Can Hackers Steal Secrets from Reflections?

I encourage my students to go over and visit Rick, Paul and Bill’s blog.  In 2009, Rick posted a link to a Scientific American article on How Hackers Steal Secrets from Reflections.   Great Article.  With our students going through some of the best security courses available, these links are very valuable.

Although we used a mirror for this example, we have tried glasses and other reflective materials and you can take a picture and reverse the photo.

Reverse Image

Reversed with Irfanview

Corrected with IRFanview

Tablet or Laptop for college?

Tablet or Laptop for college?

As high school students take the summer off and begin to prepare for college, we are often asked what technology students should get for college.   Here’s our answer.  Both – maybe.  Why?

Laptops provide an adequate screen size and can be used for long periods of study.  With a larger screen size than tablets, laptops can help with periods of preparing papers, presentations and just multitask better.   Add a 17+ inch monitor to your laptop and extend your screen to bring up the internet during research.  This allows you to keep your paper up or material up on your laptop screen while researching on the other.   So why not a desktop?  You can get a desktop – however will you need portability?

With Microsoft Windows, chances are you’ll find whatever freeware or software you’ll need and it’ll more than likely have a higher compatibility than other operating systems.   What about an Apple laptop?   They are fine.  Make sure you have parallels loaded and there aren’t any compatibility issues with classes that you have.

For portability, a tablet can quickly take notes, use Microsoft Office (Free for iPad and Android devices) or maybe use apps that are offered in your class.   These devices have a longer battery life, power up quickly and are perfect for class to class operations.

So can’t I just use a smartphone for this?  Absolutely.  Tablets tend to be trendy, expensive for what you truly get- but on the other hand, they can help.   The choice is yours and this may be based on the type of classes that you sign up for.  Which tablet?  This becomes a complex question but with Apple Store, Google Play or a Microsoft Surface, you can generally find an app for your tablet.

Remember to use synchronization and iCloud or OneDrive to hold non sensitive documents so they will always be available for your laptop, tablet and/or phone.  Guard your flash drives and have at least a 16 or 32 gb drive.

Protect your asset with device tracking from Apple, Google Apps or Prey Project.  Always load anti-virus, get your updates and never leave your device unattended.

Here’s the final answer.  You should get a laptop and decide if you need a tablet or if your smartphone will do.  Dollar for dollar, you’ll get a ton more storage with a laptop and with Google Chrome loaded as a browser, you’ll be surprised at the Apps you can loaded in chrome (hundreds).  Thousand of freeware software and true computing power give laptops the edge.  With multiple USB, HDMI, Wireless or Wired Network, a tablet again doesn’t compare.

Research your classes and remember the likelihood that you’ll change majors is almost a given.

An unnecessary path to tech: A Bachelor’s degree

An unnecessary path to tech: A Bachelor’s degree.

An excellent article on education and technical careers from Computerworld.  TCAT Shelbyville”s CIT program has a 98% retention and 92%+ placement.   Is a degree worth the money?  Yes, after you start your technical career.  Your education in technology cannot end once you start your career.    Are certifications worth their weight?  Absolutely.  If you know the hands-on.   The three, academia, certifications and hands-on is the fastest way to a career in IT.

Computer Information Technology wins CTE: Excellence in Action Award

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(L-R) Mike Miller, Assistant IT Manager, Dawn Babain, Network Administrator-LMS Specialist, Ivan Jones, TCAT Director and Steve Mallard, IT Manager

 

More information on the CIT Program

The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) is pleased to announce our first annual Excellence in Action award, which will recognize and honor superior Career Technical Education (CTE) programs of study from around the nation.  



Selected programs of study will exemplify excellence in the implementation of the Career Clusters, and have a meaningful impact on student achievement and success. All winners will be honored at the 2014 Achieving Excellence in Career Technical Education: The National Career Clusters Institute in Phoenix, Arizona on June 16, 2014. – See more at: The National Association of State Directors – CTE

 

Winners will also be featured:

  • In a national press release, which will be distributed to national media.
  • In a one-pager, used as part of NASDCTEc’s federal advocacy toolkit.
  • In a monthly newsletter sent to members of Congress.
  • In a standalone blog on Learning that Works blog.

- See more at: http://www.careertech.org/career-technical-education/award.html#sthash.q6yrhz1T.dpuf

Solving The Security Workforce Shortage – DarkReading

According to the study, the most sought-after quality is a broad knowledge of security — more of a strategic understanding than technical know-how followed by certifications.  Read More

Opinion – While certifications are an important part of IT, the technical know-how is the most important. Getting a degree or a certification is a great advancement for your education but can you configure a firewall? Run Linux-OSX- Windows? Support mobile, wireless, servers with Active Directory and monitor and control an IT environment?   That’s the difference between $12 an hour and a career.

Learn cloud computing with Rackspace’s CloudU

Ever wonder what cloud computing is?  Rackspace has an excellent program that you can take for free.   Cloud University offers ten detailed modules along with a exams for each module.    A final exam reviews each of the modules and with a score of 80% you can earn a certificate in cloud computing from Rackspace’s CloudU.   This detailed program is the work of Ben Kepes.   Ben is the curator of CloudU.    Through his arduous work, you can download a detailed curriculum, listen to webinars and take exams as many times as you need to in order to understand cloud computing.    In today’s  world of virtualization and cloud computing, Rackspace leads the pack by educating anyone who wants to learn about these exciting technologies.

After contacting Rackspace so that my students could benefit from the cloud university curriculum as a supplement.   I was met with open arms and personally talked with Greg Alfaro, Michael Ferranti and Ben Kepes either by phone or email.     Ben sent us this video as a statement.    (Thank you Ben!)

