CAT Prints - the online newsletter of the Department of Computers and Telecommunication Services

VOLUME 6, ISSUE 9

March, 2006

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More Changes in Computing and Telecommunications Services

Congratulations to Miro Trunec in his new position as Senior Systems Administrator.  He will continue to work with Rick Serafin in the Server Support Team.  Joining Rick and Miro will be Brady McClenon in the position of Systems Administrator.  Brady is returning to SUNY Oneonta after several years at SUNY Albany.  Welcome back, Brady!

David Adikes is joining the Programming Group as Programmer Analyst.  Dave will be transitioning from his previous role as Coordinator, Technical Services over the next few weeks.

The Office of Web Development has moved to a new home in Netzer 238.  Joining the staff in the position of Web Coordinator is Jennifer Knapp.   She will report to Network Director Phil Bidwell who can still be found in B17 Netzer. 

Welcome also to Chris Frattone, who will be heading up the Technical Services branch of the Telecommunications Office.  Chris will be working with Dave Adikes to transition into his former job responsibilities.

Finally, congratulations to Lesley Bidwell in her new position as I.T. Security Administrator for the college. 

 

File Transfer Protocol gets more Secure

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) has been used for many years to move files across networks from one computer to another, typically from a server to a personal computer.

The College will no longer support the use of FTP and will begin requiring the use of Secure FTP on April 11, 2006. Those using FTP or applications dependent on FTP should contact the Help Desk or the TLTC for assistance in switching to SFTP.

Click here to learn more about FTP and whether the switch to Secure FTP may affect you.
 

New Search Engine for the College Website

We have recently installed a new search engine for the website.  Powered by a Google-derived piece of hardware (The Google Mini) it substantially improves the search experience, especially for those less familiar with our website. 

Besides doing a better and more intelligent job of indexing our site, it also corrects common errors made by those entering search terms.  If you type in "Registar", for example, our old search engine would have shrugged its silicon shoulders and returned no results.  Google Mini has the smarts to suggest that perhaps you meant "Registrar".

Google Mini also supplies us with lists of commonly searched-for terms (don't worry - the lists are anonymous) and this lets us know what kinds of information people are looking for.  This helps us organize the website in a more user-friendly way.

If you have comments on the results you get from the search engine, don't hesitate to forward them to us at webmaster@oneonta.edu.

 

Outlook Tips - Customizing your Calendar

Your calendar comes with default settings for the layout of the work week and the boundaries of the work day.  You can customize these and other features by going to Tools- Options- Preferences- and click on the Calendar Options button.

In this dialog box you can define your work week with the check boxes at the top.  You can also define your start and end time for your work day, and change the background color for your calendar from the default yellow.

Under the advanced options you can click on the button for the Free/Busy Options. Free/Busy data is information about your calendar that is made available to other users of Outlook.  For example, if you schedule an appointment in your calendar and invite other people to the meeting, you can view their schedules before you send the invitation.  Do this by clicking on Scheduling:

Here you can see when people have things scheduled - not what they are doing, but at least whether or not they are available.  This is done through the use of Public Free/Busy Data.  You can select how much free/busy data is available - and this explains why you can't see others' data more than two months into the future (unless they have changed this setting).

 

Cutting the land line

Going totally mobile with a cell phone

A significant number of people are deciding to give up their traditional wired telephone and use only their cell phone.  Many cell phone plans offer cheaper long distance calls than companies providing wired phone service, the option of multiple numbers on the same account, and some folks just don't see the point of paying for two separate phone services when one will do the job.

This is especially compelling for students - they move frequently, and travel back and forth to college as well.  A mobile phone makes a lot more sense to them, and feeds their need to be constantly in touch via voice and text messaging. 

There are other considerations, though, that make the decision to cut the land line more difficult.  For those of us in rural areas, cell service in our homes can be of much lower quality than the wired service.  In addition, cell phones do not provide the enhanced-911 option so that dispatchers can instantly see where the call is coming from.  This could create a real problem in an emergency if the caller is unable to convey information coherently.  Finally, cell service in marginal areas is more likely to be affected by bad weather, power failures or mechanical breakdown. 

Making the decision to go wholly mobile is one of economics and reliability.   If you are considering it, read more at the following links:

http://wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,59896,00.html
http://www.mediamark.com/mri/docs/pr_9-29-04_cellphones.htm
http://www.point.com/articles/2005/07/getting_rid_of_1.php

Identity Theft

Identity theft has become the number one complaint received by the Attorney General’s Office, according to Michael Danaher, Assistant Attorney General from the Binghamton Regional Office. Mr. Danaher recently presented a program on identity theft to the Campus Community. In addition to recounting a number of hair-raising incidents which he had investigated, Danaher shared a number of tips to protect one’s identity.

Identity thieves have more opportunities than ever to steal private information (credit card numbers, social security numbers, bank account information) through phone or e-mail scams, websites and even garbage picking.   All those credit card applications you throw away or recycle? A thief can take them and  use the information to apply for the card (or loan) using a different address so you don’t see the bills.  The thief never makes payments, of course. You find out when you try to apply for credit and are denied or the collection agencies find you and demand payment. 

It can take years to undo the damage of identity theft.

Some simple steps can help lessen the risk:

  • Shred any paper that contains personal information.
  • Closely monitor your bank and credit card accounts.
  • NEVER give out personal information to anyone who contacts you by phone, e-mail or through a website – even if they claim to be from your bank or other institutions with which you do business.
  • Request a copy of your credit report at least once a year.

These and other tips can be found at the Attorney General’s website http://www.oag.state.ny.us/consumer/tips/identity_theft.pdf.

If you believe you are the victim of identity theft, visit this webpage and report the crime as soon as possible - see http://www.oag.state.ny.us/consumer/tips/id_theft_victim.html.
 

If you have a question for Computer and Telecommunication Services about:

Computer Problems or Related Issues - Call the Information Technology Help Desk at 436-4567

Telephone Service or Problems - Call the Office of Telecommunications at 436-2577

Directory Assistance - call 436-3500

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