Cloak Takes an “Antisocial” Approach

cloak-side     The market is flooded with applications presenting opportunities to meet new people. Some of the apps and programs almost force you to use your Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+ information to sign in or sign up for new services. Our online social lives and communities have expanded to an almost unmanageable level. Unfortunately, being online and available has become such a necessity that we can’t just “unplug” sometimes.

The creators of the Cloak app understand you can’t always “unplug,” but, you can avoid face-to-face confrontations with people who are no longer in your circle of friends, ex-significant others, and current or past business associates. Cloak currently is only compatible with Foursquare and Instagram, but will be expanding to other programs soon. It takes the users’ information from these apps to plot their location and the location of their contacts. You can then mark the contacts you do not want to encounter. The app alerts you when you are within a certain radius of them so a decision can be made to whether to avoid them. Hopefully, there are not too many “avoidable” people or there will not be too many places you can go!

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Street Fighter IV: The Most Famous Video Fighting Game

DecapreThey say smashing and destroying your opponents in these games helps to relieve stress. These games also, supposedly, are a huge skill builder in terms of getting fans involved in all facets of technology such as networking (a lagging network is a gamer’s nightmare), engineering (systems and controller interface), animation, and programming.

Last weekend, fight gamers converged on the South’s hub, Atlanta, for the Final Round 17 tournament. The three day tournament boasted many professionals, amateurs, and fans playing and watching in person and online. Attendees played various fighting games like Tekken, Street Fighter, and Marvel vs. Capcom. The most popular games at these tournaments is Super Street Fighter IV. Street Fighter has been a mainstay of the gaming world for over twenty years. It has gone through many iterations and takes an immense  amount of skill to play. One of the participants, whose player name is Sonyono, loves the skill building aspects of this game.  The original Street Fighter had a few basic moves. Each version built on these  moves until we have the version available today. A new character was announced for the new Street Fighter game debuting June 2014. The hits keep on coming with this title and, with its large fan following, will continue well in to the future.

Event Hub: Sonyono takes a page out of Desk’s books…

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IBM Announces Security Forensics Capabilities to Help Protect Critical Data

IBM Announces Security Forensics Capabilities to Help Protect Critical Data (via PR Newswire)

New analytics and automation helps any IT security team quickly identify and defend against hidden threats IBM Corporation logo. (PRNewsFoto/IBM Corporation) ARMONK, N.Y., Feb. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a powerful appliance…

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Aligning IT Projects with Business Strategy

Project Management Institute

Project Management Institute (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is critically important to align IT projects with the business strategy so that their efforts enhance contribution to the long-term goals of the agency. Too often, an agency’s single-mindedness on short-term outcomes, like financial gain, can impact enterprise success. The idea is to strategically align projects to link with the business strategy.

A business strategy is a thorough plan to attain success along with the path taken to achieve long-term goals.  Essentially, the purpose of the business strategy is to sustain the business. One aspect of the business strategy is to apprise project planning so that a project’s success influences enterprise success. Shenhar, Milosevic, Dvir & Thamhain (2007), states that there is a missing link between the business strategy and the project plan called the project strategy. A project strategy is more than just building the product or service; it’s about making the product or service standout by boosting competition. A strategy’s success depends on how well it is executed.

On a more grandeur scale, projects and programs that are structured jointly to perform and deliver on strategic objectives are known as a portfolio.  Portfolio management aligns projects and programs with operational goals and objectives, also recognized as the organizational strategy. Project portfolio management ensures that projects and programs are controlled similarly as a method to achieve efficiencies and effectiveness of resources (Anderson, n.d., p. xx-xx). Continue Reading…

Crowd Pilot Offers Three-Way Conversations

Make-a-Three-Way-Phone-Call-Step-15Remember the three-way conversations many years ago where you or your friends could listen in on conversations between two people while one of them was unaware?  It was always the best way to catch someone saying something negative about you, your family members, or your friends.  Well, Crowd Pilot is the Web version of the three-way that allows you to help your friends involved in conversations where they need assistance (silent “phone a friend?”).  Crowd Pilot’s user agreement states that parties are to disclose that conversations are being streamed to an unseen participant.  Seriously, that never happens on a three-way conversation.  So it’s a rule that’s more than likely to be broken especially since it only takes one user to share a conversation.

The app allows the third party to talk to the user without the other caller’s knowledge.  Users are given a choice of people to get  support from, including Facebook friends, total strangers, or “experts.”  After choosing a secret co-conspirator, users select from a list of “situations” describing the reason for the call including date, argument, meeting, consolation, etc. Listeners can then give vocal or text advice while they listen in.  Apps like these make any sane person wonder what the problem was when they thought (incorrectly) the NSA was listening to their conversations.


