Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Winter Break Power Down Challenge

The Penn Power Down Challenge is a University-wide initiative to reduce unnecessary energy consumption over winter break. Electrical devices contribute significantly to Penn's carbon footprint and utility bills, but increasing numbers of Penn's staff are planning to reduce energy use over the holidays by turning off, unplugging, and powering down.*

The savings can be impressive! A desktop computer and monitor left on over break can consume more than 100 Watt-hours, even when not in use. Turning off the computers in an office of 300 would save $700 over the holidays! With 28,000 faculty and administrative staff at Penn, the savings add up quickly. Almost all electrical devices continue to draw power when plugged into an outlet. Any device with remote control operation draws power while on "standby." Any charger with an adapter, such as a laptop or phone charger, draws a small amount of power even when the device is unattached. Although small, these electricity drains add up when multiplied across the campus!

In research facilities equipment may need to operate continuously to store specimens, maintain calibration or collect data - and select computers may need to remain powered to allow remote access. While this essential equipment cannot be turned-off, please survey your workplace and consider turning-off or unplugging any non-essential equipment during the winter break - and support the Penn Power Down Challenge!

Power Down and Unplug
  • Holiday lights and other decorative lights
  • Computer monitors and speakers
  • Laptop computers and chargers
  • Printers, copiers, scanners, and fax machines
  • Phone chargers
  • Coffee makers, microwaves, and other kitchen appliances
  • Clock radios
  • Televisions, DVD, and CD Players
See the /Power Down Challenge/ website
http://www.upenn.edu/sustainability/powerdown.html for more information:

Thank you for your participation! Energy conservation is important to the University, and can not be achieved without your help. /Please share this information with your co-workers, and thanks for making Penn a greener campus./

Christmas Vacation

We're showing National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Come join Clark Wilhelm "Sparky" Griswold, Jr. and the fam on their search for the perfect Christmas tree...

Nightmare Before Christmas

We've moved on to Nightmare Before Christmas. C'mon down!

Christmas Story

Join us today in the lab, where we're showing the holiday classic "Christmas Story" on the big screen. Don't you just love streaming Netflix? We're here all day, so if you have a suggestion for a follow up movie, let us know!

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Retouch Too Far

Just because you CAN remove wrinkles with image editing software doesn't mean you SHOULD--with great Photoshop skill comes great responsibility. England has apparently banned a set of Olay ads featuring retouched aging supermodel Twiggy due to deceptive advertising practices. Apparently it wasn't a skin cream that removed those wrinkles after all:

"...since Olay admits to "minor retouching" around Twiggy's eyelid area (essentially wiping out any indication of undereye darkness, bags, and fine lines), we know the cream is not really her secret. Instead it's a skilled computer technician, which is something you just can't bottle and sell for $23.89. Nor is this "secret" available to most women."

Shocked? Me neither.

Full article at http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/beauty/twiggys-photoshopped-olay-ads-banned-in-england-554961/

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Deleting files

Hi all. Just a reminder that we'll be deleting all of the files in user storage, in class storage, and on the desktops of all of the workstations in the lab at the end of this semester, so if you need to save any files, please make arrangements to copy them over to your own drive before December 23.

It's kind of important, so I'll say it again:


Monday, December 14, 2009

Facebook Privacy Settings

Facebook is tinkering again with privacy settings; this time giving you simplified yet powerful controls that help you get a better handle on what you share. The downside is the same controls could reveal a great deal more about yourself than ever before if you are not careful. Here is a look at the changes and how you might be affected.

Read the full article from PC World at http://www.pcworld.com/article/184465/facebook_privacy_changes_the_good_and_the_bad.html

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Just what you need

Stop by the lab and grab a piece of dark or milk chocolate--just what you need to get you through this hectic time of year.

Friday, December 4, 2009

How to Make it in Film

Love film? Interested in making your passion a career? Come learn how! This Saturday, we at GPSFF are pleased to be hosting an expert panel, "How to Make it in the Film Industry". The event is free and free food will be provided!

THIS Saturday December 5th from 12-1:30pm
Location: Room G17 of Claudia Cohen Hall at the University of Pennsylvania
249 South 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA (corner of 36th and Spruce)

Experts include:
Marc Simon - Award-winning writer and producer
Emory van Cleve - Cinema Studies Professor
Glenn Osten Anderson - Tech-guru and award-winning documentary-maker.
Mark Moskowitz - Director of Slamdance award-winning film, "Stone Reader."
Kat Phillips - A multi-award-winning writer/filmmaker.

Check out the facebook link at: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=172317630339&index=1

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Lost and Found

This is a busy time of year (see previous post), and people often leave things behind in the lab.

Anything "valuable" (money, eyeglasses, wallets, hard drives, PennCards, USB flash drives, laptops, other electronics, etc.) gets taken up to room 240 to the Business Office (They're open on weekdays 9-5. Ask for Jean, Bob, or Bryan).

Other items (clothes, umbrellas, books, etc.) get taken down to the Rosengarten Reserve Desk. Check for your lost items in those locations.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


As you may have noticed, we have gotten busy. Like, crazy busy. We brought a few laptops into the lab from the seminar room to add to our capacity, but we're still overflowing. My best advice is to:

1) Do as much work as you can on your own computer, if you're able, in order to minimize your dependence on the lab.

2) Come to the lab first thing in the morning (we open at 9 on weekdays, and noon on weekends) in order to maximize your chances at getting a workstation.

3) Remember that you can find most of the Adobe CS4 software (the same titles we have in the lab: Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, InDesign, Flash, Bridge) on the PCs out in the WIC, on the workstations in the Rosengarten Computer lab and the Long Island Friends computers on the ground floor, and on the Class of 1937 computer lab on the 5th floor.

4) You may be able to download a free trial version of the software you need onto your own computer. For example, Adobe makes 30 free trials available at http://www.adobe.com/downloads

5) Remember when we told you not to wait til the last minute (you know who you are)? TOLD YOU SO! (That's not useful advice so much as it is just me taunting you.)

We've also scheduled extra lab consultants, but there will never be enough of us to go around, so please bear with us as we try to help everyone during this hectic time of year.

Google Books Settlement: Books, Computers, and the Law

For those of you interested in copyright, Google, books, and the way those 3 things intersect...

Today at 2PM
Rush 014

James Grimmelmann, of New York Law School, will review the history of the Google Books project, lawsuit, and proposed settlement, then discuss the questions it raises for information policy and the rule of law. These touch on issues of copyright, antitrust, privacy, free speech, and civil procedure, and are connected to bigger themes in public policy. Special bonus topic: what does scanning books in libraries have to do with laying fiber-optic cable along old railroad rights-of-way?

Good background reading:


Co-sponsored by Earle Mack Law School