News and Information

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Information Technology Services to update Penn State's ISPtoPSU VPN Connection, June 29, 2010
On Tuesday, June 29, 2010, during the regularly scheduled maintenance window (5:00-7:00 a.m.), Information Technology Services (ITS) will
upgrade the ISPtoPSU (psuconnect) Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection from one machine to load-balanced hardware to ensure better performance and robustness of the ISPtoPSU service. In addition, the current hostname for the ISPtoPSU connection,, will change to; however, the address will not be removed and will continue to function as usual.
During the maintenance timeframe, the ISPtoPSU service will not be available; however, users of the ISPtoPSU service will not be required
to make any changes to their respective VPN software configurations.
It should be noted that firewall administrators will need to add additional IP addresses to their respective network firewall
configurations prior to the update, so that the VPN can get through such firewalls. IP address information is available at
The Penn State VPN is a secure network connection that uses encryptionand other security  mechanisms to ensure that only authorized users
access the network and that data is secure. The ISPtoPSU VPN connection allows those who are connecting to Penn State networks via a third-party Internet Service Provider (ISP) to establish a Penn State network address in order to access University resources that are restricted to
Penn State IP addresses.
Questions  and requests for assistance should be directed to ITS Help Desk staff at Information about Penn State's VPN service is found via the ITS Knowledge Base (KB) at .

Registration now open for the Web 2010 Conference to be held on June 7, 8
Registration is now open for the Penn State Web 2010 Conference which will take place on Monday June 7, and Tuesday June 8, 2010 at the Penn Stater Conference Center.  For details visit .
This annual conference brings Penn State Web professionals together to share information and learn about innovative uses of the Web, applications for Web development, works in progress, security issues, and more.
This year the conference will be two days in length with 26 sessions and 9 workshops integrated into the schedule.  As a bonus, Web 2010 will feature not one, but two internationally known speakers.
Day one will kick off with Jeffrey Zeldman, the “Godfather of Web Standards,” bringing his vision for “Designing with Web Standards in 2010.”  Zeldman is a well-known author, lecturer, evangelist and visionary in Web design and standards. Aligned with this visionary ideal, the conference theme is "2010: A Web Odyssey."
Day one will conclude with a new open session designed for attendees to learn, network and share with other like-minded Web profess! ionals.  This session will include poster presentations, lightning talks, refreshments and space for mingling with friends and colleagues, both old and new.
The second day of the conference features keynote Brad J. Ward who will present, “Everything I Know about Higher Ed, I learned from 'The Office.” Ward is the CEO at BlueFuego, Inc., an international higher education consulting firm. He has spoken around the globe at over fifty higher education conferences and workshops, including recent events in Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia.
The conference will conclude with a reception in Presidents Hall where attendees are invited to enjoy food, friends, and frivolity as you wind down from two intense, fun-filled days.
Both conference days will begin with a continental breakfast at 7:30 a.m. at the Penn Stater and will include a lunch buffet as well as refreshment breaks.
To learn more and to register, visit the conference Web site at! : Registration closes on May 28.
The deadline for reserving a guest room at the Penn Stater is May 7.  For more travel information please visit
[Hashtag for, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking sites: #psuweb10.  Follow us on Twitter at @PSUWebConf]
Please forward this information to colleagues and staff who may be interested in attending this conference.

Penn State to Hold Phishing Awareness Events in April
To raise awareness about dangerous phishing scams circulating throughout the University, Penn State is sponsoring two anti-phishing events this April. The events will occur from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m on Thursday, April 15 in the HUB Robeson Center and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 21 in Findlay Hall Commons, both on the University Park campus. ITS staff will hand out bags of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish snacks along with phishing tips to help students, faculty, and staff learn how to protect themselves from fraudulent e-mails and other types of computer scams.
The University is holding the above events to warn community members that scam artists have been using fake e-mail requests with official sounding Penn State addresses (such as<>, <> and <> to "phish" for passwords and sensitive information from University computer users. ITS emphasizes these e-mail messages are NOT being sent by administrative offices at Penn State. Students, faculty and staff should not reply to these messages, as they are not legitimate and could lead to the compromise of Access Accounts, computers and data. ITS strongly recommends that the messages be deleted. Anyone who already has replied to one of these fraudulent messages should contact Security Operations and Services (SOS) at (814) 863-9533.

