OIT News – May 2013

OIT News
Monthly news briefs, information and announcements
Office of Information Technology, NC State University
Issue 67, May 2013


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For up-to-the-minute reports on OIT systems, see SysNews
For help with computing problems, contact the NC State Help Desk

01: OIT to remove Adobe and Microsoft Office products from VCL
02: Security access certification for Human Resources and Financial systems due May 24
03: PI Portal available for research faculty
04: Participate in ComTech’s WebEx pilot
05: Open source, accessible HTML5 video player available to campus
06: Add events to Google Calendar from Gmail
07: IT Accessibility Office announces GAAD Challenge results
08: Puppet Camp Raleigh comes to NC State May 16
09: OIT to offer Google Apps, Digital Camera, Accessibility, and Digital Photography training
10: SAR training scheduled for June 5
11: How do I report phishing scams?

01: OIT to remove Adobe and Microsoft Office products from VCL
On Friday, May 31, OIT will begin removing all Adobe and Microsoft Office licensed products from the NC State Virtual Computing Lab (VCL) environments due to changes in the vendors’ licensing models.

Adobe and Microsoft now require a remote access license in addition to the product license. This means the university will have to purchase a second license to legally use the application remotely. At this time, purchasing the remote access license for either Microsoft Office or Adobe is cost prohibitive due to budget constraints. OIT is recommending open source alternatives where feasible.

Microsoft Office open source alternatives are:

Adobe open source alternative applications are available in the VCL environment, Open Creative Suite Tools (Win7). A partial list of Adobe software and their open source alternatives include:

If you have additional questions or would like to request related open source tools, send an email to vcl_help@ncsu.edu.

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02: Security access certification for Human Resources and Financial systems due May 24
The OIT Security and Compliance unit is requesting campus deans and vice chancellors to review and certify their staff’s access to the Human Resources and Financial systems by Friday, May 24.

The University Data Management Procedures require that each dean and vice chancellor review semi-annually their staff’s security access to university computer systems and that their staff’s security profiles be certified on an annual basis.

To review staff’s security access to the Human Resources and the Financial systems, access the Web Security Reports directly or use the MyPack Portal. In the Portal, select the For Faculty and Staff tab, Security Access – SAR and then Security Reports. The Security Reports now show both active and inactive employees who are currently assigned to a specific department and have access to the system. In addition, the Web Security Exception Report (available to division-level approvers only) displays individuals who have security access to department data but are no longer in the department due to a transfer or termination.

The Human Resources and Financial Systems Security Profile Certification Form should be completed and returned to OIT Security and Compliance by Friday, May 24. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the NC State Help Desk at help@ncsu.edu or 515-HELP (4357).

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03: PI Portal available for research faculty
NC State research faculty who are associated with projects in the Research Administration Data & Reports (RADAR) system now have access to the new Principal Investigator (PI) Portal, which offers an intuitive way to view information related to their research projects.

Principal Investigators can access the PI Portal via the For Researchers tab in MyPack Portal. Research administrators access the PI Portal in MyPackPortal using this navigation: Main Menu > Financial Systems > Contracts and Grants > PI Portal – Research Admin. Research administrators who were not granted access when the portal went live can obtain access by requesting the researcher administrator role for the Financial System through the System Access Request (SAR) system.

The PI Portal was a joint effort between the Office of Contracts and Grants, OIT Enterprise Application Services, and strong customer feedback from the University Research Committee (URC) and the Research Support Council (RSC). Phase one of the new PI Portal provides users with action alerts (e.g., for delinquent technical project reports, and approaching project end dates), a financial overview of all active projects, and researcher news and announcements, all in a useful and appealing format.

Features offered by phase one of the PI Portal will be continuously reviewed and updated based on input from campus groups, and for future project phase enhancements, such as PI travel information, effort reporting, cost-share confirmation alerts, accounts receivable, and new award notifications.

For more information about the PI Portal, including a User’s Guide and other planned future phase enhancements, visit the Office of Contracts and Grants website or send an email to cnghelpdesk@ncsu.edu.

