Have you ever been in a presentation where the speaker fumbled through their slides jumping back and forth? …………
Have you ever been in a presentation where the speaker fumbled through their slides jumping back and forth? …………
Did you know that most burned DVDs and CDs don’t last long? Have you ever placed a 5-year-old DVD in the drive only to find out it was no longer readable? This would be tragic if the DVD was your wedding video, pictures of a vacation or other keep sake. There were DVDs that you could obtain that would last longer, but they were expensive and hard to find. Now there is a new technology that is changing all of this. The Millenniata M-Disc is a 4.7GB DVD with a data layer made out of stone-like metals and metalloids. Burned CDs and DVDs have a very soft recording/data layer that isn’t very resistant to heat, humidity and light. However, the M-Disc on the other hand has a much tougher data layer that last for 1000 years. Unfortunately, M-Discs can’t be burned with your current DVD burner. It takes a laser that’s five times stronger than normal to melt stone. On the other hand, M-Discs are backwards compatible and can be read by normal DVD drives. When you replace your CD/DVD burner make sure it is M-Disc compatible.
By: Rajat Shetty
Most offices are well equipped with high definition scanners, printers, copiers, etc. However, there are instances when people need to scan documents on the go, and a scanner is not readily available. The Cam-Scanner app makes scanning in almost any location possible.
While this application is not suitable for high definition scans, you can surely use it for urgent and basic scans of a two or three page document. I scanned my homework with this application, and it worked just fine!
The free version for Cam-Scanner is available in the Apple-App store and the Google Play store (For Android devices). This easy to use app scans documents with your cellphone camera.
To scan a document, follow these steps:
The drawbacks associated with this particular application are that you need the latest cell phone which has a high resolution camera (Probably 8 mega pixel onward). Also it’s not suitable, if you are looking to scan large set of documents or books. For a fully functional Cam-Scanner, you can buy the full version called “Cam Scanner Pro”. This is available on App-stores for both Apple and Android phones. However, the free version works fine for small sets of documents. The best part is you can scan, edit, and email the scanned document from your phone, within a matter of minutes.
By: Rajat Shetty
Excel Pivot tables help summarize your data. They also allow you to avoid using complex formulas like Vlookup, SumIF, etc. to create a table. It can take a little while for a newbie to get the hang of Pivot tables. However, the 2013 Excel updates make creating Pivot tables even simpler.
A few years back, we had to follow these steps to create a simple pivot table:
With the new Microsoft Excel-2013, you are just one click away from creating a basic pivot table. The best part is you do not have to drag and drop anything into the field list. As seen to the right, you can pull the exact information you need from a complex spreadsheet without having to go through the above mentioned steps for Excel-2010.
Instead of inserting a Pivot table from the Insert tab, just click on the “Recommended Pivot Tables” option on the Insert tab.
As you can see in the above image, Excel automatically suggests three or four options for your data range. All you have to do is make sure that your cursor is in one of the data entries on the main sheet before you click on “Recommended Pivot Tables”.
When you select one of the recommended Pivot tables, it automatically adjusts the fields without the user having to drag and drop in the Pivot table field list. Once the Pivot table is created you can customize the fields according to your requirements.
In summary, we use the following steps to create a Pivot table using Excel-2013:
1. Organize and arrange data in columns
2. Make sure each column has a heading
3. Click on Insert and select the “Recommended Pivot Charts” option
4. Choose the desired Pivot table
5. Sit back and relax
Here’s looking forward to future updates from Microsoft Office. Maybe next time Excel will be even more intuitive.
This October as a part of Information Security Awareness Month we are offering an online training for SMU Faculty and Staff. The training only lasts about 30 minutes; however, it is filled with valuable information that can help protect you and the University. Below are some of the topics covered in the training. You are our best defense. Are you prepared?
Social Engineering- Many of today’s most common cyber-attacks are based on social engineering. As such, we explain what social engineering is, how attackers fool people and what to look out for. We show how you can detect these attacks and respond to them.
Email and IM- One of the primary means of attacks and exploitation is through email in both simple or large scale attacks and targeted spear phishing attacks. We explain how these attacks work, including recent examples of phishing, spear phishing, malicious attachments and links, and scams. This video shows how to detect these attacks, respond to them, and use both email and IM securely.
Social Networking- Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have exploded in popularity, with employees and managers sharing all sorts of private information, not only about themselves but about their work. Cyber attackers know this and use this information for identity theft, spreading malware, scams and even targeted attacks. We discuss these risks and the steps you can take to protect yourself and SMU.
Mobile Devices- Today’s mobile devices are extremely powerful, including tablets and smartphones. In most cases these devices have the same functionality, complexity and risks of a computer, but with the additional risk of being highly mobile and easy to lose. We cover how to use mobile devices safely and how to protect the data on them.
Wi-Fi Security- This section discusses the risks of public Wi-Fi and steps that you can take to protect yourself. In addition we cover that only authorized Wi-Fi access points with prior management approval can be deployed within SMU.
