OIT News – July 2015

OIT News
Monthly news briefs, information and announcements
Office of Information Technology, NC State University
Issue 93, July 2015


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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: Data center maintenance to impact campus IT services on Aug. 9
02: IT colleagues are invited to NC State’s “All IT Community Event” on July 30
03: 2014-2015 ResNet User Survey results are available
04: Apply for video captioning grants by July 24
05: Mypack Portal login page has new look!
06: Join OIT on Google+
07: Undo Send and customize your App Launcher in Google Apps!
08: Sign up for sizzling Google Apps summer workshops!
09: SAR training scheduled for Sept. 15
10: Protect your identity and valuables during summer travels

01: Data center maintenance to impact campus IT services on Aug. 9
On Sunday, Aug. 9, OIT will apply security patches to the network switches in the university’s primary data centers during its regular maintenance window from 1 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Users of most campus computing services should expect brief service interruptions including, but not limited to the:

  • MyPack Portal
  • Human Resources, Financial and Student systems
  • DELTA Wolfware (Moodle, Mediasite, Collaborate, and WolfWare Classic)
  • Virtual Computing Lab (VCL)
  • WolfPrint services
  • ServiceNow
  • Hosted systems
  • Networked Attached Storage (NAS) shares and exports
  • Backup services

Campus users should also be aware of proposed extended maintenance windows that will occur within this fiscal year and that can possibly impact IT services:

  • Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, through Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015
  • Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, through Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015
  • Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, through Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016
  • Saturday, April 9, 2016, through Sunday, April 10, 2016

An extended maintenance window is an extension of the regular maintenance window that is reserved every Sunday from 1 a.m. to 1 p.m. During this time, OIT staff perform major system maintenance, including physical maintenance and installation of necessary security updates and upgrades.

For updates on these IT maintenance windows, see SysNews.

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02: IT colleagues are invited to NC State’s “All IT Community Event” on July 30
If you have a role in providing IT services on campus, Dr. Marc Hoit, vice chancellor for information technology and chief information officer, invites you to NC State’s “IT Community Event” on Thursday, July 30 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Jane S. McKimmon Center.

With the near completion of phase II of the University IT Strategic Plan, the “IT Community Event”  exemplifies the strategic goal to foster a collaborative IT culture by bringing IT professionals together to discuss the latest campus IT initiatives and to network with each other during an informal gathering.

Topics that will be discussed during the meeting include:

  • State of IT @ NC State by Dr. Hoit
  • A recap of phase I of the IT Strategic Plan
  • The first round of initiatives of phase II of the IT Strategic Plan

For more details, see the full agenda. If you are an IT professional who did not receive an invitation, please reply to vcforitandcio@ncsu.edu to request an invitation to attend the event. Additional information sessions for the IT Strategic Plan initiatives will be held in September for all campus stakeholders.

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03: 2014-2015 ResNet User Survey results are available
OIT just released the results of its 2014-15 ResNet User Survey. Approximately 1,493 students who have Internet service, or ResNet, in their residence halls participated.

According to the survey, 68 percent of respondents are satisfied with the quality of their ResNet connection, 62 percent agreed that having high-speed Internet access in their room influenced their decision to live on campus, and 59 percent use the Internet in their room at least five hours daily.

The survey enables OIT to gauge students’ use of ResNet and other information and communication technologies to improve or provide student services.

Students in 23 residence halls and Greek Village responded to an array of survey questions concerning their use of computing devices and operating systems, social media usage, quality of wired and wireless network connectivity, NC State Help Desk and Walk-In Center services, classroom technologies, cell phone providers, and WolfTV, student cable television.

See ResNet/ComTech Surveys to view the 2014-15 ResNet User Survey results.

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04: Apply for video captioning grants by July 24
The NC State’s Captioning Grant program has provided faculty with more than $54,000 to create captions for videos, including Mediasite.

The grant provides funding for captioned video when:

  • a student with a disability requiring this accommodation registers in a course using video; or
  • an instructor wants to proactively create captions for a video.

