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October 2013 DCC Meeting Notes

An Audio version of the meeting is available here.

Humanity centered Robotics Initiative
Signature Initiative Proposal
Chad Jenkins (speaker), Michael Littman, Bertram Malle

Longterm vision to have robots interacting with people for the benefit of humankind.

Robots are coming. The same way computers arrived over the last 40 years. Currently in use with military, law enforcement, surgical systems, and Google Maps car.

Robot Telepresence – Similar to “Skype on Wheels”. “Beam” $16,000. Requires 5 GHz wireless to run 3 video streams. Specific term is “Robot Presence Device”. Large screen, noise cancellation.
Beam –

Verizon Wireless – Vgo system – sick student using to attend classes. $6,000 – 4G, small screen, low quality sound and video.
Vgo –

National Robotics Initiative – 40-50MIL from Govt.

Wendy McRae-Owoeye – Director of Staff Diversity and EEO officer
Sexual Harassment On-Line Training

For the first time, the President and Provost are mandating staff and faculty training.
High risk for unethical conduct without proper training.
Employers can be held liable for inappropriate behavior.
~15,000 people either have or will be taking the training.
October 21/22 is the next wave.
Many people required IT assistance during the first wave and expect similar results this time.
Goal is 100% compliance of faculty and staff.

Chris Grossi
Adobe status – still in negotiations for Master Collection site license
If you need Adobe, hold off as long as possible.
License is going to be for 25% of Brown-Owned computers.

Windows 8.1 – could be the next Brown Standard
Probably not coming before Fall
Coeus issue with Windows 8

What to do with support for Windows XP?
Doug Wilkinson – Willing to talk to people about the best options for future XP networking.

Switch from Mozy to Druva
Over the summer they ran evaluation and Druva became the best choice.
Mozy rejected shorter renewal, and contract has now expired.
Demo of Druva at Tech Forum next week.
$60 per computer/year.

MacBook Pro with Brown-Secure problems
Possible hardware piece issue with these machines.

Changes in progress to

Written by

18 October 2013 at 12:24pm

Notes from the June 2012 DCC meeting

Notes submitted by Stephanie Han


Pat Kinghorn announced that there was a FileMaker one day conference meeting at MIT next Wednesday, June 20th, 2012. If anyone is interested, please e-mail her, and she will send along further information.

Chris Gross announced that Maple 16 will be released shortly. Chris mentioned that Dell did fix some of the issues which were problematic on the premiere page, such as the default login going to their software page, and not to computer equipment. Dell is in the process of rebuilding the information on their software page. Chris was going to send around a Google spreadsheet to all of the system admins and DCCs to ask for suggestions on what types of software should be included on this site.

Chris also told the group that he and Scott Martin had met with some folks from FileMaker regarding an on-line training series initiative. This series appears to be an excellent and inexpensive way to gain needed training.

David Sherry: Password Strengthening Policy (10+)

David Sherry then introduced the new password policy to the DCC community. With the onset of Workday, and Oracle Identity Management (OIM), David remarked that it was an ideal time to implement a campus wide initiative for the strengthening of passwords. The reasons for strengthening the Brown network passwords are due in part to the increased amount of confidential information available to both faculty and staff, through for example WorkDay and Banner. Also Brown’s ability to qualify for funding and grants also mandate that the password policy be upgraded. Compliance with the Level of Assurance with InCommon (Shibboleth), which would raise our level from Bronze to Silver. Due to these requirements, the password convention must be bumped up from eight characters to 10 or more characters. David Sherry stated that there would be a grace period whereby members of the community could begin this process. Eventually it will be necessary for each person in the Brown Community to verify their identity by logging into the Oracle Identity Manager, where the password change will take place. David is encouraging that this process commence on June 20th. Passwords will have to be changed annually. At the 351st day, notifications will be disseminated to Brown users as a reminder to change their password. The password must be changed before the expiration date, or a user may lose the ability to authenticate into Brown resources. Near the conclusion of his presentation, David Sherry distributed a pamphlet to the DCCs with specific information regarding the password policy. For more information please visit:

Scott Thacher: Community Technology Consortium (CTC)

Scott Thatcher gave a brief presentation on a new initiative entitled, “Community Technology Consortium.” He remarked that the CTC is an advisory group which directly communicates to Mike Pickett on issues voiced through the IT community here at Brown. The purpose of this group is to promote coordination and communication across IT’s strategies, architectures, methods and priority. It is hoped that this consortium will assist:
Identifying and planning top priority collaborative initiates within Brown.
Allowing Brown-wide IT best practices and standards to be jointly developed
Fostering innovation and allowing ideas and solutions to be broadly shared.
Coordinate support transitions of IT leadership, during times of emergency.
Serving as a technology advisory group.
Providing advocacy for issues of the IT community’s concern.

