Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Not even the Military can protect its own info. Great.

As of 2 weeks ago it has become apparent that the U.S. drone fleet’s security system has been compromised. It has not been an issue of controlling or operating the drones themselves but the information reported from and too the drone may have been given too outside sources. The security breach seems to come in the way of a key logger. A typical petty virus that affections hundreds of thousand of computers, but yet can be devastating, as it copies down all movements and strokes made by the infected piece of equipment and returns it to an outside source.

The U.S. government has yet too confirm or deny that classified information has been compromised or even leaked because they alone cant figure out whether or not the systems are indeed infected by a key logger nor if it is returning signals. Too most this can seem quite pathetic, even disturbing that our own military has such little control on such powerful war equipment. But too me this doesn’t surprise me.

Information of that nature and caliber is worth a lot too the right people and with the whole idea that you can only play the defensive its no surprise that things like this are happening. But when you read farther into the articles you learn that information of this stature has been stolen in Iraq by simple programs worth “$26”. Laptops have been discovered with days of drone footage. The systems are obviously vulnerable but what can be done?

I believe that somewhere someone has failed to do there job. If this information cannot be well protected then why collect it? Could it be more of a threat against us if it gets out, than if it weren’t to be collected at all. Could the key logger turn into a virus that causes these things to malfunction possibly taking U.S. lives on our own soil? We should keep in mind though that this is not the only time the U.S. government/military has had these kinds of issues. The Defense Department had thousands of computer infected in 2008. This is still an issue they are trying to clean up.

This can also bring fear to what is close to us. Apple is now launching its ICloud where information can be stored in this “cloud”. Who will be using this? What will it hold? Can this kind of issue start up against the population? A key logger in that sense could be sent to thousands of users and vital and important information could start appearing on the web. The question here is what can be done to prevent information to be leaked. Is there anything?

I do not know and nor have been able to find a solution. Once we put something online it’s no longer ours. It can be stolen; someone else can use it. It may never come off. But too the correct kinds of people it can destroy us. The military’s issue will hopefully be controlled but as time goes on who will win this? Will this continue too happen? Or will there be ways too stay 1 step ahead of those who are trying too stealing this information



Wi-Fi in the sky

With the growing concern for people to be plugged in at all times, a new market has opened up for airlines to provide wireless internet access in their airplanes. The first 2 providers of the 4 competing for airlines business are Row 44, the Wi-Fi provider to Southwest Airlines Co, and Panasonic Avionics Corp, a component of Japan's Panasonic Corp, provide worldwide Wi-Fi via satellite, and, by the end of this year, want to stream news and live sports events to fliers' devices. The third and the market's dark horse is ViaSat Inc, a communications company that plans to make a more potent in-flight Wi-Fi via the newest satellite technology, called Ka band by end of 2012. Airplanes at 30,000 feet are able to offer Wi-Fi, movies and TV shows on travelers' smartphones, tablets and laptops. Five major domestic carriers: Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines and Virgin America jumped at the oppurtunity of Wi-Fi early. These companies choose the fourth provider Gogo. Gogo transmits its connection from cellular towers that are grounded to antennas that can be set up on a plane in half a day. Except the connection is restricted to the U.S. and it doesn't offer live television. Gogo's competition wants to outdo them by providing more features and larger service, but have yet to establish themselves in the US airways.

I think wireless internet on airplanes is a great innovation and good marketing strategy to attract more business to airlines. People today are on their phones, laptops, and tablets all the time needing to stay connected to friends and family or doing the endless amount of work I know college students have first hand. “According to Maressa Orzack, director of the Computer Addiction Study Center at Harvard University’s McLean Hospital, between 5% and 10% of Web surfers suffer some form of Web dependency”(2). This data reinforces even more that people need to be plugged in at all times and some people so much they have become dependent on it. The one thing I am worried about is people talking in the cabins.

For business men and women it will help productivity immensely. "Time on an airplane was either time lost or time found," said Tim Mapes, Delta's vice president of marketing. "This is going to totally change the dynamics of what a business trip is"(3). Delta Chief Executive Richard Anderson Delta’s Chief Executive stated his business surveyed 15 of its biggest corporate customers and asked if they like live television or Internet access on a flight. "Overwhelmingly they wanted to be more productive," Mr. Anderson said (3). People want to stay busy as Americans we are constantly multi-tasking, getting work done, and demand information at all times. I aplaud the airlines for finding away to better the customers experience and increase their revenues through IT.

As a customer or even a drawback for the companies there are a few things to be wary about with the wireless internet in airplanes. You don’t want to be sitting next to someone talking on their phone the whole flight while you are trying to sleep. Texting, emails, and silent communication is more than sufficient. The cabin would be filled with noise and commotion resulting as an annoyance and even possible danger to the plane. Furthermore we are always connected and dependent on the internet and our phones. Airplanes were the last place for people to get away and to detach themselves from the constant work and technology. Do we really want to give up this?


