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 Bodog.com, 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).

Bodog.com 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 Bodog.co.uk and Bodog.eu, however, continue to operate due to fact that they are not associated with the .com domain. What has Internet freedom advocates worried is that Bodog.com 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, bogdog.com 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 Bodog.com.

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?


References:

Uncle Sam

PKrace

TechSpot



Original Assignment Link

THE ASSIGNMENT:  The assignment was to f ind an iconic album cover and remix it to represent a something different.  It could be a play on the title, image, genre, etc.


THE PROCESS:  I went online to find cartoon characters to match the description of what I was going to drawl.  Once I found the perfect one, I began to sketch the idea for this iconic album cover.  When “slim” and “shady” were finished I then began to drawl the name tag, in order to tie the cartoons together.  I then took a picture of my drawling and uploaded it to my WordPress blog.  Not very hard to do, but very time-consuming.


THE STORY:  As soon as I read about this DS106 assignment, only one album cover came to mind, and that album was Eminem’s album the  Slim Shady LP.  I grew up listening to this CD and thought it would be fun to re-create this album in my own way.  I wanted to make it seem as if “Slim” and “Shady” were two people, coming together to form a music group.  I chose their characters to match their names as well. “Slim” is designed to be some slim guy, and “Shady” was designed to look like a shady guy, when I was finished I wanted to tie it all together with something Eminem’s real album.  I then found a picture of a name tag from Eminem’s first hit single “My name is,” and decided to make that the center of the Album cover.  I could have just went on the internet and put these images together in Photoshop, but I thought that it would take away from my own personal creativity that I wanted to add.  In the end, I was very satisfied with the outcome of this project.


Here is the original album cover, along with the original cartoons:

Picture Links: albumn – “slim” – “shady”

Web 2.0

Posted: 2012/02/17 in Uncategorized

A little bit of awesome 4 you to enjoy, please click  here  before reading any further:

Let’s talk about web 2.0!!! But first, what is web 2.0?

The concept of web 2.0 was developed  at a brainstorming session between Tim O’Reilly and MediaLive International.  Dale Dougherty and O’Reilly, noted at this brainstorming session that the web was more important than ever, with exciting new applications and sites showing up regularly.  Also, the internet companies that had survived since the start of the internet all seemed to have some things in common. The dot-com collapse marked some kind of turning point for the web, and that the idea of a “Web 2.0”  was born.


This graph explains the evolution from web 1.0 to today’s web 2.0:

Web 1.0 Web 2.0
DoubleClick –> Google AdSense
Ofoto –> Flickr
Akamai –> BitTorrent
mp3.com –> Napster
Britannica Online –> Wikipedia
personal websites –> blogging
evite –> upcoming.org and EVDB
domain name speculation –> search engine optimization
page views –> cost per click
screen scraping –> web services
publishing –> participation
content management systems –> wikis
directories (taxonomy) –> tagging (“folksonomy”)
stickiness –> syndication

So, what exact changes had to be made to the internet design patterns in order for these internet companies advance to web 2.0?  A brief summary of web 2.0 can be broken down into 8 sections:

  1. The Long Tail
    Small sites make up the bulk of the internet’s content; narrow niches make up the bulk of internet’s the possible applications. Therefore: Leverage customer-self service and algorithmic data management to reach out to the entire web, to the edges and not just the center, to the long tail and not just the head.
  2. Data is the Next Intel Inside
    Applications are increasingly data-driven. Therefore: For competitive advantage, seek to own a unique, hard-to-recreate source of data.
  3. Users Add Value
    The key to competitive advantage in internet applications is the extent to which users add their own data to that which you provide. Therefore: Don’t restrict your “architecture of participation” to software development. Involve your users both implicitly and explicitly in adding value to your application.
  4. Network Effects by Default
    Only a small percentage of users will go to the trouble of adding value to your application. Therefore: Set inclusive defaults for aggregating user data as a side-effect of their use of the application.
  5. Some Rights Reserved. Intellectual property protection limits re-use and prevents experimentation. Therefore: When benefits come from collective adoption, not private restriction, make sure that barriers to adoption are low. Follow existing standards, and use licenses with as few restrictions as possible. Design for “hackability” and “remixability.”
  6. The Perpetual Beta
    When devices and programs are connected to the internet, applications are no longer software artifacts, they are ongoing services. Therefore: Don’t package up new features into monolithic releases, but instead add them on a regular basis as part of the normal user experience. Engage your users as real-time testers, and instrument the service so that you know how people use the new features.
  7. Cooperate, Don’t Control
    Web 2.0 applications are built of a network of cooperating data services. Therefore: Offer web services interfaces and content syndication, and re-use the data services of others. Support lightweight programming models that allow for loosely-coupled systems.
  8. Software Above the Level of a Single Device
    The PC is no longer the only access device for internet applications, and applications that are limited to a single device are less valuable than those that are connected.Therefore: Design your application from the get-go to integrate services across handheld devices, PCs, and internet servers.

The information for web 2.0  was gathered from this website .


My opinion:

I was amazed by how much effort and strategy was put into creating the internet that we know today.  It’s amazing to me how people can get together from around the world and develop data sources, that get richer as more people use them.  The main idea is that internet companies realized that if they started trusting their users as co-developers, that it would harness collective intelligence, and benefit itself through customer self-service.  Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, YouTube…..the list could go on and on.  What’s even more amazing to me,  is the fact that this process has only just begun, I can’t wait to see the state of the internet 10 years from now!

We were given an assignment in my Cyberspace and Society class to analyze an info-graphic under the theme, “state of the net.”  Our group (Group 8), chose to analyze an info-graphic on Facebook statistics.  Please take the time to view this Facebook infographic before reading any further:


I will be analyzing the “Facebook random statistics” portion of this info-graphic.


As you can tell there are many different statistics covered in this section of the info-graphic, but how true are these statistics and where did this information come from? Another important thing that I had to take into consideration is the fact that this info-graphic seems to be tailored to U.S. specific Facebook users.  There are Facebook users in every country around the world,  according to information found on social bakers.com (an internet site designed to track Facebook usage around the globe).  So, although this information maybe be relevant to the U.S. it may not be relevant to the entire World.


My first level of analysis was to research the references given at the bottom of the Facebook info-graphic.  I found that all of the information for the “random statistics” portion of the info-graphic came from one website.  It was a CNN article published by Pete Cashmore who is the founder and CEO of Mashable, a popular tech-news blog.  He writes occasional columns about social networking and tech for CNN.com.   However,  how creditable is information based on internet surveys and written by a man who has a job to create “fun” facts about social networking?  In my opinion, there is a good possibility that the information may not be creditable at all. They are however, very entertaining facts to say the least.  One of my personal favorite’s is the fact written about how 56% of Facebook users think it’s irresponsible to friend their boss on Facebook (which I totally agree with).


I then went on to read the surveys that the “random Facebook statistics” were produced from. I found that in most cases, only roughly 1,000 people were surveyed in order to produce each statistic. There are millions of Facebook users, and I’m sure that if a larger amount of people were surveyed, the outcome would then be different. In conclusion, I do believe that some of the facts contained in this info-graphic would (if surveyed globally) have similar results, however, the information is not fully accurate due to the fact that the information does not represent Facebook on a global scale.  What I took away from this analysed information is to remember that there is a lot of creditable information on the internet, but do not assume everything is always factual.