It is hoped that the Consortium will have a web presence sometime in the future. The membership includes: Tony Allison, Andrew Ashton, Jeff Coady, Jaime Combariza, Monty Combs, Cliff Hirschman, Chris Keith, Paul Koussa, Jennifer lane, David Mycue, Kristen Soule, John Spadaro, and Scott Thacher.

Tom DuValley: Red Hat Server License

Tom DuValley presented the campus-wide site license for several Redhat products, including server, workstation and clustering software. This service will be managed through a Red Hat Network Satellite service providing:
• Licensing
• Hosts and serves out all software
• Hosts and serves out all software updates
• Provides Kickstart management
• Config file management
• Update management
• System profiling
Workstations and servers for all Brown faculty, staff and students will be licensed at no cost. Vendor support will be available to all those who are licensed. The way to install this system is via Kickstart, which is accomplished through the Campus PXEBoot service.
Brown’s particular satellite is called Hubble,, and is great for system administrators, because it provides a central management hub for all of these systems. If a department wants to manage their own machines, they get their own log in and their own account.
Please visit for further documentation, and for specific satellite documentation please visit

Audio capture and presentation PDFs can be found at:

Written by Pat Kinghorn

22 June 2012 at 11:37am

DCC Meeting Notes – 14 March 2010

An audio recording of this meeting is available here.

Announcements – Chris Grossi

We’re down to two weeks left for the Symantec Antivirus license. CIS is tracking and running reports of machines that are still contacting the SAV server. ISG has sent reminders to departments that have many remaining SAV clients. We need to get full migration completed by the end of March to both ensure active and current client security, and to be in compliance with our licensing agreements and protect Brown from a license audit and penalties.

CIS has been working with SAS to extend licensing across campus, they are close to being ready to un-key SAS licensing. Standalone SAS will be available to departments before the end of the semester. Anyone using a keyed installation of SAS will need to uninstall their preior version and reinstall the new unkeyed version. Students are included in the licensing and can install SAS on their own computers.

By the end of this patch cycle, Windows machines managed in the CIS SCCM system will have their Microsoft updates managed by SCCM.

As part of Brown’s Dell contract, Dell will be running a Recycling Day on Friday 20 April (Earth Day weekend) to allow Brown-owned and personal equipment to be dropped off for recycling. Details are still being worked out, look for more information from CIS soon.

Qualtrics Online Survey Platform

Representatives of Qualtrics, a commercial service offering very high-quality hosted online survey building, deployment, and reporting, presented their platform. Their core features are:

  • Sophisticated surveys made simple (built by a PhD survey researcher)
  • 86 question types
  • Advanced logic available
  • Provides University control. delegated administration
  • FERPA. IRB, PHI, HIPAA compliance – SSAE 16 Certified
  • University owns the data
  • Collaboration available with other researchers in the world even if they don’t have Qualtrics at their institution
  • Extensive training and documentation both in using the service and in general research survey design

If you have any questions about the features and benefits of Qualtrics, feel free to contact Ryan Jackson, their representative, at

CIS is looking for feedback to see who else in the University would be interested. Send your feedback to If you have direct feedback regarding the usefulness of Qualtrics to your department, you can also complete the CIS survey that is collecting departmental interest in the platfom.

Doug Wilkinson – CIS Network Technology Group (NTG)

NTG is comprised of:

  • Network Security
  • Network Engineering
  • Network Operations

Any network tickets should be assigned to the Network Operations group, they triage and reassign as needed.
CommOps remains unchanged, still handle dead ports, tap requests, etc.
Projects update:

  • Internet Border to OSHEAN – upgrading infrastructure to prepare for a future migration from redundant 1G to redundant 10g
  • 5400 firewall decommission, reaching out to departments who are behind these obsolete devices
  • NSZ moves
  • PBX and SIP upgrade, now complete. SIP features and phones are in testing and will be deployed in new projects in the near future.

Doug’s slide deck is available here.

