Author Archive: Jared Padgett

Westlaw Registration Tutorial

  • Use your Pepperdine credentials to log into WaveNet.
  • Once in, click on the Westlaw Link.

  • You will be redirected to the Westlaw OnePass Sign-In page.
  • Click the Create a new OnePass profile link.

  • Enter any email address you would like. Click the Continue button.

  • Fill out the form in order to register a new OnePass profile.
  • Click the Create Profile button.

  • After completing the form, click Return to Link Credentials
    on the left side of the page.

  • Enter your username and password, then click the Sign In button.

  • You should automatically be logged in. Otherwise, if you have not completed registration, an error will appear. Click the blue link to register your
    password code that you were given.

  • You will be redirected to the following page.
  • Follow the Click here link for “Registering for the First Time?

  • Enter the email address you previously used to register.

  • Now enter your username and password.
  • Click the go button.

  • Enter in your Westlaw password code.
  • Click the go button.

  • Fill out the OnePass registration form with your information.
  • Then click the I Agree button at the bottom.”

  • Enter your username and password to sign into
    the Westlaw website.”

  • You are all set! Moving forward, you will not need to enter in
    your OnePass username & password when you log into WaveNet.
  • You will automatically be signed in.

  • If you have any questions contact Law Computing Support at x7425.

Don’t Nuke Your iPhone

iOS Wave hoax advertisement

The image has been blurred to avoid perpetuation of the hoax.

PSA

You may see an advertisement about a new feature for iOS 8 called Wave. Please disregard this ad. You cannot charge your iOS device via your microwave. While the ad may look convincing, it did not come from Apple.

The launch of a new operating system, whether Android or iOS, provides opportunists a chance to mislead unwary consumers. With modern editing tools, it is easy to convince people that fake ads originate from the claimed source – in this case Apple. While it is possible the ad was simply a prank, it is also just as possible it is malicious in nature, and there will be very real consequences for those who unwittingly destroy their phones. Please do not use your microwave to charge your iPhone. Always be wary when ads like this come out. Check for substantiation from trusted sources, and particularly on the brand’s web page.

For those of you currently using iOS 8, please continue to enjoy the real features of the upgrade, while safely avoiding hoaxes like Wave.

Google Chromecast

Chromecast Ready to Cast

Google has an inexpensive, Wi-Fi enabled HDMI dongle available called the Chromecast. This dongle enables you to view the contents of your computer or mobile device on your large screen television. There are a number of apps compatible with the Chromecast, including Netflix, YouTube, Google Play, Chrome, and recently added – Hulu Plus. Though the Chromecast is intended for home entertainment use, there is potential for business application. Imagine going to a conference, meeting, or other presentation venue and not having to worry about finding the right adapter for your computer. Mac or PC? Android or iOS? Doesn’t matter. As long as you are on the same Wi-Fi network, you are good to go.

Chromecast Getting Started
Setting up the Chromecast is pretty straightforward. As shown on the inside cover of the retail package, you plug it in, change the TV input, and then browse to google.com/chromecast/setup to get started. You then go through the basic pairing process, and you are all set.

A conference setting could potentially be challenging, depending on Wi-Fi availability and access to projectors or displays. Meetings or study groups should be a little easier, particularly if you frequent the location as you would at work or school. You would simply need to connect the HDMI unit, plug in the USB power (usually included on newer televisions), and connect from your compatible app. If your television doesn’t have a USB port built in, you can use the included power adapter. In case your HDMI port is hard to access, an extension cable is included with the Chromecast.

The Chromecast is still too new to fully realize its potential. It should be interesting to see what applications are developed down the road. At present, the easiest way to view content in terms of versatility seems to be through the Chrome browser, where you can show websites or display documents from your Google Drive. In the home entertainment context, the device is easy to use and works pretty well. I expect to be able to test the device in a business setting in the relatively near future, and will report on how the device works at that time.

You can learn more about the Chromecast at the official product page.

Google Enterprise Email for Android

If you have a mobile device and would like to connect to your Pepperdine email account, you have a few options. First, you will need to know which device you have – whether iPhone, Android, Windows, or Blackberry. You will also need to decide whether to use Microsoft Exchange or Google Enterprise Apps. You can learn more about Google Enterprise Apps at google.pepperdine.edu. If you have already taken the plunge and would like to install your Google Apps account on your Android phone, this post is for you.

