Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry christmas

Wishing you a merry Christmas and a prosperous new you!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Data and Bot-nets for sale cash in

There are many Bot-nets that are causing problems on Internet such as Kneber, Rustock and Koobface, Zues Trojan: these bots and infected systems send out spam and malware  compromising mail servers and web sites.  Cyber criminals use these tools / programs to make money spreading infectious programs as fast as possible to many victims.  Once enough system are infected and controlled, these systems are actually rented out for $9 - $65 per hour.

Kneber: has infected 75,000 systems around the world. This malware is used to steal passwords from Facebook, Yahoo, and other sites. The key piece of data being collected is log in credentials to online financial systems, social networking sites, and email systems.

Based on a security study, over a week period of time, 68,000 credentials were stolen from Facebook and Yahoo among others. Many times surveillance is conducted on victims to determine crimes committed.

Here is a listing of money making scams:

1. Bank scam – looking for users to provide bank account number to claim lost funds (Nigerian royalty, China, etc)

2. Stranded SOS message -- family member email address used to request money be sent via Western Union

3. Cyber Attack threat “DOS attack” threat to force you out of business bring down all communication, pay demand

4. Steal game assets online gambling attack while stealing credentials and assets

5. Fake Anti-virus software – pop up requesting users to buy A-V making crooks 160 million per year

6. Fake Pharmaceuticals – user buys drugs which are fake 3.5 million per year

7. Credit card theft user receives fake link as for credit card information, credit card number is used or sold

8. Bank Zeus Trojan clicking on malware link infect browser Trojan captures log in credentials and steal small amounts of money

Even though the scams are old, they still cause many problems on networks and over the Internet. Check my solution to these problems to come!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ipad and the digital life

I win an iPad at the Celtics exective offices and I feel like won the NBA Title!

The end result is that I am looking at applications on all three major platforms, Blackberry, Android, and iPad.

Currently the toy of choice is the iPad:
I have been researching and testing the best free applications for the iPad.

The first application I have tested is:

  1. Dragon Dictation from Nuance --  the application records speech and converts in to a word document.
    I have a iPad application that you uses to convert speech into text, Dragon dictation. I'm speaking in to the iPad and it is supposed to be writing down what I'm saying is. Trying to determine if the dictation software will actually save time eliminating typing the words. I just learned that the accuracy of the software improves if you speak directly in to the microphone or use a iPad head set. Seems to be a pretty cool application.
  2. I am still working to incorporate video and sound into my blog so stay tuned!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fall Colors -- Ivory Towers

As falls color burst and the weather cools, it time to reflect on aspirations and levity. The hard work in the spring and summer bear  fruit to a successful fall season.

The successful marketing plan, web development project, delivers new customers.  The well coordinated campaign brings victory at the polls. The new security protocol saves lives. Fund raising and volunteer work delivers a cure and ends suffering.

Some where in our hectic, busy lives, we find time to reconnect with a friend. Before the snow falls, we turn a leaf, renew the journey. The epic journey to the mountain top, ivory tower, in search of pristine condition. Enjoy the season and reflection.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mobile development

As mobile devices become increasingly popular, opportunities to develope applications has increased.

Looking at developing applications to increase productivity!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.0

Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.0

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Programming and Development

The programming field has been in a state of fluctuation over the last few years due to out sourcing. Many companies have out sourced their programming functions to countries where the cost of labor is significantly cheaper than in the USA.

There still is plenty of programming jobs here in the USA related to mobile technology and social media design. So what are the hot programming skills in demand now?

The building blocks of  a good programmer starts which basic knowledge on C# and .net language.  A very good way to program is using design patterns. A design pattern allows you to reuse a solution to common problems.  The design template  can be used to solve many different complex problems which reduces the amount of programming work involved.

Developing good programming skills can be a valuable skill.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Motorola Droid X Android review

The Motorola Droid X and the Android platform is a very nice package. I have had my Droid X for about a month and it is an excellent phone. The high definition resolution of the screen is amazing. The typical things you do on a computer I can now do on my phone, such as: browsing the web, reading email, video, updating Face book.

The second great feature is the Social Networking that ties together all  service: Face book, Twitter, My space  all into one screen where I can instantly stay up to date with business, family, and friends. An added feature  is social networking friends are added to your contact list automatically. Hopefully, this will result in new business.

The smart phone essentials such as email and text messaging appear as shortcuts on one of 5 customizable home touch screens which makes navigation a breeze and feels like a iPhone. You end up saying to yourself, wow, that is cool.

One of the touch home screens is automatically set up to pull in RSS news feeds which keeps me up to date on the latest economic and business news. This is great for causal reading and to follow developing stories. If you want more information, the feed links out to the published article.  This is another nice feature.

The latest thing that is useful is the built in GPS  that I have car mounted with Blue tooth technology.  This included Google maps, latest traffic conditions, voice navigation which comes in pretty handy during the daily compute.

The down side is battery life. If you are going to be away from your charger for a full day, (amusement park, beach) you will have to manage your battery life. Since smart phones run applications automatically, you have to manually turn off application that are not needed. This conserves battery and takes a little bit of practice on how to do.

One word of cautions is, when installing free application from Android market place, read user reviews, to ensure you are getting good software. I can say this is the most complete smart phone I have had up to date.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Economic Conditions

The economy has been mostly up and down for most of 2010. In the first quarter the economy started to pick up. The private sector and the government were hiring for census and the economic stimulus program.

The housing market has started to show signs of recovering and the stock market was growing again. In the last two months growth has leveled off and we lost more jobs than were created.  The major problem is, many people are unemployed and it is still very difficult to get a new job.

