Lecturecast 0, Intro

Welcome to CIS 2151 online at Vermont Technical College, for those of you who are new students this year.


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Getting ready for Networks 1, Fall 2009

I’m working on cleaning up from last year’s teaching engagements at VTC and trying to get set for tomorrow. Can it be the beginning of a new school year already? Where did the summer go. The forums have been cleaned up and the hand outs updated for the new semester. Now I’ve got to get the lab ready to go.

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Dermont dings 80!!!

Congratulations Dermont. The former Ironforge Sentinel gas hit the big eight oh. Good work Johnny. He’s working on the video now. I’ll post it when he gets it done.

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Leveling Coldjack

I’m having a grand old time leveling another frost mage on WoW. I really enjoy the lower level content. The zones and quest lines in the old world are really well done. I’ve been trying to explore new zones and follow different story lines than other dwarf or gnome characters. Once I hit level 25 the world became very huge and there were a number of places to choose from.

While I’d like to see new content in the old world I don’t think there is a shortage of things for people to do whe leveling an alt or a new character on another realm.

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Thinking about a merge

I’m maintaining two blogs, skoda.net and technewsvt.com and each had a different mission when I started them. Skoda.net is my information security, personal opinion, world of warcraft, and teaching blog. skoda.net is the central space for students in my Vermont Tech classes to get course materials and assignments.

Technewsvt.com was started as a technology news outlet for Vermont and a place to host a tech news weekly podcast.

I’m wondering about the idea of merging some or all of the content on the two blogs into one. I haven’t made up my mind one way or the other yet, but I’m not sure that running two blogs is sustainable.

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Thanks for the nostalgia, Opera Unite

Back in the golden age of the Internet and web 0.9, those people who were lucky enough to have a routable IP address on their desktop workstation used NSCA’s or Netscape’s web server and built their own web pages. skoda.com started out as a single index.html, written in vi, served off a DEC Alpha workstation named mina running OSF/1.

The down side of doing this desktop web server was that I had to run my own DNS, my own Web server, write my own content, and do my own UNIX system admin. Not really a down side for me, since I’m a UNIX admin, who enjoys managing Internet services, while writing html pages. For most normal people, that’s an awful lot of work that they may not want to go through to post a few pages on-line.

I’m often surprised at the cyclical nature of the computer industry. Terminals connected to mainframes give way to PCs connected to each other, gives way to web browsers connected to web servers. Now it looks like Opera is hoping to move back toward the desktop webserver circa 1996.

It’s an interesting idea and I like the de-centralized concept. I remember those days of running services on my workstation as a fun time of wild experimentation. I don’ know if today’s Internet will be as fun and safe as 1996. I hope Opera has put in some hefty security measures for Unite, we’ll need them.

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Data Breach Exposes RAF Staff to Blackmail

Data Breach Exposes RAF Staff to Blackmail

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Executive summary of the article: Audio recordings of security clearance interviews are stored on an un-encrypted hard drive that goes missing…

This illustrates a break down in not just one system, but several. The obvious failure to protect physical security is bad. The hard drive should have been a controlled item, with proper labeling, and inventoried with the rest of the equipment.

The infosec controls were bad. You’ve got sensitive data on a drive, you should encrypt the drive.

The admin controls were also bad. Why is the material recorded? Why are the recordings kept?

All this badness combines to create a really horrible problem for the RAF. Someone, somewhere, now has audio of RAF employees that can be used to discredit the service or to exploit the individuals. Even if the RAF pulls the clearances and re-assigns the employees, now the RAF has to scramble to replace people in trusted positions. It’s a bad day for the RAF…

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Is Activision tainting Blizzard?

After listening to The Instance #145 and doing a little browsing, it seems that Blizzard is issuing some strangely unBlizzard-like take down notices.  Mod writers are being asked not to ask for money, iPhone application developers are being told to cease and desist and a German web comic was told to take down a comic.

I’ll miss the Character app for iPhone. It was really sweet and worked much better than trying to use the Armory from mobile Safari. The link to the iPhone Character’s App notice is here: 


Is this the end of Blizzard as we know it? Is the Activision culture finally taking hold and changing the company? What does this mean to WoW and Blizzard?
I don’t know. I hope not. I like what Blizzard has done and I haven’t played anything from Activision since Pitfall (Yep, I’m that old.)

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Companies setting social media policy for employees

Here is a link to a slashdot report about a Fortune 15 company asking employees to sign a social media usage agreement.  The agreement seeks to ensure good behavior on the part of the employee, according to the report.



Two main ideas come to mind: 1. Hire the right people and you don’t have to worry about their off work employment. 2. Deal with corporate issues correctly and take care of your employees and then they won’t have cause to dog your company out on facebook or twitter.

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Another round of labs entered

I’ve entered in grades for all lab write-ups that I have found in my inbox.   If you still don’t have a grades for something, send me the write up tonight or tomorrow.  If you are having troubles with my VTC email account, use my gmail jackfs4 at gmail.com.

I will do one last round of lab grading tomorrow night and then Thursday is the day I submit final grades to the registrar.

Some pointers:

  • If you have already sent it, send it again.
  • If submitted with a partner, send it with your name on it
  • Don’t ask for a reply, I’m grading too many to honor requests for “can you let me know you got it,” sorry.
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