Archive for October, 2012

Did you know?

You may be aware that the unemployment rate for people with college degrees has been much lower than for people without degrees. But you may not be aware that only about half of new college graduates have been finding jobs that lead to a career. Many have settled for dull dead-end jobs because they couldn’t qualify for anything better. I overheard one such graduate complaining about his situation as a grocery shelf filler at Meijer just a few days ago.

When people feel stuck in a lousy job, life for them can be far less fulfilling than it would be otherwise. This is true even if the pay is good. You just don’t want to wake up in the morning dreading going to work.

That’s the reason we are writing this blog. There are huge opportunities for interesting, creative, fulfilling work for people who have enough IT skills and knowledge. There are many openings for people who can program, or who can do Web design, or take care of Internet security, or figure out how to use IT in a small business, or work on robotics, or keep networks running, or…. Many of these openings go unfilled for long periods of time, because there are no qualified applicants. These are not pud jobs. They typically offer quite a future, and pay well. Some have flexible hours. Some are in fun environments. Some allow people to work from home, from a mountain cabin, from anywhere.

Think about it, for at least 10 seconds! Why not???

I’ll be writing again about some of the nitty-gritty details. Just a hint: this doesn’t necessarily mean changing your major to IT, although for some people that would definitely make sense. More later.

Kenton Machina

P.S. No quiz on this post.

October 31, 2012 at 12:54 pm Leave a comment

Open Source Government

The technological world we live in today is far different from decades past for more reasons than just the old cliché of, “Yesterday I had a typewriter, today I have Siri”. Up until about 15-20 years ago there was a distinct and prevailing philosophy that you had to own your discoveries. When Thomas Edison perfected the electric light bulb in 1879, do you think any fiber of his being was aching to share his new-found knowledge with the world? Hell no. He was probably halfway out the door en route to the patent office with dollar signs in his eyes.

Of course this philosophy is still prevalent today, afterall, it’s quite logical to want to seek as much personal gain as possible from your own innovation. But with the advent of the Linux operating system back in the 1990’s, and later Mozilla in the 2000’s, we’ve seen a huge shift in ideals toward open innovation. That is, anyone can develop, distribute, and contribute to a project, for free. Why would anyone in their right mind do this? There are a myriad of reasons and every developer has their own, but that’s really another article for another day.

What I really wanted to get into is the prospect of how this ideology could be applied to other aspects of society. And since it is election season, what better aspect than that of government! I share with you a fantastic TED talk by Clay Shirky about the internet and democracy. Happy Halloween and be sure to take the quiz on ReggieNet!

October 31, 2012 at 3:05 am 2 comments

Same-Day Delivery

Google has long been on the cutting edge of technology, but recently it has been developing some technologies that will surely revolutionize online shopping and change the retail industry.  The technology I am referring to is called same-day delivery.  This essentially will allow those who purchase products online (I’m assuming through Google) to get their merchandise the same day or even hours after purchasing.  Google has already implemented their commerce plan, so we should all be able to have our online orders the same day in due time.  Please read the link below as it will assist you in your quiz.

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/26/google-is-offering-same-day-delivery-in-san-francisco/

October 28, 2012 at 7:45 pm Leave a comment

Should You Trust The Cloud?

What is the cloud you ask? A big fluffy mass in the sky that produces rain? Nope, today we’re talking about the IT Cloud, the massive infrastructures that various companies use. I can promise that you’ve come to interact with the cloud in one way or another. For example, of you use Dropbox uses it’s own cloud infrastructure to store all of your saved files. Amazon has it’s own web hosting could infrastructure called Amazon Web Services (AWS) that spans over a ton of servers , and websites such as Reddit, Imgur, and Minecraft for example are all hosted on AWS. Their cloud service is so simple to setup and scale and you don’t have to worry about actually buying physical servers and housing them, and paying utilities for them to run. It is so easy and so simple to setup, why wouldn’t you go that route? Now, what happens if part of the cloud fails?