Pepperdine’s IT department has set up a page for mobile devices, and you can find information at community.pepperdine.edu/it/services/phone/cellular. There is a link for Android Devices, but the information is geared toward the Exchange option rather than Google Apps.

Your setup process may vary depending on your device, but typically you can begin by going to the Accounts option under Settings, and selecting the New Account option. When prompted, select IMAP rather than POP3 or Exchange. Your Google Apps user ID is your WaveNet user name @pepperdine.edu. If you use the first.last@pepperdine.edu format, you won’t be able to log in.

Next, you’ll need to choose the incoming and outgoing servers. For incoming, type in imap.gmail.com, and check the box for SSL security. For SMTP, type smtp.gmail.com, and select SSL again.

Once these settings are in place, you should be prompted for some basic personalization, and you’re all set.

This has been a brief walk-through for setting up Google Apps on your Android phone. The variety of Android devices out there may require slight variations in this setup process. If you need a more detailed walk-through, or get stuck in the setup, feel free to contact Jared Padgett or David Dickens on the 1st floor of the law library, or call the help line at 7425.

How Clean Is Your Desk?

Clean or Dirty Desk?

A recent study published in Psychological Science is getting some attention right now for starting a conversation on work space organization. Both Business Insider and Inc.com featured stories about the study. So, what is all the fuss about? It seems that a messy desk may help with creative thinking.

In the study, participants were asked to make food choices, donate to charity, and come up with different uses for ping pong balls. A messy office and an orderly office were used to gauge their effect on these processes. It seems that the cleaner office inspired the participants to do what was expected, and healthier foods were selected. The messier office inspired more creativity, and a tendency toward junk food.

What kind of organization do you belong to? Is a healthy, somewhat less creative working environment preferred, or is a messy, creative environment encouraged? Does the culture vary among specific departments in your organization? Though the messier office was related to increased creativity, Vivian Gang of Business Insider suggested that the mess should be cleaned up as you go, ending in an orderly office. This approach would tap into the benefits of both the messy and clean environments.

How you choose to work is up to you, or perhaps your supervisor. If you need a burst of creativity though, maybe taking an extra day to clean off your desk might help. I would be interested to learn if the messy versus clean desk effect applies to students and employees together, or if it is more beneficial for a specific group. Until those studies are conducted, it seems likely to apply to anyone with a desk.

So, how about you? Do you prefer a clean working environment, or enjoy a little bit of clutter now and then?

Information Overload and Email

Technology has been useful in enhancing our ability to communicate. The printing press, telegraph, telephone, and facsimile have all helped improve the speed of communication. Email, document scanners, and cellular phones have bumped up the speed and accuracy of our communications significantly. Blogs, wikis, websites, and social media are useful in getting information out to the masses, and have continued the evolution of communication in our society. Though all of these are significant improvements, a problem has developed as a result. We may be suffering from information overload.

Information overload affects us in different ways, and some may hardly notice the effects. For those that receive large volumes of email, information overload can reduce productivity, and effectively slow communication. In a recent study in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, the authors explored the background of information overload, and sought to introduce methods for coping (Soucek & Moser, 2010).

The large volume of email can be attributed in part to the ease of use. A “snail-mailed” letter takes more time to produce, send, and arrive at its destination. Email arrives almost instantly. The cost to the sender in terms of time and effort is significantly lower than the cost of sending a physical missive. Though the cost to the sender is low, if the recipient does not have an adequate method for sorting incoming email, the recipient may experience a much higher cost (Soucek & Moser, 2010). It is here that one of the problems of information overload emerges. Workflow may be interrupted, tasks may be overlooked, and information may be lost (Soucek & Moser). Other problems may stem from the quality of the message.

It is easy to send large, comprehensive messages by email. The email is not always structured cohesively, as a formal business letter might be structured (Soucek & Moser, 2010). The informal tone may lead to miscommunication, and the tone may be misinterpreted. The expected response, or the time frame for this expected response may be unclear. These issues can result in increased processing time, further reducing productivity.

