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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Google Glass for the Public Sector

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

For those of you who are not very tech savvy or have been living under a rock, take a look at Google Glass.

Pretty awesome eh? Now imagine Police Officers, Firefighters, EMS and other First Responders being able to capitalize on this nifty invention. Well it may be more than just a thought and may become an actual reality. Software developers Mutualink are currently in the works on creating and testing an app that will do just this.

The app would allow public safety officers and officials to communicate in real-time via streaming video from the scene, as well as to receive and view key documents, including things like building schematics, medical records of victims, live feeds of security cameras in the area and more. It’s the ultimate on-demand intel platform for agents working in the field, and a way to stay in contact with HQ and other organizations even when radio systems won’t talk to each other.

The reason that this intrigues me so much is because I currently work for a company that develops software for the Public Sector and so instantly the gears in my brain started spinning and I can already see just how great of a tool this could be. Right now we have software that is used in squad cars to receive information about calls and other information related to the incident in question. Once you are out of the car though all you have is a simple radio connection to dispatch to get updates.

I can see how this app would be a great addition for when dispatch pushes out a BOLO that has a mugshot of the perp in question that would flash up. The officer would know exactly who to keep an eye out for instead of just a vague description of the person. When it comes to Firefighters it would be great for them to be able to pull up the floor plans of the building they are entering, information on any hazardous materials that may be present and/or how many tenants occupy the building. For EMS they could quickly pull up any medical history on the person they are transporting.

It’s not Robocop, but it’s a step closer.

Oh Facebook! You silly Goose you!

Monday, August 19th, 2013

From CNN.com

A Palestinian researcher posted a message on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s page last week after he says the site’s security team didn’t take his warnings about a security flaw seriously.

“First, sorry for breaking your privacy and post(ing) to your wall,” wrote Khalil Shreateh. “I (have) no other choice to make after all the reports I sent to (the) Facebook team.”

Shreateh, who describes himself as an unemployed security researcher with a degree in information systems, said he found a hole in Facebook’s systems that let him post to any user’s page, including users not on his Friends list.

Such an exploit would be a virtual gold mine for spammers, scam artists and others seeking to take advantage of the site’s roughly 1 billion users worldwide.

Shreateh said he contacted Facebook security about the vulnerability before using it to post to Mark Zuckerberg’s page.

On his blog, Shreateh posted a series of e-mails he said were exchanged between him and Facebook security. After the first one, a Facebook employee responded that the link he attached was bad.

Shreateh had included a post — an Enrique Iglesias video — he says he posted on the page of a woman who went to college with Zuckerberg. He speculated that Facebook’s security team couldn’t see it because they weren’t on her Friends list.

Facebook responded to his second message to say the issue he was reporting was not a bug.

His response: “ok that mean(s) I have no choice other than report this to mark himself on facebook.”

Needless to say, that got their attention.

Facebook says the flaw was fixed on Thursday. But over the weekend the episode began making headlines on tech blogs.

On the Hacker News website, Facebook security team member Matt Jones wrote that the language barrier with Shreateh, who is not a native English speaker, and the volume of reports the site receives were partly to blame for the site’s slow response.

“Unfortunately, all he submitted was a link to the post he’d already made (on a real account whose consent he did not have) … saying that ‘the bug allow facebook users to share links to other facebook users,’ ” Jones wrote.

“For background, as a few other commenters have pointed out, we get hundreds of reports every day. Many of our best reports come from people whose English isn’t great — though this can be challenging, it’s something we work with just fine and we have paid out over $1 million to hundreds of reporters.”

Because he violated Facebook’s terms of service by hacking the pages of other users, Shreateh is not eligible to receive a reward under the site’s White Hat program designed to find and fix bugs.

Shreateh, who says he has been looking for work for two years, lives in the Palestinian city of Yatta, in a region where the unemployment rate is officially 22% and is higher among men in their 20s, like Shreateh.

“I could sell (information about the flaw) on the black (hat) hackers’ websites and I could make more money than Facebook could pay me,” he said in an interview with CNN. “But for me — I am a good guy. I don’t deal with the black (hat) stuff.”

In hacker circles, “white hat” is a term for people who report exploits they find so they can be fixed, while “black hat” often refers to people who hack to take advantage of those exploits.

