Thursday, August 13, 2015

Black Hat 2015

The premier cybersecurity conference took place last week in Las Vegas. In case you weren't able to attend, PC Magazine has an awesome summary of the most significant and ominous developments at Black Hat 2015.

In the words of Max Eddy writing for PCMag: "Black Hat bills itself as the premiere show for offensive security, and it lived up to its promise. This year, we knew we'd hear about hacking Linux-powered rifles, remotely taking control of cars, and attacking Android phones with malicious text messages. But that was only the beginning.Though the Stagefright Android vulnerability was on everyone's mind, another Android security flaw was just as terrifying. This one allowed a clever attacker to use dormant plug-ins on most Android devices to take control of the phone as if the attacker were holding it. Other research focused on a clever attack that could steal all of your files from a cloud storage service without you ever being the wiser."

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Best Tablets of 2015

Looking for a back to school tablet? Or just want to upgrade? PC Magazine has a review of the “10 Best for 2015.” Read about them here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The 10 Fastest Supercomputers in the World

For those of us who are old enough to remember the 80’s and 90’s there was an ongoing “competition” to determine which computer was the “world’s fastest.” During the 2000’s as technology became more “personal” most of the public tended to focus on the latest consumer technologies such as phones, tablets, gaming systems, HD displays, and smartwatches. However cutting edge research still occurs at the “high end.” The performance of some of these systems is nothing short of mind blowing. Here are the 10 Fastest Supercomputers in the world according to eWeek. Awesome!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Approaching IT Security Like Homeland Security

According to Karen A. Frenkel at CIO|Insight, President Obama has identified cyber-security as a top national security challenge and has ordered a review of federal efforts to defend the U.S. information and communications infrastructure. The goal is to develop a comprehensive approach to securing America's digital infrastructure. Brian Beyer, CEO of Red Canary, explains that while your organization may not have the budget, resources, experts, or technology of our national government, organizations of all sizes can benefit from applying the same security tactics as the Department of Homeland Security. This slideshow presents some of Beyer's tips to help you defend your business.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Smartwatches Already Obsolete?

Like many I followed the release of the Apple Watch earlier this year. And although I think they look cool, there was just something about the whole idea of "smartwatches" that kept bothering me. Like, "Why do we need something like this?" and "Would I actually wear one?" I hardly ever wear a watch. Ever. And when I do I'm a Casio "G Shock" kind of guy except for when I wear the Tag-Heuer my wife gave me for my birthday. I have a colleague that wears a Rolex. And two that wear Breitlings. My Dad always wore an Omega. A watch can make a bold fashion statement. And at least for now, most "smartwatches" don't cut it although definitely the $17K Gold Apple Watch qualifies. For business and communications, my current phone (Galaxy S6 Edge) does everything I need. Plus tells the time! So I was interested to read this article by Rob Enderle in SD Times. Enderle makes some good points. But what is most important about any technology is whether or not it works for you. So, do you own a smartwatch? And what functionality does it add?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Developing an Excel Dashboard Application

The following was presented at the SOBIE Academic Conference, April 17, 20105:

"Effective decision-making requires information to be available in a format that highlights key performance variables and trends while allowing the user to “drill down” to deeper levels of detail as necessary. It is important that the data also be updateable in real-time. Microsoft Excel and Access allow information to be stored and presented in ways that facilitate the decision-making process. The power and flexibility of Pivot-Tables, Sparkline Graphs, Conditional Formatting, and Data Analysis functions in Excel combined with the storage capacity and connectivity of Access make it possible to design a customizable application.

A sample dashboard that analyzes salary and benefit information is demonstrated along with a discussion of all formulas and macros used. Methods for automatically connecting to and updating the spreadsheet from an external data source such as Microsoft Access are included."


video

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Excel Charts Show Travel Stats for Indiana

Earlier this semester, the MIS 320 Business Decision Making class had to analyze data collected on travel to and from Indiana. The assignment was to create a series of charts that would visually interpret the data for use by Indiana business leaders, politicians, state and local governments, and average citizens. On the surface, this appeared simple enough--after all how hard could graphs be? The challenge was that the data collected was from multiple sources and unorganized. Students had to dig deep in order to uncover useful information. They also were encouraged to experiment with color, 3-D effects, and styles. Some of the more interesting examples are shown here:

Taylor Kinney created this effective area chart comparing the number of people who visit Indiana from the rest of the United States to the number of people from Indiana who travel outside the state. It is not surprising that the highest activity involves the surrounding "five state" region.



Keflome Gebrenegus used a radar chart to perform the same comparison. The number of people from Indiana traveling to Florida clearly shows up as a "spike" in the lower right.



Jack Hiatt used a 3-D surface chart to compare individual measures for each method of travel included in the survey. The use of multiple dimensions allows comparison across categories and the "wireframe" and "rotation" options makes every data point visible.



Ross Beretta paid tribute to Indiana by adding the state flag as a background to this cylinder chart breaking down travel by income level. Adding a background image allows you to customize your graph using any picture. The picture becomes part of the chart and re-sizes automatically.