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Connect Direct, September 2009

« Snow Leopard shipping with vulnerable Adobe Flash | Main | H1N1 Flu & ITS Support Website Created »

Volume 18, No. 1
CONNECT-DIRECT is a monthly electronic publication of NYU's Information Technology Services (ITS), offering computer-related news, security alerts, and other information of interest to people who use IT at NYU. Thank you for reading Connect-Direct!

In This Issue:

News

Computer Security

Alerts & Reminders

Support & Training


NEWS

EXCITING CHANGES AT THE ITS LABS

ITS now provides two types of computer labs:

  • ITS Academic Technology Centers offer specialized and advanced technology resources and assistance for course-related work and research. Academic Technology Center resources include high-end Macintosh and Windows computers, multimedia equipment, a wide variety of up-to-date software, and more.
  • ITS' new NYUHotSpots are "CoLabs," a special kind of hotspot designed for student collaboration, where one can use a public computer (dual-boot Mac & Windows with Microsoft Office software) or bring one's own, and work individually or with others.

All four labs (two Academic Technology Centers and two CoLabs) offer high-speed Internet connections and NYURoam wireless access. Please visit http://www.nyu.edu/its/labs for locations, hours, and detailed resource lists, as well as possible early-semester schedule changes.

ITS PRINT SERVICE IS LAUNCHED

ITS has launched a new service that offers convenient and easy-to-use printing while also conserving resources and helping the environment. Using the new ITS Print Service, NYU community members can send documents from any NYU-NET connected computer to their personal ITS Print Service queues, and then print their documents at any ITS Print Station. As we begin the fall 2009 semester, there are ITS Print Stations at all ITS computer labs, and at the ITS-affiliated College of Arts & Science Learning Center.

Students in degree and diploma programs, faculty, and staff automatically receive an ITS Print Grant every semester, from which nominal printing charges are deducted. Should an individual use up his or her grant, Campus Cash or a Bobst Library Print Card can be used instead; faculty and staff may also obtain a departmental card. Please see http://www.nyu.edu/its/print for more about the ITS Print Service, and http://www.nyu.edu/its/labs for lab locations, hours, and resources.

NEW LIBRARIES & ITS FACULTY GUIDE: NOW ONLINE

The 2009-10 edition of the Faculty Guide to Libraries & ITS is now available. The guide describes faculty services and resources provided by NYU Libraries, Information Technology Services, and Classroom Media Services, with categories devoted to general computing information, classroom & teaching support, communicating & collaborating, facilities & in-person help, library collections, research support, and more. There's a special section for new faculty members, and all faculty members will find useful information in "New for 2009-2010."

With this edition, the Faculty Guide to Libraries & ITS becomes a web-only publication, while also offering the option of downloading and printing selections or the entire guide. We hope that you will find its new online format to be a convenient and valuable resource. Please visit http://www.nyu.edu/its/facultyguide or http://library.nyu.edu/facultyguide.


COMPUTER SECURITY

NEW VIRUS PROTECTION & ANTI-SPYWARE SOFTWARE

Symantec Endpoint Protection is now available for download via the Ask ITS area of NYUHome. It is available under an NYU site license, and may be downloaded and used by current faculty, staff, and students. Endpoint provides both anti-virus and anti-spyware protection for Windows computers, although ITS recommends using additional anti-spyware software for added security.

Endpoint Protection replaces Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition for Windows, and ITS recommends that eligible members of the NYU community using the earlier product upgrade to this newer product. Symantec Antivirus Corporate Edition v10.2 (also available via NYUHome) continues to be the version recommended for Macintosh computers, except for those running "Snow Leopard" (Mac OS X 1.6); please see the item that follows this one for further information on this Symantec-Snow Leopard incompatibility.

To access the Symantec software, log in to NYUHome and click the Ask ITS link. In the ITS Software channel (upper left of the page), click "Anti-Virus & Anti-Spyware Software" to open the ITS-Licensed Computer Security Software page.

If you need further information or assistance, please contact ITS Client Services at 212-998-3333 or at AskITS@nyu.edu.

SNOW LEOPARD: A FLASH VULNERABILITY & SYMANTEC & PGP INCOMPATIBILITIES

ITS has become aware of several issues with Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6), the newest Macintosh operating system. If you have just purchased a new Macintosh computer with Snow Leopard pre-installed, or are thinking of upgrading your Mac from Leopard (OS X 10.5) to Snow Leopard, please read on.

Flash Vulnerability
Reports from several news sites indicate that Snow Leopard is shipping with an outdated version of Adobe Flash that may leave your Mac vulnerable to web-based attacks targeting the Flash player. For more on what to do, please see the ITS News item at http://www.nyu.edu/its/news/archives/2009/09/vulnerable_adobe_flash_shipped.html.

Symantec AntiVirus Incompatibility
During testing, ITS has found that Symantec AntiVirus 10.2 for Mac is incompatible with Snow Leopard. ITS has been working with Symantec on a solution, but until one is published, please follow the recommendations at http://www.nyu.edu/its/news/archives/2009/08/symantec_antivirus_for_os_x_in.html.

PGP Desktop
At present, PGP Desktop is not compatible with Snow Leopard. If you intend to upgrade to Snow Leopard, you must decrypt all PGP-encrypted drives and uninstall PGP Desktop BEFORE installing Mac OS X 10.6. For further information, please visit the PGP website at https://pgp.custhelp.com/app/.


