and even download complete datasets.  iPoll is organized at the question level, providing the tools to sift through nearly a half million questions asked on national public opinion surveys, 1935 to present.  Our subscription includes RoperExpress (offers downloads of over 20,000 datasets from over 100 countries to use with statistical software to conduct bivariate and multivariate analysis) and Roper Explorer (online analysis of several hundred studies allowing cross-tabulations without specialized statistical software).  More details on coverage.  To download datasets, register to create an account and agree to their terms about confidentiality, data reuse, and more.

There are some unique and important aspects of our license agreement that, If you are a researcher who may use entire datasets, you need to be aware of :

  • Neither the Member Institution nor Users may re-disseminate any Roper Center documentation or data obtained from the Roper Center outside of the Member Institution. However, researchers who are actively collaborating with individuals at non-member institutions may provide a copy of relevant data sets to their collaborators solely for their private use in connection with and for the duration of the project, after which they will return or destroy such material. Researchers are advised to obtain a written agreement from such collaborators to abide by the foregoing requirements.
  • Neither Roper Center data nor any tool, application or other application that works with such data may be placed on any web site without the prior express written permission, which the Roper Center may grant, deny or condition in its sole discretion.
  • Users may create aggregated analyses, compilations or derivative works using data available from the Roper Center for their own scholarly research and teaching purposes, but may not use any of the data to develop a database, database service (online or otherwise), automated data or text mining applications, or other information resource in any medium (print, electronic or otherwise, now existing or developed in the future) for use by others. Authorized Users who create such derivative works, subsets of data or applications and wish to share access should contact the Roper Center to archive their materials with the Center to make them available to the research community. The Roper Center may agree or decline to do so in its sole discretion.

Roper also provides educational material for using their tools and learning the basics about polling and analysis.

Adobe Creative Cloud 2015

Users of Adobe’s “Creative Cloud” products (formerly Creative Suite) may have noticed that in the Creative Cloud dashboard, there’s a prompt to “Update” any installed products to the CC 2015 editions. Although normally we recommend keeping software up-to-date, this is a major new version that comes with a few issues:

  • There have been some reports of instability with the new software as compared to the 2014 editions.
  • After updating from the CC dashboard, the license will not be recognized and the software will be in “trial mode”. This is an unfortunate side effect of the way Adobe does enterprise licensing.

At this point, our general recommendation is to stick with the 2014 version of your Adobe apps. We will update this post with more information as we test the new versions and establish a smooth upgrade path. In the meantime, those who wish to update to the 2015 editions (including “Adobe Acrobat Pro DC”), or have already done so, should make sure all new software that you want is installed, then update the license file. To do this, please do the following:

  • Mac users should go to Self Service and run “Adobe CC 2015 License”.
  • Windows users should submit a ticket with the MIDD number (on the blue sticker) of the computer in question, requesting to have the Adobe license updated.

If you have any questions, please contact the Helpdesk at 802.443.2200 or helpdesk@middlebury.edu. Thanks!

~Zach Schuetz
Information Technology Services

The Rutland Herald – online at Middlebury

RutlandHeraldOnline access to local papers can be difficult and confusing. Here’s a rundown of how you can read the Rutland Herald (and Barre Times-Argus) online, right now*, at Middlebury College.

  • Today’s Rutland Herald:
    • rutlandherald.com: If you click on a link on one of the newspaper’s main pages to “read more,” you will probably see the statement: Middlebury College Library offers FREE access to the Rutland Herald and the Times Argus. Underneath that, you are asked to provide an email and password. Enter your email address and provide a password to create your own individual account. You will then receive confirmation of the creation of your account on the webpage as well as in an email message. You will then be able to see the entire news story and other content as long as you are logged in. This username and password will work every time you log in to the newspaper website (assuming you have verified your status by either being on campus or logging in to the EZ-Proxy server).
    • You can also read it in print in the Harman Periodical Reading Area on the Lower Level of Davis Family Library
  • Past issues:
    • From one month ago to today: In the upper-right corner of any page of rutlandherald.com, click “e-Paper.” RH_ePaperYou can log in here using your personal credentials that you established as described above. Using the “Back Issues” pull-down menuRH_backissues near the top, you can see online versions of the last month’s worth of issues.
    • From January 1, 2010 to one month ago: After clicking the e-Paper link described above, in the left-hand frame, choose “Search the Archives”RH_Archives
  • Previous to 2010: At this time, issues of the Rutland Herald between 1853 and 2010 are only available on microfilm – film number 27. Issues from 1850-1852 are available courtesy of the Library of Congress at Chronicling America.

