Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Google Updates Biweekly Post

January 29, 2014

Google Apps

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

Who can email you via your Google+ profile? Emailing Google+ connections without knowing an email address is not enabled for Macalester’s users. If you have a personal Gmail account, you may want o adjust the default settings from anyone to no one or just members of your Circles.

Starting January 29, you will be able to give a name to Hangouts video calls in Google Calendar events.

Here are a few tips for using Google search and other apps more effectively to further your education.

With this change, the sign-in page for all Google Apps customers will be updated to be consistent across all Google Apps services.

Existing Google Forms will automatically upgrade to the new version.

Activity stream in Drive – a single, easy-to-view place to review every action taken on your files and folders.

The issue was resolved within 25 minutes, Google is correcting the bug that caused the outage.

Google Technology

News about other Google products and technology.

There's no question about it: Diabetics are excited about the prospect of a tiny little contact lens simplifying their lives.

Android and Google get low marks for accessibility, more detail on QUAIL and a tool for measuring the contrast ratio between text and background color.

Google Business

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

Google tries to draw out exploits of Chrome OS at March security conference with prize monies.

The French government's privacy watchdog has fined Google €150,000 (US$204,000) over changes the company made to its privacy policy in March 2012.

Google and VSP, the nation’s biggest optical health insurance provider, have struck a deal to offer subsidized frames and prescription lenses for Google Glass, the Internet-connected eyewear.

The Obama administration says it will allow Internet companies to give customers a better idea of how often the government demands their information, but will not allow companies to disclose what is being collected or how much.

Google Extra

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

Google Doodle: January 20, 2014.

Google Doodle: January 16, 2014.

Google and LEGO announced a new Chrome Experiment called "Build with Chrome," which basically lets you use your mouse (or touch-screen on a tablet) to build LEGO structures directly in your Web browser.

On Friday, January 31, President Obama will “travel” the country in a virtual whistlestop tour.

Google Sightseeing.
Google Snow View

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Existing Google Forms will automatically upgrade to the new version

Using the new version of Google Forms will soon be the only way to create and edit forms. All forms created in the old version of Google Forms are being upgraded to the new version.

Migration highlights:

  • Old forms will automatically be upgraded to the new Google Forms.
  • Not all forms will be migrated at the same time. Google expects to upgrade all forms within the first half of 2014.
  • Once a form has been migrated to the new version, it will not be possible to revert upgraded forms back to the old version. 
  • All new forms will be crated in the new version by default.
  • All form data will still remain in its existing spreadsheet and the upgrade will not affect form responses sent before, or after the migration. 
  • The existing form's theme will not change.

Contact the ITS Help Desk at or 651-696-6525 for assistance.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Citrix Problem 1/16/14 - Resolved

All problems with Macalester's Citrix environment have been resolved, and it's working normally. 

Original report: Macalester's Citrix environment is currently unavailable.  ITS staff are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.  If you have questions please contact the ITS Helpdesk, or 651-696-6525.

ITS January Thaw 2014 Sessions Deconstructed

Thanks to those who attended our technology sessions during the Polar Vortex! Here's your chance to revisit any of ITS' January Thaw 2014 sessions. First-time viewers can follow along the field notes and see how to write formulas, format spreadsheets and create pivot table reports with Google Spreadsheets. Try using email delegation to manager your departmental email account. Try hosting a Google Hangout instead of a traditional meeting. Find out how to make your online interactions safer.

Meetings, Chats, and Video Conferences with Google Hangouts

Host a meeting with colleagues, invite guests from afar, share your desktop to someone across campus, or just connect “face to face.” Join this session to learn more about using Google hangouts at work. 

Hangouts Field Notes

Email Delegation: New Ways to Manage Departmental Email Accounts

If your department has a departmental/shared email account, then this session is for YOU! Learn how to delegate access to your department’s shared email account to another person, so they can read, send, and delete messages, without sharing its password.

Google Spreadsheets: Getting Started, Part 1

Make an Excel-like spreadsheet using Google Apps, Part 1 of 2. Format cells, use a filter, create count and sum formulas, freeze columns and rows, apply conditional formatting.

Google Spreadsheets: Beyond the Basics, Part 2

Make an Excel-like spreadsheet using Google Apps, Part 2 of 2. Learn how to use advanced features like absolute references, multiple sheets, charts and pivot tables.

Google Spreadsheets Part 2 Field Notes
Google Spreadsheets Part 2 Data File
Google Chart Examples: Org, Geo, Tree, Annotated Time Line, etc.

Stop. Think. Connect. – Strategies for a Safe and Pleasant Online Experience

One of the areas of fastest growth across the planet is in the use of online services, especially social media. This presentation will provide a broad overview of recommendations and pointers that can help make your online experience be as safe and pleasant as possible.

Stop. Think. Connect. Presentation

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

New Email Sign-in Page Starts January 20, 2014

Effective January 20, Macalester's Google Apps sign-in page is changing. It will now look the same across all Google sign-in pages – for Macalester Google Apps and personal GMail accounts. This change will improve security and make it easier for you to switch between multiple Google accounts.

What the new Google sign-in page means for Macalester users:

  • Log into Google Apps and email with your full Macalester email address (example: and password.
  • Continue to use just your username and password to log into other systems like 1600grand, Argos, Banner, and your computer.
  • Your password remains the same.
  • Update any email bookmarks to Learn how to update your bookmarks.
This is not a scam.  Don't be surprised to no longer see the Macalester logo when you log in on Monday. You can now log into all of your Google accounts, including your personal Google account, through this one page.

If you need assistance, contact the ITS Help Desk at or 651-696-6525.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Brief Internet Outage 1/3/14

You may have noticed a short interruption to our Internet access in midafternoon.  The problem was with Macalester's primary Internet Service Provider (ISP).  Several other customers were affected, including Bethel University, Augsburg College, St. Olaf College and Gustavus Adolphus College. The ISP is investigating the root cause of the problem. 

Be assured that this problem is unrelated to the planned network maintenance day scheduled from 6:00 AM to noon tomorrow, January 4 2014.