October 2010

While we have covered facebook privacy issues before, a network’s platform privacy settings are only one part of your battle to protect privacy.

Most folks know to not send financial information over unsecured wireless networks, but accessing your social network using that free wi-fi in a park or coffee-shop may leave you more vulnerable than ever, thanks to a new browser plug-in “Firesheep” that lets others “eavesdrop” and even take-over your account via your cookies.  The unsettling development allows even the least-sophisticated user a potential hacker.  The folks at techcrunch have an article that goes over some of the details, and lists a number of popular sites that the plug-in can  hack:

Apparently many social network sites are not secured, beyond the big two [Facebook and Twitter], Foursquare, Gowalla are also vulnerable. Moreover, to give you a sense of Firesheep’s scope, the extension is built to identify cookies from Amazon.com, Basecamp, bit.ly, Cisco, CNET, Dropbox, Enom, Evernote, Facebook, Flickr, Github, Google, HackerNews, Harvest, Windows Live, NY Times, Pivotal Tracker, Slicehost, tumblr, Twitter, WordPress, Yahoo, Yelp. And that’s just the default setting— anyone can write their own plugins, according to the post.

Note: at the time of this posting, over 5,000 people had either tweeted the story or “liked” the story on Facebook!

UPDATE: As of  11/02, Microsoft has added Firesheep to its “malware” list:  Look here for more information from Microsoft on how to protect yourself.  (thanks to Frank Corrigan of Liberation Technology list-serv for this update information)

We want to hear from you!

The University Libraries are conducting a web-based survey to measure the quality of our service.

All members of the St. John’s community are invited to complete the survey. Participants can enter to win a $100 Visa Gift Card.

The survey opens on October 18th and will run through November 19, 2010.


For more information, call 718.990.2915 or email jusinoa@stjohns.edu


St. John’s University Libraries &

the Friends of the Library

are pleased to once again sponsor the


2010-2011 Annual Undergraduate

Applied Social Justice Research

Essay Competition


FIRST PRIZE     $500



Application and support materials are due February 22, 2011. Support materials include:

  • contact information,
  • a brief abstract of the essay,
  • a working bibliography
  • a letter of support from a supervising faculty member (Click here to access and print the Faculty/Instructor Statement of Support form.

Deadline for submission of the completed essay is March 15, 2011.

Essays should be sent electronically as an attachment (MS Word or PDF format) via the St. John’s University student email account to with the subject line “2010-2011 contest submission”:

  • Prof. Caroline Fuchs at fuchsc@stjohns.edu, or to
  • Prof. Kathryn Shaughnessy at shaughnk@stjohns.edu

Submissions should also contain a title page that includes:

  1. essay title,
  2. student’s name,
  3. student’s email address,
  4. student’s mailing address
  5. student’s phone number
  6. the name and contact information for supervising faculty

Essays will be judged by the following criteria:

  • Excellence in undergraduate research with extensive use of the St. John’s Libraries’ physical or electronic collections
  • Demonstrated ability to evaluate and synthesize library resources
  • Evidence of development of an understanding for the processes of research and inquiry
  • Cogent argument of the relationship between this research and applied social justice teaching
  • Originality of thought and depth of research
  • Clarity of the writing, organization and proper documentation
  • No more than 12 double-spaced pages (entries can be between 5 and 12 pages) using standard 12-point font
  • Properly cited and formatted using MLA, APA, Chicago or appropriate discipline citation standards
  • Research projects may be either based upon independent research or a class assignment, and must have been completed during the 2010-2011 academic year.

By submitting an essay for consideration, applicants certify that the essay is their original work, and that all sources have been given proper credit. All essays must be written in English. Essays will be reviewed by a committee.

For further information concerning the contest and submissions to the essay competition, contact Caroline Fuchs at fuchsc@stjohns.edu or call 718.990.5050

The essay competition is open to all current St. John’s University undergraduate students.

Read the 2009-2010 first prize essay, “Global Warming and Climate Change: A Catholic Perspective” by Princess Ikatekit.

Read the 2009-2010 second place essay, “Microfinance: The Path to Poverty Alleviation” by Kathryn Mordeno.