Archive for September, 2012

Underground Park

Hello everyone, this blog is not your typical technology blog. It is about an architecture firm in New York that is revolutionizing the way we think about public parks in major cities.  Their idea is to build an underground park in New York City.  Not only that, they have also invented an interesting way to divert sunlight underground as well.  Please click the link below and watch the video, which will assist you in your quiz on reggienet .

http://thelowline.org/about

 

 

September 30, 2012 at 9:58 pm 1 comment

The Raspberry Pi… No It’s Not Edible

Sorry if the title is misleading, or if you’re reading this with an empty stomach, but I’m not exactly going to be talking about a delicious raspberry pie today. Instead, I’m going to be talking about the card sized micro computer, the Raspberry Pi, developed by the Raspberry Pi foundation. The Raspberry Pi (or RPi for short) features a 700MHz ARM processor (can clock up to 1GHz safely under warranty), 256MB RAM, HDMI and audio out, and depending on which model you get, A or B, USB ports and an onboard ethernet port. It weights a whopping 1.6oz and its dimensions are 3.37×2.125in. Basically take our your credit card, and that’s the size of it. All of that computing power, for at max $35. To read more about its specifics, visit the Raspberry Pi Wiki.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation’s main goal in producing the RPi was to provide low cost computers to schools with the intention of teaching basic computer sciences classes. So instead of spending $150-$200 or so on a small form factor computer plus the cost of any Windows licenses, you can spend $35 a pop on each RPi and install a basic version of Linux, and the students are all set to go. Now they have easy access to a computer to be able to learn the simple computer science and information technology basics. I think not only would using RPi’s in classrooms be cost effective, but just the fact that they’re mini-computers could get the kids very interested.

Okay, cool, they’re very cost effective for schools. But what would you as a college student do with one? I recently purchased one and over the summer had some time to play with it, and all I can say is that it’s pretty cool. Because it uses a SD card to boot and run off of, I can switch out SD cards for multiple different operating installs. For example, I have one SD card for normal every day use where the Raspberry Pi acts as a server for me to remotely access my home network, as well as a mini web server for me to test some things out on. But, I can plug in another SD card, and now my RPi has software installed for security penetration testing, where I can test network securities such as wifi or computers on a network. Give it a USB Wifi adapter and a battery to plug into the power source, and you could have yourself a mobile server/pen-testing suite. Honestly, the limits are endless with what you can do with a Raspberry Pi. Check out this video where Rob Mullins, Co-Founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, demonstrates a Raspberry Pi. Don’t forget to take the quiz on Reggie Net so you get your extra credit points!

September 26, 2012 at 11:59 pm 1 comment

Google Glass

Hey guys! My name is Kate Andorka. I am in my last semester here at ISU. I started at ISU as a Math Ed major and switched to Information Systems (with a focus in System Development and Analysis) my junior year. If you told me 4 years ago I’d be graduating with a major in IT, I wouldn’t have believed you. I’ve always liked technology, but I was nothing more than a user. Programming was extremely foreign to me and I didn’t think I’d ever be able to do it. I took a required Java class and ended up loving it. This convinced me to change my major. I realized that coding was not what I imagined it to be. 90% of it focuses on the way you think and problem solve, while the other 10% is focused on learning and writing the language. I found that I already thought like a programmer; this is due to the fact that I’ve been immersed in technology for most of my life.

I’ve always loved gadgets, they are my favorite part of technology. Whether it was a new computer game, an iPod, a new phone, or a tablet; I was thrilled to sit down and play with my new gadget. Luckily, new gadgets are created all the time!

The newest gadget being created could change our world. While it is quite pricey (as all good things are), it is seriously cool. It is Google’s new project, called Project Glass. The idea is to have a smartphone literally on your face. Watch the video here to learn about Google Glass.

As with all new technology, there will be criticisms, but for right now all I can say is that I want a pair of Glass!!

If you’d like to see more, here is an incredible demo of Glass in action! (this video is not part of the quiz) 

September 23, 2012 at 10:09 pm Leave a comment

PHP’s, Rubies, and Pythons…OH MY! – Breaking into the World of Programming.

coding books

Hello Math 120 students, My name is Bob Kinsloe and welcome to my first post! Hope you enjoy.

