Final Assignment

CS 1030

Connected Computing

This class covered various topics about technology, computers, and how these effected our every-day lives.

Typing Test

Typing_Test

This typing test showed me that despite my utter lack of skills in the area of typing, I’m a proud hunt and pecker, that I’m about average.  What I liked about this program is that if any mistakes are made the user loses points for that word.  For fun, I had my boyfriend try it.  Although he can type about 80 words per minute; with his errors accounted for, he scored in the 60s. 

Cisco Binary Game

 
binary game

Like the typing game, after playing this a few times you begin to memorize the challenges of the game.  Instead of trying to convert the binary numbers I remembered which Roman numerals they responded to.  I like the interface of the game.  It was simple, but the high contrast between the 1 and 0 made it easy to decipher the two apart without actually reading each one.  The color difference also aided my memorization of the look of the binary number.

Hexadecimal Addition

hex test

Like the other two tests, I began to memorize the hexadecimal numbers and their Roman numeral counterparts in an attempt to beat the clock.

Hexadecimal Multiplication

Hexadecimal Multiplication

True to the hexadecimal numbering system I received a ‘B’ out of 10 on this quiz.  The Roman numeral counterpart to ‘B’ is 11.

Validating Sources

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We then discussed how we validated information.  I grew up during the “information age”, so I have been warned by various sources about the possibility of false information.In addition to this, I took a Journalism class, and they really stress the importance of factual evidence.  (Below the bold is the question, the regular is my initial response, and the italic is my rebuttal to my reactionary response.

How would you validate the information sent to you via a text message?
I typically take a text message for face value that the person that I have saved on my contacts is sending it, and that what is said are their true feelings or ideas.
If the person that was text messaging me used words, phrases, or punctuation that they would not normally use, I would reconsider.

How would you validate a $25.00 check in the mail?
I would take them to the bank, and try to deposit them. If there is a letter included with the check, I would read the letter for the catches.
If the check was a starter check, I would not even bother.

How would you validate information about a death of a close person?
I would consider the person that is giving me the news, and if they were closer to that person or would have access to them that I did not. I would listen and watch for emotional clues (i.e. red eyes, watery eyes, choked up, head down, hunched over, tired-sleeplessness, increased physical affection, rushed, or confusion- sign of shock).
If I received a funeral invitation or obituary, I would believe them. I don’t think anyone would go to that much trouble.

clip_image004How would you validate information you received from an email?
If I don’t recognize a part of the sender’s email, I don’t even open them anymore.

How would you validate information from a local newspaper?
I usually consider the sources. If they say a representative of … I automatically assume it is their PR person and I assume that what is said will be a glass half-full approach. If the article is written with one person’s views that has not made a significant impact than I will usually dismiss it as biased (i.e. if they interviewed Sartre about Existentialism I would consider it true, but if they wrote an article on one person’s experience at a concert I would deem that was biased and throw it out. I think articles should have a balance of all types of classes, ethnicities, career positions, etc. I also look for incorrect grammar and misspelled words to discredit the author and the paper, but also for fun.
I sometimes internalize an image or photograph to be true before checking sources or looking for evidence of photo manipulation.

How would you validate information from local TV NEWS?
I would look for biases, expect video footage or at least a picture, listen for dialogue that seems like they are educated. I also watch for fillers that are provided by their sponsors or people that pay for advertising during their timeslots (since the collapse there seems to be a lot of this going around).

How would you validate information from a website?
I would see how many websites shared or opposed its views. I would expect that a .org or .gov. would be more validated than a blog or .com site. I wouldn’t trust the about me section, and would Google their name to see how the author is connected to the subject matter. Is there an emotional connection that would seize their logical thinking? I would take note of grammatical and spelling errors. Depending on the site, I might also take into account the popularity of the information (i.e. hashtags, pingbacks, shares, etc.).
If there was physical evidence that affected me traumatically, I will immediately believe it. The first time I saw photos of military men’s offspring that had birth defects due to radiation comes to mind.

How would you validate information from a billboard?
I don’t notice billboards anymore. I’m usually paying attention to the road and there are too many. Sometimes the colorful ones will catch my attention, but I don’t find them enticing enough to consider.
The only one I have been watching out for is “Christa, will you marry me?” so far nothing…

How would you validate information given to you during a class from an instructor?clip_image002
I consider their area of study, what is important to them, where their passion lies, and eye contact. I also consider the sources they use and what is available to them.

Two excellent teachers come to mind. One was an Art History teacher that taught mostly from memory, but she had seen every single piece she discussed in person. One was an English teacher that also taught Mythology and she was able to present to us every argument or variation that had been presented at any one time. Both had extensively studied their subjects.

A poor one also comes to mind. He was hired to be a Football coach, but they didn’t have the budget for another Assistant Football Coach. He taught History, although he had no interest or degree in it, and sometimes knew the answers.

