Author Steve S.

Steve Sharer is a Security and Risk Analysis major and an overall good guy. He brings Onward State readers enticing posts such as "Question of the Day" and "Campus Explorer" and will continue to do so until he becomes the President of the United States of America in 2024.

0 Question of the Day: Sweet Mobile Apps

AT&T is sponsoring a pretty cool competition in which entrants can win $10,000 cash in scholarship money for creating a mobile device application. Teams of up to four people can enter a custom-built application for the purpose of e-learning.  The rules state that the “innovating e-learning mobile app” should be functional across multiple platforms. Submissions are due by September 15, 2010 and so far there are only ten teams signed up. So my question for you is:

If you could develop a mobile device application, what would it do?


0 SRA Club’s Counter-Terrorism Panel

If you’re interested in how terrorists are making use of technology to carry out their illicit activities, you’re in luck.

On Wednesday, April 7th at 8:00 pm the Security & Risk Analysis Club will host its bi-yearly Counter-Terrorism Panel. The event, held in IST’s Cybertorium (113 IST), will bring together experts in terrorism from across the University.

This semester’s Counter-Terrorism Panel will shift its focus to “Technology Enabled Terrorism”; more on what your can expect at the event after the jump!

0 IST Set to Host Girls’ Tech Camp

Let’s face it. The College of Information Sciences and Technology lacks a significant female population. Thankfully, the College recognizes that fact and is continuing its highly successful technology summer camp for middle school girls.

This year’s camp, from June 21 to June 25, is titled “Tech Savvy Girls Summer Camp”. It’s a free camp and features two programs for attendees. The first section is all about making a 3D animations with readily available (read: free) software. The second program teaches attendees how to make video games by serving as programmers, artists, designers, and producers.

Read on for details on how to sign up.

0 A Social Network for Generation Y

If you are reading this, chances are that you’re one of 80 million people of Generation Y. More specifically, Generation Y describes the group of people born between 1980 and 1995. Some of us Gen Y’ers remember a world without widespread internet use, but we really grew up as digital natives. And as digital natives, we’re clamoring for the new cool way to communicate or to get our hands on the next raddest hottest piece of technology.

Studies confirm what we already know. We don’t want to use Facebook to interact with professors or with possible employers. Social networks like LinkedIn are chunky and, in my opinion, not versatile enough for our generation. Among the hordes of social networking services, one service carefully toes the line between your personal and working world.

The Brazen Careerist, started in part by Penn State grad Ryan Paugh (a member of Sigma Alpha Mu here at Penn State and a former THON dancer), sets out to fill the gap left by major social networks. It represents a new way for Generation Y’ers to share ideas, share advice and network with their peers. Paugh says that the Brazen Careerist is targeted primarily towards college and graduate students with a particular focus in mind:

We built the network to help you guys avoid the mistakes that we made during our transition into “the real world.” Brazen Careerist is a place to build a professional network before you find yourself in a situation that you don’t want to be in. Example: Getting stuck in a job that you really hate. Even worse, getting stuck in your parent’s basement without a job.

Read the rest of this piece after the break.

0 Google Buys Onward State

Last night, leadership of Onward State met with senior Google Executives Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt to close a deal many months in the making.

Google approached Onward State in December with an offer of $1.2 million in cash and an additional $3.7 million in shares of the technology giant. After much wheeling and dealing, Onward State staff convinced Google to also implement their new 1GB high speed internet project in State College.

Dorm residents will unfortunately continue to face slower-than-molasses internet speeds and the same download/upload limits as you did before. Only residents of State College will benefit from incredible internet speeds.

Read statements from Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Onward State Publisher Davis Shaver after the jump.

0 Library Website Gets a Facelift

Keeping track of 5.4 million books, some 46,000 online journals and 100,000 e-books is no easy task. Luckily, the Penn State University Libraries website exists to deliver that mind-boggling volume of content to Penn Staters on demand. There’s just one problem: the current website isn’t exactly the most user friendly. It gives me the same feeling of information overload in my junior year as it did when I was a freshman.