Two solutions may be useful in addressing these problems – improving processing capabilities as recipients of emailed communications, and reducing the volume of messages (Soucek & Moser, 2010). Information may be organized into folders, and filters can be set to help channel information into a location where it will be more readily seen. Gmail allows for extensive filtering and tagging, which can be useful in processing and prioritizing incoming information. Your favorite email application or service may have similar features. The topics of reducing email volume and improving processing capabilities may be useful as part of a technology or communication training program. Learning how to manage incoming information may also help shape the way messages are sent.

In the preceding blog post, Julie Tausend covered some basic methods to improve email communication. This is a useful start, and if you have not read the post, you may find it useful. Another useful post on the issue may be found at the busines blog, The Atlantic. The academic article discussed throughout this post can be found here.

Email communication is changing, particularly in the workforce. There is an increased need to change the way we do things in order to increase productivity and reduce information overload. Fortunately, there are many ways to deal with the problem. The sources provided above should be a good start. If you would like assistance in reducing information overload, be sure to contact a member of the Information Services team. We will be happy to help.

Reference

Soucek, R., & Moser, K. (2010). Coping with information overload in email communication: Evaluation of a training intervention. Computers in Human Behavor, 26(6), 1458-1466. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2010.04.024

Change Your Password

Login Form Image

You’ve probably seen or heard of the myriad of recent news headlines where popular organizations like Twitter or Evernote have been hacked. These organizations assure us that our data is not compromised, and advise us to change our passwords or they promptly change our passwords for us to reduce the amount of damage a hacker can do. There is often more to the story, and even passwords we think are quite clever may be cracked with relative ease. The blog Ars Technica featured a couple of stories recently about passwords, which I recommend you read. There are a few examples of presumably safe passwords that were cracked with relative ease. The first article described how a blog editor managed to crack passwords with some basic tools, and can be found here. The second is a follow-up article, where the consulting hackers took a shot at the same list. You can view that one here. They are both fairly detailed but I encourage you to read all the way to the end.

There is a convenient graphic that illustrates the complexity of certain passwords, which I also encourage you to read. It can be found here.

Safe passwords are hard(er) to crack. You cannot rely on a website to properly encrypt your password, as we have seen in the news so often lately. Password managers can be a useful tool to generate random passwords for you, if you are concerned you cannot come up with a good password. The downside is that these passwords will be nearly impossible to remember, which then requires a master password that you can remember. There are a number of password applications out there, KeePass and LastPass among the more popular options. Which one you choose is up to you. Be sure to look for apps for your chosen smartphone as well, so you can be safe from whatever device you are using.

Our own Julie Tausend also recently wrote a post on information security. In it, you’ll find links to university services and policies that can be useful to you in securing your information. You can also go straight to the source for passwords and other types of security at community.pepperdine.edu/it/security.

Be safe out there, and be sure to CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS!

Course Evaluations

It’s that time of the semester again, when classes are winding down, and finals are about to begin – time to fill out your course evaluations. To some this may be considered a chore, and to others this is an exciting opportunity to make your voice heard. Still others simply may not be aware of the importance of submitting these evaluations. If you have not submitted your evaluations yet, or are unsure of the value of doing so, the following information may help.

Purpose

The purpose of the course evaluation is to provide feedback to the school that will be used to determine how well the school is addressing your educational needs. If the courses are too easy, the value of your degree is diminished. If the courses are too hard, you may not learn as much as you need to succeed in the work force. A balanced education is valuable, and your feedback can help in determining the proper balance between rigorous courses and beneficial professional skills. By submitting your course evaluations, you can help enhance the value of your degree.

Your valuable feedback cannot be traced back to you in this process, so you are free to give an honest evaluation. Let us know what really worked, what needs to change, or how the professors can improve your educational experience. The educational process benefits with each submission, so it is important that everyone submits their evaluations.

Prizes

Submitting your evaluations can have a tangible benefit too. Students who participate are eligible to win prizes. Here is the list of prizes you might win this year:

  • iPad mini
  • Tuition Paid for Straus Institute’s 2013 Summer Professional Skills Program* ($1,295 value, 2 available)
  • 5,000 Lexis-Nexis points
  • 5,000 Westlaw points
  • $100 Bookstore Gift Card
  • Burrito dinner at Chipotle (20 available)

Deadline

Course evaluations must be submitted by Tuesday, April 30. You are automatically entered into the prize raffle when you submit your evaluations. Remember that your evaluations will remain anonymous, and the raffle will not compromise your anonymous responses. Thank you for helping improve the educational process at Pepperdine.

