Tuesday, August 19, 2014

State Champions: Brian Oakland



Brian Oakland receiving the Championship plaque
Over the weekend, men traveled to Rapid City to participate in the Rec 1 Division of the Men’s Slow-pitch State Softball Tournament West. This division was built by the 30 teams who were competing for the title. The double-elimination tournament ran through the weekend with the championship game scheduled for 2:00 on Sunday.  The Bauman Lumber team of Pierre, led by Brian Oakland, played through Saturday and Sunday. Oakland works for BIT within the Data Center as a web server administrator and has been playing softball for 26 years! After leaving the tournament winless the last two years, Oakland’s team was sitting undefeated heading into the championship game this year. Bauman Lumber was facing a team from Spearfish called 99-Problems for the title (the same team they beat during morning games 10-3). The rain started just after the coin toss for the championship game. When the rain finally finished, major field maintenance was needed to clear the puddles away. At 4:30 the championship game finally began. Bauman Lumber took the lead early and stayed solid throughout with a final score of 12-0, taking the title of champions!

Great job Bauman Lumber, more specifically Brian Oakland—we are proud of your accomplishments and leadership skills inside and outside of BIT!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Attention State Agencies: New Devices


 

BIT Support Services would like to stress to all state agencies that agencies and/or users should not un-pack and setup devices themselves. By attempting to setup devices without our assistance could cause some unwanted issues. It is important to remember that HP has many pre-loaded apps that the State does not support. One of these applications is a security applet that automatically sets a BIOS password on portable devices. If the agency and/or user were to set a BIOS password on their portable device and forget it down the road, BIT cannot guarantee that we will be able to remove the password - even with assistance from Hewlett Packard. If the password cannot be removed, there is a slight possibility that the unit will not be able to properly configured, thus it would not have the ability to function on the network. Another important aspect to remember is that the unit will not have all the necessary state applications if set up without the assistance of BIT.

Once again, BIT Support Services would like to advise all state agencies and users to contact BIT when receiving a new device. Please do not un-pack and setup devices without the proper assistance. If you have any questions about un-packing or setting up devices, please contact the BIT Help Desk (773-HELP) for assistance with obtaining the proper work request.

Monday, August 4, 2014

New State Law: Texting and Driving


July brought with it a new driving ban for South Dakota. The ban is on texting and driving. This new law will attempt to get people to put down the phone while driving. It was previously illegal to text and drive in many cities across the state; however this law increases coverage to every road in the entire state of South Dakota. The new law is a secondary offense. That means you have to be pulled over for something else to get the steep fine of $100.

Along the same lines, a movie theatre in Hong Kong communicated how risky it is to use mobile phones while driving.  The below video had more than 1.5 million views in its first 3 days.

Do your part in making South Dakota a safer state by putting down the phone while driving!

 

 

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Internet of Things

We hear about the Internet of Things all the time, but what is the “Internet of Things”? It's products and things that are connected by the internet. The latest trend is smart appliances.  Smart appliances include common items such as thermostats, garage doors, toothbrushes, wearable health trackers, and even your bed. They collect data about how you use them and learn your habits.  Typically, the device connects to an app and provides you feedback to help you make lifestyle changes along the way. The Internet of Things is going to transform the way we live!

Samsung has an internet connected refrigerator which tweets and plays music directly from Pandora. Have you heard of the Nest thermostat? It’s the next generation thermostat that Google bought for $3.2 billion.  Nest learns your schedule, programs itself and can be controlled from your phone. There are web-connected tennis rackets available that use sensors within the racket itself to determine your swing to provide you information on why you keep hitting the ball out of the court. The list goes on…

Eventually all of these things will work together and create what people are calling a “smart house.” There are challenges that come with a fully connected life. For instance, a Samsung refrigerator can’t talk to a Sony TV. This is because each company is working on their own technology which isn’t compatible with the other company’s technology. Many internet-connected devices are able to process sensitive personal information.  Because of this there are also concerns with security and privacy, like—who owns your data? What if hackers infiltrate your home, can your house get a virus?

