Category Archives: Tech Talk

Tech Day will be held on September 25

Tech Day 2014Do you have technology questions and don’t know who to ask? Have you ever wondered who all these “IT” folks are and how they can help you? Do you like free stuff? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re in luck!

The HSPH Information Technology department is hosting a Tech Day on:

September 25th from 12:30 to 2 in the Kresge Cafeteria Atrium

We’ll be showing off the latest tech from tablets to video conferencing, hosting mini-talks, and raffling away prizes.

Come join us, meet the team, and have a great time.

Tables:

  • Dell — representatives from Dell will have the latest laptop, tablets and other machines available through the Harvard contract.
  • Harvard TPC — representatives from Harvard’s Technology Product Center will have the latest Apple products available through the Harvard contract.
  • Office 365 — User Services Team will demonstrate Office 365, a cloud-based email that HSPH will be migrating to in 2015.
  • WordPress — the HSPH web team will demonstrate and explain the School’s site-wide responsive design on a variety of devices.
  • Canvas — Media and Educational Technology Services (METS) will demonstrate Canvas, the learning management system that HSPH and Harvard are rolling out over the next year.
  • MediaSite — METS will demonstrate MediaSite, HSPH’s new course capture system that was launched in September 2014.
  • BlueJeans – BlueJeans video conferencing will host a remote session to demonstrate their video conferencing bridging service.
  • Virtual Desktops – The server team will be demonstrating our new virtual desktop, which will allow you to work on the same desktop from anywhere…

Tours:

  • We will offer quick 10 minute tours of the two new distance learning studios in Kresge LL and the HSPH server room.
Tech Day 2012

Hundreds of people stopped by a previous tech day to view new products and services.

Mini-talks (15 minute Q&A talks in Kresge 110):

  • Apple support: What do we offer?
  • Personal security (HRCI, Encryption, Privacy, and Virus Protection)
  • Digital signage
  • Google analytics
  • General Q & A

Tools to help your HSPH website shine

Summer is an ideal time to look through your site and make sure that everything is shipshape for the upcoming school year. The WebTeam has developed tools to help you identify problems and has suggestions for addressing these problems to make your site shine for the fall. Below are solutions to three common website issues – broken links, typos, and images that lack alt text.

Broken Links

broken_linksBroken links happen. You may have linked long ago to a site that’s now deleted or has since been updated. Such broken links adversely affect your search rankings on Google and are also very frustrating to users who can’t find the content they’re seeking. To help you find and fix broken links, the Broken Link Checker tool on your site’s dashboard will do all the hard work for you. And if you’re one of the primary site administrators, you’ll also be receiving email notifications about broken links on your site.

Click here for a tutorial on how to use the Broken Link Checker tool.

Typos

proofreaderWe all occasionally make typos. Unfortunately, typos on websites are there for the world to see and detract from a site’s overall professionalism. To rid your site of typos, you can use the Proofreading tool that’s built into the editor on your dashboard. Just click on the button in the top toolbar and, similar to Microsoft Word, red and green underlines will appear in your text, allowing you to spot issues and correct them.

For a complete tutorial on how to use the Proofreading tool, please click here.

Image Alt Tags

Image Alt Tags ExampleWhen inserting images into your site, always fill in the boxes for title and alt text. Alt text, which stands for “Alternative Text,” is important for people with visual disabilities because screen readers use it to describe what is in a picture. Google also uses the alt text to determine what a picture contains, allowing people to search for images based on keywords. To create alt tags, try to write no more than one-sentence descriptions that are detailed but not wordy. For example, for a picture of soccer on the med school quad, you could write the following alt tag: “Students play soccer on the Harvard Medical School quad on a beautiful summer afternoon.” The sentence is concise yet fully describes what the photo shows.

Click here for more information on alt tags and click here for a guide to best practices.

Guidance on the “Heartbleed” Internet security vulnerability

To All SPH Faculty, Staff, and Students:

Last week, a security flaw dubbed “the Heartbleed bug” was discovered in a common Internet security protocol (OpenSSL) that protects credentials, such as usernames, passwords, and credit card numbers. An explanation of this flaw can be found on the Harvard Information Security website at: http://security.harvard.edu/heartbleed.  Harvard IT professionals across the University, and our own server team, web team, and Andy Ross our security manager, acted quickly to assess and patch any websites or applications that may have been vulnerable.  The Harvard PIN system and other enterprise applications were not affected as a result of Heartbleed, and Harvard Information Security currently has no indication that any information has been compromised.