Earlier this week, part of the AWS framework has some performance degradation, which in turn brought down a number of websites that used the AWS server. The Amazon Elastic Block Service (ESB) is used for dynamic storage, you use these as your hard drives for the servers hosted through AWS. This service started to degrade in Amazon’s Virginia data-center, servers were breaking left and right, there was a mass amount of data corruption, and sites were dropping like flies. Reddit was down for hours, Imgur was down, Minecrafts authentication servers broke and you couldn’t properly authenticate to play. Granted, not everything failed, I personally have a single web server with a single ESB storage block hosted in Virgina and it was fine, but the bigger sites with huge infrastructure were definitely affected. It took hours for the server team at Amazon to figure out their problem and fix it, and even more hours for other organizations server teams to fix whatever damages and data loss that may have occurred. Just imagine the amount of headaches all of these server administrators had to deal with when this happened, no fun. Heroku, another web application hosting server that uses a cloud infrastructure  had database failures as well, causing a number of websites to fail because they couldn’t connect to their databases. Again, more headaches.

So, now with all of this information, would you trust the cloud? Yeah, it makes life simpler, but you shouldn’t put all of your eggs in one basket. If you have your network on Amazon Web Services, do what you need to do to have your backups on a separate system. Even though the cloud is somewhat distributed, you don’t always want to place 100% trust in one object.

I hope you enjoyed this article on the cloud! Be sure to take the extra credit quiz now that you’re done reading!

October 24, 2012 at 11:59 pm 1 comment

For all my ladies…

Most of the time technology moves us forward; like converting manual processes to automatic processes or improving the way we communicate.  However, there are instances where people are so focused on making the next big thing ($$), that they take us backwards. Fujitsu, a computer hardware and IT company has done this. Starting in Japan on November 2nd, Fujitsu is releasing its new computer, the Floral Kiss. This computer, claimed to be a concept of female employees, is a computer specifically made for women. I find it offensive. Companies have this idea that if they create a female version of their product that they are ending prejudice. In reality, it is the opposite. They are basically implying that women are “special” and should have a “special” version to fit their needs. But hey, don’t worry ladies, the Floral Kiss has built-in apps that all females need: a diary, a scrapbook, and your daily horoscope. It also comes in 3 beautiful colors: Elegant White, Feminine Pink and Luxury Brown. Because we all know, every girl needs a computer in “Feminine Pink”.

It is insane to think that all women are the same and that one computer could fill their needs. This idea is going to widen the gap between gender equality, not close it. We already have a hard enough time trying to get women to join the IT field, we don’t need manufactures telling women they need a “special” computer for personal use.

Read about this ridiculous idea here. Personally, I enjoy that the article is written by a man and he still finds this idea to be insane!

Well we all know what I think, but what is your opinion…

Do you guys agree, disagree? Why?

Ladies, are you offended by this, or would you want this sold in America?

Guys, do you want a special computer for men, or do you think this idea is over the top?

And don’t forget to take the quiz on ReggieNet!!

October 21, 2012 at 7:36 pm 2 comments

The Story of Send: A Trip with Google’s Gmail

story of sendMost of us never think about what goes on behind the scenes of some of the most simple tasks we do on the internet today. Things like performing a search or sending an email have become so second nature to us that they may as well be on the same level as opening a door or making ramen (ha, college…).

A few weeks ago, Google posted a really interesting web piece dubbed, “The Story of Send” on their home page about what really goes into their search and Gmail services. Overviews of security measures, energy efficiency, data processing and more are chronicled in this little story so definitely check it out and be sure to take the quiz on ReggieNet!

The Story of Send!

(Side note: there are quite a few short videos associated with this story, and while they are very interesting and you should check some of them out, I’ll only be including info found in the text and pictures in the quiz.)

October 17, 2012 at 12:41 pm Leave a comment

3D No glasses

A lot of movies and other technologies have been advertising three dimensional features lately.  I on the other hand have never really been into the 3-D movement because it seems to be more expensive, and for not that much more of value.  For example, why would I pay an additional 3 dollars (or six dollars for me and my girlfriend) to watch a 3-D movie that requires me to wear glasses?  That money would be better spent on overly priced popcorn with lots of butter and salt…  But enough about popcorn, let’s talk about technology.  For years my friends and I have discussed the possibility of 3-D images being displayed through a monitor without the use of spectacles.  I have always stood my ground on my opinion that such an image would actually need to be a hologram, and they have always told me I’m wrong.  This blog is to inform you that for the first time in a long time, my friends were right.  Such a technology has been made into a prototype and has even been tested by humans (or at least the creator).  Some of you might think this is some new Apple product, but in actuality it’s French this time…

Please go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uef17zOCDb8 to have enough information to complete your quiz.

 

October 14, 2012 at 6:24 pm 1 comment

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