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In This Issue

+ Secure email

+ Why More Spam?

+ Windows Vista Released

+ What's Pedagogy Got to Do with IT?

+ Voicemail tips - Date and Time of a Message

+ FacultETools: Wimba Voice tools

+ ITSS Spotlight on: Jan Miller

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ITSS home : infotech.NEWS : December 2006

infotech.NEWS

Technology news for UMD faculty, staff and students

December 2006

ITSS by the Numbers

During Spring 2006:

  • 441,819 ITSS web pages were viewed, for an average of 3,478 per day.
  • UMD faculty had 121 course-related web sites in WebCT.

ITSS Online Quiz

Take an online quiz to see how much you remember from last month's newsletter.

Secure Email Changeover Required by End of December

Beginning January, 2007, only email clients configured to use secure settings will be able to connect to the UMD email servers to send and receive mail.

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. 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. We'll begin sending targeted reminder emails later this semester to those who we notice are still using non-secure settings.

Our secure email instruction pages provide step-by-step instructions for those who are first configuring an email program or who are already using a program and just need to add the secure settings. See: http://www.d.umn.edu/itss/email/secure/

For Mulberry users: The only version of Mulberry that will work after this December is the Mulberry 3.1.6 Secure version we've had available for the past few years. Older versions do not support secure protocols. Mulberry 3.1.6 does not run on Mac OS9 so those who have not updated to OSX will no longer be able to use Mulberry.

For other email clients: Any email program that supports secure settings should work with our UMD email system. We have secure configuration pages for using IMAP with the most recent versions of the following programs:

Why More Spam?

Spam filtering is like fighting flu viruses. Once we develop techniques to work on a certain strain of spam, a new types emerges. The latest spam technique uses two methods to defeat current spam filters. First, it uses an image to defeat the ability of the spam filters to examine text to look for patterns. Second, it uses semi-random text to fool the spam filters in a different way. It doesn't include any text web links that a spam filter can spot. Instead, you need to enter the url into your browser manually to get to the web site it advertises. Spam prevention will likely adapt to these techniques, but then something new will occur. Your best defense is to keep your operating system and anti-virus software up-to-date.

In the meantime, thanks for helping us with that delete key .

Windows Vista Released - But You May Want to Wait a While Longer to Upgrade

The long-awaited next version of Microsoft 's operating system, Windows Vista, has been released. However, not all software is completely compatible with Vista yet, including two important services used at UMD: Novell and Symantec Anti-virus. The current versions of these products will not run on Windows Vista, and compatible versions are not expected until Spring 2007. PeopleSoft is also not fully tested with Vista.

Additionally, the University's QuickStart template for securing computers will not run on Windows Vista, requiring all security settings to be made manually:

http://www.umn.edu/oit/security/windowsvista.html

http://www.umn.edu/oit/security/windowsVistaDesktop.html

With Windows Vista Microsoft includes a new version of Office - Office 2007. The changes from Office 2003 to the new Office 2007 are quite extensive. In addition to a new look and feel, the file format for Word, Excel, and Power Point files is also completely new. Files saved from Office 2007 are not openable from older versions of Office unless you download and install the converter pack (currently available for Windows, but not yet for the Mac). If you share Office files with other users and do upgrade to Vista and Office 2007 you may want to change your settings so your files are saved in a format compatible with older versions of Office.

We don't recommend you upgrade to Vista just yet - we'll have more information and recommendations in the coming months. If you're ordering a new PC that will come with Windows Vista you may want to delay your order for a few months or order it with Windows XP and upgrade to Vista at a later data (thru the University's Campus Agreement). If you're already buying a new PC with Vista you should contact the ITSS Help Desk (x8841, helpdesk@d.umn.ed) and they can put you in touch with staff who can help you with the transition to Vista.

What's Pedagogy Got to Do with IT?

Shelly McCauley Jugovich and Bruce Reeves recently co-authored an article, "IT and Educational Technology: What's Pedagogy Got to Do with It? How IT staff can have an increasing role in teaching faculty about the pedagogy of technology," published in EDUCAUSE Quarterly, Volume 29, Number 4. See: http://www.educause.edu/apps/eq/eqm06/eqm0649.asp

Voicemail tip of the month: Date and Time of a Message

We get a number of calls each month from people wondering how to get the date and time a message was left. Our new Call Pilot system includes the date and time information into what it calls the "Play Envelope." To get to the Play Envelope, press 72 anytime during a message. You'll hear the name or number of the calling party (name if on campus, phone number for off campus), the date, time, and the name of the person it was left for. At any time when accessing the play envelope, you can return to the message by pressing 2. Give it a try the next time you're checking messages.

FacultETools: Wimba Voice Tools

New!! Winba Voice Tools have been added to the WebCT Vista environment. You can now add threaded voice discussion to your courses, use Live Voice chat or Voice email with your students. Take a look at this Demo: http://www.horizonwimba.com/products/voicetools/

Wimba offers:
Voice Board - Asynchronous audio discussions (with added text box facility)
Voice Email - Audio email (with added text box facility)
Voice Direct - Live audio chat with turn taking and archiving
Voice Recorder - Audio announcements/audio recordings

Interested in learning more about Wimba or WebCT Vista? Please contact Shelly McCauley Jugovich (smccaule@d.umn.edu 726-6862) or Bruce Reeves (breeves@d.umn.edu 726-6831) for assistance.

UMD WebCT Support Site: http://www.d.umn.edu/itss/etrg/webct/

ITSS Spotlight on: Jan Miller

Each month ITSS would like to highlight a different member of the staff to let you get to know some of the great people who are working "behind the scenes" to make technology work for our campus. This month the spotlight is on Jan Miller, Systems Administrator.

What Jan Does for ITSS:
Jan provides support for our Novell office and lab servers which provide software and printing services to the campus. As an important part of his support for the lab server, Jan configures the software on the lab computers to make applications software reliable and easy to access. He also provides consulting and software installation support to customers of Novell and other network applications services.

Jan's Background:

Jan's Interests/Hobbies:
Music
Motorcycling
Outdoor activities
Spending time with his wife, Eve

Some Interesting Facts About Jan:
Jan has played in local bands from time to time
He travels 12,000+ miles on his motorcycle every summer.
He has 2 sons, 28 and 29, two grandkids 5 and 9...

An Example of Jan's Work for ITSS:
Public computers are very difficult to manage because they are used by a large number of people who, whether maliciously or by accident, can do a lot to render the computer useless. Jan has developed a layer of safeguards to make sure that the computers in our lab are up to date with the latest windows updates and antivirus software and that users can do no harm but can get their projects done. Jan has also developed a way to update and add software in the labs without having to physically visit the machines. When an instructor asks for new software, Jan spends a great deal of time testing to make sure the change won't adversely affect the rest of the programs, but once he is satisfied with that, he can often push a change out quickly.

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: jness@d.umn.edu.