Tales from the Technoverse

Commentary on social networking, technology, movies, society, and random musings

Tales from the Technoverse header image 1


November 14th, 2015 · books

One of the advantages (or from a different perspective disadvantages) of reading books on a Kindle is that the reader does not really get a sense as to how long a book is.

For reasons I am not sure I can explain I decided to download and then read Middlemarch, considered the greatest of George Elliott’s novels. Whether I would have done so if I had realized at the time that it was over 800 pages long is not clear to me. However, I am glad I did, it is a wonderful book, well worth the time to visit Dorothea Brooke, the idealistic center of the book, and the other characters living in the early 1800’s in small-town England.

Ellen in her blog points out that good books take us to locations, both in geography and time, and to learn about people, we would otherwise not know and understand, Middlemarch certainly did that for me. Reading the epilogue earlier this morning as I finished the book, I felt regret after finishing all of those pages to leave these characters whom I had gotten to know so well and care so much about.

I highly recommend the book for anyone. The often funny, always wise commentary on the winding lives of the large number of interconnected characters create a rich picture of a society so different from today yet with such recognizable human emotions, strong and weak, good and bad; it is well worth the trip. In the end, you will find the book ends too soon, you will leave Middlemarch reluctantly.

→ No CommentsTags:

Pondering Educational Provisioning

November 2nd, 2015 · education, University of Maryland University College

On my white board in my office at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC), I have written down three big questions which I hope at some point during my time here to be able to answer:

  • Why are we here? I am interested in answering that question for both the school itself and for the program/major I am responsible for, Information Systems Management (IFSM).
  • How do we help faculty to make a difference?
  • How do we reduce barriers to student success?

[

→ No CommentsTags:

Adaptive Learning in the On-line Classroom

October 13th, 2015 · education, University of Maryland University College

I started working full-time at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) in January of this year when I accepted the position of Program Chair for Information Systems Management (IFSM) within the Undergraduate school (cleverly named The Undergraduate School, TUS).

As the Program Chair, I have responsibility for both:

  • logistics issues: hiring adjunct faculty, ensuring classes have assigned faculty, dealing with problems/complaints that come up during each semester, and
  • academic results: how to ensure we provide the best and most valuable experience within the IFSM major.

[

→ No CommentsTags: ··

Still Another Presentation on the Future of Technology

September 18th, 2015 · internet of things, technology

Luckily for me, the future of technology remains exactly that, the future, so I can continue to update and present such presentations unless, or until, The Future is NOW, becomes reality and not just a slogan.

Last Friday, September 11, I was invited to give the keynote talk at a conference held by the Modern Technology and Management Institute (MTMI) in Virginia Beach, VA. MTMI is a non-profit which supports:

  • Bringing academicians together to look at management, technology and related areas,
  • Provides training for physically challenged individuals, and
  • Provides distance education opportunities for third world nations.

The presentation is here: MTMI Presentation.

My focus was to talk about what I think were broad trends in how technology is affecting society as opposed to trying to make a bunch of predictions about specific technologies.

[

→ 1 CommentTags:

My Advice for Career Advancement

August 17th, 2015 · education, life, University of Maryland University College

I recently was asked to provide advice relating to career advancement for the UMUC Alumni association (some would argue that perhaps I am not the best source for such advice), but in any event as a proud UMUC Alumni (and current UMUC employee), I wrote up the following which appeared here and which is copied below:

[

→ No CommentsTags:

What If Everything Is Wrong

June 21st, 2015 · books, General

Well, actually, I am just referring to up and down. Um, that probably does not explain my question well either.

This will take a few steps to explain.

Have you ever had two separate thoughts bang together and cause an unexpected question/result? For me this happens a lot, with pretty useless results I will admit in most cases especially when the two thoughts are not so related.

[

→ No CommentsTags:

Interesting Takeaway From The Future of Cybersecurity Panel

May 22nd, 2015 · atarc, cyber-security, security, technology

A few days ago I moderated a panel at the ATARC sponsored Federal Cybersecurity Integration Summit.  I discussed the panel here.

The topic for the panel was a look at The Future of Cybersecurity, what kinds of threats that we might encounter and what to do about it.

We had panelists with very different perspectives. One came from a career at NSA and two were professors, one focused on criminology and the other on cybersecurity.

One of the discussions that went on generated by a question from the audience was how much emphasis should be placed on improving the behavior of the people using technology since everyone now had access to so much. Some favored investing resources to make people more aware of security issues, in the same way we require driver’s education and taking some kind of test. Others emphasized the need to improve the capability of the systems themselves to be self-protective and possibly self-repairing (and probably a bunch of other self’s).