History of the Internet

According to the lecture, the Internet was created from “existing” infrastructure—telecommunications.  Following the  invention of the telephone by Edison, who invented it to conveniently page his servants, the government created an excised tax for all people who owned a telephone.  This was money was used for the device to be available to those who could not afford it ( this was offered nationally) for public safety.  The coaxial cable ( that can handle up to 2 MHz), that was placed for this, is still used today for phone, digital phone, cable, bandwidth, etc.  The cable companies had promised to update the nations wiring initially, but Google fiber was the first.  They recently launched in Kansas City, Kansas.  Although, they are just in the testing phases, Marcus Wohlsen, of Wired, writes that following three years of preparation, Google fiber offers to customers 1GB per second upload and download speeds as of September 26, 2012.  In addition to the fast internet speeds, Google fiber provides a cable television service and a Nexus 7 Tablet as the remote.  Wohlson referred to the updating of the cabling as “overbuilding” and said that the venture was not cost-effective to place nationally.  Like the antiquated cabling that we depend on, we are still using the same protocols.

We have made some advancements, as well, since the debut of ARPANET in 1969 ( the Advanced Research Project Agency Network that was created to share knowledge throughout the government.  Instead of delivering the information to every computer connected to the line, MAC addresses were created.  This way, you can choose what hardware receives the information.  Also, since 1981, standards were established and updated regularly as shown here http://www.apps.ietf.org/rfc/stdlist.html.

Works Cited

Pope, Dan.  Salt Lake Community College.  Fall 2012.  Lecture.
Wohlsen, Marcus “Google Attacks Cable and Telcos With New TV Service.”  Wired, July 26, 2012.  http://www.wired.com/business/2012/07/cable-companies-shouldnt-fear-googles-networkyet/

Character Sets

In an online article, Joel Spolsky discusses what every programmer should know about Unicode and character sets.  The only previous knowledge I had to this article was that characters were given 8 bit codes.  This was discussed in my CIS 1020 course, and this was discussed in the lecture, as well.  The following topics were all new to me:

  1. ASCII is a code written where characters were expressed by a number between 32 and 127.
    1. This took 7 bits to store.
    2. Codes that used 1-31 were control characters and caused an action to happen.
    3. This was only used for English text.
  2. Everyone realized the potential for encoding for 128 to 255 at the same time.
    1. This was used for accents, other languages,
    2. The range provided unreliable global networking.
  3. ANSI Standard
    1. The code stayed the same for the range < 127.
    2. The different systems were classified by area and provided a code page ( to standardize it).
  4. Asian alphabets have thousands of letters
    1. These were spread out over representations in one and two bytes.
    2. This was called DBCS.
  5. When the internet provided a way to move a string of characters from one computer to another, what the code pages worked to fixed, failed again.
  6. Unicode was a single character set to provide every letter and symbol from English to Klingon.
    1. Letters and numbers are given a code point.
    2. It always begins with a U+
      1. Stands for Unicode.
    3. The U+ is followed by a hexadecimal number.
  7. www.unicode.org
  8. 3 ways to encode Unicode
    1. UTF-8—Americans typically use a shorthand for (they drop the zero).
    2. UCS-2—the method that utilized 2 bytes (DBCS).
    3. UTF-16—used 16 bits.
  9. I was also surprised to find out the author is the co-founder and CEO of stack exchange.  I think i owe him a few favors.

www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/Unicode.html

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Before doing this assignment, I never noticed how much I use Facebook, Words with Friends, or my cell phone while I’m doing other activities like homework.  I also didn’t notice that I consume television on three different mediums a day—I’ll equate that to not having time to watch things when they actually come on.  I listen to Pandora only while I’m driving, but it adds up.  Also, I don’t know whether or not to classify that as radio, Internet, or an application.  The last time I monitored this I actually listened to recorded music and watched DVDs.  I would have to agree that my Internet usage has doubled in the past three years.

Tim Berners Lee

One of the things I have always wondered about the Internet was why was it free.  Tim Berners Lee shared through a conference that he wanted to allow people a platform for them to work and be collaborative.  He also saw potential for the global growth, and he feels this should continue.  He thinks we could only benefit from the remaining 80% of mankind logging on and sharing with us their culture, and creativity.

Lee’s main concern with the internet, is that someone or something ( i.e. business or government) will try to control it.  This is already something we have been seeing in http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/10/tech/web/internet-down-eagleman/index.html it discusses “political mandates” that Iran has passed and China was working on.  Egypt used this tactic to try to dissuade the riots, but they prevailed with landlines and fax machines http://www.ibtimes.com/egypt-online-without-internet-service-cell-phones-or-social-networking-261185.  These are not something most Americans have anymore, so I’m not sure what I would would do in the event that one of those four things happen.

In addition, he wanted governments, sports teams, and businesses to post data, so that this data could be searchable.  He hopes for a day that you could have an application that would tell you when changes were made to that graph online and calculate the differences for you.  Also, if a friend of yours recently downloaded a song, that your device would play it for you on on sign in. This seems like a long shot, but so was face recognition.  The most interesting thing about that was that the users of social media and applications were actually the input that made the system work.

Digital Identities

I have 63 digital identities.  Surprisingly enough, I have never used the same password for any of them—with the exception of my brief introduction when my Xanga and Myspace shared a password.  The problem is, I have so many that I will use for a couple of times a year or less that I almost never remember the passwords, and as I get older I may revert back to all of them having the same password.

This was something I had thought about initially when I read this article http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/07/the-right-to-be-forgotten/309044/ in the Atlantic.  It talks about the right to be forgotten and that there have been successful lawsuits in the fight for privacy on the internet.  This is an interesting juxtaposition considering the Patriot Act and the Facebook privacy controversies.

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