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2015 August

August 31, 2015

CASIT Web Services completed projects Spring 2015

Here is the list of projects completed over Spring:

Sites moved to CAS design toolkit:

Drupal projects:

Other projects:

  • Converted old PHP form to Formidable form hosted on UO Blogs.
  • Made adjustments to PS Forms site form/workflow to align with new CBA requirements.

You can see more information about those sites on our portfolio:

Big thank you to everyone in the web team.

August 19, 2015

The Moon’s atmosphere is buzzing just like…neon.

Artist’s concept of NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft in orbit above the moon. Credit: NASA Ames / Dana Berry

Artist’s concept of NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft in orbit above the moon. Credit: NASA Ames / Dana Berry

Data analysis from the former NASA spacecraft, the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) has confirmed the existence of neon as part of the Moon’s atmosphere. The presence of neon has been a subject of speculation since the Apollo missions but no credible detections were made then. Most of the moon’s exosphere (called that since the atmosphere there is very thin) is comprised of materials collected from the solar wind. Analysts have also found the presence of helium and argon the level of which varies depending on the time of day.

Additionally, some of the gas is added by the break down of radioactive potassium-40 into argon-40. Some of the argon increased and decreased by has much as 25% during the course of the mission and there is early speculation linking it the tidal pulls from the Earth.

For more on this article, please check out the rest at

Superconductivity at high pressure

Cooper pairs of electrons required for traditional superconductors. Photo from Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Cooper pairs of electrons required for traditional superconductors. Photo from Brookhaven National Laboratory.

(Article from John Timmer,
Superconductivity was first seen in metals cooled down to close to absolute zero. But after exhausting every metal on the periodic table, the critical temperature at which the metal transitions to superconductivity never budged far from those extremely low temperatures.

That changed dramatically with the development of cuprate superconductors, copper-containing ceramics that could superconduct in liquid nitrogen—still very cold (138K or −135°C), but relatively easy to achieve. But progress has stalled, in part because we don’t have a solid theory to explain superconductivity in these materials.

Now, taking advantage of the fact that we do understand what’s going on in superconducting metals, a German research team has reached a new record critical temperature: 203K, or -70°C, a temperature that is sometimes seen in polar regions. The material they used, however, isn’t a metal that appears on the periodic table. In fact, they’re not even positive they know what the material is, just that it forms from hydrogen sulfide at extreme pressures.

The work leverages the Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer theory of superconductivity, in which electrons form pairs, allowing large populations of electrons to behave as a single quantum object (much like a Bose-Einstein condensate, if that means anything to you). This state requires interactions with phonons, the quantum units of vibration, in the superconducting material.

Lighter elements can vibrate faster, providing for an easier coupling with the electrons. It has been thought that metallic hydrogen could superconduct at relatively high temperatures. Unfortunately, we’re not even certain that metallic hydrogen exists, but researchers have suggested that chemicals that contain plenty of hydrogen might do the trick. While they’re not metals under normal conditions, they can be squeezed into a metallic state under extreme pressure.

For more information about this project, check out either the remainder of this article on or from the paper submitted via the Nature weekly online journal (DOI:10.1038/nature14964).

August 12, 2015

How microchips could transform football into an intricate dance of data.



(By AJ Dellinger – The Daily Dot)

Football is a game of giants, but this season a microchip no bigger than the star of a coin toss will decide the fates of those mountain-sized men.

After a limited run last season, the NFL is equipping every player in the league with a radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip. The tiny piece of technology provided by tracking technology manufacturer Zebra Technologies will track the speed, distance, and direction traveled by each player in real-time. The data set, branded as Next Gen Stats, will reveal new insights into the sport, both for fans and front offices.

Much of the broadcast side of football focuses on the quarterback. The cameras stay focused on the field general until the ball leaves his hand, only then darting downfield to follow the ball as it lands in the hands of one of his teammates. That pass only becomes possible when a receiver beats his defender—one of ten individual battles that is happening simultaneously on the field. The RFID chip will provide new insight into those matchups that make the play possible.

For more on this article, check out the post by the Daily Dot.

To find out more about Zebra Technologies and the NFL, check out

August 11, 2015

Windows 10: Should You Upgrade?

Windows_10_Logo.svgMicrosoft’s latest version of its Windows operating system, Windows 10, was released near the end of July and is available as a free upgrade to most Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 users.

Lifehacker has a good roundup of Windows 10 articles covering topics such as its best features and how to do a clean installation of the OS. Of possible interest to many Windows users is the article covering whether or not to upgrade to Windows 10 now or to wait.

While you are free to upgrade to Windows 10 on your personal computer, if you use a CAS-owned computer you will have to contact the CASIT Helpdesk in order to upgrade. Currently, CASIT is not recommending the upgrade as McAfee Antivirus is not yet available for Windows 10. McAfee is anticipated to release an update late this month.

August 7, 2015

Embed Any Document Within UO Blogs

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The flag of Norway (saved as a SVG file and used courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation) as seen above was added to this post using a new plugin available within UO Blogs called Embed All Documents. The plugin is automatically enabled within UO Blogs and can be used by pressing the Add Document button within the Posts/Page editor (see image below). After going through a couple steps, the document embed code is pasted in place at the cursor location within the editor. The only requirement for setting up a document/image file for this plugin (aside from image use legality and permission restrictions) is that the file is loaded within your site’s Media library.



For more information about this plugin, please look at the Embed Any Document plugin site at