Nick MacKechnie
#8 wire kinda guy.....

Social networking – friend or foe?

Thursday, 6 November 2008 05:50 by Nick MacKechnie

Hi All,

Digital social networking has been around for a lot longer than many would realise. Fidonet was probably one of the first cabs off the rank in terms of social networking in the form of Bulletin Board Systems (BBSs) with message areas and mail (also known as echomail, netmail, mail, conference areas, subboards). The first BBS was developed by Ward Christensen while he was snowed in during a blizzard and went online on February 16th, 1978.

Fidonet was created to solve a business/social problem that we still face today – the ability to discuss, collaborate and share information with each other in multiple locations around a city, country or across the world in a timely manner. In those days it was done via dialup modems, at large expense to the hobbyist, and it was community driven and lead – There are still a collection on BBS’s that exist today, and a lot of those messaging networks still continue for these die hard users.

Facebook, bebo, Linkedin are all examples of modern day social networking. Some are focused on the social aspect of life and family,  keeping in contact with friends and colleagues while others focus on niche areas such as business relationships.

In my opinion they are a wonderful tool (and entertainment) for keeping in contact with people, having your say, networking, sharing family photos etc, however they can also have a major impact on your life, depending on the types of information you share, the networks/groups you join as well as the comments you make.

For me, whenever I’m about to meet someone new, I typically insert their name into a search engine for some background reading, as well as look them up on Facebook and Linkedin to understand areas of interest, things in common, discussions topics etc.

Social networking for most is about having fun, continuing relationships, meeting people with similar interests etc, however I personally think there is a massive lack of education in terms of impact this can have on your current and future employment. Most of the things you do online, once posted, is there for life. Search engines typically don’t delete information, so once it exists on the web, is very hard to remove.

In this day and age, where most of the younger generation heavily utilise these mediums, there seems to be a large lack of thought and understanding in terms of the potential damage this could cause them as the move forward with their lives and careers.

It’s almost like a Big Brother show that doesn’t end. Here’s a few examples of where things don’t go according to plan via social networking.

1.A Sydney call centre worker who "chucked a sickie" only to be caught out on Facebook is now the subject of a formal investigation by his employer.

 kyledoyle

Full article here.

2. U2’s Bono and a couple of bikini-clad girls were made available to the entire New York network on Facebook by mistake due to not setting the appropriate privacy settings.

bonob

Full article here.

Other areas of concern around online social networking are around Social Engineering (obtaining confidential information and then manipulating a situation for personal gain for example) and Identity theft (fraud that involves stealing money or receiving other benefits by pretending to be someone else).

There’s an organisation in New Zealand called NetSafe. NetSafe provides cybersafety education for New Zealanders - children, parents, schools, community organisations and businesses.  NetSafe's aim is to educate all New Zealanders about safe, secure and responsible use of information and communication technology.

So my point here is by all means have fun, however think about potential ramifications of the information you publically post and participate in, as your past can haunt you :-)

Nick.

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Windows Live ID Becomes OpenID Provider

Tuesday, 28 October 2008 23:37 by Nick MacKechnie

According to this post on the Windows Live Dev Team blog, starting today, Windows Live ID is publicly committing to support the OpenID digital identity framework - GREAT! OpenID, in case you don’t know, is a decentralized framework for authenticating users across the web. For sites that support OpenID, users can choose to log in with their OpenID instead of having to create yet another account and then have to remember a username and password. With OpenID, instead, there’s only one thing to remember: your OpenID.

To get an OpenID, there are already a ton of mainstream channels you can use. For example, if you have an account at one of the following services, you already have an OpenID:

  • AOL - openid.aol.com/screenname
  • Blogger - username.blogger.com
  • Bloglines - d.bloglines.com/username
  • Flickr - www.flickr.com/photos/username
  • LiveDoor - profile.livedoor.com/username
  • LiveJournal - username.livejournal.com
  • Vox - member.vox.com
  • Yahoo - http://openid.yahoo.com
  • WordPress.com - username.wordpress.com

    There are many others, too, and even if you don’t have an account at any of those services, there are a ton of places where you can sign up to get an OpenID of your own.

    Now that Windows Live is supporting OpenID, you will soon be able to use your Windows Live ID as your OpenID!

