- Simple "Play, Pause and Stop" buttons to activate a timer
- Reporting of time spent based on a number of fields (Time, Project, Etc)
- Team tracking to see how others are spending their time
- Calendar Integration (Great for me as an iCal user!)
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
In response to the follow-up on the "Flock" browser, I decided this post was necessary. You see, I too felt that the browser was too busy; almost like I needed ADHD just to process the shear amount of information being delivered! (As an aside, I think I'm going to trademark the term "informatsunami™": the farther back a browser/feed goes, the more overwhelming amounts of data get returned...with no escape!) The painful reality of my discomfort with using the browser in its intended state hit me with force of, well, a tsunami: I’m older now, I don’t need all that “stuff”!
Perhaps it really is a sign of maturity, know quite matter-of-factly what I want and how I want it delivered to me.
Getting to the title of this post, my memories too me back in time about 10 years ago. I was a young(er), cocky programmer who had just cut his teeth on a Y2K project, learning Fortran, TAL, C, COBOL and statistical analysis in 18 months. I was moving on to a small consulting firm where I’d learn VB/SQL/ASP development, along with Oracle, Sybase, Linux development/administration. I was barely old enough to drink, yet I had surpassed the technical experience of every person in my family. I had a cell phone! I knew every punctuation combination used to create a smiley! I knew every IM acronym! I downloaded mp3 files before it was illegal! (Ok, ok, it was always illegal; but that was when few got in trouble for it…) I read “journals” updated daily online. The fact is, I’ve already been there, done that. I don’t care anymore, or least I don’t care as much what’s new and improved: it’s really old and declining…or maybe I am. Either way, I might still use Flock and whatever else new comes along. I might even get swept up in the informatsunami™ (remember you read it here first!) But in the end, I’ll still pine for the "old days (you guessed it)…when we were kings…
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Meet Flock. Flock brings together your online presence into one complete package. Using sidebars and widgets, flock connects you to your Gmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL Mail, Flickr, YouTube, Digg, Facebook, Picasa, Blogger.com, (etc., etc.) accounts and lets you access/use their features within one sleek interface. The actual core browser is powered by Mozilla, which means that if you know or use Firefox, Flock will feel very familiar.
Everyone's been talking about Web 2.0, bringing the internet to life and exploring new possibilities with dynamic content and interaction. Well, here it is.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
Picture me walking through New York City on a beautiful summer day. Having finished a few personal errands, I'm looking to settle down in one of its several parks for a little bit and get some work done on my Macbook Pro. Since most of my work recently involves development of web applications, naturally I get a lot more done if I have an internet connection. I have heard that many of the parks in the city are outfitted with free wireless, so I drop down my Airport list and begin scanning through the several wireless networks my lappy has found. I come across one called 'Free Public WiFi'. This looks like it could be what I'm after, so I connect, get a very strong signal but no valid IP address; no internet; nothing.
Another day, similar scenario, but another part of the city. And this time, my Airport has already automatically connected to a strong signal. You guessed it, 'Free Public WiFi'. Again, no kind of internet love coming from this network. But now I'm curious, so when I do find a valid connection, I set out googling about this mysterious network.
Turns out it's a bug in Windows. It's a viral wifi epidemic that has swept at least this country, if not by now, the world. On the whole it's fairly harmless, but the potential for danger is very great, and it's taught me a lesson that I should have realized earlier.
Here's what happened:
- Somewhere, someone created an ad-hoc network, named 'Free Public WiFi', either intentionally as a hoax, or for some indiscernible valid purpose.
- One or more people connected to this ad-hoc network using a Windows laptop, again, either because they were duped into thinking they'd have free internet access, or for some unknown valid reason.
- (Here's the fun part): Once a Windows machine has connected to an ad-hoc network, when it disconnects, it now begins to broadcast that same ad-hoc network as an available connection, essentially inviting anyone to join.
And so it spreads. As more and more Windows machines connect to ad-hoc networks named like 'Free Public WiFi' thinking they'll get free internet, more and more Windows machines end up broadcasting that same network. Take into account business travel, and you should see how quickly this thing is able to spread.
The danger here really should be self-evident. It is two-fold:
- An attacker could be broadcasting such a network, waiting for someone to connect in order to attempt exploiting their machine.
- If you're running Windows, you yourself may be broadcasting that network, essentially inviting anyone, including potential attackers to connect to you.
My partial solution to this is to not use Windows. :) The rest is a principle learned that I will be careful to apply and which, I think, more people should apply as a best practice: only connect to networks that you are certain about. For example, after this experience, I researched more carefully what public wifi is available in the city, who provides it and their locations. So now I'll know what I'm looking for.
Even so, it is likely if you have a mobile device that at some point you will open yourself up for attack. So there is sound reason to make sure your system is secure as a rule. Use a local firewall service. Update your system often. Don't take candy from strangers.
Sunday, June 8, 2008