Earth Week Promo @ Penn State's Computer Store
Did you know that Penn State’s Computer Store is part of making Penn State a greener, more sustainable place? During Earth Week, April 19-23,
find out how. Visit the Computer Store Showrooms during Earth Week to check out some great green products, learn about what makes products
green, and learn about great and easy ways you can save energy. With every purchase, shoppers will get a free, reusable shopping bag made
from recycled bottles. For showroom locations and hours of operation,

IT Matters Breakfast Series: How Information Technology Impacts Penn State
Come hear Erick Foley and the IT Matters panelists discuss how the University is working to support financial and ecologically responsible campus sustainability, along with the critical role IT plays in supporting these efforts across the Penn State campus system.
The increasing pressures on global resources and environmental conditions make it imperative that Penn State embrace sustainability in its many dimensions in ways that would position the University as a leader nationally and internationally. The University can demonstrate its leadership in terms of the incorporation of sustainability in its educational programs, in its research and knowledge creation about global issues surrounding sustainability, and in operating its multitude of facilities across the Commonwealth. Learn More at

Adoption of Wireless 2.0 Service Encouraged Due to Termination of Wireless VPN Service July 2011
To encourage adoption of the latest wireless technologies at Penn State, the University will end the Virtual Private Network (VPN) wireless service on July 1, 2011. As an alternative, students, faculty and staff should log on to Penn State's next generation wireless service (Wireless 2.0), which employs authentication and encryption industry standards for improved laptop and desktop security.
In contrast to Wireless 1.0, the new 2.0 service no longer requires use of Penn State's Wireless VPN service, therefore enabling instant connection to Internet resources and consistent wireless coverage for roaming within and between 2.0-enabled campus buildings. Individuals using the 2.0 service report improved Web page response time and decreased "timeout" issues. In addition, the 2.0 service is easy to use and may only require a one-time download and configuration for wireless users to be up and running.
Because some kinds of laptop software may not yet be able to easily support the 2.0 service, the University plans to ensure that the original 1.0 Wireless VPN service will continue to operate simultaneously with the 2.0 Wireless service until it is decommissioned July 1, 2011. To learn more about Penn State's wireless services, go to Additional information on software which may be necessary for Windows7 operating system users to connect to Wireless 2.0 can be found at

ANGEL Upcoming Version 7.4 to be Explored During Town Hall

On Friday, April 16, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., faculty and staff are invited to a free ANGEL Town Hall, either in person at 116 Wagner Building, University Park, or via an online Adobe Connect videoconference. Attendees will be able to preview the ANGEL 7.4 course management system interface and its new tools and features, explore how ANGEL 7.4 impacts learning, and participate in an open discussion with their peers from across Penn State. The upgrade to version 7.4 is tentatively scheduled for May 2010.
A key ANGEL feature to be discussed during the Town Hall is the assessment tool, which has been available since January. When ANGEL is upgraded from version 7.3 to version 7.4, the familiar quiz tool will no longer be available; only the assessment tool will be available. Additional new features that will be demonstrated include a redesigned survey tool and a grading rubric tool for drop box submissions and essay questions.
To register, visit In the Register for Seminars area, select either "ANGEL Town Hall" to attend in person or "ANGEL Town Hall (via Adobe Connect)." For more information on ANGEL, visit the ANGEL Community Hub site at

