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Aug
27

Mobile-Friendly Homepage

The campus homepage is changing to a new mobile-friendly format

With the recent trends showing a rising majority of users viewing University websites via mobile devices, the University started a project of converting webpages to a more mobile-friendly format. Utilizing the mobile first paradigm, developing webpages to be optimal on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets and then making them scaleable to notebooks and desktop systems, the University started revamping the layouts of our webpages.

Many of the campus websites have already been converted to the mobile-friendly format. The Springfield campus switched the homepage to a mobile-friendly format between the Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 semesters. Now has the time has come for the West Plains campus homepage to switch to the new format as well. Below is a screenshot of the prototype of the new mobile-friendly homepage layout.

Screenshot of the new mobile-friendly homepage layout.

Screenshot of the new mobile-friendly homepage layout.

Major Changes:

BearPass Tab:

The most notable difference for faculty, staff and students is the removal of the BearPass tab in favor of the new BearPass link and menu. As seen in the screenshot below, when the BearPass link is clicked a new menu will pop down revealing links to different systems that utilize the BearPass login.

BearPass Link and Menu

BearPass Link and Menu.

New Main Menu:

Another change is the addition of the Campus Visit menu allowing a more focused grouping of links for prospective student and visitors.

Screenshot of the Main Menus.

Screenshot of the Main Menus.

The new mobile-friendly homepage should be available beginning August 31, 2015.

Aug
19

Campus Media Services: Digital Signage Month in Review

Jul
18

Campus Media Services is Hiring!

Campus Media Services wants to hire you!

Campus Media Services (CMS) has an opening for the CMS Assistant position.

This is the perfect opportunity to earn extra cash, learn skills you cannot get in a classroom, and maybe have a little bit of fun.

Campus Media Services is nestled in the heart of Missouri State-West Plains’ Information Technology Department. It’s a great work environment filled with fun, knowledgeable people who are ready to work with you. Best of all, sometimes there are donuts!

Duties of the CMS Assistant include, but are not limited to:

  • Maintenance of the digital sign system
  • Media management
  • Recording video
  • Editing video
  • Conducting interviews
  • Graphic design
  • User support
  • Bits & Bytes blog updates

What you get from us:

  • Unique work experience unavailable anywhere else on campus
  • Great work environment
  • Friendly, knowledgeable co-workers
  • Challenging projects that will allow you to flex your creative muscle
  • Exposure to elements of campus life that you might not otherwise experience
  • Flexible hours
  • Donuts! (sometimes)

What we need from you:

  • Self-motived
  • Willing to be challenged
  • Eager to learn
  • Able to work within a team
  • Willing to interact with the campus community
  • Willing to occasionally work during after-hours events

Technological aptitude is a plus.

Experience with Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Blender, After Effects, Premiere Pro or other types of design software is preferred, but not required.

Basic understanding of computer programming and web development is useful, but again, not required.

Notice

  • This is a Corps of Opportunity position. All Corps of Opportunity requirements must be fulfilled before you can be hired.

To find out how you can become part of the best team on campus, send us an email.
Better yet, come visit our offices in-person in Lybyer 108. Ask for Will, Kris or Grayson.

We are looking forward to working with you!

Will Mahan
Campus Media Services Coordinator
WillMahan@MissouriState.edu

Aug
25

Microsoft Student Advantage Program

Missouri State University is happy to announce the new Microsoft Student Advantage program. Because of the University’s enterprise agreement with Microsoft, students are able to download and install Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus desktop applications at no additional cost. This gives students the latest version of Office.

Where can I download Office 365 ProPlus?

Instructions for installing the software and managing licenses are available on the Experts Wiki page Office 365 ProPlus for Students Download Instructions. You can use Office 365 ProPlus on up to 5 devices. Downloads are available for the following operating systems:

  • Microsoft Windows
  • Apple OS X
  • Mobile devices, including iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows Phone

Students can find download instructions for Office 365 ProPlus at:
https://experts.missouristate.edu/display/csvhelpdesk/Office+365+ProPlus+for+Students+Download+Instructions

Who is eligible?

Any student who is currently enrolled in classes at Missouri State University. Faculty, staff, and alumni are not eligible for this program.

What benefits does Office 365 ProPlus provide?

  • A digital download of Office 365 ProPlus to install on PC/Mac for up to 5 devices
  • Office 365 ProPlus stays up to date with the latest releases from Microsoft (currently Office Professional Plus 2013 for Windows and 2011 for Mac)
  • Office Mobile access for iOS and Android devices
  • Create and store documents locally on your computer
  • Connect your student email account to the Outlook desktop client, opening more features to use with your email and calendars

What software can I download?

