Monthly Archives: March 2012

New York State Budget Agreement

On March 27, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver announced an agreement on the  2012-2013 New York State budget. The Legislature is expected to pass the enabling legislation this week, finishing no later than Friday, which will mean that the budget will have been passed on time. So what's the big deal about that, you might ask? It is kind of a big deal because this is the second year in a row that the budget has been passed on time. The New York State constitution mandates that the budget be passed by March 31 each year; however, the most recent time before last year that it was actually passed by that date was in 1984. True, in a few years the legislation passed on April 1, 2 or 3, but in 2004 it was delayed until August 11.

Congratulations, Governor Cuomo and New York State legislators!

Columbia Libraries Via Your Mobile Device

Exciting news!  Now you can use your mobile device for fast access to many of the libraries' resources – http://m.library.columbia.edu – including:  

  • CLIO
  • News & Events
  • Library Hours
  • Ask a Librarian
  • Facebook & Twitter

Don't leave home without this bookmark!

Cybersecurity

"President Obama has identified cybersecurity as one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation, but one that we as a government or as a country are not adequately prepared to counter." These words, from a National Security Council document, describe a concept which did not even exist 25 years ago, but is now a crucial element in today's connected world. The OED finds the first use of the term "cyber security' appeared in a book by Stephen B. Furber titled VLSI RISC Architecture & Organisation in 1989. Everyday we see articles about hacking, from Anonymous to WikiLeaks. The U.S. government is concerned that foreign governments are attempting to launch cyber intrusions, as revealed in a report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, " Occupying the Information High Ground: Chinese Capabilities for Computer Network Operations and Cyber Espionage."

What has been the government response to these threats? A search for the term "cybersecurity" on ProQuest Congressional retrieves 17 CRS reports, 25 committee prints, 143 hearings, and 15 reports, dating back to 2002. Since 1995 the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive has issued an annual report, "Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage." The latest of these reports, in 2001, notes that "this report gives special attention to foreign collectors' exploitation of cyberspace." On March 10, 2009, the Government Accountability Office issued a report, "National Cybersecurity Strategy: Key Improvements Are Needed to Strengthen the Nation's Posture." On May 16, 2011, President Obama launched the first International Strategy for Cyberspace. On October 7, 2011, the White House issued Executive Order 13587, "Structural Reforms to Improve the Security of Classified Networks. The cyberwars have just begun!

NYCityMap

At first glance the NYCityMap doesn't look very useful — and the navigation icons are different from what you are used to on Google Maps, bother! But a closer look reveals a wealth of information available at your fingertips. On the right side, under the heading "Show Additional Data on Map," there are check boxes to add boundaries and other data icons to the map. These become more useful as you zoom in on specific neighborhoods and areas of the city. Not sure where the area you want is located? Click on "Advanced Search," which allows you to search by address, ZIP code, community district and others. When I searched for my address, the map zoomed in on the area, with my building highlighted in red. On the right appeared a box with information about my building, including block and lot numbers, police precinct, owner (Trustees of Columbia), the year built, number of units, etc. There are also links to additional city information, such as building violations, building elevator information, the DOHMH Rat Information Portal (!), and tax and property records. I can also access neighborhood information and elected official information on the local, state and federal level.