Avast Ye Hearties! Save the date!

Avast ye Hearties! Rohrbach Library’s annual fall open house will take place on September 22nd from 10-4. Come explore our building and our resources (human, physical, and digital) and have some fun with giveaways, food, and a pirate-themed photo booth area.

Last year’s treasure chest held over $700 in prizes including a GoPro Hero camera as our grand prize! This year we will again scour the local region for some great prizes, including another GoPro Hero camera! All KU student who complete the open house orientation form will have a chance at winning the prizes. Local businesses wishing to contribute can contact Dan Stafford at stafford@kutztown.edu or Karen Wanamaker at kwanamak@kutztown.edu.

Watch later this summer and fall for bookmarks (seen below) and posters around campus. Professors wishing to require attendance can contact Dan Stafford or your favorite KU librarian for more information. There will be a place on the students’ orientation forms for professor names and course numbers so that we can compile attendance information. We hope to see you there in the fall!

 

Pirate Captain image source: http://www.deviantart.com/art/Pirate-captain-305459646

Enjoy a Free Breakfast From APSCUF-KU!

By Danielle Gentile

As a thanks to all of those who dealt with the uncertainty during the budget impasse, APSCUF-KU is offering a free breakfast for all KU students.

On Thursday, April 28th, come and enjoy a free breakfast from 8:30am – 11:00am on the upper half of the DMZ.

Extended Library Hours For Finals Week

By Danielle Gentile

It’s that time of year already! Get some extra study hours in with the Rohrbach Library’s finals week extended hour schedule.

Friday, April 29: 7:30 am – 8:00 pm

Saturday, April 30: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Sunday, May 1: 10:00 am – 2:00 am

Monday-Wednesday, May 2-4: 7:00 am – 2:00am

Thursday, May 5: 7:00 am – Midnight

Friday, May 6: 7:30 am – 5:00 pm

Stress Relief Week at Rohrbach Library

By Danielle Gentile
Starting Wednesday, April 27th, come visit the Rohrbach Library and participate in some of our fun stress relieving activities.

Wednesday, April 27th
VIP Study Room Giveaway
KU Writing Center, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, first floor
Pet Therapy, 7:00 pm, second floor
SGB Snacks in the Lobby, 8:00pm

Thursday, April 28th
KU Writing Center, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, first floor
VIP Study Room Giveaway Winners

Monday, May 2nd
Massage Therapy, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
KU Writing Center, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, first floor

Tuesday, May 3rd
Massage Therapy, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
KU Writing Center, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, first floor

Wednesday, May 4th
Relaxation Yoga, 4:30 pm, RL 100B

Continuous Activities Throughout Stress Relief Week
Study Break Corner
Bubble Wrap Bows
Takeout Stress Relief Kits
Free Coffee Coupons, 4:00pm – 6:00pm
Soup Drive for Students
Free Scantrons and Blue Books
Make Your Own Stress Balls at STEAMworks, RL 18

Research Librarians will be available during the following times:
Mon-Thurs 10:00 am – 8:00pm
Friday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sunday 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Hackers and Hacktivism- KU Conversation 6

By: Courtney Aaron

Good morning and welcome to our sixth KU Conversations post! This week’s topic is about hackers and hacktivism. For those of you who don’t know what hacktivism is we found an accurate description by the Oxford English Dictionary website. Hacktivism is defined as “The practice of gaining unauthorized access to computer files or networks in order to propagate a social or political message.” We are going to start our conversation by using an article from CQ Researcher (may require KU ID). This article gives an overview of the multiple topics we will be discussing including the changing nature of computer hacking, cybercrime, hacktivism, and hacker ethics.

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Photo provided by Barn Images (Flickr)

There are many different kinds of hackers out in the world and their numbers are increasing as time goes on. Hackers have varying motivations as to why they learn their skills. Some do it for criminal reasons and others for social and political protests. Others may do it for reputation or money. This study from IEEE Computer Society Digital Library (may require KU ID) focuses on the motivations of hackers and sorts them into four different cultures: Clan Culture, Market Culture, Hierarchy Culture, and Adhocracy Culture (currently the most popular of the four). Each has an individual motive and attitude towards hacking. The study is based on the oldest running website for hackers called “Cult of the Dead Cow”, a place where hackers go to communicate with each other and share information. We also have an E-book from the KU library catalog written by Douglas Thomas called “Hacker Culture.” (Thomas, Douglas 1966-). The book focuses on hacker culture and subculture as well as how it’s changed throughout history. It also discusses both how hackers view themselves and how the public views hackers.

