Sunday, June 26, 2011

Networks - Multiple Choice Test

Please attempt this online test - (some parts may not be included in our syllabus, but have a go and see if you can work out the answer)

Then go to: "End of Chapter - Student Study Guide" 
When you have finished select: "Submit answers for Grading" and email your results to your teacher

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Apps in Education
This blog lists a number of apps for iPhone and iPad that may help with your studies

Monday, June 13, 2011

Learn about Networks

 This English site is designed for students studying the GCSE exam. It contains information, and quizzes relevant to our AIT course.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Communications Quiz (only for SMAGS)

This is a great American site aimed mainly at teachers but also containing lots of useful stuff for AIT students

Hard to find iPhone apps for schools

This list of apps will amaze you!

CSIRO's Louise van der Werff says smart bandage can change colour to prevent infections

This article relates to Task 3 of the 3A unit you have just completed

smart bandage
A smart bandage that changes colour when a wound is infected could lead to more effective treatment of wounds. Picture: AAP Source: AAP
smart bandage
CSIRO scientists are working on a fibre that could be knitted into a smart bandage. Picture: AAP Source: AAP
  • Bandage fibre made out of liquid crystals
  • Changes from red to blue with temperature
  • Could prevent infections from getting worse
AUSTRALIAN researchers have developed a "smart" bandage that changes colour as a wound worsens or improves, potentially leading to the better treatment of ailments such as leg ulcers.
Lead inventor Louise van der Werff, a materials scientist at the CSIRO, said the dressing would change from red to blue depending on the temperature of the wound.

"If the wound becomes infected then it typically gets warmer. It would get cooler if there were, for example, a compromised blood supply," she said.

She said wound changes were not always obvious and the fibre she helped devise, using liquid crystals which react to different temperatures, could show changes of less than half a degree Celsius.

"A temperature is sort of an obvious indication - if they can see that through a colour change then hopefully it can help a lot," she said.

Van der Werff, who is completing her doctorate at Monash University in Melbourne, said plans were under way to incorporate the colour-changing fibre into a textile which could then be woven or knitted into a wound dressing.

"Our main target is for chronic wound care - the elderly, obese and people with diabetes who can get wounds like leg ulcers and pressure ulcers and things like that which can really last a long time without healing properly," she said.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

iCloud - The future of Computing?

iCloud stores your music, photos, apps, calendars, documents, and more. 
And wirelessly pushes them to all your devices — automatically. 
It’s the easiest way to manage your content.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Cisco predicts internet device boom

Technology reporter, BBC News, Silicon Valley

  The number of internet connected devices is set to explode in the next four years to over 15 billion - twice the world's population by 2015.
Technology giant Cisco predicts the proliferation of tablets, mobile phones, connected appliances and other smart machines will drive this growth. The company said consumer video will continue to dominate internet traffic. It predicts that by 2015, one million minutes of video will be watched online every second.
Cisco's Visual Networking Index also estimated that at the same time more than 40% of the world's projected population will be online, a total of nearly three billion people.
The networking giant forecast that by 2015 internet traffic will reach 966 exabytes a year.
An exabyte is equal to one quintillion bytes. In 2004, global monthly internet traffic passed one exabyte for the first time.
But Cisco said alongside this quadrupling of traffic comes a number of very real concerns.
"What you are seeing is this massive growth in devices, the way devices are being used and are connected to the internet and what users expect them to do," said Suraj Shetty, Cisco vice president for global marketing.
"All this is putting a lot of pressure on the internet and the next generation internet faces issues handling not just the proliferation of these devices but how they are going to grow and be intelligent enough to be connected to you.
"The most important question we face is how to manage all this traffic intelligently," Mr Shetty added.
Cisco's report underlines a very real problem the internet as a whole faces as it runs out of what is known as internet protocol version 4 or IPv4 addresses.
Every device needs one of these IPv4 addresses to send and receive data online.
When IPv4 was created in 1977, it was thought that its pool of 4.3 billion addresses would be enough to go around.
The rise in the number of mobile devices, laptops and connected machines has helped exhaust that stock.
In February, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority handed out the last batch of these addresses. Industry experts believe they could be all used up as early as August.
The solution is an alternative addressing standard approved in 1998 called IPv6.
There are trillions of these addresses but persuading companies to move to IPv6 has been a slow process.
"We are running out of IPv4 addresses and the adoption of IPv6 is going to be front and centre of everything for the next several years," Mr Shetty told BBC News.
  As we adopt more internet-enabled devices in the home, addresses for each item are quickly running out
"The implication for vendors like Cisco is that we have to come up with a platform that can help scale the internet to handle a lot of the traffic and to do it smartly.
"If you want to keep adding billions and billions of devices, the only answer is IPv6."
On 8 June, on what has been dubbed World IPv6 Day, Cisco will be joined by telecom giant Verizon, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, TimeWarner, Comcast and many others in testing IPv6.
This will allow everyone to check out the compatibility of websites and associated networking technologies with IPv6.
"It is clear that the move to IPv6 will be critical in supporting the total number of devices on the global internet going forward and it will be crucial for service providers and enterprises to start migrating to IPv6," said Ed Horely, co-chair of the California IPv6 task force.
"They need to do this to be able to meet the needs and demands of all the existing devices like cell phones, iPads and PC's but also all the future devices that we will want connected to the internet.
"IPv6 will be critical in avoiding the potential consumer riot due to lack of internet addresses for their portable devices to gain access to the internet and many of the cloud services being deployed today," Mr Horely said.