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What’s in your kit?: An investigative forensic toolkit

digital forensics

digital forensics (Photo credit:

Choosing the right forensics tools depends upon the evidence you will be examining. Digital evidence can be in several formats such as digital photos, electronic files and records, Universal Serial Bus (USB) for transferring data, the Web, and other sources. Since no single tool can do it all, my toolkit would have a variety of capabilities.

In addition to a fully functional workstation, I would incorporate a mobile system for field use. Computers are essential to any forensics lab, and digital forensics tests require a great deal of RAM so having hefty, fast drives are a must. There are many brands of laptops suitable for field use. The HP EliteBook 8570w Notebook satisfies these requirements. It contains a third generation Intel Core i7-3630QM, 8 GBDDR3 of memory, and a 500 GB hard drive. The approximate cost is $1565.00. (, 2013) The disadvantage with using this, and any other hardware, is the constant need to upgrade. Technology advances exponentially, so there will always be a need for better hardware and software. Continue Reading…

Forensic Lab Tools

English: A portable Tableau forensic write-blo...

English: A portable Tableau forensic write-blocker attached to a hard disk drive (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since no one tool can perform every task, forensic examiners rely on a diverse toolset for work efficiency. The key to using multiple forensic tools is to arrive at the same result findings on each tool so that it will enhance the trustworthiness of the evidence. Some of the hardware tools that may be utilized in a forensic lab are: write blockers, portable storage devices, and cellphone acquisition devices (Sammons, 2012) .

Write blockers are devices used to maintain evidence in its original form. Investigators use them to ensure that their investigating techniques do not interfere or affect the original image. They are called write blockers because they admit read commands, but block write commands so that the original information remains intact.

Portable storage devices are designed to be deployed on a subject’s computer to collect encoded data. Encase produces a portable kit that contains a small carrying case, a HASP security key, Encase portable 4GB flash device, and a Kingston 16GB flash device. You can also use your own external USB device such as an external USB hard drive (Mueller, 2010). Continue Reading…

Facebook Knows WhatsApp


WhatsApp (Photo credit: abulhussain)

Facebook acquired the mobile messaging app, WhatsApp, for $19 billion dollars in a bid to stay on top of new and fast moving Internet trends.  WhatsApp currently has about 450 million users worldwide and is adding around one million users each day.  WhatsApp currently charges $1 annually for its SMS services after the first year of free use.  Cellphone carriers have profited from SMS usage and bank around $100 billion dollars annually from it.

Although Facebook is the most popular place for social media fans to meet, greet, and share information, mobile applications are in much heavier use in terms of sharing photos, reading news, and sending messages.  By hopping on to the WhatsApp train, Facebook plans to tap into this market and reap some of its benefits.  The interface for utilizing these technologies, smartphones, have almost permanently sentenced the PC (laptop, desktops, etc.) to the sidelines.  Currently, WhatsApp fields around 19 billion messages a day which includes approximately 600 million photos.  If the app generates even a portion of the amount of SMS messages sent a day throughout traditional cellphone networks, and continues the $1 a year subscription service, the company stands to make billions.

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The Rich in Baton Rouge Want a New Town…Minus the Poor

Map of Baton Rouge in 1863

Map of Baton Rouge in 1863 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There have been many post-apocalyptic movies where one group of citizens struggles to survive while another lives in relative comfort.  The “Hunger Games” depicts a world where citizens are separated into poor districts, while the ruling class live in a wealthy area where the best food, water, and clothing are in abundance.  Although similar, but not on the same scale, Baton Rouge, Louisiana is trying to implement a plan where the upper middle class and rich citizens create their own school districts.  Four out of ten families live in poverty in the area and test scores reflect a huge gap from the rest of the country.  Parents would like to their children out of these lower scoring areas and put them in new districts funded by their income base and taxes.  Parents of children who will be left behind state this will devastate their school system.  With the tax revenue going to the newly proposed districts, the old school systems would be scrambling to try to keep up utilizing their lower budgets.  Is this how we will improve the United States’ educational standing in all areas (not just STEM), or is this another step backwards for lower income families in that community?

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Ex janitor receives masters degree and is now principal of the school he used to clean

“It’s not where you start, it’s how you finish”

Steve Hartman meets an elementary school principal in Port Barre, La., whose road to success started in an unexpected place, but Gabe Sonnier will tell you his journey proves “it’s not where you start, it’s how you finish.”

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