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On the topic of privacy

Did you know that May 1 - 7, 2013 is "Choose Privacy Week"?  Choose Privacy Week is an ongoing program of the American Library Association that invites library users into a national conversation about privacy rights in a digital age. Check out the Choose Privacy Week website for more info and programming resources for libraries. Here's a short (1:23) Privacy Week Trailer video from their video gallery that covers some of the privacy-related concerns and issues: http://player.vimeo.com/video/10998821.

In celebration of Choose Privacy Week, I'd like to share a couple links to privacy-related resources I ran across this week...

And finally, here's a fun video to get you thinking about how the information you share online through social media and other sources can reveal more than you might like to the world.

"Dave is an extremely gifted clairvoyant who finds out specific financial information. This video reveals the magic behind the magic, making people aware of the fact that their entire life can be found online. And by doing so urging everybody to be vigilant."

Amazing mind reader reveals his "gift"

Wireless External Drive for Phones and Tablets

Not many phone and tablet users require a terabyte of extra storage beyond what the device offers.  If you do need that extra space, there is a product for you.  The Seagate Wireless Plus Portable Drive MP900448483allows you to bring 1TB of extra storage space wherever you go.  The setup is pretty simple.  You have to download and install the free Seagate media app on your Android or IOS device.  When you turn on the hard drive, it sends out a wireless signal that you connect to from your device's wifi settings menu.  When the drive is fully charged, it can stay operational for up to 10 hours.  It's a nice product if have you a ton of movies and audio files you'd like to stream to your mobile device.

More information

OverDrive How-To Guides

OverDrive recently announced that new How-To Guides are now available. The device specific guides are available for Android, iOS (iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch), Kindle Fire and that more are coming soon.

In the meantime, Jim Ramsey from Middleton Public Library created instructions for use with patrons and they are available for you to use in your library. You can find the links to the documents in this previous TechBits post, Notes on OverDrive: The Next Generation



And, don't forget about BadgerLearn. In addition to OverDrive training materials, you can find many other archived webinars, tutorials, handouts, and much more.


Creating simple subtotals in Excel

Most people who work with Excel spreadsheets know you can total a group of numbers by using the Sum function.  But did you know Excel has a subtotal function that will create simple subtotals and a grand total for you? 

Open the spreadsheet and select the data you would like to subtotal.  Then go to the Data tab and look on the right hand side for the Subtotal option.  Click on the Subtotal icon and a pop-up window will appear asking how you want to subtotal the information. 


The “At each change in:” option, lets you define the groups of entries you wish to subtotal.  For example, if you have a report that is for all libraries, you can choose to have it subtotaled by library by choosing Library for the “At each change in:” option.  To know what’s available for options, click the down arrow on the right side of the in the “At each change in:” box, and choose from a list of possible selections. 

The “Use function” section allows you to choose what kind of subtotal you wish to see.  For example, you can go with a straight up sum of the numbers or you could choose to show the average of the numbers instead.  Again, to know what’s available, click on the down arrow at the end of the “Use function:” box.

With the “Add subtotal to:” selections, you decide which column is getting subtotaled.  Most of the time you’re going to want to choose a numeric column since subtotals of most non-numeric data don’t make much sense. 

There are also three checkboxes for subtotal options.  First is “Replace current subtotals”.  If you are wanting to do multiple subtotals, for example one for the sum and one for the average, deselect this option for the successive subtotals to keep them from replacing the original subtotals.  Next is “Page break between groups”.  This will cause each subtotaled group to print on a separate page when you print the spreadsheet.  The last option is “Summary below data”.  With this, you control whether the grand total and the subtotals are at the top of what they’re totaling or if the subtotals come after the list of entries being totaled. 

When you're done with your selection, click on OK.  You've now got a quick, simple subtotal of your data.

The Best Way to Update Third Party (Flash, Java, Reader, etc) Programs on EARTH!


Ninite - enough said.

I'm serious when I say that Ninite is the best way on earth to update over 100 third party programs.  It doesn't matter if you have one computer or 100,000 computers. 