ALERTS & REMINDERS

H1N1 PREPARATION FOR FACULTY, ADMINISTRATORS & STAFF

NYU faculty, administrators and staff recently received email from NYU Human Resources about the University's plans for dealing with the H1N1 flu. (A comparable email to NYU students and their parents was sent prior to Move-In Weekend by the NYU Student Health Center.) NYU's website for updates and FAQs on the H1N1 flu and NYU's preparations is:

ITS can assist departments and individuals with planning and support for the use of information technology and telecommunications to help ensure business continuity, should staff members need to work remotely from home. If you or your department require such assistance, please contact ITS Client Services at AskITS@nyu.edu.

ITS is also working to ensure that NYU Blackboard, the University's widely used online learning system, can handle additional demand, if any, from faculty and students working remotely via Blackboard. For assistance in using any of NYU's online instructional tools (Blackboard, Files 2.0, etc.), please email ITS Client Services at AskITS@nyu.edu.

Please keep in mind that should many corporations and universities across the country have staff working from home, Internet performance could be affected.

COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT & THE RISKS OF FILE SHARING

Peer-to-peer (P2P) applications that allow you to connect your computer directly to other people's computers to transfer files back and forth can result in serious consequences if they are used to share copyrighted material. If you are using:

  • Vuze
  • BitTorrent
  • Limewire
  • or any other P2P software

you should ensure that your computer is configured to NOT make copyrighted files available for download by others. If you have questions about this, consult the ITS P2P web page: http://www.nyu.edu/its/p2p.

Unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material may result in civil and criminal penalties. There are penalties for violating Federal copyright laws. Moreover, P2P activity has drawn the attention of entertainment, publishing, and software industry groups. These groups contact ITS with notifications or subpoenas regarding copyright infringements they detect on the NYU network. ITS notifies the person who controls the computer that is identified in the complaint. That individual is then responsible for bringing their computer into compliance and could face legal action by the copyright owners.

REMINDER to all NYU community members: It is a basic policy for computer users at NYU to respect the rights of copyright owners; see the Policy on the Responsible Use of NYU Computers and Data.

REMINDER to all NYU students living in NYU residence halls: Running a server, other than a web server, is a violation of ResNet policy. This includes using P2P software to share files. See the ResNet website for policies and information.

For a list of legal online music and movie downloading services, visit: http://www.nyu.edu/its/p2p/#legal.

RESOURCES FOR USE OF COPYRIGHTED MATERIALS

A handbook for the use of copyrighted materials is maintained by the NYU Libraries, ITS, and the Office of the Provost, together with the NYU Office of Legal Counsel. It is intended to provide helpful information to members of the NYU community who use copyrighted materials in educational and research activities. The handbook, along with related information and FAQs, can be found at http://library.nyu.edu/copyright. If you have questions regarding "fair use" of copyrighted materials, please send email to fairuse@nyu.edu.

ITS SCHEDULED MAINTENANCE PERIODS

To provide the best possible service while minimizing inconvenience, ITS performs upgrades and other required system work during regularly scheduled maintenance periods. Please note that these maintenance periods may involve an interruption of some services. For ITS' maintenance policy and schedule for shared systems and services, please see http://www.nyu.edu/its/policies/maintenance.html. Other maintenance periods apply to University administrative systems. Please check http://www.nyu.edu/its/status for alerts on all maintenance-related and other service impacts.


SUPPORT & TRAINING

NEW BLACKBOARD LIAISON PROGRAM

ITS' Blackboard Liaison Program offers additional training and specialized tools to empower administrators and staff to support their schools and/or departments use of NYU Blackboard.

For information on joining the Blackboard Liaison program, please see the NYU Blackboard Blog at http://blogs.nyu.edu/its/blackboard/news or use the Contact Us form at http://AskITS.nyu.edu.

For more about the online learning management system, NYU Blackboard, please see http://www.nyu.edu/its/blackboard.

HAVE A QUESTION? ASK ITS

The Ask ITS area within NYUHome is a central resource for technical support and training, as well as software downloads and important news alerts. Keep an eye on this area for new resources added throughout the year. Answers to frequently asked questions about ITS services and facilities (including NYUHome) are available at http://AskITS.nyu.edu.

ITS & NYU LIBRARIES CLASSES

ITS and the NYU Libraries offer a variety of free classes that can help you take advantage of technology and Library resources in support of your research and coursework.

ITS classes (http://www.nyu.edu/its/classes) include NYU Blackboard training (see Blackboard item, above). ITS also offers workshops in the use of the NYURoam wireless network. Please see http://www.nyu.edu/its/forms/wireless for the full schedule and to register for a workshop session. For Libraries classes, including Data Service tutorials done in collaboration with ITS, visit http://library.nyu.edu/classes.


MORE ABOUT CONNECT-DIRECT
CONNECT-DIRECT is a monthly electronic publication of NYU's Information Technology Services (ITS). The first issue of each semester is mailed to the entire NYU community to convey important information, and all faculty, staff, students, and administrators are automatically subscribed to receive this newsletter each month. We hope you will find it useful and informative. For more about this publication, including information on subscribing/unsubscribing from the email newsletter, please visit http://www.nyu.edu/its/pubs/connect/direct .

Thank you for reading Connect-Direct!