Showing posts from August, 2014

Apparently I can write click bait ...

When it comes to writing, I feel that the art is always under development, review and refinement. One day I may even string together a coherent sentence. However, I do write; creating considerable quantities of words in print over the last 12 years.

Each time I embark on a new writing project, I find that it becomes another journey of discovery. Now, I am impressed that according to one random tweeter, I write click bait.

After putting together an article based on verified fact, they felt that they disagreed with the article because ... to them it read like click bait.

Ho hum, off to write some more click bait me thinks.

Google must make Android safer – our data is at risk ...

By Andrew Smith, The Open University

Over the past few months, the Android platform developed by Google and based on the Linux operating system has been having a difficult time. Hackers, with malicious intent and those without, have been investing time in finding out how weak this operating system is.

Android runs on more than four out of five mobile devices. It is popular because it is free and its terms do not dictate to device manufacturers what hardware it must be used on.

The hacking seen so far is partly a result of this popularity. But there also seem to be inherent problems, which experts and hackers have discovered don’t exist on other mobile platforms.
What are the issues? Android is getting the most attention from malware creators, because it has more than 40,000 different malware compromises. This is worrying especially as the same systems for Windows and Apple phones seem to have only handful such issues (on non-jailbroken devices).

In June concerns arose about an SMS wo…

Excellent Cisco VoIP call stealing lab ...

My friend and sometimes co-conspirator, Kevin Large created this excellent video. Based on a CompTIA security themed roadshow demonstration we completed this summer.

This can be completed in any Cisco Lab, the phone used can be found on eBay at a low cost and the rest of the kit is seen in any standard Cisco CCNA class set.

Do use, please do share, please contact Kevin if you are interested in more.

Is your USB stick the enemy? ...

By Andrew Smith, The Open University

Computer users everywhere are looking at the USB stick sat next to their computer this week with trepidation. Many are now wondering if this trusted friend has turned against them now that cybersecurity experts say they’ve found a massive flaw in the very make up of these devices. It seems the humble USB drive can easily be used to compromise basic security principles in your machine.
The issue is considered so serious that a statement has been issued by the USB working party, the body that regulates this technology standard.

The group admits that there are security flaws in USBs but says that manufacturers should build in existing standards to protect consumers. This would mean that your average USB stick would be more expensive but more secure. In the meantime, you might want to take a second look at the stick on your desk.
Sticky problem USB storage devices are still a staple tool for many of us. They are great for keeping a copy of your data, …

Edging towards a quarter of million hits with @ConversationUK ...

One of the many things I like about the work I do, is the discovery of new experiences and the opportunity to get out there some of my thoughts as well as experiences.

Since the 24th of March, I have enjoyed over 249,000 hits and slowly creeping towards the quarter million mark. Which a current article should accomplish in the next 24 hours. 
This means that over a estimated period of 140 days, I have averaged 1786 hits a day. The reality is that some days I have had a trickle of maybe 10-50 hits. But some exceptional days have seen 1000's of hits when a new article becomes its own zeitgeist.
I have noticed that articles have been republished in the USA, Australia, UK, South Africa and New Zealand. Where the Washington Post, New Statesman, Mashable and Lifehacker amongst others have used the syndication services of The Conversation.
In some respects it has helped me develop my writing style and I have already incorporated some of the work I have done into some assessment for our …

What is good parenting ...

Good parenting is one of those myths that everyone strives for but seldom understand what it actually means. Having dragged up two of our own and fostered many others my view is that often our children do a better job of teaching us how to be parents than we can in showing them the ways of life.

Nevertheless ... over the last two weeks I witnessed three examples of excellent parenting that as a father of two 'legal' adults has made me stop and think.
Parent 1 ... a great father who insisted that they could not be on team unless their 16 year old son assisted him. Rather than a domineering approach I saw a well balanced team of two working together with Dad in the lead but Son a very respectable equal in this relationship.
Parents 2 ... a great Mum Dad combo, who at every stage spoke words of encouragement and equally kind discipline over their two under five lads. Potty training for the youngest was probably the most positive experience, where on each successful 'contributi…

Many of the greatest are not seen at the front ...

I have little time for vanity and ego ... happy to seem the fool to those who cannot see beyond their own predisposition.

Many of the greatest in my opinion are never seen at the front. Seldom in the limelight and often holding the fort. Many of the greatest are those that get it done, see the need and can do the deed without being self infatuated in the process.

Over the last two weeks we have had the privilege of getting to know some of these souls the real thinkers and the actual do'ers. Rather than souls in it to be seen to be seen. Instead those having a heart for the those in need and intent on carrying out.

Take it from a reformed pirate – it’s just not worth it ...

By Andrew Smith, The Open University
as an aside, it has been very interesting where this article has been republished ... Having been a child of the home computer boom of the early 1980s and then worked with computers for many years, I can’t help but sigh every time a new campaign to reduce piracy comes into effect.
It’s the same now that the UK government’s new rules on piracy are coming into force – human nature will always win.

Internet users in the UK will now be sent warning letters if they have been accessing illegal material, such as copyrighted films or music. But crucially, if they choose to carry on downloading, there is nothing the government can do about it.

But even if you aren’t worried about legal repercussions, piracy is a mug’s game.
Teen on the take As a somewhat spotty teen, I was an avid computer enthusiast. I learnt to program many different dialects of BASIC before I was 16. But it must be said, while programming was fun, playing games was equally (if not more) …