Although there is a low risk that your Harvard account credentials were compromised, you are at greater risk if you use the same password for your Harvard accounts as for your personal accounts, such as personal email, social media, and other websites. We strongly recommend that you change your Harvard password immediately if you have also used it for external non-Harvard accounts.   Furthermore, it is important to not use the same password for Harvard and personal accounts going forward. It is always good practice to periodically change all your account passwords, and this may be a good opportunity to refresh your Harvard passwords even if you believe you are at low risk of being affected by Heartbleed.

You can find full instructions on how to change your Harvard passwords on our I/T Dept. website at: http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic731455.files/password_information_41414.pdfIf you have an SPH encrypted laptop,  pay close attention to the instructions under section 2.2 and 2.3.   Also, BEFORE changing your OUTLOOK Email password (see section 2.5), be sure to turn off all your portable devices (iPhone/iPad/Android/Tablet), to avoid your email getting locked out on that device.

If you have any questions or concerns about this security issue or need assistance to change your passwords, please contact the Helpdesk at 617-432-HELP or Helpdesk@hsph.harvard.edu  (Mon-Fri: 8 a.m.-6 p.m.)

Taso Markatos
CIO, SPH I/T Dept.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month Events

In recognition that October is National CyberSecurity Awareness month, Harvard University Information Technology Security will be conducting information security briefings in the LMA area for faculty, students and staff.

Two will be at the Harvard Medical School (HMS) and one at the School of Public Health (SPH).

Below is the schedule:

October 4th 10 – 11 am at HMS TMEC 227

Topics: Cloudy with a chance of identity theft. Why a good password is very often your best defense   and  Is it ever not social? Protecting yourself in the age of social networking.

October 10th 12 -1 PM at SPH Kresge G1

Topics: Is it ever not social? Protecting yourself in the age of social networking.  and  Have device, will travel. How to be mobile and safe.

October 17th 2 – 3 pm at HMS TMEC 227

Topics: Have device, will travel. How to be mobile and safe.  and  Taming Lions, Tigers…..and Windows, Turn your operating system into a lean, mean, malware fighting machine.

Please come out and participate in a practical discussion on how to maintain your privacy.

Mac Training Offered by Harvard's Tech Products and Services Group

Harvard’s Technology Products and Services and its partner vendors collaborate to bring you free and informative workshops. Topics cover the latest hardware gadgets to productive software for Mac and Windows PC users.

Harvard students, faculty and staff are welcome to attend.

Pizza will be provided at the workshops. Seating is limited, please register by sending an email to Andree Mendes at andree_mendes@harvard.edu.

Workshop Location: Campus Computer Store located at the Science Center, Room B11

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WORKSHOP SCHEDULE

Wednesday, Oct. 26th, 12pm-1pm: iPad and Beyond
Go beyond the basics with your iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch in this workshop. Learn about multitasking, push notifications, copy/paste, and how to pair Bluetooth devices. Discover some great apps for iOS like iBooks, GarageBand, iMovie, and iWork. And we’ll show you how easy it is to print from your device with AirPrint and stream media using AirPlay–wirelessly.

Tuesday, Nov. 8th, 12pm-1pm: OS X Lion
OS X Lion is an even more powerful and refined version of the world’s most advanced operating system which is faster, more reliable, and even easier to use. It offers hundreds of enhancements, out-of-the-box support for Microsoft Exchange, and new core technologies that take advantage of the powerful hardware in a Mac. In this workshop we’ll show you the new and refined features that make OS X Lion better than ever. Learn about LaunchPad and Mission Control and how to set these up on your Mac.

Thursday, Nov. 17th, 1pm-2pm: Welcome to Mac
A general introduction to Mac OS X Lion covering new and basic features such as navigating and organizing your files with Finder. Learn how to download new apps with the Mac App Store, and how to migrate files from another Mac or Windows PC and keep them backed up.

Tuesday, Nov. 22nd, 12pm-1pm: iPhoto-Managing and Distributing your own Digital Content
Find out how easy it is to organize, enhance, and share your entire digital photo collection using iPhoto. You¹ll learn new ways to make your photos look their best with professional-quality image adjustment tools. We’ll also show you how to create impressive prints, photo books, calendars, and cards – all with your own photos.

Wednesday, Dec. 7th, 12pm-1pm: iMovie
iMovie lets you make a great movie. We¹ll show you how to give your movie a professional look in seconds with Apple-designed themes. And you’ll learn how to use the new Precision Editor to refine every shot. iMovie offers new ways to organize and browse your videos.

