Monday, April 5, 2010

Another New Look and Some Changes

If you are a common reader for my blog, you've already noticed the change in the appearance. A more simplified, easy to read format that even my grandparents may find appealing. It's not "over the top" or "obnoxious" as some blogs and personal websites, but it still has some personal flavor.

The change is due to Blogger (my free blog hosting site) adding some new features. Blogger is a Google product and it has proven to evolve in the few years my blog has been out there. The update to the layout and look is welcomed by everyone and it shows. I appreciate any comments that you may have.

Now you may be asking what the "changes" are from the title. Well the ads you now see on my site are changes. When I started, I just wanted to get my ideas out there and provide some help to people who wanted technology explained in a more common language. No more mixing of ROM and RAM, multi-core processors, the scary world of Linux or the basic changes happening to cyberspace. Straight forward thoughts and explanations of what common, as well as up and coming, technologies could/should/would do for everyone.

Well now, I've got a reader base and some people actually enjoy what I have to say (LOL???). I'm in the real world. I've got real rent to pay, real insurance payments, real car payments (something I'm going to elaborate on in the future), and overall a much higher budget that is resulting in decent savings, but debt nonetheless. So the ads and search features are there to make your life and my life easier.

For today's lesson, we are going to elaborate on Google Adsense. Adsense is a program that anyone can use to put helpful links to helpful products and websites on their own websites. If someone clicks on the link, everyone involved makes money. Think of it as networking without actually meeting anyone. Google indexes just about every website and every website has a specific set of information included in it. This information is called meta data and Google can use that data to link websites that are common together. This is used in basic web searches, shopping and overall for Google Adsense. I put the word "Apple" and "iPad" as a piece of meta data in one of my posts and Google immediately puts my post in with the millions of other posts and websites about Apple (the company) releasing the iPad recently.

Again, the ads and search features are just there to make your life and my life easier. I'm not saying you need to click on them or search utilizing the features because that's illegal through the bylaws of the Adsense project. I just want you, as readers, to understand why the look has changed and why you now see ads and a search box.

Please let me know if you have any questions and what you think of the new look!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

iPad Impressions

The Apple iPad. Everything you could want in a easy-to-use device with the standard Apple "amazing-ness".

An iPod, e-reader and netbook all rolled into one device that will include apps and have Wi-Fi internet access and, if you want it, the speed of 3G AT&T service (where available). Who honestly could ask for more? That's the question right.

Not exactly.

The question is why did it take so long for Apple to come out with it? I'm a nerd/geek and no one will deny that. I write this blog right? As a nerd, I always want the latest and greatest in technology. I like playing with new technology, utilizing as many features as I can and probably breaking something in the process. It's the breaking things that I enjoy because it lets me learn how the systems work and how to fix them.

With that general idea in mind, I've already got an iPod Touch, a BlackBerry, an Amazon Kindle and a home network that integrates with my Mac, Playstation 3 and my 6 year old Dell laptop. Why do I need a Kindle then? I already have all the features of the iPad spread across several devices and they all work great!

That's the unfortunate part of Apple iPad release. People have already purchased the devices that are combined in the iPad. But it actually makes logical sense.

I think the iPad is now going to be the replacement for when the rest of the devices go to that technology resting place in the sky (more preferably the recycling center). Why not have 1 device that does it all rather than 3 devices that tend to cause clutter both for yourself and the environment? You can just have your iPad and a plain old cell phone. Done.

Consider it for when your Kindle, Blackberry and iPod die.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

More of the Initiative...Proactive versus Reactive

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative was released by the White House late last week. The initiative is meant to be both proactive and reactive in nature.

Proactively, the government would like to have the most up-to-date anti-cyber terrorist actions in place to prevent a malicious group of users from accessing information or shutting down a grid of the internal infrastructure of the U.S. This basic goal is a large scheme project that is going to require a massive overhaul of several systems. Possible: yes! Probable: most likely. Expensive: you can bet on those $45 dollar hammers being part of that bill.

The Reactive aspect of the government is going to incorporate something known as counterintelligence (I know, government/military = counterintelligence, but that's not the point here). Counterintelligence in the cyber world is basically acknowledging a threat as soon as possible along with all of the affects of the threat and then finding a way to neutralize it. We would be "countering" an intelligent attack on the nation, hence counterintelligence. This is being spearheaded by a number of nerds, geeks, crackers, hackers and all around interesting people. As anyone that has worked in a specific area long enough with a keen sense of observation and a solid deductive skills can tell you, you start seeing trends. You see the results before they happen and you do what you can to react to those conditions.

Play any game, sport or puzzle long enough and you learn how the rules work and where they can be bent or broken. The same applies to a single computer, a network of computers or an entire infrastructure. The Internet follows the same rules and the malicious code that affects it tends to do the same. There is always an origination point. There are always a number of workstations that are used to deploy a code. The code tends to stay dormant in the recesses of a registry or folder on a workstation. The switch is activated and bam...a few million PC's start smoking, flashing red lights and spitting out bank account numbers. The Reactive people are meant to sniff this sequence of events out before the smoking, flashing and spitting happen.

