Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category
Friday, July 11th, 2014
Please join us Wednesday, July 16, 2014, from 10:30 – 11:30 am (CT) for the NN/LM SCR’s free monthly webinar, SCR CONNECTions.
The topic for next week’s presentation has been changed from what was previously announced.
Technology Coordinator Emily Hurst will present on online privacy and security. In May Emily spoke about online heath information and privacy as part of a panel for OCLC’s Web Junction webinar series Health Happens In Libraries. For Wednesday’s SCR CONNECTions Emily has expanded on this topic to address issues related to health information online, password creation, wifi security, mobile devices, and more.
This webinar will be available for 1 hour of Medical Library Association (MLA) Continuing Education credit and will be archived for future viewing.
How to Log In
Go to https://webmeeting.nih.gov/scr/, on the log in screen, choose “Enter as a Guest” and type in your name.
Once the room is open the system will be able to call you to connect to the audio.
Use *6 to mute or unmute your phone.
**Do Not Place Call on Hold**
Contact the Regional Medical Library (RML) office at 713-799-7880, or 800-338-7657 (AR, LA, NM, OK, TX only).
As always, our webinars are free of charge and open to anyone.
Tuesday, July 8th, 2014
Dazzled by the latest smartphone? Interested in the Internet of things? Heard the buzz about biochips? Each year new and emerging technologies make headlines, often promising new and better ways to improve lives or industry. But is all just hype? Do any of these emerging technologies really make an impact? Information technology research and advisory firm Gartner take a look at emerging technologies each year and have devised a way to better understand the hype around the new trends. “Gartner Hype Cycles provide a graphic representation of the maturity and adoption of technologies and applications, and how they are potentially relevant to solving real business problems and exploiting new opportunities.” Gartner creates hype cycles for various aspects of technology but their emerging technology hype cycle can be used to better understand the impact of new technologies in general.
Each Hype Cycle drills down into the five key phases of a technology’s life cycle:
- Technology Trigger: A potential technology breakthrough kicks things off. Early proof-of-concept stories and media interest trigger significant publicity. Often no usable products exist and commercial viability is unproven.
- Peak of Inflated Expectations: Early publicity produces a number of success stories—often accompanied by scores of failures. Some companies take action; many do not.
- Trough of Disillusionment: Interest wanes as experiments and implementations fail to deliver. Producers of the technology shake out or fail. Investments continue only if the surviving providers improve their products to the satisfaction of early adopters.
- Slope of Enlightenment: More instances of how the technology can benefit the enterprise start to crystallize and become more widely understood. Second- and third-generation products appear from technology providers. More enterprises fund pilots; conservative companies remain cautious.
- Plateau of Productivity: Mainstream adoption starts to take off. Criteria for assessing provider viability are more clearly defined. The technology’s broad market applicability and relevance are clearly paying off.
Gartner uses proprietary research processes to explore the impact of technologies and make predictions. The image below shows the 2013 Emerging Technology Hype Cycle from Gartner, the latest version of the graphic. The Hype Cycle and topics covered in the Hype Cycle are discussed in detail in the updated version of the Geeks Bearing Gifts class.
According to Gartner the Hype Cycle Can Help You:
- Separate hype from the real drivers of a technology’s commercial promise;
- Reduce the risk of your technology investment decisions;
- Compare your understanding of a technology’s business value with the objectivity of experienced IT analysts.
Tuesday, July 8th, 2014
The NN/LM SCR is pleased to offer the online version of “Super Searcher: Enhancing Your Online Search Super Powers” class.
This self-paced online class will open August 4, 2014 and remain open until September 14, 2014.
This self-paced online course offering focuses on the advanced search features of web search engines and online searching. Participants will use various search engines, compare the features of each and broaden their knowledge of search strategies and online search techniques. Participants will develop search strategies that will increase the precision and scope of their online searching ability. In the online version of the class, participants will view short video demonstrations, engage in online discussions and complete exercise sets focused on improving online search skills. The class includes: information about web search engines, strategies for searching for online media including images, videos and books. The class concludes with a discussion on real-time search, mobile search and what the future of search holds.
