Cyber Security

shutterstock_165303932Nowadays, Cyber Security is a big issue around us, a lot of people don’t know what will affect their privacy when they post inappropriate stuff on their social media account. There was an example of attack in October, it was partially effective because it harnessed infected, internet connected devices such as DVR players and digital cameras. That was a huge attack caused varies amount of consequences. So cyber security is a big issue around us, and we should all be aware of this.

 

A Brief HERstory of Computer Science

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Women have been in computer science since before computers were invented. But sometimes they get overshadowed by their male counterparts, such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. However, it is estimated that by 2020 there will be 1.4 computer related jobs, but that women will fill only 3%. That just makes the achievements of women in computer science all the more important.

Ada Lovelace: (December 10 1815 – November 27 1852). Lovelace was born in London and expressed an interest in maths from a young age. When she was just 18 she met Charles Babbage, known now as “the father of computers”. Her most well known work was on his analytical machine, which is now seen as a prototype for the first computer. She wrote the first ever algorithms for this machine and was very devoted to improving it.Because of this she is known as the first female programmer.

Grace Hopper: (December 9, 1906 – January 1, 1992). Hopper was born in New York City.In 1934 she earned a Ph.D in maths from Yale and during World War II, she enlisted in the US Navy despite being 15 pounds underweight. In 1952 she created the first compiler, which is a program used to turn programming languages into computer languages, so the computer can read your code. Many people doubted that she actually created one. Two years later she was named director of automatic programming at her company. She finally retired from the military at age 80 after being promoted to Rear Admiral. To commemorate her retirement she was awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the highest non-combat award. Just last month, 24 years after her death, she was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Obama.

Margaret Hamilton: (August 17, 1936-). Hamilton was born in Indiana, and received a bachelors degree in maths from the University of Michigan and later moved to Boston with the intention of getting her masters in abstract maths and during that time she started developing software for MIT. Later Hamilton joined the Charles Stark Draper Lab at MIT. The lab was working on the Apollo space missions, and her team was responsible for developing in-flight software. Hamilton herself wrote thousands of lines of code by hand in what she described as a “male-dominated” industry. Hamilton also coined the term “software engineering”. Along with Grace Hopper and several others, Hamilton received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 

 

 

 

Amazon, the Holiday Season, and it’s Solution.


As the winter celebrations inch ever so close as the days roll by, our excitement grows along with it.

For some high-rolling companies, such as Amazon, this time of year is of the utmost importance.  The increase in internet traffic, online sales, and overall exposure is critical for the growth of companies around the world.  Because of the sudden increase in all of these important factors, employees are brought in solely for this time of year.   These employees, normally brought in around the beginning of November, are viewed as vital by all of the companies employing them.  The protocol for normal companies would be tedious process, where the new recruits would spend their first days inside of a classroom learning all of the necessary skills.

However, Amazon has a different way of doing things.  In order to maximize efficiency, Amazon has developed a manner in which their new employees are thrown face-first into the work and are expected to learn everything while working.  As explained in the New York Times,

“Amazon’s newest facilities incorporate the most automation, using screens, robots, scanners and other technology to quickly get workers up to speed, according to Mr. Olsen. Amazon trainees get hands-on training as early as their first day on the job, which he said has proven to be a huge advantage in getting them up to speed. On the warehouse floor, they learn how to pack up shipments, coached by a screen that tells them which box size to use and automatically spits out a piece of tape to fit it.”

Applying these techniques, along with above minimum-wage pay, have been the key to success for Amazon.  The inclusion of these workers are great, but what’s really impressive is the amount of workers who stay to work beyond the hectic holiday schedule.  Whatever tactic used by Amazon or any other big corporation is up to them in terms of determining what is most important.  If nothing else, make sure to appreciate all of the work that goes behind the gifts this holiday season.

If you would like to read more about Amazon and it’s new system of teaching employees, click here.

How will technology relate to Business?

