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Friday links – May 9, 2014

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Net Neutrality – at risk again, now by the FCC.

Open-Source Software for College Administrators Reaches ‘Tipping Point’ After 10 Years – In 2004, when information-technology leaders at Indiana University and the University of Hawaii announced plans to develop a financial-management system for higher education and distribute it free, they met plenty of skepticism.

SisOps: Girl Friendly Tech Programs (article)
Provides descriptions of a number of different programs and opportunities for girls to get interested in and use technology.  From School Library Journal.

Henry David Thoreau died today, May 6 (1862)

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

How will you observe the life and death of Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862), the American writer and naturalist?

Henry_David_Thoreau_-_Dunshee_ambrotpe_1861

Thoreau, August 1861 © Wikimedia Common

By taking a quiet walk?

By turning off your cell phone? Your computer?

By having a deep conversation with a friend, colleague, or family member?

By getting out a sheet of paper and writing a letter? (Yes! By hand.)

By randomly squeezing a Thoreau quote into a conversation today?

Or, by visiting Special Collections in the Davis Library 101 to visit our display of Thoreau artifacts: his inkwell, bricks and timbers from his cabin at Walden Pond, books from his cabin library, and more.

 

 

Friday Links – May 2, 2014

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

At Middlebury, we’ve been using Summon as the discovery layer for our library collections for the last several years.  The recent article from the Chronicle of Higher Education about discovery tools is an interesting read:

As Researchers Turn to Google, Libraries Navigate the Messy World of Discovery Tools

Many professors and students gravitate to Google as a gateway to research. Libraries want to offer them a comparably simple and broad experience for searching academic content. As a result, a major change is under way in how libraries organize information. Instead of bewildering users with a bevy of specialized databases—books here, articles there—many libraries are bulldozing their digital silos. They now offer one-stop search boxes that comb entire collections, Google style.

That’s the ideal, anyway. The reality is turning out to be messier.

Read the rest of the article here

Ideal lengths of tweets, facebook updates, blog posts, etc. (Hint: facebook updates – really, really short)

Dartmouth Pops the Champagne as Basic Programming Language Turns 50 – Basic, the programming language that revolutionized computing by making it accessible to people beyond the worlds of science and engineering, turns 50 this week, and it’s getting a birthday party.

How the 5 hottest tech jobs are changing IT – The IT industry is shifting. Here are five jobs coming to the forefront and how they are transforming the IT department.

How to Delete Yourself from the Internet – You can make yourself “disappear” from the Internet. But be forewarned: Most of the following tactics are irreversible.

Flipped learning skepticism: Is flipped learning just self-teaching?

Security Note – Internet Explorer Zero-Day Bug

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

As you may have read in mainstream news media outlets, a security vulnerability was recently discovered in Internet Explorer which could allow a remote attacker to execute code on a compromised system. This vulnerability is being actively exploited through Flash-enabled web sites. The vulnerability allows an attacker to execute code on the compromised system and gain access with the same level of permissions as the system user.

Microsoft is releasing patches to address this vulnerability. Middlebury’s network has enhanced security protections already in place.

Here are some protective steps that you can take on your own:

  • Patch your vulnerable Windows systems.
  • Use a different web browser like Firefox, Safari, or Chrome.
  • Disable  the  Flash  plug-in  in  Internet  Explorer.

More information about the vulnerability is available on the LIS Information Security web site’s ‘Threat Bulletin’ area: http://www.middlebury.edu/media/view/476056/original/middlebury_ie_zeroday.pdf

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

Security Note – Internet Explorer Zero-Day Bug

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

As you may have read in mainstream news media outlets, a security vulnerability was recently discovered in Internet Explorer which could allow a remote attacker to execute code on a compromised system. This vulnerability is being actively exploited through Flash-enabled web sites. The vulnerability allows an attacker to execute code on the compromised system and gain access with the same level of permissions as the system user.

Microsoft is releasing patches to address this vulnerability. Middlebury’s network has enhanced security protections already in place.

Here are some protective steps that you can take on your own:

More information about the vulnerability is available on the LIS Information Security web site’s ‘Threat Bulletin’ area: http://www.middlebury.edu/media/view/476056/original/middlebury_ie_zeroday.pdf

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

WordPress upgraded to 3.9

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

I’ve applied the latest update to our WordPress platforms, sites.middlebury.edu and sites.miis.edu. This update provides a smoother media editing experience:

  • Improved visual editing – speed, accessibility, and mobile support
  • Edit images easily – quicker access to crop and rotation tools, scale images directly in the editor
  • Drag and drop your images right onto the editor
  • Image gallery previews right in the editor
  • Showcase music and clips with simple audio and video playlists
  • Live widget and header image previews in the Customizer
  • Stunning new theme browser

Here’s a short video covering the changes.

More information about this update can be found on WordPress.org including a full list of the changes to the platform.

Heartbleed and the changing of the passwords

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

As noted in messages from LIS, we are requiring all individuals to change their Middlebury password as a precaution in response to “heartbleed” security threat.  If you have not yet changed your password since these email messages were sent, that is since Thursday, April 10th after 4 pm EDT, you were required to do so before this Thursday, April 24th at 4 pm EDT.

If you haven’t yet changed your password go to http://go.middlebury.edu/activate/ . (Please note that if you use a smart phone or tablet, you should turn off the device while you change your password.) If you need help changing your password, you can contact the Help Desk at 802 443 2200 or via the Help Desk ticketing system at http://go.middlebury.edu/whd.

Stay Safe.