Friday, June 06, 2014

Safe Surfing

How Not to Pay the Price for Free Wi-Fi

For those roaming the country or world at some point this Summer, if you look to find free wi-fi,  here are some tips courtesy of the New York Times to make sure your data/identity is not compromised or stolen.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Who To Trust: Wikipedia Or Your Doctor?

Wikipedia has become for many the first, and often the only, stop in their online research. Although the site has been criticized for its level of accuracy in non-technical areas, it has often received praise for its reliability in the realms of science and technology.

A new study, however, calls even this reliability into question. In the study, researchers across the United States examined Wikipedia articles for ten of the most costly medical conditions in the U.S., including osteoarthritis, back pain, diabetes, and asthma. They printed the articles for analysis, and discovered that 90% of the entries contained statements that contradict the most up-to-date medical research.

Moral of the story: Careful researchers, including legal ones, always critically evaluate their sources, and especially crowd-sourced ones, such as Wikipedia.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Congressional Research Services Turns 100!

"When the Legislative Reference Service (LRS) was established in the Library of Congress in 1914, the small staff provided what its name conveyed—reference information to assist Members of Congress in their legislative work. Over 100 years, LRS evolved into today’s Congressional Research Service (CRS), a staff of 600 that exclusively provides Congress with nonpartisan policy analysis."

Read more about the history of the CRS in Erin Allen's article CRS at 100: Informing the Legislative debate Since 1914.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Visit the Hofstra Scholarly Commons

Hofstra Law Library hosts free and open access to Hofstra Law School's law journals: the Hofstra Law Review, the Journal of International Business and Law, and the Hofstra Labor and Employment Law Journal, as well as the now defunct law student newspaper, Conscience.  Along with PDF collections of these publications, you will find Hofstra's special collections, including pictures and documents from the Eric J. Schmertz collection, and Hofstra's faculty publications. 

Visit our Hofstra Scholarly Commons here, and while there, be sure to view the "Most Popular Papers" and the "Paper of the Day."

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, June 02, 2014

Help Desk Alert: Hackers strike mobile devices; Set a passcode on your smart phone or tablet

If you don’t have a passcode on your smart phone or tablet, set one today

Recent news reports have revealed some owners of iPhones and iPads can be locked out of their devices – permanently – by remote hackers.

Australian hackers recently compromised the Apple iCloud accounts of hundreds of Mac, iPhone and iPad users. Once logged in to a compromised iCloud account, the hackers have changed the account password, and utilized the Find My iPhone feature of the service to send remote lock commands to any devices connected to the account. As a result, a message appears demanding a ransom in exchange for unlocking the device.
·         An affected user with a passcode set can simply enter that passcode to bypass the lock and regain access to the device.
·         A user with no passcode can’t bypass the lock, essentially rendering the device inoperable.

There are steps you can take to protect your device, your data, and yourself.

By taking advantage of the built-in security protections afforded by setting a passcode, you can protect your mobile device from being compromised by malicious persons or groups. A passcode doesn’t just allow you to bypass an unauthorized device lock, as in the example above. It also enables encryption, keeping your data safe and secure in the event your device is lost or stolen.

Many of the attributes that make mobile devices great technology companions also make them easy targets for thieves and hackers. We’ve put together a  guide that describes a few key actions – including setting a passcode – that you can take to ensure your data remains protected. (​

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat