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Showing posts from 2008

Sandboxing - The Future of Internet Security?

Being a computer geek and the default tech support for some of my family and friends, I have had to deal with computer security at the consumer user level. Sure, there´s the usual anti-virus and anti-spyware software installation on every Windows machine I run into, but this isn´t a full-proof way to ensure viruses, spyware, malware, and other don´t make it on a computer. As Leo Laporte says, the user´s behavior is the most important barrier to blocking bad guys from getting into a system. No matter how good anti-anything software is, it can´t stop a gullible user from clicking a false link on a website that downloads malware to said user´s computer. People need to monitor their behavior.

So, what to do when users just won´t change their behavior? How would you handle the computer of someone who just doesn´t care about keeping their computer secure? The solution I have been using lately is the one that I use myself: sandboxing. Check out the short wikipediahere: http://en.wikipe…

Security at the Expense of Privacy?

I listen to Leo Laporte´s TWiTnetcasts regularly and I recently heard something on TWiT #154 that got me thinking about our privacy in this day and age of fear of terrorism. For your reference, federal agents can now confiscate laptops or any other electronic device without any suspicion of wrongdoing. This is obviously unconstitutional and a violation of privacy. But, with security checks so tight now and with the public´s fear of terrorism, how far are people willing to let their privacy be compromised in the name of security?

Sometime right after 9/11 happened, I remember hearing about a survey that was taken among Americans. The issue that was polled was whether people were willing to let their personal records be checked if there was any kind of suspicion of terrorism. Most people who took the survey said they were willing to let their personal records be checked.

I´m sure you see where I´m going with this. What´s to stop federal security agents from searching not just your p…

Fun with Light Fixtures Part 1

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One of the things that makes my job very enjoyable is lighting design. Yes, I'm an electrical engineer and I like dealing with voltage, current, and power, but my job also requires me to be a lighting designer. Lighting, after all, runs on electricity and in fact our entire electrical system was originally invented by Edison so everyone could have light (Tesla later came up with a better system that we now use, but that's another subject).

I deal with mostly commercial grade lights that meet certain photometric needs (light color, distribution, brightness) and aesthetic needs (I work with architects after all). There are a lot of cool light fixtures out there, but there are also a bunch of wacky, weird, and just plain ugly light fixtures. This is the first part in what I hope will be an ongoing series of the most unique light fixtures I have seen.

First, here is an octopus chandelier:


The sea shells sure add to the look, don't they? This fixture is made by Adam Wallacava…

FHR Finally on the Web!

I've been working on a website for the Lifeteen band I play bass in and I think it is finally ready to start advertising, so without further ado, go check out the official website of Frankie and the Holy Rollers!
http://sites.google.com/site/frankieandtheholyrollers/

From Safari to Firefox, to Safari, and Back to Firefox

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I love Firefox and I had started using Firefox 2 last year after reading how good it was in a computer magazine. I switched over from Safari on my Mac and love the customization options of Firefox. My favorite add-on is the Foxmarks bookmark syncronizer, which lets me have the same bookmarks on all the computers I use at home and at work.

But, I had the same complaints as others: Firefox 2 was a slow program and a RAM hog. So when Apple released Safari 2, I tried it out and was happy with how fast it was. Safari has RAM hogging issues too, but the speed was worth it. However, Safari also has this annoying habit of freezing my computers for several seconds for no good reason. And of course, Safari is not customizable as much as Firefox is.

Now I'm back to using Firefox, specifically version 3. I went ahead and downloaded it on "download day" (after many, many tries) and installed it on both my work computer and Macbook Pro at home. I'm happy to say that it is ju…

Obama and McCain: Where Do They Stand on Catholic Issues?

Now that history has been made and Obama is the first African American presidential candidate (Hilary resigning from the race is merely a formality), I felt compelled to write about who will likely be the two main candidates for presiden: BarackObama and John McCain. And I would like to present each candidate's position as they relate to the most important issues for Catholics.
What compelled me to write this post is the fact that I know of quite a few Catholics who will be voting for Obama or Hilary (when she was still in the running). This really made me think, because the Democratic party does not hold many of the same beliefs as the Catholic Church. This is especially true for the main issues that Catholics should be concerned about. For a great explanation of the top issues for Catholics, please see the Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics which can be found at the Priests for Life website.
Why are there Catholics who won't be voting like Catholics? Does the separa…

New Favorite Comic

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I just discovered this new comic called xkcd from reading my usual RSS feeds from my favorite technology news websites.  I highly recommend you read it if you're into technology, even if it's just a passing interest.  Not all of the comics are as geeked out as the one pasted above, so don't be intimidated.  What are you waiting for?  Go read some xkcd!

Eee PC Comic Review

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FYI: I recently got an Asus Eee PC 4G and I like it a lot and wanted to write a brief review of it. There are a lot of reviews out there, so I wanted to present my review in a unique way. So, I got the idea to make my review in the form of a comic. I was heavily into comics in grade school and high school, so this lets me relive my adolescence to a certain extent. I took pictures of my favorite childhood stuffed animal Littlefoot (from the original Land Before Time animated movie, not the crappy sequels) with my Canon EOS Rebel XT and created the comic in Comic Life. I thought it turned out pretty well and I may just continue to do reviews and other articles in this fashion. Hope you liked it!
Comic created with Comic Life from plasq - http://plasq.com

First Time

Hello, this is my very first blog.  After some debate, I decided to get a blog because I have a wide range of interests (Catholicism, music, computers, photography, architectural lighting, etc.) that I would like to write about and share my thoughts about.  I already have a music blog (MOG) at mog.com/samuraijohnny and I'll link there appropriately.
Hope you enjoy this journey into the bloggosphere with me!