Enter the redesigned, beta test version of the University Libraries website. Declaring it a mere improvement over the previous version would be a serious understatement.

0 Get Free Creamery Ice Cream

Yup, you read the title right. You can get free Penn State Creamery Ice Cream on Friday March 19, 2010 between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. Now, this sweet deal can be had by simply using social media outlets like Facebook and Foursquare. Here’s the rundown:

  1. Visit the College of Ag Science’s Facebook Fan Page and become a fan.
  2. Follow the College of Ag Sci on Twitter.
  3. Get an account on the location-based social media service Foursquare.
  4. Head to the Berkey Creamery on Friday, March 19th between 11 and 1.
  5. “Check-in” your location on Foursquare.

Don’t have a mobile device that is compatible with Foursquare? Don’t worry, The College of Agriculture Sciences has got you covered– it’ll have a computer set up so you can check in.

Get to the Creamery close to 11 to make sure you’re one of the first twenty-five. Free ice cream will only be awarded to those first twenty-five.

This is a pretty cool use of social media. Props to the College of Ag Sciences for offering an incentive for people to follow their social media assets on Facebook and Twitter. Free Creamery ice cream is a whole lot better than the classic “hey you guys, can you please follow us?” line that other Colleges and Universities generally offer.

0 Have Your Say On PSU IT

On Friday, March 26, SAC-ITS will have a meeting to include students on information technology related decisions at Penn State. It will be held from 4:00-6:00 pm in 141 Computer Building (labeled as “Computer” on this map).

The meeting is the result of a partnership between UPUA President Keirans and Academic Affairs Committee Chair Sam Loewner to bring students into the discussion on how Penn State handles IT. All sorts of IT related issues will and can be covered at the meeting, such as ANGEL, Penn State Wireless, and the Penn State blogging platform, among others.

Anyone interested in more information about this effort should contact Jenn Struble ([email protected]).

0 The Week In Review

The Week In Review is a new feature where I get to serve up the best of a week’s worth of Onward State stories. The following stories have been chosen both by their popularity by readers along with staff favorites between January 16th and 22nd.

The top post from this week was 10 Questions With Russ Rose. Take a look at the interview to find out about Coach Rose’s ‘look’.

One of the more popular Questions of the Day was this week’s question on themed parties. There are some pretty cool parties mentioned in the comments, it’s worth taking a look.

0 Google Streetview Takes A Peek At The Beav’

We featured some Google Streetview imagery back in late December of downtown State College. Finally, Google has posted up their imagery that was taken of the Penn State campus from a slightly different photo-taking platform. At last, I can look back at my Freshman Dorm (Pinchot Hall) or the building I spent so much time in, for many years to come. Click this link to see a map of Penn State. Drag the man shaped icon from on top of the zoom bar to the area you want to see the Streetview imagery for. Read on for some sweet highlights.

0 Hershey Gets Simulated

A new simulation lab has opened at Hershey Medical Center that more than doubles the existing facilities at a staggering 8,000 sq. feet. Reportedly costing around $6.6 million and taking over 20 years to develop, the new lab is the cutting edge in healthcare education.

The lab features mannequins that healthcare professionals can use to hone their skills in performing a variety of procedures, a practice that pays off in real situations, according to lab director Elizabeth Sinz. It also has a sweet virtual reality room. Surgery-by-wire, here we come!

0 College of IST Continues Search For New Dean

A job listing of sorts has gone up on Penn State Live in the hopes of recruiting a new Dean for the College of Information Sciences and Technology. Here is a summed up version of what the University is looking for in the new Dean of IST:

Have an intense understanding of the concepts that are taught and researched at the College of IST.
Have the credentials to be a tenured professor.
Be able to fundraise like crazy.

