Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Google Apps: Forms, Sheets, and Drive get new look along with new features


Check it out. Google Drive, Forms, and Sheets have new features and new looks. Google will automatically upgrade your existing Forms and Sheets to the new versions. Once upgraded, you will no longer be able to revert to the old versions. Give the new Google Drive experience a try! Starting in early 2015, Google will automatically switch your Drive to the new look, you may opt out of the new Drive briefly before the new interface is permanent.

Old Forms upgrade started on Nov 19, 2014

Go to Recent in Drive and you may notice that Forms appear at the top of the list. Google has started migrating existing Forms to the new interface. Following soon will be the auto-upgrading of legacy themes to allow for customization and a better mobile experience moving forward. After the theme upgrade, some text and colors from older Forms may not show up properly, so plan accordingly and take a look at any existing Forms.

Migration of Forms info (help page) 

Old Sheets migration starts Jan 12, 2015

Auto-migration of older spreadsheets (those created prior to Dec 2013, including any subsequent copies) to the new version of Google Sheets starts soon. New sheets have a green circle with a checkmark located at the bottom. 

New Google Drive becomes default starting Jan 13, 2015

Since the launch of the new Google Drive in June, the new experience has been opt-in, allowing people to try out and become accustomed to it. Starting in 2015, the new Drive will be the default experience, while retaining the option to return to the old Drive (via the Settings drop down). In the future, Google will remove the option to return to the old Drive.


ITS Help Desk 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Phishing Scams: Don't Be A Sucker

This is a sucker.  Don't be one.
P. T. Barnum may not have said "There's a sucker born every minute," but he made bank proving it was true.  'Phishing' scams try to fool you into revealing your passwords, granting access to your computer or giving away personal information such as your credit card number.  Such scams may look like legitimate email messages from your bank, from governmental agencies and even from ITS - but by the time you start to wonder, it's too late.  Here are some ways to spot phishing scams:
*Who sent it?  Look at the sender's address.  Banks don't send official correspondence from personal gmail accounts.  Governments don't send notices from K12 accounts.  If the name looks odd or generic ('System,' 'Web Team,' etc.), be suspicious.  Any message from within Macalester will be signed with a name you can find in the Directory ( 

*Who was it sent to?  Sure, you got it in your Inbox, but what's in the To: field? Is it empty, or does it contain many addresses besides yours? Any message sent by a reputable source should have only your name, or go to a large official distribution list you recognize.

*What does the sender want?  No legitimate organization or firm will ask you to divulge personal information (birth dates, account numbers or passwords) in an email message.  This is a dead giveaway.  The same is true if you see links to follow to "verify your account" or "confirm your membership."  Never divulge such information, and don't follow such links!

*How was it written?  Extensive misspellings, incorrect punctuation, bad grammar and confusing technobabble are all hallmarks of scams.  So is the (empty) threat that you'll "lose privileges" or have your account closed if you don't comply.  Macalester ITS staff take pains to write clearly when we communicate with you.

Don't be a sucker. If you ever get an email that looks suspicious, let ITS know about it and we'll help you determine whether it's legitimate.  For assistance, contact the ITS Help Desk at or 651-696-6525.  You can learn more about this kind of scam on our Web pages, starting at

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Google Updates Biweekly Post

Publication Date: November 12, 2014

Google Updates Biweekly Post

Google Apps

Updates to core Google Apps and the major services like Google+. Also major updates that may affect the Macalester community.

The new UI will become the default experience starting January 13, 2015, while retaining the option to return to the old Drive UI via the Settings drop down. In the future, Google will remove the option to return to the old Drive UI.

The auto-migration of older spreadsheets (those created prior to December 2013, including any subsequent copies) to the new version of Google Sheets will start December 12, 2014. No action is required as a result of the migration.

Google is launching a new extension for Chrome that lets you open files from Google Drive directly into a compatible application installed on your computer.

You’ll continue to see more Google products adopting these new design principles across platforms in the coming months.

A new version of the Google Drive iOS app, optimized for iOS 8, is now available in the App Store. The app includes some new security and convenience features.

With the new update to the Google Translate Chrome extension, you can translate just that piece of text, without worrying about the rest of the page.

The Gmail app for Android is getting updated with a more modern style, sleeker transitions, and a few other handy improvements.

It’s designed to be a helpful assistant, so you can spend less time managing your day, and more time enjoying it. (And yes, Google is also working on a version for iPhone!)


dashOne demonstrates how to automatically generate HTML infographic-style reports from spreadsheet data.

Google Business

Google Business news, including policies, user privacy, politics and legal issues.

This week, Google is releasing a study of another kind of threat they’ve dubbed “manual hijacking,” in which professional attackers spend considerable time exploiting a single victim’s account, often causing financial losses.

As the old saying goes, “News is something somebody wants to suppress. All the rest is advertising.”

The US Government can signal a new attitude when representatives of the European Commission visit Washington DC on November 13, 2014.

Read the refreshed How Google Fights Piracy report.

Companies like Facebook and Google have stayed away from mobilizing their users to support an issue that primarily affects smaller Internet upstarts.

Google Extra

Other Google side projects, including art, science and fun stuff.

Google Doodle: November 9, 2014

Google Doodle: November 11, 2014

On November 18, 2014: One prompt, one Doc, one hour. Three talented writers. And the tale unfolds from there...

As enticing as the prospect of free heat and hot water for your home is, there are a few caveats.

“Who won Pennsylvania?” “Who’s that guy?” “He’s getting married?” These are just a few of the questions that wracked people’s brains on search this week.