Even though the latest economic news has not been great, we seem to headed in the right direction. I have found it very interesting that many American companies who have moved their operations to China, are moving back the the United Stated due to cost increases.  The cost of labor in China is no longer cheaper than in the U.S.A, (in some cases) and the cost to shipped product has dramatically increased overseas.

I anticipate many qualified U.S. workers will begin to get good well-paying jobs in the fall.  I will be designing a new talent web site to help get unemployed U.S. workers good jobs. Be sure to check back in the next week or so!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Smart Phone replaces lap tops

As Smart Phones become more technologically advanced and new applications are developed; having critical data available for business users is a must. Smart phones are now integrated in to the information technology infrastructure.

Today’s savvy worker has the flexibility to work in the office, on the road, and at home. Today’s smart phones allow you to stay in touch anywhere in the world.

As social media has increased in popularity for personal and business use, most mobile devices have application that allows you to update your status from your phone. As business use increases, having access to Facebook, Twitter, and possibly Linkedin becomes more important.

As the smart phones increase in speed and functionality, mobile users will use their lap tops and PC less often. I will be testing and reviewing the Droid-X compared to Blackberry smart phones.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Video Surveillance and security uses

The use of video has evolved so we can capture every aspect of life. We use video cameras on our phones to capture sporting events, special occasions, and to remember loves.

Video capture devices have advanced where we can capture a person face in minimal lighting and a licence plate on a get away car.  For many business is has become very beneficial to keep an accurate video library for many purposes.

As the use of Video Surveillance and security has grown the need for storage and capacity has doubled.  Most of the high end storage system are now clustered and include fail over in case of disk failure. Video storage is very write intensive to the disks. The use of share  Internet protocol storage is essential to reduce over all operation cost.

All types of video are common place in every day life. I hope the use of video improves the quality of life.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Socail Media search -- develop leads

As social web sites gain popularity, many businesses, recruiters and professionals are using tools on these web sites to connect. Down loading applications to your PDA has become a must for the savy technology users to always stay connected. Getting instant updates on your PC and PDA can keep you in the loop and get you hired.

Developing strong on line relationships and getting postive reviews and recommendations can prove you have stong business and technical skills. As the use of socail media as evolved, to this end; the average user is now spending more time on socail web sites than reading email which can significantly open leads and potentials.

A developing trend is to use Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin to promote business, get leads, and advance your career. Tying together, social media sites, blogs, web site presence, and public relations can go along way to enhancing your overall success.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Social Network and Media

As social networks have taken off, many people have profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin and countless others. Most professionals uses these sites to improved and increase business contracts.

Many recruiters and business routinely search these online profiles to see more information about applicants. People should make an effort to make their profiles look professional and show off talents.

Managing and mining social media has become an important part of business public relations. Social media can really improve prospects both professionally and socially if managed well.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Learning to win and be successful

Learning to win and being a success takes effort, dedication, and will power to master a skill. Winning and being successful needs to be defined in such a way that the end result makes you happy.

The most effective way to learn how to win is being mentally tough. You must come to the realization that every emotion, motion, and act contributes to a positive outcome. Winning is really an end result of being able to perform your best when it counts the most.  Preparing yourself to give the best performance regardless of outcome prepares you mentally to win.

Winning does not guarantee happiness, so defining success can provide some inner peace. Reaching for a goal and enjoying the journey there gives us a chance for fulfillment.

Strength and success is a true inner belief  and a positive attitude. Learning to win and being success is a journey, brick by brick, down the golden road. Let enjoy the journey!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Getting Real reflection

Interesting enough I see  a reflection of an image that portrays an aspiring model who still needs to get cut and lean and mean. As we look at the image we see in the mirror, are we truly real in the evaluation of inner and physical beauty?

For years striving to achieve a six pack of abs but always only achieving a three pack. If achieving a three pack is reality, does accepting this image define getting real.

Achieving physical beauty is only part of the mix, but being comfortable with who you are is equally important. When you look in the mirror or walk down the beach, it nice to be happy with your image.  Hopefully, insanity work out will lead to the six pack abs I been looking for. Enjoy your summer and have yourself a day at the beach! Here is to a great look!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Guidance and Responsibility

The world is despertate for guidance and for individuals to take responsibility for their actions. Through out the world there are so many companies, organizations, and groups that are seriously lacking proper guidance and therefor, individuals taking responsiblity for their actions.

BP and their CEO have not take responsiblity for the worst oil spill in U.S. history and they have to pay dearly.  Us as consumers must take repsonbility and never purchase purchase products from companies that do not act responsible.  In some sense, the US work force and consumers must fight to keep and bring jobs into the US.

As more individuals fail to take repsonbility, more over  all corruption occurs. The US as a country and inviduals in particular must get back to doing the right thing.  Fight for a better tomorrow and a bright future.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Oil Spill -- A technological failure of epic proportion

The oil spill off the Coast of Louisiana is natural disaster that is a result of many technological failures by British Petroleum in general and by the company that owned the rig.

The primary cause of the oil spill disaster is the British Petroleum   management pushed to continue to make huge profits in the tune of millions per day over implementing and testing safety and security measures to protect the environment and it's employees.

There is an alarming number of industries (banking for example) that have been allowed to focus only on profits, the results  have been catastrophic for consumers; and this trend will continue until consumers vote with their dollars. I believe management can balance making profits while providing safety and protection for the environment.

After reviewing British Petroleum summary of what caused the disaster, it is clear that safety was secondary and Government over site and enforcement was lacking at best. The overall set up of the oil rig (which is true across the oil industry) lacks the automatic kill to the oil well that is used in most countries in Europe. This whole incident high lights how far behind the world the US is in regards to developing and managing energy.

The main issue related to the oil disaster is mechanism called the blow out preventer. The oil ring owner and
British Petroleum knew there was a problem with this device, that was never addressed.  The systems used to measure and test oil pressure to prevent an explosion failed along with emergency disconnect system. The failure of all these systems is not coincidence, but systemic. Obviously the government decision to provide waivers on this project is tragic.

British Petroleum, US government, and the American people have a huge price to pay for such a deep failure. I hope the oil industry specifically cleans itself up and we, the American consumer demand more from companies we deal with. Hopefully, the tide will turn in the right direction.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hitting a Grand Slam

Every new spring brings the search for the picture perfect swing that knocks the ball out of the park. Every year baseball has been a big part of my life from coaching little league, softball, babe Ruth, to umpiring.  There always seems to be the search for the ideal symbol of  achievement.

The current search for beauty is having the prettiest landscape, beautiful gardens, a perfect lawn, a crystal clear pool, all ending with a grand sunset.  Often when solitude and peace are achieved, we are grateful.

As I ponder technology advances, new systems to implement, gaining a business advantage,  you realize: the most important technology is the one that brings us together. When it all come together and you hit the ball out of the park,  just enjoy the moment as the ball sails into the sunset!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Social media Super Star

Social Media has given us the ability to develop in to social networking super stars. Social sites such as Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter has given us the ability to share knowledge, wisdom, and expertise with co-workers, friends, and family.

Many savy consumers are now using social media outlets to discuss experience with products and support operations. Product and operations can gain both postive and negative press via social media.  Managing social media and public relations has become and increasingly important skill.

Having a popular blog, web site, or social following can improve all important business prospects. Developing and managing a social media strategy is a must for business success!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Economic Turn around -- how good depends

As the economy starts to turn around, how good will the recovery be?  Most large companies will see the most gains in customers and revenue.  Many CIO's at large companies will see their budgets increase in the next  6 months and hiring will increase. Executives at large companies are confident that business will improve dramatically.

Along with increase budgets companies are spending money on upgrading network and server platforms especially in relation to virtualization. At smaller companies, budgets are increasing but at a slower pace. Typically  50% of small business plan on spending on information technology projects and hiring will increase at  a slower rate than their large counter parts.

As economic condition improve, depending on your sector, positioning yourself to take advantage of increase budgets and new projects can help improve your upward mobility.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Google -- America's best company

Google search and documents has revolutionized the internet. Most people use Google search to find any thing and every thing on the internet. The search engine has lead to greater profits and higher stock prices for Google. Has innovation made Google America's best company?

In many ways Google business approach is less is more has been very effective. The Google home page is very simple and loads fast, prompting users to make Google their default home page. This switch helped introduce iGoogle personalized home page and eventually Gmail. Gmail itself became a game changer because user received 1GB mailbox t no additional change and the competition has to follow suit

Google innovation has continued to lead the way with Google Apps such as: Google talk,  Adsense,  Wave, Earth, Android, and Google 411 which has evolved into the Google cloud. Google is betting a higher number of users will do business and work in the Google cloud as oppose to on their own desk top.

As more businesses move toward a collaboration platform, Google is updating Docs to be a all-in one cloud based collaboration.  Google Docs is being designed to take Microsoft office documents and convert them into Google Docs with out losing Office formatting. Supposedly, two or more people can be editing various documents with very little delay time, enhancing real time collaboration

Google Apps have proven to be stable enough for business to move their entire email systems to Google's enterprise email solution. Google email is $50 per user a year, and Docs are included.  Google Apps included email, word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation suite.

Innovation and good applications and services has made Google a success. I am currently testing Google suite of applications and will review.

Monday, April 5, 2010

How good is the IPad, really cool or just hype?

The IPad is a pretty cool device for causal browsing, responding to emails, watching Videos, but very limited if you actually want to get some work done. I would consider buying and IPad for entertainment purposes only.

The things I like about the IPad:

  • Great screen which is high definition  and how thin the device is, "remarkable".
  • Touch screen capability is very similar to the Ipad-Touch which is cool
  • I was concerned about the virtual key board, but it seems to work perfectly
  • Great convience
The things that need to be improved on the IPad:

  • The screen is overly glossy and is difficult to view in sun light and certain lighting situations
  • Lack of storage space of documents
  • Limited USB support.

Overall, nice product and good design.

Friday, April 2, 2010

How good is your credit and is your data safe?

Having good credit along with the gold plated credit card has been a good thing. The gold card gets you privileges and access to  the goods things in life, "I really have arrived"! Assuming your credit is good and has not been affected by the recession, how safe is your credit card # and data?

Based on various large security breaches, such as the infamous Heartland breach, it time to improve credit card security.

To improve the safety of consumer credit card data, Ma has implemented The Massachusetts Data Protection Law which required companies to take additional steps to secure data. These measure help in Ma, but does not solve the problem of credit card theft.

After the Heartland security breach, the House introduced the Data Breach Notification Act. The law requires persons engaged in interstate commerce and in possession of  sensitive data to disclose breach of such information.

What can be done to improve credit card security? Many other countries outside the US have implemented smart card technology. The US government must at some point, mandate credit card companies to implement smart cards. Smart card technology could have helped prevent the Heartland breach, where intruders hacked into systems used to process millions of card transactions affecting 100,000 of merchants. To prevent the data from being compromised, smart cards generate one time response to financial transaction requests from banks, so the data stream is good for one transaction.

