Archive for March, 2012

Cyber Bullying

Posted: 2012/03/19 in Uncategorized

ri12211’s post  has also inspired me to research cyber bullying in order to better understand the issue at hand.

The article discussed in ri12211’s blog post, talked about cyber bullying, and the problem that it has been causing in Japan.  The article stated, that according to a recent survey conducted by Japan’s Hyogo Prefectual Board of Education, an estimated 10% of  high school student’s have at one point been harassed by some form of cyber bullying.  The article also states, that in Japan some of the more severe cases of cyber bullying has led it’s victims to attempt/commit  suicide.

After reading the article/blog post on cyber bullies in Japan,  I became curious enough, and wanted to find out if there were similar results throughout the world.  I found a website with an article written on cyber bullying worldwide.  It was surprising to see the amount of information currently available on the internet.  There was a global survey conducted by  Ipsos (for Reuters News), that found that 12% of children around the world has experienced cyber bullying.  24% of the people surveyed said that they know a child in their community who has experienced cyber bullying, and 60% say that the harassing behavior was performed on social networking sites, such as Facebook.

The surveys also stated that children who have experienced cyber bullying were twice as likely to seek treatment from mental health care professionals, and are nearly 3 times more likely to have considered dropping out of school.   The fact of the matter is, cyber bullying is being conducted via internet/text messaging worldwide, and it’s a serious issue (sometimes life threatening).  The best way to prevent cyber bullying is to make the children aware of it’s existence, and (in my opinion) parents need to act like parents, and make an attempt to monitor their children’s cellphone/internet usage;  however,  I am not saying that a parent should attempt take away their child’s privacy in the process.

There are ways of properly reporting this to government officials (if necessary), however, most children are not properly educated on the seriousness of cyber bullying, and will allow it to continue until it becomes a major problem.  The internet may not be able to protect children against cyber bullies, however, parents have direct influence over the internet content that their children are viewing.  PARENTS….. it is your responsibility to ensure your children are not falling victim to cyber bullying.  Also, if your child is found causing any type of cyber bullying, you (as a parent) should be the first to know about it, and put an end to it.  There are internet programs used in order to block certain content from making it’s way to your child’s computer, USE IT.  Parents often use extreme precaution while trying to prevent children from becoming exposed to the internet’s  “adult material” (such as pornography),  why should cyber bullying be considered as being something different?  Education is key, knowledge is power, parents need to educate themselves on the severity of this issue, and then take action in order to protect their children.  I hope after reading this that you now have a better understanding of cyber bullying and how to prevent it.



Posted: 2012/03/18 in Uncategorized

03/19/2012 Cyberspace & Technology “sentence of the day”

My favorite sentence from the article “A personal Cyber-infrastructure” is as follows: “Any technology gradually creates a totally new human environment.”

I chose this sentence because (in my opinion)  it makes a very powerful statement in regards to technology’s role within society.  Take Apple’s i-phone for example, a mere twenty years ago, that particular piece of technology was nonexistent.   Now, people around the world are using these phones to connect to a global,  high speed internet connection;  not only do these cellphones provide internet access, but they are used as multimedia devices that are capable of accessing hundreds of thousands of internet applications.  A cellphone can now be used as a tool to learn new languages, automatically receive weather updates, find cooking recipes, GPS tracking, and much more (this list could go on-and-on).  The sentence chosen from this article,  caused me to take a few minutes to reflect upon the technological advances that have been made throughout the past couple of years.   It’s amazing to see the close (almost too personal) relationship that people have developed with technology.   In fact,  I often hear people say that they feel “naked” without a cellphone, only bringing me to realize, that the statement made in this article,  is in fact a true statement.  Technology will and already has created a totally new human environment. However (in my opinion), the benefit of the advances in technology will always outnumber the disadvantages.  After reading this article, I gained a better understanding of the “cyber-infrastructure,” that if incorporated within the higher education community, could result in some very beneficial educational advances.  I guess we’re going to have to wait and see what role technology will have on the future of education.

This is my finished product, hope you enjoyed it!!

THE ASSIGNMENT:  Take two cultures and create a banner that represents how their coming together would mix.

