Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Saving movies from YouTube

In the past, people wanting to save movies from sites such as YouTube would have to work hard to make it happen.

Not anymore. RealPlayer (who does streaming video) has apparently added the ability to save streaming video for free to the new version of their RealPlayer tool, version 11. It's currently in beta-testing right now, but you can bet that this is going to cause some people to be very unhappy with them.

Link to article

The Fall semester approaches

If you haven't registered yet, I found a time saver. Registering at the Wanaque campus is much easier. It's so quiet up there, as opposed to registering in Paterson and dealing with the gym registration.

The school is closed Friday and Monday of this week. The Fall semester starts September 6th, so get in ASAP to make sure some classes don't close out.

Some classes, (for example, the daytime CIS 107 and CIS 108 classes) are already filled, and some others (for example, some CIS 125 courses) are very close to their caps.

There are some new courses and programs as well - we have a program in American Sign Language (in addition to the Arabic courses we added last year), Graphic Design, Computer Forensics, International's an exciting year.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

iPhone unlocked

The iPhone, when developed, was set up so it could only be used on the AT&T network and could not be used with any other carrier (i.e. Verizon, etc).

Hackers, of course, viewed this as a challenge, and someone has released a piece of software that unlocks the iPhone to be used on any carrier's network.

Is it legal? Does it void warranties? Will Apple be sending out a fix to prevent this? Well...those are other questions.

Link to story

Thursday, August 23, 2007

My frequently asked questions

I think, as educators, we don't adapt to students enough.

For example, let's take the syllabus. At the beginning of the semester, students are handed a syllabus, which is then filed away somewhere.

With that in mind, I also noticed that I get a lot of questions from students about things that are clearly spelled out on the syllabus. This says to me that most people don't reference the syllabus for questions.

The way we do things in the online world is more of an "information on demand" presentation of information. You have a question, you find the answer.

For those of you who have sat in one of my classes, you know I often use the campus portal. I plan on introducing a section of "frequently asked questions" at the bottom of each page, so the information is readily available any time a student logs in to the portal, to supplement the syllabus.

If anyone has any thoughts or suggestions, feel free to fire off an email - I am trying to be as student friendly as possible. Here are the questions I came up with:

What is your grading policy?
Do you take attendance? What happens if I miss class?
Do I have to be on time?
How am I doing in this class so far?
Do you accept late work?
I missed a test. Can I get a makeup test?
Where should I do my lab work?
Where is your office?
Can I get extra credit?
I think you made a mistake grading. Can we discuss it?
I have a question about an assignment, when can I reach you?
I have a question about the Computer Science, Information Technology, Engineering, or Graphic Design programs, when can I contact you?
Where can I get assistance with lab work or studying if I can't find you?
When is the CIS lab in H310 open?
What is the cheating policy?
Wait, I gave my work to someone else, how does that make it cheating?
How should I address you?
Can I text message during class?
Should I shut off my cell phone on during class?
Can I take bathroom breaks during exams?
Can I have side conversations during class?
Can I leave early?
Can I bring my child/children to class?
I have a disability. Can you accommodate it?
I think I am going to fail your class, should I drop?
I know I didn't hand in any lab assignments, but I know this stuff. Can't you just give me an "A" and let me go home?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Job Lead: Layout for School Paper

The school paper Visions is looking for someone with some Graphic Design expertise to do layout for them. This is a paid position. If anyone is interested, please let me know and I can direct you to the newpaper coordinator for more information.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Skype crash...hackers responsible?

Ebay's Skype computer to computer talk service was crashed the other day. Hackers from Russia claimed responsibility for this attack. Ebay of course blames a software glitch and denies hackers were involved.

Link to Washington Post story

Facebook Secrets Blog Shut Down

Google pulled the Facebook Secrets blog for violating terms of service.

I am sure that it will pop up somewhere else at some point.

Link to story

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Facebook Hacked?

Someone apparently has the entire source code for the Web site Facebook. By "source code", I mean the things that make the site run - how are searches done, how profile loads are done...all the back end programming (in this case, done in PHP).

For you programmers out there, it looks like they're not really using object oriented code, which many would look at as a "no-no" these days.

This opens Facebook up for all sorts of possible hacking attacks, and it also opens

Was it an insider? A hacker? Former employee? No one knows at this point.

The blog which is posting code

Article about it

Be careful what you type......

Another case of "Be Careful What You Type".

This is a little bit of an older story (March, 2006), but still interesting. Walgreens pharmacy apparently has a part of their order taking system for comments (probably intended for, let's say , "Customer wants order picked up after 2 PM Wednesday" or "Please bill secondary insurance").

Well, this customer apparently irked one of the Walgreens pharmacy techs, who typed some things in the comment area.

The woman picked up her order, and imagine her surprise to see this at the end of the medication information page:

"She's really a psycho!!! Do not say her name too loud, never mention her meds by names & try to talk to her when"
(the page cut off here, so you can only imagine what else was there)

I am constantly amazed how this sort of thing catches up with people.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

eHow is a tremendous Web site for figuring out how to do things. If you can't find answers on Google, eHow has a ton of information in all realms. Look at some of the random topics I found answers to:

How do you tie a necktie?
How do you marinate meat for cooking?
How do I write a resume?
How do I check my car's oil?
How do I transfer to a four year college?
How do you change file associations in Windows?
How do I partition a hard drive?

...the list goes on....! A great site to bookmark.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Cyberstalking hits close to home

Here's a story about a local woman from Lodi who found her ex was stalking her.

Apparently, he attached a GPS (global positioning system) sensor to her car!

This article from North Jersey's Web site also talks about other types of cyberstalking. It's a good read.

Link to article

Thanks to Soprano Sue for the heads up!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Free Bowling

Brunswick Bowling has a Web site available, and if you sign up, you will receive a free hour of bowling, and randomly receive coupons for $0.99 bowling. If you're in to bowling, it's not a bad way to pass the time.

They have one location in Fair Lawn, and another in Belleville.

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Top 100 Places to Work in Information Technology

Came across this article in Computer World magazine, the top 100 places to work in Information Technology.

New Jersey has 6 of the top 100 companies, as well as other companies that may have offices in New Jersey (such as USPS, BAE, Hess...).

Here's the link (note: you may have to click "SKIP AD" in the top right hand corner of the screen).

Computer World article

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Technology and Relationships

It is interesting how technology affects relationships. I ran across an article that got me thinking about this.

Can you remove you significant others ' shows without asking, if there isn't enough room for your shows? How about if you subscribe to a service like NetFlix? Who gets priority for their movies?

For example, I remember years ago, the woman I was dating liked a show that was on at the same time as a show I liked. The solution? A small TV/VCR that we had just for recording shows. As we get used to the convenience technology provides, we become a little more spoiled, I think. Instead of having to worry about TV shows airing at the same time, now what do you do about a full TiVo?

There's also the issue of things being electronically logged. If you've emailed something to someone, it's never really gone. You may have a sent mail folder, or the recipient can forward the email to someone. How about instant messaging? Some programs (such as Yahoo!) automatically log conversations. If your significant other is really paranoid, they could even use a keylogger on your computer, to record what you are doing. This happened to a friend of mine who was going through a divorce once.

As if the world needed relationships to be more complex, right?

Link to Wall Street Journal article

Thursday, August 02, 2007

My Fall Classes

For those of you who have asked, here is a list of the courses I am currently scheduled to teach in the Fall 2007 semester. I may have one or two more, depending on how things happen, but these are the ones I am sure about.

CIS 101 07
CIS 101 LE
CIS 106 01
CIS 125 01
CIS 126 E1
CIS 290 01