Confused about the cloud? Have no fear, CloudU is here. Whether you are simply searching for more information about cloud computing, or are looking to boost your resume with a formal certificate, Rackspace Cloud University, known as CloudU, is for you. CloudU is a vendor-neutral cloud computing curriculum designed by industry analyst Ben Kepes. It’s also completely free.

The extensive CloudU library and certificate program contain all that you need to learn how to take advantage of the biggest technology innovation since the Internet.     Boost Your Resume. Gain New Skills. Enroll in CloudU Today.

“CloudU is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to learn about Cloud Computing. As an instructor of information technology, the certificate provides a great learning tool for the planning, deployment and logistics behind cloud computing.”    ~ Ben Kepes

What makes TCAT Shelbyville’s IT program different?

Path

 

Exams include Windows 70-680/70-687, Windows Server 2012 70-411/70-640.  The MTA (Microsoft Technical Associate is associated with other certifications in the same curriculum.

The Information Technology program at TCAT Shelbyville offers one of the best programs in the nation for IT professionals.  The amount of resources and curriculum that cover all major operating systems (Linux, Apple and Windows) is delivered by certified and industry leading experts.  With this curriculum, and the round robin method of teaching,  junior students work with senior students and instructors.  A major advantage students have are resources that are available 24/7/365.

Students spend 30 hours each week in lecture, labs and real world hands on for approximately 15 months.  Winning national awards and recognition, the program offers one of the best learning environments in the industry and continues  with a placement rate of over 90% and a retention rate of 96%.

Resources

Students can earn up to 10 certifications along with multiple diplomas and certificates.

For more information -
Visit the CIT program at http://www.tcatshelbyville.edu/full-time-programs/computer-information-technology

Note:  The Tennessee College of Applied Technology – Shelbyville is an accredited institution.  

Technology Centers Becoming Colleges of Applied Technology; Recognized for Workforce Education

Full release from the Tennessee Board of Regents can be read here.

Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology Logo

“NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 28, 2013) — The state’s workforce training schools known as Tennessee Technology Centers are being renamed Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology as of July 1.

The name change more accurately reflects the post-secondary training provided at the 27 campuses and many satellite locations across the state. The Tennessee Technology Centers have always been higher education institutions, offering post-secondary programs for workforce preparation. But the previous “center” title was often misunderstood.”

______

“Our colleges work closely with their surrounding communities to develop programs that support the workforce needs of their industries,” said James King, TBR vice chancellor for the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology. “They play a major role in the workforce development from Memphis to Elizabethton, providing training in industrial, allied health, business and personal service programs for more than 30,000 students every year.”

“Our 84 percent placement rate soars above the national average,” said King.

That success has been noticed by national organizations and higher education leaders around the world. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, Chronicle of Higher Education and other education and media services have all profiled the institutions’ achievements in providing professional and skills training that meets student needs and business and industry demands.

The name change was made possible through legislation introduced by Representative Harry Brooks and Senator Jim Tracy and signed into law by Governor Bill Haslam.

A Geography game using Google Street View – Geogessr

Think you really know Geography?  Geoguessr is an online game that uses Google’s Street View.   With a small map in the corner of Google’s Street View, you pin where you think the Street View scene is.   You then submit your guess and the distance from the real location is measured.     It’s an excellent way to travel and view the world.

G1 G2 First Guess

Give it a shot.  I just couldn’t bring myself to show one of the answers.  Visit GeoGuessr.

Hints

  • License plates
  • Signs?
  • Traffic on Left or Right lane?
  • Look at vehicles
  • Flags?
  • Mountain ranges?
  • Trees?  Bushes
  • Coastal?  Think of waterways, look at ships
  • Winds? Look at the trees.
  • Buildings (look at roofs)
  • How are people dressed?

Highest score so far 9800 points….

You have to be versatile in Information Technology

Back in 2007 we published an article on ‘The Challenge of Teaching Information Technology‘.  Recently we were also asked to write and article for TricomTS’s blog The Right fIT (Their Corporate Website is here) on Educating Tomorrow’s IT Professional Today.

So why do I write these articles?  Because Information Technology is growing.   Boot camps are only or should be only for seasoned IT Professionals.  It takes time.  With technology growing, to educate a student and to transfer the amount of information from every resource available – it is not only challenging for the instructor, it is a challenge even to the best students.   IT Professionals cannot take four years to start a career, technology will change so much within a year and the curriculum (accredited) has to be dynamic and change as technology changes.  IT personnel wanting to move up the corporate ladder should go to college later in order to advance.   Many IT pros are specialized career field but a majority of them have to be versatile and their skills have to be diversified.

And with a global economy, IT Professionals have to be lean and they have to learn quicker than ever.

We recently were interviewed by ComputerWorld and provided our look at how the economy and how a global economy changes the way IT thinks, works and reacts to this.  So truly we offer all of this advice to those who want to become an IT professional.  Be ready for change…everyday.  In today’s world, employers do expect a lot out of young IT personnel.  Remember it is the best career in the world to those who have a heart and passion for the industry.

The article from ComputerWorld was picked up by several other magazines and webpages.
CIO Magazine
NetworkWorld Magazine(ARRA)
NetworkWorld Magazine(Leaner Lifestyle)
LinuxWorld Magazine

Information Technology isn’t baking a pie, it’s running a whole bakery.

One of my students who is an IT Manager for a government entity said young IT personnel (including herself when she was new in the industry) often think that information technology is as simple as baking a pie, when in reality they find they are running a whole bakery.

She found out she wasn’t just fixing computers, she was fixing networks, managing domains, working with dozens of proprietary software packages, managing access points, working with security, web pages, portable devices (laptops, netbooks, ipads) and a ton of other tasks.

Information Technology is a skill that takes years to learn.