IT Reflection for the new year.

January 1st was the 30th anniversary of the modern internet. The 1st marked the cut over to TCP/IP.

Where computers had a giant impact on the way we do our work and what not TCP/IP has had and continues to have an even greater impact. Prior to TCP/IP all things were proprietary. Sharing and sending information between the various networks was all but impossible. TCP/IP changed all of that paving the way for what we have today.

It has been the underlying tidal force of my entire career. Computers may have been the vehicle but without TCP/IP there is no where to go, stuck on an Island trapped in a silo.  TCP/IP Changed all of that.  Computers in their current forms and iterations are nothing like what they were 30 years ago (ok sans a keyboard and yes we still have command prompts.).  TCP/IP on the other hand is the same for the most part.  Even with the addition of IPv6 its still the same at its core, just has more segments its still TCP/IP.  One could argue the same thing about computers that at their core they are still the same too, but to that I say “Shush! this is TCP/IP’s day not yours 8086”.

Take a moment, sit back look at all the devices around you. Every news feed alert, IM message, each dungeon run or quest you complete (Fellow Warcraft players, im looking at you), all Netflix movies you watch on a smart TV and wall you post to would not be what it is today with out the pioneering work of Vint Cerf in 1973, Robert Kahn in the 1970’s, Jon Postel.

There are many other very smart and creative people that provided frameworks to make these things happen but the creation of TCP/IP was the road which they all had to navigate.


Thanks for one heck of a ride so far.  {Tip of the hat and toast of the Red Bull to ya TCP/IP}

The Gamification of Science

Videos are somewhat of a recent phenomenon but anyone who’s a fan of them know that they’re really hard to stop playing once you get started. There are plenty of reasons for this, many are immersive and are the perfect escape from realty. Others feed off of people’s natural competitive nature with scoreboards and incentives like achievements, rewards and badges. The reason games are so appealing is rooted deep in human psychology and there has been a recent trend to take advantage of this called gamification.

The definition of Gamification taken from Wikipedia: the use of game design techniques and mechanics to solve problems and engage audiences. This is the idea behind Foldit. It’s a game which researchers have developed in order to enlist the help of gamers in deciphering the structure of a key protein in the development AIDS. It’s a structure which scientists haven’t been able to identify for years but now have thanks to the online game Foldit. And it only took gamers three weeks to come up with the answer. This is a great story of games being used to solve real world problems and you can read more about Foldit here. Hacked

A few days ago WordPress announced that they had been hacked. Someone was able to gain deep access into several of the company’s servers which holds information of their VIP accounts. We’re talking the big boys like TechCrunch and CBS. The unknown hacker could now have access to sensitive information like Twitter and Facebook passwords. So you can imagine how much trouble could come of this.
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