Benchmarks Online, August 2018

Welcome Baaack!

Humor in ITUniversity Information Technology wishes to send a warm welcome to new students, new faculty, and new employees, and reach out to all of our University community as many return to the learning, teaching, and research that drives the mission of UNT. As we return from our summer vacations with shiny new parking stickers, we also welcome new opportunities for enhancing those academic activities. The back-to-school calendar is brimming with events, and in this issue, you will find new training and resources as well as new opportunities in several areas of University IT.

So, What's New?

The UIT Help Desk has added new services to include in-person, hands-on training for new students, and the new Virtual Statistics Lab—a boon to faculty and students—provides a new way to access computing resources. Read more.

Wi-Fi setup training, Aug. 29 and 30 at the UIT Help DeskHelp Desk FYI:  New Training Sessions

In the first few days of the semester, two training sessions will help students get connected and stay connected. For more information or to request training, contact the UIT Help Desk, 940-565-2324. Please share this information with new students.

Get Connected

Sage Hall, Room 330: Overview of EagleConnect Email and UNT Wi-FI services with technicians to provide one-on-one assistance.
Aug. 28: 2 p.m. and Aug. 30: 10 a.m.

Stay Connected

Sage Hall, Room 330: Overview of the Office 365 suite to aid in collaborative projects.
Sept. 5: 2 p.m. and Sept. 6: 10 a.m.

VSL, virtual statistics labNew Lab: A Computer Lab Gone Virtual

Note: The VSL is available to UNT faculty, staff and students—provided the use is for academic purposes.

By Jacob Flores, system administrator supervisor, IT User Services, University IT, and Jonathan Starkweather, statistical analyst research specialist, Data Science and Analytics, Research IT Services, UIT

Software streaming, remote apps, virtual desktops—technology advancements are great, but what do all these terms mean? Here are five key points to understanding University IT’s new Virtual Statistics Lab and how it can benefit you. Read more.

Campus Computing: New Opportunities in Research

University IT meeting with Development Director Brittany Causey

NSF Cloud and Autonomic Computing comes to UNT

The University of North Texas joined as an affiliate site in the National Science Foundation Cloud and Autonomic Computing Center in July to pursue fundamental research and development in cloud and autonomic computing methods and their application to a broad range of systems of interest to industry and government partners.

The CAC, funded by the NSF Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers program, is founded on leveraging industry-research partnerships leading to new business development, technology transfer, workforce training and commercialization opportunities. Texas Tech University, University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz., and Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Va. are approved CAC sites. Each university site is individually approved by the NSF to join the CAC Center as a member. Universidad de Sonora, Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, is an international partner.

As the new affiliate site, UNT will host the semi-annual meeting of the CAC Center's Industry Advisory Board, Oct. 22-23, 2018, at the UNT Gateway Center, bringing together industry executives, research directors and research faculty and students. Areas of interest include cloud-specific algorithms, implementations and standards, distributed and autonomic computing applications, paradigms and methods.

The UNT affiliate site will work to provide a practical and collaborative work arena for development and coordination of methods and standards that are specifically applicable to cloud and other forms of advanced distributed computing under the direction of Ravi Vadapalli, director, Research IT Services, University IT. Faculty and staff interested in attending or sending their research students to the IAB meeting, should contact Dr. Vadapalli. Read more.

5GNetwork Connection: 5 Gee!

By Philip Baczewski, executive director, University IT

Reports are that Verizon is close to making a deal to sign up video providers for their 5G wireless service that's about to be launched later this year. This brings up the question, "what the heck is 5g?" You might just intuit that it's the thing that will replace 4G, but that may not be a complete answer. It follows that 5G must be better than 4G, but what's the actual benefit that we can expect from 5G? To answer that question, you need to talk about one thing: bandwidth. Read more.

LyndaCampusRemember Lynda this Semester

Unlimited Access | Expert Teachers | Learn Anywhere

The IT training available to the UNT System community helps you solve real-world practical computing issues and practice for certification exams. Dive into troubleshooting Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X; set up networks, servers, and client services; manage big data; and learn more Drupal skills. Check out LyndaCampus. Contact the UIT Help Desk should you have any questions.

Hotspot: Faculty and Staff in the Zone


Guido VerbeckUNT Researchers make Meth in their Lab for Drug-test Device

A University of North Texas professor and one of his graduate students have spent the last nine years making meth, fentanyl and PCP in a lab. And they're getting a lot of press for their accomplishment: NBC DFW | Topix  | TodayChan | GfarmaNews | Chicago Tribune | Phys.Org.