Targeted cyber attacks an 'epidemic'

Technology reporter, BBC News, Silicon Valley
The targeted attack used by hackers to compromise e-mail accounts of top US officials is reaching 'epidemic' proportions, say security experts.
The scam, known as spear phishing, was used in a bid to get passwords of Gmail accounts so they could be monitored. Via a small number of customised messages it tries to trick people into visiting a web page that looks genuine so users type in login names. Such attacks are often aimed at top officials or chief executives.
Such attacks are not new, say security professionals, but they are becoming more commonplace.
"What is happening more and more is the targeting of a couple of high value individuals with the one goal of acquiring valuable information and valuable data," said Dan Kaminsky, chief scientist at security firm DKH.
"The most interesting information is concentrated in the accounts of a few people," he said. "Attackers using information to impersonate the users is at epidemic proportions and why computer security is in the state it is in."
In March, security firm RSA was hit by a sophisticated spear-phishing attack that succeeded despite only two attacking e-mails being sent. The phishing e-mail had the subject line "2011 Recruitment Plan" and contained a booby-trapped spreadsheet.
Google said it uncovered the deception through a combination of cloud based security measures, abuse detections systems and user reports. Google said that among those targeted were senior US government officials, military personnel, journalists, Chinese political activists and officials in several Asian countries, predominately South Korea.
Cyber attacks originating in China have become common in recent years, said Bruce Schneier, chief security technology officer at telecoms firm BT.
"It's not just the Chinese government," he said. "It's independent actors within China who are working with the tacit approval of the government."defence firm Lockheed Martin was also hit by a cyber attack aimed at stealing secrets
China has said repeatedly it does not condone hacking, which remains a popular hobby in the country, with numerous websites offering cheap courses to learn the basics.
In 2010 Google was the victim what it called a "highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China" that it said resulted in the theft of intellectual property.
Security experts said spear phishing attacks were easy to perpetrate because of the amount of information people put on the internet about themselves on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The mountain of data lets canny hackers piece together enough information to make e-mails they concoct appear convincing and genuine.
In this attack, some Gmail users received a message that looked like it came from a work colleague or was linked to a work project.
"It makes sense these bad guys would go that way given the amount of time, effort and investment they have to make in orchestrating an attack," said Dr Hugh Thompson, chief security strategist at People Security who also teaches at Columbia University.
People tend to trust messages that look like they come from people bearing details of where they last met or what they did, he said.
"I can then point you to a site that looks very much like Gmail and you are not going to question that because I already have your trust," he said.
Steve Durbin, head of the Information Security Forum, said phishing attacks were a well-established attack method and e-mail had long been a favourite among criminals keen to winkle out saleable data.
"Whether you are a government official with access to sensitive or secret information, or the average e-mail user, everyone must be on their guard and become more security savvy," he said.
Organisations needed to educate users about the real and potential risks they face.
Mr Kaminsky said some of the fault for such security lapses lay at the feet of the outdated technologies we use.
"Passwords don't work as an authentication technology," said Mr Kaminsky.
"They are too flexible, too transferable and too easy to steal," he said. "However, we are stuck with them for now due to technical limitations and because users find them easy to use."

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Beware online "filter bubbles"

As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there's a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a "filter bubble" and don't get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy.

A next-generation digital book

Software developer Mike Matas demos the first full-length interactive book for the iPad -- with clever, swipeable video and graphics and some very cool data visualizations to play with. The book is "Our Choice," Al Gore's sequel to "An Inconvenient Truth."