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04: Participate in ComTech’s WebEx pilot
Communication Technologies (ComTech) is inviting university employees to participate in its WebEx pilot.

A full featured video conferencing application, WebEx allows users with a desktop, iPad or iPhone to collaborate, present and share content with anyone, anywhere via the Web. The pilot will run until Tuesday, Oct. 1. To join the pilot, visit ComTech’s WebEx Pilot Request Form.

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05: Open source, accessible, HTML5 video player available to campus
The IT Accessibility Office has been working with the Video.js community to make their HTML5 video player accessible to people with disabilities.

An open source application, Video.js makes embedding video in HTML5 pages very easy, provides a consistent look and feel across browsers and supports multiple video formats. The latest release also features an accessible interface and is a viable option for use at NC State.

For additional information, visit How to Use Video.js – The Big Picture.

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06: Add events to Google Calendar from Gmail
Google Inc. is rolling out a new feature that will allow you to add events to your Google Calendar directly from Gmail. This new function will save you time and reduce the opportunity to introduce an error in the process of scheduling an appointment originating in an email.

Look for this feature to rollout in Google Apps @ NC State some time between now and the end of June. The initial version will only be available to people who have their preferred language set to English, and you will know this function is available when a date or time in your email is underlined. By clicking on it, you’ll be able to preview your schedule for the day and change the title, date or time of the event. Click Add to Calendar when you’re ready to do so, and for extra convenience, the calendar event will include a link back to the original email. To see an example of this new function, visit Add events to Google Calendar from Gmail.

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07: IT Accessibility Office announces GAAD Challenge results
In recognition of Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2013 (GAAD), NC State challenged campus website developers and designers to correct the most accessibility errors on their sites. GADD is held annually to “get people talking, thinking and learning about digital accessibility and users with disabilities.”

The challenge was held during the two weeks leading up to Global Accessibility Awareness Day on May 9. During this time period, 194,232 accessibility errors were identified and corrected. The contest featured one winning website in three categories:

The University IT Accessibility Office determined the top websites and all ratings based solely on automated accessibility tests. Websites with at least 25 percent, 50 percent and 75 percent of their accessibility errors corrected were also recognized. For additional information and results, see the NC State Global Accessibility Awareness Day Website Challenge.

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08: Puppet Camp Raleigh comes to NC State May 16
You won’t find any puppeteers at Puppet Camp Raleigh on Thursday, May 16, but there will be many system administrators collaborating on and discussing the State of Puppet, an “IT automation software used to manage infrastructure throughout its life cycle, from provisioning and configuration to patch management and compliance.”

Sponsored by Puppet Labs, Puppet Camp Raleigh will be held from from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Room 1025 of Engineering Building II on Centennial Campus. Held worldwide, Puppet Camps are community-oriented gatherings of users and developers of Puppet.

Puppet Camp Raleigh is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Attendees will have the opportunity to interact with a diverse group of Puppet users, to engage in presentations and demonstrations delivered by community members, and to share experiences and discuss potential implementations of Puppet with their peers. State of Puppet, Puppet and Apache CloudStack, and Puppet for Networking are just a few of the many sessions scheduled to be presented at NC State’s Puppet Camp.

During the summer, Puppet will become the default tool used to manage Realm Linux on campus. For information about Puppet Camp, visit the OIT Campus Linux Services website or contact Jack Neely, coordinator, at linux@help.ncsu.edu. For specific event information and to register, visit the Eventbrite Puppet Camp Raleigh website. Breakfast and lunch will be included for all Puppet Camp attendees who register in advance of the event.