Implementing smart cards is a must,  and transferring the liability to credit card issuers from merchants can discourage or prevent fraud. Culpability for fraud  should be determine by the courts thus giving credit card companies the incentive to implement smart cards and chip and pin technologies.

Consumers need to be responsible consumers, keep your computer security up to date, and check for virus / malware on a regular basis. Checking your credit card statements and credit reports is advisable.  Enjoy your well earned privileges, live large.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Virtualization and Storage

My storage
As I go through the process of building my virtualized environment, one of my key considerations is storage. We are leaning towards a terabyte SAN storage device to improve the speed of back ups and virtual machines (VMS) can be moved faster.  The ability to quickly deploy  VMS is the key to quick disaster recovery.

System Management
To ease the management of VMS you should create VMS IDs. The use of VMS IDs  allows for control of mobility from server to server and enforce policies automatically. The management tool for Vmware VMS is hypervisor. Management tools become critical because VMS are moved to different servers and taken off line which makes management tricky.

In addition to managing VMS, you must successfully manage all of your licensing. Licensing has been traditionally been tied to per user or per CPU based pricing, but this model does not work with virtual machines. Many vendors must update their licensing models to account for VMS. VMS builds must be accurately tracked to control additional licensing cost associated with OS instances and applications.

Security in a virtual environment is key as the challenges and stakes are high. Any management tools such as hypervisor must be secured properly to protect VMS that ride below. Additionally all your SAN builds become critical as the house all VMS.

Once you have your virtual environment up and running you can decommission servers that have been replaced with VMS. This ultimately saves on power, cooling, and management costs. If you were ever to decommission a virtual server, you would have to find it; and justify the reasoning.

As Virtualization becomes a reality, the key components that need to be monitored are: application availability, resource utilization and allocation, security, storage, and redundancy.  The journey has began and is well worth it.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Virtualization Planning -- disaster recovery and power

I have been reviewing a Virtualization plan for the last 12 - 18 months and I getting close to implementation. The key goals of the Virtualization plan are: consolidation of servers, disaster recovery, reduced power consumption, and fault tolerance.

Virtualization is attractive because it reduces sprawl. The key component of Virtualization is the deployment of virtual machines. Licensing of software running on each virtual machine must be managed and in compliance.As all o the corporate servers become virtualized, down time and disaster recovery become more efficient and cost effective.

Lines of management of virtual servers can become blurred as far as who CIO, CTO, data center, systems manager takes ownership. It seems to be dependent on who is making the decisions regarding deployment.

My current Virtualization plan is as follows: assessment of current resource utilization patterns, security implications, internal and external service requirements, and business disaster recovery plans.

I am in the process of testing Virtualization and determine which technology to use base on cost effectiveness (VMS or Hyper V). Since VMS is the most mature product and easily deployed, I probably will start on this track. When VMware and virtual machines where first deployed there were basic issues with vendors related to licensing, compliance, reliability and performance. During the testing and deployment phase, each of these aspects must be reviewed and responsibility for virtual machines (VMS) must be determined. In some organizations the responsibility for VMS does not fall under I.T., but business managers or some other non-technical discipline.  I am in the process of deploying a test virtual server in my environment. Stay tuned as I update my progress!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Digital Crime scene forensics and Computer espionage

Computer digital forensics is an emerging field of science to help track and capture cyber criminals. Now that social media sites and the web are a part of our daily life, protecting and securing cyberspace has taken on greater importance.

Computer forensics uses scientific methods to solve questions related to law and computer hacking and possible espionage. Since computer and technology evolves so quickly, it is very difficult for security experts and law enforcement to standarize digital forensic tools and procedures.

All of the computer data and various technologies flow over computer networks which requires network forensics. To improve network security and prevent cyber crime, data and evidence that passes over the network must be analyzed using network forensic tools and procedures.

In the years to come solving computer related crimes will require computer and network forensics and this data will be common component of trail cases. Developing techniques and standards to handle this data is vital to security and fairness of the judicial system.

Network security and cyber crime prevention is tied to collecting and analyzing  network data. This is a difficult task as the data typically resides on internet service providers  servers. In many case you need a sapena  to get access to data.  Many companies are implementing out bound content monitors so they can analyze data that is leaving their network.

In the legal system, the dilemmas revolves around who owns the data, which is  considered evidence.  Creating standards for network forensics and evidence gathering could solve wide ranging legal issues. Currently, security experts and developers are designing software and hardware solutions that will improve overall computer forensic sciences.

Even though a de-facto forensic standard has not been developed, there are some reasonably good  data forensic best practices:
     Best Practice                        Standardization issues

  1. Preservation                       How is the data preserved (media) and by who
  2. Identification                      What tools should be used to identify data (suspicion)
  3. Extraction                          How accurate is the data being extracted (purpose)
  4. Documentation                   How are finding documented and archived (quantity)
  5. Interpretation                    How is the data interpreted and by who (technology)
While researchers and developer create new software solutions, there are no concrete standard to test against. Typically the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) creates standards to test tools used for network forensics, but there has been no clear definition of what forensic tools should do.

As new network forensic tools emerge (commercial and fee) manufacturers and developers should partner with standards organization such as (NIST), to create functional standards for network forensics. Standardized tools and methods will allow researches, security experts, legal professionals to use forensic tools prevent and monitor various security breaches and computer crimes.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Health Care Universally Good or Bad, is the hype real

Health Care is both good and bad depending on who you are speaking to or about. I would tend to think, if you currently have health insurance you feel Universal Health Care is bad because the cost of your insurance will increase. If you do not have health insurance or are having a difficult time paying for health insurance, Universal health care is good. I myself fall into the group of people who are concerned that health cost are going to increase.