Written by Don Rogers

22 March 2012 at 1:39pm

DCC Meeting December 14, 2011


Chris Grossi opened the meeting with a brief announcement about turning on Google Plus as an opt-in service for the Brown Community. There has been a big demand for this from the students, so by mid-January it will be launched. On January 2nd, CIS will adopt Google’s “Scheduled Release Plan,” which will enable CIS to have greater control in rolling out Google updates. Chris also thanked everyone for their participation in the software survey, and said that he and Stephanie Obodda would be tallying the results, to be made available sometime during January or February’s meeting. Chris told the DCCs that the software updates in SCCM are working in pilot departments. Also a presentation should be scheduled for a TechForum early next year.

Steve McKay then gave an update on Forefront, the antivirus software which is to replace Symantec for Windows machines. The new standalone installer has been adapted to include tools that remove all previous Symantec version, as well as Microsoft Security Essentials. On the Mac side, Sophos also looks good, and the distribution version is ready. SCCM installations have begun in pilot departments, and will be expanded in January. Antivirus software for Macs will be held off until after the New Year.

Judy Nabb, Kerry Feather, and Stephanie Altomari-Cavanagh introduced Learning Point, which will support professional and learning development, as well as mandatory compliance training for the Brown Community. It will replace Learning Point will be available to faculty, staff and students, and provide a comprehensive check point for all training events, testing, and evaluations, as well as an interface for facilitating employee networking and collaborative endeavors. Users will be able to track their learning and training session, as well as be provided a means for important training announcements. Learning Point will provide both instructor led and on-line training sessions and modules. Transcripts existing in , should be downloaded and saved, before the site is decommissioned on July 1, 2012.

For more information email, or visit the informational page located on the Human Resources website.

Michelle Wise who helps to organize the health and wellness component of classes which are offered to the Brown Community, will maintain the site for these classes.

Stephanie Obodda will be working with Microsoft to provide on-line training modules for Windows related training.

Those departments on campus which are still in need of an online registration system will be provided with classes which will offer training to create registration forms using Google Docs. These classes will be made available beginning in January and last through the summer of 2012.

John Harmon gave a presentation and brief demonstration of the new project called WORKDAY, soon to be released at Brown. WORKDAY will provide a central management system for Human Resources, Payroll, and other administrative efforts at Brown. Brown members will be able to access human resources related information such as vacation or sick time availability, payroll, and benefits information. WORKDAY will improve the way that human resources data is administered, and will afford an integrated system so that this data is easier to share and manage. This initiative will permit employees to access their own information and administer certain transactions, as well as providing an interface for reporting and record keeping.

WORKDAY WIZARDS will be trained from among the Brown Community in order to provide instruction to faculty, staff and students toward navigating the WORKDAY program.

To see John’s presentation click here.

An audio version of the meeting can be heard here.

Notes submitted by Stephanie Han

Written by Pat Kinghorn

5 January 2012 at 11:23am

DCC Meeting – October 12, 2011


Brown’s new Dell 3 year contract is close to completion and will shortly be signed.

There has been a change in our Dell Reps. Contact information can be found on the My Dell link on the Dell Premier Page.

CIS is working on streamlining the Dell computer ordering process with the Bookstore. They are also pursuing the idea of the Bookstore keeping an in store inventory of standard machines. This would be a great benefit to departments for those “emergency” situations.

CIS is currently in the testing phase for the new anti-virus client for Brown owned PC’s and hopes to have it out within the next 30 days. Just a reminder that MS Security Essentials can not be put on Brown owned computers or computers running an enterprise copy of Windows. Looks like it is going to be Sophos for the Mac.

Office 2010 support is coming. Classes are in the works.

All users of Maple need to standardize on one version (v15). The sooner we can get our users on that version, the better.

ITG (Instructional Technology Group) will be offering 2 training classes at the end of the month on CANVAS (Brown’s new MyCourses replacement). They will offer sessions on October 26 (from 1-2) and October 27 (from 10-11). The group will also be debuting Canvas at the November DCC meeting.


John Huffman, Manager for CCV User Services and Applications, went over the services offered by the CCV and said that they are willing to talk to anyone who wants to use the facility. In addition, the CCV staff are available for hire on a consulting basis. John also mentioned that the Cave is currently closed for renovations and they hope to have a new state-of-the-art cave up and running by the fall of 2012.