*Note that these details will change over time. We will update this post as needed. You can always land at this page by searching go/journals for Rutland Herald and choosing the link called “Middlebury’s Rutland Herald”

Weekly Web Updates – July 6, 2015

Updates

Tweaks & Fixes

  • We have removed some extra markup from the Drupal RSS Page content type. There is no visual difference, but there had been some hidden content that included a link that directed people back to the same page they were already on. Google crawled this link and it had a minor impact on our site search engine optimization due to duplicate content being displayed.
  • We have updated the ROBOTS.txt file on public WordPress sites for both Middlebury and MIIS so that global media files (images, CSS, JavaScript) referenced by themes and plugins are allowed to be included in the index. Google changed their indexer to penalize pages that included references to resources that were being blocked by ROBOTS.txt.
  • Accessibility: we’ve added a hidden label to the Google Custom Search Engine fields that are embedded in Drupal site content, such as on the Helpdesk website. This is similar to the accessibility improvement that we made for the global search field in the top right.
  • Accessibility: the title of the section pages (e.g. ‘About Middlebury’, ‘Student Life’, ‘Sustainability’) is now included in the markup as text, in addition to the image used for the parallax effect as you scroll left-to-right in the waveform.

Systems Maintenance this Sunday, July 5th

During our regular maintenance window this Sunday, July 5th  we have the following activities scheduled:

 

  • The WAN circuit dedicated to the Video Conference network at the VT campus will be down for up to 10 minutes for maintenance between 6:00am and 6:30am EST. During maintenance active video conference sessions in VT, DC, and CA will be terminated and no new sessions will be able to be initiated. After maintenance the service will be back to normal operation.

 

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

 

Regards,

Billy

 

 

Billy Sneed

ITS – Central Systems & Network Services

Middlebury College

Security Notice: Middleburry.org Typosquatting

Middlebury Information Security received information that fraudulent emails are being sent from a malicious domain, “middleburry.org”, to businesses that might provide equipment and supplies to Middlebury College.

The suspicious emails are crafted such that they appear to come from actual Middlebury College employees, though the contact information provided includes incorrect telephone numbers and email addresses.

Note that suspected bad actors are using a typosquatting technique – there are two R’s in “middleburry.org”, and Middlebury’s domain name ends in .edu, rather than .org.   Those details, however, are perhaps an easy thing to miss, especially at a quick glance.     ​

Efforts are underway to takedown the middleburry.org domain, and to suspend the domain holder’s email service.

Please contact InfoSec@middlebury.edu with questions.

Security Notification: Ransomware Delivered Through Phishing Attacks

A year ago the Internet saw a rash of malware known as ransomware. This malicious form of cyber attack is known for infecting a computer and encrypting a drive. The victim is then unable to recover their data until paying a ransom to the attacker. Middlebury, like many other institutions was not immune to this form of attack.

A week ago the FBI announced a new variant on a common form of these attacks known as CryptoWall. This form of ransomware is known to have four methods of infecting a computer.

  • Phishing: the attacker may lure a victim into downloading an infected attachment through a phishing campaign and thereby compromising the drive on their system.
  • Phishing: the attacker lures the victim into clicking on a link to a malicious web site where the victim unknowingly downloads the malicious software onto their system and compromises their drive.
  • Infected ad: the attacker posts and infected ad on a website which a user might click thereby causing the download of malicious software.
  • Compromised website: the attacker compromises a website so when a user visits the website they unknowingly download malicious software and compromise their system.

According to the FBI, by far the most common method of attack is phishing, particularly with attachments in the message.

What you can do to protect yourself:

  • Never open attachments or click links in emails that you do not recognize or trust.
  • Know what a phishing attack is and how to spot one. visit http://go.middlebury.edu/phish or http://phishing.org
  • If you think you have fallen for a phish change your password. then call x2200
  • If you believe you system is compromised, unplug it from the power and the network. Shut it down immediately. Do not worry about saving your work. then call x2200.
  • Backup your data routinely. If you save your data to Middfiles or your home directory it will be backed up automatically.
  • Never disable your antivirus software.
  • Send any suspect emails to phishing@middlebury.edu
  • Only download software from known vendor sites.
  • Don’t click on ads in web sites. Visit vendor websites directly.

Sources: