December, 2004
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ITSD Is Now Blocking Spam

As of Tues., Dec. 14, the Information Technology and Services Division (ITSD) has stopped sending email tagged as "Suspected Spam" to your Inbox. However, as before, some spam may not be identified and slip through. Blocking spam will reduce the time and costs associated with cleaning it up. Currently, the Lab receives some 3 million emails per month and nearly 20 percent of them are spam. Only a few emails per million are mis-identified as spam. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Help Desk (x4357).

Gone for the Holidays?

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How to Set Your Email Vacation Reply Message

If you use Mozilla as your email client, you must login to webmail online to set your vacation email message. Go to Click on Options. Click on Vacation Message. The Lab’s webmail gives you an opportunity to tailor your message for Lab and outside contacts. The first box will be sent to internal ( senders, and the second to external senders. Fill in both fields and click on Save Changes below. (The system will not permit changes to be saved if the automatic vacation reply box is checked.) Then logout. It may take up to 30 minutes for changes take effect.

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Record an Absence Greeting on Your Phone

If you plan to be away from your telephone for an extended period of time and will not be listening to messages, follow these instructions to record an extended-absence greeting. The greeting, which overrides your personal greeting, should indicate when you will return to the office and suggest another person to call in your absence. Unlike other options, callers will not be able to leave you a voicemail. Read more.

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Shut Down Your Computer

Lab computers are attacked more over holidays than at any other time. Please shut down your computer unless it is absolutely necessary that it stay running. If you must keep your computer running, be sure to tighten its security so that it does not fall prey to attacks. If you think your system has been attacked send email to If you have a computer security-related emergency call (510) 486-7770. Read more.

New Charges for VPN (Virtual Private Network)

ITSD will begin charging users of the Virtual Private Network (VPN) service (for both hardware and software) a recurring fee of $12 per month, starting January 2005.

This month, LBLnet is contacting all current VPN customers and giving them the opportunity to discontinue the service or to provide an account number for ongoing charges. VPN technology provides users with secure remote access to Lab resources, including online library journals and Web sites that are restricted to onsite use. For further information, go here.

Reminder: Budget Cuts Lead to Reduced A/V Support for Conference Rooms

Effective January 1, 2005, the Lab’s audio-visual services for conference rooms will be limited to the Bldg. 50 auditorium, Bldg. 66 auditorium and Perseverance Hall. ITSD will provide these services through its Networking and Telecommunications Department. Please continue to contact for services in these major locations. All services for these locations will continue as they have in the past, including rental equipment, and in-room LCD ceiling-mounted or booth projectors. Services in support of the smaller conference rooms, and the provision of rental laptops and portable LCD projectors to these locations, will be discontinued. If you have questions, please contact ITSD/NTD/AV Services at x6068.

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Dell to Replace Power Adaptors for Some Laptops

Computer maker Dell is recalling AC power adapters sold with some Latitude, Inspirion and Precision laptops between 1998-2002 due to reports of overheating adapters. ITSD still has adapters available for those who missed Dell’s replacement event in the cafeteria earlier this month. Provide your adapter number to the Help Desk (x4357) and they will determine whether you have a recalled adapter and need a replacement. Read more about the recall.

Service Tip

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Pilot Program to Combine Toner Purchases with Free Printer Repair

To help lower printer service costs, ITSD is looking for Lab organizations to participate in a pilot program to look at another option for servicing Hewlett-Packard printers. Under the pilot, Lab groups which buy toner cartridges for a minimum number of HP printers will receive free servicing for those printers. For details, read more.

 Protecting Your Computer

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Don't Use New Lycos Anti-Spam Screensaver

Lycos Europe has recently released a free screensaver designed to fight spam by flooding Web sites referenced in spam messages with connections. This screensaver is actually a "strike back" tool that in effect launches an attack against these sites. Although fighting spam with such a “strike back” tool might seem like a good idea, the way in which Lycos' screensaver does this is not. The Lab's Computer Protection Program does not use strike back tactics; use of this screensaver on Lab machines or by machines not owned by the Lab but connected to Lab networks is therefore not allowed. Read more.

Lab's Anti-Virus Software Agreement Includes Home PC and Macintoshes

Did you know that the Lab has a special license with Symantec to cover Lab employees' home PCs and Macintoshes? You can download Norton Anti-virus from the Lab’s software download page without charge — provided that you own the PC or Mac to which the software is downloaded. Be sure to also update the anti-virus software on your home machine every day, just as you do on your Lab computer.

Computer Forensics and Incident Investigation Methods Course to Be Offered Jan. 12

A new computer security course, Computer Forensics and Incident Investigation Methods, will be taught from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 12, in Bldg. 70A-3377. Read the course description. There is no charge for attending, but space is limited. To sign up, go to the Employee Self Service page.

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Windows XP Users: Lab Now Recommends Installing Service Pack 2

After assessing all the aspects of Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Windows XP, an ITSD team has determined that the benefits of installing this Service Pack now clearly outweigh any liabilities. However, because SP2 works best with the current version (9.0.1) of Symantec Anti-Virus, XP users should first see which version of Symantec they have on their computer. Read more.

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Monthly Virus Update: More than 120,000 Worms and Viruses Eradicated

The number of worms and viruses handled by the Lab's virus wall reached nearly an all-time high last month. A total of 123,654 worms and viruses, almost all of which target Windows systems, were detected and eradicated. In contrast, the number in October was 110,089. For details on these worms including the Christmas worm, read more.