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Tech Terms Defined

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Here's some terms I've explained recently when working with staff.


Google is more than just a search engine. It owns a huge suite of tools. Probably the most commonly known are:

  • Gmail (“Google-mail = Gmail”)
  • YouTube. Did you know Google owns YouTube? Google search is the world’s most used search engine, and YouTube is in the second spot
  • Google Apps - short for Google Applications. This is a package of tools for businesses or school that includes a whole suite of Google documents, spreadsheets, presentations and more.
  • Google Drive is a place to store all your photos, documents, spreadsheets and other files in the cloud
  • Chrome browser

The Cloud

Information is accessed over the internet vs. on a device.

Operating System

Type of program that runs your device

The top 3 are:

  • iOS- Apple products such as iPhone, iPad, iPod. Mac OS is short for Apple Macintosh computers
  • Windows - Microsoft software, phones and tablets
  • Android - Google operating system on phones and tablets

Microsoft Products (for NDSU Employees)

  • Office- includes Outlook Calendar and usually Word (word processing), Xcel (spreadsheets) and PowerPoint (presentations).
  • Office 365 - cloud-based Office. Access anywhere, not just at your work computer.

Clear your cache (pronounced "cash")

People will call me if they have problems with Ag CMS, like when they make a change but it’s not updating. I often tell them to clear their cache or refresh their browser to see what the updated page looks like. Here’s a good explanation of what clearing the cache is and how to do it.


Program that helps you navigate the web

Top used browsers:

  • Chrome (Google)
  • Internet Explorer (Microsoft)
  • Firefox (Mozilla)
  • Safari (Apple)


App - short for "application". Piece of software downloaded to a tablet or mobile device. Some are free. Android users get apps through the Google Play Store and iOS users go to the ITunes App Store. Windows device users can get apps at the Microsoft App Store.

CMS - short for Content Management System, like our Ag CMS. A CMS is software that allows you create and manage digital content like a website, without knowing all the coding that goes on behind the scenes.

If Bob or I ever use a tech term you're not familiar with, please don't hesitate to ask us to clarify.

, Web Technology Specialist, 701-231-6403

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Change YouTube Thumbnail

You’ve worked hard on doing a video and uploading it to YouTube. But sometimes the “thumbnail” or screenshot YouTube uses as the cover might not be the best. For instance, maybe you were caught in mid-sentence with your mouth open. Or maybe you were caught between blinks so it looks like your eyes are shut. Good news is, there are two ways to alter the thumbnail that YouTube chooses for your video.

In the example below, the “play” button is right over Distribution Center Manager Sharon Lane’s face and Ag Communication Director Becky Koch is caught “talking with her arms”.


Pubs before.PNG

I used the second method in the link above and was able to change the thumbnail to this, which shows that not only is there the talking component on the webinar, but actual screen sharing too.  

Pubs after.PNG

If you need help altering a YouTube thumbnail, let me know.


Sonja Fuchs, Web Technology Specialist, 701-231-6403

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New Video Equipment and Video Tips

Getting a look at some new video equipment for your smartphone or camcorder and tips on how to use them was the topic of the monthly Agriculture Communication webinar on May 18, 2016. 

This new video equipment is available for free checkout in the Ag Communication office. Smartphone microphones and tripod adapters can help bring your smartphone videos to the next level. There also are two wireless microphones for camcorder use. No more microphone wires to restrict your movement in the field.


, Electronic Media Specialist, 701-231-7086

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Ag Comm Webinar: Photo Composition and Copyright

What kinds of photos help tell the NDSU Agriculture and Extension story in websites, publications, social media posts, brochures and other avenues? Without being a professional photographer, all staff can follow the tips in this webinar to learn how to compose photos that tell the NDSU story. This Aug. 17, 2016, webinar also includes information on copyright and how to share your photos with Ag Comm for the public photo gallery.

Becky Koch, Ag Communication Director, 701-231-7875; Elizabeth Cronin, Administrative Assistant, 701-231-7881

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Phishing Emails Designed to Hijack your Email Account

Have you received an email that said your account has exceeded the set quotas and that you must click on the link to request more space? If you do this, your account information is recorded.

If you fall for this phishing scam, your emails start being forwarded to another email address. The captured credentials are used to hijack your email account to send spam emails that benefit the hijacker. The hijacker keeps your account open to prevent you from being able to use your account normally.

If Microsoft observes spam being sent via an email address, they will block that account from sending any emails at all.