ProPlus Applications

For Microsoft Windows, you can download the full suite of applications. This includes Microsoft Excel, OneNote, Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher, and Lync.

For Apple OS X, you can download Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac, which includes Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote.

Mobile Office 365 for iPhone, iPads, Android, and Windows phone devices can be used to perform limited editing of Microsoft Word and Excel documents and can view documents.

What happens when I graduate or leave Missouri State University?

Once you have left the University, your Microsoft Office ProPlus subscription will end and the software will no longer be usable.

Resources to learn Office products

Microsoft IT Academy

Missouri State University full-time staff, faculty, students, and alumni can access free online training through Microsoft’s IT Academy. See the Microsoft IT Academy page for information and to request access to Microsoft IT Academy.

Microsoft Online Tutorials

Training for the 2013 applications can be found at Microsoft Office Training site.

Questions? Contact the Lybyer Help Desk

May
24

How to make your device water resistant!

What it is.

Lots of people in this new day and age seems to have a smartphone of some sort. These phones can vary in many ways, such as better hardware or arguably better software. A few companies such as Nokia even boast the toughness of their products. But no phone can say that it survives water exposure easily. This is where liquipel comes into play. Liquipel is an agent that creates an invisible layer of protection that repels water on both the outside of the device and on the inside.

How it is done.

To make your phone water resistant, you can send your phone or other desired electronic device to the Liquipel headquarters in Santa Anta, California. From there, the phone is placed in a chamber that has all the air sucked out of it to create a vacuum in the chamber. Once there is no air left in the chamber, the phone is coated with the water resistant material.

How much is it?

The treatment currently costs $60 and only covers a select few models. It covers almost all iPhones, a few of the newer Samsung Galaxy models, lots of HTC models and only a few Motorola smartphones. The company also offers treatments for tablets, headsets and computers. For a more comprehensive list of supported models and devices follow the link to the Liquipel site and it will take you to the pricing and the lists of supported devices.

May
24

Tiny Suicidal Drones

Hello To All,

Aerial drones have become a household name in the past few years. I would like to express my views on this new technology. I liken it to the new technology that started with the Wright Brothers first flight in 1903. Orville Wright piloted the first powered airplane 20 feet above a beach in North Carolina. The flight lasted 12 seconds and covered 120 feet. We have come a long way, since that day, with aviation technology. Airplanes have benefitted humanity in many ways. We are able to reach all over the globe in mere hours instead of months. Nations with superior air power generally win whatever wars in which they may be involved.

Unfortunately, there are downsides to aviation. We have seen this with the Kamikaze pilots of WWII and the September 11th atrocities in New York City, not to mention the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that ended WWII and the lives of several hundred thousand people in one bombing run. I have personally read testimonies of some pilots that flew bombing missions in wars of past. They said they would drink alcohol to help them try and forget the lives of the innocent people they were taking.

We now have this new technology that enables an aircraft to fly without a pilot in the cockpit. This is a great technology and will save the lives of many pilots. These unmanned aircraft still need a pilot, though. It is more like playing a video game than piloting an aircraft. These ariel drones have become small enough to where anyone can build one in their home or garage fairly cheap. The army is working on a “Lethal Miniature Aerial Munition System, LMAMS for short. This aircraft is designed for one reason, to kill. This is a one-time suicidal drone. It will be piloted either by human means or by a computer using GPS technology. It is designed for quick missions to take out specific targets. The Army needs it to stay aloft for a half hour at most and fly up to six miles. They want to be able to destroy the intended target without taking out unintended targets. But, like their larger brothers, these tiny aircraft may be used to kill innocent lives.

051130-F-2828D-022

May
24

Welcome to the Future…Google Glass

The title says it all. Google Glass is the future!

What is Google Glass?

According to http://www.techradar.com, “Google Glass is an attempt to free data from desktop computers and portable devices like phones and tablets, and place it right in front of your eyes.” It’s a camera, display, touch pad, battery and microphone built into spectacle frames so that you can perch a display in your field of vision, film, take pictures, search and translate on the go.

What can Google Glass do?

Google Glass has it all! Google went above and beyond with the features that Google Glass offers. Here are just a few of those features:

  • You can use the Google hangout software to video conference with your friends and show them where you’re looking.
  • You’ll also be able to use Google Maps to get directions, although with GPS absent from the spec list, you’ll need to tether Glass to your phone. To do that, Google offers the MyGlass app. This pairs your headset with an Android phone. As well as sharing GPS data, this means messages can be received, viewed on the display and answered using the microphone and Google’s voice-to-text functionality.
  • Google Glass gives you another reason not to miss your flight. Glass will include and air carrier’s suggestion that you could have flight details beamed to you while you are waiting at the airport. Basically, the sky’s the limit.