He said he’s proud that, as a Palestinian using a five-year-old laptop with broken keys and a broken battery, he had the skills to find a problem with one of the world’s biggest websites. But he acknowledged hoping his tip would lead to a reward from Facebook.

“I never asked them, ‘I want $4,000 or $5,000’,” he said. “I didn’t deal with them like that … . (But) I really needed that money.”

Jones acknowledged that the security team should have asked Shreateh for more information.

“I have to admit that I have some sympathy with Facebook on this issue,” security analyst Graham Cluley wrote on his blog. “Although he was frustrated by the response from Facebook’s security team, Shreateh did the wrong thing by using the flaw to post a message on Mark Zuckerberg’s wall.”

He would have been better served returning to Facebook’s security team with more evidence and further explaining it or, if that didn’t work, taking the information to a technology journalist to report, Cluley said.

Start Button, Start Button! Wherefore art thou Start Button?

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

I am a firm believer that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I loved pretty much everything about Windows 7 and when Windows 8 came out I was hesitant to upgrade. Reluctantly I did since I work in IT and I wanted to be familiar with it so I can better troubleshoot things in the future. First off as most of you know even if you do not use it, the user interface has drastically changed and personally I am not a fan. I see it being great for tablets and mobile devices, but as an everyday workstation it’s just “meh” and can be uber confusing for non tech savy folks.

One of the biggest pet peeves most people have with it is the lack of an actual Start Button and the classic Start Menu on the Desktop interface. When you are so used to using it and essentially navigating your system with your eyes closed this is a big curve ball to get used to. Many out there have found free third party replacements that will add this feature back, but most if not all are junk and not really good. If you are willing to pay a few bucks then I would suggest Start8 by Stardock, but there really is no need to and I will explain that in a bit.

There was a slight glimmer of hope when Windows 8.1 was announced and it was stated that they were adding back the Start Button and Menu. This had people virtually high-fiving Microsoft for realizing they made a mistake and were willing to fix it. Well long story short, Microsoft backed down and even went as far as stating that they never had plans to bring back the classic Start Button and Menu. Instead they are offering what is being dubbed as the Metro Button which basically just allows people to Shut Down their machine and access a few power user features like the Control Panel and Run. Essentially they are telling people to piss off regarding their legitimate complaints and just get used to how Windows 8 works. Good guy Microsoft…

Like I said there are free and even paid options, but why pay when it’s already there? Yes, that’s right. The coding and functionality for the Start Button and Menu you grew to love and lost is still there. They are just hidden and the sad part is, it is really easy to enable it, it’s just most people are completely unaware this option even exists! Well hopefully I can do you all a public service and “put right what once went wrong” like my hero Dr. Sam Beckett in Quantum Leap by showing you how to bring it back much like how I am bringing back the Bow Tie and how JT brought back Sexy. YEAH!

 

Step 1: Access the Run program by hitting Windows + R and type in regedit.exe and then hit Enter key to launch the Registry Editor.

start-1

Step 2: Locate the following key in the Registry editor:

HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorer

start-2

Step 3: There in the right pane you will see an option RPEnabled, double click it and change its value from 1 to 0 to revert your preference to the older style windows 7 start menu.

start-3

 

That’s it. Your beautiful button is back. Now if you decide to ever go back to the way it was originally simply follow these same steps and just revert the RPEnabled value back to 1 and you are good to go. Now I cannot be 100% certain if this fix will still work when 8.1 starts rolling out. Rumor has it they are looking to break this functionality, however as stated that is just a rumor for the time being. Only time will tell. Until then, enjoy!

Technology is Fun! And Other Stuff…

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Being able to update my blog while riding the bike at the gym is pretty awesome. What’s not awesome is eBay. Fuck you eBay!

So far it has been almost a month working from home and I must admit the appeal has worn off. Sure it’s nice to sleep in and work in your underwear, plus I can’t complain about not having to get gas in almost three weeks, but I’m starting to go a little stour crazy being cooped up in my house all day. When your work is your home and your home is your work you lose touch with reality rather quickly. It doesn’t help that things have been super slow work wise either. All I can say is thank God for my lunch hour so I can at least get out and drive around and go to the park for an hour.

Well that’s my time for today cool kids. Time to head home and watch Hells Kitchen. Peace!

The Magic of Smartphones

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

I just installed an app on my EVO this morning that will allow me to post to this site via my phone. I’m like a giddy little schoolgirl right now.

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