My name is Bill, I am a recent graduate in Information Sciences and Technology from Penn State University and this is a place for me to post or give my 2 cents on the fascinating world of technology. I am now working for a pretty big technology related company whose name I will leave out just to avoid any possible complications, however far-fetched them happening may be. Music gets included from time to time as well.

September 30, 2014 9:14 pm


Windows 10

Microsoft just announced Windows 10. Yes this is the 9th version of Windows but numbers don’t matter. This OS is everything that made Windows 7 great, along with a touch of Windows 8 (pun intended).

On the surface Microsoft seems to be back tracking. They alienated a lot of users with Windows 8, and even more businesses. People didn’t want something all new, they wanted something familiar but upgraded, that’s exactly what they’re getting in Windows 10. Where Windows 8 focussed on touch screens and tablets, Windows 10 is a return to mouse and keyboard users, you know, they way most of us use a computer.

There are still some elements of Windows 8 present in the Start menu (see the photo above) and on tablets, but for the most part this is the beefed up Windows 7 that users were hoping for.

Described as Microsoft’s “most comprehensive platform ever,” Windows 10 will offer a tailored experience for all hardware across a single platform family. And it turns out that’s intentional. Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore pointed to the millions of customers still using Windows 7, and said the company wants to make their transition to Windows 10 much more comfortable than the unfamiliar leap to Windows 8 two years ago. “We want all these Windows 7 users to have the sentiment that yesterday they were driving a first-generation Prius, and now with Windows 10 it’s like a Tesla.”

EDIT: I just wanted to note that I was / am WAY into Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. I 100% understand what they were trying to do, and I was on board. … that said, I was never going to make it my daily driver for many of the obvious reasons. It’s nice to see them return to the mouse and keyboard user.

[via The Verge]

September 16, 2014 8:14 pm
IBM Brings Power of Watson to Your Business


Watson Analytics is part of a $1 million IBM initiative to offer the supercomputer’s service to …


Natural language processing is definitely the future, though the assumption that most data comes per-structured seems flawed to me.  Then again maybe that’s where the “line-work” of the information age comes in, business leaders may have the benefit of getting immediate answers but they will still need the workers to create the structure for them.

June 11, 2014 1:00 am


IBM System z: Master the Mainframe Around the World

IBM’s Master the Mainframe contest is teaching the next generation of students enterprise computing skills. Learn more about the competition through the eyes of high school and college students from the US, India and Kenya.

So basically it’s a propaganda attempt probably sponsored by all of the companies that don’t feel like retiring or rewriting legacy applications but are worried about upcoming retirements.

(via smarterplanet)

May 27, 2014 2:00 pm
"Most programming doesn’t require a special brain, but it’s more frustrating and messier than anyone lets on. There are thousands of enthusiastic blog posts, classes and apps that aim to entice you with the promise of a slick, unequivocal procedure for learning to code. They rarely mention the tedium of getting your environment set up (which, trust me, even the nicest of your programmer friends don’t want to help you with, because that stuff is mad frustrating and nobody remembers how they did it).

They don’t tell you that a lot of programming skill is about developing a knack for asking the right questions on Google and knowing which code is best to copy-paste. And they don’t let you in on a big secret: that there is no mastery, there is no final level. The anxiety of feeling lost and stupid is not something you learn to conquer, but something you learn to live with."

Kate Ray, Technical Cofounder, Scroll Kit. TechCrunch, Don’t Believe Anyone Who Tells You Learning To Code Is Easy. (via futurejournalismproject)
April 9, 2014 10:45 pm
The Heartbleed Hit List: The Passwords You Need to Change Right Now

Here’s the article I’m guessing everyone has actually been looking for in regards to the Heartbleed issue.  It is understandable that not all sites have reported their status as doing so prior to patching the vulnerability increases their risk of attack.  Nonetheless, please look here for the list of sites who are now secure and who you never had to worry about.  It is important to change your passwords on these sites and any others where you used the same password as they may have been taken.