Telecommuting Working Away from Home- Many SMU employees are no longer working at the office, they work from home or on the road while traveling. There are unique risks for the telecommuter. This module focuses on how these employees can protect themselves and SMU, including laptop security and creating a secure, mobile working environment.
Physical Security- While physical attacks against your data are less likely to happen, when such incidents do occur they can have a greater impact on your organization. In this module we explain how attackers will attempt to trick and fool their way into restricted areas. We also discuss how you can protect the physical security of your facilities, including enforcing use of SMU-issued identification badges.
Hacked- No matter how effective a security team and their processes are, there will be incidents. This module focuses on how you can help by identifying and reporting an incident. We cover things to look for, such as suspicious activity or virus alerts and whom to report an incident to.
Faculty and staff can login to courses.smu.edu with their SMU credentials to access the training.
This is the last week of Information Security Awareness month. All training content is posted within Blackboard to simplify the process. It requires about 30 minutes to complete the course. However, you do not have to complete all the videos in one sitting. Most of the videos are just a few minutes long. The training will remain available after the end of this month; however, we encourage you to take the training as soon as possible, especially if you use sensitive information like credit cards or social security numbers in your day to day activities.
To complete the training:
1. Visit https://courses.smu.edu.
2. Login with your SMU ID and password.
3. Locate the Security Awareness 2013 course in the My Courses section.
4. Click on the tutorial you wish to preview. Blackboard will remember which ones you have completed and which still remain.
5. Complete the 3 question quiz at the end of each tutorial.
Later this fall, the training will be uploaded to your training transcript in Access.SMU.
by Adam Jones
In the Classroom Support office we get a lot of phone calls from professor who are having trouble setting the volume in their rooms. Since this comes up so often, I’ve decided to write a guide to help you.
While this might seem simple to experienced computer users, it is still confusing to others. (Which is exactly how I feel when my father tries to explain what an intake manifold does. No idea.) For those of you who have trouble with sound settings, just follow these instructions, and you’ll know what to do.
Most of our classrooms are controlled through a touch panel that controls everything in the room, including the main volume. This is the easiest step, and most people don’t have any trouble with this part. Using the touch panel on the lectern, locate the volume controls…
…and turn them up.
If your room has a keypad, then it will look more like this:
Just rotate the wheel clockwise to turn up the sound. The blue lights in the display will move as you turn it to indicate the volume level. There is also a mute button on these controls, so be sure that is turned off.
In the bottom, right-hand corner of the computer screen, you’ll see a small icon shaped like a speaker. You can click on this to control the computer volume. (Even if you’ve already followed step one to turn up the system volume, you won’t hear anything if the computer audio is too quiet.) Sometimes, the previous user will leave the sound muted, and if that happens the icon will look like this:
Click on that button and the red circle will disappear (meaning the computer is no longer muted). Also, be sure the slider is dragged up so that it’s loud enough.
If you’re still confused, Microsoft has a webpage that explains this process in more detail. Click here to read it.
Every individual program that you use has its own sound control, and this is the most common annoyance when dealing with volume problems. If you’re playing a DVD, or watching a video on YouTube, you’ll have to also check the volume settings for that program.
For example, if you are using Windows Media Player to watch a movie, the volume controls are at the bottom of the screen, to the right of the play button.
If it’s muted then the volume icon will look like this:
If you’re watching a YouTube video, the volume controls are in the bottom, left-hand corner of the video. Sometimes these videos are muted when they start playing (for reasons too complex to elaborate on), but this is easily remedied.
Just click on that icon to un-mute the video. Easy.
For practice, you may want to try adjusting the volume on this video, which features a beautiful woman and her scruffy husband.
The Meadows classrooms are different than the others, but the Meadows A/V team has been good enough to provide us with a video to explain how they work. Click here to watch it.
It’s alarming what information anyone can find online if they have the right tools. Be cautious of what you share online. Watch this video to see what this “mind reader” knew about his clients. Click here.
For more information about Information Security and training opportunities, visit smu.edu/infosec.
By Robert Burkett
If you bought a new computer in the last 6 months to a year, it probably came with Windows 8 pre-installed. For those who have been using Windows for any length of time, it’s likely been a frustrating experience to navigate compared to all previous versions of Windows. If your new computer is not touchscreen, it makes even less sense. You may get used to it, or you may scream… either way, there is hope to make it feel more like Windows.
A couple add-ons from www.classicshell.net with their Classic Start Menu and Explorer really help bring back that familiar environment that you can’t live without. I suspect Microsoft will eventually add these features within Windows 8 with future updates, but until then (or not), the Classic Shell is more than sufficient.
Physical Security – Technology can only help us so much when it comes to protecting University owned assets. People are always our first line of defense. This means not leaving your laptop unattended at a coffee shop or in your car overnight. It also means locking your filing cabinets at night or putting sensitive files back into a locked cabinet when they are no longer needed.
Online Training is available for SMU faculty and staff in Courses.SMU.
For more information about Information Security and Security Awareness Training, visit smu.edu/infosec.