The class content has recently been updated to address the launch of the Google Search Algorithm Hummingbird and additional topics on the future of search engines.
Participants will work at their own pace during this class but are expected to interact with other class participants in discussion forums and complete practice exercises.
Upon successful completion of this class, each participant will receive 4 hours of continuing education credit awarded by the Medical Library Association.
Registration for this class is required.
As always, all NN/LM SCR classes are free and open to anyone.
Tuesday, June 24th, 2014
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently launched the NIH 3D Print Exchange, a public website that enables users to share, download, and edit 3D print files related to health and science. These files can be used, for example, to print custom laboratory equipment and models of bacteria and human anatomy. The NIH 3D Print Exchange also provides video tutorials and additional resources with instruction on 3D modeling software to enable users to customize and create 3D prints.
“3D printing is a potential game changer for medical research,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “At NIH, we have seen an incredible return on investment; pennies’ worth of plastic have helped investigators address important scientific questions while saving time and money. We hope that the 3D Print Exchange will expand interest and participation in this new and exciting field among scientists, educators and students.”
NIH uses 3D printing, or the creation of a physical object from a digital model, to study viruses, repair and enhance lab apparatus, and help plan medical procedures. The 3D Print Exchange makes these types of files freely available, along with video tutorials for new users and a discussion forum to promote collaboration. The site also features tools that convert scientific and clinical data into ready-to-print 3D files.
The 3D Print Exchange is a collaborative effort led by NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). “3D printing is helping to advance science at NIAID and beyond,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “The ability to design and print tangible models of pathogens, for example, can give researchers a fresh perspective on the diseases they study and open new and promising lines of investigation.”
Additional support is provided by other NIH components, including the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Library of Medicine. The 3D Print Exchange is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through its Ignite External Web Site Policy and Ventures External Web Site Policy programs, which help support innovation within the agency.
Thursday, June 5th, 2014
The NN/LM SCR is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2014-2015 Digital Preservation and Access (DiPA) Award:
Organization: Scott and White Healthcare Foundation, Temple, TX
Title of Project: “Moulage 3-D Digitization and Preservation Project”
Responsible Investigator: Erin S Norris, Archivist
Description: The Richard D. Haines medical Library at Scott & White will purchase high quality desktop computers, advanced 3D software, and image capture equipment including a high resolution digital camera and lighting equipment to take high resolution images of 300 wax medical moulages created between 1934 and 1955. The result will be an online resource featuring 3D images of the moulages. Moulages are wax anatomical models.
Wednesday, May 28th, 2014
Cloud storage continues to receive attention from industries around the world. While cloud storage is not a new technology, new advances in cloud technology, including better privacy controls and easy to use collaboration tools are generating renewed interest. To address uses of cloud computing in education settings EDUCASE recently released the new 7 Things You Should Know About Cloud Storage and Collaboration publication. As with other 7 Things You Should Know About publications, this publication provides a brief scenario designed to address cloud storage and collaboration uses in a higher education setting. The scenario follows Dev, a grad student, who is impressed that his university’s new enterprise installation cloud storage platform has simplified his workflow and allowed him to more easily collaborate with his colleagues.
The publication goes on to address real world examples of institutions using cloud solutions on campus. Platforms including Google Drive, Box, Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft OneDrive are mentioned. Downsides of cloud solutions including storage of sensitive data as well as questions about data ownership are also addressed.
EDUCAUSE addresses the importance of cloud computing for storage and collaboration in higher education. The publication indicates that cloud solutions will create “new opportunities for how academic assignments are conceived, completed, and submitted.” In data rich enterprises such as health and medicine the use of cloud storage and collaboration are technologies which should not be overlooked as they may lead to ground breaking discoveries.