Penn State Partner in Statewide Broadband Project Awarded $99 million

More than $99 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding was awarded today (Feb. 18) to the Keystone Initiative for Network-Based Education and Research (KINBER). Penn State is a founding member of KINBER, a coalition of Pennsylvania colleges and universities, research and healthcare organizations and economic development entities. The award will help fund the construction and management of the Pennsylvania Research and Education Network (PennREN), a robust, statewide broadband education and research network.
"This is a transformative endeavor for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and for The Pennsylvania State University," said Penn State President Graham Spanier. "Our faculty and students will benefit greatly from the research and educational collaborations this network will spur. The network will also bring much needed broadband capacity for distance education, economic development and telemedicine, and will include areas of the Commonwealth that have been underserved historically." PennREN will reach every region of the commonwealth, extending through 39 Pennsylvania counties, 22 of which currently are unserved or under-served based on access to affordable broadband services. Through anchor institutions like Penn State, the network has the potential to provide services to more than 5 million individuals across 2 million households and 200,000 businesses. When completed, all Penn State locations across the commonwealth will be connected through PennREN. It is expected use of PennREN will allow for significant cost avoidance for the University, while substantially increasing network capability and capacity. For example, researchers at all campuses will have the same high-speed capability to aid their research projects; and the University will have more control over network capacity allowing for longer term and more reliable network forecasting.
“With 48 strands of optical fiber and a 1,700 miles long pathway, the delivery capacity of this network for Penn State and its 23 campuses is enormous,” said Kevin Morooney, Penn State Vice Provost for Information Technology. “The commonwealth-wide, institutional collaboration to create PennREN will provide each partner institution access to a network we’d otherwise not be positioned to construct on our own, and will enhance Penn State's ability to serve its land grant mission.”
The federal funds, supplemented with an additional $29 million in private investment, were awarded through the American Recovery and Revitalization Act by the NTIA, so PennREN will be created as a private/public partnership. The construction of this network will allow additional optical fiber cable to be available for commercial service providers to use.
In October, 15 members of Pennsylvania's Congressional delegation (Glenn Thompson, Tim Holden, Jason Altmire, Robert Brady, Kathy Dahlkemper, Charles Dent, Chaka Fattah, Jim Gerlach, Patrick Murphy, John Murtha, Joseph Pitts, Todd Platts, Allyson Schwartz, Joe Sestak and Bill Shuster) and both of Pennsylvania's senators (Robert Casey and Arlen Specter) wrote to the Secretary of Commerce in support of the KINBER proposal. Their letters stressed the educational, health care and economic benefits of the proposed network.

KINBER’s founding members include the Association for Independent Colleges, the University of Pennsylvania, Bucknell University, Carnegie Mellon University, Drexel University, EINetworks, a collaboration of the Allegheny Library Association and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the Hospital & Health system Association of Pennsylvania, Lehigh University, the Mid-Atlantic Gigapop for Internet 2 (MAGPI) at the University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, The Pennsylvania State University, Three Rivers Optical Exchange (3ROX), the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
KINBER is an independent, non-profit corporation to ensure the needs of all of the members and affiliates are addressed. The proposal to create PennREN was endorsed by more than 25 state and regional organizations.

Brad J. Ward to Keynote Day Two of Web 2010 Conference
The Penn State Web Conference planning committee recently announced that the Web 2010 Conference will move from a one-day event with a separate workshop day, to an integrated two-day event. As part of that move, conference attendees will get a bonus. Instead of just one keynote speaker, this year the conference will feature two keynote speakers.
In addition to Jeffrey Zeldman kicking off day one of the Web 2010 Conference, on day two (June 8), Brad J. Ward will offer a keynote presentation titled, "Everything I Know about Higher Ed, I learned from 'The Office.'"
Brad J. Ward is the CEO at BlueFuego, Inc, an international higher education consulting firm. He has spoken around the globe at over 50 higher ed conferences and workshops, including recent events in Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.His work has been featured in several magazines and Web sites such as Campus Technology, University Business, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, Wired, CNET, New York Times and more. He holds an MBA with a concentration in Leadership from Butler University. Prior to starting BlueFuego, Ward was the Electronic Communication Coordinator in the Office of Admission at Butler.
Brad blogs at and you can find him on Twitter at Learn more about BlueFuego, Inc. at At Web 2009, Brad presented remotely in Mark Greenfield's Social Media Summit, so he may be familiar to many Penn State Web developers. As an added value, Brad will also provide a workshop and breakout session (topics to be shared soon).
For more information on Brad and his keynote presentation, visit

