Monday, March 12, 2018

Create Update 1

For my create project, I am creating an in-game football win probability calculator where the user can input the current margin, time, favored team, and yard line of the team, and the program will output a percentage value of the team.  I found the formula based on an excel document online.  The variables need to be adjusted which will require functions.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Breakthrough Technologies of 2017

The 10 Breakthrough Technologies of 2017 presented in the MIT Technology Review offered interesting insight of upcoming products for the near future.  Some technology, like the autonomous truck, 360 degree camera, and face recognition software is already familiar to many people.  There were also technologies relating to medicine, renewable energy, and super computers.  I did not recognize the medical inventions, and did some additional research on those.  Scientist are working on reversing paralysis by implanting chips into the brain.  This ground breaking technology, that would give the ability of movement to people with spinal cord injuries, is not going to be available for another 10 to 15 years and is still fairly far off.  A recent medical innovation that is being used today is gene therapy used to cure hereditary diseases.  Next scientists are seeing if it can combate cancer and heart disease.  Outside of the medical spectrum, scientists are working on hot solar cells that convert heat to light beams for continuous power.  This will not be around for another 15 years, but is a peak into the future of renewable energy.  Other technologies include the most powerful supercomputers and the smartest artificial intelligence yet, which will be available within a half decade.  Many of these innovations have the power to change society, economically and socially.  It may also be true that in a decade these projects had been stalled or transformed with a different goal.  I believe that autonomous vehicles, supercomputers, and AI will be utilized more often, although possibly not within the timeline.  Other projects like unlimited renewable energy and medical treatment with the ability to cure cancer may reach a point where it seems hard to obtain the large goal.  Nonetheless, these technologies are changing the world for the better and absolutely have the potential for even more.

Monday, February 12, 2018


1. Cryptography has been since 2000 B.C. when the ancient Egyptians used hieroglyphics.
2. Plaintext: CS IS COOL
Ciphertext: FV LV FRRO
3. A Caesar cipher is an example of a large class of ciphers known as substitution ciphers.
4. A random substitution, where letters are randomly replaced by other letters, is more secure than a Caesar shift because in a Caesar shift, all letters change in the same pattern, and with a 26 letter alphabet, there is only 25 possible shifts.  For a random substitution there are more opportunities, basically an infinite number, to decode a message.
5. A frequency analysis is the technique used to crack substitution codes based on how often different letters occur.
6. A random substitution cipher looks hard to crack but is actually easy to crack.
7. I would guess that a Caesar shift encoded message would probably take me 5 minutes or less to crack.  By focussing on short words, you can simply shift each letter until the word makes sense and then work from there.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Internet and IP Adresses

Internet and IP Addresses

What is a protocol?
- Protocol is the set of rules that all users of the internet agree to follow in order to communicate between machines.

What is an Internet Protocol (IP) address?
- An IP address is a set of numbers unique to each computer or device on the internet.  This address, similar to a mailing address, allows each computer to be communicated with and is part of the standard Internet Protocol, mandating every computer address.

How is it organized hierarchically?
- IP addresses are organized hierarchically to sort them into different categories.  Most IP addresses have 4 parts, 8 bits each, and the different parts break it down by country, region, subnetwork, and specific device.  This makes its easy to locate devices and communicate with them.

How many bits are in an IPv4 address?
- There are 32 bits to IPv4 addresses, 8 bits to each part of the address.

How many IPv4 addresses does that mean there are?
- There are 4 billion addresses, but because this is not enough for the number of devices now, we are in the transition to new addresses named IPv6.  IPv4 was designed in 1973 and adopted in the 1980s so they did not accurately predict the number of devices that would be used.

What is the difference between IPv6 and IPv4?
- IPv6 uses 128 bits per address as compared to the 32 of IPv4.  IPv6 can account for over 340 undecillion addresses, much more than the 4 billion that IPv4 provided.

Why do we need IPv6?
- Because IPv4 cannot account for all the devices connected to the internet, we need IPv6 to help account for all if them.

What is an IP packet?
- IP packets are pieces of information, that take different routes to get to the destination, and are reassembled to display the finished product.  An example of this would be when someone uploads an image onto the internet, the image will be broken down into packets.

What is the difference between an IP address and an IP Packet?
- An IP address is the specific set of numbers to each device connected to the internet to helps group them by location.  An IP packet is a piece of information being sent to a destination, along with other pieces of information although each may not be sent the same way, to be reconstructed into the whole again.

What is the purpose of the Domain Name System (DNS)?
- It associates names with specific IP address.  The computer uses this system to look up domain names to get the address, which connects the device to the destination on the internet.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Personal Data Articles

The first article titled What Did You Think They Do With Your Data by John Battelle on NewCo Shift informs readers on the reality that companies offering “free” services are using your personal information for their benefit, often selling it to other organizations.  This specific example in this article is how the free AccuWeather app was selling anonymized data of their users to a third party company even though some of those users selected to not allow AccuWeather to access their location.  The way AccuWeather has managed to do this is by asking misleading questions to make the user believe one thing when in reality they are utilizing something the user did not think of, so in this situation location.  The article reminds us to always be cautious when using “free” services, because nothing is truly free.
In the next article, For $1000, Anyone Can Purchase Online Ads to Track Your Location and App Use by Jennifer Langston on University of Washington News explained the dark truth about online advertisements.  The article talks about how companies can know when someone enters specific areas based on location based ads.  The person who buys this ad can know further information on the victim, like what other apps they use.  This articles acts as another reminder on how to handle the ever changing digitalized world.
The final article When You Should (and Shouldn’t) Share Your Location Using a Smartphone by Brian Chen with the New York Times explores the benefits and dangers of location sharing services like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Snapchat.  He provided an example where his wife could use his location when he was in a motor accident where finding his location was very helpful.  Other times when sharing a location is when someone needs to meet up with a group of people or when a parent tracks a child.  He also noted that not all location sharing services are accurate and they need improvement.  It is important to remember to never give your location away to strangers, but restrictions are easy to set.
All of the above articles were very informative and in a way helped me think about using technology a little differently.  The first articles made me think of things most people like to ignore, and made me actually realize what “free” accounts are.  I am not saying all free services are bad, but when I put out my personal information is could always be used maliciously.  The second article surprised me the most on how someone can pay for ads and track your location.  UW News did a good job of simplifying the fairly complex subject.  The only question I had was what determines a “designated area” for someone to be in located via advertisements.  Could this be potentially anywhere with LTE connection or do they have to be connected to an unsecure public network?  The final article was pretty standard, and I felt aware of all of the material, but it was a definite reminder of what today’s technology is capable of.