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09: OIT to offer Google Apps, Digital Camera, Accessibility, and Digital Photography training
OIT is offering the following workshops:

  • Google Apps @ NC State Beyond the Basics: Google Calendar will be offered on Tuesday, May 21 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center (OIT Training Labs). If you’re comfortable with the basics of Google Calendar and are ready to use some more of its features, this hands-on workshop is for you. This workshop will focus on features such as appointment slots, event attachments, maps and directions, sharing and embedding calendars, labs, quick add, search options, mobile notifications, and more. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Choosing a Digital Camera will be offered on Tuesday, May 21 from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 101 of the Administrative Services II Building. Participants will learn how to select the right digital camera for their individual needs. Topics will include:
    • Different types of digital cameras available
    • Overview of flashes, lenses and tripods
    • Options for processing, storing and printing photos
    • Correlation between sensor size, megapixels and image quality, including the “megapixel myth”
      To register, visit Classmate.
  • Website Accessibility Tune-Ups will be offered on Thursday, May 23 from noon to 1 p.m. in ITTC Lab 2 of D.H. Hill Library. Do you have questions about your website’s accessibility, but don’t know who or what to ask? Bring your questions and website URL to this workshop and learn easy steps to make your site more accessible. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Digital Photography: Introduction will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, June 12 in Room 101 of the Administrative Services II Building. Learn the basics of how your digital camera works and how to determine when to use manual settings versus picture modes. You’ll also learn about f-stops, aperture, ISO, depth of field, zoom, and other concepts so you’ll become more comfortable with composing photos. Topics also will include editing, storing and sharing of your photos. Bring your own digital camera and memory card to the class. Camera does not need to be a DSLR / removable lens camera. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Interpreting Your Accessibility Scan Report will be offered on Wednesday, June 12 from noon to 1 p.m. in OIT Training Labs Room 110 (Avent Ferry Technology Center). This workshop will teach you how to interpret the results of your website accessibility scan. Learn which errors are more critical to deal with and which are not as essential to fix. Also, learn strategies for prioritizing your corrections and techniques for doing so. For more information and to register, visit Classmate.
  • Google Apps @ NC State Beyond the Basics: Gmail will be offered from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 13 in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. If you’re comfortable with the basics of Gmail and are ready to learn additional features, this hands-on workshop is for you. You will learn more about labels, filters, canned responses, and much more. For more information and to register, visit Classmate.

Check the Classmate training calendar for other available workshops. If you’re interested in custom software training for your department, unit or classroom, please complete the Custom Training form. If you have any questions about OIT training, please email classreg@ncsu.edu.

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10: SAR training scheduled for June 5
Security Access Request (SAR) training for campus requestors and approvers of access to secured university data will be held Wednesday, June 5 from 9:30 a.m. to noon in the ITTC Lab 2 of D.H. Hill Library. Please visit Classmate to sign up for training.

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11: How do I report phishing scams?
NC State email accounts of all types are continually targeted by phishing attacks. Phishing is a technique that attackers use to try to acquire your personal information (e.g., Unity ID and password, credit card or bank account numbers and passwords) and then commit fraud in your name.

The number of university accounts compromised by phishing has been increasing each month since November. New features in Gmail help you identify and report phishing attempts.

Gmail places each suspected phishing message, flagged with a red or yellow warning, in your Spam folder. Be sure to take these warnings seriously. A red warning indicates the highest probability that a message is phishing.

Be careful with this message

Attackers vary phishing messages to bypass filters that use static patterns, so Google’s phishing warning algorithm uses dynamic (“fuzzy”) pattern matching. This algorithm computes a probability that determines the color of the warning.</p

How to report a phishing email
If you receive a phishing email in your Inbox or Spam folder, you can report it using the More dropdown menu to the right of the Reply arrow icon (shown below).

More dropdown button

Choose Report phishing from the menu and then click the Report Phishing Message button at the bottom of the window.

Report Phishing Message

Once enough users report a message as phishing, Gmail will display the phishing warning when others view the same or similar emails.

If you receive an email that asks for your Unity ID and password, be sure to forward it, including the message headers, to phishing@ncsu.edu. To display the message headers, choose Show original from the More dropdown menu shown above. Copy the header text from the Delivered-To: line down to the From: line and paste it into the forwarded email.

Messages reported to phishing@ncsu.edu are used to adjust the NC State email servers to block the receipt of similar phishing messages in the future. For more general information about phishing at NC State, visit Phishing.

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