Knowing some of the facts of the  plan may allow us to determine how the plan may help us. First, I will review the projected cost. As health care is phased in, a surtax will be assessed against the wealthiest Americans making over $500,000 per year. The surtax will be 5.4% income tax for individuals in this tax bracket.  The surtax will be eventually charged to a greater percentage of the American population.

For many people including the wealthy, any new taxes are bad news.  One solution is to get rid of the surtax and find additional ways to fund health care including a carbon tax. A carbon tax is an environmental tax on emissions of CO2.

There has been confusion on how employee base health care would be managed in relation to health care exchanges.  In economic theory,  both employee based health care and exchanges would compete to get insurance coverage, resulting in greater competition; therefore, lowing cost. It is true that both health care coverages are subsidized (employer / government) currently at the tune of 200 billion per year.

Some of the major issues with the health care bill are related to health exchanges. Health exchanges allow for individuals to pool resources to shop for insurance coverage. The exchanges purpose is to make insurance affordable to individuals and small business including a public plan. The regulations related to exchange plans are very strict and limit individual choice. These restrictions seem to benefit the insurance companies in regards to require the purchase of more expensive plans. There should be a push to allow insurers to cut prices if they can offer a more attractive package.

Some forced coverages can have a negative affect on small and medium size businesses. The health care bill required business with payrolls in excess of $500,000 to purchase health insurance for their workers of face a  $2,000 per worker fine. Since most employees have to purchase their own insurance, in most cases with help form their employer, this fine is very steep.

Regardless of what party you belong to,  the plan is workable and helps more than it hinders people.  All of the hysteria in the media and within the GOP is way blown out of proportion. The health care legislation can be used to strengthen the country and the American people as opposed to destroying the country as some have said.

Even some GOP supporters have said, it time for the republicans to get real and move forward. I feell reasonably comfortable the Health Care bill is good for the country!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Perimeter security -- Pearly Gates

The goal of ultimate security is to keep unathorized or intruders outside of a secured area.  Security experts traditionally has focused on perimeter security such as gates, guards, video, firewalls, to prevent undesireable from getting in.

Since security has become more disperse and threats have changed in nature, the focus has become more than just the perimeter.

In todays environment the threat of a security breach is: equally likely from an external or internal source. Typically an internal breach will occur when some one's credentails or idenity is stolen. Organizations and associated facilities must prepare for unauthorize access with in the preimeter security.

To enforce security measures and protect consumers data, federal cybersecurity and senate Judiciary committee has imposed data security programs.  The new security model has evolved into a data centric security or focusing on the value of data and the potential fall out if the data is compromised.

To increase security, the focus becomes who and what process gets access to critical data. The level of protection correlates to quantified risk of breach. The goal of all orgizations is to properly secure sensative data and minimize risk of potential data breach. I will review various technologies that are being used to protect your data in cyberspace. Stay tuned...............

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Top 25 Technology innovations that have changed our live

11. iPhone / iPod --  The iPhone is considered the catalysis for changing the smartphone market for the better. We can know say we have great mobile devices.
12. Mac OS X -- build on Unix and has raised the bar for innovation in operating systems
13. Multi-core Processors -- The new PC generation is based on multi-core processor for under $1000 comes with tremendous speed and performance. This is a must for next PC purchase.
14. Netbooks -- we finally have a notebook that is small in size, decent capabilities, and low prices. -- loosened up the monopoly and opened up document formatting standard
16. POE -- Power over Ethernet,  ability to power VOIP phones, access points, and appliances with out need for wall outlet power. -- one of the first virtual enterprise customer resource management systems
18. Social Networks "Facebook" has had a profound effect on the way people and businesses connect and communicate.
19. Palm Treo -- for bearer of today's smart phones.
20. Twitter -- changing the way we communicate
21.Red Hat Linux -- stormed business and took hold in the enterprise environment.
22. VMware --  vitualization done in simple terms allowing enterprise class virtula servers running on servers using very little hardware.
23. VOIP Skype, SIP -- Skype allows for cheap voice calls over internet via PC, while SIP signaling allowed for wide spread adoption.
24 Solaris 10 -- leading edge of OS technology including virtualization and 64 bit architecture and  open source strategy.
25 XP --  The desk top operating system of the decade.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Technologies that changed the decade and some live

Every decade new technologies have been developed that improve business and quality of life. Over the last decade there have been some great improvements in technology, here is a list of some:
  1. 3G Broadband -- gives us the ability to access the Internet any where in the U.S. and Europe. Carriers use (UMTS / EVDO) standard which allows smartphone, laptops to get internet access any where.
  2. 802.11G wireless networking protocol allows for the transfer of large files to other systems on the same wireless network. If you are installing a wireless network, make sure it is 802.11G.  802.11G has allowed for the spread of WI-FI to most public venues.
  3. AJAX standard scripts for building web appliation technologies. I need to build AJAX to create attractive and interactive web based graphical user interfaces that do no require plug in or extensions that work with most browsers
  4. Amazon EC2 -- rolling out cloud-computing platform, Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud, business are capable of running their operations on EC2
  5. AMD64 -- AMD builds 64 bit platfrom that has become main stream.
  6. Blackberry -- mobile device build around business, resulting  in the term "Crackberry"
  7. Blade Servers -- rack mount servers consoladating space and cooling.
  8. FireFox -- Mozilla forced browser innovation, resulting in more and better choices
  9. Bluetooth -- wireless innovation allowing us to go hands free.
  10. Google Apps / Gmail  provides features, convience and reliability for many businesses.
Many of us use these technologies in are daily lives to be more productive. Implementing and customizing these technologies can be very benefical for business and their employees.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Digital data and tracking lives

Every one through out the U.S. has a digital I.D. Tracking I.D.s related to law enforcement uses three primary databases FBI's Integrated Automated Fingerprint ID system (IAFIS), the DHS's IDENT fingerprint  database of 90 million foreign nationals. ghather from vista applications, and the Departmment of Defense Automated Biometeric Identification sytem (ABIS) monitoring  foreignation and military combtants.

