Thursday, October 3, 2019

Firefox prevented from making DNS requests over HTTPS

What is happening? Firefox will be prevented from making DNS requests to Cloudflare in order to protect users against phishing and malware attacks. 
 
Why is this happening? Mozilla plans to enable the ability to make DNS queries over HTTPS (DoH) for Firefox version 69+ by default, regardless of a user's operation system configuration.
Monday, September 30, 2019

Development freeze for external (non-WCMS team) developers – May 2020

What is happening? Effective May 1, 2020, the WCMS will no longer be accepting new or changed features from external (non-WCMS team) developers for use with WCMS 2 (Drupal 7).
 
What is the impact? Custom development work affecting WCMS 2 sites will not be shipped to production as of this date. At that point, any future custom development will only be considered for WCMS 3 (Drupal 8 initially, then Drupal 9) and will be targeted to ship only when the affected sites have been moved to WCMS 3.
 
Note that this does not affect the ability to edit or create content on the site.
 
What do users need to do? 
  • No development work in progress: If you were considering custom development and have not yet reached out to the WCMS team, it is strongly advised to defer any work until WCMS 3 is opened to external developers (projected for September 2020). This will avoid any necessary rework, as work compatible with WCMS 2 will not be compatible with WCMS 3, due to changes in Drupal.
  • Development work in progress: Units with work in progress, or who cannot wait for WCMS 3 to ship new work, must complete any outstanding development by April 1, 2020. This will allow time for the WCMS team to review the work, and for you to make any necessary changes prior to the May 1, 2020 deadline.
  • Hiring co-op students/developers: Supervisors intending to hire co-op students or temporary employees, or otherwise contract for development work, should do so with these deadlines in mind.
What about custom development work on my current site? Existing custom development work will not be compatible with WCMS 3, due to the aforementioned changes in Drupal, and will have to be rewritten if it is still needed once the full feature set of WCMS 3 is announced. Stay tuned for follow up communications regarding existing custom development.
 
 When is this happening? 
  • WCMS 2 feature submission for review: April 1, 2020
  • WCMS 2 production freeze: May 1, 2020
  • WCMS 3 development open to external developers: Sept 1, 2020 (projected)
For full details on the development of WCMS 3, please see the Building the next WCMS website, particularly the project timeline.
 
Questions or concerns? Please contact Joe Kwan.
Monday, September 23, 2019

WebEx service disruption - September 25

 What is happening? Users may experience Webex login issues while maintenance is being done to rebuild the WebEx database. No changes to user space or content is expected.
 
When is this happening? The maintenance will start on Wednesday Sept 25 at 7:00 a.m. and continue for several hours. 
 
Why is this happening? The user database is being rebuilt so the system canintegrate better with third party systems.
 
Questions or concerns? Please contact the IST Service Desk, helpdesk@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 44357. 
Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Scantron multiple-choice exam processing replacement coming soon – Sept 17

What is happening? In November 2018, the Exam Management, Assessment and Processing Evaluation project team began investigations into the replacement of the existing exam scanning service, Scantron. The committee is pleased to announce the request for proposal (RFP) has been awarded to Akindi Inc.   
  
About Akindi: Akindi is a web-based assessment system that automates the creation and grading of multiple-choice exams. This tool allows clients to use any scanner and sheet of paper, offering a low cost of ownership by eliminating the need for costly equipment, supplies and dedicated staff resources, while facilitating the use and accessibility of the exam scanning service across campus.   
  
What our clients will receive  
The new exam processing service will provide:  
  • A user-friendly interface designed with faculty and instructional team members in mind.    
  • Excellent support, with extended hours available during exam periods.   
  • Seamless integration into existing workflows. Where you once used Scantron you can now use Akindi. 
  • The ability for clients to assess exam results when they want, where they want.   
  • Actionable data that can be used to immediately identify gaps in understanding and provide feedback to students.    
  
When is this happening? Optional use of the service will begin September 23 and continue through the fall term. Instructions on integrating Akindi with a course in LEARN will be available from both the LEARN Help and Akindi websites by this date. During the winter 2020 term (date to be confirmed), Akindi will become the centrally supported multiple-choice exam processing service. Scantron will no longer be available for use.  
  
What do users need to do? Get familiar with Akindi. Review the training materials now available, and plan to attend the September 30 live-training webinar.     
  
For more information on Akindi and the upcoming training session, please visit our Akindi website.  
   
Questions or concerns? Please contact the IST Service Desk, helpdesk@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 44357. 
Thursday, September 12, 2019

Activation of employee Microsoft Office 365 accounts – September 19

What is happening? IST will activate Microsoft Office 365 accounts for members of the following groups that have not yet activated their account:
 
  1. Member is full time faculty, or
  2. Member is full time staff, or
  3. Member is full time contract (temporary), or
  4. Member has a job with the “Job Family Group” equal to “Affiliated Colleges/Institutions Family Group”.
 
Why is this happening? To allow employees immediate access to the suite of Microsoft Office 365 applications (removes activation wait period) and to prepare for a future deployment of Office ProPlus.
 
When is this happening? Accounts will be activated by 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 19.
 
What do users need to do? No action is required.
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