BXV Elementary School Coding Workshops

Last Thursday, the BVX Girls Coding Club organized an afterschool activity for second to fifth graders with the hope of creating more interest in STEM subjects, particularly with girls. With seven types of workshops, the elementary schoolers were encouraged to combine both programming and engineering concepts in their workshops. For example, the LittleBits station, which simulated a circuit formed of electronic building blocks, or the Makey-Makey station, which encouraged creativity by connecting common objects to computer programs. Younger students worked with Cubetto and Dash & Dot, two robots that demonstrate how computers (in this case the robots) took commands that were written into a program (which the students accomplished through basic block based coding). Exposure to such activities left the students excited to learn more, both on their own and in their technology classes. Continue reading “BXV Elementary School Coding Workshops”

Should You Change Your Twitter Password?

On Friday, Twitter released a statement “[revealing] that it made a monumental security blunder by exposing the passwords of users in plain text.” It is not yet clear how many users were affected or how the error occurred but nonetheless, changing your password won’t hurt.

In addition to creating a new password, it is also a good idea to enable the two-factor identification feature. Once enabled, Twitter will send a verification code whenever a new device is attempting to access your account. Two-factor identification also allows you to use a third-party app to generate a password for you.

Lastly, it is a good idea to get a backup-code for your Twitter account in the event you lose your device. All of these features can be accessed by clicking on your profile image and then settings and privacy—which will lead you to a screen where changing your password and security features is a breeze.

Amazon Plans to Deliver Packages Right To Your Car

Following last years news, where Amazon asked for permission to leave packages inside your home, they are now asking for access to your car. Amazon plans on using the “connected technologies embedded in many modern vehicles.” This means that instead of using smart locks or a cloud-connected camera to gain access, the Amazon Key app will be operated. The service will be connected to either General Motors or Volvo,  two automobile companies who have agreed to participate in Amazon’s plans. Once given your car’s GPS location, license plate, and image the information is encrypted, making sure Amazon never has access “to the customer’s connected car login details.” It is sent only if multiple factors line up—the deliveries time, person, car, and place. The option to block car deliveries was also made possible in case a home delivery became more suitable.

The six-month trial Amazon conducted with the new service has received positive results, one woman claiming she liked the deliveries “because it meant her toddlers could nap without being disturbed by the doorbell. Another woman used it to have a few birthday presents delivered to the trunk of her car so as not to tip off her daughter.” With the apparent success of the new service, one question remains: Will you take Amazon up on their offer?

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Electric Airplanes May Soon Take Flight

Planes today are engineering marvels, but they require a lot of money. But, electric aircraft are starting to take flight, and it is becoming cheaper than ever to learn how to fly.

Electric Aircraft Concept Art
Concept art of hybrid planes made by Zunum Aero.

Planes today are engineering marvels, connecting people and small towns to the world. But everyone would agree that they are not very efficient at travel, and can be expensive to maintain when fuel costs are high. Electric planes are a hope to solve that problem, by replacing traditional planes with more economic and environmentally friendly, electric planes. The companies behind these concepts explain that these planes would run totally on electricity and cut ticket prices, so flying could become cheaper for you and me.

Continue reading “Electric Airplanes May Soon Take Flight”

Robotics taking over the classroom

Have you noticed yet how much technology has lately been geared toward education? Well if you haven’t, the digital classroom may soon become a reality as smart boards actually become smart and interactive, robots are being used in the classroom, and many classes are taught online or use online material to teach the course.

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Cyber Security ID and Authentication

Hi all! David here. I hope everyone has had a great start to the year. I know mine has been wonderful, as I have been working alongside Mr. Ashley, learning and discussing issues pertaining to the world of computing security and information assurance.

Computer security (or cyber security, info security, digital security, they all mean the same thing). It’s a broad topic which contains dozens of components and thousands of job opportunities (and, yes, you can still be involved in cyber security without being a math whiz).

Nations, terrorists, terrorist nations, the list goes on. Enemies everywhere are beginning to turn to another form of warfare, not with bullets or RPGs, but with bits, bites and the touch of a keyboard. Pipelines, power grids, traffic lights, and anything pertaining to critical infrastructure is exposed. On a personal level, accounts, shopping, finance, bank accounts, and anything YOU have are targets for hacks.

 

 

Airport Security

Airports are becoming increasingly more aware of their passengers since terrorist threats are becoming more evident around the world.

 

Over the past few years, there has become more devastating terrorist threats across the world which brings technology into question when dealing with airport security. Airport security has not only become much more serious in dealing with passengers through security but very aware of what technology is being used to detect any harmful items that could lead to terrorism.

Once you arrive, it all starts with a long procedure that might seem grueling. Waiting in line for your passport to be stamped, then going through a whole security guard system with full-body scanners. It might seem ridiculous to take off your two year’s shoes because there could be a explosive liquid inside, but that is the world we are living in today.  According to the executive director of UK rights group Privacy International, Gus Hosein, “People increasingly expect to be treated like cattle at airports.” Technology has been evolving in airports in the same way like any other technology company. But, this doesn’t mean it is always working. Security and screening methods have quickly adapted to change threats around the world even though it might not seem like these scanners are working.

Airport security has become one of the least popular aspects of travel according to a passenger survey conducted y the International Air Transport Association(IATA). Driving seems like an easier alternative for families who want to wake up and bring whatever they choose in their bags. The use of full-body scanners has been the biggest complaint by passengers in airports. Airports are trying to make this process as efficient and painless as they can without being scrutinized.

Dealing with MRIs at the airport when checking luggage is a whole other problem. But that might change quickly according to scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, who have come up with a system called MagRay, based on the scanning technology developed for medical applications. This will improve traffic flow in airports by letting passengers bring liquids in their carry on baggages without having to throw them away.

There are many improvements that are constantly being made in airports to reduce stress from threats or identity stealing. This definitely leads passengers to feel more safe and relaxed while navigating through their travels. Even if superior scanners and smarter systems may seem intense this can lead airport security such as guards to become less evident and make your family have a nice flight home.

 

By: Mia Gradelski