Technology news for UMD faculty, staff and students
Viz Lab Presents
ITSS has released its proposed rates for the coming fiscal year. We recognize that all University students, staff, faculty and departments are impacted by the current budget issues, including ITSS, and we are pleased to announce that most rates for the new fiscal year will decrease. Our standard suite of services for faculty and staff, which include a computer account, network connection, phone and Novell services, will decrease approximately 20%.
We are proposing to keep both our basic access and full computer lab access student computing fees at the same level. The $4.30 per-credit basic access fee, which provides students with Internet access, is charged only for the first 18 credits attempted by a student each semester. There is no additional charge for attempted credits over a maximum of 18. The mandatory minimum fee of $12.90 will continue to be charged to students registered for 3 or less credits. The full computer lab access fee will be available to students who pay an additional $61.80 lab access per semester. Page printing costs will be reduced from $.07 to $.05 per page.
In setting our rates and fees for the next fiscal year we have performed a number of steps that include:
- following the University policies and accounting principles that govern internal service organization rate development methodology
- reviewed and complied with FY04 Phase I Budget Instructions
- proposing to provide services with fewer staff during FY04
Our tentative rates and fees information is available on the web for your review on the Proposed ITSS Rates and Fees web page
Please feel free to address any questions to Linda Deneen (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Steve Patterson (email@example.com).
The final rate decisions are pending Board of Regents approval.
More information: ITSS Rates and Fees /itss/rates/
AV is happy to report that switching to an AV classroom podium master key has been a smooth transition. It appears that most departments and faculty have obtained their own keys and no longer need to come to AV to check out a key. With this success, AV will discontinue key checkout services after spring semester ends.
We are also working on a duplication system that will convert VHS, mini- DV, and Hi-8 tapes to DVD (noncopyrighted works). This service is not yet ready for prime time, but we hope to begin offering it during the summer also.
The terrazzo flooring project in the hall outside AV will be in progress at some point during the summer. At this time, there will be no access to AV. We will keep you informed of our alternative service arrangements.
More information: Classroom technology /itss/classroom/
ITSS filters all incoming email for spam, plus I have SpamAssassin set for my account - why am I still getting spam??
Spam filtering is an imperfect science, and spammers are clever. They spend lots of time figuring out how to get around spam filters. Then the spam filter folks find new ways to find spam, then the spammers find ways around that, then.....
You get the idea, it's an endless cycle.
Why does some legitimate email get flagged as ***SPAM***?
SpamAssassin uses rules to evaluate each email message as to whether or not it thinks it is spam. SpamAssassin is not foolproof and may identify some legitimate email as spam. Email most likely to be misidentified as spam includes newsletters, messages from listservs, and legitimate mail with certain keywords in the subject header.
If you use Mulberry, you can click on the "Show message header" button to view the Spam-Report for that message, as shown in the following sample:
Unfortunately, spam filters, being programs, are sure to make some mistakes, which is why we recommend reviewing your spam box from time to time.
Is the new anti-SPAM law working?
The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003 (known as CAN-SPAM) appears to be having little effect on the type or amount of spam being sent.
CAN-SPAM requires that spam e-mail include a working return e-mail address, a valid postal address for the sending company, a working opt-out mechanism, and a relevant subject line. However, a recent study of email sent to U.S. inboxes in January found that less than 1% complied with the law.
Additionally, while the law allows for multimillion dollar fines and jail terms for some spamming activities, it is difficult to enforce. Spammers are continually finding new ways to hide their identities. Many of the recent viruses were created by spammers to hijack personal computers of others on the Internet to spread their messages.
Finally, only a small percent of spam originates from the U.S. Many of those responsible for sending spam are based outside the US and beyond the reach of this law.
What can I do?
Following are some basic Spam Do's and Don'ts from the Anti-Spam Home Page:
- Never respond to a spam e-mail. For a spammer, one "hit" among thousands of mailings is enough to justify the practice. Instead, if you want a product that is advertised in a spam e-mail, go to a Web site that also carries the product, inquire there, and tell them you do not approve of spam methods and will not patronize a company that uses spammers.
- Never respond to the spam e-mail's instructions to reply with the word "remove." This is just a trick to get you to react to the e-mail -- it alerts the sender that a human is at your address, which greatly increases its value. If you reply, your address is placed on more lists and you receive more spam.
- Never sign up with sites that promise to remove your name from spam lists. These sites are of two kinds: (1) sincere, and (2) spam address collectors. The first kind of site is ignored (or exploited) by the spammers, the second is owned by them -- in both cases your address is recorded and valued more highly because you have just identified it as read by a human.