Vice Provost for Information Technology to Host Breakfast Series for IT Staff
Registration is now open for the IT Matters Breakfast Series sponsored by Kevin Morooney, Vice Provost for Information Technology. The Series is designed to bring topic experts and University IT staff together to share food, ideas, and information as well as spark increased collaboration between IT staff within the various departments of Penn State.
The first presentation in the series, Crisis Management, IT, and Communication in the Age of H1N1 is scheduled for February 5, 2010 at the Nittany Lion Inn Ballroom from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Dr. Margaret Spear, Director of University Health Services, will appear as the main speaker, followed by an interactive panel discussion comprised of experts on crisis management, communication, and IT from various University departments.
A breakfast buffet will be served. There is no charge to attend but registration is required. Visit for details, including registration and Adobe Connect information.

Computer Store's 20th Anniversary Celebration to Kick-off at the HUB

Penn State students, faculty and staff are invited to join in a year-long celebration to commemorate Penn State's Computer Store's 20-year anniversary. The celebration begins on Wednesday, January 20 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Store's HUB Showroom location on the University Park campus. Highlights and activities on Wednesday include a chance to win great door prizes (available online and in the Store) as well as special pricing on select items all day long. Customers visiting the Computer Store during the Celebration party will also have a chance to star in a YouTube Celebration video, along with other Penn State celebrity figures, and enjoy yummy cupcakes. "This Squirrel" will also be on hand during the day of the party to greet everyone and share in the festivities. As part of the planned year-long Celebration events, the Store will be offering deals, promotions, giveaways and featured products throughout the coming months. In addition, eligible Penn State members have a chance to win a Dell Laptop which will be awarded at the end of the spring semester. Another grand prize will be given away at the end of fall semester. Registration is required for grand prize giveaways. For details on these and other 20-year Celebration activities and events, visit Penn State's Computer Store at

Penn State Chat Service Now Available
Information Technology Services (ITS) has released its IM/chat service,, available to all Penn State students, faculty, and staff. The service uses the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) server software, ejabberd. XMPP is a set of open technology standards for presence and real-time communication.
The new chat service allows members of the Penn State community to use their respective Penn State Access Accounts to chat with people both inside and outside of the University. All communications/chat sessions between individuals and group chats are fully encrypted and the identities of both parties are easily confirmed through the integrated use of the Penn State Access Account.
Likewise, users can activate their accounts at anytime via their preferred chat client. One's screen name is his/her Access Account user (for example,""), and password is his/her Access Account password. More details, instructions, and client configurations for using Penn State's Chat service are found in the ITS Knowledge Base (KB) at Inquiries and requests for assistance should be directed to ITS Help Desk staff at

December Deals Await Students, Faculty and Staff at the Computer Store

Penn State’s Computer Store would like to thank all University community members who participated in voting for their favorite December Deals a few weeks ago. The winning products – at remarkably reduced prices – are on sale now until December 18 – just in time for the gift giving season. To take advantage of the upcoming December Deals, visit the Computer Store at or stop by the Computer Store Showrooms in the HUB-Robeson Center and in the Willard Building, University Park. Location details and hours of operation are found at .

ANGEL Import Wizard and Export Wizard tools to be turned off during finals week

To optimize the performance of Penn State's Course Management System, ANGEL, during fall finals week, the Import Wizard and Export Wizard tools will be turned off from 4:00 a.m. Saturday, December 12 until 6:00 a.m. Saturday, December 19. These tools include the Copy Course, import Content Package, import Master Course, and export ANGEL Archive functions. Note: During finals week, instructors can continue to create course content and create master courses and learning object repositories. Students can continue to upload/download files and access lesson content.
The tools for importing and exporting individual lesson content items between courses and groups will be turned off as well. These are only temporary changes to improve ANGEL performance during the period of intense usage associated with finals week.
The Copy Course tool allows instructors to copy one of their existing ANGEL courses into another course section. A master course is a special course set up as a template that multiple instructors can import into another course section. The ANGEL Archive tool is used to download a backup of a course as a ZIP file; this file can then be imported into another section using the import Content Package tool.
Instructors who need to use these tools to set up a course for the spring semester are encouraged to plan ahead and perform necessary course imports or exports prior to finals week.
For more information, please contact ANGEL Support (

