YouTube Downloader software: Useful, yet illegal

Recently BIT has received several requests from agencies to gain access to YouTube video downloader software. Essentially, this software allows you to make copies of YouTube videos. For what you may ask? The better question might be: what couldn’t you use a YouTube video for?

People use them in PowerPoint presentations, employee training sessions, software tutorials- you name it. Remember the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”? One might venture to say that a video is worth a million. The point is: YouTube videos can be utilized throughout a variety of circumstances, making them invaluable.

So… Everyone will be getting YouTube video downloader software? Eh… Not quite. According to YouTube’s Terms of Service… It’s illegal.

Don’t feel like reading all that? Here’s the short of it: Unless you have permission from YouTube or the person that owns the video, downloading it is illegal.

One approach used to hammer into our heads the severity of downloading these videos illegally is to use the same analogies we have all heard a million times. You know, the ones about downloading videos illegally being equivalent to walking out of a store with a CD under your jacket? However, like the little kid who is told not to sneak cookies from the cookie jar, only to do it when mom’s not looking- not everyone fears the reaper.

Another approach is to revisit all of the possible consequences affiliated with downloading videos illegally. Not to downplay the severity of the situation, but out of all the horror stories that could be shared about people who have gotten caught pirating videos, you are probably more likely to get your tongue stuck to a metal pole in the middle of winter.

In some situations scaring tactics work- but this situation is probably not one of them. No matter how slim your chances of getting caught may be, the fact of the matter is, unless you acquire permission from YouTube or the owner of the video, downloading anything from YouTube is illegal and we can’t condone that.

If you have YouTube Video Downloader software installed on your machine, it will need to be removed.  BIT will be in touch in the near future with those that have the software.  If you have a need for a video from YouTube, please contact YouTube or the owner of the content to request a copy.

Over here at BIT we are trying to look out for your best interests. We care about you too much to let this happen to you:

BIT Employee Spotlight: Dan Maxfield

VMWare, Inc is a US software company that provides cloud and virtualization software and services. Since the inception of VMware, user groups that use the software have surfaced as well. Probably the most familiar being the VMware User Group (also known as VMUG).

VMUG officially launched in August of 2010. It identifies itself as an independent, global, customer-led organization that was created to help members maximize the use of VMware as well as provide knowledge sharing, training, collaboration, and events amongst its members. Today VMUG has over 110,000 members worldwide!

Recently, VMUG released its very first quarterly digital publication known as the VMUG Compass! I had the pleasure of chatting with one of our very own, Dan Maxfield, who had the opportunity to help partake in the creation of this publication. Maxfield explains, “This is the very first one. We are trying to get more category-based articles, whether that be ‘how-to’ tutorials or ‘tips-and-tricks’ editorials. We are trying to target a large audience so it appeals to a wider variety of people.”

Through fellow BIT employee, Bonnie Bauder, Dan was initially introduced to the South Dakota VMUG chapter. The South Dakota chapter was first started in November of 2011 and Dan later joined in 2013. Dan explained that Bonnie really helped “open channels” for him, offering him the position as co-leader for the South Dakota chapter, which enabled the two to share the responsibilities of lining up vendors and speakers for the group. However, the growth didn’t stop there.

Bonnie currently serves on the Board of Directors for VMUG at an international level and Dan has since then obtained positions on the Communications and Content Committee, Nominations Committee, and Editorial Advisory Board on the international level. Being on these Committees enables Dan to look over the articles submitted for the Compass and partake in reviewing abstracts for the VMUG eLearning center.

Bonnie explained, “One thing to note is that VMUG is an international group, not just for the US.  All the committees and the board are composed of members from around the world, so to be on the number of committees he is on, especially as a new leader, is a testament to his commitment and recognition as a valued member of the community.”

Currently, Dan is already working on the next issue for the VMUG Compass. They are hoping to get out after VMWord in August.

VMUG is free to join! For more information about becoming a member, head to their website:

You can subscribe to get newsletters, webinars, and product offerings. To check out the first edition of VMUG Compass click this link:

Way to go Dan & Bonnie, BIT is proud to have you as one of our own!

Employees of the Quarter!

On a quarterly basis, BIT recognizes staff in honor of their outstanding performance and dedication to our agency, state government and the citizens of South Dakota. This time around, we gladly recognize:
Al Peterson- Data Center