(2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_addiction_disorder

(3) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121788491128311271.html

Apple Prepares for iCloud by Zachary Scott

It was a very sad day when Steve Jobs, the Co-Founder and creator of companies like Apple and Pixar passed away, but that does not mean his companies will die with him. To prevent this, Steve Jobs left his beloved company with several ideas and plans for future Apple inventions. A few of these ideas we could see in the near future are solar powered cell phones, devices that work with the wave of your hand, and the ability to use your Iphone to pay at the grocery store check out counter. Some inventions and ideas that Jobs vetoed are even being reconsidered now that he is gone by Apple’s new CEO, Tim Cook. But the next “big” thing that Apple will soon be releasing is a new version of iTunes that will not only patch over 80 bugs for Windows users, but will install a brand new program called iCloud.

ICloud is a new system that will be able to be downloaded with the next major Itunes update. Essentially, what iCloud does is allows Itunes users to save their music, movies, television shows that people have purchased on an internet data base that can be accessed from any computer. The best part about this upgrade is that anyone will be able to log into their personal Itunes account from anywhere. They will be able to see all of their media files and update their iPods and iPhones on the spot on any computer. Another great feature of iCloud is that if someone purchases a song on their iPhone, their iTunes will automatically be updated via iCloud. The best part about this new aspect of iTunes is that it is 100% free! Everyone will be able to download this new program and easily access it from any computer. Yes, Apple previously failed to do this with their program MobileMe in 2008, but iCloud is new and improved.

This technology is going to revolutionize the way the internet, and computers in general, work. I truly believe that all information that everyone has on their personal computer hard drives will eventually be put onto a massive internet data base. This would mean that anyone will be able to access their documents, videos, pictures, and all other personal information from any computer in the entire world. If this technology takes off and becomes popular, it will also change the way computers are constructed. There will no longer be a need for huge hard drives or external hard drives to back up important information. Computer software would also change because it would have to have the capibility to save files and documents to the cloud. There will also be no more need for flash drives because they could easily just log into their cloud account and pull up everything that they would normally have on their hard drive. Everything will be accessible on everyone’s personalized accounts in this internet “cloud” in the sky. Every single person will have their own accessible account that stores all of their own personal information and data.



Touch Screens

In today’s day and age the general public is highly reliant on technology. This dependency is not only because of the luxury aspect but also because of the efficiency of certain applications. Having applications that lessen the work load of individuals is a recent trend that has inspired everyone in the United States to do less and still accomplish the same. A technology that is growing at the same rate of popularity as innovativeness is touch screens. The ability to substitute numerical commands with a flick of a wrist and a tap of the finger has allowed the general public as well as many corporations to benefit greatly.

An example of how touch screens have increased the efficiency of individuals is though touch screens on the most common electronic device, cell phones. In fact it was Samsung’s very own Omnia II device that set the New Guinness World Record for Fastest Texting Ever by five seconds. In a mere 35.54 seconds Franklin Page wrote a whole paragraph on the razor-tooth piranhas. In accomplishing this Samsung as well as the newly developed technology of the touch screen are making a statement that pressing a button and entering commands is a thing of the past. Now users of touch screen phones such as the Omnia II and the iPhone can send texts and emails much more quick and efficient than before, enabling them to get into contact with more people in less time.

Now large corporations are using touch screen friendly applications so that people can accomplish tasks with fewer problems so that things can run more smoothly. From how we order food to how we travel, touch screens are slowly impacting our lives in greater ways than we can imagine. Now even getting a boarding pass for a flight require a person to use an interactive touch screen to scan one’s passport and get them to their proper terminal. This in itself eliminates the need for such a large amount of travel agents to help people find out where they need to go. Companies profit from this because they need less workers, there are less complaints, and that the customers are more satisfied because of the increased efficiency.

A huge reason why touch screen interfaces and interactions benefit the public is because it decreases room for error. An example of this is in ATM machines. The new “highly rugged, waterproof, scratch-resistant, and dust-proof” (Touch-Screen ATM) that have been installed into ATM machines require people to touch the option in which they want to select. Rather than reading fine print and hitting small buttons, the option itself is clickable allowing people to deposit and withdraw money at greater speeds.

Despite the large amount of benefits there are negatives to the reliance on touch screen applications. As touch screens are becoming more popular, skill sets such as typing on a keyboard and entering numerical commands to perform functions are becoming obsolete. This means that even though touch screens increase efficiency and make life easier it is still taking away from people’s intelligence to accomplish matters on their own. Being a huge topic of debate these days, these increased technologies may help us in the short-term but who knows what people will be able to do for themselves with all these new luxuries.

Works Cited
Hannaford, Kat. "Samsung Sets New Guinness World Record For Fastest Texting Ever, In A Commercial." Gizmodo, the Gadget Guide. Web. 11 Oct. 2011. .
Joseph, Chris. "Benefits of Touch Screen Technology EHow.com." EHow How to Videos, Articles & More - Discover the Expert in You. EHow.com. Web. 11 Oct. 2011. .
"Touch Screen Kiosks: Touch Screen Solutions for Airports Touch4." Touch Screen Kiosks with Advanced Touch Screen Software Touch4. Web. 11 Oct. 2011. .
Touchscreen ATM - Touch Screen ATM. Web. 11 Oct. 2011. .