The list of challenges causes experts to believe that the Internet of Things will not take off until far into the future.  As more companies get more interested in these types of technology, it is no question that the internet of things is going to get even bigger very soon.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Adobe Licensing: Update

Many of you are already aware that Adobe has changed their licenses from perpetual (permanent) to a subscription based license.  The manner in which Support Services installs this software will be slightly modified and the registration portion will be completely different.  Here is the short and sweet for how things will work:

1. BIT receives notification that an Adobe product has been purchased.
2. Assigned BIT staff will cross-reference the PO number Adobe provides to determine which agency purchased the software.
3. Assigned BIT staff will then contact the agency's fiscal contact (provided by Procurement) to let them know their software is available and that they will need to enter their installation work ticket with the Help Desk.
4. Support Services will contact the assigned BIT staff and let them know when they will be performing the installation.
5. The tech will work with the user and get the software installed, get the license assigned, and then assist the user with creating an Adobe ID for registering the software.

Things the agencies will need to know:

• When an employee exits the agency, the agency will need to enter a work request to have the user's license removed in the Adobe administrative console.
• If an agency wishes to re-assign a license, the agency will need to enter a work request to have the software removed from person A and moved to person B.  The technicians will work with the assigned BIT staff to get the license moved in the Adobe console.
• The Adobe software will check-in and verify licensing with Adobe's website every 30 days.  After 3 un-successful check ins (or 90 days), the employees license will be disabled and the software will no longer function.
• The Adobe subscriptions will renew every year in June.  This means that the agencies will need to budget properly as these dollars will need to be paid out at the end of the fiscal year.
• The users will get an email from Adobe with a link to install their software when BIT assigns their license.  The users should NOT click on this link and can just delete the email.  Support Services will be installing the software for them.
• Users will need to remember their Adobe ID password (the actual account name will be their email address). If the software ever needs to be re-installed for any reason, they will need this password to re-login to the application so it will re-activate for use.

Below is a list of which apps are perpetual and which apps are subscription.  If anyone has any further questions, please contact Shellie Patterson.

 
Product Family
License Type
Acrobat
Perpetual
Acrobat Professional
Perpetual
Adobe Audition CC
Annual Subscription
Adobe Muse CC
Annual Subscription
Adobe Premiere Pro CC
Annual Subscription
After Effects CC
Annual Subscription
Captivate
Perpetual
Coldfusion Builder
Perpetual
ColdFusion Ent
Perpetual
ColdFusion Standard
Perpetual
Contribute
Perpetual
Creative Cloud for teams
Annual Subscription
Director
Perpetual
Dreamweaver CC
Annual Subscription
Edge Animate CC
Annual Subscription
Edge Inspect CC
Annual Subscription
eLearning Suite
Perpetual
FB Premium for PHP
Perpetual
FB Standard for PHP
Perpetual
Flash Builder Prem
Perpetual
Flash Builder Std
Perpetual
Flash Professional CC
Annual Subscription
Font Folio
Perpetual
FrameMaker
Perpetual
FrameMaker Pub Servr
Perpetual
FrameMaker XMLAuthor
Perpetual
Freehand
Perpetual
Illustrator CC
Annual Subscription
InCopy CC
Annual Subscription
InDesign CC
Annual Subscription
LeanPrint Enterprise
Perpetual
Lightroom
Perpetual
Media Svr Ext
Perpetual
Media Svr Pro
Perpetual
Media Svr Std
Perpetual
PageMaker Plus
Perpetual
Photoshop CC
Annual Subscription
Photoshop Elements
Perpetual
PHSP & PREM Elements
Perpetual
Prelude CC
Annual Subscription
Premiere Elements
Perpetual
Presenter Licensed
Perpetual
RoboHelp Office
Perpetual
RoboHelp Server
Perpetual
SpeedGrade CC
Annual Subscription
TechnicalSuit
Perpetual
Visual Communicator
Perpetual