Tuesday, May 13th, 2014
Recent attacks on online services such as bit.ly and vulnerabilities discovered in other sites due to the Heartbleed Bug have resulted in a wave of requests from online services for users to reset their password. The password is the most important piece of information any online user creates and should be carefully crafted. If your password has been discovered by those with malicious intent it could lead to compromised security of your personal information. Users should create strong passwords which make it difficult for their account to be hacked. Microsoft provides tips for creating a strong password which should be reviewed as your reset your password. You can also benefit from Microsoft’s Password Checker which will allow you to test the strength of the password you have created. The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) lists the following security tips for choosing and protecting passwords:
- Don’t use passwords that are based on personal information that can be easily accessed or guessed.
- Don’t use words that can be found in any dictionary of any language.
- Develop a mnemonic for remembering complex passwords.
- Use both lowercase and capital letters.
- Use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters.
- Use passphrases when you can.
- Use different passwords on different systems.
Despite all the online tips and services for creating strong passwords users are still leaving themselves vulnerable to hacking and attacks. An October 2013 security breach at Adobe that gave hackers access to 130 million passwords revealed that despite tips and tools for creating strong password many users are not following through on creating strong passwords. The top five passwords stolen from Adobe included the following:
Many people have trouble keeping up with passwords and as such often reuse the same password on multiple platforms which only puts their data at higher risk. Password managers are one way to help users maintain different passwords across multiple sites. With so many sites needing passwords a password manager is a great tool to organize this information and keep it safe. A PC Magazine post recently reviewed various password managers to help users decide which one is right for them. The editors of the post warn that moving to and setting up a password manager can “involve some serious work.” The post going into detail about each manager as well as those which include an added layer of security such as fingerprint recognition for the password manager password. The top three password managers from the article include:
- LastPass 3.0 (Free)
- LastPass 3.0 Premium ($12.00/year)
- Dashlane 2.0 ($19.95/year; free edition available)
A comparison chart of password managers can also be found online from TopTenReviews.
Tuesday, April 8th, 2014
MedlinePlus Connect now supports queries using ICD-10-CM codes. Upon receiving a problem code request with an ICD-10-CM code, MedlinePlus Connect returns relevant, patient-friendly health information from MedlinePlus, Genetics Home Reference, and other reliable health resources. MedlinePlus Connect will continue to support ICD-9-CM and SNOMED CT codes for problem code requests.
Web application documentation: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/connect/application.html
Web service documentation: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/connect/service.html
Try it out:
Web application demonstration page: http://apps.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/services/demo.html
Web service demonstration page: http://apps.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/services/servicedemo.cfm
Monday, April 7th, 2014
Spring is here! With the change in season comes activities like cleaning around the home and office. This year, how about cleaning up your technology? While a previous post provides some information about disinfecting mobile devices this post explores some tips for cleaning your computers and mobile devices from the inside.
Mobile technology is everywhere and with it comes the use of many applications. Apps are used to personalize our devices but have you ever thought to clean up and delete the old apps that you no longer use? Apps take up valuable storage space on our mobile devices and taking time to clean them up can free up space for other content. No doubt you have many apps that use for work or play. Those apps are safe from deletion but you may be able to group apps in categories or folders (depending on your device) to make finding your apps easier.
Apps often have periods of popularity. Some apps come out to rave reviews but lose their shine overtime. Taking a look at your device may reveal apps downloaded when they were free or popular but which you never really used. Taking a moment to clean up and delete these apps can make way for new apps and provide more storage space. With most mobile devices once an app has been deleted from the device you can download the app again, at no cost, as long as you are using the same account you used to download it originally.
In a recent post Mashable’s Lance Ulanoff shared valuable tips from his personal app cleaning experience. His words of wisdom, “if you can’t remember what the apps does, get rid of it.”
For computers, both Mac and PC, having too many files or programs on your computer may make it preform slower. It may also be time to update anti-virus software and check for any current “infestations.” Check for updates for your computer’s anti-virus software.
For more detailed information on how to keep your PC running smoothly How to Geek has a post on PC Maintenance that provides nice screenshots of how to fine tune and clean your PC. Steps for uninstalling software and disk maintenance are also included as well as tips for safely dusting your PC. If you have a Mac, Lifehacker’s post How to Speed Up, Clean Up, and Revive your Mac is a great resource for maintenance inside and out. Disk clean up and special cleaning instructions are provided.