Email ForwardingThe cure? Go to the Webmail link on the NDSU home page under Online Services and login. Go to the settings gear icon in the upper right, type "forward" in the search box and hit return. Left click on Forwarding. If your account has been hijacked, you'll see the hijacked address.

If your email is being forwarded to another address, you must stop the forwarding and  immediately change your email password. This stops the forwarding process and eventually prompts the hijacker to log back into the account. Since the hijacker doesn’t know the new password, your account can no longer be used.

After stopping forwarding and changing your password, you should be able to use your email account normally again. However, if sending and receiving is not working, Microsoft may have blocked your account. Call the NDSU Help Desk so the account can be checked.

NDSU will never send an email asking you to provide information about your email account. The phishing emails contain a link. If you mouse over that link, do not click on it. A small box will appear showing the address that is not NDSU related.

If you question an email you received, call the Help Desk or contact someone in your support group (ITS or Ag Comm Computer Services) before taking any action.

Blair Johnson, Desktop Support Specialist; NDSU Help Desk, 701-231-8685 Option 1


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Promoting Design Your Succession Plan Workshops

A picture is worth a thousand words, so they say! The DYSP team, with creative and technical assistance from John Grindahl, has created four new eye-catching, attention-getting posters to promote Design Your Succession Plan (DYSP) workshops. The posters are very likely to get an emotional reaction and be conversation starters! 





Each poster is laminated and 22" wide by 28" long.

The posters are available for checkout, or you can create customized posters for your county. Contact to reserve and checkout any or all of the posters. Contact to order and purchase your own customized posters.

, Extension Agent, 701-724-3355, ext. 130

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Internet Trends in 2016

The Internet Trends 2016 report released last month shows interesting insights for people in all kinds of business.

The report consists of 213 slides that I think are well worth the read. Here are some interestinWi-fi symbolg things I found:

  • Video Evolution is accelerating (slide 76)
  • Messaging for Customer Service (slides 104, 105)
  • How to Reach Your Audience (slide 107)
  • Day in the Life of a Mobile User (slide 109)
  • Voice as Computer Interface (slide 116)
  • Voice Assistance Rises (slides 120-122)
  • Search using Voice (slide 125)
  • Why and where using Voice (slide 127)

2016 Internet Trends Report

, Web Technology Specialist, 701-231-6403

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Write the Right Word: Who and Whom

Some of you may remember vaguely that your English teacher tried to drill into you when to use “who” and when to use “whom.”

Technically, “who” is a pronoun that refers to people and animals with a name. It always is the subject of a sentence, clause or phrase. “Whom” is a used when someone is the object of a verb or preposition.

But you have a much easier way to decide which to use: Substitute “he” for “who” and “him” for “whom.” Here are some examples followed by how to run the “he/him” test on the sentence:

  • Who is there? (He is there.)
  • Whom do you wish to see? (I wish to see him.)
  • Marianne wondered with whom she would be partnered in the lab. (She wondered whether she would be partnered with him.)
  • John could select whomever he wanted to receive a share of the prize money. (John wanted to share the prize money with him.)
  • Give the ticket to who you think wants it. (You think he wants the ticket.)

, Information Specialist, 701-231-5391

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Ag Comm Webinar: Publications Update

In this July 20, 2106 webinar recording, you'll learn about Ag Communication's process of creating and revising numbered publications that makes the process go smoothly. Also, learn about the digital initiative, where Ag Comm is busy converting 750 publication PDFs to be mobile friendly.

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Microsoft Office 365 “Sites” are now “SharePoint”

Office 365 screenshot

Don’t fret if your Sites look a little different and have a new name, SharePoint. SharePoint is one of the web-based Microsoft applications in Office 365. SharePoint allows groups to set up secure collaborative sites where members can store, organize, share and access information from almost any device.

OneDrive is a similar Office 365 tool but is a personal site that can be shared. A big difference is that if the OneDrive owner leaves NDSU, the site disappears. SharePoint is created with multiple administrators so can continue as members come and go.

All NDSU faculty and staff have access to Office 365. If you’ve never logged in, instructions and information are at the bottom of NDSU ITS’ Collaboration and Storage page. Or just go to the NDSU home page, click on Online Services then Webmail, though Office 365 includes much more than webmail. Office 365 allows you access to all your Microsoft Office applications that are on the web through any device from any location. For example, if you save your documents in OneDrive instead of on your personal computer, you can access them from your brother's computer when you're visiting or from the hotel's computer when you're traveling or from your phone when you're on the go.

SharePoint video by Microsoft (1:55)


Sonja Fuchs, Web Technology Specialist, 701-231-643

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