I had never intended to get into programming, it just sort of happened. I was originally just interested in graphic design and illustration and that’s how I started off my collegiate career, as one of those kids. Yeah. Art students. (more…)

September 20, 2012 at 12:51 am 3 comments

The iPhone 5

Greetings math 120 student, my name is Andrew Polykandriotis and I would like to welcome you to my blog.  As my title indicates, my first topic revolves around one of Apple’s newest products, the iPhone 5.  I was intrigued to write about this topic because I already pre-ordered this phone to replace my current iPhone 3GS, which is a piece of crap in comparison to what the iPhone 5 has promised to offer me.

Please copy the below URL into your browser to begin watching the iPhone 5 video.  After, please log into ReggieNet and complete the quiz for credit.

http://www.apple.com/iphone/#video

Image

September 16, 2012 at 8:46 pm 2 comments

Moore’s Law and the Future of Computing

Hello MAT 120 students! My name is Chris Higgins, and I am a senior Information Systems major with a focus in web design, but I have interests all throughout the world of IT. I manage my own servers and home network, computer security highly interests me (I’m the Vice President of ISUSec, ISUs IT security RSO, check us out), and anything computer related instantly interests me. Hopefully throughout this semester I will be able to get you guys as interested in IT as I am, so let us get started!

I ask you to think back to the first computer you ever used. It was probably running something along the lines of Windows 95 or 98, or maybe it was one of the earlier Mac OS versions. Those computers had such a long boot time, terrible graphics by today’s standards, had a few megabytes worth of memory, and could not do a whole lot of powerful processing. Fast forward to today, probably around 10-15 years forward, where a standard computer has at least a 300GB hard drive, 2GB RAM, and a dual-core processor clocked somewhere around 2.6GHz. That is an absolute TON of improvement in that span of time, and it’s supposed to exponentially get better. So here is where we say hello to Moore’s law.

Moore’s law is “the observation that over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years” (Wikipedia). In simpler terms, that means that the processing power of a computer is going to keep raising at an exponential rate. To the debate of some, this could even lead computers to attain a human-level intelligence, called “singularity”. Ask yourself, do you think that one day soon computers will be able to have such a high level of artificial intelligence to where they could actually learn, and be as capable as the human brain? Maybe not Terminator or iRobot style where the machines could end up turning on you, but, be their own being (think C-3PO from Star Wars). Some futurists believe by 2030, computers will have the capability to become as intelligent as humans.

Although Moore’s law does seem to support the fact that it may be possible for computers to be able to “attain” a higher level of learning, some people don’t agree. Various scientists believe that Moore’s law is starting to break, where that it is going to soon become impossible to add more transistors into modern processors because it will become physically impossible. They say that once you get to the atomic level, it will be impossible to add more transistors because there just wont be the space available to do so.  But I guess that is where technology such as multi-core processors come in. Instead of needing to add more transistors into a single processor, add more cores to kind of “spread the load”.

Do you remember hearing about IBM’s supercomputer Watson that appeared on Jeopardy about a year ago? Imagine having an entire server farm full of Watson-like computers, only more intelligent, human level, running a website like Google. They quite possibly know what you’re looking for before you fully enter in your search query. Imagine a server being able to tell you what exactly is wrong with itself, right when it starts crashing. No need for monitoring or diagnostics, the server “tells” you that it is “sick”. Something like that could be possible within the next twenty years. Now, imagine being that system administrator!

Thanks for the read, looking forward to a good semester! And don’t forget to take the quiz!

September 13, 2012 at 12:30 am 7 comments

Welcome, new readers!

Thanks for checking into our blog. We’re back with a new group of authors for Fall 2012, and a host of new ideas to share.

Comments welcome — especially if they are constructive!

Illinois State University Finite Mathematics students: don’t forget to take a brief ReggieNet quiz on each post in order to show that you read it, and to give a general reaction to the post. You can use the link at the bottom right of the screen (scroll down as needed) to take you to ReggieNet, if you’d like.

All other readers — no quizzes for you! We hope you find these posts informative and interesting.

Kenton Machina
“philprof”

September 12, 2012 at 2:56 pm 2 comments


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