You can view all of the CCV service offerings on their home page or click here for the CCV slide presentation.

Click here for an audio recording of this DCC meeting.

Meeting notes submitted by Gary Bryson.

Written by Pat Kinghorn

20 October 2011 at 3:32pm

DCC Meeting Notes – Wednesday September 14th, 2011

An audio recording of this meeting is available.

Announcements – Pat Kinghorn

Next week’s TechForum meeting (Wednesday 21 Sept 2011) is focused on FileMaker Go. Our new FileMaker technical rep will be here doing a demo. Also, Brown is leading the creation of global higher-ed FileMaker listserv. If you’re interested, contact Pat Kinghorn.

Next month’s DCC meeting will be held in the List Art Center, room 110.

Announcements – Chris Grossi

We all got through the Back-to-School rush pretty well; it was as quiet a BTS period as in the last 10 years. The Cloudpath wifi auto configuration service was a big part of that: 2450 people auto-configured the Brown-Secure SSID since 8/30. Walk-ins were down 50% at Help Desk, as there was no need for walk-in wifi configuration.

Banner’s recent ‘Error 404’/cookie problems were been patched on Monday. If anyone has further troubles, contact Help Desk.

Tom Flood from Facilities is making a bulk purchase of Dell laptops and desktops – if you want to join in contact Tom immediately.

AV migration is coming along … CIS is testing a ForeFront installer. They are assembling a steering committee to manage the migration project. More information is coming soon, please contact Pat Kinghorn if you’re interested in participating.

Software Services release EndNote X5 for Windows immediately. EndNote X5 for Mac is waiting for receipt of installation media from the vendor, and will be released within a month. X4 is available directly in a pinch, but does not work on Lion.

CIS is still planning to formally support Office 2010 in October.

In the past, Help Desk has had Windows XP and Windows 7 licenses available for student use via MSDN-AA, but these have been discontinued by Microsoft starting this semester. CIS is working with interested parties to determine ways to address this.

CIS will be sending a survey regarding the software portfolio to the campus later this month. This is intended to identify stakeholders for software licenses and establish best practices for long-term management of our software portfolio.

Also, CIS released a wifi survey by Morning Mail and hopes to have a good response rate. Please solicit responses to this survey from your department members.

The top half of the subnet has been converted from ResNet to part of the admin network. Correction: The subnet is now being used for staff/admin networks. Departments running local firewalls may need to adjust their rulesets.

David Sherry – All Things ISG

PowerPoint deck available

ISG has a staff of 4 including CISO, handling all information security, not just IT.

State of the Information Security Union at Brown:

  • Staffing: Now hiring for an additional IT Security Engineer

  • Network Security Zone (NSZ) moves continuing – still working with departments who ask for it, not mandated at this time

  • Scanning service maturing

  • Deeper involvement with privacy, records, compliance, and identity (governance)

  • Increasing tickets and DMCA notices

  • National Syber Security Awareness Month

  • “Securing the Human” being prepped – Video awareness campaign from SANS

Ran an external scan by Dell/SecureWorks for auditing purposes. Full report due Friday 16 Sept. 2011. No urgent or critical vulnerabilities were found.

“There are many, many vulnerabilities that can be removed by simply patching the software on systems, and/or upgrading the software to its latest version.”

Google Security

New infrastructure transition last July, many users complained about ‘new’ terms of service allowing administrator access, which was not new at Brown.

Google Image Search malware attacks are getting shut down by Google as best they can. It seems that few people actually got infected by these.

Vanity attacks via Google News alerts – spear phishing. Usually targets high-ranking officials, CEOs, etc.

Virus Proliferation

Phishing and link attacks are growing. Smartphone attacks are coming soon. Increase in attacks on Macs as well, as market share grows.

VPN Status

The new F5 VPN (SSL and Fat Client released) was released as a soft launch on 8/18 and a full launch on 9/12. The obsolete Cisco VPN will be decommissioned on 10/31. ISG is working with Hospital technical staff and other affiliates to iron out bugs and ensure continuity.

Protecting PII

Identity Finder, an automated tool to find personally-identifiable information on your own computer, is targeted for implementation by 10/14/11. If you want to try it at home you can get to at the Identity Finder website.

Guardian Eagle laptop encryption is targeted for 11/23/11 with 1000 licenses to start. Implementation will be targeted at known users of confidential/PII data. ISG is also working on server PII discovery using Veronas.