For home users it's super easy!  Go to the Ninite.com , check the applications that you want to update, download the installer and run it.  As easy is that is there is even an easier way!  Purchase the Ninite updater for $9.99 a YEAR and let it do it for you! (Seriously buy it now)

For enterprise IT there is Ninite Pro.  Ninite Pro has literally saved us thousands of staff hours when it comes to updates.  Ninite Pro can be used with almost all management tools like System Center, ZENworks, KACE, Kaseya, Labtech, etc.  It can automatically disable the annoying update prompts, install silent, give meaningful logs, and disable shortcuts from being added to the desktop.  There is so much more too.  Oh and did I mention that it is cheaper than you would ever imagine!

So the bottom line is get it, use it. 

One sad thing is that Adobe had the Ninite people pull Flash Player from the free version.  Probably because they want you accidentally install the add on stuff when you forget to check "don't install" fom the Adobe website.  Flash is available for paying customers!


Touch Screen Monitors

Td2220_left_hires_1Several people have asked me about the touch screen monitors Reedsburg Public Library is using for delivery and at their check-out desk. To help answer some of your questions, I created a short video highlighting some of the features of the Viewsonic touch screen.

Reedsburg Public Library also opted to purchase different stands that are more flexible than the included stand that comes with the monitor which only lets you tilt.

If you are interested in purchasing one for your library you can order them by going to the peripherals order form.



The future of privacy

Don't know if you've been following the progress of Google Glass (Google's augmented reality glasses) since our last post about them, but back in February Google ran a pilot for 8,000 beta users. As a possible large scale release and adoption of augmented reality glasses draws ever nearer, this has been generating a number of concerns related to detachment (they'll affect the way humans interact with each other!), distraction (probably shouldn't wear them while driving, right?), and PRIVACY (everyone everywhere could be recording and sharing EVERYTHING without your knowledge or consent!). As Mark Hurst put it in this excellent Creative Good post, "The experience of being a citizen, in public, is about to change."

Video: "I used Google Glass"

It's the privacy concern that will probably most impact libraries and their users. Already in our daily lives we're faced with security cameras, smartphones, and other devices capable of easily recording and sharing our every move. What happens when these devices become part of our clothing and are with us --and ACTIVE-- wherever we go? And what role do libraries have in providing privacy from such devices to their patrons? (How does your library respond when someone whips out a camera and starts snapping photos or recording? It may become more common, and with augmented reality glasses you may not even know it's happening...)

Tasha Saecker, assistant director of the Appleton Public Library, posted about this topic recently on her Sites and Soundbytes blog, urging libraries to start a dialog now, before Google Glass or other augmented reality glasses enter the library. How do you think libraries should approach this new technology?

Takeaways from the video and reading more about Glass:
Interesting. You probably won't be reading books using Google Glass (think "headlines" or "news stories being read aloud to you", short replies or emoticons, sharing...  simple, quick interactions). A camera was not originally part of Google Glass.
There will be lots of tapping your glasses or talking to them using voice recognition. Google is aiming for having Google Glass out as a consumer product by the end of 2013.

Concerning. You won't know who is taking pictures of or recording you. Tons of information could be collected and potentially integrated with other Google technologies. Add in facial recognition and speech-to-text software, and everything you've ever done in proximity of a Google Glass device could be cataloged and made available by Google. It's a leap, but it could technically happen.

Want more about the glasses?  Check out this page for a video of the Project Glass presentation made at last month's SXSW event in Austin, Texas. The article has more information about the presentation; the video is 50 minutes long and includes a live demonstration of the glasses (starting around 10:52), some geeky stuff about the code in the middle (min 16-26:30) and a summary of what Glass developers have learned over the last few months (26:30-end). Personally, I'm not sure that I'm ready for "constant on" and I'm definitely not thrilled about the privacy aspect of it, but it is some pretty cool technology.

Want more on the privacy issue?  Try these: "Google Glass and Surveillance Culture" and "Google Glass half full: Why that 'ban" may not be needed"

Viral Infection!