Hacktivism is a relatively new term and topic. Currently, the most highly regarded hacktivist group is Anonymous, a loosely connected group of hackers that use their skills to protest or promote social and political views. Their main goal is to promote academic freedom and prevent censorship. Here is an article from the Computer and Applied Science Complete database (may require KU ID) that talks about Anonymous and their involvement with the Ferguson issue.

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Anonymous protesting ACTA in Munich- photo by Usien

It also gives some information about other companies Anonymous has targeted. We also have two articles from the New York Times about Anonymous. The first one is about how Anonymous is currently targeting ISIS after the Paris attacks. One of the ways they are doing this is by finding ISIS recruitment twitters and websites and then taking them down. They are also teaching other hackers how identify and take down recruitment websites. They are still refining this process and sometimes mistake journalist twitters for ISIS recruitment twitters, one of the weaknesses to Anonymous’ methods. Next we have a New York Times article that discusses both their and their multiple factions strengths and weaknesses.

Their main weaknesses is also the same as their strength, their anonymity. Since the members are unknown to the public and to each other it is hard for them to get caught for their actions. Unfortunately, there are hackers within the group that also commit crimes for their own gain instead of for the group’s political statements. Also if hackers within the group are caught doing illegal hacking for political statements they still run the risk of being caught. One unforeseen issue is that members who are arrested for their hacking protests can be used to track and help arrest other hackers within the group. This article from Reuters discusses how a hacker named Hector Xavier Monsegur from the Anonymous offshoot faction LulzSec was arrested for targeting private and government sector websites. After he was arrested he worked with prosecutors to help catch 5 other hackers within his group. This next article from Gale Virtual Reference Library (may require KU student login), explains that Monsegur continued to work for the FBI to prevent other hackers from hacking the government in exchange for reducing his sentence.

There are a lot of varying opinions about hacktivsm and hackers and how they should relate to the law. Monsegur isn’t the only hacker to switch sides and do work for cyber security. There are people who believe both good and bad hackers should be recruited and utilized by governments and computer security businesses. We have a TED Talk through Youtube by Misha Glenny explaining how hiring hackers can be the key to improving cyber security. There is also debate over whether hacktivists should be held legally accountable for their actions. We have an Academic Search Complete article (may require KU student login) that discusses  hacktivism and criminal liability. People also raise the question whether or not hacktivism should be support due to its use of criminal activity. We have a study also provided by Academic Search Complete discusses whether or not STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) students are likely to support hacktivism. It also explains predictors as to which students would support hacktivism and how students’ perceptions of hacktivism affects their viewpoints.

The changing natures and abilities of hackers have caused major reevaluations of cybersecurity the past few years. We have a great article from CQ Researcher that gives an overview of cybersecurity and major topics that are being explored today. The article goes into both national and international cybercrime and the difficulties in apprehending cybercriminals. We also have an article from Web of Science (may require KU ID student login) that talks about cybercrime markets that now exist online. These online markets are used by cybercriminals to sell and to buy malicious software. The article also talks about the interactions between the buyers and the sellers.

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Cybersecurity Awareness Month Interview with CCommand Sgt. Maj. Rodney Harris of U.S. Army Cyber Command- Photo by Gary Sheftick

Finally we have an article from IEEE Computer Social Digital Library (may require KU student login) that discusses the idea of hackers, hactivists, and cybermilitias being used as cyber warriors or used by politicians. It goes in-depth on how using hackers and hacktivists were advantageous since they could claimed that they acted on their own, avoiding government accountability. It also discusses how certain major cyber activities could be classified as war crimes.

