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Campus Computing: IT adds services, a virtual lab, survives a flood and puts out a fireLink to Humor in I.T.

UIT, AITS and ITSS: It takes the whole team as "together we" in IT keep the UNT community connected, configured and going. The UIT Help Desk added a laptop check-out service, Host Computing Services added a virtual lab while Chilton Hall staffers calmed the waters and UNT System ITSS fought off Drupalgeddon. Read more.

Network Connection: Fair Credit

Brave New World book coverBy Philip Baczewski, executive director, University IT
Perhaps you've seen news about China's developing national social credit system. Based on a plan released in 2014, the Chinese social credit score system would aim to reward "good behavior" while providing negative reinforcement for anti-social or irresponsible actions. Under the social credit score system, those with high scores may receive privileged treatment, while those with low scores may be considered "deadbeats." Aiming to be fully implemented in 2020, this new system could be seen as discouraging corruption or promoting behavior such as stopping your car when pedestrians cross the street. Read more.

Help Desk FYI: Students show what they learn about UNT IT resources to win a Nook tablet

Currently enrolled students who take the University IT Technology Tour this summer have a chance to win a Nook eReader at a drawing scheduled for Aug. 24, 2018. In a recent study of website analytics and data collected from 2016-2017, it is apparent that students access the UIT Help Desk in more significant numbers for information covered in the Technology Tour. New students may take an optional Success Session that covers the technology presentation during their orientation, but the majority opt out. The UIT website offers the Tech Tour through its website and as two PowerPoint presentations to impart necessary information about IT services and resources to complement the Success Sessions. The Tech Tour includes an introduction to UNT's IT resources that are primarily for undergraduate students, parents and visitors and another for graduate students. Read more about how to win the eReader.

Research Matters: Simple data simulations—in R, of course!R logo

By Jonathan Starkweather, consultant, Research and Statistical Support
Simulating data can be a very useful learning tool. It can help each of us better understand the 'real world' data we collect by allowing us to mimic the structure of data we hope to collect or data we have collected. It can help us better understand the analyses and models we wish to use, as well as the algorithms upon which those rely. Read more.

Finance and Administration Divisionwide Meeting Learning-Session Registration ends May 15

The annual meeting for full-time employees of the Division of Finance and Administration is scheduled May 23 at the Murchison Performing Arts Center and Gateway Center. After the morning plenary session and luncheon, breakout sessions will be offered from 1–2:15 p.m. and 2:30–4 p.m. Read about the classes on the FAD Training website, and register through May 15 through the Learning Portal. Sessions are open to the entire UNT community as space permits. All participants are asked to register. If you need assistance registering or changing classes, please email Jerri Robertson. Read more.

Melania Trump at White House Be Best eventFirst Lady includes IT in her new initiative

Melania Trump announced "Be Best" as the name of her initiative in support of children during a White House Rose Garden event May 7, 2018. The IT-related initiative, outlined in a 28-page pamphlet called "Talking with Kids About Being Online," will focus on children's well-being, social media use and opioid abuse. Trump said she has started working on Be Best's goals and plans to continue speaking with leaders in the technology industry about children's online habits, raising awareness around the importance of positive behavior and working with those who have drug addictions.

Spring Cleaning: Don't forget your phone

bacteriaYour smartphone often is in one of the dirtiest parts of your body—your hands. A smartphone can be 10 times dirtier than a toilet seat. You drop the phone, sneeze on your phone, take it to the bathroom: you might want to wash that thing. Adding a manufacturer-recommended routine to your daily schedule is highly recommended. According to Apple, you should use a soft, slightly damp, lint-free cloth to do this. Motorola suggests a microfiber cloth, with a little water if it’s really dirty. Google suggests using ordinary household soap or cleaning wipes to clean the Pixel. You can watch a video to clean your Android. For an edgier view of this topic, see this Buzzfeed article (language may be objectionable to some.) The point is that washing your smartphone makes you a little smarter!

2018 Trends and Technology Domain Reports

Which trends and technologies are taking hold?

Analytics? Cloud? Teaching and learning? Which technologies are gaining the most attention in these domains of higher education IT? According to an EDUCAUSE report, the list includes predictive analytics for student success, tools to support cross-institutional and international collaborations, active learning classrooms, federated identity technologies and blended data centers.

Review the 2018 Trends and Technologies: Domain Reports to understand the widespread trends and technologies influencing higher education in nine technology domains.

Education technology: Hardware, software and deployment

With Apple re-emphasizing its push for the education market with its new iPad and software updates, it's worth examining how the company stacks up with Google and Microsoft. Here's a look at the core pitches as well as the moving parts. Read more.

Survey shows majority of finance leaders plan to boost investments in innovative technologies

One of the common complaints from IT executives is how difficult it is to get funding for innovative technology projects. But the desire to digitally transform businesses for competitive reasons has changed things, and finance executives are loosening up the purse strings considerably. Read more.

UIT Calendar

Drupal Help Clinic: May 17, 10:30 a.m.–noon, GAB, Room 550A
Division of Finance and Administration Divisionwide Annual Meeting, May 23, 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
HPC New-User Workshop, Part 1: May 28, 1 p.m., GAB, Room 535
HPC New-User Workshop, Part 2: May 29, 1 p.m., GAB, Room 535
Memorial Day Observed, May 28, campus closed
Intro to Drupal Views, June 6, 10 a.m.–noon, Chilton Hall, Room 270
HPC Maintenance Outage, June 7, 10 a.m.

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.