All of these database are GJXDM compaint to share data, the over all goal is to update all databaseos t support NIEM standard. This would allow for data exchange  outside of law enforcement and allow for next generation of IAFIS and ABIS  to incorporate  facail and iris recongination capabilities.

Database over view:
Department of Justice / FBI /Crimial Justice / Information Service (CJIS)
Inegrated Automated Fingerprint ID system: ID 55 million people, mugs shot and fingerprints (10), terrorist watch list

Next Generation ID system:
IAFIS add palm, face, iris recognition, photo searching ability
National Crime Information center database  (NCIC)-- 20 million records, crime, gangs, terriorist organization, missing and wanted people
Law Enforcement National Data Exchange -- correlation of criminal incidenent reports

Department of Defense -- Automated Biometric ID system 2.4 million records on foreign nationals -- finger prints, face and iris biometeric data

Department of Homeland Security --  Vistor and Immigrant status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT)
IDENT Automated Biometeric ID system -- ID 90 million nationals, ID checks at the border

Upgrading, installing,  and training 100,000  of system require great project management skills and  great system engineers. Making a difficult job of law enforcement easier or more effective is key, integrated systems should help keep the law abiding citizens safe. Good bless you and America!

Big Brother and Big Business

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sharing are digital lives and data -- holding it's weight in gold

In today's digital world, we have the ability to share the most intimate details of our lives via, photos, videos, blogs, tweets, Facebook pages. All of your data is being shared and stored in Cyber space on Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, etc. For many of us, this is a great thing and enriches our lives.

The internet and specifically the computer was designed to share data for collaboration by the department of defense. Sharing expertise and information across boundaries  can make you and your organization more successful.

A great case study in information sharing is law enforcement handling of 911 data. Since 911 failures in handling data, the federal government has implemented better processes for capturing, storing, and sharing data. The biggest challenges in law enforcement is track and identifying terrorist / criminals via information gathering.  Once this is completed, investigators need access  to incident reports across many agencies nationwide.

Improving data sharing among all these agencies has improved by developing Global justice XML (GJXDM) data model.  XML helps provide a standard for common vocabulary and structure to exchange data among law enforcement databases.

To improve data sharing across the country, the US department of defense and home land security built the National information exchange model which was an extension of GJXDM. Data sharing has now become more efficient with in  area of public safety, intelligence, homeland security, and emergency and disaster management.

To over come data sharing limitation among disperse system, computer to computer data exchange as been developed using web services or service orientated architectures. To track potential criminals, all agencies keep identity databases. Many of these database are not NIEM-compliant, but are in the process of being upgrade.

One of the major consideration in managing data, is your digital identity. Managing your digital brand has become a hot topic and possible revenue generator.  Come back soon to see the completion of the study and how it can affect our lives.

Is Customer Service a dirty work? Probably not for these companies

The listed companies below got the highest vendor rating in a national publication. This favorable rating should drive some business to these companies. What are these companies doing right to receive such high praise? I will be reviewing how these companies to see how they can help you and my firm Jbrock Consulting

  1. Contact Center -- Genesys Telecommunications
  2. Web Self Service -- Rignt Now Tehcnologies
  3. Workforce Optimization  -- Verint systems
  4. Feedback Management -- Allegiance
  5. OutSourcing -- Convergys
Looking for some type of data analysis that shows customer satisfaction / loyality is key to repeat business. Surely this is true, but how can you maxmize and turn into new sales?  Business development is key to generating income!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Going Green and Virtualiztion technology

  Go Green thus Virtualizing servers is one of the hostest technologies because it reduces administrtive costs and engery costs.

Typcially, vendors who specialized in Virtualization over sell by teling customers you can host 100 vitrual machines on a virtual server. If a virtual server is hostisng to many virtual machines in a production environement, over loading can result in poor performance and possbile outages.

The typical  consoladation is 6.1 in regards to database, ERP,  and mission critical email. Typically over consolidation helps the budgetary numbers but adversely affect performance.

When specing out virtual servers, you must consider bandwidth usage, memory, CPU, and storage requirements. Even the best performing two quad-core processors experience botltlenecks and peformance hits due to highly transactional applications.

