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October 2013

iOS 7 Features and Tips for iPhone

Apple opened up its servers for users to download the new software, iOS 7, on Wednesday, September 19, 2013. The latest software version is is compatible with iPhone 4 and iPad 2 tablets and later versions.

Apple opened up its servers for users to download the new software, iOS 7, on Wednesday, September 19, 2013. The latest software version is is compatible with iPhone 4 and iPad 2 tablets and later versions.

Apple added new security features in IOS 7, so it will affect all devices using IOS 7.  It was put in place for a theft deterrent, but also improves security of your device. An Apple ID and password is needed to activate a device, even after a rest, so stolen phones and even sold second party phones will not be able to be activated unless the previous owner deactivates properly or goes into iCloud and removes the device. 

iOS 7 Information

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North Dakota GIS Users Conference A Success

The North Dakota GIS Users Conference was a successful event with over 195 registered attendees from state agencies, counties, cities, higher education, utilities, and the private sector. The conference was held at the very nice Alerus Center in Grand Forks. The first keynote presentation, "Unmanned Aircraft: Turning Potential into Reality" was provided by

The North Dakota GIS Users Conference was a successful event with over 195 registered attendees from state agencies, counties, cities, higher education, utilities, and the private sector. The conference was held at the very nice Alerus Center in Grand Forks. The first keynote presentation, "Unmanned Aircraft: Turning Potential into Reality" was provided by

Dr. Mark Askelson, Associate Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, University of North Dakota. The second keynote presentation, "How to Remain Relevant in the Age of Change, or What GIS Pros Can Do to Keep Their Skills in Demand." was provided by James Fee, owner of Spatially Adjusted LLC and Spatial IT Director at the URS Corporation.

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Windows 8 Testing

ITD has been doing preliminary testing for Windows 8, a version of Microsoft Windows operating systems developed for use on desktops, laptops, and tablets.

ITD has been doing preliminary testing for Windows 8, a version of Microsoft Windows operating systems developed for use on desktops, laptops, and tablets. A few individuals from each division were selected to participate in this test. The object was to verify that all of ITD's applications will work with the new operating system and to make sure all desktops, laptops, and tablets have the hardware necessary for running Windows 8 efficiently.

Windows 8 Test Results

  • Tablet Findings:  ITD chose HP ElitePad because of the additional options that will allow it to be used enterprise-wide. It faired well, but was slightly underpowered for what power-users require. ITD purchased a docking station (only one at the time that had this option), and external keyboards to test usability. The tablet consisted of a 1.8GHz Intel Atom Processor with 2 GB of Ram for memory. Windows 8 Professional was also tested, and both works well as long multiple apps were not being utilized at once or if using real intensive applications.
  • Microsoft Surface: ITD was considering looking into using the Surface from Microsoft because it had i5 Intel processor and 4GB of Ram. They decided the the battery life was too short, accessories were limited, and didn't have a docking station. Those results concluded to still needing a laptop or desktop and a tablet. This would be counterproductive and more expensive in licensing as you would still be managing two machines, which would cost more to replace over time.
  • ITD strongly recommends when using Windows 8 on a tablet, to have i5 or newer with at least 4GB of Ram, which will have a longer battery life. The next generation with new Haswell chips from Intel seems to fit all required specs. Haswell has strongly increased power efficiency along with the major strides in development with Windows 8 and even more do in 8.1, which will be release in October, 2013.

Windows 8 Information

  • Windows 8 can be used with traditional desktops without having a touchscreen. It also includes a new-style interface for use with touchscreens on laptops, desktop and tablets. Some of the Windows 8 fundamental enhancements include:
    • Better multiple-monitor setups
    • Revamped Windows Explorer
    • Cloud-based account syncing
    • New ways to personalize your desktop
  • Windows 8 can be confusing at first, since the interface has changed so much. One major change is that the Start Menu has been removed (located on the bottom left of prior versions). Windows 8 Charm bar is the best way to access some of the functions previously available in the start menu.
  • Windows 8 Keyboard Shortcuts

Reminder - Windows XP Support is Ending April 8, 2014

  • After April 8, 2014, support ends for Windows XP users. There will be no software updates which includes security updates. This means unsupported and unpatched environments are vulnerable to security risks. These security risks consist of harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software, which can steal your personal information.
  • Agencies that are currently running Windows XP need to be upgraded before April 8, 2014.

Contact

  • If you have any questions, please contact the Service Desk.
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FrontRange HEAT 2013 Case Study

ITD is moving closer to migrating to FrontRange’s new product platform, HEAT 2013, and had been asked to participate in FrontRange’s Customer Reference Program. The results of ITD's Case Study were recently published on FrontRange's website.

