Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Google Apps Security Problems for LA

Like SJSU, the City of Los Angeles has been migrating to Google and, at least for LA, there have been some major problems. According to an article posted in Network World by By Tony Bradley of PC World magazine, "project delays resulting from ongoing concerns prove that the cloud still has some security growing pains to get through." According to Bradley:

Vendors of all shapes and sizes--including powerhouses like Google and Microsoft--are aggressively pushing the cloud as the next great frontier in computing. But, as the first major implementation project for Google Apps, the LA project illustrates that there are still some hurdles to cross before the cloud exodus can really occur. [Read More]

Bradley goes on to say, "All of the promises, commitments, and security measures, though, can't undo a security breach." Bradley's post said:

Companies fall under a wide variety of state, federal, and industry compliance mandates requiring that data be processed, stored, and protected in certain ways. As of yet, the cloud does not provide sufficient controls to meet many of those compliance requirements, and the regulatory bodies that govern the compliance frameworks have not issued addendums or specific guidance for securely processing and storing sensitive information in the cloud. [Read More]

As SJSU migrates to Google, I wonder if all the security issues we face have been adequately addressed? I sure hope so, but I do not think so...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Why I still like film

I like film because I like film, that is reason enough after all. Since I am not photographing for an employer anymore; I owe nobody any more explanation than that. So, I still shoot slide film and black and white when I shoot trains.

What do I like about film? I like that slides are tangible, I can scan them to a 16 BIT Tiff and do everything with it I can do with a camera RAW file and still have my slide. Slides have value, you can trade and even sell them. I like the discipline of shooting film. I like not having to worry about dust on my sensor if I change lenses in the field. I like that if I want higher resolution I can rescan my slide again. I am not locked into the resolution of the camera. I like that I can use my camera even if the battery dies. I like not having to worry about recharging my camera.

I like the way film sees light. I like that I can change the personality of my camera by changing the film I put in it. I like that bright red railroad signals stay red and do not turn white if I am shooting into them with film. I also like the smell of film and the sound of a Nikon motor drive.

I like that once the picture is on the wall it really does not matter if it was shot in digital or analog anyway. So, even though I have and use a sweet digital camera, I find a lot to like when I shoot film. So, I still do.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

SJSU Google Support Structure

Support for SJSU Google Apps and Mail is structured in the following manner:

  • First Level : Calls go to the Department and Division IT Techs. (The folks who fix your computer the same way you do it if your computer is broken.)

  • Second Level : University Technology Services (UTS) will troubleshoot problems that the IT Techs are still having issues with. The IT Techs will call UTS (to escalate to level 2.)

  • Third Level ; Google, this is in the event e-mail, google docs or the calendar are totally not functioning. UTS will make this call.

If that is not good enough...

Thanks SK for this information:
On UTS' home page under the active projects tab. It says that they are migrating to a unified e-mail system (Gmail). However it does not say who will support the migration process.

On, it only states that if you have problems logging in (SJSUOne), please contact the University Help Desk. But it does say that San Jose State University e-mail is provided by UTS. If you click on UTS, which redirects to, you can see that their number (408) 924-2340

The help desk is only authorized help with login issues via SJSUOne but not with migrating to the new e-mail system. According to the website, the e-mail system is provided by UTS and their number is listed on UTS' page. Specifically:

"According to the public facing website I'm looking at, the Google e-mail is provided by UTS and this is their number, 408 924-2340. If I were you and I did not have a Desktop support person around, and needed help, I might want to call UTS. But, don't tell them we (the help desk) told you to call them. We are not authorized to tell you to call them."

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Invitation to participate in Web site survey

Fred Najjar, SJSU's VP of University advancement, sent an e-mail invitation to the campus community to participate in a survey. Najjar said:

You are invited to share your opinions about the website in a brief, 12-question survey. This survey should take approximately five minutes to complete and will provide valuable insight as Public Affairs looks for ways to improve the university’s website.

[Link to Survey]

We welcome feedback from the entire SJSU community, and encourage you to also take part in future focus groups and/or interviews by providing your email address when you complete the online survey.

Thank you in advance for your help improving

SJSU Public Affairs

If you are a member of the campus community you are invited to participate.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Blackboard buys Elluminate and Wimba

According to an article by By Kathy Shwiff of Dow Jones Newswires, "Blackboard Inc. (BBBB) said it agreed to acquire Elluminate Inc. and Wimba Inc., both providers of technology to the education market, for a total of $116 million in cash." Shwiff reports:

President and Chief Executive Michael Chasen said Elluminate's and Wimba's technologies are expected to grow "as institutions look for cost-effective ways to encourage social learning and support learning interactions of all kinds."

The two companies serve more than 2,600 institutions in U.S., international and professional education markets. [Read More]

According to a report by David Nagel of THE Journal, "Elluminate and Wimba products will continue to be shipped and supported without change for the foreseeable future," [Read More]

Back from our great vacation

Click on photo to enlarge.

I am back at work at the help desk. If you want to know more about our vacation, here is more!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

SJSU employees will not get minimum wage

SJSU President Jon Whitmore sent an e-mail to all SJSU employees today that said:

In response to Governor Schwarzenegger's directive to cut the pay of state workers to the federal minimum wage until a budget is passed, the California State University announced on July 2 that CSU employees will continue to receive their regular compensation.

From the CSU press release:

"We want to let CSU employees know that we have received confirmation from the State Controller's office that our employees' compensation is not impacted by this order," said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. "Employees will receive their regular paychecks and can expect their normal compensation." The CSU intends to pay its employees with alternative revenue sources other than state general funds if it becomes necessary.

Gov. Schwarzenegger has announced an order to cut the pay of about 200,000 state workers to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour until a budget is signed. Payroll decisions for the first month of the fiscal year, which began on July 1, do not need to be made until July 20.

Friday, July 02, 2010

On Vacation

Click on photo to enlarge.

I am on vacation. To follow the progress of our vacation click here. I will be returning on July 6, 2010.