Thursday, October 31, 2013

New Google App Launcher: what happened to my tool bar?


Google +, Mail, Drive, Calendar and More are now available using the Google App Launcher.

To open the Google App Launcher, locate and click on the grid in the upper right corner of your email. The main Google Apps available at Macalester will appear. If you don't see the App you are looking for, click "More" at the bottom of the window.

The new look provides a consistent interface for Google Apps whether you're working on a desktop computer, smartphone, or tablet. The new look also includes notifications and a Google+ share box.

Get more details from Google on the Google blog.

Contact the ITS Help Desk at helpdesk@macalester.edu or 651-696-6525 with any questions or concerns.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Macalester's Google Awareness Month: November 2013!




Join ITS all month long for workshops and find out how the innovative collaboration features of Google Apps for Education can help you get the job done!


ITS Recommends Waiting On Apple's Mavericks

Apple has just released a new version of OS X, named Mavericks.  Mavericks is available as a free download from Apple's App Store. Several people have asked ITS staff about installing Mavericks.  We recommend that you hold off for a bit while we test Mavericks and ferret out both its cool new features and its frustrating new bugs. If you have concerns about Mavericks or would like to be sent more information when it is available, please contact the ITS Help Desk at helpdesk@macalester.edu or 651-696-6525.


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.


To try it out, enable input tools in Gmail or Docs and select the handwriting input (represented by a pencil icon) of the language you want to use.


People who do not want their profile information and comments used in ads must uncheck the box next to that phrase. The box is, by default, checked for Google Plus users.


Google Technology

News about other Google products and technology.


To continue helping journalists report the news in new and compelling ways, Google launched Google Media Tools.


Did you ever try to search for an app based on what it does rather than what it's called?


Google Business

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


Google has done something few companies ever do in the stock market: it has joined the $1,000 club.


The Army’s rollout of Google Apps is part of a transformational program to improve collaboration, information sharing and mobile access for an initial group of 50,000 Army and Department of Defense (DoD) personnel.


Google Extra

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


Talks at Google


Andre-Jacque Garnerin’s jump on October 22, 1797


Google Sightseeing

Follow on Google+






Monday, October 21, 2013

Phishing Scam: 'Macalester College Account Alert'


Many Macalester people have gotten a fake message purporting to be from account@macalester.edu, giving the usual vague warnings about unauthorised access and asking you to follow an official-looking link to 'verify any possible findings to avoid account suspended from system.'  If the awkward phrasing isn't a giveaway for you, the signature should be—Macalester College Support, © 2013 Macalester College. All rights reserved.

This is an attempt to fool you into sharing your account information.  Macalester's real firewall blocks the fake URL. Report the email as phishing is something you can do to help train Google's filters to catch future variations of this scam. Checkout Google's About Phishing to learn more.

What should you do when you see a phishing scam?

  1. Open the email message.
  2. Go to the More menu, (located to the right of Reply).
  3. Select Report phishing
  4. Click Report Phishing Message.


As a reminder, any official ITS communication will come from a named human whom you can look up in the online Directory.  And we'll NEVER ask you to click on a link to verify anything.

If you have questions or would like assistance, please contact the ITS Help Desk at helpdesk@macalester.edu or 651-696-6525.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Network Maintenance Day Coming 10/26/13

ITS staff will conduct a regular system maintenance period on Saturday October 26, 2013, from 6:00 AM until 12:00 noon.  We will be performing upgrades, testing connections, patching and doing other tasks to keep our critical campus information systems running efficiently.

Please expect that most networked services—including Banner, 1600grand, DegreeWorks and PaperCut-based printing—will be down, completely or intermittently, during the maintenance period.  Google Email and Internet access should NOT be affected.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Ramón Rentas rentas@macalester.edu or 651-696-6633.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

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.

Coming soon to Macalester’s domain: Each editor’s product icon displayed in the header, which doubles as a quick link back to all your files in Drive.

Get the most out of Google Drive with these 25 tips, tools, and tweaks for power users.

Files shared outside your domain to an email address not linked to an existing Google Account can be viewed without having to sign in or create a new Google Account.

With Quickoffice, you can edit Microsoft® Office documents across your devices, giving you the freedom to work with anyone no matter what hardware or software they’re using.

... there are a few nuances here and there between them which are worth analysis.

Google Technology

News about other Google products and technology.

Google Search is becoming less like a search engine and more like a personal assistant and database.

Google has filed a patent application for a system that would help friends or colleagues split the bill at the end of a meal.

HP introduced the HP Chromebook 11.

Google Business

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

In September 2013, Google offered for the first time to sign a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement (BAA) available for Google Apps.

The Higher Education Information Security Council is calling on colleges and universities to mark the 10th annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month, which kicked off on Tuesday, by promoting best practices in information security.

New Chromebooks highlight a tight partnership between Google and Intel, and a shift away from only Wintel

Google is joining more than 30 members to launch the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), a new coalition that cuts across boundaries of geography, sector, or size. Our goal? To help bring down Internet costs through policy change.

The accusations, made over several years in various lawsuits that have been merged into two separate cases, ask whether Google went too far in collecting user data in Gmail and Street View, its mapping project.

The European Union’s antitrust chief, Joaquín Almunia, announced that in his inquiry into Google’s search practices, he had tentatively reached a deal he could live with — one requiring Google to give higher visibility to competitors’ listings on Web search queries.

This annual program brings student developers from all over the world together with open source software organizations to mentor them through a summer project.

Google Extra

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

September 27, 2013: Google’s 15th Birthday

Google is now working with the ASI to bring the Street View Trekker to 100 Indian heritage and cultural wonders.

Chrome Experiments

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Brief Internet Outage 10/7/13


There will be a brief Internet outage on Monday, October 7 2013, between 6:00 and 7:00 PM. Service will be interrupted for less than 15 minutes.  ITS staff will be performing work to improve the resiliency of our Internet connection. Whether a particular service is accessed from on or off-campus will determine its availability during the outage.

On-campus connections:

NOT available: Email, Google Drive, Slate, Adirondack and any other Web service hosted off-site, including the Internet.

Available: 1600grand, Argos, Banner, Citrix, DegreeWorks, www.macalester.edu, Moodle, wireless and Ethernet, other Web services hosted on campus.

Off-campus connections:

NOT available: 1600grand, Argos, Banner, Citrix, DegreeWorks, www.macalester.edu, Moodle, other Web services hosted on campus.

Available: Email, Google Drive, Slate, Adirondack and any other Web service hosted off-site, including the Internet.

If you have any questions about this brief outage, please contact Ramón Rentas via email at rentas@macalester.edu or by phone at 696-6633.

SPAM and Phishing Have Graduated

Protect yourself from cybercrime.
  1. First and foremost: never open an unexpected attachment to an email.  Check with the source by contacting them directly if you have any misgivings.
  2. Avoid surfing suspicious websites.
  3. Report any changes or odd behavior in your computer to the Help Desk right away. Contact them if you have any questions (helpdesk@macalester.edu; 651-696-6525).
  4. Make sure your critical information is always backed up.
Cybercriminals have become much more savvy in their attempts to trick you into opening an attachment. The email they send can look identical to a financial institution, e-commerce site, government agency, etc. It often urges you to act quickly because your account has been compromised, your order cannot be fulfilled or another matter. It may even ask you for payment to fix the situation.  Don’t fall for it!
For more information go to: staysafeonline.org