IT Bulletin, September 2013

Welcome to the September 2013 edition of the IT bulletin. To ensure you are informed about the next edition join the mailing list You can subscribe by visiting the subscription request page in Sympa.

In this edition:

Update on the IT Services' Action Plandiagram

Following a number of reviews into research support, HPC and general IT support to help identify ways forward we are now able to publish our action plan to support medium to long term plans. 

The Action Plan draws together recommendations from the reviews and sets out a series of actions grouped into three key themes as follows.

  • Setting the Direction is concerned with the development of a new IT strategy and governance structures and communicating that to the whole organisation.
  • Developing the Service focuses on actions to enhance the delivery of general IT support services across the University.
  • Supporting Education and Research describes the actions specifically to improve alignment with and support for the University’s core activities. 

The Action Plan focuses a number of cycles. We will set out what we will do in the first cycle and what we anticipate will be done in the next cycle. The advantage of this approach is that we do not need to try to plan all activities in detail at the start, but can adapt and modify the plan as progress is made. Each cycle will be of four months duration. 

Further information and to access a copy of the Action Plan

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Laptop encryptionlaptop with padlock

The University needs to ensure that all University-owned laptops are properly secured.

All staff with University laptops are asked to check that their laptop is encrypted. If it is not, or if they are unsure, they should arrange a suitable time for IT Services to check and encrypt the laptop.

A simple process has been put in place for staff to check if their laptop is encrypted and to book a time to have this done.

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New Virtual Private Network (VPN) servicepaperchain of people

On Friday 20 September IT Services introduced a new VPN service for use at the University.

We are asking existing users of the VPN to move to the new service. VPN is part of a range of tools available for remote access.

For more information on the new service please see the news item

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Syllabus+ integration with staff Google calendarcalendar

From Monday 23 September all teaching commitments have been automatically fed into staff Google calendars from Syllabus+.

Syllabus+ remains the primary source of teaching timetable information, and any changes to timetable information need to be made in Syllabus Plus by the normal method (not in your Google calendar). The information presented in Google will be refreshed nightly from Syllabus+ to reflect any changes to the data in Syllabus+.

For more detailed information, including on modifying and deleting Syllabus+ entries in your Google calendar, please see the webpage at:  

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Change to the Google navigation

The familiar black bar at the top of the screen, allowing you to select Gmail, Calendar and Drive is soon to go. Over the next 3-5 weeks, Google will be removing the black bar and replacing it with a small ‘launcher’ that will provide quick and easy access to all your links by clicking a small button in the top right of your screen.  For more information see the blog post on Google@UOB.

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Data Protection and transcribing audio recording

Due to the difficulty in guaranteeing that a recorded interview will not contain personally identifiable data, it is safest to assume that all such recordings will be subject to the Data Protection Act.

As a result you must adopt an approach that ensures the security of the recording and its content. New advice is available at: 

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Replacement programme for Windows XP

Microsoft will stop support for Windows XP in April 2014. The most important consequence of this is that Microsoft will stop supplying security updates so PCs will be vulnerable to any new viruses or malware that appear. We are working hard to replace the University's XP computers and have reduced the percentage of Windows XP systems from 35% to 13% over the last six months. If you are still running XP at home, then we'd recommend you consider replacing it in the New Year sales. 

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Upcoming maintenanceServer maintenance

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News and contacting IT ServicesNewspapers

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