Planning our vitualization involved:
  1.  Capacity Analysis -  VMware tools have the ability to perform indepth capacity anlysis that monitor server hardware utilization. What resources can a server contribute to the virtual pool?  With vitual servers you must monitor and manage RAM and CPU spikes and look for  performance degeradation. The key is to create balance work loads among all of the vitual servers.
  2. Monitor Peformance Continuoulsy --  Typically you monitor RAM usage, but any I/O  problems must be addressed quickly. Many virtaul users will monitor  reads / writes to disk  to see disk performance.
  3. Test all applications -- test all mission critical applications before and after deployment. You must spread out similar work loads among different servers so they will not be fighting for resource. Split up web servers, email servers, file servers to manage demand. To make sure your environement works the best, take into consideration peak usage times to know resource demands. The typical testing phase will last at least one month.
  4. Develop bench marks -- trying getting in contact with similar orginations that have virtualized to compare key statistics related to virtualization project.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New Hot I.T Skills

  1. Virtualization -- the new I.T. infrastructure
  2. Service Managment -- Support customers in regional cloud
  3. Unified Computing -- the ability to manage all aspecting of communication (voice, data, email)
  4. Go Green -- deploying green technology
  5. Communication -- Basic good people skills
  6. Resource management -- managing I.T. and facilities with data center
  7. Engineering -- edge networking, equipment management, various system
  8. Network -- configuration, hardware, and security
  9. Financial analysis -- application and technology economices
  10. Project management -- ability to complete project on time with in budget
Always striving to sharpen my skills and manage up coming projects!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Corporate Inclusion and I.T. relations

In the coporate world, minorities and women are under represented in certain fields and especially in Information Technology ("I.T.").

In an effort to reconginze minorities in I.T. and promote advancement.  I am looking at the group B.I.T or  Blacks in Technolgy  (web site Blacks In Technolgy).

Greg Greenlee and Ronnie Hash developed B.I.T community to motivate and inspire African Americans to pursue careers in technology.

B.I.T is a social networking group that has the outward goal of  driving individaul growth, developement, and sustained success in the field of infromation technology.

We as the American consumers and work force, need to work together to develop systems that work for us and benefits us indivually and as a nation.  I commend the postive work  B.I.T is doing, especailly in the sense of helping others.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Minority Stake in Infromation Technology Management

Many minorities have made significant contrubtions to Information Technology field. Many have started their own companies and climbed the corporate latter via hard work and dedication. Every one can find inspiration from some one succeeding by over coming obstacles and hurdles to find happiness and success.

IBM has been in the fore front of promoting minorities in to the management ranks. I applaud IBM's for it's diveristy efforts lead by Ron Glover (VP) of diveristy  at IBM. IBM has the highest amount of blacks in senior manage positions.

IBM has been committeed to building a diverse work force which reflect it's customer base it serves through 170 countries. The focus is about opportunity for all and eliminating barriers to success. May the path of opportunity lay in front of you, that you may follow it to happiness and success.

There are many companies and inviduals who have made I.T. accessible to all who are willing to work hard to become success. I would some day like to meet some of these I.T. leaders.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Pursuit of Perfection

Striving for perfection involves hard work and determination to be the best. Perfection is elusive and some what subjective unless you are going for olympic gold. In the pursuit of athletic profection, I seek a combination of strenght, endurance, perfect form, and true content with performance. True perfection is when every thing has come together and you are totally satisfied.

Once you reach the pinnacle of your profession, does the pursuit change? What elusive challenge must  be present to motivate dominating performance. The fun of it all is the challenge to obtain that prized possession, once obtained; it becomes about your effect on those around you.

Perfection in life is a combination of phyiscal, emotional, and spiritual well being. Congratulation to all olympains who have reached the pinnacle of their sport.  God bless and may you reach your vision of perfection.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Office Romance ramifications

Early in your career when you were single, did you ever find one of  your co-workers attractive. The office bombshell hits on you and you wonder, should I take a chance on a office romance? Things to consider:

In corporate America, office romances are fairly common in the tune of 40% of workers have dated a co-worker. Typically, most of the relationship (72%) are in open or known about. To protect yourself and your  co-worker, you should find out if the company has a policy about office dating. Currently, 25% of companies have a inter-office dating policy.

The obvious down side off an office romance is risk of lost productivity due to flirting and trysts. A bad office romance can be very disruptive and lower morale for the people involved. If the romance ends badly, the result could be loss of key personnel, which ultimately is a management concern.
The worst possible out come for your office romance is a lawsuit based on harassment and coercion complaints. If you are considering and office romance during your career, I would proceed with extreme caution.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Upgrading computing power (32 to 64 )bit processor

I looking to upgrade to a 64 bit processor and operating system to increase speed and performance. So what is the deal?

The main advantage of upgrading to 64 bit processor is you double the processing power. A computer works on a bit and bite format or binary.  A bite in binary notation can be represented as a 1 or 0. The computer stores data in a series of 1 and 0 such as 10110101 and that how computations are made. A 32 bit processor  can represent number from 0 to 4,294,967,295 while a 64 bit processor can can represent numbers from 0 to 18,446,744,073,709,551,615.  The bottom line is, the 64 bit processor is must more efficient and faster when doing computation on small and large complex problem.

Companies that have large database and process 1000 of transactions can really benefit from upgrading to a 64 bit processor and operating system. The new 64 bit processor  Athlon is backward compatible where you can run 32 bit  operating system and software programs. 32 bit  O.S.  and programs are not designed to take advantage of the extra processing power so you will see little benefit.

The following Windows software will run on X64 bit platform:  Exchange, SQL database, Virtual Server 2005 R2, SharePoint 2007,  Windows 2008 and XP. If you are using these platforms, it is well worth it to upgrade. The speed and performance increase are fantastic!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Real and hidden cost of college

For most college age students and their families, it has become very difficult to afford the sky rocketing cost of education. The typical college expense can run from $30,000 - $50,000 per year. Each year the cost to attend college  rises 3%  which out paces inflation. This cost typically does not include hidden costs  such as extra fees,  student activity fees, class dues etc.

While the economy continues to slump,  many people are questioning  whether the huge cost on a bachelors degree is even worth it.  The latest statics show, only 1 and 5 college graduates had a job prior to graduation in 2009. To help you and your family afford college, you should look at tuition and any additional fee that may be charged, these additional fees are not disclosed unless requested.

