Wednesday, May 25, 2011

BSU REU Facebook Setup

Hello REU Students (and others who read this)!
I set up the Facebook page for the Idaho STEP Program, which is a (now second year) program at Boise State where undergraduates (mainly freshmen) are hired as researchers in STEM fields. The goal of STEP is to have students enter STEM fields, and continue with them after they graduate college.You can see the snippet of the STEP program in the "Stalk us on Facebook" box on the right hand side of this page. (At the time of writing it seems to have broken itself... Facebook as usual)
I have also set up the REU Facebook services (with Lilijana Babinkostova - Hope I got your name right!) for you students to use.
It is slightly confusing because of the permission settings that Facebook uses, which is why I created this post.
There are three ways communication via Facebook will work for the REU (This is the same as the STEP program is):
  • via Boise State REU Group (Students)
All of you are already in the group, and you are able to talk to each other without people outside of the REU being able to see it. Lilijana mentioned to me that she might make the Admin (and remove herself from the group) so that you can talk to each other without having others (or administrators) see what's going on. I did this with STEP, and we talked some about how things were going, mainly because we didn't like to talk where the administrators can see. ("Ugh this thing is stupid! were common post styles). Note that right now she can still see your posts, I'll update if this changes.
  • via Blogger (Students)
STEP used blogs (Blogger, or any that uses RSS feeds if you prefer a different one) to publish research data and progress. You may have not made a blogger yet, but you most likely will for the REU. We will set up the configuration for your blog to automatically publish to the Facebook Page. If you wish to see an example, visit the Idaho STEP Program's Facebook page, found here:
We do not want to promote admins (who can change the settings), but we want students to be able to broadcast for everyone to see, so the configuration will work. You will post in your blogs, and within 30 minutes the post will appear on Facebook (it's automated). It's a bit more confusing than that, but that is all you need to know about how it works.
  • via REU Facebook Page
This is mainly for the admin(s) of the page.  Messages posted as the REU on the page will be broadcast to all who 'like' the page, which will be the students. Comments or posts on the REU wall will not broadcast (but they will be visible if manually viewed). These are public as well.

That's the setup in a nutshell. I have created some videos of how to setup a blogger and configure it (and then tweak it to look better), and it takes less than an hour. You'll need your own Google Account (BroncoMail/Google Apps does NOT work) to tie to the blog. Try to give it an original name.
I'll give the links out to you later when you need to set them up.
Happy researching!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Encryption file to be transferred directly via SMTP

So I was working on my encryption program today and I finally dropped the idea of using the mailto protocol. Not many people use it (or have it set up), but I have now learned the specification does not support it.
So my new approach is to have my program do the sending of the mail. The only problem is that there are no documented examples of how to send the password that you have on your email account.
I should get some good progress done on wednesday.
In a few weeks I'll be bloggin' from Colorado!

Saturday, May 14, 2011


I might start developing for android soon. I just got a Motorola Atrix 4G and had it rooted within an hour or so of unboxing. Root is great.
I also will be continuing crypto over the summer, but I am not sure when as of yet...