Social Engineered/Tricked by a Six Year Old.

November 6, 2016 Leave a comment

Originally, I posted this on Facebook  10/30/2016 as a note, but thought it would have a home here too.

My iPhone was hacked last night, it wasn’t by the Russians, the Jester, or Feds, but Charlotte. She used a technique called social engineering. Here is the story.
Recently, I put a password on the iPhone and this bothers Charlotte when she wants to play Flappy Bird. I know she has been watching me put the password in. Earlier in the day, she figured out after weeks of watching me. So, I gave her the phone and told her “prove it.” She entered the correct password and got access. So, I changed the password and told her so. Fast forward to the evening.

Charlotte and I are watching the Cubs game. She casually asked if “Trick-or-Treating time was from 4 pm to 10 pm?”. I said “No that seems early, let me check my phone.” I reach for the phone and type the in the password, proceed to ineffectively search for the information. I tell respond to her that I believe the times are “6 pm to 8 pm, like it had been in the past.”

Thinking about it, I ask her, “You weren’t interested in Trick-or-Treat times, were you? You just wanted to watch as I put the password into the phone?” She responded honestly. She was correct in reciting the password back to me.

A few things were happening here. First, she knew I would reach for the phone to find the information. I always do this, recent searches include: “Alec Guinness,” “Parkour,” “Duvet,” and “Napoleon Dynamite.” She knew my tendency or habit to just go online and search. Second, she knew the previous password wasn’t too sophisticated, because she was able to learn it over time. Like many of the passwords we use, it wasn’t for the record the it was “111222.” A better password might have been “121212” or “238391” or at least something a little tricky. Easy passwords to remember are often easy ones to crack.

1/2 Way Point – Some Random Thoughts.

September 18, 2016 Leave a comment

My intro to web programming course is just about at the half way point. So far, I am doing okay grade wise. There is always room for improvement. I definitely need to spend more time reviewing the book and exercises. I have been able to make it through the weekly homework and discussion posts with only a few problems.

I really believe that in HTML/CSS and coding in general, it is important to spend as much time doing it as possible. The more time one spends with it, the better they understand it, and thus in theory the easier it should become.

I have somewhat noticed this with the assignments. It is not that they have gotten easier, I just have gotten a little bit better. Even though there are instructions, it is too easy to miss a semi-colon or backslash. Little mistakes can equal code that the codes not correctly function. This leads to frustration and stress.

Overall, online learning isn’t too bad. The hardest part is making dedicated time each day to spend with the materials. I have done okay with this, but could do a little better. The second is being on tight weekly deadline. Sometimes there are non-learning factors that make this tricky (example recent switch of internet service providers). Third, other than the discussion posts, I don’t feel connect to any of the people in the class.

I assume they are like me and living local but going to campus 3 or 4 times a week isn’t an option. It is kind of crazy to think that I am a 5 minute drive from campus, but taking the course online. It is a work scheduling issue. Maybe I will see if anyone from the class wants to have a meet-up, have drinks, or connect via Linkedin.

The good news is that even with my ongoing course and autodidact learning, I feel ready to begin assembling a portfolio. The portfolio will be key increasing my chances of landing meaningful employment.

Intro to web programming – Assignment 1 Done!

My first assignment for introduction to web programming is complete. I just have to upload it to the server. No major problems, but it was in easy one!

It was basically a “Hello World” page.

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Class Tomorrow!

At last! It happened, I am registered and ready for my course at Macomb Community College for web programming and development. I am very excited and have already begun working through some of the exercises! Yes, I have several “Hello Worlds”

With everything this year, I believe this is definitely a step in a positive direction. It will provide some structure to my self-learning, which has been inconsistent and often incomplete.

Also, I can work on my WordPress posts in HTML. So, I am going to commit  to more posts. I really believe that the more you code, the easier it is and the more proficient I will become.

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Inspired and Rededicated.

As of late, I am feeling particularly inspired to continuing my web programming journey. To continue, I am setting a daily goal list. Truth is, some days will yield greater progress than others. All days must yield some progress and move the proverbial “needle.”

My goals are:

  1. Spend some time daily working on web programming/career transition.
  2. Begin to build a portfolio – even it has simple code in the beginning.
  3. Continue completing coding modules in Free Code Camp and Treehouse
  4. Align social media and web presence with this goal.
  5. Review job postings to gain an idea of what skills and knowledge need to be learned.
  6. Become part of the web developer online communities.
  7. Continue to pursue a programming education in real life through further schooling.

Inspired and rededicated.


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League of Legends – A Few Thoughts

Recently, I have gotten into League of Legends. Okay I have been playing since February of this year. The basic premise of the Summoner’s Rift arena match is to destroy your opponents Nexus. Doing so, you win! For those interested, you caleague_of_legends_logon check out a this new player guide. It offers League of Legends basics.

Playing the game over the last few months, a few things have become apparent:

  • Having a good team and supportive team (even playing with random people) can make the game all that much fun and fulfilling.  Most players have been supportive or at least quiet.
  • Toxic players make me want to unplug my internet connection and “feed the bots.”
  • Definitely some skill to the game and playing well. Kudos to the pros.
  • Researching the game and strategies can make all the difference. Knowledge is power.
  • Best not to run into battle without some sort of a plan.
  • Sometimes after a bad game or three, it is just better to logout and go do something else.
  • It is a game have fun.

To this point, I have only been playing against robots with other humans on my team (mostly). I admit, because of the sometimes toxic community, I have been nervous about venturing into the Person vs. Person (PvP) arena. That being said, soon, I am heading to PvP where the real competition begins.

Many lessons in League of Legends can be applied in the real world.

Transition Manifesto

Sometimes when I want to find clarification of my clear clarity, I find it easiest to write. I think this is the case with many people. Currently, I am looking to transition away from my current position as an Assistant Property Manager. There are a variety of reasons I am pursuing this transition such as it feels like the right time in my life (other changes are occurring too),  challenging residents and property site, and the occasional internal frustration. I have come to grips with residents yelling at me and killing roaches in my office for the last few years, no doubt it has gotten very tiring. Regardless there are multitude of other things going on and it feels like the right time. Excited and embracing change.

My plan is to land a position that will allow me to eventually switch into more  of a technology role. To facilitate this transition, I am looking at a variety of position inside and outside of my industry. I am less concerned about the position or industry as long as it meets my qualifications, which are:

  • Reduced commute time
  • Equal or greater compensation
  • Opportunity to grow/transition into IT/Technology role

I am flexible with the above. Of course the ideal would be to make a $100,000 year watching NETFLIX at home.  All three qualifications met.

To get from “here” to “there,” I am currently:

  • Working through tutorials at Treehouse, Code Academy, Cybrary, and other sites.
  • Checking out local resources meet-ups, lectures, events, books at the library
  • Looking into taking courses at local community college or even a second MS degree
  • Continued positive web and social media presence in general and areas of interest

In general to put as many lines in the water as I can.