Author Archives: Chris Norris

2013 NERCOMP Annual Conference – “Improvising the Future”

— From the EDUCAUSE web site —

This year’s annual NERCOMP conference, March 11-13, 2013 in Providence, Rhode Island, and online, will focus on “Improvising the Future.” In a time of perpetual change and when long range planning is difficult, we often cannot perform according to a set script or score; indeed, we find we must be agile and innovative enough to create new systems and processes to meet the expectations of our communities. We need to be able to improvise, collaborate with colleagues, and build on existing frameworks to arrive at creative solutions for the future.

Preconference seminars will be held in Providence Monday, March 11, with the full face-to-face and online conference programs March 12-13. Program sessions will focus on these key topic areas:

  • Corporate and Campus Solutions
  • IT Services: Support Models and Practices
  • Leadership and Organizational Development
  • Libraries and Scholarship in the 21st Century
  • Policy, Regulations, and Security
  • Systems and Solutions
  • Teaching and Learning

More information:

Middlebury Google Apps – Security Alert

Hello Middlebury Google Apps users,

While this is NOT a phishing message, it does relate to the general topic of phishing as it pertains to Middlebury’s Google Apps live pilot instance. Please read on for important information.

As you may be aware, LIS recently sent an email message to all students about an increase in the number of successful phishing attempts that are targeting email addresses. In order to limit the number of compromised accounts from this most recent wave of phishing attempts, students were required to change their Middlebury password. This action has greatly reduced the number of compromised accounts, which is good!

However, we also discovered that a behavior of the Google Drive/Docs service may be causing our users to believe that certain fraudulent web forms, (such as the example screenshot below), are legitimate because the URL appears to be within our Middlebury Google Apps instance, to authenticated users.

These are NOT legitimate web forms! As standard practice, LIS does NOT request the type of information shown in the example below via Google web forms. Additionally, Google has advised that security improvements to the Google Drive/Docs service will soon be introduced to address this problem.

If you suspect that you may have recently provided your Middlebury credentials to a fraudulent Google web form, you should immediately reset your password at go/activate and then contact the Helpdesk.

If you become aware that your Middlebury account has been disabled, you must contact the Helpdesk to resolve.

It is also important that community members keep themselves informed about these types of information security threats and be vigilant about protecting their credentials and personal information. More information about safe computing practices is available at go/infosec.



Google Apps dropping support for IE8 on 11/15/2012

Internet Explorer 10 launches on 10/26/2012, and as a result, Google will discontinue support for Internet Explorer 8 shortly afterwards, on 11/15/2012. After this date users accessing Google Apps services using Internet Explorer 8 will see a message recommending that they upgrade their browser.

The latest versions of Google Chrome and Firefox are the recommended web browsers for Middlebury’s Google Apps instance.

Read more about this announcement from Google here.

Middlebury Google Apps: Drive = Documents

Over the next several weeks, Google is releasing Google Drive — the newest member of the Google Apps suite, where you can keep everything and share anything. Google Drive replaces and enhances what you know today as your Google documents list.

What is Google Drive? 

With Google Drive, you can securely upload any file or folder to the web and access the most up-to-date versions of those files from anywhere. You can access Google Drive in your web browser and can also download the Drive application to your Mac, PC, Android or iOS devices to seamlessly access files across any of these devices. You will have 5GB of included storage space for your Google Drive. For more information on Google Drive functionality, please see the product overview page or visit

How will Google Drive be made available to Middlebury Google Apps?

Google Drive will become available on an opt-in basis over the next several weeks. Because Google is releasing Google Drive gradually, some users may not be able to get started immediately, but you can request to be notified when Google Drive is ready for you to opt in.

In the coming months, Google Drive will become the default and will replace the documents list as the way for users to access their files and documents. At this time, all users will have access to the desktop sync clients and mobile applications.

How is the Google Drive online interface different from my current Google documents list?

The Google Drive online interface looks similar to today’s Google documents list with a number of improvements, including new ways to organize your files and enhanced search functionality.

Learn more

To learn more about Google Drive functionality, please visit the Google Drive Help Center.


Changes to Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service

As you may be aware from recent news reports, Google is making a change to the way it handles the privacy policies that govern Google’s online services. You may view the new privacy policy at

This post is intended to help clarify how Google’s upcoming privacy policy changes affect our Middlebury Google Apps “live pilot” instance.

Here are the highlights:

    • Google is getting rid of over 60 different privacy policies and replacing them with one that’s shorter and easier to read
    • Google will continue to maintain our data in strict compliance with the confidentiality and security obligations provided to our Middlebury Google Apps “live pilot” instance (which are different than those for stand-alone Google services)
    • We do permit access to additional Google services through our Middlebury Google Apps “live pilot” instance, so some users may separately receive notifications communicating the new Privacy Policy
    • You can view the new privacy policy at
    • These changes will take effect on March 1, 2012

If you have additional questions about how these changes affect our Middlebury Google Apps “live pilot” instance, please contact!


2012 NERCOMP Annual Conference – The Human Side of IT


This year’s NERCOMP Annual Conference will be held March 12–14, 2012, in Providence, Rhode Island, and – for the first time – concurrently online!

The 2012 NERCOMP Annual Conference delivers content that shapes the future of IT, addressing the overall thematic question: “Does Technology Enhance or Limit Human Interactions?” Thinking about the personal side of IT is important on campuses today as we all struggle to strike the balance between technology and humanity.

Registration is open. Browse the face-to-face and online programs to see what innovative and practical ideas are being presented, and what hot topics will be discussed. Be inspired to take a critical look at where you currently are, and where you can go when you return to campus.

NERCOMP’s mission is to enhance the communication and dissemination of information related to the use of computers, networks and information technology in education, academic research and educational administration throughout the Northeastern United States. NERCOMP is an associate of EDUCAUSE.

A New Look for Middlebury Google Apps

Earlier this year, Google announced a project to bring a new and improved Google experience. Google began rolling out a new look and feel across products to make the interfaces consistent, streamlined, and easy to use. The new look is a permanent change for all Google Apps users and the schedule will be as follows.

Docs: Tuesday December 13, 2011
Sites: Tuesday December 13, 2011
Calendar: Beginning of January 2012

Feel free to write to with any questions!