So, When is the Google Glass release date?

A final release date has not been announced, but sources say that the original suggestion of 2014 was actually overly pessimistic and we could see Google Glass arrive in time for the end of 2013. Make sure Google Glass is on your wish list for Santa.

Finally, the moment for which you’ve all been waiting.

How much will Google Glass cost?

The Google Glass Explorer (the developer version being sent out now) costs $1,500. The consumer versions, which are expected to arrive by the end of 2013, are expected to be a little cheaper, although any actual prices remain speculative. They are unlikely to be super-cheap- but Google’s success with the Nexus 7 tablet may prompt the company to subsidize some of the cost.

It’s amazing that technology has come as far as it has. Good job to the boys and girls at Google! I’m pretty sure they have hit the mother load.

I can’t wait to own my pair!

google_glass_grab-580-90

May
17

Computer Graphics and Programming Degree (CGP)

So, you want to learn to create video games? Within the Computer Graphics and Programming (CGP)–Game Development emphasis Associates of Applied Science degree you have the opportunity to use several really awesome programs. For example we learn to use Autodesk®’s 3DS Max® to model and animate anything you could ever imagine. In addition, we learn to use Adobe® Photoshop® to create realistic looking textures that are applied to the models.

In the CGP Game Development degree one of the hardest things for people to understand or realize is that we don’t just play games. We joke about that being our research! There is a lot more to making a good game than just writing a few lines of code and a creating good model. Sometimes creating the model that sells well or satisfies your employer takes hours to create and you may even have to restart several times. For example, it takes patience when learning to unwrap 3D models so that the texture we created fits it perfectly. When it comes to the unwrapping process it may seem like you are not getting anywhere but if you spend the time in this stage you can come up with a really great looking product.

Creating the assets, the 3D models and textures, is just part of the fun! Bringing the assets into the Unity3D® game engine is awesome and where the fun really begins. I have spent a little over two years learning to use it and it is the most flexible engine I have ever used. You can quickly and easily create folders to organize your work with a few click of the mouse; design your own particle effects for fire, smoke, stars and much more. The game engine allows you to import Filmbox® (FBX) format models easily and then dynamically drag items around the scene to position them in your game scene with ease.

One of the strengths of the Unity3D® game engine is the asset store where you can buy or sell models. The asset store contains all sorts of models, coding and extensions imaginable. FireBallGameStudio.com, a small independent game studio my dad and I created, has started to sell assets on the asset store and we are doing quite well so far. It even helps pay our gas bill for our 100-mile commute to and from college!

With the CGP degree you learn what you need to know to be able to start your own studio or go out and find a job in the industry. The game market is always changing so there is always a need to take what you have learned and expand upon it. The teachers cannot teach you all you will ever need to know. As new technology comes out games evolve in their detail and capabilities. I have spent countless hours outside class researching new programs and easier ways of doing what I have learned. I have also done a lot of exploring of new technology that has come out recently and find the change exciting! So while playing games does help you get ideas of what to put in your games, the CGP degree is far from just playing games!

May
16

Position-Based Fluids

Realistic liquid simulation has always been the hardest part for a computer graphics producer and game developer.

Introducing the new Position-Based Fluids technology.

Position-Based Fluids is a way of simulating liquids using Position-Based Dynamics (PBD), the same framework that is utilized for cloth and deformables simulation in PhysX SDK (software development kit).

Because PBD uses an iterative solver which is different from the traditional SPH (Smoothed-particle hydrodynamics) fluid solvers, it can maintain incompressibility more efficiently. It also has an artificial pressure term which improves particle distribution and creates nice surface tension-like effects (note the filaments in the splashes). Finally, vorticity confinement is used to allow the user to inject energy back to the fluid.

Click for more information on this technology.

May
03

How to invest in ‘Smartstocks’

Ever wanted to invest in stocks, but didn’t know which stocks to choose? Which stocks were good? Which ones were bad? There is a handy-dandy site to help you figure all that out before investing in something that could potentially “Lose it all” for you.

Smartstocks.com provides a live stock game using real stock quotes. Learn how to trade online and invest in the stock market without risking your hard-earned money. Test your new investment strategy before trying it out for real. Track the return of multiple online accounts in one place. Best of all, Smartstocks.com‘s fantasy stock market game is absolutely free. You will receive $1 million of virtual money to invest as you see fit and you may trade any of the more than 75,000 stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) AND mutual funds listed in our database. So stop wasting your hard-earned money and start living the “easy (virtual) life.”

smartstocks

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