There are a lot of varying opinions about hacktivists and hackers. Should hacktivism be tolerated even though hacking is illegal? Should hackers be hired and used for improving cybersecurity? Is it worth the risk to try? Feel free to post your opinions either here or in the comments section on the Rohrbach Library’s Facebook page!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bee Pollinator Decline- KU Conversations 5

By: Courtney Aaron

Hello KU students and welcome to our fifth posting of KU Conversations! This week’s discussion is about the decline in bee pollinators. We chose this topic because it has been discussed multiple times the past few years. You all may have heard about bees disappearing and about colony collapse disorder within the United States or other countries. For those of you who are new to this subject we have a very informative summary page about the decline from the ESA (Ecological Society of America) website. This page gives information about how pollination works; what insects are pollinators; common causes of pollinator decline; and other helpful information. Some of you may be wondering why pollinators are so important. We have a presidential memorandum to create a federal strategy to promote the health of honeybees and other pollinators from the White House website. The article explains why pollinators are important and all the actions that must to be taken to create a successful federal strategy.

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Apis Mellifera (western honeybee)- photo provided by Paolo~ via Flickr

There are multiple reasons why the number of bee pollinators are decreasing. One of the more recent concerns is Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). CCD is the disappearance of adult worker bees from colonies. The queen and younger bees are still present along with enough resources to survive. They may also be some nursing bees left behind as well. We have a great video from Associated Press (may require KU student login) that gives a general overview about what CCD is. The video also provides a brief interview with the chief bee researcher from the Agriculture Research Service within the US Department of Agriculture, Jeff Pettis. We also have a descriptive study of CCD from Agricola (may require KU student login). This article’s is an epizootiological study of CCD and compare the healthy hives and those with risk factors for the disease. The EPA posted statistics on their website that shows a decline in CCD.

Although there is evidence of decline in Colony Collapse Disorder there are still many other prevalent risks and dangers to bee pollinators. One of the well-known causes of decline is the Deformed Wing Virus (DWV). Bees infected with DWV develop deformed wings, a bloated abdomen, and noticeable discoloration. For a more in-depth look at DWV we have two great resources.

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Honeybee with DWV (Deformed Wing Virus) with Varroa Destructor on her torso- photo provided by Stefan de Konink

First we have an article from Science Direct (may require KU student login). This article goes into further detail about the virus including its history, genetics, pathology, and how it is transmitted. This second article is provided by Science (may require KU student login). This article focuses on a vector of the virus, specifically Varroa Destructor mites. Other reasons for bee decline include bee pathogens, diseases, parasites, and decline in beekeepers. This next article from Agricola discusses all of those dangers but focuses on bee pathogens and diseases and how they impact the difficulty of bee keeping. One of the most surprising dangers to bee pollinators we’ve researched are the phenological changes to both pollinators and the plants they pollinate. This article from BioOne (may require KU student login) shows evidence that the timing of certain plants that bloom and the timing of when certain pollinators start pollinating are becoming out of sync. The article also suggests how to manage the phenological changes as well.

Many of you may be wondering how can the decline of the bee pollinators be reversed. One method that is being used is increasing beekeepers in the world. We found an article from Agricola (may require KU student login), which estimates honeybee colony density in Africa and Europe. Since this study was conducted to understand whether or not increasing beekeeping would help the decline of pollinators, the density of the bees were estimated in a way that would prevent bias caused by beekeeper activity. One of the most fascinating methods we discovered while researching solutions is a method used in Maoxian County, Sichuan China. This article provided by BioOne (may require KU student login) discusses how farmers are using human pollinators for apples and a few other crops due to the decrease in natural pollinators. The article also talks about how the farmers are switching their crops to fruits and vegetables that don’t require pollination.

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Butterfly on flowers- photo provided by Salvatore Gerace

Our last article goes into the effectiveness of non-bee pollinators. This article is from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). It focuses on how non-bee pollinators compare to bee pollinators by counting how many flowers and plants they visit; how effective they are at pollinating; and how many conditions they need to successfully pollinate.