You can find the course evaluations in WaveNet, or you can click on the following link: courseeval.pepperdine.edu.

*Travel and lodging not included

Microsoft Adds 2-Step Authentication

Microsoft Logo

Microsoft has implemented an important security measure that you should know about. Other services like Google (and recently Apple) have already offered similar security measures, making Microsoft a little late to the game. Microsoft had used this feature in specific instances in the past, but now offers it across all your accounts. If you use Hotmail, Outlook, or other Microsoft services, you now have the ability to secure your account with 2-Step authentication. 2-Step authentication, in short, is a way to ensure that the person logging into the account is the actual owner, and requires an additional step to log into an account.

If it has been a while since you last logged in, Microsoft will first require you to authenticate yourself by submitting a code they will send. The form is pre-populated to ensure the code is sent to an account you own.

MSN Authentication Setup

When you receive your code, you need to enter it in the form and click submit. If you are on a personal computer that isn’t shared with anyone else, you might check the box to avoid adding the code in future visits. If your computer is shared, or you are on a public computer, do not check this box.

MSN Authentication Setup Security Code

Once you submit your code, you should be taken to your account page. From there, you can choose to set up 2-Step authentication.

MSN Authentication Setup Complete

Setting up 2-Step authentication is pretty straightforward. If you’ve gone through the previous steps, the process should look familiar.

MSN 2 Step Verification Start

You will need to choose where the code is sent, and then submit the code to verify your account belongs to you.

MSN 2 Step Backup Code

MSN 2 Step Enter Code

Once you’ve submitted your code, you are done. 2-Step authentication is now set up.

MSN 2 Step Complete

While this may seem like a lot of trouble, and adds a bit of nuisance to your log-in process, the effort is worth it – particularly with Microsoft accounts. I use an old account with my various MSN services, and it is frequently being locked out by people who share a similar name. This will ideally reduce the number of times I have to reset my password due to lock-outs. Other than this convenience, the account is that much more secure. It is a good idea to keep your important information as secure as possible. 2-step authentication is one of many avenues available to you.

Google users have had 2-step authentication for some time now. Apple recently added 2-step authentication to iCloud and Apple ID. Now that Microsoft is using 2-step authentication, all three major mobile device brands are helping you secure your information. It is up to you to let them help.

As always, you can find helpful security tips here on LawTech, or on the Information Security site. Let us know if you need any help getting started.

Google Reader Alternative: Netvibes

netvibes

With the impending closure of Google Reader looming, many are scrambling to find a new place to store their RSS feeds. Though Feedly is keeping the Google Reader engine going, I am not personally a fan of image-heavy RSS feeds. I was looking for a simple text list of my feeds and rediscovered a site I left in favor of iGoogle several years back. iGoogle itself made it to the chopping block, though it has until November of this year before it shuts down. Netvibes, for the time being at least, does not appear to be going anywhere.

Netvibes is more than an RSS reader, so to use it as such I am intentionally limiting my experience. You can set up a number of feeds or widgets with pre-set content within your account. There are recommended widgets to use, or you can manually add an RSS feed. This is the feature I use the most. Taking the opportunity to manage my subscriptions, I picked out some of my favorite feeds from my Google Reader account, and manually added them to netvibes. I created the same categories in netvibes, and can select whichever tab of related content I want to view.

Dashboard View

Dashboard View

Though I am able to view all the feeds in a dashboard, or widget mode, I prefer the reader view. This gets me as close to the Google Reader experience as I have found so far. Items are sorted by date, and categorized by most recent items, and by increments of recent days.

Reader View

Reader View

At this point, it does not look like there are mobile apps on Android or iOS. The website works pretty well on my Android tablet, though I think I would hesitate to use it on my phone. An app would make netvibes a little easier to endorse as a definitive Reader alternative.

I’ll keep looking for alternative services, and share any I find useful. If you have any RSS readers you like to use, please let us know in the comments.