Monday, April 28, 2008

Final Blog Entry for IT100: Course Review

I will be honest, at first I wondered why I needed IT100. I thought it was pointless because as I was already on the computer for pretty much everything, what else did I need to know? Well, I was proven wrong once the semester began. Though I thought the hybrid course required a bit too much out of class work, I learned a lot about Office 2007. This course was a blessing in disguise because before this semester I was writing papers that had extra space in them because I didn't understand how to remove them and I was using tab all the time for indents. Little things that I was able to pick up in Word, relearning how to use Powerpoint, and learning Access for the first time were all reasons that I feel this class really benefitted me. I enjoyed all of the different ways that this material was presented to us between the various websites, podcasts, and powerpoint presentations, because it made it more bearable.

To be honest, I think we could have done without the Security topic. Most of that information was information that I felt I relady knew for the most part, with a few exceptions such as phishing. Security is a pretty bland subject and I feel as though I didn't pick up much from it anyway. As far as topics that should be included, I do not think I would have been able to take one more thing packed into IT100 as too much is covered already.

I absoloutly think that all students should be required to take IT100. There is a lot of valuable information that I feel can be picked up from it, even if one thinks they already have all the knowledge that they need in all of the Office products. If they think they know everything, they are most likely wrong.

I would really like to start the IT minor next year but none of the classes fit into my schedule. I am going to have to wait until possibly taking a couple summer courses after next summer - hopefully by then I will be able to get it completed in time!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Open Internet Coursecast

Of the three coursecasts offered, I chose the one that I found the most interest in. This was the one concerning China's willingness to open availability of the internet to Olympic visitors at the games in Beijing this summer. China is known for abusing human rights in the past, and currently creating problems in Tibet which has become one of the most talked about worldwide subjects. To my surprise, Steven Spielberg has stepped down as the artistic advsior of the games in Beijing because of the way that China supports the genocide happening in Darfur. Among all of this, China censors many websites with news and blogs from foregin countries that tell about what is going on within their own borders. Journalists need internet access while they are in China for the 2008 Olympic Games and the Olympic committee is trying to get China to open access to the internet for them.

I think this is a very thought provoking topic. It seems that China has been in the limelight because of these Olympic games. People are realizing exactly what China supports and how they control life within their country. Between everything that has gone on so far, I'm hoping that journalists are able to get freedom to use the internet so that the games can be broadcasted to the world. It would be a shame for them to not recieve the regular publicity that they have. I almost feel that it was an unfortunate choice to have the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing this year because of all of the unrest that it has caused.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Who I commented on for the Keyword Challenge assignment...

I commented on Heather M. and Morganne F. for the Keyword Challenge assignment.
It was interesting to see other people's views about it.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Live Search

I partipated in the Live Search Challange. I did the Lego builders challenge, where I exceeded the 9 minute time limit with a time of 7:38. The three winners of the Legoland Model Builder's Challange, who were offered a job with Legoland were Kristi, Aaron, and Nathan.

I found this in an interesting way. First I found the Lego builder's wiki by using keywords "Legoland model builder's 2003." This helped me by finding the name Kristi, who joined Legoland in 2003. I tried adding her name in the answer box and it was correct that she was one of the winners, so I continued by adding her name to my search. Then, a "Congratulations to the three winners" description was under a "Lego Bionicle Fan Site" which ended up having the names of the winners. I put those names in and it worked.

I realize my search could have been made easier without so many steps; however, I still beat their challenge. :)

Here are the sites I was brought to:
First website (Brick wiki)
Second website (Lego Bionicle Fan site)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Keyword Challenge

I didn't do to badly on the keyword challenge. For the Hollywood Challenge, I got a 75% on the first try but ended up with a 100% on the second try. I'm not sure how I did it, but I guess it just wasn't that hard for me. Then, I did the Broadway one because I figured it was just too easy. On that one, I got a 95% after the third try.

Both tries, I was able to identify the 3 essential keywords on the first try. Then I arranged the rest around and did much better after knowing where certain words did not belong.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Anti-Phishing Campaign

I thought it was interesting that CMU came up with a great way in order to raise awareness of phishing. People usually don't care to simply read something, and computer security is generally a dry subject for most which also doesn't help. However, this game can teach people what they need to know about malicious activity on the internet and they don't have to be bored while doing it. I found the whole idea of it pretty interesting as I was reading it.

As I was playing the game, I didn't expect to learn too much from it because I have acquired a good amount of information about malicious activity on the internet just from using it over the years. Contrary to my initial belief, I did end up learning a lot. I was not aware that phishing occurs all the time, and usually the act is slyly covered up by the phisher. I liked the idea of the "dad" teaching the player about all of the ways people can phish for other's information via the internet. Overall, I think this is a very informative and fun way to educate people about this act.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Symantec's Threat Report for IT100

Were you surprised by the levels of data Symantec is able to collect about threats?
I was very surprised by the length that Symantec goes in order to collect information about threats all over the world. I found it very interesting that they had so many ways to figure out what was happening on the Web.

How about the threats themselves - did you know this was so widespread and serious a problem?
I was previously aware that the threats to internet users were so widespread and that issues such as identity theft were taking place through the internet. Unfortunately, this has been happening for a while but it's good that there is something like Symantec's Norton Antivirus System that can prevent a lot of this from taking place.

What fact from this would you share with a less tech-aware friend of family member?
I would make a less tech-aware family member understand that identity theft is something that doesn't just happen from somebody finding your credit card after you lose it or something as simple as they. There are many ways for people to take people's personal identity or the identity of a business through the internet, and I would let them know the precautions to take so that it does not happen to them.