Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Google Apps: Go Beyond the Basics Mondays in November 2014!

Join ITS in November for hands-on Google Apps workshops. Each Monday covers a different collaboration tool.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New Apple OS, 'Yosemite'

Apple has just released a new version of OS X, 10.10, named Yosemite. Yosemite is available as a free download from Apple's App Store. If you decide to upgrade your Apple computer(s) to Yosemite, we strongly recommend that you back up all of your data first.  Be aware that the installation time can take much longer than reported - up to 2 hours. If you have questions or concerns about Yosemite, please contact the ITS Help Desk at or 651-696-6525.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Google Updates Biweekly Post

Publication Date: October 15, 2014

Google Apps

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

Starting November 3, 2014, Google will begin auto-upgrading all legacy forms created in the old version of Google Forms (those created prior to February 2013) to the new version.

A new feature that allows people using Google+ to create interactive polls and share them with their friends and followers.

This is a new and improved version of spell check compared to what existed in the old Sheets.

People working with images in Google Slides on the web will now have the ability to adjust their color, transparency, brightness, and contrast.

Adjust the opacity, brightness, and contrast of an image, or recolor it to match the theme of your presentation.

Google Technology

News about other Google products and technology.

Google wants all Android phones to include more of its services.

Google is launching five improvements to Classroom.

The app is available for Windows and Chrome OS platforms and brings the best of Hangouts to your desktop.

Google Apps provides a ton of options for improving the meeting experience from the planning / scheduling faze to the follow-up.

Spell Check with Google Sheets behaves just the same as it does with Docs or Slides.

Google Business

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

A one-stop shop where government officials can learn how to get the most out of YouTube as a communication tool.

NYTimes: Germany seems to have taken on yet another stereotype — as a nation of Luddites.

New Campuses in Warsaw, Poland, São Paulo, Brazil, and Seoul, South Korea.

Google Extra

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

Trekker camera + camel = awesome!

Health care has become one of the company’s biggest side projects.

Google’s data also show mobile voice searches more than doubled in the past year.

Here’s a look at a week of search trends so weird, it’s almost a Twin Peaks experience.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Protect Your Computer

Losing a laptop, tablet or smartphone at any time is always a painful experience.  Here’s how you can protect yourself:

1.    Never leave yours visible and unattended even "just for a minute" unless you have it secured with a cable lock (available for checkout at the Library and Campus Center).

2.    Back up everything important (e.g., to an external hard drive, CD/DVD, Google Drive).

3.    Most important: Register your device in the Google Doc My Inventory at Macalester. Your chances of recovery are much better if you can readily provide law enforcement with identifying information (e.g., make, model, serial number).

4.    Consider installing laptop tracking software such as Prey, available FREE at

For more information go to

Protecting the Internet and the Selling of Your Personal Information

Over the past year, a huge amount of attention has been paid to government snooping, and to the bulk collection and storage of vast amounts of raw data in the name of national security. What many of us don't know is that a much greater and more immediate threat to our privacy is coming from thousands of companies we've probably never heard of, in the
name of commerce.

They're called data brokers, and they are collecting, analyzing and packaging some of our most sensitive personal information and selling it — to each other, to advertisers, even to the government, often without our direct knowledge.

Today we are giving up more and more private information online without knowing that it's being harvested, personalized and sold — our likes and dislikes, our closest friends, our bad habits, even our daily movements, both on- and offline.

Be smart on the Internet.  Learn more from this 60 Minutes segment: “The Data Brokers - Selling Your Personal Information.”

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fishing versus "Phishing"

The fishing season may be drawing to a close, but the “phishing” season is year-round.  This is a reminder that phishing scams continue and caution is important.  Most recently some in the Mac community have received a message alerting users that you are “running on low mail Quota” and should “Click Here” to correct it.  Given the poor grammar, the fact that Google’s storage allotment is beyond everyone’s needs, and the presence of an odd URL , this was obviously a scam.

Remember - NEVER provide personal or sensitive information in response to any unsolicited email. Don’t open unsolicited email attachments and don’t click on suspicious links.  If you’re not sure, either delete it or contact the ITS Help Desk (, 651-696-6525).

For more information, go to

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Network Maintenance Day Coming Saturday 10/25/14

ITS staff will conduct a regular system maintenance period on Saturday October 25 2014, 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.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact the ITS Help Desk at or 651-696-6525.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. NCSAM is a non-profit, public-private (with EDUCAUSE) partnership focused on cyber security awareness.  Because the cyberspace used by our community often transports sensitive information such as financial records, grades, proprietary research, or personally identifiable information--and because of the increase in sophisticated threats--it is essential that everyone develop an awareness of how to protect this sensitive information and be safer and more secure online.

NCSAM’s continuing theme, “Our Shared Responsibility,” reflects the notion that no one person, department, or college is responsible for the security of the Internet. Everyone must do their part. 

Tips on how to do this are available at the Safe Computing Website and throughout the month under the NCASM banner in the Daily Piper.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Google Updates Biweekly Post

Publication Date: October 1, 2014

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

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! Coming soon: Unlimited storage at no extra cost, and more!

Your Forms, your way: Arrived in Macalester’s domain: Custom forms!
Search menus, manage questions, and share short URLs.

Google has simplified the UI for the mobile Web version of Google Drive, making it easier for people to access their files more quickly.

Making visible or hiding calendars from the ‘Other calendars’ section in Google Calendar will be easier.

Google will now support internationalized email addresses in Google Calendar.

But as Chrome has become more secure, it’s gotten even harder to find and exploit security bugs.

Chrome will start the process of sunsetting SHA-1 (as used in certificate signatures for HTTPS) with Chrome 39 in November.

While creating a folder structure can serve as a great foundation to Drive, we’ve found that many people fail to maintain these folders, making search a much more efficient option.

5 more updates to bring even more customizability to Google’s survey tool.

Google Technology

News about other Google products and technology.

Google has launched a Chrome Legacy Browser Support Test Channel so that developers can test the next versions of the LBS Chrome Extension and MSI before they are promoted to stable.

Today, in partnership with Adobe, Google is welcoming Creative Cloud onto Chromebooks, initially with a streaming version of Photoshop.

Google Business

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

A group of photographers, visual artists and affiliated associations have reached a settlement with Google in a lawsuit over copyrighted material in Google Books.

Can Google’s winning ways be applied to all kinds of businesses? The authors of “How Google Works” firmly believe that they can.

The Google Safety Center gives an overview of the tools that people can use to report content that violates our user policies on different products.

Google Extra

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

September 27, 2014: Google Doodle

Google search trends September 19-25, 2014

How unconscious biases influence our actions every day, even when—by definition—we don’t notice them.

From thousands of submissions from 90+ countries, our panel of esteemed judges selected 18 finalists representing nine countries.