teaching machines

Un-safelinks

Several months ago Microsoft started wrapping all URLs in my university email. Now, when I click on a URL, I first go to a web service that checks to see if the page has malicious intent or unsafe content. The problem with this safety feature is that I can no longer read the destination URL. Here’s an example email that I have received:

https://nam03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vocareum.com&data=02%7C01%7Cfoobag%40uwec.edu%7C372342a6fa3b4f1adab108d748d9342f%7Cdd068b97759349388b3214faef2af1d8%7C0%7C0%7C637057970042004514&sdata=jYmiTB4vWrZY6P16O4NoYMdw0HpV8vgDM5BYKTc66%2FE%3D&reserved=0

Cloud computing is disrupting all aspects of educational infrastructure.

Learning Labs are no exception. 

If you are looking to upgrade your student or research lab infrastructure, please consider Vocareum Campus Cloud https://nam03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vocareum.com%2Fcampus&data=02%7C01%7Cfoobag%40uwec.edu%7C372342a6fa3b4f1adab108d748d9342f%7Cdd068b97759349388b3214faef2af1d8%7C0%7C0%7C637057970042004514&sdata=lz93Q3wU0csfDM2IFPHdT5S1TkL4%2BuBTh%2FSVwisyh%2B8%3D&reserved=0. 

Just as cloud storage dramatically improves the efficiency of saving and sharing content, we believe the next natural step includes “virtual labs” that combine compute with storage and accelerate learning and collaboration among all stakeholders in educational contexts -  instructors, graders, learners, researchers and administrators.

Vocareum Campus Cloud provides university IT departments with a valuable tool to deploy and manage cloud resources. The use cases range from providing windows based applications to learners, supporting HPC computing needs, or helping research groups manage cloud computing resources as a part of a research grant

We can deliver these labs at scale, securely and at low cost -- hundreds of thousands of learners are on our platform at any given time.

LEARN MORE https://nam03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vocareum.com%2Fcampus&data=02%7C01%7Cfoobag%40uwec.edu%7C372342a6fa3b4f1adab108d748d9342f%7Cdd068b97759349388b3214faef2af1d8%7C0%7C0%7C637057970042004514&sdata=lz93Q3wU0csfDM2IFPHdT5S1TkL4%2BuBTh%2FSVwisyh%2B8%3D&reserved=0

Vocareum Campus Cloud is built on a diverse cloud infrastructure to support exactly what you need at the right price point. Following are some of the lab infrastructures we support - 

A single container or a network of containers
	A network of virtual machines
	Shared virtual machines isolated by user account
	Budgeted credentials for AWS cloud

Some of the features of our labs are  -

Integration to popular Learning Management Systems
	Integration to online proctoring systems
	Ability for instructors to view student’s work live and provide feedback
	Use pre-built images from Vocareum or upload your own
	Secure license management infrastructure to deliver commercial software 
	Automated assessment 

REQUEST INFO https://nam03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vocareum.com%2F%23contact&data=02%7C01%7Cfoobag%40uwec.edu%7C372342a6fa3b4f1adab108d748d9342f%7Cdd068b97759349388b3214faef2af1d8%7C0%7C0%7C637057970042004514&sdata=LYU5pf4WpFP0SdZdRcAnwSg1m99nQV%2Fum3dfHDnAOU4%3D&reserved=0

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Please join us at Educause https://nam03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fevents.educause.edu%2Fannual-conference&data=02%7C01%7Cfoobag%40uwec.edu%7C372342a6fa3b4f1adab108d748d9342f%7Cdd068b97759349388b3214faef2af1d8%7C0%7C0%7C637057970042004514&sdata=hRTJo8IyG8FGm4j1eVpY9DZum8m2gojsSZCtp5NIrl0%3D&reserved=0 (Chicago, October 14-17) and DevLearn https://nam03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.elearningguild.com%2Fdevlearn%2Fcontent%2F5800%2Fdevlearn-2019-conference--expo--home%2F&data=02%7C01%7Cfoobag%40uwec.edu%7C372342a6fa3b4f1adab108d748d9342f%7Cdd068b97759349388b3214faef2af1d8%7C0%7C0%7C637057970042004514&sdata=raHxrQ45wiq8jEH68%2F8Kn0yP99EHHeexq7w%2BTfL3T88%3D&reserved=0 (Las Vegas, October 23-25) to learn about the most innovative and revolutionary new strategies for scaling campus and online learning labs!

Vocareum

2025 Gateway Place, Suite 205

San Jose, CA 95110

The original URLs are no longer intelligible; they are HTML-encoded and sent as parameters to the safelinks service. The result is that users of this service are less informed and more reliant on automation. Additionally, my email address is sent to the service. I see no reason why Microsoft needs my identity.

I really don’t like this feature.

Thankfully, I use an email client that lets me apply filters to messages before showing them. I wrote this short preprocessor that replaces the safelink URLs with the original URLs decoded:

#!/usr/bin/env ruby

require 'uri'

safe = STDIN.read

# Match all URL characters except not terminal periods...
unsafe = safe.gsub(%r{https://nam03\.safelinks\.protection\.outlook\.com/\?url=(.*?)&amp;[a-zA-Z0-9.%=&;]*(?<!\.)}) do |url|
  URI.unescape($1)
end

puts unsafe

In my Mutt configuration file, I set this filter to be applied to all messages:

set display_filter = "$HOME/bin/unsafelinks"

Now the message above looks like this:

https://www.vocareum.com

Cloud computing is disrupting all aspects of educational infrastructure.

Learning Labs are no exception. 

If you are looking to upgrade your student or research lab infrastructure, please consider Vocareum Campus Cloud https://www.vocareum.com/campus. 

Just as cloud storage dramatically improves the efficiency of saving and sharing content, we believe the next natural step includes “virtual labs” that combine compute with storage and accelerate learning and collaboration among all stakeholders in educational contexts -  instructors, graders, learners, researchers and administrators.

Vocareum Campus Cloud provides university IT departments with a valuable tool to deploy and manage cloud resources. The use cases range from providing windows based applications to learners, supporting HPC computing needs, or helping research groups manage cloud computing resources as a part of a research grant

We can deliver these labs at scale, securely and at low cost -- hundreds of thousands of learners are on our platform at any given time.

LEARN MORE https://www.vocareum.com/campus

Vocareum Campus Cloud is built on a diverse cloud infrastructure to support exactly what you need at the right price point. Following are some of the lab infrastructures we support - 

A single container or a network of containers
	A network of virtual machines
	Shared virtual machines isolated by user account
	Budgeted credentials for AWS cloud

Some of the features of our labs are  -

Integration to popular Learning Management Systems
	Integration to online proctoring systems
	Ability for instructors to view student’s work live and provide feedback
	Use pre-built images from Vocareum or upload your own
	Secure license management infrastructure to deliver commercial software 
	Automated assessment 

REQUEST INFO https://www.vocareum.com/#contact

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Please join us at Educause https://events.educause.edu/annual-conference (Chicago, October 14-17) and DevLearn https://www.elearningguild.com/devlearn/content/5800/devlearn-2019-conference--expo--home/ (Las Vegas, October 23-25) to learn about the most innovative and revolutionary new strategies for scaling campus and online learning labs!

Vocareum

2025 Gateway Place, Suite 205

San Jose, CA 95110

Much better.

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