THE PROCESS:  I found various pictures on the internet of things that are symbolic to both American and Japanese culture.  I then decided to make two separate banners for this assignment, one of them would be a collage, and the other would be a design that incorporated both the American and Japanese national flag.  My first idea was to make a collage of pictures that represented both cultures, and I did this using the program called Gimp.  I saved the photos that I found on the internet to my computers desktop and then transferred them into Gimp in order to begin creating my masterpiece.  I never used Gimp before so it took me awhile to understand how this program works.  Probably about two hours of my time was spent trying to figure out how to use the program well enough to create my idea for this assignment. Once I had a good understanding of this program,  I then used the tools available to enhance/change the pictures in order to create the collage.  Once I was satisfied with the outcome, I uploaded the final product onto my WordPress page, and began to work on my flag design.  I found a way on Gimp to merge the American flag design with the Japanese design, and then crop certain parts of the flags that weren’t needed.  After that was finished,  I added some extra color to the flags using the paint tool, and uploaded it to my WordPress page.

THE STORY:  When I found this assignment on the DS106 website, I knew that it was going to be a good chance for me to use some of my creativity.  Due to the fact that I am an American who is now living in Japan,  I felt it only necessary to use these two countries for the culture clash.   While creating this assignment I learned how to use Gimp (which could be helpful in the future), and I am very satisfied with the finished product, although it took me way too long to complete.

Original Assignment Link

Japan Flag Link

American Flag Link

American Eagle Link

Fuji Link

Both Flags Link

Tori Gate Link

Liberty Bell Link

THE ASSIGNMENT:  This assignment was to take a picture of a sunset.

THE PROCESS:  I decided to use one of the pictures that I’ve previously taken of a sunset, and then uploaded it to my WordPress page.  I then explained why I chose this picture, and the significance that this picture had on my life.

THE STORY:  This is my all-time favorite picture of a sunset.  It was taken in 2007, during the time that I’ve spent in Iraq.  Many days while in Iraq were spent constantly working with little rest, and little time to relax.  Stress began to build up over the months, and there was little that one could do in order to release that stress.  I began to take pleasure in the “little things” in life that many take for granted.   This picture for example, is one of those “little things” in life that helped me to relieve stress and relax a little bit.  In my opinion,  Iraq had some of the most beautiful sunsets that I’ve ever seen in my life.  There was rarely any cloud coverage, so when the sun rose and set, it would cause the sky to light up in various colors that would stretch out in the sky as far as the eye could see.  This picture is actually not a very good example of what I am talking about, however, it was chosen because of the way the sun is hitting the palm trees in the background.  I hope you enjoy this picture as much as I do.

Original assignment

@SteveJobs comments:   “Why join the Navy when you can become a pirate?”

                       @LayzLay24 comments: Why graduate college, when you can become rich without a degree?

@MuhammadAli comments:   “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”
                         @LayzLay24 comments: Why float like a butterfly, when you can sting like a bee?

@DickChaney comments:   “Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt that he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.”
                       @LayzLay24 comments:  Why tell the truth, when it’s much more fun to lie?

@Jack Nicholson comments:   “There’s only two people in your life you should lie to….the police and your girlfriend.”

                    @LayzLay24 comments:  Why don’t you tell that to Dick Cheney?

@Dale Evans Rogers comments:   “Happy trails to you, until we meet again.”
                         @LayzLay comments:  Enough said brother….

THE ASSIGNMENT:  The original assignment was to use the Twister tool from ClassTools to create “fake”  Twitter accounts to attempt to re-create the voices of past figures, and imagine how they would express themselves in twitter.  Then,  recast a historical event with a new plot line,  but making it a back and forth between two figures.

THE PROCESS:  The way I decided to do this assignment is a little bit different…………
As I was going over the original assignment, I decided to incorporate my own personal ideas,  seeing this as a good opportunity to be creative.  Instead of only using past figures, I decided to find famous quotes from people in the past and  present, and use that as a basis for these twister pages.  I then created “fake” Twitter accounts on Twister for the people who I am quoting, and used their quotes to make it seem as if they tweeted it themselves.   I didn’t like the way that the Twister page set this up, so I  re-created the information   in a way that makes it seem as if I am the person commenting back on their tweets.  If you click the link below the pictures it will take you to the original twister pages that I’ve created for each quote.

THE STORY: I saw this as a great opportunity to comment on some of the famous quotes from the past and present, and voice some of my own opinions.  It was meant to be funny, although, some may not understand my humor…anyway enjoy!

Ethical Hacking: Understanding the Benefits, Goals and Disadvantages 

This article discusses an interesting topic called “ethical hacking.” Before I go any further into the detail of this article, I would like to briefly explain the definition of “ethical hacking.”

