Technology news for UMD faculty, staff and students
Unless configured to use secure (encrypted) protocols, email programs send your username, password, and email content as clear text that can possibly be intercepted by others - particularly on a wireless network.
Beginning Summer, 2006, only email programs configured to use secure settings will be able to connect to the UMD email servers to send and receive mail. You should check your email program's settings to make sure your incoming (IMAP or POP) and outgoing (SMTP) servers are configured to use secure settings.
Instructions for configuring your email program to use secure settings are available for a number of email programs. IMP webmail and unix Pine users do not need to make any changes.
In addition to the IMAP, and SMTP servers that all email programs use, Mulberry first logs into an IMSP preference server where your preferences and addressbooks are stored. The setting for connecting securely to Mulberry's IMSP server is stored in the Mulberry application itself. Mulberry users will need to reinstall a secure version of Mulberry 3.1.6 on their computers and then make the secure settings changes to Mulberry's IMAP and SMTP server settings.
Versions of Mulberry earlier than Mulberry 3.1.6 SECURE (including all versions of Mulberry for OS9) will not work with the UMD email system after Summer 2006.
If you have questions or problems with switching your email program to secure settings contact Joel Ness (x8841, jness).
facultEtools: Web Crossing
Focus on facultyEtools: Each month we will feature one of our technology resources for faculty. If you have questions about a tool or would like to set up a meeting to discuss using one of the tools that we feature, please contact Shelly McCauley Jugovich at (x6862, smccaule) or Bruce Reeves at (x6831, breeves)
This month's featured facultEtools is Web Crossing
Web Crossing is used for threaded discussions, forum boards, or chat. Web Crossing can be accessed from anywhere in the world via the Internet and a computer and promotes an excellent online learning community for you and your students. Students and faculty access their discussions by logging into a secure environment. Only students that you have given access to the discussion area will be able to read or post to that topic.
Experience Web Crossing today by requesting an account for your course: https://www.d.umn.edu/itss/acctmgr/calias/index.html
UMD Web Crossing Login page for faculty and students: http://www.d.umn.edu/webx
Information on Web Crossing: http://www.webcrossing.com/Home/
Other facultyEtools: http://www.d.umn.edu/itss/facstaff/WebServices.html
ITSS has begun converting departments to the new Novell Office Server. The new "server" is cluster of systems to provide better performance, and more redundancy. Currently, a failure on the Office Server could potentially affect all customers. The new server cluster will allow services (like files and printing) to keep working, even if there were a problem with one or more of the servers in the cluster. The new server will also support an upgraded Novell operating system, allowing us to provide additional services.
ITSS staff will be contacting departments to coordinate moving their departmental account to the new server. If your department is interested in moving to the new server soon, or if you have questions about the conversion contact Sally Bradt, (x8856, sbradt).
Novell services /itss/novell/
Beginning in January, 2006, ITSS will be changing how the Macintosh AppleTalk protocol works on campus. Most Macintosh users may not even notice the changes, but departments with Apple LaserWriters may need to start planning for a replacement.
What is AppleTalk?
AppleTalk is the protocol that Macintosh computers use to connect to printers and file servers. There are two types of AppleTalk - we'll call these "Zone-based AppleTalk" and "AppleTalk IP". "Zone-based AppleTalk" is the only type that will be affected by our upcoming changes.
You use "Zone-based AppleTalk" when you connect to printers or servers by clicking on an AppleTalk zone name (which correspond to UMD buildings). You might do this in the OS9 Chooser, the OSX 10.3 "Network" icon, or the "Go:Connect to Server" menu option in OSX 10.2.
You use "AppleTalk IP" when you click on the "Server IP Address" button in the OS9 Chooser, type in a server name in OSX's "Go:Connect to Server" menu option, or add an LPR or Rendezvous/Bonjour printer using OS9's Desktop Printer Utility or OSX's Print Setup Utility.
What will change?
Zone-based AppleTalk is a very "busy" and inefficient protocol and newer network hardware works better if it doesn't have to deal with this. The Twin Cities campus stopped routing it on their network over a year ago. ITSS will stop routing Zone-based AppleTalk on our network a few buildings at a time beginning in January, 2006. We are coordinating this with the conversion of Macintosh users to the new Novell Server, since the old server requires Macintosh users to use zone-based AppleTalk to connect.
If you use Zone-based AppleTalk to connect to printers or servers in your own building, you'll continue to be able to do so after the change. However, beginning next January you will no longer see the rest of the campus AppleTalk zones; you will only see the printers and servers in your own building. To connect to printers and servers outside of your building, you'll need to use AppleTalk IP.