Firewall Thoughts

Current core firewall servers are aging, ISG is targeting replacement just after commencement next year. They are looking into next generation equipment that moves beyond port-based security for content, user, and application security.

Other Projects

Enterprise Certificates through Comodo: SSL certificates will be available in any number we need, including personal certificates. This should become available before Spring 2012.

Eduroam – new SSID for cross-institutional use by all members of Eduroam (3700 schools in the world, 3600 are in Europe). Login to wifi at participating institutions using your Brown credentials; visitors from other Eduroam universities can login to wifi at Brown with their home credentials.

Brown will soon be archiving mail using Postini for staff members at level 12 or above, for the purposes of data retention and retrieval for legal records.

Coming soon: terminal server for vendor access; developing Domain Trust Security Guidance.

Written by Don Rogers

20 September 2011 at 1:33pm

DCC Meeting Notes – Wednesday August 10th, 2011

Please feel free to download the Audio Recording of the meeting.

Announcements from Pat Kinghorn

A previous Student DCC who supported the Music department, Harpo Jaeger, took a year off last year.  Now that Music is an ITSC Department, Harpo is looking for employment and comes highly recommended.  He can be contacted directly at

The campuswide File Maker server project is up and running.   Departments hosting FMP DB’s or who might want to have them hosted on a server, contact Pat with numbers.

Announcements from Chris Grossi

There are 3 version of the Maple application licensed on campus.  CIS will be choosing one and phasing out the other versions.  Maple version 15 is the most likely candidate.

A syschange is going through to turn off old keyed versions of Adobe Acrobat.

SPSS 19 upgrade – At the end of August, the keyed version of SPSS v 17 will be turned off.

Antivirus/Malware project:  CIS has solutions ready to go for Windows, but is only 50% done with Mac.  On the free side, MS Security Essentials for Windows and ClamXav for Mac.  The paid solution for Windows will be MS Forefront, but there is paid solution yet for the Mac OS.  CIS will be cutting access to Symantec for students.  CIS is expecting Symantec to be replaced from this Fall to February of next year.

All undergraduates will be given a 25 foot Ethernet cable to encourage registering for IPTV.

CIS is looking to formally roll out Office 2010 for Windows and 2011 for Mac in October.  This official rollout is waiting for Endnote 5 to be ready, as the newest version of Office do not support Endnote X3.

CIS would like any input from DCCs or Sysadmins who are having problems with windows 7 and the CIS hosted print queues.

Wowza Live Streaming demonstration

Giovi manages media production for on campus media needs.  She gives a demonstration of their live video streaming system used to stream the latest Brown Commencement.  The Tricaster system has multiple video and audio inputs/outputs capable of streaming HD video.  More in depth information about the services they provide, including the Echo360 system for Automated Lecture Capture, VFNow, IPTV, Wowza and Live Streaming please see the following:

Link to Giovi’s Presentation

IT Services Catalogue

CIS Documentation Wiki

Example of file running on Wowza

Google Updates

Stephanie Obodda talks about the newly available Google apps as a result of the latest Google changes.  This change involved the .EDU Google accounts being migrated to the gmail consume codebase.   This change was done partly because enough users of .EDU accounts requested those accounts have access to more apps traditionally available to consumer gmail accounts.  You can now log into your account from a standard login screen, just make sure you enter after your username.

Stephanie lists a few of the apps we now have access to, which includes some of the more popular apps such as Bookmarks, Books, Finance, Maps, Mapmaker, Moderator, News, Picasa Web Albums, Reader, and Youtube.  These services, available through your Brown gmail account, are tied to this account and are subject to being accessed by administrators in case of an emergency.   Note:  Emergency access to Brown Accounts has always been a standard policy.  There are strict formal protocols protecting such access from otherwise spurious use.

In particular, Stephanie goes over the basic functionality of several apps:

Google Reader – Aggregates news blog feeds to the same page.

Google Books – Allows you to search the entire text of a book that is available.

Google Moderator – Vote on questionaires/Ideas – Basic Polling app.

Google Bookmarks – Keep your bookmarks in the cloud!

Google Maps – Allows you to create customized maps that you can then send to others.

Anyone who is unable to access any google apps information due to the changes, please submit a helpdesk ticket to get the issue resolved.

Written by Michael Gallino

16 August 2011 at 10:23am