Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Meet the new Google Sites

Google Sites has had an overhaul. The basic website building tool is now easier to use, with a new drag-and-drop interface. The complex features of the old Google Sites like gadgets, sidebars and complicated menu options have all disappeared. Instead, Sites now offers a straightforward single-column layout with a handful of themes, fonts and colour options that work seamlessly on any device. It takes the hard work out of designing a coherent website. 

Your current Google Site will remain the same unless you migrate it over to the new version. Migration tools to transition your classic site will be released in 2017.

Here’s some of the key features of the new Sites.

1. Responsive Design

The old Google Sites was pretty bad at displaying content on different devices. The new single-column, no-sidebar layout is designed to scale to any screen size and the two available menu options make navigation easy.

2. Google apps integration


The new Sites allows you to insert content from any of Google’s apps within your Drive account, including Docs, Sheets, Forms and Charts, into your site from within the editor. Youtube videos and Maps can also be embedded and easily resized and moved around the page without having to delve into the source code.

3. Real-time collaborative editing

Multiple people can now simultaneously edit a Google Site, seeing each other’s changes in real-time, just like Google Docs, without worrying about conflicts or locked pages.

Monday, 28 November 2016

New and improved Internet resilience

In November, after months of planning, we implemented the University's new link to our Internet Service Provider, Janet. Just like large companies such as Google and the BBC, we now have our own direct link to an Internet Exchange Point in London Docklands providing us with greatly increased resilience to potential network problems.

Back in January, the University lost internet access for several hours, leaving important IT services including MOLE and Google Apps inaccessible. This problem was caused by two separate but simultaneous failures in the Yorkshire and Humberside Region (YHR) network, which affected our primary and backup internet connections. Now, thanks to our new link to London Docklands, we are no longer reliant on the YHR network, meaning that any future faults on the network won't affect us.

As the new link will serve as our primary network connection, another benefit is that we can now dedicate a 10Gbps internet connection to high volume research use, including High Performance Computing.

The diagram below outlines what our network now looks like, with the new link shown in red:

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Be a CiCS Graduate Intern

We have two Graduate Internships available: Digital Media Assistant & IT Security Analyst. The Graduate Internship will offer you a six month paid placement where your work will focus on a specific and defined project. You will be supported throughout your internship and will benefit from a detailed induction and a development programme.

Apply through Career Connect in MUSE. Applications close on 4 November.

Digital Media Assistant

Job ref: UOS014691

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Graduate Intern to work as a Digital Media Assistant within Print and Design Solutions (PDS). We are the University’s internal print and graphic design service with an annual income of £1.6M and are responsible for delivering creative, digital and graphical services and to manage all print production and specialist print services.

As a Digital Media Assistant you will be an enthusiastic, creative and a dynamic individual who will play a key role to develop the services digital assets. This will include producing a number of short videos to be used for promotional and training purposes. The videos will be intended for students and staff and aim to improve their awareness of the value of PDS services. Reporting to the Design Manager and working closely with graphic designers, creative media and the communications teams, you will be required to research, write, design and produce short videos to showcase PDS products and services.

The Graduate Internship will offer you a six month paid placement where your work will focus on a specific and defined project(s). You will be supported throughout your internship and will benefit from a detailed induction and a development programme.

You will have graduated from the University of Sheffield with a good Undergraduate honours degree within the last academic year. Have proven experience using industry standard software for Apple Macintosh or PC and the ability to assess and organise resources and plan and progress work activities. You will have excellent verbal and written communication skills, ability to work independently and as part of a team and experience of adapting own skills to new circumstances.

IT Security Analyst
Job ref: UOS014674

We are seeking a motivated and enthusiastic individual with strong interpersonal, organisational and technical skills to contribute to the University’s IT security improvement programme over a six- month period.

You will be responsible for performing a variety of network and IT security assessments and co-ordinating actions with colleagues across the University.

This exciting opportunity will involve working with a wide variety of enterprise-level IT systems, including network devices, web servers, authentication systems and databases.

You will be required to collaborate with a range of staff across the University, therefore you must have excellent interpersonal and communication skills. You will need to co-ordinate your activities with other people and systems, working efficiently and accurately with large data sets.

This is a great opportunity for someone who has interest and skills in networking and IT Security, an aptitude to learn and the communication skills required to share their knowledge with others. In return you will gain valuable experience of IT security operational activities and enterprise-level IT systems.

An existing knowledge of enterprise networks and system administration would be advantageous but not essential, as colleagues will support you throughout the project.