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Archive for April, 2008

Urgent email revalidation a scam

Monday, April 28th, 2008

UNE staff and students are receiving emails asking them to send in personal information to an external website. The email titled ‘urgent email revalidation notice’ is a scam. Anyone receiving the email should simply delete it.

If you have received the email and are concerned – contact the Service Desk on (x 5000) or

Today’s the day- the end of CDMA

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Today is the day Telstra will shut down the CDMA mobile network. Any CDMA phones must  be transferred urgently to avoid disconnection.

It’s taken two and a half years but tonight Telstra will pull the plug on the CDMA mobile network.  From midnight it will not be possible to make or receive calls over the CDMA network.

CDMA phones are not compatible with the replacement NextG network. Any individuals or schools with CDMA phones must replace them with NextG phones urgently to prevent disconnection. Any phone that is not transferred will cease working at midnight tonight and may be disconnected by Telstra.

A list of NextG mobile phones with costs and information on data plans is available on the Service Desk website at

Contact the Service Desk (x5000) or if you have questions about the CDMA shut down.

Educating Gen-Y

Monday, April 14th, 2008

mobile-phone-studentsforweb.jpgDo different generations have different learning styles? And should universities be changing to meet the needs of Gen-Y?

Baby boomers (1946-1964) prefer face-to-face delivery of learning materials. Gen X (1965-1979) prefer independence and Gen Y (1980-1996) want communication and interaction. At least that’s the claim.

Gen Y (also known as the Net Generation, Millenials, iGen, or digital natives) have grown up in a world of digital communication. Mobiles, laptops, PDAs, instant messages, blogs, wikis, chatrooms and podcasts are supposed to be all second nature to this digital generation.

Going along with 24/7 ‘connectedness’ is a change in learning styles with an emphasis on learning by interacting virtually with others. Going to lectures is less important than being able to access a podcast (and being able to hold down a job!!). The learning style of the digital native has been described as a ‘bricolage’ an assemblage of a bit of this and a bit of that.

So what do you think? Does Gen-Y have different learning needs and if so what are they??

The study referred to in this blog is Hartman et al 2005 Preparing the academy of today for the learner of tomorrow. Available online

Backscatter explained

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

When my mail box suddenly exploded I went looking for an explanation. What I discovered was backscatter – yet another way to get ‘spammed’

Yesterday my inbox went crazy. Within an hour I had more than 70 messages, all telling me I had sent undeliverable messages. At first I thought they were legit so I checked – but nothing suggested what they were. Desperate for an answer I asked UNE’s spam expert Gordon Smith. Turns out that what I had experienced was a wave of backscatter.

Backscatter works like this: A virus or spam source ‘forges’ an email so that the from address points to a mailserver that it wants to target. The aim is to try and target a mailserver that will send a DSN (Delivery Status Notification) plus attachments if an email can’t be delivered. Once the email is sent the targeted server gets flooded with bounced messages which can cause it to crash. The messages might also contain viruses so don’t open any attachments.

So what do you do if you’ve been backscattered? nothing. Just delete any emails and don’t open any attachments. Backscatter ‘attacks’ happen all the time and tend to come in waves so just keep deleting the messages until they stop.

Pearls of wisdom from the BI team

Monday, April 7th, 2008

robhaleweb.jpgUNE’s Business Intelligence (BI) project continues to produce valuable insights.

UNEs BI project is all about giving UNE staff access to timely, accurate and consistant information. The BI project, now in its second year  is providing new capabilities for data analysis.

Have you ever wondered how many prospective students are using UNE’s courses and units catalogue for example? In the past 30 days more than 230,000 unique searches have been made for subjects as diverse as ceramics, dance and astronomy. Education (closely followed by law) was the most searched for subject with new courses such as criminology sparking strong interest.

Technical project manager Rob Hale (pictured) is heading up the BI project. ‘We’re keen to provide flexible and accurate information that meets the needs of the university community. We’ve got staff trying out the systems, performing their own data analysis and printing reports from their own desktop.’ says Mr. Hale.