While the obvious response would be to say all of the above are important, that avoids the need to prioritize. As I have often pointed out trying to do everything everywhere generally means being successful at nothing anywhere.

Showing my at least notional thought on the issue, I posed a final question for the audience to ponder.

“Perhaps we need to change our focus when dealing with cyberhackers and cybercriminals. Right now we try to protect, to detect and to eradicate. It is possible we need to try and make such attacks irrelevant even when they are successful.”

→ 1 CommentTags:

UMUC’s 2015 Commencement

May 18th, 2015 · education, University of Maryland University College

While I attended my two daughter’s college commencements as well as a niece’s college commencement I had never been to one directly related to me until this last weekend.

I was at Fort Dix when my University of Maryland College Park class graduated, to explain this would require telling a long story about breaking up with my then college girlfriend and having to submit final papers two months after the end of the semester, which I will not bore anyone with the retelling.

I did not attend my commencement when I received my Masters in International Management (MIM) from the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) for reasons I am not sure I can articulate, chalk it up to my anti-social attitude which sometimes (most times?) comes to the surface.

However, after attending the UMUC 2015 Commencement this last weekend, I regret having missed those earlier events, something I will have to keep in mind going forward.

[

→ 1 CommentTags: ·

The Future of Cybersecurity Panel – ATARC Federal Cybersecurity Integration Summit – May 20

May 15th, 2015 · atarc, cyber-security

ATARC is sponsoring a Federal Cybersecurity Integration Summit this coming Wednesday, May 20, at the Renaissance Washington, in downtown Washington DC.

The agenda is here. There are also links there for those who are interested in registering for the Summit.

From 11:00am – 11:45am I will be moderating a panel that will take a look at The Future of Cybersecurity, what kinds of threats that we can expect to see in the future looking at the growing pervasiveness of technology. Our two scheduled panelists are:

  • Richard George, who is a Senior Advisor for Cyber Security at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab. Previously George had been Technical Director, Information Assurance Directorate, at NSA, and will bring a big picture perspective based on his extensive career in the field.
  • David Maimon, an Assistant Professor, Criminology and Criminal Justice, within the Maryland Cybersecurity Center at the University of Maryland College Park. David’s focus is on the behavior of hackers and the implications for protection and/or minimizing the resulting damage. It is a different focus than we typically see on panels dealing with cybersecurity and should lead to some interesting discussions.

After the morning Summit there is a MITRE-ATARC Cybersecurity Collaboration Symposium looking at four challenge areas. Both the morning Summit and the afternoon Symposium should be of interest to professionals in the Cybersecurity field.

→ 1 CommentTags:

Cleopatra: A Life

March 10th, 2015 · books, history

Thanks to Ellen, I renewed, well, I got a new, library card. Now that I have an actual commute since my un-semi-retirement over to Largo MD where my offices at UMUC are, I download audio books from the Library onto my cell phone and play them over the bluetooth speakers in the car.

This morning I finished listening to a both interesting and entertaining biography of Cleopatra, Cleopatra: A Life, by Stacy Schiff.

In addition to being really well read by Robin Miles, and for those who have not listened to audio books the reader can have a big impact on one’s enjoyment, the book, at least to me, brought to life not just Cleopatra but her historical surroundings.

Perhaps one of the most brilliant people of her time, Cleopatra was a Queen when generally Queens were secondary players, in a country with little military power at a time of the rise of Rome, and yet played a significant role for the 22 years she ruled. In the center of the transition between the Roman Republican and the resulting Empire, she had political and/or personal relationships with Pompey, Julius Caesar, Marc Antony, Octavian (the future Augustus), and Herod.

The last relationship was of particular interest to me, both because I really unfamiliar with it and because I read a lot about Herod in the Biblical Archaeology magazines I glance at.

Herod was appointed King by Antony. Cleopatra asked Antony for control of all of Judea when they were involved with each other. While Antony turned Cleopatra down, she was given control of Jericho and received the rights for fees from the bitumen obtained from the Dead Sea. Cleopatra visited Herod to come to an agreement on how the tribute associated with her assets were to be transferred to her. During her visit, Herod evidently wanted to assassinate Cleopatra.

Later Herod volunteered to fight for Antony (and Cleopatra) against Octavian but was sent home to fight the Numedians instead. That probably saved his life by making it easier for Herod to change sides to support the victorious Octavian.

For those interested in learning more about Cleopatra, a truly fascinating figure, who as the author noted could be considered a bridge from the ancient world to the more modern one, this is a very good source.


→ No CommentsTags: