Archive for Technology

Just a thought on IP/DNS Issues

// February 2nd, 2010 // No Comments » // Networking!, Technology

So, on the break of IPv6, have all of you nerds been studying about how to address and integrate IPv6 into your network yet?

With IPv6 on the verge of hopefully a government mandate (I love government mandates and I also love new technology-even if it isn’t hardware), I have begun to wonder what will happen to all of these dot-com domains. Didn’t we invent domains and further DNS to solve the problem of lazy Americans having to memorize an IP Address? What happens when to get to Ford’s website, I have to go to because of domain name exhaustion? Yes, they have tried to fix this using .net and .org and .me and .us, but isn’t that why we invented subnetting and further variable length subnets?

So my question to you readers is: what new technology is going to come out when we run out of domain names?

My un-intelligent idea’s include the terrible use of RFID cards that your computer scans to take you to a website. While this would not only waste resources and take up mountains of store space, it would be pretty neat.

Another possible idea would be to invent some kind of google search add-on that would just get to you a companies website without effort. How? I have no idea, but someway! The only problem with that is, we can have Google owning the World Wide Web, just as Al Gore thinks he owns it now.

Just a thought…

Clearing the air on a few AT&T U-Verse Questions

// December 31st, 2009 // 11 Comments » // Technology

ATT-U-verse-Launches-a-New-Kind-of-Home-Phone-Service-in-Raleigh-with-ATT-U-verse-VoiceAn AT&T Representative came to my house this week offering U-Verse to my area. It seems like a great deal on their website, but of course, that is because they want you to buy it. Well, I love my comcast, but faster is always better. I had a few questions, so I talked to my good friend Pam who cleared up some misconceptions found on the internet. Here is our chat log:

Pam: I will be happy to answer your questions regarding AT&T U-verse products.  To start, could you please tell me which state you’re located in and the zip code?
Pam: Hello! How may I assist you?
Michael: i had a few technical questions about uverse
Michael: uverse is going to be in my neighborhood next month, they just have to activate it on the att site.
Michael: Do you guys do FTTH?
Pam: First, let me thank you for considering AT&T online today.
Michael: But no chances of ftth?
Pam: Yes, that is right.
Michael: alright, well, doesn’t that greatly limit my bandwidth then?
Pam: Are you referring to internet?
Michael: overall
Michael: since the tv’s use IP, wouldn’t that slow down the internet?
Pam: Your internet will not get slow while watching TV.
Michael: How many HD streams can I watch at a time? If i buy 5 set top boxes, can i watch 5 HD channels?
Pam: Total Home Total Home DVR allows you to pause, rewind, replay and record live TV in HD! Record up to 4 programs simultaneously (2 SD and 2 HD channel at the same time).
Michael: That’s not my question
Pam: You can watch 2 HD streams at the same time. RUMOR 2: TWO HD STREAMS PER HOME
Michael: Alright, any chance of that changing soon?
Pam: I do understand your concerns, but at this time, I do not have information on that, in that case, I would suggest you to call our tech support.
Michael: Okay, one more question.
Pam: Would you like me to provide you the number.
Michael: For the internet, Do I get a static public IP address?
Michael: yes please
Pam: You will get dynamic ip.
Pam: Static IP’s are available; after ordering online simply contact U-verse customer service department at 1-888-803-2456. The cost for the static IP is an additional $15/month.  RUMOR 3: UNLIKE COMCAST, MY IP CHANGES A LOT (COMCAST CHANGES WHEN YOUR MAC ADDRESS CHANGES [aka, change your router])
Michael: How often does it change?
Pam: A dynamic IP address is a temporary number that is assigned to a computer by an Internet Service provider each time a user logs on to their computer. – Most computers use dynamic IP address unless they need to be called by other computers.
Pam: Let me provide you the tech support number.
Pam: If you need technical assistance, you can reach them by phone at 1-877-722-3755.
Michael: Yes, I know how it works.
Pam: They are available from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday. On Saturday, they are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Michael: Alright, well, thank you for your time.
Pam: You are welcome.
Pam: Is there anything else I can assist you with today?
(I asked about getting service in my area, removed for personal information protection)
Pam: At this time our online address validation tool is unable to locate your address with the wording I have entered.
Pam: I recommend that you call our customer service, so that they can retrieve how your address is set in the system. Then come back online to place your order and take advantage of all the great online only promotions.
Michael: Okay, I will give them a call later. Thanks
Pam: For assistance with AT&T U-Verse via phone, please contact Online Support at 1-888-803-2456. Customer Service is available from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday. On Saturday, they are available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday we are closed.
Pam: Is there anything else I can assist you with today?
Michael: Nope, that is all
Michael: thank you very much
Pam: You are welcome.
Pam: Wish you a very happy new year!
Pam: When proceeding through the online order process you will have the option to choose ‘No Modem’. This will allow you to use the current modem you have.
Pam: Thank you for chatting with AT&T today.  It has been a pleasure assisting you. Should you need further assistance today, there is a button you may click on to chat with us again.
Pam: Kindly disregard my response for modem FACT 1: AT&T USES PRE-WRITTEN SCRIPTS
Pam: Thank you for chatting with AT&T today.  It has been a pleasure assisting you. Should you need further assistance today, there is a button you may click on to chat with us again.

So, the verdict, AT&T U-Verse sounds like a great deal for their Internet only. Their TV service seems under-developed and needs some work. I am fine with my Comcast service for TV for now. The fact that I have to pay $7 per tv is also not a plus (comcast is unlimited TVs).

As soon as they green light my subdivision, we’ll have them install the internet and I’ll review that once it’s installed.

RFID Scanning Systems for Education Use

// December 17th, 2009 // 3 Comments » // Technology

Ever thought about how annoying it is to have to stop class to take attendance? Wouldn’t it just be great to have a perfect and 100% accurate topology of who is where in your school building?

Business and corporate offices have been doing this for years, and it’s time education caught on. RFID or Radio Frequency Identification is a new technology that uses small little chips that emit an ID, sort of like a UPC or Barcode. The advantage is, you don’t have to scan your card; a reader automatically notices your in range, and adds your ID to the list.

So why invest that kind of money just to make teachers lives simpler? Using RFID badges and scanners in classrooms not only simplifies the teachers work load and increases valuable class time, but with increasing class sizes, it can become simple to miscount someone on the attendance list. This improved accuracy can be seen in places other than in the books through the use of digital hall passes. If a student requests to use the bathroom, the teacher can monitor how long and where that student has traveled and provide proper discipline from there.

Security in school buildings has become a very major issue and topic for discussion in all school districts these days. In many schools and campuses around the nation, it is very simple for a predator or bomber to gain access to critical parts of a school. The use of RFID badges would make sure that everyone is accounted for; guests would be forced to have a guest badge, therefore making sure their movements are not destructive to the learning environment. Another security feature that could be implemented at schools would be to lock exterior doors to all peoples without a proper RFID badge. Guests wanting to gain access to the school would have to check into the main office before continuing into the school. This type of lock system would make schools much safer.

The issue of the authenticity and security of these RFID devices has been questioned by many. Some fear that if a person were to bring a RFID scanner, they could gain access to valuable information found on RFID badges. This is not true as the badge would simply emit a 26, 64, or 128 bit key that would register with a system with the proper information. All data past the RFID scanner placed at the door of a classroom would be encrypted, as it already is in all schools.

RFID scanners could also be included in busses provided by the school, providing an accurate account for all students riding the bus. If a student were to miss the bus, it would trigger an alarm that could call a parent alerting them that their student missed the bus. Students could also use RFID badges to ensure they are on the correct bus; when a student enters the bus, they could be red flagged for not having permissions to ride a certain bus other than their own.

While RFIDs in education is a fairly new topic for education, it is something that should be implemented in many school districts, especially ones with large numbers of security and attendance issues. RFID chips are nearly cost-free and would benefit school districts more than it would cost up front.

Education in America is something that should always be a top priority; it provides the future for America’s greatest inventors, geniuses, and most powerful people. Powerful and prosperous society can only be accomplished by well-educated and career-focused students who, with the right skills, can change how our world works. If education is a number one priority, security and stability of the schools is the number two priority in those buildings.

In the video attached, the man has a credit card using an RFID technology. When he puts those items into his coat and walks through the scanner, the scanner detects what items he has, and automatically bills his credit card appropriately. This is a great application of the RFID system, and while the effects are a bit exaggerated in this video, RFID scanners do not require beams of light to function and simply work through a seamless pass of a sensor with a range of 3-15 feet.

Michael McLeod

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