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Business technology helps automate back office functions, such as record keeping, accounting and payroll. Business owners can also use technology to create secure environments for maintaining sensitive business or consumer information. Many types of business technology or software programs are user-friendly. This allows business owners with a minor background in information technology to use computer hardware and software. So business technology will be a great field to work with.

Can People Tell How Secure Their Voting Ballot Really Is?

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With the election recount coming up in just a matter of days, many people are wondering just how secure the security systems placed to protect the ballets are. Surprisingly, after a recent study, it was found that people have good sense on finding this out for themselves.

Rice University performed a study just a few weeks ago in order to find out just how conscious people are of the level of security on their voting ballot. The study was conducted with 90 voters in a mock election, where the researchers created three levels of a security system; a standard paper ballot (the least secure), a paper ballot that included fake security features, giving an impression of a secure ballot (no more secure than the standard ballot), and a paper ballot with enhanced security mechanisms (one of the most secure methods).

Continue reading “Can People Tell How Secure Their Voting Ballot Really Is?”

Independent Study and World-Class Learning.

Imagine a world where the sum total of human knowledge is available your fingertip. You could learn about anything – drones, DIY nuclear fusion, or Old English poetry. You could take courses at the world’s greatest universities for free.

Now imagine that this is the world you live in. Online, the public now has access to filmed lectures and course materials from the greatest universities on Earth. Programs like MIT OpenCourseWare, Edx, and Coursera provide free access to courses taught at schools from Harvard College to University of Adelaide. Topics range from American poetry to aeronautics.

Best of all, these courses can be taken for credit here at Bronxville through our uniquely flexible independent study program. With a faculty sponsor, you can build your own course: group or individual, pass-fail or letter-graded, online or in class.

Take this year’s “Advanced Programming Group Study.” The curriculum was put together by a group of students wishing to continue college-level computer science after taking AP Computer Science. It is based on MIT’s 6.004x Computational Structures and administered through the Edx online learning platform. Students literally built a computer from the transistors up.

Another student leveraged the program to conduct school-recognized independent research in plasma physics. Others wrote an Italian operas, studied pollution in the Bronx, learned Mandarin. One group even formed a student help desk.

The possibilities are limitless.

Internet of Things Strikes Back

As you may have heard, last week a large portion of the internet suddenly went dark. Major websites like the New York Times, Twitter, Spotify, and Reddit were temporarily unavailable. The reason quickly became clear – a massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack against Dyn, an internet services company.

This denial of service attack overwhelmed Dyn’s servers with bogus requests from infected computers so that legitimate users couldn’t access Dyn’s services. Servers, computers which store information online, can only handle a limited number of requests for data. Malicious actors sometimes attempt to block users from accessing the data by directing a large network of infected computers (a botnet) to make rapid requests for large amounts of data. These requests overwhelm the server and block legitimate users from accessing it.

There are several strategies companies can use to avoid denial of service attacks. They can block the offending bots from their services or attempt to separate human-made requests from automated ones. A common strategy is to block computers from particular geographic areas. Malicious actors have responded by spreading their botnets across the globe in distributed denial of service attacks. Generally speaking, the more computers participating in an attack and more spread out those computers, the more difficult to block it. One is to block computers in

So what made this attack so special? Well first off, it was enormous. The botnet included 10s of millions of computers and requested 1.2 terabytes per second from Dyn, smashing the previous DDOS record of 600 gigabytes per second. Secondly, most of the bots weren’t strictly computers. Instead, web-enabled CCTV cameras and DVRs were the main attackers. The hackers had broken into these devices using default usernames and passwords and built a huge botnet out of them.

The unprecedented size of the overwhelmed even the relatively well-prepared Dyn and brought down many sites reliant on the company. It marked an unanticipated consequence of the growing Internet of Things – weakly protected web-enabled devices will allow hackers to built huge botnets. Security experts and internet business are still figuring out how to best respond to this new reality.