January 8, 2014 10:37 pm January 5, 2014 10:44 pm

Film Recommendation: Her (2013)

While this is a technology blog, I just wanted to take some time to recommend a movie that I feel those who think like me would enjoy.  I saw “Her” about a week ago at one of the few theater’s it has been released in and was absolutely floored.  I don’t believe I have seen a film so well thought out and human in years.  Like all great science fiction stories, it is more about ourselves than the advanced technology it is predicting.  That is not to say it doesn’t do a brilliant job visualizing where we are going with information technology.  There are more than a handful of moments that I chuckled at how easily I could see a machine being used like the movie does in the future or at how the characters reacted to what they had.  The performances are excellent, both the ones we can see in the perfectly awkward Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams as well as just the voice of Scarlett Johansson.  This is a concept that could have fallen apart with any single misstep but all of the actors keep it perfectly believable.  Not to downplay the excellence of Spike Jonze’s writing and direction which as I said earlier display some of the best thought out work I’ve seen in years.  Ultimately, it is a brilliant statement to what we are looking for in terms of love and satisfaction in the information age, something that has been discussed and pondered often today and all of time before it.  In a season of many excellent looking movies, I implore you to please not pass this movie up and check it out as I have never been so sure a movie has something that everyone can relate to.

5/5 stars (for those that prefer numerical rating systems)

December 6, 2013 8:54 pm November 10, 2013 1:25 am
"That focus on cost may seem to argue for an infrastructure-focused push, but I believe the growth will be more around application development and application migration than infrastructure conversation and expansion. It’s the application side where the value lies, and where the real work needs to be done to take meaningful advantage of the fairly low-cost cloud infrastructure."
November 9, 2013 11:43 am
Are Computers Making Society More Unequal? : Joshua Rothman - The New Yorker


Joshua Rothman talks with Tyler Cohen about a number of topics from his new book, Average Is Over, like his contention that deep inequality between the technorati and the technots is an inescapable aspect of the postnormal. In this section, however, he talks about the skills that are likely to be needed in a world increasingly augmented by intelligent software:

One of the most interesting sections of the book is about “freestyle” chess competitions, in which humans and computers play on teams together—often the computers make the moves, but sometimes the humans intervene. How has chess software changed the “labor market” in chess players?

When humans team up with computers to play chess, the humans who do best are not necessarily the strongest players. They’re the ones who are modest, and who know when to listen to the computer. Often, what the human adds is knowledge of when the computer needs to look more deeply. If you’re a really good freestyle player, you consult a bunch of different programs, which have different properties, and you analyze the game position on all of them. You try to spot, very quickly, where the programs disagree, and you tell them to look more deeply there. They may disagree along a number of lines, and then you have to make some judgments. That’s hard—but the good humans do that better than computers do. Even very strong computers don’t have that meta-rational sense of when things are ambiguous. Today, the human-plus-machine teams are better than machines by themselves. It shows how there may always be room for a human element.

You believe that, in the future, the most well-compensated workers will be something like freestyle chess players.

Think in terms of this future middle-class job: You read medical scans, and you work alongside a computer. The computer does most of the judging, but there are some special or unusual scans where you say, “Hmm, that’s not quite right—I need a doctor to look at this again and study it more carefully.” You’ll need to know something about medicine, but it won’t be the same as being a doctor. You’ll need to know something about how these programs work, but it won’t be the same as being a programmer. You’ll need to be really good at judging, and being dispassionate, and you’ll have to have a sense of what computers can and cannot do. It’s about working with the machine: knowing when to hold back, when to intervene.

Again an example of loose connection — an individual working with intelligent machines instead of a traditional work ‘team’ —  and a transition to a world in which our capacity for pattern matching and dissent play a strong role. 

I agree with this article, automation does not take over jobs, it’s a tool to free us up for more judgement-based decisions. That’s why education is more important than ever.