By federal law, Universities are required to provide the overall cost of attendance. The reality is, many schools provide the lowest possible estimates and only reveal these costs when asked. As consumers, we must factor in activity fees, lab fees, health clinic fees, gym fee and technology fees. You also have to account for room and board,  text books, supplies, health insurance, and transportation  expenses. You can do some research on various costs at

How to prevent wasting good money?
The number one way in which families waste money on college is when students drop out or take forever to finish. The drop rate for the average freshman is 55%. In addition, 45% of the students take 6 years to get their degree. When the economy is down these numbers are worse.

The worst case scenario is when the student flunks out of school. To prevent drop out, the student has to want to be in school  and recognize the value in the investment in education. College is an investment and you should look to get the greatest return on your investment. Of course, this is easier said the done.

Financing college -- if you are looking at college in the next few years, here are some tips:
Scholarship link

Financial aide from admissions

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

College Education 101 bang for you buck

The value of a college education is dependent on getting the most bang for your buck. In order to get the most bang for your buck, we must understand the economics of the degree obtained.  To be successful after college and in your career, students must be smart,  attend a high quality college, and earn a degree in high demand.

The real value of a college education based on a US News report is about $300,000 during a life time.  College graduates on average earn $20,000 a year more than high school graduates. For the average person who works 40 years that amounts to $800,000 minus inflation over these years, the real dollars are $450,000 today.  Subtract the cost of the college education at $30,000 per year and that gives you at net value of $300,00.

The benefits of a college degree are: a good quality job with benefits such as health insurance. Typically college graduates can find and keep their jobs. The unemployment rate of college graduates tends to be must lower such as  2 - 3%.  Most college graduates who are willing to work hard, have smartest, and dedication can find a rewarding and well paying career.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Higher Education and the Economy

Now that the graduate has that degree, where do we go from here?

In the USA, we face many problems on multiple fronts that we need college graduates to help solve. First and foremost, we need more graduates in the field of science, math, engineering, and technology to drive innovation.

We need graduates who can lead in developing a balance between spending on the military and socail programs that uplift and help US citizens and deal with immigration problem.

We need new innovative educators who lead in fixing our education system. There needs to be a balnace between spending on education and actually education our students. We should once again make education a top priority for all, not just the wealthy and private.

We need new graduates who will lead in solving the health care dilema. How do we make health care affordable and cover the millions of un-insured.

In short, we need our educational institutions to prepare the graduate of tomorrow who are willing and able to make the world and the USA a better place for all.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Best College Education

The best education is one the affords your a satisfying and rewarding career that compenstates you very handsomely.

The old saying goes that college is the best four years of your life. You go to college, choose a major , in my case, Businesss Administration, get your degree, and live happy ever after.

The problem is the cost of higher education has sky rocketed, since I graduated. Since 911or the last decade, the economic climate has made it difficult for graduates to get a job that is related to their field of study or major. Many times graduates are forced to take the best job offer available. The first job out of college may have no relationship to your major and this can adversely affect a students career path.

If a college graduate never gets a job related to his or her field of study, how valuable is the college degree? The question becomes what is the value of a college eduction and how do you measure this?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Thanks to my followers

I hope you all have the greatest year of your life!

Nexus One and mobile productivity, and our digitial life

Now that Google has launched the Nexus One into the smart phone market against BlackBerry and iPhone, how does it stack up?

Base on reivews, here are some the key features it brings to the table:
  • The interactive home page does sound cool,  there is a pond setting where the water ripples when touched and leaves float around.
  • The Andriod open source O.S. has improved built in speech recongnition software. The applications that use voice (as opposed to typing) is where most of the productivity gains will occur.

  • The voice recongination software allows you to pull up contacts by speaking their name,  saying message will converts voice into type. The voice recongination software can annouce who is calling you, convert in bound SMS tesx to voice, say calendar appoints, read email etc.
  • Popular internet socail media sites are built in such as: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Google Maps GPS and search accept voice commands.
  • Retail price over the web is $529 which is unclocked or can use any carrier, T-Mobile contract $179, not yet available on Verizon network.
  • GPS shows current location and direction from here
  • Great screen 3.7 inch and  fast 1 GHz processor
  • Many open source applications to improve productivity
Taking these capabilities to improve performance, productivity and staying in touch is key.

I will be reviewing these voice applications on the Andriod O.S. and the BlackBerry platforms. I will let you know how they can help you achomplish more.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Journey

The journey began with an idea and possibly a dream. It all seemed to fit in the grand plan or the master scheme.

We studied, read up, prepared for the great journey. We all seemed excited, energized, that the journey would be a great success. Most every one believed in the grand plan, but I know some doubted it's success.  I knew my utmost confidience would lead the team to success.

After some soul searching, I realized the journey would require a detailed business plan.  I would have to learn how others made their journey a success.
A sound business plan would require a great foundation, some financing, and confidence in the teams skills and expertise.  The foundation has been built, the required elements acquired, and any potentail issues and problems have been minimized.

Now that the team is ready for the journey, we are getting closer to the moment of truth. As we prepare for the rubber to hit the road, when know we must sell and market the master plan for ultimate success. We need to establish a solid customer base and a true following. In short we need to stand out in the crowd.

As we reflect on where we started to where we have come,  we realize it about the journey and not neccessarily the destination. We continue to fine tune the plan so the journey has the greatest chance for success. Establishing a great sales pitch, niche, and good chemistry will ensure the journey is grand.