Penn State Web 2010 Conference to be a Two Day Extravaganz
The Web Conference planning committee is pleased to announce Jeffrey Zeldman as the Web 2010 Conference opening keynote speaker.  Jeffrey will kick off the Penn State Web 2010 Conference and its new format of a two day event. That's right, a two day extravaganza of "Webbie" goodness.
Day One: Monday, June 7, 2010
The day will start with our usual continental style breakfast at the Penn Stater from 8:00- 9:00 a.m., followed by what is sure to be a fantastic opening keynote address by Jeffrey Zeldman.
The remainder of the morning will include two hour-long breakout session agendas running concurrently with workshops. That means you will be able to choose whether to attend a two-hour workshop or select two one-hour breakout sessions from a menu of offerings following the keynote presentation.
After the usual outstanding buffet lunch, we will offer a full slate of one-hour breakout sessions followed by an open session devoted to networking with your peers, poster sessions, a book signing by Jeffrey, his schedule permitting, and the ever popular lightning talks.
Day Two: Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Day two of the Web Conference will run in parallel with day one. Breakfast, a second keynote address, sessions and workshops in the morning followed by lunch and a full slate of hour-long sessions. The one big difference will be that the conference will end with an open session more akin to the receptions that we offered (in the past) when the workshops were held in the IST Building.
We realize that there will be consequences to holding our workshops concurrent with the regular breakout sessions at the Penn Stater.  First, hands on workshop attendees will need to bring their own laptops or arrange for the use of a laptop to participate (not all workshops will be hands on, though).  The conference will have one fee that will include both days. Workshops will be available on a first-come-first-served basis during the registration process and availability will be dependent on the number of seats in the designated room. Workshops will only be offered during the morning of of both days, which means that they can only be two-hours in length.
As you can see, big changes are in the works for the Penn State Web 2010 Conference. We hope you are as excited about them as we are. We look forward to seeing you there! The Penn State Web 2010 Planning Committee

Penn State Computer Store Administrative Offices Relocate to USB1

The Penn State Computer Store administrative offices, as well as the Store's product
distribution center and Software Licensing and Media Duplication services, have relocated to 820 North University Drive, USB1, Suite 147D. The administrative offices are open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. to assist customers with the above-mentioned services.
University students, faculty, and staff should continue to visit the Computer Store's two showroom locations to make hardware, software, and other product purchases. Both showrooms, HUB (next to the id+ office) and 12 Willard Building, are open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., except during holidays.
The University community is invited to attend an Open House at the Store's administrative office suite in USB1 on Monday, November 23rd from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.  Refreshments will be served.
To learn about product promotions and Computer Store specials, visit

Vote for your favorite December Deals from Penn State’s Computer Store!
While you may have already rocked the vote on November 3, why not continue the spirit of democracy by voting for your favorite “December Deals” products brought to you by Penn State’s Computer Store. From printers to accessories, vote for great products with remarkably reduced prices. Visit  between November 9 and 17 to cast your vote and register to win a prize. Winning products and prize winners will be announced on November 18, so be on the lookout for more information. Products will then be on sale at the Computer Store December 1-18 — just in time for gift giving season. After all, isn’t the power to choose — great products at great prices, no less — one of the best gifts to receive?
You can always visit the Computer Store for great deals, 365◊24x7 by visiting or by visiting one of the Computer Store Showrooms in the HUB-Robeson Center and in the Willard Building, University Park. Location details and hours of operation are found at