An ethical hacker is a computer or network expert who attacks a security system on the behalf of its owners, seeking vulnerabilities that a malicious hacker could possibly exploit. Ethical hackers will use the same methods as their less malicious counterparts, but report problems  to the owners instead of taking advantage of them. Ethical hacking is also known as penetration testing, intrusion testing and red teaming.

In the 1970’s the United States government used groups of experts called “red teams” to hack its own computer systems to determine the systems vulnerabilities. Since then, ethical hacking has continued to grow, and is becoming increasingly common outside the government and technology sectors where it began. Many large companies, such as IBM, maintain employee teams of ethical hackers in order to test their companies computer vulnerabilities.

In a similar category, a hacktivist is considered to be more of a vigilante: detecting, sometimes reporting (and sometimes exploiting) security vulnerabilities as a form of social activism.

This article describes the goals and potential dangers of “ethical hacking.”   Ethical hackers are hired by companies to ensure the legality of the companies system.  They will also ensure that the companies systems are protected, and necessary security measures have been put in place.  However, potential dangers include, the ethical hacker using the knowledge they gain to do malicious hacking activities in the future.  As well as  gaining the knowledge of the company’s financial and banking details to use for their own personal benefits. There is also a possibility that the ethical hacker will send and/or place malicious code, virus, malware, and other destructive and harmful things on a computer system causing a massive security breach of the companies system.

Before reading this article I had no idea that “ethical hacking” existed.  It’s amazing the amount of need companies have for these ethical hackers.  I did more research on this topic and found that there is an entire network of ethical hackers, and they are becoming an increasingly common profession in today’s world.  I understand the need for these types of people due to the amount of malicious activity on the internet, however, who is to say they are always looking out for the good of the company who they are working for?  People capable of hacking systems can also become capable of using that to their own personal benefit.  I would recommend  that companies use these types of professionals to protect their businesses, however, they should be careful of who they are hiring.

Uncle Sam: If it ends in .com it’s seizable

picture link: “Uncle Sam”

What is the United States government really “capable” of doing on the internet?

The recent indictment of the Canadian billionaire, Calvin Ayre, on illegal online gambling charges has been raising the concern that anyone who owns a .com domain could find themselves subject to U.S. law, even if their activities are entirely outside the United States. Ayre is the founder and owner of, a sports gambling site that operated on a worldwide scale. Online gambling on sports is illegal under U.S. law, although it is legal in many other countries, to include Canada. Ayre now faces up to 25 years in U.S. prison, although online sports gambling is not illegal in Canada (where he is a legal resident). was shut down under a U.S. federal court order, and the page now redirects to a Homeland Security takedown notice. Other Bodog sites, such as and, however, continue to operate due to fact that they are not associated with the .com domain. What has Internet freedom advocates worried is that was not registered in the United States, but in Canada, and the indictment against Ayre lists “the movement of funds outside the U.S.” as a basis for the prosecution.

Picture Link

According to a report at the tech website EasyDNS, was registered under a Vancouver based domain not associated with the United States. However, all .com domains are being managed through the California-based internet company named VeriSign, who has been contracted by the U.S. government in order to do so.  It was this organization that was given a court order by the U.S. government to shut down

The U.S. government, according to Nicole Navas, who is an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman, stated that the U.S. government has the right to seize ANY .com, .net and .org domain name because the companies have contracts based on United States soil.

Seizures, such as the one just described, are becoming more and more common under the Obama administration.  The U.S. government program known as Operation in our Sites, acquires federal court orders to shut down web sites it believes are selling counterfeited goods, illegal sports streams, and unauthorized movies and music sites. Navas also stated that the U.S. government has seized over 750 domain names, “most with foreign-based registrars.”

This is a great example of how websites are under constant surveillance by governments and private organizations not just in the U.S., but worldwide.  The question is, in regards to this article, does the U.S. have the right to shut down a website that is operating legally in the country that it originated?  In my opinion, this is an ongoing control issue over the .com domain.  Incidences such as this will force people to re-think creating websites associated with the U.S.;  in fear of prosecution, or that one day their website might suddenly be shut down without notice.  I strongly believe that the internet should be protected against criminal acts and other illegal activities (for obvious reasons), however, where should  the line be drawn between what’s right and wrong?


Uncle Sam