In the past weeks, Pearls Before Swine and Dogs of C-Kennel commented on the NSA surveillance program. These comics run in the Free Press (and elsewhere, of course).
Pearls Before Swine
Dogs of C-Kennel
On Friday The Guardian, which has been hosting most of the significant revelations about NSA surveillance, has a series of think pieces on the topic, including one written by Edward Snowden himself, as well as one by Tom Stoppard (!):
And finally, this morning, on CNN, Bruce Schneier, the inventor of the term ‘security theater’ proposes a new future for the NSA. He points out that some of the NSA’s activities actually make us all less safe. Schneier spoke on campus a number of years ago and his writings on security, both electronic and physical have had a major influence on my understanding of security theory.
C&IT has used the Zimbra email system (branded as Wayne Connect) for a number of years now, and is looking at other cloud-based alternative systems. Across the country a number of universities have adopted Google Apps for Education as their email system1, and others have settled on Microsoft’s Office 365 Education suite2.
These products enable universities to provide ad-free, University-branded email accounts hosted and maintained by Google or Microsoft. The interface would be similar to either Gmail (Google’s popular email service) or Outlook.com (Microsoft’s webmail answer to Gmail). I’d be interested in hearing from folks who use one or the other about your experience with them and any preferences you might have. Note that Outlook.com is not the same as Outlook on your desktop – Microsoft simply wants consistent branding. Both Gmail and Outlook.com can be synced with Outlook on your desktop if you are used to that kind of setup.
Adding to the mix, both of these solutions will include collaborative document editing, and if you have used either company’s tools (Google Docs or Office Web Apps), thoughts about those would be useful too.
Please use the comments section below, or feel free to email me directly if you would prefer not to share your thoughts with others.
1 This includes the University of Minnesota, UCLA, Brandeis, Rutgers, Maryland and the little college down the road in Ann Arbor.
2 Universities using Office 365 include Duke, Emory, Iowa and University of Washington.