Area 51 notes, Aug. 25, 2011

Present:  Mike Roy, Carol Peddie, Terry Simpkins, Danna Gianforte, Chris Norris (via phone), Doreen Bernier

We discussed Google’s recent mandatory change to our Google Apps account.  For most folks already using MGA, this is not be a major change.  Users who have registered their address for stand-alone Google services (ie. docs, sites, etc.), however, will be forced to change their Google account name to something other than “[username]” upon logging in after the change. The primary concern is with those users who have Middlebury documents/files (i.e. institutional data) associated with their stand-alone accounts.  Those documents will now be outside the scope of Middlebury’s Google Apps instance, and these may need to be brought back in.  Chris noted that there have been some small problems since the changeover.  The biggest concern is having institutional data contained outside of the account, which was a concern even before this change occurred.

President’s Staff approved the creation of a Google Apps Evaluation Team to compare MSLive and Google Apps.  We discussed team membership and leadership, and the group is likely to consist of members of administrative offices, faculty, students and LIS.  This discussion will continue at next week’s AD meeting. We expect the evaluation to begin in September, and to make a recommendation to President’s Staff by the end of the calendar year.

The Security Team is preparing a plan to assess how LIS can ensure – as much as possible — that all machines on campus have the latest antivirus updates on their machines and are scanned for viruses regularly.  The plan should be submitted to the ADs next week.  We also need an inventory of machines without the latest software updates.  Since even the best of plans can be stymied by recalcitrant users, LIS will need to engage in a communication/education effort to the community explaining the importance of scanning for viruses and malware all machines connected to our network.

Terry, upon receiving the hairy eyeball from Mike, volunteered to serve on a joint MIIS/MIDD Masters in International Education Management (MAIEM) Committee.  The MAIEM program is currently in planning stages, and meetings will happen weekly through Sept. and Oct.

The web development group has create a basic design for Middlebury’s nascent mobile site ( which will also double as a portal for desktop and laptop users.  Official launch should occur in mid-September, pending blessing by President’s Staff.  LIS will provide demos for helpdesk staff in anticipation of possible support issues along, and also to other interested parties (e.g. liaisons, others).  We will also be asking individuals to test the mobile site on various different devices (iPhone, iPads, Android phones and tablets, etc.) to look for platform-specific problems.  The site is built using Modo Lab’s open-source Kurogo framework.

Thanks for reading,
Terry & Doreen

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