To apply for the grant, faculty should complete the Captioning Grant Application Form. For the current award period, grant applications are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, July 24. The grant application is for courses that will be taught in any future semester. Grants will be awarded in time for captioning work to be completed for the fall 2015 semester.

Please email it-access@ncsu.edu if you have any questions.

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05: Mypack Portal login page has new look!
If you haven’t noticed, the Mypack Portal’s login page has changed.

Its fresh new look sports a mobile friendly interface with NC State’s website branding. The login page also has been organized into two main page components: Campus Affiliation access and Get Help. Gone are links to schedule of courses, curricula information, graduation information, and academic calendars that had little user traffic.

You still can log in to the portal as usual to perform administrative and academic tasks like submitting leave, scheduling classes and viewing your pay advices.

See the new Mypack Portal login page!

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06: Join OIT on Google+
OIT would like to share IT news with you via OIT News Online, our new Google+ page.

In it, you’ll find training, system maintenance and upgrades, and information pertaining to OIT staff and events. Add us to your circle of friends, and we’ll add you back. If you like the posts you read, let us know by clicking the “+1” button.

Join us at OIT News Online to enhance your knowledge of IT services on campus.

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07: Undo Send and customize your App Launcher in Google Apps!
Google recently announced that Undo Send is no longer an experimental Lab, but a permanent feature in Gmail.

So if you forget to include an attachment or important information in your sent email, you can simply click undo send to retract it within 5, 10, 20, or 30 seconds after you hit the send button.

To enable the Undo Send option in your email account:

  1. Click on the Gear icon in the upper right corner of your Inbox and select Settings.
  2. Scroll down to Undo Send and check the Enable Undo Send box.
  3. Select your send cancellation period preference from the drop down menu.

Undo send option

Google has also updated its Google App Launcher to allow users to organize icons that they frequently use. To customize your launcher:

  1. Sign into your Google Account.
  2. Click on the Google Grid icon at the top right of your screen.
  3. Click on the desired app icon.
  4. Drag and drop it to different rows or screens according to your preference.

Google icon tiles

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08: Sign up for sizzling Google Apps summer workshops!
Upcoming courses include:

  • Google Sheets will be offered on Thursday, July 16 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. During this two-hour workshop, you will be given an overview of Sheets and learn how it differs from Microsoft Excel. You will also learn about features, including formatting options, find and replace, and notifications. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Google Calendar will be offered on Tuesday, July 21 from 9 a.m. to noon in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. If you’re comfortable with the basics of Google Calendar and are ready to use more of its features, this hands-on workshop is for you. This workshop will focus on appointment slots, event attachments, maps and directions, sharing and embedding calendars, labs, quick add, search options, mobile notifications, scheduling online meetings, and more. For prerequisite information and to register, visit Classmate.
  • Basics of WordPress will be offered on Wednesday, July 22 from 10 a.m. to noon in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. Learn everything you need to know to get started using WordPress here at NC State. This workshop will cover topics including setup, configuration, themes, plug-ins, settings, options, and management of WordPress. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Using Google Maps in Education (Lunch & Learn Series) will be offered on Thursday, July 23 from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 216 of Scott Hall. Join Arlene Mendoza-Moran and David Shew of the Department of Plant Pathology to learn how they’ve implemented Google Maps into their curriculum. See how students can identify diseased plants on campus and use an interactive Google map to find locations, descriptions, and even multimedia for a range of plant diseases on campus. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Gmail: Advanced Tools, Tips & Tricks will be offered on Wednesday, July 29 from 9 a.m. to noon in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. If you’re comfortable with the basics of Gmail and are ready to take it to the next level, this advanced hands-on workshop is for you. You will learn more about creating labels, filters and canned responses, scheduling Google Calendar Events, and using Google Drive through Gmail, along with any planned or newly released Google features. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Google Forms will be offered on Tuesday, Aug. 4 from 10 a.m. to noon in ITTC Lab 2 of D.H. Hill Library. Are you looking for a way to easily create surveys, plan events or gather data? Are you interested in learning more about specific apps available in Google Drive? If so, don’t miss this interactive session on the basics of creating forms and viewing responses. You will also learn several advanced features, such as embedding forms in websites, adding page breaks and incorporating question validation. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Gmail: Beyond the Basics will be offered on Wednesday, Aug. 5 from 9 a.m. to noon in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. This workshop will provide an in-depth overview of Gmail features, including Labels, Search tools, Contacts Management, Chat, Tasks, Settings, Labs, and new features. If time permits, there will be a brief introduction to Google Hangouts. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Introduction to Google Sites will be offered on Tuesday, Aug. 11 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. In this class, students will learn how to create a website using Google Sites, control access and embed Docs, videos, images, and links. The workshop will also cover some customization and basic Web design principles. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Introduction to Google+ will be offered on Thursday, Aug. 13 from 10 a.m. to noon in ITTC Lab 2 of D.H. Hill Library. This class will provide an overview of Google+ along with hands on instruction for creating your own Google+ page. By the end of this workshop, you will learn how to update your profile, configure privacy settings, create and manage circles, post messages, links and photos, and much more! To register, visit Classmate.