    Those interested in testing the new Windows Live ID Integration environment can do so here: https://login.live-int.com/beta/ManageOpenID.srf where you can set up your OpenID alias on a test account. However, it’s recommended that this is used for test purposes only. Users are encouraged to wait to set up their Live ID OpenIDs until the service goes into production.

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    Redfly: A Netbook Entirely Powered By Your Windows Mobile Phone

    Tuesday, 28 October 2008 23:30 by Nick MacKechnie

    A company called Celiocorp has launched a completely different take on the netbook phenomenon. Instead of offering a lightweight computer running either Linux or XP like today’s netbooks do, this notebook PC is entirely powered by a device you already own: your smartphone. Dubbed a “mobile companion,” the Redfly device has an 8-inch screen, a full-sized keyboard and touch pad, and is connected to your smartphone via a USB cable or Bluetooth.

    To use the Redfly notebook, all you need to do is install the Redfly driver on your phone (see supported phones here). You can then use the netbook like any computer. Its bigger screen makes it easier to read documents, write emails, or surf the web. Redfly supports remote desktop, virtualization and other cloud-based environments like Citrix, GoToMyPC, LogMeIn, Microsoft’s Remote Desktop protocol, stoneware, inc., and others. The netbook also features a VGA connector so you can connect your Redfly netbook to a projector for presentations.

    As you use the Redfly device, you can be charging your smartphone too, assuming it’s plugged in via the USB cable. The Redfly battery works for up to 8 hours, according to the company.

    This is a very cool device!!

    Nick.

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    Woman jailed after killing virtual husband

    Friday, 24 October 2008 23:06 by Nick MacKechnie

    TOKYO - A 43-year-old player in a virtual game world became so angry about her sudden divorce from her online husband that she logged on with his password and killed his digital persona, police said.

    The woman, who has been jailed on suspicion of illegally accessing a computer and manipulating electronic data, used his ID and password to log onto the popular interactive game "Maple Story" to carry out the virtual murder in May, a police official in the northern city of Sapporo said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of department policy.

    "I was suddenly divorced, without a word of warning. That made me so angry," the official quoted her as telling investigators and admitting the allegations.

    She has not yet been formally charged. If convicted, she could face up to five years in prison or a fine up to US$5,000.

    Bizzar!! – Full article here.

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    Motorheads flock to CarJam site as start-up takes off

    Wednesday, 22 October 2008 02:50 by Nick MacKechnie

    Motorheads as well as those with a professional interest in cars are flocking to CarJam, the spare-time brainchild of two security software specialists.

    CarJam is a vehicle information search engine for the New Zealand motorist, would be motorist hoping to buy a car or just the plan curious who want to see what mileage their old vehicle has been doing and generally research things starting simply with the rego.

    Simpy enter the registration details, and you can receive the following information -

    HOLDEN COMMODORE 2002 (in Red)

    Plate: Current Rego

    • Make: HOLDEN
    • Model: COMMODORE
    • Year: 2002
    • Submodel: ACCLAIM SEDAN AUTO
    • Main colour: Red
    • Vehicle type: Passenger Car/Van
    • Body style: Saloon
    • No of seats: 5
    • CC rating: 3,791
    • Fuel type: Petrol
    • Power: 152kW
    • Assembly type: Imported Built-Up
    • Country of origin: Australia
    • Imported damaged: Find out by purchasing the report
    • Reported stolen: Find out by purchasing the report

    Identification

    • VIN: Find out by purchasing the report
    • Plate: Current Rego
    • Engine no: Engine Number

    Economy, safety and pollution

    • Transmission: 4-gear automatic

    Ownership information

    Find out by purchasing the report

    Security interests

    Find out by purchasing the report

    Licence

    • Licence expiry: 2008, October 31st (expires in 1 week)
    • Latest licence issued on: 2007, November 5th at 09:31
    • Licence type: Licence
    • Continuous licence: Yes

    Registration

    • Registration status: Active
    • Vehicle usage: Private Passenger
    • Cause of latest registration: New
    • Date of first registration in New Zealand: 2002, November 1st
    • Date of last registration: 2002, November 1st
    • Registered overseas: No

    Plates history

    Plate
    Effective date

    Current rego

    2003, September 25th

    Old rego
    2002, November 1st

    Warrant of fitness (WOF)

    The WOF expires in 11 months (23rd September 2009). Last inspection was successful on 23rd September 2008.