Spring Cleaning, Tech Style from the blog Recode describes ways to organize and clean up social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter. With social media sites the it is easy to follow and like too many people, places, or things. The result is an overloaded Facebook or Twitter feed. Instead of getting all the latest information we might be missing out on information because our social media accounts are overwhelming us with updates. Lifehacker also has a recent post on How to Clean Up and Fine Tune Your Twitter feed.
Thursday, March 27th, 2014
By now most of us are aware that our online activities are not private. From the National Security Association (NSA) spying allegations to targeted ads, online activity including search history and private data isn’t always safe from prying eyes. Many internet users are still unaware that their online activity is being monitored or that often the data generated while browsing online is used by corporations to promote products and tailor online experiences.
Data is a hot commodity and data brokers specialize in using tracking technology to collect data about you and your online activities. Data brokers compile data and then sell that data to different groups including business clients, the general public, and even other data brokers. Business clients may use the data to market new products and services to you. Your data may also be used for search or references services such as genealogy. In some cases this data can be used with malicious intent.
In a recent post Mandi Woodruff of Yahoo Finance Today notes that “it’s nearly impossible for the average consumer to expect anonymity online or off.” Despite our best efforts the data tracking industry is always evolving and “there’s little we know about data tracking and the companies that do it.” The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will publish the results of an investigation into nine major data brokers later this year.
Luckily there are steps you can take to limit the tracking that occurs while you are online. The tools and tips outlined below may be useful when attempting to limit online tracking of your activity.
Many search engines track every search that is preformed. They use this data for various purposes including improving their search algorithm but they also share this data with websites listed in the search results page. When you click on a URL from a list of results in a search engine “that website will often get a blurb of data telling them which search terms led you to their site, along with a log of your computer location and IP address.” Websites may use this data to send more ads to you based on your search history and even your IP location. This same search history data could also be used to alert authorities to individuals with suspicious searches on topics that relate to public safety such as bomb making.
To prevent search engines from tracking your searches consider taking the following steps:
- Make a habit of deleting your search history and cookies;
- Enable the “Do Not Track” (DNT) feature
- To initiate “DNT” on your browser, go into your browser preferences and look for the tab labeled “Privacy.”
- Check the box to enable the DNT feature.
- DNT is available on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Explorer, and Safari.
- If you use a mobile device you will need to turn this feature on using the privacy settings on the mobile browser.
- Use a search engine such as DuckDuckGo or Ixquick which report that they do not track searches
Browser plugins like Ghostery and Disconnect.me allow you access to the world of data brokers. These plugins will allow you to see the data tracking sites that may be watching you while you search. These plugins allow you to see if a site is tracking you for analytics, advertisements or social media requests and lets you decide which sites to block and which ones to allow. The plugins do not stop ads from appearing but they do keep sites from tracking our online behavior in order to tailor ads to you.
Always look to be sure the URL for your connections begins with “https”. If you are sharing credit card or personal information it is important to check for this secure encryption. Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or all your online activity is another option to ensure your data is encrypted. Information sent over a VPN is encrypted and better protected from hackers and malware. Read the Why You Should Start Using a VPN post from Lifehacker for more information on VPNs including a list of VPN clients and apps.
While data brokers keep their work secrete the World Privacy Forums keeps a page of data broker opt out options. While it can be time consuming to go through the opt-out options on all the listed sites it is another step to take ensure you are not being tacked.
Don’t forget about the settings on your mobile devices. You will need to check your device and the apps that you use. Some apps, with access to your data, use your activity to tailor ads to you. You can adjust each app’s access to your data on the device. “The latest iPhone and Android updates also offer a new feature that stops apps from using ad tracking, but you’ll need to turn it on yourself.”
You can learn more about tracking from DuckDuckGo’s Don’t Track Us site and from the World Privacy Forum.