The committee in charge of choosing a new Dean is led by Honors College Dean Christian Brady. The committee will be accepting applications starting February 15 and will accept applications/nominations until the position is filled.

As a student of the College of IST, I’m looking for a few things from the new Dean:

  1. Update the IST and SRA degrees to be current with today’s technology and issues.
  2. Create an Emergency and Disaster Management degree with focuses on prevention, response, and collaboration during crises.
  3. Invest in more collaborative space in the IST Building.
  4. Reduce class sizes across the board, even if they have to move IST/SRA classes outside of the IST Building.
  5. Hire more faculty to teach new and improved courses.
0 Foursquare and Penn State

Some of you will be disappointed when I tell you that I’m not going to talk about the childhood game Foursquare in this post. I am, however, talking about the internet service called Foursquare that “gives you and your friends new ways of exploring your city.”

It turns out that Harvard has teamed up with the company to create a index of ratings and reviews of local businesses as well as to promote collaboration between the different people living in and around the University.

I’ve seen a handful of people get into Foursquare, especially via Twitter. It seems like a pretty cool service and looks like it could take off, particularly in a college setting. It would definitely help spread the word about State College gems like Herwig’s, Margarita’s Pizzeria and the State Theatre, among others.

With enough users in State College, the service could create a veritable listing of awesome places to hang out, eat and drink study. Of course, this listing would be limited to the citizens of State College that are more technologically-minded at first. But if Foursquare grows to include many demographics like Facebook and Twitter have, the service would become infinitely more useful.

You can get signed up here. Let us know what you think of the service with a comment below.

0 PSU Computer Store Gets Its Party On

Penn State’s Computer Store has been around for a lot longer than you might think. Its twentieth birthday will be celebrated on January 20th in the HUB Showroom from 10 AM to 2 PM.

It looks like there will be some pretty sweet prizes to be won, and you can even meet This Squirrel. I have also received information stating there will be cupcakes to be had at the joyful celebration.

1990 was a awkward year for computers. Microsoft had yet to create Windows 95, but it released the first versions of Microsoft and Excel that we all know and hate love. A computer with a 250 MB hard drive, a 3.5″ floppy drive and 1 MB of RAM sold for $1,260. In today’s money, this system would have cost $2,085.51. Also in 1990, the basis for the internet we enjoy today was laid when a researcher came up with the hypertext system. This hypertext system led to fantastic internet gems.

0 Penn State Protects “Climategate” Professor

Michael Mann, the Penn State professor at the center of the “Climategate” controversy, is set to be scrutinized by a small team of Penn State faculty. This committee has 120 days to delve into the details of the accusations that Mann falsified information and provided misleading evidence to support climate change.

The committee investigating this situation is made up of three people including Henry Foley (Vice President for Research), William Brune (Mann’s boss in the Meteorology Department) and Candice Yekel (Director of the Office of Research Protections).

0 Capital One Bowl Highly Watched

Statistics have rolled in showing that the Capital One Bowl matchup between Penn State and LSU was the fifth most-watched bowl game this season. An astounding 7.8 million households watched our Nittany Lions beat those lame Tigers.

There are some other cool TV statistics for Penn State Football after the jump.

0 B&N College Bookstores Offer Rentals, But Not Here

After seeing textbook rentals become wildly popular with online services like Chegg, Barnes and Noble is trying to get in on the game. Since our official bookstore in the HUB is a Barnes and Noble-run bookstore, I was hoping that we’d get the chance to take advantage of the savings that come with textbook rentals.

Turns out we can’t.

Of the around 25 participating Barnes and Noble University bookstores, Penn State is not on the list. Our rivals to the west, Ohio State, offering Barnes and Noble textbook rentals, as are those Gamecocks from down at South Carolina.

I’d imagine that Barnes and Noble will be looking to expand their textbook rental program to other schools. Given the fact that we’re such a big school, it is likely our official B&N bookstore will be participating in the near future.

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