    Miscellaneous information

    • Gross vehicle mass: 1,519kg
    • Maximum rated towed mass: 1,200kg (for unbraked trailer) and 2,100kg (for braked trailer)
    • No of axles: 2
    • Front axle group rating: 1033
    • Rear axle group rating: 1200

    Odometer history

    • Is odometer reliable?: Find out by purchasing the report
    • Latest odometer reading: 72,829 Km (on 2008, September 23rd, source: WOF Inspection)
    • Latest usage: 31.38 Km/day (11,422 Km/year)

    Reading, Km
    Date
    Source or reason
    Usage (avg), Km/day/year

    72,829
    2008, September 23rd
    WOF inspection
    31.38/11,422

    etc

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    Airport scanners won't blur privates…..

    Wednesday, 22 October 2008 02:33 by Nick MacKechnie

    Well this could be a great job… or a damn scarey one! :-)

    Domestic travellers leaving Melbourne Airport over the next six weeks will be asked to test new security scanners that can see through clothing.

    The scanner uses a low energy X-ray to reveal any objects, metal or otherwise, under a person's clothing, including body features. The testing will be entirely voluntary during the trial, which is being undertaken to test how the new scanners would affect the flow of passengers through the security point.

    Full article is here.

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    My Movies Plugin, Now For Home Server

    Thursday, 9 October 2008 21:27 by Nick MacKechnie

    9ae57a6b-3c7d-4747-9e6d-cfd98c1abb74

    The upcoming My Movies plugin for Windows Home Server has a lot of people excited. Already available for Windows Media Center users, the plugin will soon allow Home Server users to organize their extensive movie collections and use their Home Server as more of a media server. According to a new post on the We Got Served blog, the plugin will function as a standard server for My Movies clients, will include an automated “Disc Copier,” will automatically monitor movie folders added to or located on a WHS share, and will function as a metadata provider without the need for a My Movies client for Microsoft DVD library, Niveus Movie Library, Open Media Library, Media Portal, and hopefully soon XBMC. The plugin isn’t available in its final form just yet, but if you just can’t wait to try it out, a pre-release version is now available for download from here.

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    Tags:  
    Categories:   Cool! | Microsoft | My Opinion | Technology
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    New Set top box for the home office

    Wednesday, 8 October 2008 10:21 by Nick MacKechnie

    Hi All,

    I’ve been spending a bit more time out in the home office, and decided a TV wouldn’t be a bad thing, so after some research, I decided to buy a higher end model of the unit I use in the lounge for my office.

    I picked up a Dreambox 7020si via a contact I had made on Ebay some months back for $US305.

    DM7020

    When we moved into our current house, we had a four car garage. Within the 1st week of moving in, I had hired a concrete saw, a jack hammer and was digging a trench to drag cat 6 cabling between the house and the garage. The garage has been split into half, and an office built at the back for me to retreat to when I needed to work, as well as relax.

    I managed to pickup a cheap dish with 3 LNB's, so my mate Murray and I installed it up on the garage roof on the weekend. So this box is tuned into Optus D1, D2 and C1 and works superbly!

    DSCF6307 DSCF6308 DSCF6310 DSCF6313

    Nick.

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    Trademe Spam – Unused credit in your Trade Me Account

    Tuesday, 30 September 2008 22:34 by Nick MacKechnie

    I received an email this morning highlighting to me that I was in credit on my trademe account.I’m not exactly sure why this urked me, however I guess it steams from the fact that I think I’m more and capable of deciding when/where Il spend my money, and this was the first time I’ve seen these ‘proactive emails’…. Maybe Credit Card companies should do the same… (I think not!) – Now to see if I can disable this annoying nag…

    Nick

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    Android walkthrough on T-Mobile G1

    Wednesday, 24 September 2008 20:54 by Nick MacKechnie

    img_3693

    Google has just posted a few videos showing all the Google applications loaded on the T-Mobile G1. This includes Search, Maps, Gmail and Contacts, Calendar, Google Talk and You Tube all enabled via single sign-on. The fact that these are fully synchronized to the web negates the need for a desktop application. 

    Have a look at the videos on Youtube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pa605HfXggg

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    Tags:  
    Categories:   Cool! | My Opinion | Technology | Android
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