Monday, July 28, 2014

Phishing: How to Protect Your Computer

What is phishing? Phishing email messages are emails designed to steal your identity. They ask for personal data, or direct you to Web sites or phone numbers to call where they ask you to provide personal data. Today it is the most common attack vector in trying to compromise a computer system.  A simple e-mail message causes more damages to computer systems and fraud around the world than anything else.  In the past week alone, state government has had 3 individuals forfeit their computer credentials via phishing messages and resulting in compromised systems.  Fortunately, defense systems identified the compromise before permanent damage was inflicted.  We might not always be so lucky, though.  Phishing messages appear every day in our system and we need to recognize them when they appear.

Phishing e-mail messages take a number of forms:
  • They might appear to come from a friend, colleague, business you regularly do business with, or from social networking site.
  • A variant called spear phishing is a targeted form in which an e-mail message might look like it comes from your employer, or from a colleague who might send an e-mail message to everyone in the organization, such as the head of human resources or I/T.  They are more specific in that the topic of discussion is specific to an interest of yours.
  • They might ask you to make a phone call. Phone phishing scams direct you to call a customer support phone number. A person or an audio response unit waits to take your account number, personal identification number, password, or other valuable personal data. The phone phisher might claim that your account will be closed or other problems could occur if you don't respond.
  • They might include official-looking logos and other identifying information taken directly from legitimate Web sites, and they might include convincing details about your personal information that scammers found on your social networking pages.
  • They might include links to fake Web sites where you are asked to enter personal information.
While as much as 50% of email received by the State gets filtered and quarantined as phishing or in some way infected, there are many which still get through. Many times it is due to the spammers changing the “from” address so that our filters can’t keep up. BIT will continue to maintain effective filters to prevent as many harmful messages from getting through as possible.
 
For the few malicious messages which do end up being delivered to State users, we have created the following mailbox for your use:
Report Spam (Listed on Global Address List) or ReportSpam@state.sd.us
 
All messages emailed to this address will be monitored and reviewed by BIT to better protect and safeguard the State’s users and data. We continue add web sites to our blocked list every week. Messages appearing to be harmful or dangerous will be blocked from that point on so that further messages of that type will not be delivered.
 
If you ever have questions or doubts in regards to a message, phone call or technology request – do not hesitate to contact BIT for assistance. We are always willing to answer questions. Please be aware, BIT will never ask you for your username and password, or any other personal information, via email. Again, if you receive a message that appears to be offensive or dangerous, or desiring personal information from you, please remember to forward it to the above address or call the BIT Help Desk at 773-4357.
 
Parts of this notice were taken from Microsoft advisories

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Web is Working for South Dakota Businesses!

The web is working for South Dakota businesses. Google is helping. Google said it has a $55.6 million impact on South Dakota businesses!


An Economy Impact report for each state was released by the tech company last week. Nationwide, Google estimated it generated $111 billion in economic activity over the past year! In total for South Dakota, 2,300 companies were reportedly using Google to generate economic activity. !

In the South Dakota Economy Impact report, Google focused on two companies: The Lodge at Deadwood and the University of Sioux Falls.


According to its report, the Deadwood hotel and casino connects with customers around the world via the search engine. When they first launched their business into existence, they knew that in order  attract a broad audience of families, vacationers, business travelers and event planners, a strong web presence would be essential. The Lodge launched the website in 2010, and business took off! AdWords, Google's advertising program, has been an important tool in helping to bring customers through their doors.





USF relies on Google tools for marketing, admissions and to connect students with jobs and internships. This 131-year-old institution is thriving with the help of the Internet and their marketing department's digital efforts. USF uses Google tools such as AdWords, Google’s advertising program, YouTube, Google+ and Google Analytics to reach prospective students.

It is clear that Google has had a large impact on the great state of South Dakota and on the businesses within. This is the perfect time to reflect on the marketing plans of all businesses and what can be done to improve in order to benefit the business. Who knows, the web could be the number one marketing tool available!

Download the SD Report here!