Wednesday, Dec. 7th, 1pm-2pm: Apple for the Holidays
Confused on which Apple product to purchase this holiday? This presentation will provide an overview of Apple’s mobile and desktop products. Learn about the differences between content viewing and content creation. Products reviewed will include iPod nanos, iPod touch, iPhones, iPads, Apple Laptops, iMacs, Mac Mini and Apple TV!

Thursday, Dec. 15th, 1pm-2pm: Computer Safety and Security
How to prevent the worst from happening to your computer. This workshop will cover data recovery and loss prevention. Find out how secure are your passwords and a review of safe computing practices.

Thursday, Jan. 19th, 1pm-2pm: iPad and Me
Come and learn about the revolutionary iPad! Learn how to set-up the basic features of your iPad including syncing and backing up your data. Discover the App Store and see how easy it is to download iPad applications from the iTunes Store.

Seating is limited, please register by sending an email to Andree Mendes at
andree_mendes@harvard.edu.

HSPH participating in telepresence pilot

HSPH Information Technology is pleased to announce that HSPH is participating with other Harvard faculties and Harvard-affiliated hospitals in a new telepresence pilot that utilizes bandwith of the Internet 2 for high-end video conferencing.

HSPH has installed a Cisco telepresence 500 machine in the Instructional Computing Facility conference room (Kresge LL19) that can communicate with other similarly equipped locations around the world.  Initial meetings with offices in Cambridge on the main campus have been impressive.

Cisco TelePresence systems “combine life-like, ultra-high-definition video (1080p), quality audio, a specially designed environment, and interactive elements to create the feeling of being in person with meeting participants in remote locations. This simple, easy-to-use solution allows you and other participants to communicate naturally and effectively.”

If you have potential uses for this new device, please contact Taso Markatos, Chief for Information Technology with potential uses (i.e., research projects with other universities that may have telepresence units).

For further information, please visit:

Commencement Broadcast Going Mobile

In addition to broadcasting commencement in HD, the HSPH Department of Information Technology is piloting a mobile live stream of commencement to iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry devices.

Mobile streams locations will be available at
beginning at approximatley 1:30 pm on Commencement Day, Thursday, May
28, 2010.

Below is a screenshot of a live broadcast from Kresge G1 on an Apple iPad.

G1 on Ipad

HSPH Commencement to be Broadcast in HD

The Department of Information Technology has provided a live commencement stream to friends and family for the past 5 years.  In 2010, we are pleased to announce that we will be broadcasting for the first time in high definition

For those interested in the technology, the HD cameras under the tent will send audio and video to a Digital Rapids encoder.  The encoder will then send the stream to Limelight Networks over the HSPH network.  Limelight Networks is a video host that the University uses for a number of initiatives.  Friends and family will be able to access the stream from the HSPH website at Commencement 2010 video

On commencement day, we will begin the stream at approximately 1:30 pm. 

A lower bandwidth stream will also be available for those with slower internet connections.

Related resources:

Share HSPH with Twitter

Twitter

Want to share a Harvard School of Public Health web page with the world?  Take a look at the new addition to our Sharing feature: Twitter.

How it works:

  • Click on the ‘Share’ icon at the top-right of any page on the HSPH website
  • Then, click on the Twitter icon at the bottom right.  This will direct you to your Twitter account with a preformatted title and shortened link to the page you’re tweeting.
  • If you don’t have an existing Twitter account, you can sign up for one on the Twitter site.

 
Sharing at HSPH with Twitter
 
It’s that easy.  Utilizing Twitter will help our users share their favorite information from our site with their peers. 

What is Twitter?
“Twitter is a free service that lets you keep in touch with people through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What’s happening?”  — Twitter.com

For more information, check out the Twitter Frequently Asked Questions page.

Energy Efficiency Improvement in Computer Lab

The Operation’s Office has outfitted HSPH’s largest student computing laboratory with new LED lights replacing the traditional bulbs.  According to HSPH’s energy and utilities’ manager Danny Beaudoin, the new lights will provide an annual cost savings of $884.

Before:
(46) 35 Watt MR-16 track lights = 1,610 Watts
icf1.jpg
After:
(46) 6 Watt LED MR-16 track lights = 276 Watts
icf2.jpg

Annual Savings:
1,334 Watts * 4,732 hours/yr = 6,312 kWh/yr = $884 per year!
In addition to cost savings, the LED lights provide outstanding and more direct task lighting for student work.