We've had a few very nasty PC infections lately and I thought it would be good to go over some important information about how to prevent an infection on your PC. 

SCLS' Antivirus software vs fake AV programs

The first thing to discuss is the antivirus software that SCLS uses on your staff and patron PCs.  It is called Sophos and on staff PCs this software is updated multiple times a day.  On patron PCs this software is updated during the nightly updates.  If you ever see anything on the screen that says that your PC is infected and it is not coming from Sophos then you have a rogue security software program.  It tries to make you think that your computer is infected by a virus and usually prompts you to download or buy a product that removes the virus. The names of these products frequently contain words like Antivirus, Shield, Security, Protection, or Fixer. This makes them sound legitimate. They frequently run right after you download them, or the next time that your computer starts. Rogue security software can prevent applications, such as Sophos or Task Manager, from opening or even running. Rogue security software might also display legitimate and important Windows files as infections. Typical error messages or pop-up messages might contain phrases like "Warning! Your computer is infected!" or "This computer is infected by spyware and adware."  We previously wrote about this kind of popup in the article entitled "Poisonous Popups Redux" .  The very best thing to do when you see this "Fake Antivirus Popup" is to not touch the PC and immediately call the Help Desk.

How do you get these viral nasties?

Now on to how you get these viral nasties.  One way is by surfing the Internet and accidentally going to a site that has been hacked and has viruses hidden in the advertisements on the webpage.  It is also possible to hide malware in pictures that people download.  I've had quite a few people call me and say I was just looking for some pictures when I got a message that my PC was infected.  So please exercise caution when going to sites and downloading anything. Ensure that the source is a legitimate and reputable one.  Another way to get a viral nasty is via an email that says please "click this link to get" and then something that sounds really important or "please see attachment."  One of the most common emails that gets everybody is the one that is called the Package Delivery Virus.  This is where some delivery service, e.g. UPS, FedEx or DHL, say that a package could not be delivered so open an attachment or click a link to get a receipt. 

How to prevent virus infections

•If the English in an email doesn't have complete sentences or is broken English then do not open any attached files or click on any links found in the email.

•Do not open any attached files or click on any links found in an email from an unknown, suspicious or untrustworthy source.

•If an email appears to come from a friend, someone you know or a business that you use, confirm that your contact really sent the email.  Some viruses can replicate themselves and spread through email.

•Do not open any files attached to an email if the subject line is questionable or unexpected.

•When in doubt, always err on the side of caution and do not open, download, or execute any files or email attachments. Not executing is the most important.

In summary: It is always better to be safe than to spread a virus to everyone that you know, bring down the network for the entirety of SCLS, or permanently lose your data.

Bringing back the classic menu to Firefox

Some of you may have noticed that in newer versions of Firefox the standard "File, Edit, View" menus are replaced with a big orange Firefox button, looking something like this:

Firefox menu

I don't like it.  You probably don't like it either.  But, thankfully, you can switch it back.  First, click the orange button, then hover over the "Options" option in the right margin, then select "Menu Bar" from the list, like this:

Menu bar option

And now you have the classic menus again!

Firefox file menu

Monday Match Game

We're going to play a matching game today. Match the icon or symbol with its meaning:

1. Gear

  A. My Account (OverDrive)

2. Menu

  B. Available eBook (OverDrive)

3. Search   C. Help
4. Wireless   D. Home
5. ODAccount

  E. Available Audiobook(OverDrive)

6. Home   F. Settings
7. ODHelp   G. Wireless
8. ODeBookAvailable   H. Search
9. ODAudioAvailable   I. Battery Charge
10. Charge   J. Menu

Before peeking at the answer key below, how many did you get right? These are some common symbols and icons that appear on many smart phones, tablets, ereaders and other devices. Icons on your device may vary slightly.

Are there icons or symbols on your device that you don't recognize? Check out the User Guide for your individual device for additional information.

 Thanks to Rose for the idea!




Answers: 1.F; 2.J; 3.H; 4.G; 5.A; 6.D; 7.C; 8.B; 9.E; 10.I