It’s all legal—the federal government signed off on it. They’ve used the drugs to test a device they’re developing: a breath analyzer that can identify marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and other drugs in people’s systems.

Guido Verbeck, a chemistry professor, created the device with the help of grad student Tom Kiselak. Read more.

Vernon Smith, provost, American University System

EDUCAUSE Interview: Provost Vernon C. Price

Where IT and higher education are and where they're heading by Susan Grajek, vice president for communities and research, EDUCAUSE. Vernon Smith has been the chief academic officer at three colleges and universities. He is an academic leader who understands and values the contributions technology can make to advance the academic mission. Read more.

What's Eating Your RAM? Use the Google Chrome Task Manager to Find Out

Didn't know that Google Chrome had its own Task Manager? It sure does! You can access it by clicking on the three vertical dots at the top-right of the menu bar, going down to More Tools and then select Task Manager. Read more.

Broken heart on a cell phone screenHow this Startup is Digitizing Divorce

A new UK-based startup is looking to change the way that we think about, and make divorces happen, using a mix of digital expertise and compassion. Founded by Kate Daly and Pip Wilson in 2015, combines an intuitive, collaborative app and divorce expertise to make the process as painless, transparent and as quick possible. Read more.

thumb downFacebook may have Lost Young People Forever

Being the most popular social media platform in the world comes with a lot of baggage. But even after data breaches, Russian trolls, and Congressional hearings, Facebook remains the ruler of the social media kingdom.

However, Facebook’s days could be numbered, as one demographic that is crucial to continued success has displayed a surprising lack of interest in this decade-old platform – young people. And it’s only getting worse.

According to a recent study from Pew Research Center, only 51 percent of teens age 13 to 17 use Facebook. For a platform boasting 2 billion monthly users, that’s a little embarrassing. Particularly when 95 percent of teens have access to a smartphone and 45 percent say they’re online “almost constantly.” Read more.

13 Technologies that are Safer than Passwords

13 technologies that are safer than passwords

Iris scanner

A leading manufacturer of the technology calls the iris scan "the most accurate human identifier other than DNA." The false-accept rate, according to EyeLock, is "1-in-1.5 million for a single eye."

Rumor has it the forthcoming iPhone 8 will feature an iris scanner. Other smartphones, including the notorious Samsung Galaxy Note 7, already have. Read more.

A Hand-Worn Keyboard Lets You Type on Any Surface

Forget everything you know about keyboards. Tap is totally disrupting the wearables market by introducing the Tap wearable keyboard, mouse and controller.

The sci-fi looking device is worn on the user's hand, sliding over each finger. Once on, typing happens by using finger gestures or taps on any surface to produce different letters and symbols. While Tap comes preloaded with a series of intuitive gestures, the device is totally programmable to your individual needs and desires.

As a keyboard, Tap can sync with any smart device. Simply connect via Bluetooth and get tapping.

Typing with Tap takes less than an hour to learn using the TapGenius app.  The intuitive app breaks down the alphabet into a learning system that is easy to remember and will get you typing and controlling with your tap fast. The app uses musical and visual cues to help you memorize each ‘tap set’. Read more.

UIT Calendar

Aug. 29, 2 p.m.: UIT Help Desk Training: Wi-Fi and Email, Sage Hall, Room 330
Aug. 30, 10 a.m.: UIT Help Desk Training: Wi-Fi and Email, Sage Hall, Room 330
Sept. 3: Labor Day, no classes, university closed
Sept. 5, 2 p.m.: UIT Help Desk Training: MS Office 365 Apps, Sage Hall, Room 330
Sept. 6, 10 a.m.: UIT Help Desk Training: MS Office 365 Apps, Sage Hall, Room 330
Sept. 10, 10 a.m.-noon: Drupal Clinic, Chilton Hall, Room 270
October: National Cyber Security Awareness Month
Oct. 15, 1-3 p.m.: Drupal Clinic, Chilton Hall, Room 270
Oct. 22-23: NSF Cloud and Autonomic Computing Industry Advisory Board Meeting, Gateway Center

Editor's Note: Please note that information in each edition of Benchmarks Online is likely to change or degrade over time, especially the links to various websites. For current information on a specific topic, search the UNT website, UNT's UIT Help Desk or the world wide web. Email your questions and comments to the UNT University Information Technology Department or call 940-565-2324.