Today's topics:

Brief network outage at 11am on Tuesday, October 27th

At 11am on Tuesday, 10/27, there will be a brief network glitch (pause or outage) when a central CLASSE network switch is reconfigured. This glitch might last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes, and is the result of changes made to CIT's infrastructure which connects CLASSE networks to Wilson, Newman, and the Physical Sciences Building.

This morning, detection of illegal file sharing resulted in the University blocking network access for a large part of the CLASSE network. Access was restored at about 1PM.

Downloading and sharing of copyrighted works without the explicit permission of the copyright holder is illegal. This includes the sharing of TV programs and movies using Torrent and other peer-to-peer file sharing services. In general, peer-to-peer file sharing is not allowed on CLASSE networks. For details, please see the CLASSE Wiki page PeerToPeer

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) spells out the provisions of this law. Information about the DMCA is available at

Java support removed from CLASSE Managed Windows computers

Over the past few years, websites with embedded Java applets have become a major security risk for Windows computers because the Oracle Java browser plugin (which allows Java applets to run inside one's browser) is prone to vulnerabilities and must constantly be kept up to date. In fact, the latest version of Oracle Java refuses to run unsigned applets, which places a burden on web programmers. Because of this situation, web programmers in general have moved away from Java on their websites, in favor of HTML5. Vendors that provide local Java programs have also been providing alternatives.

In addition:
  • Beginning with Oracle Java 1.8, we have been unsuccessful in installing Java automatically on CLASSE-managed Windows computers. We have tested across multiple Windows 7 computers and 1.8.xx versions of Java.
  • When a Java installation fails, Java is entirely broken on the computer. Most CLASSE Windows computers do not have Java functional at this time.
  • Mozilla (who provides Firefox) is dropping NPAPI, which is the mechanism by which Java works on websites. They have scheduled this for about a year from now.
  • If you need to use Java, we provide a number of alternatives:
    • Run Firefox on WinApp.
    • Use a CLASSE Linux computer (where we provide OpenJDK, a mostly compatible Java system).
For these reasons, we are discontinuing support for Java on CLASSE-managed Windows computers. When a local installation of Java is absolutely required for business purposes, we are able to update Java on individual computers by hand.

Over the next year, vendors of any Java web applications that you use will need to provide an alternative. Please check regularly for updates from these vendors, or contact them about their plans, so that your access will not be interrupted when NPAPI-based plugins become obsolete. Please open a ServiceRequest if you need assistance in identifying alternatives or in contacting vendors for updates.

General network and server maintenance will occur every Tuesday from 12:00 noon to 2:00 PM. The CLASSE-IT group will always announce any expected disruptions in our NewsLetter and via CLASSE-IT-NEWS-L, but with the size and complexity of our network there is always the potential for something to go wrong. We will do our best to contain all network maintenance and planned outages to Tuesdays from 12:00 noon to 2:00 PM.

Unless other arrangements have been made, CLASSE-managed Windows systems may be updated and rebooted on Tuesday morning at 2:00 AM, so please avoid critical or lengthy operations at that time. For more details, please see SystemExpectations.

Questions or problems? Submit a service request.

Other resources:

Topic revision: r12 - 31 Dec 2015, admin-wms8
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