My thoughts: might as well cover everything to prevent and stop all attacks. What are your thoughts?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Too Much...Too Late?

Forewarning: The following topic may become a hot topic on this blog over the next few months.

On Thursday, the White House released a brief overview of the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative. Translation: this is  what we plan to do to prevent the recent cyber attacks against Google, Intel and multiple other major corporations.

The initiative is meant to be a protection plan for government agencies as well as the general population. Education may be the crucial point in the initiative. The amount of security that is and will be implemented behind the scenes will be near that "unfathomable" level, but the issue is that there is always a flaw.  What the flaw is has yet to be determined.

The initiative seems comprehensive because it does call on the population to start taking up an active role in their technological security. Antivirus, anti-malware and anti-spyware should be standard on your computer, regardless of if it's PC, Mac or Linux. Yes, even Mac and Linux users are and will become as frequently targeted as PC users. Market share has been increasing with each of these operating systems which has allowed crackers and hackers to start coding malicious code for all operating systems that are used.

All of that in mind, a self-awareness of what passwords are used across your online sites, where your accounts are in place and what information about you is on the Internet. I have been guilty of this until recently. The same set of passwords used across all sites and networks and that was it. I started testing out programs like KeePass and it's proven to be amazing. That comes highly recommended from me. Have a look and let me know if you have suggestions or questions.

As mentioned previously, I hope to be your source for the education mentioned in the initiative put out by the government. Not because the government says so, but because it's becoming a necessity for everyone quickly.

This was very brief opening to a complex topic so please let me know what you would like to hear about.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, March 5, 2010


So I've been in corporate life for 18 months and to be honest, I'm really enjoying it. There is a dynamic that a person can thrive on and it's exciting as a young person in the business world. With that in mind, I've realized my thoughts on so many concepts over the past year and a half have gone unpublished.

For one, Microsoft doesn't seem like the big bad wolf anymore (respectfully disregarding Dick Brass's opinion). The release of Windows 7 has turned a debacle of a product that was Vista into something worth enjoying. The environment works well with old and new programs, what more could an IT person ask for? How about an easily adaptable virtual environment with networking that actually works? Excellent!

Secondly, e-readers have taken off. Books have held a special place in my life since I picked up my first picture book as a younger child. In college, the passion continued right into my major, but the cost to keep up with my literary fetish was unreal. Along came Christmas and a wonderful addition to my life: an Amazon Kindle! Double digits in the number of books read, the addition of books and a very handy syncing feature between the Kindle, my Blackberry and my Apple iPod Touch (1st generation Mr. Jobs). Regardless of where I am, I can always access my books and everything stays in sync. Nice work Amazon.

The final piece for this entry: I need to stay focused with this blog and bring back my readers. To my current readers, spread the news and let me know what you would like me to elaborate on and explore more. To my future readers, I hope I can keep you interested in what I have to say without coming across like a preaching IT know it all. There are already enough of those blogs on the web. My thought is that people need to know and understand technology if they plan to stay safe and be educated in an ever-changing environment. That is my intention with this site.

Have a great day and, as always, let me know what you think.

Monday, March 9, 2009

In the Real World

So it's been a long time since I last wrote, but it's about time to start back up and re-establish myself online.

Update #1: I now work for a software company as a developer/QA/first assist. I thought I had a running knowledge of basic technologies, but I was completely wrong. I've learned more in the past 7 months than I could have guessed. Basic programming, full administration, complete hardware and software integration. Basic Windows troubleshooting is now just an after thought.

Update #2: The real world is definitely not the same as the idealistic world that college portrays. Hard work does pay, but does not result in instant gratification. It is nice to have an expandable income, but with the current economy, it's still restricted.

Update #3: Trying to establish yourself in a new area is not an instant solution either. Even with social networking websites, nothing beats actual face to face communication. A resume only shows so much. Sometimes it takes a little extra initiative to stand out.

I plan to start writing more. Please let me know if there is any area you would like to see developed more and I will dive into it.

Have a great day!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fresh Start

So it's official. I've graduated from college and now I can start writing in my blog again. I must apologize to all of my readers and subscribers for not updating in several weeks, but I will begin to do so on more regular basis now.

I've taken the summer to enjoy a little downtime and search for a job. My passion for IT is pushing me towards that field, but my major seems to be something of a dilemma. With an English degree, it appears as though my credibility is questioned quite frequently.

Who would have guessed???

It does not matter if I have two years of paid, well trained experience. The degree is key and with the economy in the current state, a recent college grad is left to search, call on connections and be willing to work. I AM ALL OF THESE!

This all is due to the fact that the majority of what I know is self taught and the simple idea that my IT skill is not only justified by my technological knowledge, but by the simple fact that I can communicate the most complex systems to individuals of varying technological knowledge. My English degree assists me well in this category.

If anyone has any recommendations, leads or connections for a recent college grad trying to get into IT, let me know. I would greatly appreciate it!

Thanks and have a great day!