Kansas State University


IT News

Tag: wifi

Ask a Librarian: IT and library equipment Q/As

The Equipment category of the “Ask a Librarian” pages has common questions (and answers) about IT equipment available in the K-State Libraries.  The Q/As often include  pointers to IT resources outside of Hale Library, including branch libraries and the Salina campus.

Current questions/answers about available technology:

  • Cameras: Can I check out cameras here?
  • Collaboration stations: What are they? How can I use them?
  • Wireless access: How can I connect my laptop to the wireless (wifi) network?
  • Computers: Where is there an open computer in Hale Library?
  • Computers: What hardware and software is available on the computers?
  • Fax machine: Do you have a fax machine?
  • Projectors: Can I check out projectors here?
  • Headphones: Can I check out headphones here?
  • Laptops: Can I check out laptops here?
  • Copier: How do I use a photocopier (copier) and how much does it cost?

For more FAQs, see the Ask a Librarian homepage that also provides a chat interface (during library service hours) plus email, phone, and texting communication channels.

Why you need to secure your home wireless network

Recent news out of Minnesota caught my attention and underscores the need for people to secure wireless networks at home. Barry Ardolf is accused of tapping into his neighbor’s home wireless network and sending a threatening e-mail to Vice President Joe Biden, making it appear to have come from his neighbor. As if that’s not enough, he also is alleged to have sent sexually explicit e-mails to his neighbor’s co-worker; sent child porn to his neighbor’s boss; set up a MySpace page in his neighbor’s name and posted child porn on it; used fake e-mail accounts set up in his neighbor’s name; and stole personal identity information.

Presumably none of us have neighbors like Ardolf, but I assure you many of us have neighbors who wouldn’t hesitate to use your wireless network if you make it easy for them. And default settings on common wireless routers do just that.

Here are five steps you should take to securely configure your home wireless network: Continue reading “Why you need to secure your home wireless network”

Travelers: Beware of international data-roaming rates

With the proliferation of smartphones in the last few years, more consumers are using data services such as e-mail, streaming video, web surfing, or other activities that require access to data through a mobile network from smartphones. Consumers are accustomed to the “all you can eat” data plans that can be used everywhere, which enhance productivity and support the interaction with information in new ways.

Those who travel abroad with data-enabled smartphones are used to higher roaming rates per minute for telephone calls and seek cheaper alternatives for overseas voice calls. However, data roaming is an entirely different beast. Many smartphones will silently ping various data services for updates on new information, which ranges from e-mail and instant-messaging applications to GPS-enabled street maps. All of this traffic requires data plans, which on overseas jaunts can add up to big bucks.

For example, AT&T charges $0.0195 (about 2 cents) per kilobyte; downloading a 1-megabyte file could cost about $20. For a consumer who uses about 50 megabytes of data on a phone the cost would be $975 if AT&T roaming rates were applied.

Continue reading “Travelers: Beware of international data-roaming rates”