For other available training sessions, visit Classmate Scheduled Workshops. If you are interested in custom software training, complete the Custom Training Form. Email all training questions to classreg@ncsu.edu.

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09: SAR training scheduled for Sept. 15
Security Access Request (SAR) training for campus requestors and approvers of access to secured university data will be held Tuesday, Sept. 15 from 9:30 a.m. to noon in Room 108 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. Visit Classmate to register for training.

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10: Protect your identity and valuables during summer travels
You don’t have to step outside of your home to have your personal information stolen from you. But, if you do travel this summer for business or pleasure, make it difficult for identity thieves to take your identity.

The Identity Theft Resource Center recommends the following tips before and during your travels:

  • Be especially careful with whom you share any personally identifiable information (e.g., Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, financial account numbers, medical records). Don’t divulge such information especially over the telephone or online, unless you are sure you’re dealing directly with the correct company or a fully authorized representative.
  • Carry only what you need
    • Leave checkbooks and checks at home in a locked safe. Use cash, traveler’s checks or credit cards to make purchases instead.
    • If you’re on vacation, carry your important documents in a fanny pack or wear a travel pouch inside your shirt. If you’re travelling for business, be aware that pickpockets also look for laptops, smartphones and tablets that are temporarily out of your control in airports, lobbies or dining areas.
    • Leave your cards with Social Security numbers on them at home. If necessary, make a photocopy, remove the last four digits of the SSN from the photocopy and carry that with you.
    • Carry photocopies of all travel documents including plane tickets, hotel reservations and passports. Keep copies in a separate location from the originals.
  • Use ATM/debit cards and credit cards
    • Only use your debit card at securely located Automated Teller Machines (ATM’s). Identity thieves have placed fake ATM machines in high-traffic tourist areas. Because a signature or PIN may not be required at the time of purchase, it is more difficult to resolve fraudulent purchases made with debit cards.
    • Use your credit cards when traveling. Federal law limits the amount of money you are responsible for if your card is lost or stolen, and most companies now extend a zero liability policy to customers.
  • Monitor your activities in public places
    • Be careful when discussing private information on your cell phone in a public venue. A thief may be listening for any of your personally identifiable information.
    • Be aware of pickpockets especially in high-traffic areas that attract travelers. Some studies indicate that if your wallet is stolen in a tourist spot, your identity will be stolen as a result.
    • Store valuables including laptops, PDAs, jewelry, passports, and other documents that contain personally identifying information in hotel safes.
    • Store your purse or bag beside you or hung around your body while you are in a public restroom to prevent theft. Do not hang them from a hook on the door of a public restroom stall; someone can reach over the top of the door and take them before you have time to react.
  • Secure your deliveries
    • Put your mail on “postal” instead of “vacation” hold so you won’t draw attention to the fact that you are away from home.
    • Suspend your newspaper and other automatic deliveries until your return.
  • Protect your home
    • If someone (e.g., neighbors, relatives, house-sitters) has a key to your house to check in while you are away, lock up your documents with bank account or Social Security numbers.
    • Activate your alarm system to deter burglaries.
    • Leave a light on a timer to look like someone is home during late night or early morning hours.

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