Penn State Web 2010 Conference: Call for Presentation Proposals
Penn State faculty and staff are invited to submit a proposal for presentation at the thirteenth annual Penn State Web 2010 Conference, scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, June 7 and 8, 2010, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel at University Park.
Proposal criteria and the submission forms are available at  Multiple submissions are welcome; however, each proposal must be submitted separately.  Though this conference is designed for the Penn State community, the Web Conference committee entertains nominations for presenters from outside of the Penn State system.
Proposals must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 4, 2009.
Suggested topic areas are inclusive of but not limited to:
Innovative uses of the Web
Collaboration and Communication
Applications for Web development
Works in progress
Security issues
Content management
Web communication technologies (RSS, blogs, wikis, podcasting, Twitter, chat, and other collaborative technologies)

Web 2010 presentations will be placed within tracks.  The tentative tracks for the conference include:
Penn State Services, Marketing and Communications, Management, Social Networking and Building Communities, TechMasters, Usability, Accessibility and Standards, and Progressive Strategies.
As part of the proposal form, you will be asked to self-select in which tracks you feel that your proposal might fit.  The Web Conference Programming Committee reserves the option to consider your proposal for openings in alternate tracks when appropriate.
Presenter guidelines for the conference are available at: .
The conference is open to University employees, especially those who support an official Penn State Web site as a server administrator, writer, content manager, designer, programmer or manager. Last year's conference offered twenty-four sessions and attracted more than 400attendees from several campus locations. More information about the conference is available at
Please share this information with colleagues who may be interested in presenting at this year's conference.
Inquiries regarding the proposal process can be directed to the conference planners at

Penn State designs collaborative learning spaces

To meet the growing national trend toward team-based learning, Information Technology Services (ITS) has been installing collaborative learning spaces equipped with the latest technologies throughout Penn State's University Park campus. The new learning spaces, many of which are available around the clock, are helping faculty test the limits of team learning by making it easy for students to collaborate on activities and course projects.
Collaborative learning spaces at Penn State are popular with students because they make group project assignments easier to complete Mary Ramsey, manager, learning spaces, said. “It’s nice for students to be able to work together in the same location as opposed to say being in different residence halls,” she said. "Having a place where you can go and work together helps expedite the project.”
Along with supplying these spaces with comfortable furniture that students can arrange to meet their group needs, ITS has installed technologies designed to assist students with team projects. Ramsey said there are several technologies that are available to students. In addition, wireless is available, if students opt to bring their own laptop.
To learn more about collaborative learning spaces and available technologies, go to


ITS to Upgrade Directory Services

LDAP Server, November 15, 2009

On Sunday, November 15, 2009, from 5:00 until 11:00 a.m., Information Technology Services (ITS) will upgrade the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) server, which supports Penn State Directory Services, to Tivoli Directory Server version 6.2. The upgrade is being performed to enhance the performance and stability of the directory server. During this timeframe, several of the directory server's update-oriented services will be disabled; however, users will still be able to perform directory lookups via In addition, other directory-dependent services such as e-mail services, Penn State Access Account Storage Space (PASS), calendaring, and a variety of University-wide Web services will not be affected by this outage.
The directory-related services that will be disabled during the upgrade timeframe include:
*Directory entry and e-mail forwarding updates via the ITS Secure Server,
*Group creation via the User Managed Groups (UMGs) interface,
*The Automatic E-mail Reply Message Utility (the "vacation" service) via
*The Student Organizations Server Administrative interface,
Information and requests for assistance may be directed to ITS Help Desk staff at

Participate in Penn State's Computer Security Contest
Enter to Win a PC Netbook

Register to win an Eee PC Netbook by participating in Penn State's Take Control Computer Security contest. Meet the "ITS Squirrel," learn nine steps to keep you and your computer safe, and enter the contest at:  Contest ends December 4, 2009.
Take Control is a University-wide campaign, sponsored by Information Technology Services, to increase awareness of computer security dangers and to help students, faculty, and staff protect themselves, their data, and their computers.
Go to and enter the contest today!