- Take meaningful action to stop spammers. Filter their messages or their sites using the methods available to you, write their host sites (without revealing your real e-mail address!) and any sites that are used as relays, write your congressional representatives.
And, two suggestions from ITSS staff:
- Keep your anti-virus software current. On our campus, we are seeing a large number of compromised computers that have been turned into spam relays. Clean-up of these computers is messy and time-consuming. Don't be the next hacked computer on our list.
- Set up a filter to move anything marked as spam to your spam box. That way, you don't need to wade through it every time you open your inbox. See Spam Assasssin for more information about mail filters.
More information: Spam - what it is and how to fight it /itss/email/spamassassin.html
The Student Computing team of ITSS has made some changes and improvements to many computer labs on campus since the beginning of the Spring 2004 semester.
- Hardware: The PC labs in Hum 470 and KPlz 143 were populated with new Dell Pentium IV computers (with CD burners and DVD readers) and 18" flat-screen monitors. New Mac G4s were put into LSBE 17 and the G3s in MonH were replaced with G4s (with DVD burners).
- Software: Upgrades to the administrative software used in the PC labs have made programs run more reliably and provide better protections from viruses and worms. A number of specialized academic programs have been added to all locations or individual labs. These programs were installed to help support specific courses or departmental needs.
- Printing: New black and white HP8150 printers were put into LSBE 17 and VKH 131.
- Furniture: New tables were bought for KPlz 143 and more than 120 new chairs were put in Hum 470, KPlz 143, MonH 209 and MonH 239.
- SunRays: Lab Consultants have been scheduled to work on the 3rd floor of the Library to help with SunRay questions and respond to issues in these areas. The SunRay web pages were updated to reflect recent changes and provide a better help resource for users that are new to this platform.
- Hours: Extended hours for one Mac lab and one PC lab have begun. KPlz 143 and LSBE 17 will be open until 1:00 a.m. Sunday through Thursday from now through the end of the semester.
- Surveys: The annual ITSS Computing surveys were distributed to all our computer labs. If you missed filling one of these out you may still send any comments or questions in regards to the labs to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information: ITSS Computer Labs /itss/labs/
ITSS has released the list of programs that will be in the ITSS Full Access PC computer labs for Fall 2004. ITSS has compiled this list for faculty planning purposes, and to improve the performance and stability of the computers in our Full Access labs. We are taking steps to assure that the available applications are useful to the campus community and compatible with our lab administrative configuration.
Faculty are encouraged to review the list to be certain programs they are planning to use for Fall 2004 will be part of the computer labs. The affected labs are:
- Engineering 204
- Library 115/116/118/119
- Humanities 470
- Marshall W. Alworth Hall 177
- Kirby Plaza 143
- Solon Campus Center 42
If you are planning to use other programs for their coursework, contact ITSS by Friday, April 16th: (email: email@example.com, phone: Rick Brill, 726-7031)
Windows Software List for ITSS Full Access Computer Labs, Fall 2004
For Particular Academic Programs:
More information: ITSS Computing Labs /itss/labs/
The University of Minnesota and Microsoft Corporation 3-year agreement, which started on July 1, 2003, provides access to a suite of Microsoft's most popular software for use on computers that are owned by the University of Minnesota. Academic & Distributed Computing Services (ADCS) and the Office of Information Technology (OIT), which are both located on the Twin Cities campus, are administering this license.
The software that is available through this agreement includes the following:
- Windows operating system upgrades
- Microsoft Office 2003 Professional for Windows
- Microsoft Office for Macintosh
- Front Page
- Visual Studio.net
- All Windows Client Access Licenses (CALs), including SQL CAL
PLEASE NOTE: It is important that departments not purchase this software through any other means. Licenses for these products have been paid for already and the software may be used legally on any computers that are owned by the University of Minnesota. Separate purchases are unnecessary and wasteful.
UMD ITSS will provide access to the Microsoft software and product license keys for departments through CD media kits provided to collegiate offices and department technology coordinators. If you are interested in obtaining a collegiate unit or department CD media kit, or have other questions about the program, please contact Steve Patterson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Frank Simmons (email@example.com).
More information: Microsoft University-wide Campus Agreement /itss/software/ca/
info.tech.News is published monthly during the academic year by ITSS. An email digest is also sent to all users subscribed to the infotech.announce, UMD.business.announce and studenttech.announce. The goal is to distribute information useful to the daily routines of the University of Minnesota Duluth campus community in conjunction with computer and telephone technologies. Comments or suggestions may be sent to the editor at: firstname.lastname@example.org.