Newer printers (HP LaserJets, for example) can be printed to using both Zone-base AppleTalk and AppleTalk IP. Some older printers, mostly Apple LaserWriters, can only be printed to with Zone-based AppleTalk and will no longer be able to be used except from Macintoshes in the same building. Windows users will not be able to print to Apple LaserWriters even if they're in the same building.
If your department is using an Apple LaserWriter for Windows users or to receive print jobs from Twin Cities administrative systems you'll need to plan on replacing it very soon. Many departments have queues set up on our central system print server. Our print server, however, has to use Zone-based AppleTalk to send the print job to Apple LaserWriters, and that will no longer work after next January.
Beyond possibly needing to replace some Apple LaserWriters, most people will be unaffected by these changes. Macintosh users will still be able to print to most printers on campus and connect to AppleShare servers. The main change will be that you'll need to know the name of the printer or server instead of "discovering" the name in the AppleTalk zone list.
If you have any questions relating to these changes, contact Joel Ness (x8841, jness).
ITSS has been working with UMD Facilities Management and UMTC Central Security to improve campus security through the use of security cameras. At the request of VCFO Greg Fox, we developed a campus policy on security systems and surveillance cameras: http://www.d.umn.edu/itss/policies/securitysys.html
We have installed security cameras indoors in the Campus Stores, Food Services, the Business Office, the Swenson Science Building, and some other administrative offices. We have been working hard on wireless solutions to use in parking lots. Construction sites are now monitored with security cameras in order to prevent the type of vandalism that damaged the Swenson Science Building.
Where possible, security cameras are monitored 24 hours a day and 7 days a week by UofM Central Security. For those cameras not monitored by Central Security, video archives allow incidents to be reviewed after the fact.
If you are interested in having security cameras installed in your area, start by submitting a work order to Facilities Management.
Facebook, MySpace, blogs, and wikis are all great ways to hook up with friends on the Internet. I wish these were available when I was an undergraduate. But then again, some of the stuff I did as an undergraduate I'm glad is not out in the public, permanent space of the Internet. The rest of my life was ahead of me, and I certainly didn't think about that as an undergrad.
When using these great ways to connect, take a moment to think about how you want to be known in the future. These records of life are going to be around.
Which ones are you comfortable with others knowing?
Security and privacy concerns of the Facebook and similar web sites are increasing. Here is a sample of newspaper articles from across the country.
- From the Journal Gazette and Times-Courier of Charleston, Illinois.
Face Value: EIU students wary of the Facebook's privacy issues
- From the Missourian of Columbia, Missouri
MU examining Facebook use
- From News.com
Facebook's Greek drama
- From the Daily Pennsylvanian, The University of Pennsylvania Student Newspaper
Forfeiting privacy, one post at a time
RealNetworks has announced a beta launch of a browser-based version of its Rhapsody streaming music subscription service for OSX. Previously, the Rhapsody service was restricted to users running a Windows-only jukebox application; the new browser-based version opens popular features of the service to Mac and Linux users for the first time. Unlike Apple's iTunes Music Store, where users purchase and download individual tracks, Rhapsody users sign up for streaming audio service via the Internet. Subscribers paying for the Rhapsody Unlimited service can stream as much audio as they like for the $10 per month subscription charge; needless to say, users lose access to the music if they cease subscribing to the service, and there's no support for iPods, other portable music players, or any household digital music players for Mac and Linux users.
With the launch of Rhapsody.com, any user can - for free - stream up to 25 songs a month on-demand, as well as listen to 25 commercial-free streaming "radio" stations classified by theme and genre. Rhapsody carries over 1.4 million tracks from the five major music labels as well as independent distributors
To access Rhapsody.com, users must sign up (providing an email address, ZIP code, and year of birth, but no credit card info) after installing the Rhapsody Player Engine - a browser plug-in. Real says they support Mac OS X 10.3.9 or higher using Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari: installation failed spectacularly for me under Firefox 1.5, but installation using Safari worked fine, and thereafter Rhapsody.com was also accessible via Firefox.
Firefox has released a new version (v. 1.5) of its web browser. One of the chief improvements is its auto update feature. Previous versions had this feature, but it did not work reliably. Auto updating is important for bug fixes and security patches.
You can download the latest version of Firefox at http://www.mozilla.com/ If you have extensions that you use with Firefox, some may be broken until the authors of the extensions update them. Many have already been updated since v. 1.5's release on November 29th.
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