Alan (Al) Peterson is a technology engineer level 4 for BIT.  He has been a member the BIT (CDP,IPS,I\S) team for 39 years(yes, 39!).  He started working at the State in 1976 as a COBOL programmer for Central Data Processing.  (For those reading this who are too young to have worked with COBOL, rest assured Al arrived with the newest and latest programming skills).  In 1979 he joined a team researching mainframe database technologies.  That team picked the technology that would become the State’s first Database Management System (ADABAS from Software AG).   Some of that team eventually formed a Database Administration Group supporting the new technology with Al as one of the founding members.  He has remained a valuable member of that team since 1979.
Al’s current duties span technologies used on both Windows and the State’s IBM mainframe.  These include Natural, Natural Security, Webmethods, EntireX and Natural Engineer.  His backup duties include Trim, Auditre and Predict.
Most recently Al has been integral in the implementation of Natural Engineer. Natural Engineer is a key tool that will provide structural analysis of the DSS Automated Eligibility (DSS’s largest application).  Al is also key to the success of the State’s SOA toolset (Software AG’s Webmethods) implementation.  His instinctive insights and inputs in every area of his duties enable everyone that works with Al to be more successful as he’s always willing to share and teach.  Those who have been in BIT for many years may remember the “rigors” of the ABABAS File Design Review process and feedback process and the helpful feedback that was so often forthcoming from that process. 
Al is definitely a team player and his years of experience and skills make him a valued member of the BIT team.  He always strives for the success of the organization as his top priority.  
Al grew up on a farm near Artesian, SD.   He is an alumnus of Dakota State in Madison and is a lifelong resident of South Dakota.  He is an avid hunter and fisherman, enjoys ATV trail rides in the Black Hills, and his pontoon boat on the river.  He also likes to try out BBQ and grilling recipes, always looking for that perfect marinate/seasoning/grille combination.  More recently he has been enjoying time with Denver, his grandson who has more hair than Al.
Linda Plett- Telecommunications
Linda is a technology engineer and has worked for BIT for almost 19 years.  She is a member of the IT Asset Management team.  She began her career with BIT at the Help Desk and was instrumental in the implementation of the HEAT call tracking system.  Through this implementation, Linda became more knowledgeable on SQL server and as a result moved from the Help Desk to the Database group.  In 2013 when BIT started looking at IT Asset Management products, Linda represented the Database group on the project.  She took great interest in reviewing and learning about the different vendor packages and when LANDesk was purchased, Linda became part of LAN Services and the ITAM team.  Linda does most of the backend database work for the LANDesk software.  She also works with state agencies by presenting to them their installed software, what software they have purchased and combing the two so they know where stand with software compliance on Microsoft and Adobe products.  Linda has learned a lot about different software licenses, the ins and outs of what can and cannot be done with each of the different software packages.  She has been very proactive in working with LANDesk to pass along ideas and resolve issues we have experienced with their software. She sometimes gets the impression that we give LANDesk ideas on how to improve their software.  
In her spare time, Linda has enjoyed doing crafts and is very talented in doing floral arrangements and making jewelry.  She also likes to travel – has been to Scotland, England, Whales and is planning a trip Ireland.  
Linda has 3 sons – Trevor, Denver and Jeremy, two daughter-in-laws – Natasha, who works for BIT Development in Rapid City and Kori, and a very special granddaughter – Katia – who is the light of her life.   

Elise Bunkers- Development

Elise is a software engineer level 2  for the development department of BIT. Elise’s day-to-day responsibilities include the primary support of several DOT applications. She originally created BIT’s Application Portfolio Management system which is used to track information about BIT’s 800+ custom applications. Elise was one of the first BIT developers to incorporate responsive web pages. This allows the displayed website to auto-resize depending on the viewing device (desktop, tablet, phone, etc.).

Elise recently worked on a team to develop a system that included both a web interface along with a mobile collection module. Users are able to inventory, inspect, photo, and geo-locate items using a tablet. The information is collected in the field using a mobile device, and then viewed through a browser.

Elise moved to Pierre in May of 2013 and started working for BIT as a summer intern. The summer intern position turned to into a full time position and she has been working for BIT ever since.

Elise grew up in Del Rapids and graduated from Dakota State University in 2013.

Even though she doesn’t catch many fish, she likes to try whenever possible. Hiking is another way Elise is able to enjoy the outdoors. While indoors, she likes to read, knit, and watch various types of movies.

Randy Sullivan- Administration
Randy Sullivan, BIT Purchasing Agent, has been with State government for 39 years.  He has been a vital member of the BIT Finance Team since 1996.  His career with State government began in 1976 when in worked as an intern at KUSD Radio and TV.  He was hired as a TV on-air operator and production assistant and then transitioned to TV production full-time.  In 1978 he took the Purchasing agent/Property Management Officer position for SDPB & KUSD-TV and Radio.
Randy’s primary role with BIT has been coordination of technological, broadcasting and radio equipment purchases for all divisions of BIT.    He is also tasked with grant purchases, Statewide BIT inventory, surplus property, writing local purchase orders, working with OPM on the Statewide Procurement Management system, reviewing and updating the BIT accounting, purchasing and contract databases.  He has been involved with the LANDesk project that is currently underway.  His software and hardware data for BIT purchases has been extremely instrumental in resolving some of the issues that were encountered.
Randy is native to SD.  He was born in Mitchell and grew up in that area, along with his 9 brothers and sisters in that area.  He received his degree in Mass Communications in 1976 from USD (go Yotes).
Randy married to his lovely wife, Sandie, in 1987.  He is very involved with the Lions Club, meals on wheels, and the Vermillion Coalition Against Domestic.   His 2 children and 2 grandsons keep Randy on top of his game! 
Again, congratulations and thank you all for your efforts and for all the years of dedication of service to the State—BIT looks forward to many more!

Please Welcome Jessica Fosheim!

Another new face around the office is Jessica Fosheim. 

Jessica Fosheim has recently joined BIT as a Software Engineer. She will be focusing on web development initially and ultimately working with back end coding and SQL coding as well. Jessica Fosheim grew up on a farm in the Winner, SD area. After high school, she attended Dakota State University in Madison, SD. She majored in Digital Arts and Design emphasizing in Computer Graphics, with minors in both photography and art. Jessica graduated Summa Cum Laude in May of 2013. After graduation, she worked as a graphic artist at the Winner newspaper.  In the fall of 2014, Jessica moved to Pierre to live with her then fiancé and commuted to Winner. In February, Jessica accepted a position at Damon Law Office in Pierre, SD. In June of this year, she upgraded her status from Ms. to Mrs. by marrying Bryce Fosheim, who is a member of BIT Development Team 6. Jessica started with BIT Development Team 1 on July 9th.
Welcome to the team Jessica, BIT is happy to have you!