Can you think of any ways to help prevent the decline of bee pollinators? Do you think CCD will disappear completely, or is it only declining because beekeepers are taking extra precautions against it? How do you think the world would look without bee pollinators? Feel free to answer these questions or make a KU conversation request of your own in the comments section here or on our Rohrbach Library Facebook post.

Water Contamination in Flint, Michigan-KU Conversation 4

By: Courtney Aaron

Hello KU students and welcome to our fourth posting of KU Conversations! Our topic for this week is the lead water contamination crisis happening in Flint, Michigan. Remember some of our sources may require a current KU student login. To start the conversation off we have an article from The Guardian giving a brief overview about the water contamination situation. The article highlights what events led to the contamination of the water.
Currently there are a lot of major concerns about the water contamination. The first is how the citizens of Flint can avoid further exposure to the lead contaminated water. Michigan’s government has created an entire website dedicated to educating the people on how to avoid further exposure and where to get help. The website provides translations of help/advice pages in multiple languages including Spanish, Arabic, and even ASL (American Sign Language) videos.

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United States Environmental Protection Agency Flag- Image provided by the United States Environmental Protection Agency

There is also a news archive and media center to keep up to date with new information about the situation as well as informative advice. They’ve provided maps on where to find safe water and water filters as well as updates on new information like how people can bathe in the water but not drink it. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is also providing help. The EPA created an advice page informing citizens on what they can and can’t use the contaminated water for, how to check if filters are working properly, how to check whether or not their water lines are made of lead material, and other helpful advice tips. They also provided a fact sheet that provides other information like how to clean their filters or additional information on orthophosphates.

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Downtown Flint Michigan Skyline along the Flint River (2006)- Photograph provided by Connor Coyne

For those of you who are interested in the science side of this issue we found a couple of sources you may be interested in. First we have a link to Oxford Reference incase you need to look up some terms. We found a fascinating research article (may require login) that is a recent spatial analysis to identify which neighborhoods in Flint, Michigan are more subjected to higher lead exposure after the switch in water sources occurred. This article is from CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature) database in EBSCO Host. The article has a detailed explanation about how the research was conducted and what methods were used during the research. We also found a great article that discusses corrosive water from a water research website. It shows what corrosive water can do to pipes, what things can make water more or less corrosive, and a lot of other information on corrosion. There is also a second source from that website that talks about how you can test for lead in water, multiple treatment options if there is lead, and other related information.

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Governor Rick Snyder- Image from Office of Governor Rick Snyder

We also kept track of the political side of this issue starting with the White House Press (retrieved by ProQuest and may require login) release from January that the president signed Michigan’s emergency declaration. There was also another article (also ProQuest and require login) written by Senator Barbara Boxer in late January. It was about a new “Bipartisan Sportsmen Act” that contains an amendment that interferes with the Clean Water Acts ability to protect drinking water from pesticides. The debate over how much aid Flint should get is still currently raging between the republicans and democrats involved. There was an announcement (Pro Quest may require login) that members of Congress will be going to Flint, Michigan on March 4th to hold a “Speak Out” event. The purpose of the event is for citizens to tell members of Congress about the change in their lives due to the contamination. Our last resource if from Governor Rick Snyder’s website announcing that the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan will help deliver nutritious foods to Flint, Michigan. The food bank will deliver multiple trucks of food possibly through out the rest of the year.

Some of you may be wondering what is the best way to solve the water crisis. Currently, Flint Michigan’s water source has been switched back to Lake Huron through Detroit. However, lead is still present in the drinking water since the lead pipes are still corroded from the Flint River water. The two main solutions include coating the lead pipes with phosphates and replacing the lead lines entirely. This New York Times article explains how both processes would work and the reasons as to why both solutions will be difficult to do.

Recently there has been even more tension in Flint, Michigan due to a new announcement from Governor Rick Snyder. In this article from Money magazine, he and other politicians asked taxpayers to also pay for legal fees concerning the crisis. There is debate over whether the money will truly be used for paying the lawyers to process data about the situation or if Snyder plans to use the money on defense lawyers for him.

Is there anything else you think could be done to help Flint’s citizens? Which solution method do you think the city should use? Post your ideas and thoughts in the comments section either here or on the KU Conversations Facebook post!


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