ITD is moving closer to migrating to FrontRange’s new product platform, HEAT 2013, and had been asked to participate in FrontRange’s Customer Reference Program. The results of ITD's Case Study were recently published on FrontRange's website. These Case Studies include customer success stories in service management and client management.

“We’ll continue to utilize the on-premise solution, but we’re encouraged that our vendor offers a choice of a cloud solution – that flexibility is very promising,” says Birnbaum. “Moving to HEAT 2013 will allow ITD’s enterprise service desk to deliver even greater efficiencies while blending people, process, and technology in a way that efficiently and effectively supports their customers. Today, some agencies use an in-house developed work
management system for service requests, while others use HEAT Service Management. HEAT 2013 will enable ITD the scalability to consolidate these platforms.

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Desktop Support Study

The 63rd Legislature passed SB 2021 in which Section nine of that bill requires the Information Technology Department (ITD) to perform a “study of all state agencies' information technology desktop support.

The 63rd Legislature passed SB 2021 in which Section nine of that bill requires the Information Technology Department (ITD) to perform a “study of all state agencies' information technology desktop support. The study is to determine the feasibility and desirability of centralization of desktop support services through the information technology department for all state agencies. 

Requirements of the study include:

  • Review of the support staff
  • Associated costs to the respective agency
  • Use of third party information technology contractors
  • Cost-benefit comparison of current state agencies' desktop support self services
  • Desktop support services provided by the Information Technology Department

 
ITD has contracted with Eide Bailly to assist in the completion of this effort. A representative from Eide Bailly will be contacting you in the next coming weeks to schedule an interview to gather information on your agency’s current desktop support environment. Their timeline for completing this project is aggressive, with this in mind your support would be greatly appreciated in finding some time to meet with them on this important effort. 

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In-State Long Distance

The statewide network, known as the North Dakota Statewide Technology Access for Government and Education network (STAGEnet) mission states that that it "will develop and enhance a statewide network to service its primary consumers". 

The statewide network, known as the North Dakota Statewide Technology Access for Government and Education network (STAGEnet) mission states that that it "will develop and enhance a statewide network to service its primary consumers".  ITD in partnership with North Dakota State University (NDSU) and all the higher education campuses has further enhanced the statewide network. Voice solutions utilized by state government can now be connected to NDUS. This interconnection allows higher education campuses and state government to make voice calls to one another via STAGEnet. This functionality allows both parties to make voice calls to one another without toll charges, continuing to increase the effectiveness of STAGEnet and reducing the cost for both parties.

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Instagram Available to Federal, State and Local Governments

Instagram is a free mobile application that allows users to share pictures and videos online. A Terms of Service (TOS) agreement was developed for this social media application, which is now available to federal, state and local governments.

Instagram is a free mobile application that allows users to share pictures and videos online. A Terms of Service (TOS) agreement was developed for this social media application, which is now available to federal, state and local governments.

About Instagram

  • Available for free in the Apple App Store and Google Play store
  • You can take up to fifteen seconds of video through the Instagram camera
  • Photos and videos can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr
  • Over 130 million users
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E-Team and Kool Kats Team Restructured

To better serve our customers, ITD's Software Development Division has reorganized the e-Team and Kool Kats teams.

To better serve our customers, ITD's Software Development Division has reorganized the e-Team and Kool Kats teams.

Kool Kats Team

  • The Kool Kats team is responsible for supporting PeopleSoft and will now include individuals supporting the Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) applications.
  • ITD Software Development team leader - Steve Goroski, sgoroski@nd.gov, 328-4308
  • Software Development Enterprise Division Manager - Paula Dosch, pdosch@nd.gov, 328-4472
  • Chuck Picard's role will stay the same as the Enterprise EDMS Coordinator
  • Located at Northbrook Mall, Suite X.

e-Team

  • The e-team will continue focusing on web design, Small Systems Group tools/applications and .Net application development.
  • Shawn Meier will continue being the ITD Software Development team leader for the e-Team and will assist Steve through the transition.

Contact

  • If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Paula Dosch at 328-4472 or pdosch@nd.gov.

 

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Multi-factor Authentication Solution

ITD is partnering with the Office of Attorney General and the Department of Emergency Services to implement an enterprise-wide multi-factor authentication (MFA) solution.

ITD is partnering with the Office of Attorney General and the Department of Emergency Services to implement an enterprise-wide multi-factor authentication (MFA) solution. MFA is defense mechanism employed to make it difficult for unauthorized persons to access a computer system or network. This mechanism provides additional features to better safeguard your privacy and security.

If your agency is interested in a MFA solution, please contact Art Bakke at (701) 328-1985. This will allow ITD to determine whether its feasible to offer this product to all agencies.

 

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