Hacking Cars?

July 23, 2015

Technology is improving at an unprecedented pace. It is something that is growing so rapidly that the security of this new technology is always something of my concern. I have had many people ask me about getting a remote security system put into their house so that they could see what was happening at home. You know what I told all of them? Do not do it. Why is this you ask? Well, the security of this technology is not in place to where it is actually worth doing. One day things could be all fine and dandy, but the next, you have robbers in your house stealing all of your stuff, as they were able to remotely connect to your security cameras in your house. Does that make you an easier target? Heck yeah it does, and my answer to the newer vehicles with all of the new technology is the exact same: be careful, and if possible, limit the amount of new technology that is in your vehicle.

Why would you do this? Well, your car can get hacked. In case you haven’t seen on the news, Wired wrote an article about an experiment that they conducted to remotely take control of a Jeep Cherokee (link to the article is here). What does this mean? They were able to play around with not only the windshield wipers, audio, and display, but they were also able to control much more critical components, like the brakes and engine!

That’s right, they could hack your car and shut your car down. It’s like a real life episode of bait car, but you weren’t stealing anything! Pretty scary to think about, isn’t it?

Thankfully, they have presented their findings to the car makers as well as are going to formally present their findings at the Black Hat security conference next month, so there are steps being taken to fix this. Let’s just hope that they take the full step to either completely fix these problems or remove that vulnerable technology all-together.

What are your thoughts on this car hack experiment? What about having a wireless security system?

That’s all for now, until next time…keep that tech gear ticking.


Mafia Games Monday (MGM) – Time Management

July 13, 2015

“The problem with procrastination is it’s been around since the beginning of time it seems.” This quote is by Stephen Richards, the author of Overcoming Procrastination (a great read by the way). For as long as I can remember, people have been procrastinating. I know I’m pretty young, but I’m sure anybody older than me can test to this as well. It’s just a part of society, and personally, I just think it is getting worse the more advanced technology we get. If I saw a chart demonstrating the year and the procrastination, I fee like I would see something like this:

rising chart

I know some of you are going to say: “But I don’t procrastinate, what does this post have to do with me?” Well, first off, really? You don’t procrastinate at all with anything? I’m sure at the very least, you procrastinated at least once in your life. If by some miracle you truly did not procrastinate once in your life, then congratulations, you have dodged the inevitable for now. That day will come though. Do I have to do that chart comparison again?

Anyways, the point is, most of us have procrastinated at least once in our lives and are going to procrastinate again. But what can we do to at least make sure we get done what we need to without rushing around? Because, as noted in my previous posts regarding this topic (and personal experience), most things that you complete by rushing to finish does not turn out too well.

There are many things that you can do to make sure you can get done what you need to; however, one thing is not necessarily better than another. It can truly depend upon your behavior, personal preferences, as well as just who you are as a person.

What do you do in order to manage your time wisely?

That’s all for now, until next time…keep that tech gear ticking.


PS: For those of you interested, you can get Overcoming Procrastination here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13190179-overcoming-procrastination

Technical Difficulties!

July 9, 2015

I’m sure you have heard this phrase before either on the news or on the radio: “We are currently experiencing technical difficulties, please stand by.” Well, have you ever heard of such an experience for say, the New York Stock Exchange?

That’s right, this happened yesterday, July 7th, at the New York Stock Exchange. This message was not this exactly, but they said the following: “We’re currently experiencing a technical issue that we’re working to resolve as quickly as possible.” This technical issue actually halted the New York Stock Exchange from doing any sort of trades for four hours. Four hours doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but as an IT person myself, I can tell you that four hours is quite a long time to have something so large unavailable.

On top of this, on the same day, United Airlines grounded all of their flights for more than an hour from quote: “a network connectivity issue”. What a day, right? I’m sure those IT people were scrambling to bring those systems back online!

people running

Is that it for yesterday? No…because Wall Street Journal’s website went down too for a short time. Those are just a few fairly large corporations or entities that had some “down time” yesterday. Pretty crazy, right?

With all of this talk about all of these technical difficulties, why do these “technical difficulties” keep showing up? Is it a lack of management? An aging computer infrastructure?

Well, to be honest, I don’t really know the answer; however, maybe one of you has a much better answer than I do here.

What do you think can be done to avoid all of these “technical difficulties” that seem to keep popping up?

That’s all for now, until next time…keep that tech gear ticking.


What is Code?

July 2, 2015

You here me talk about technology all the time on this blog, but I also like to talk about code. I am a {developer/programmer/whatever else you want to call me} and I talk programming languages like they are actual spoken languages such as English, Spanish, French, etc. What am I talking about? What is code exactly?

First things first, how does a computer work “behind the scenes”? Well, to keep time, the computer uses a measurement called a “tick”, which is the length of time it takes to complete a basic instruction, whether that is pressing a key, getting a number, operating on two numbers previously gathered, or something like that. So when you see a number like “3GHz”, that means that 3 billion instructions can be done per second. So, when you hear about routers and other hardware mentioning MHz or GHz, that is exactly what it is referring to. Pretty neat, isn’t it?

Anyways, so basically, a computer completes an instruction for each “tick”, but what does that have to do with code?

Well, the hardware exists, but without software, the hardware itself is useless. CollegeHumor created a video to demonstrate this. I understand that it is also mocking Apple (a hardware and software company), but that defers from the main point of the hardware being useless without software. The video is below:


See what I mean? It may look very pretty, but without software, it cannot do anything. Now, bring that knowledge into the tech world that we live in today, and what do you see?

computers everywhere

Exactly. They are everywhere today! We programmers know that we do have some pull on the world, but that’s besides the point. 😉

So, back to the original question: what is code? You haven’t ever written code before, right?

Well, you can look no further to get an idea of how integrated code is into our society than Excel. When you are creating/writing formulas on that spreadsheet, you are essentially writing code! That’s the basics, really. So, no longer can you say “I’ve never written code.”! It has been removed from your vocabulary.

With code comes compilers (to transform code into something the computer can interpret), algorithms (solving various problems), and many other aspects that will be talked about in a later blog post. Stay tuned!

So, with this brief introduction, what do you think about code?

That’s all for now, until next time…keep that tech gear ticking.


PS: Credit for this discussion goes to the following article: http://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2015-paul-ford-what-is-code/. Feel free to check it out for a more in-depth discussion!